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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 30
Freue dich, erlöste Schar
Cantata BWV 30a
Angenehmes Wiederau, freue dich in deinen Auen!
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of November 23, 2008 [Continue]

William Hoffman wrote (December 3, 2008):
Intros. to BWV 30 & 210 -- Fugitive Dance, Opera Notes

Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< Speaking of dances, I just found an interesting text about the tenor aria of BWV 30a / soprano aria of BWV 210 here: Bach and the Story of an â?oAria tempo di Polonaiseâ? for Joachim Friedrich Flemming: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/Newsletters/BachNotes05.pdf >
William Hoffman replies:

So, all of the arias in BWV 30a are dance-related, and polonaise to boot, a dance-style honoring the King of Poland. All the arias of the soprano Cantata BWV 210 (Nos. 2,4,6,8) also appear to be dance-related. The Index to the book Dance Character in Bach's Vocal Music indicates, respectively, minuet, gigue, sarabande and bouree. However,I have access to the book here in Rochester NY at Sibley Library, Eastman School of Music, and will check it out Wednesday.

As for opera. The American Bach Society citation above, 2006 newsletter, begins with an extensive article by Hans Joachim Marx on Bach's Theatrical Style. We learn about Bach's possibly first-hand encounters with opera in Hamburg and Dresden, as well as some of the important links with his secular cantatas. I am convinced, IMHO, that Bach's encounter with opera is decisive and also has a strong link to Handel, if we're willing to go there. It's no coincidence that Bach was near Hamburg in January 1706 when Handel's first opera, Almira, was produced by Keiser. Whittaker tries to show a direct link. Also, there's that wonderful instrumental sarabande that found its way into later Handel Italian operas, including Rinaldo, "La'schio...." (sp.).

Sadly, Bach's encounter with opera was an example of his being, to use the American expression, "a day late and a dollar short," at Eisenach, Weimar, Koethen, and Leipzig. By the time he got there to work at those communities, the local opera had folded, according to Wolff and Geck. Of course, it had a lot to do with the passing fancy of opera and the in ability to sustain a German form of the genre, which means "work" (singular) until a fella named Gluck came along. Gluck,incidentally, visited Leipzig for several months with the traveling Italian troupe ca.1748, so he must have met old Bach. Another irony was the failure of opera in England,around 1734,I think with the Beggar's Opera, which influenced singspiel. And then there's Bach's"theatrical" St.Matthew Passion," his greatest opera.And, I apologize for my spellingand not checking the BCW opera discussions in depth. Mea maxima culpa.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 3, 2008):
BWV 30 and 210

Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< Speaking of dances, I just found an interesting text about the tenor aria of BWV 30a / soprano aria of BWV 210 here: Bach and the Story of an â?oAria tempo di Polonaiseâ? for Joachim Friedrich Flemming: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/Newsletters/BachNotes05.pdf >
William Hoffman replies:
> So,all of the arias in BWV 30a are dance-related, and polonaise to boot, a dance-style honoring the King of Poland. All the arias of the soprano Cantata BWV 210 (Nos. 2,4,6,8) also appear to be dance-related. The Index to the book Dance Character in Bach's Vocal Music indicates, respectively, minuet, gigue, sarabande and bouree.<
Ed Myskowski adds (hope the thread is clear);
I am a bit lost. From Therese/s original reference, I found my way to <The Newsletter of the American Bach Society>, including the lead article <Bach and Theatralischer Stil> (Hans Joachim Marx), and a reference (but not the text) to a presentation at the biennial meeting of ABS (Leipzig, Germany, May 11-13, 2006), by Szymon Paczkowski (Bach and the Story ..., as cited by Therese).

Questions:

(1) Is the text of Paczkowski/s presentation published?

(2) What is the source of the suggestion that all of the arias in BWV 30a are polonaise related?

(3) What is the support for the statement that the polonaise is <a dance style honoring the King of Poland>? Little and Jenne, p. 194, for example, re the polonaise:
<Polish dances appeared in European music at least two hundred years earlier [before Chopin], attested to by pieces entitled <polnischer Tanz> and <polacca> in several late sixteenth-century keyboard tablatures.> [end quote]

Now (2008) we (USA) have a polka, the Texas Two Step (Bush twice?), via Mexico. You can look it up.

