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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 31
Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of June 6, 2010

William Hoffman wrote (June 5, 2010):
Cantata 31: Introduction

Cantata 31, BWV 31, "Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret";
Easter Sunday, April 21, 1715; possible repeat April 12, 1716

BWV 31 Leipzig repeats: April 9, 1724 (Cycle 1), and March 25, 1731, possible repeat April 10, 1735 during Christological Cycle.

A. Sources: manuscript Cycle 1 estate division: (1) score (lost, probably WFB), parts set (copyists JSB etc., to CPEB, now Krakow St. 14)

B. Literature: BG VII (Rust, 1857), NMA KB I/9 (Dürr 1986), min. score Eulenberg (Schering 1929), Whittaker I:121-5, Robertson 104ff, Daw 58ff, Young 13f, Dürr 285ff 266-270

C. Text: S. Franck 1715 (1-8), BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV31-Eng3.htm
(Francis Browne translation).

D. Biblical references, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Guide/BWV31-Role.htm
Text (Claude Role):

2] Isaïe 49, 13 [PBJ 1163]: « Cieux, criez de joie ! Terre jubile ! »
- Ps. 16,10 [PBJ 813]: « Car tu ne peux abandonner mon âme au shéol » dit le psaume. Dans la cantate: Der Heiligste kann nicht verwesen » parait plus juste que la traduction proposé ci-après.
- Psaume 19, 2 [PBJ 817]: « Les cieux racontent la gloire de Dieu / Et l'ouvre de ses mains, le firmament l'annonce. »
- Psaume 97 [PBJ 892]: Yahvé règne ! Exulte la terre, / que jubilent les îles nombreuses

3] - Apocalypse 1, 8 [PBJ 1799] : Le « Das A und O » dans la cantate, renvoie à « C'est moi l'Alpha et l'Oméga, dit le Seigneur » de la Bible dans Apo 1, 8 [PBJ 1799] ; Apo 21, 6 [PBJ 1817] ; Apo 21, 13 « Je suis l'Alpha et l'Oméga, le Premier et le dernier » [PBJ 1819] et enfin - Isaïe 44, 6 [PBJ 1155]: « Je suis le premier et le dernier ». Cette citation « classique », le A und O, se retrouve dans la cantate BWV 41/3.
-Apocalypse 1, 17 [PBJ 1799]: « Der Herr hat in der Hand /Des Todes und der Hölle Schlüssel ! ». « J'ai été mort, et me voici vivant pour les siècles des siècles, détenant la clef de la mort et de l'Hadès ».
- Isaïe 63, 1-2 [PBJ 1179]. « Blutrot bespritzt in seinem bittern Leiden ». Dans « Isaïe »: « Pourquoi te drapes-tu de rouge / et te vêts-tu comme un fouleur au pressoir ? »

5] Hébreux 9, 14 [PBJ 1768]. Le Christ scelle la nouvelle alliance par son sang: « Combien plus le sang du Christ, qui par un Esprit éternel s'est offert lui-même.»
SPITTA [I-543]. Note: « Je prends l'opportunité de faire remarquer dans ce récitatif une erreur dans le texte qui ne fut pas corrigée dans l'édition de la Bach Society. Les paroles devraient être: « Auf ! von den Todten Werken ! Lass, dass dein Heiland in dir lebt, An deinem Leben merken ! »

6] Texte « paulinien » qui n'est pas sans évoquer I Corinthiens 5, 6-8: « Purifiez-vous du vieux levain, pour être une pâte nouvelle. Célébrons donc la fête, non pas avec du vieux levain, ni un levain de malice et de perversité, mais avec des azymes de pureté et de vérité ».
On verra éventuellement l'Épître aux Romains 6, 4 [PBJ 1676]: « Nous avons donc été enseveli avec lui par le baptême dans la mort, afin que, comme le Christ est ressuscité des morts pour la gloire du Père, nous vivions nous aussi dans une vie nouvelle ».
- Épître aux Éphésiens 4, 24 [PBJ 1730]. La vie nouvelle dans le Christ: « Le vieil homme qui va se corrompant au fil des convoitises décevantes, pour vous renouveler par une transformation spirituelle de votre jugement et revêtir l'Homme Nouveau, qui a été créé selon Dieu.»
- I. Corinthiens 15, 42 [PBJ 1705]: Ainsi en va-t-il de la résurrection des morts.»