Neil Halliday wrote (December 3, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
> What is the source of the suggestion that all of the arias in BWV 30a are polonaise related?<
Hi Ed, did someone suggest that? (If they did I missed it).

The polonaise movement is the tenor aria in BWV 30a, and #8 (for soprano) in BWV 210.

Yes, one can hear the rhythm of, say, Chopin's Military Polonaise, in this aria; prominent are the dotted rhythm on the first of the three beats, in the slowish 3/4 time.

I'm attracted to the unusual harmony at the start of the aria: a minor chord followed by the major chord a whole-tone lower.

Neil Halliday wrote (December 3, 2008):
Neil Halliday wrote:
>I'm attracted to the unusual harmony at the start of the aria: a minor chord followed by the major chord a whole-tone lower.<
Er, that should be "a whole tone above" (without discussing chord positions).

Terejia wrote (December 3, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29364
<< Friedrich Flemming: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/Newsletters/BachNotes05.pdf >>
< (1) Is the text of Paczkowski/s presentation published?
(2) What is the source of the suggestion that all of the arias in BWV 30a are polonaise related?
(3) What is the support for the statement that the polonaise is <a dance style honoring the King of Poland>? Little and Jenne, p. 194, for example, re the polonaise: <Polish dances appeared in European music at least two hundred years earlier [before Chopin], attested to by pieces entitled <polnischer Tanz> and <polacca> in several late sixteenth-century keyboard tablatures. [end quote] >
As for myself, I still fail to perceive polonaise both in BWV 30a and BWV 210 #8. I had so firmly convinced that BWV210 #8 and the corresponding tenor aria in 30a were sarabande...pardon me for my gross ignorance.

Terejia wrote (December 3, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29363
Thank you, William, for contributing some historical angles to this discussion.

Next week's discussion would involve the issue Bach and Opera (Theatrical music), I suppose.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (December 3, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Questions:
(1) Is the text of Paczkowski/s presentation published? >
About your question 1): it seems so: http://homepages.bw.edu/bachbib/script/bach2.pl?23=24742
But I do not know how to access it...

William Hoffman wrote (December 3, 2008):
[To Ed Myskowski] William Hoffman replies: The article is on the top of Page 11, starting on the left column. As to the Polonaise reference try Finke-Hecklinger's definitive book on Dance Character in (Bach's) Vocal Music, p. 57; Geo. Stauffer's Artist in Society-- Late Baroque, and Bach's Changing World. Unfortunately, I don't have these books with me, there at home.

As for the Texas two-step, try the line dance or the hookie-pokie.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (December 3, 2008):
Found it - sort of...
Here the first page:
http://www.bw.edu/academics/libraries/bach/journal/toc/PagePaczkowski.pdf

Ed Myskowski wrote (4, 2008):
Thanks to William and Therese for setting me straight on the availability of Paczkowski/s abstract, which is in fact available in the American Bach Society Notes cited (I had overlooked it). As Therese reported, the full text, with references, appears to be available elsewhere, but difficult of access (or perhaps a damaged file?). I also came across a reference to Bach Network UK (BNUK, not bunk): http://www.bachnetwork.co.uk/ub2/editorial.pdf

which suggests ongoing research by Paczkowski on the <much-neglected Polonaise> and related topics. Sorry, I tried to extract a brief quote, but could not manage it. The site should be easy of access for those interested, if I could do it.

Terejia wrote (December 4, 2008):
Neil Halliday wrote:
>>I'm attracted to the unusual harmony at the start of the aria: a minor chord followed by the major chord a whole-tone lower.<<
<< Er, that should be "a whole tone above" (without discussing chord positions). >
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29365
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29366

[To Neil Halliday] http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV210-BGA.pdf

Do you mean 5th section?

It took me quite a while to make sense of what you are pointing out about harmony and on-going discussion by Therese, Ed and William on Polonaise. Now Neil's post made me looking at the score more closely, which accidentally gave me an understanding about Polonaise.

Many thanks to Neil, Therese, Ed and William for leading me to examine music closer!

Neil Halliday wrote (December 4, 2008):
Terejia wrote:
>Do you mean 5th section?<
In the continuo of first bar of the 8th movement of BWV 210 (the polonaise movement), we have notes of the F# minor chord (C#,F#,A), followed in the second bar by notes, in the continuo, of the G# major chord (B#,G#), which is a bit unusual for the beginning of music that is in C# minor. I like the effect.

William Hoffman wrote (December 4, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Thanks to William and Therese for setting me straight on the availability of Paczkowski/s abstract, which is in fact available in the American Bach Society Notes cited (I had overlooked it). As Therese reported, the full text, with references, appears to be available elsewhere, but difficult of access (or perhaps a damaged file?). I also came across a reference to Bach Network UK (BNUK, not bunk): http://www.bachnetwork.co.uk/ub2/editorial.pdf
which suggests ongoing research by Paczkowski on the <much-neglected Polonaise> and related topics. Sorry, I tried to extract a brief quote, but could not manage it. The site should be easy of access for those interested, if I could do it. >
William Hoffman replies: The Paczkowski reference is to the Riemenschneider article in BACH publication; only the first page is available. You have to get the publication or connect with the author. He also did a paper for the 2008 ABS meeting, Szymon Paczkowski (Warsaw University), "Sound-Encoded Politics: J. S. Bach's Cantata Tönet, ihr Pauken (BWV 214)," which I quoted in the recent discussion. He's very much into the Polish connection, especially the Dresden Royal Court and its Polish claims and all its political machinations, especially with von Flemming's successor, Count von Bruehl. It's amazing that all August the Strong had to do was renounce his Catholicism (and keep the Lutheran regions happy), with Prime Minister Joachim von Flemming's help. Too bad the English line of succession couldn't do the same ca. 1712. Poor Handel wouldn't have had to return to Hamburg or Venice. Timing is everything.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 5, 2008):
From Therese and Terejia:
Terese wrote:
> Note that I made an error in my presentation, in BWV 210 this aria is #8 as Terejia indicates it, and not #10 as I had written.> But on the other hand, #10, also a very attractive piece, leaves me with a strange familiar feeling - is there also some parody involved? <
Terejia wrote:
< Oh, I didn't even realize such a mistake. It was identifiable. Thank you for kindly taking time for this correction. Are they Sarabande, that we are talking about, I wonder? >
From William Hoffman:
>So, all of the arias in BWV 30a are dance-related, and polonaise to boot, a dance-style honoring the King of Poland. All the arias of the soprano Cantata BWV 210 (Nos. 2,4,6,8) also appear to be dance-related. The Index to the book Dance Character in Bach's Vocal Music indicates, respectively, minuet, gigue, sarabande and bouree.<
Ed Myskowski adds:
I hope the extracts from our thread are clear, I have found it instructive and enjoyable, as Terejia also mentioned. So instructive, that I would like to clarify some details for my own Ed-ification.

(1) I believe Will may have overlooked one of the five movements (?); the fourth aria (BWV 210/8) would in fact be the sarabande in the Fincke-Hecklinger analysis, but I am judging from a secondary source,

(2) Little and Jenne (p. 244) specifically note BWV 210/8 as an <implied> sarabande, but go on to cite F-H: <A Polish influence may also be at work ... the dotted rhythms and groups of four 16th notes which accent certain beats, e.g., measures 2 and 4, indicate the rhythm of the mazurka, a variant of the polonaise.>

I am still working on my Texas two-step, with more vigor than accuracy.

Terejia wrote (December 5, 2008):
About dance rhythms Re: BWV 30 and 210

Thank you, Ed, for being as gracious as you usually are. More replies in between.

Ed Myskowski wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29379
(..)
>> (1) I believe Will may have overlooked one of the five movements (?); the fourth aria (BWV 210/8) would in fact be the sarabande in the Fincke-Hecklinger analysis, but I am judging from a secondary source,<<
I'm glad I was not too much off-the-wall in believing that the arias on the issue are sarabande :-))

>> (2) Little and Jenne (p. 244) specifically note BWV 210/8 as an <implied> sarabande, but go on to cite F-H: A Polish influence may also be at work ... the dotted rhythms and groups of four 16th notes which accent certain beats, e.g., measures 2 and 4, indicate the rhythm of the mazurka, a variant of the polonaise.>>
And it was not until I examined 5th section that I finally could make sense of polonaise.