7] « Natûrlich nach sich Zieht »: Citation presque littérale d'un fragment de la 2e strophe du cantique EKG 330 « Jesus, meine Zuversicht : -Lässet auch ein Haupt sein Glied, welches es nicht nach sich zieht- ». La mélodie de ce cantique est celle de BWV 365 du même titre. (J. Crüger, 1653). Voir aussi EKG 89, 431, 462.
- Job 19, 26 [PBJ 776]. Dans la cantate: « Und Gott in meinem Fleische sehen ». Dans « Job »: « Après mon éveil, il me dressera près de lui / et, de ma chair, je verrai Dieu ».
- I Corinthiens 12, 12 [PJB 1701]: Dans la cantate: Comme ta tête entraîne / Naturellement les membres après soi. I Corinthiens : « De même en effet que le corps est un tout, tout en ayant plusieurs membres, et que tous les membres du corps, en dépit de leur pluralité, ne forment qu'un seul corps, ainsi en est-il du Christ. »

E. Chorale (9) "Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist" (S.5), usually for Easter Monday, Tuesday; also used in 95/7 (Trinity+16), 428, 429, 430=?247/41, and BWV 15/11

F. Forces: STB, 5vv, 3 tp, timp, 3 ob, taille (?4/9/24), bn, 2 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, org obb, bc

G. Movements: sinfonia, chorus, 3 recit. (B,T,S), 3 arias (B,T,S).
1. Sinfonia (tutti orch.), astonishing, ambitious score
2. Chs. (tutti): The heavens laugh, the earth jubilates (astonishing, ambitious score)
3. Rec./aso. (B): Desired day, be soul again glad
4. Aria (B): Prince of Life . . . raise Thee the cross (powerful)
5. Rec. (T): So arise then
6. Aria (T, str): Adam must in us decay (richly scored)
7. Rec. (S): Because then the head its limb naturally . . . draws
8. Aria (S, ob, str): Last hour, break herein (chorale in strings)
9. Chorale (tutti): So journey I to Jesus Christ

Beginning with BWV 208, the Hunting Cantata of Feb. 23, 1723, Easter Cantata BWV 31 is one of Bach's most ambitious early works, with nine movements and large orchestra. Others with trumpets and drums are: BWV 71, Mühlhausen Town Council, 1708; BWV 21, for any time, c1712; BWV 63, Christmas etc. 1713; and BWV 172, Pentecost, 1714.

BCW cover page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV31.htm

Latest monograph, BCW: http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-47-bwv-31.htm
(Julian Mencham)

"Bach's first Easter at Leipzig has arrived and a centerpiece of the celebrations is the initial version of the Saint John Passion, performed on Good Friday. We can suppose that Bach would have intended the cantata for the Easter Sunday service to be rather special and it comes as something of a surprise to find out that he reverted to an earlier work rather than composing a new one. Indeed, this had been his practice for much of the Christmas (1723) music. The mystery deepens when we discover that all four Easter cantatas for 1724 (Cs BWV 31, BWV 4, BWV 66 and BWV 134) were revivals or remodeling of earlier works. Why should this be so?"

It appears that Bach, having just presented his annual Passion (SJP) on Good Friday 1724, recycled previous works (some 20 from Weimar), as he had done throughout his 1723-24 first cycle. For the Easter and Pentecost second and third days (Mondays and Tuesdays) of the three-day festival Bach parodied four festive serenades from Köthen (BWV 66, BWV 134, BWV 173, BWV 184), even making parodies of many of the recitatives as well as the dance-like arias and choruses. Here is his 1724 Easter season repertory [repeats ( )]: Easter Festival, BWV(31) & (?BWV 4); Sundays after Easter, BWV 67, BWV 104, (BWV 12), BWV 166, BWV 86, BWV 37, BWV 44; Pentecost (BWV 172) Pentecost; Ascension Thursday BWV 37; and Trinity Sunday, (BWV 165), (BWV 194).