By the way, as to legal practices, it is often the case that we have more than one correct/right answers. I don't know if such would also be the case in music analysis...

< I am still working on my Texas two-step, with more vigor than accuracy.>
(getting OT)
Good luck with your Texas dance.

Now speaking of dance, I suspect Western people and Oriental people might have different idea on dance. From overall mood of discussion, I felt in Western world dance may not be considered as holy or sacred as it is in Eastern world. In Eastern world, dance is as sacred, say, as organ prelude or cantata after the sermon in Christian
churches, in Buddhism or Shintoism temple. For sure, these sacred dances are not minuete nor sarabande, but almost without rhythm and very solemn.

Terejia wrote (December 5, 2008):
About the harmony of two arias that BWV 30 and 210 have in common

Neil Halliday wrote:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29375
< In the continuo of first bar of the 8th movement of BWV 210 (the polonaise movement), we have notes of the F# minor chord (C#,F#,A), followed in the second bar by notes, in the continuo, of the G# major chord (B#,G#), which is a bit unusual for the beginning of music that is in C# minor. I like the effect. >
Thank you for this clarification. I finally understand what you are referring to.

However, I sfail to see how that would make music unusual. To my ears, which probably have not heard even 1/10 as much Bach as you have, the musical flow feels so natural in the beginning. Would it be "usual" if the chord once moved to C# E G# before abruptly moving into G# major chord?

In anycase, I concur with you that this harmony transition-or two independent sections combined together-has great aethetic impact.

William Hoffman wrote (December 5, 2008):
Cantatas BWV 30, 210; Polonaise, More History

I have both the Finke-Hecklinger book and the Paczkowski BACH article.

As to dance-related movements, the first source, published in 1970 as Tuebingen Bach Studies, cites BWV 210(a) arias as follows: 2, menuett; 4, pastorale; 6, no finding (?sarabande); 8. polonaise. As for BWV 30(a): 1, lombard; 3, menuett-giga; 5, gavotte; 8(7), "lombardischen Geschmack"; 10(9),giga; (11) polonaise

Now to the "Aria tempo di Polonaise" (pp.64-98), Paczkowski asks: Why such a polonaise aria? His answers (p.98): Joachim Friedrich von Flemming's close ties with the Royal Polish court in Desden; polonaise was "immensely fashionable in Saxony" (ref. Sperontes famous collection <Singende Muse an der Pleisse>, 1736, in which sung polonaises make up about a third of the collection," p.80); with the trappings of power and ceremony; also brother Jakob Heinrich, who twice married Polish women and was the architect of August's conversion to Catholicism to secure the Polish throne. "Finally, the polonaise in general dovetailed with the most recent musical tastes in courtly and aristocratic circles. It was a <galant> dance and as such it made a perfect choice for Bach's laudatory cantatas aimed at aristocratic patrons."

Paczkowski's thesis summary (p.98): "Assuming that the lost Bach cantata (which served as the original source or intermediary link for cantatas BWV210a, 210, and 30a) was composed for Flemming a valid inference -- the title of Picander's aria "Grosser Flemming" from his <Adendmusik> for 1 January 1725 ("Aria tempo di Polonaise") must have been an important suggestion to Bach in composing his own aria."

Other fugitive thoughts from Paczowski:

*Picander's abiding connection to the Dresden Court, from the J.F. von Flemming four poems & librettos (1724-25) to the libretto for another Wiederau dramma per musica in 1751.

*Bach's extensive use of polonaise rhythms in his drammi per musica: BWV 212/4,6,10,12; 205/13; 216/7;249a/5; 214/3; 201/13; 210(a)/8; and 30a/11.

*Dating of BWV 210 (extant wedding version), "O holder Tag," to19 September 1741in Berlin -- another out-of-town performance -- for Georg Ernst Stahl, Bachs' friend and Prussian court member, to Joanna Elisabeth Schrader (daughter of a Berlin pharmacist).

*J.C. von Hennicke in 1738 commissioned Cantata BWV Anh. 13 for a visit of the Dresden Royal Court, performed on May 19, all music lost, supposedly Bach's most progressive work, Gottsched text survives. Old J.C. was quite a psychophant!

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (December 5, 2008):
[To William Hoffman] All this is very interesting!

Do you have some details about this other "Wiederau dramma per musica" of 1751?

Apparently J.-C. von Hennicke died in June 1752, aged 60 (this is not THAT old... ;-))

Thanks to you I learned the meaning of "psychophant", never heard before!

William Hoffman wrote (December 5, 2008):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< All this is very interesting!
Do you have some details about this other "Wiederau dramma per musica" of 1751? Apparently J.-C. von Hennicke died in June 1752, aged 60 (this is not THAT old... ;-)) >
William Hoffman replies: Footnote 51(p.86): "As Neumann notes(NBA KB 39,75), eight years later (than 1737,i.e. 1744, not 1751), Picander renewed his poetic homage to his Wiederau patron with a four-stanza poem 'Auf die Erhebung In des Reichs Grafem-Stand Sr. Exc. Herrn J.S.v.H.' in <Picanders neu herausgegebene Ernst-Scherzhafte und Satyrische Gedichte>, Part V, Leipzig 1751, 350. In his catalogue of Picander's poetic cantatas, Klaus Haefner includes the libretto of this <dramma per musica> as P 124; see also K. Haefner, <Aspekte des Parodieverfahren bei Johann Sebastian Bach>, 41."

Thus, the second Wiederau tribute came in 1744, not 1751 (Picander publication date) and could have been set by Bach. By 1744, however, Sebastian's interests had shifted to C.P.E.'s employer at the Prussian Court, especially after the death of Count Joachim Friedrich von Flemming,12 October 1740.

In Footnote 50, Paczkowski writes: As financial abuses escalated in tandem with Saxony's deteriorating economic situation in the 1740s, Hennicke increasingly came to be regarded as the malign influence in Bruehl's government. (See also Jacek Straszewski,<August III Sas> [August III, the Saxon], Zaklad Naradowy im. Ossolinskich, Wrocklaw 1989, p.215)." The beginning of Footnote 50 records that Hennicke died on 8 June 1752 in Dresden.

I am amazed at the intrigues involving the Dresden Court representatives in Leipzig, beginning with Marianne von Ziegler's father, Mayor Conrad Romanus, who overstepped his authority ca. 1708 and was imprisoned (house arrest?) for sedition and ?misuse of funds, until his death in the ?1740s, as well as that dastardly Hennicke and that villainous Count Bruehl. They are the stuff of great melodrama. (I just bought <Bach's Changing World>.)

Aryeh Oron wrote (December 16, 2008):
BWV 30 by Milnes [11]

I received the off-list message below from Glen Armstrong.
Ed suggested that the message would be sent to the BCML

Glen Armstrong wrote:
Dear Mr Oron, Thank-you so much for this wonderful website. Despite my limited musical knowledge, I spend hours reading about the cantatas. Late in life, I have developed a passion for them, and have many versions, now exclusively via downloads.

I see a recent posting from Ed Myskowski, praising the quality of Eric Milnes's version [11] of BWV 30. I have it, and while I don't question the musicality, I am distracted by extraneous sounds, notably in the bass aria (Mvt. 3), but also in other movements. It sounds as if the instrumentation calls for castanets! All I can think of is a noisy pedal on the organ: it IS in synch with the music. I listened to excerpts via Amazon, to confirm, and I'm not mistaken.

I would appreciate Ed's e-mail address, but, failing that, could you contact him?

Thanks again for all your labours of love.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 18, 2008):
Glen Armstrong wrote, (FWD from Aryeh) [Milnes [11]]:
>I see a recent posting from Ed Myskowski, praising the quality of Eric Milnes's version of BWV 30. I have it, and while I don't question the musicality, I am distracted by extraneous sounds, notably in the bass aria (Mvt. 3), but also in other movements. It sounds as if the instrumentation calls for castanets! All I can think of is a noisy pedal on the organ: it IS in synch with the music. I listened to excerpts via Amazon, to confirm, and I'm not mistaken.<
I will offer my opinions, but I suggested this question to be on-list because it is likely to be of interest to others, it may give some of our keyboard specialists an opportunity to share their expertise, and others an opportunity to correct or supplement my thoughts.

My first impression of the Milnes recordings is favorable, and more, but I have not yet listened carefully and I did not intend to praise the version of BWV 30 in its entirety so much as to point out one enjoyable detail - the tempo of Mvt. 5.

I think the sounds Glen refers to are not exactly <extraneous>, but rather:
(1) Various baroque instrument action, including string fingering, bowing, organ <chiff>, etc. Compare oboe damore key sounds on BWV 1 (from another disc), for example.
(2) Accentuated (intentionally?) by close miking.

Organ <chiff> was a new concept for me, in trying to explain the <scruffy> Koopman organ tone Neil H. pointed out a few years back. I did enough reading to satisfy myself that <chiff> in fact the cause, it was intentional to include it on the recordings, and I found it less objectionable when I could explain it. I was preparing to write a short book on the human need to explain something, to demystify it, in order to make it non-objectionable. That happens more or less automatically through the visual clues in live performance, not available with recorded listening. Some other time.

I would welcome any elaboration we can get on organ <chiff>, especially whether it is always a natural phenomenon, or whether it is sometimes added synthetically in order to produce an (artificial) air of authenticity, if you can appreciate the oxymoron. Full disclosure: I am writing to be timely, without first checking BCW archives. If the info is there, a hint in the right direction will be sufficient.

The idea of synthesized organ chiff leads me to wonder to what extent these <extraneous> sounds may be exaggerated through the recording process, with an analogy to <synthesized authenticity>? I should also explain that I am listening to these SACD discs in approximately conventional stereo, through a four speaker system which I have found enjoyable for many years. Not the most modern of speakers, in other words, but I feel no special incentive to <improve>. Also, from CD discs rather than down-loaded files. I have no idea whatsoever to what extent these technical factors (SACD vs stereo, CD vs download) may affect the perception of extraneous sounds. Clarification invited.

Thanks to Glen for raising an interesting question.

Evan Cortens wrote (December 18, 2008):
Glen Armstrong said [Milnes [11]]:
< I see a recent posting from Ed Myskowski, praising the quality of Eric Milnes's version of BWV 30. I have it, and while I don't question the musicality, I am distracted by extraneous sounds, notably in the bass aria (Mvt. 3), but also in other movements. It sounds as if the instrumentation calls for castanets! All I can think of is a noisy pedal on the organ: it IS in synch with the music. I listened to excerpts via Amazon, to confirm, and I'm not mistaken. >
By "the bass aria" , I'm going to assume that you mean Mvt. 8, "Ich will nun hassen", and not the bass aria in the first part of the cantata (Mvt. 3. "Gelobet sei Gott"). I'm pretty sure that the sounds you're referring to are key clicks from the oboe d'amore. While I'm hardly an expert on Baroque oboes, I have played them, and I can assure you that this click (generated by the "C-key", which is used for middle C, and the C-sharp an octave above it, two keyed oboes not being capable of the C-sharp above middle C) is rather noisy and there's really not much you can do to stop it, especially when you're playing fast, as the ritornello motive requires.

Perhaps close microphones exacerbate this problem, but it seems to me that if you listen to any recording of music with many C-sharps played on Baroque oboes, you will hear these key clicks.

More distracting perhaps is the little mistake in the oboe part in measure 50, where he temporarily loses the e'' (concert pitch). It drops down an octave before being rearticulated in the following measure. On Baroque oboe, rather than having octave keys as are found on the modern instrument, one must overblow the octaves, as on a flute. This makes the instrument much more prone to this sort of issue.

These quibbles aside, in my opinion this is an excellent recording. However, I've always been a great fan of Daniel Taylor's voice, so I'm perhaps a bit biased on this one.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 18, 2008):
BWV 30 by Milnes (more) [11]

Proofread first, hit send second, I always say, but seldom do. For the fastidious:

The <oboe damore> I referred to in BWV 1 is in fact an oboe da caccia.

Glen Armstrong wrote (December 19, 2008):
[To Evan Cortens, regarding Milnes [11]] Dear Evan, Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my fault-finding (searching?) of Eric Milnes's version of BWV 30. As this is a Canadian recording (I'm in P.E.I.),and few cantatas come from here, I want us to impress, naturally, but this disc has me cringeing -- and only because of some technical glitch. I love the OVPP version, the singers and instrumentalists.

I should explain that I generally listen through headphones, partly to avoid distractions, and partly because my wife, while not averse to Bach, does not have my near-obsession. Thus, despite failing hearing, I'm a careful listener. Probably too careful.

Thanks for the info on wind instruments, but my untutored listening still makes me think the organ is the culprit -- especially after hearing the duet (mvt 3) in bwv 167, where the clicking is not present while the oboe da caccia has its solo, but is audible when the oboe is resting (and the organ isn't).

The irritation is not restricted to BWV 30, but also in BWV 7 and BWV 167.

The bass aria "noise" I carelessly referred to in BWV 30 is indeed in the first aria (Mvt. 3), and the soprano aria (Mvt. 10). In BWV 7, the bass aria (mvt 2) is bad, while there is some accompanying the tenor (mvt 4). BWV 167 has "extras" in the gorgeous duet (mvt 3), as mentioned. Minor glitches elsewhere.

This may all sound incredibly picky to you, but I have other recordings of all three cantatas, and hear nothing similar. Maybe I envy your, and others', expertise, and want to be heard at all costs!

Thanks again for your courtesy.

Neil Halliday wrote (December 20, 2008):
Glen Armstrong wrote [Milnes [11]]:
>The bass aria "noise" I carelessly referred to in BWV 30 is indeed in the first aria (Mvt. 3), and the soprano aria (Mvt. 10)<
Listening to the lovely soprano aria (Mvt. 10) (BCW amazon sample), I missed the noise you are refering to at first hearing, because I was concentrating on the voice quality, but I was amazed to clearly hear the noise on the second hearing - your description of it as "castanets" is very apt indeed, and can I see why you are disappointed in this aspect of the recording.

My guess is the noise is related to the organ (there are no wind instruments in this aria) - specifically, maybe, the key mechanism.

Still, I wouldn't take it as an indication of the poor quality of Canadian technology :)-

 

Fodder for discussion about the sheer joy of Bach's Cantatas

Vivat 205 wrote (December 29, 2008):
The music, its "provenance," significance, symbolism, etc., inherently lend themselves to mighty lofty discussions. As a semi-retired academic, I understand that, and can either hold my own or bluff my way through most of them, however speculative they might become. When it gets too rarified, though, you just have to sit back and recognize that there's much to be said about old JSB's cantatas being worth listening to just for the sheer joy of (some of) the music. When such a moment strikes you as having come, watch this clip to see what
somebody in Switzerland did with BWV 30a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WWIUcN7Lyc

As far as I can tell, it hasn't appeared in this forum; my apologies for a bad search if that's incorrect.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (December 29, 2008):
vivat205 wrote:
>The music, its "provenance, " significance, symbolism, etc., inherently lend themselves to mighty lofty discussions. As a semi-retired academic, I understand that, and can either hold my own or bluff my way through most of them, however speculative they might become. When it gets too rarified, though, you just have to sit back and recognize that there's much to be said about old JSB's cantatas being worth listening to just for the sheer joy of (some of) the music.<
Yes, I agree. At the risk of seeming irreverent, Ialmost always listen to Bach when working out on the treadmill. Even worse - while doing housework. His music makes mundane daily living a thing of joy.

> When such a moment strikes you as having come, watch this clip to see what somebody in Switzerland did with BWV 30a: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WWIUcN7Lyc <
I loved this! Thanks.

Julian Mincham wrote (December 29, 2008):
[To vivat205] Makes one wonder what he might have done with the fifth movement, the jazzy alto aria!?

Jean Laaninen wrote (December 29, 2008):
[To Julian Mincham] Interesting to see the video clip...thanks.

Terejia wrote (December 30, 2008):
vivat205 wrote: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29660
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WWIUcN7Lyc <
I enjoyed this clip very much. It does give me sheer joy of listening to Bach.

Gratefully

PS to all I will come back to the list when I feel better-maybe including to the seasonal sub-topic of "Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland".

 

Continue on Part 4

Cantatas BWV 30 & BWV 30a: Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 30 | Recordings of Individual Movements from BWV 30 | Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 30a | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

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