For the 1724-25 cycle, Bach had virtually exhausted his supply of older cantatas, another reason he initially turned to compose new chorale cantatas. Here is his 1725 Easter season repertory [repeats ( )]: Easter Festival, 249, (4), TWV 8:6, 160=TWV 1:877; 6; (?4); (158), Sundays after Easter, 42, 85, 103, 108, 87, 183; Ascension Thursday, 128; Pentecost Festival, 174, 68, 175; and Trinity Sunday 176.

The 1726 Easter season involves the following: Easter Festival: BWV15=JLB21, JLB-10, JLB 11; Sundays after Easter, JLB-6, JLB-12, BWV 146, JLB-14, ?JLB deest, none; Ascension Thursday, BWV 43; Pentecost Festival: none; and Trinity Sunday, (BWV 194b), ?BWV 129.

After four church years of selective repeats and the works of others, 1727-30, Bach apparently presented his own works in the 1731 Easter season. It began with the premiere of the parodied St. Mark Passion on Good Friday, March 23. The Easter Festival involved Cycle 1 repeats of BWV 31, BWV 66, BWV 134, followed by BWV 42 on the Sunday after Easter, documented in a printed church libretto book. The other Sundays after Easter may have involved BWV 112, (BWV 103 repeat), ?, ??BWV 117, (BWV 37 Ascension), and ?BWV 97. A printed church libretto book has the works for the Pentecost Festival, repeats of BWV 172, BWV 173, BWV 184; and Trinity Sunday BWV 194 repeat.

II. Selected excerpts from previous BCW discussions:


DISCUSSION 1. Aryeh Oron wrote (April 15, 2001):
Background

a. Other Cantatas with similar subject
This cantata is called `Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret' (The heavens laugh! The earth rejoices). I was reminded of two cantatas, which have already been discussed in the BCML. The first is BWV 110 - `Unser Mund sei voll Lachens' (Let our mouth be full of laughter). The second is BWV 76 - Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes (The heavens declare the glory of God). In BWV 76 the instrumental introduction and the chorus are connected to one movement. But the introduction is `triumphant with the trumpets prominent, which leads one to expect the chorus will enter in full cry' (quoted freely from Robertson), exactly as in BWV 31. We do not have percussion here, but this is most probably due to forces that were at Bach's disposal in the time he composed and performed this cantata. In BWV 110 Bach uses similar forces to BWV 31 with 3 trumpets, timpani, etc. In BWV 110 the opening orchestral part and the chorus are also united to one movement. Furthermore, the orchestra part is an adaptation of the first movement of the D major Overture BWV 1069, as most probably the Sonata of BWV 31 is an adaptation from a concerto. But although the situations in both cantatas are very similar, I find that the music of the opening Sinfonia of BWV 31 is more suitable to the occasions.

b. Händel
The glory and the splendor of the opening Sonata, with the big sound of the trumpets and the timpani, could easily led the inexperienced ear to think that it was probably composed by Händel, Bach's contemporary. However, hearing the ensuing chorus, one would easily identify that it was composed by Bach. The contrapuntal building of the ecstatic enthusiasm, layer after layer, bears Bach's signature. On a second thought, hearing the opening Sonata again and again, I came to conclusion that it also has that special Bach's characteristic, and this is the ability to be heard dozens of times, without being fed up the listener. Bach is the only composer to whose music I can listen endless times. Believe me, I know what am I talking about. I heard this cantata last week as homework to this review about 30 times!

Discussion 2:

Doug Cowling wrote (April 24, 2005):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< This allusion to Jesus derives from the quasi-apocryphal Book of Revelation and finds expression particularly in BWV 31 and BWV 41. >
The Book of Revelation has always been one of the canonical books of the New Testament.

This cantata is one of those rare instances of Bach writing for five voice choir (SSATB). The most notable other examples are in the Magnificat (BWV 243) and the Mass in B Minor (BWV 243). Is there any significance to Bach's choice of scoring?

Peter Smaill wrote (April 24, 2005):
Bach and the Book of Revelation

[To Doug Cowling] Doug Cowling has spotted that I hedged my bets on the Book of Revelation, calling it quasi -apocryphal. It is indeed as he says historically a canonical book of the Bible, but is the most challenged right from the beginning and even today scholars doubt its status.

St Jerome never accepted it as part of the Bible; his view found support in Luther and only by Bach's time had Revelation been accepted into mainstream Lutheranism.

A fuller set of references would include:

Cantata Imagery / (text in Revelation)

BWV 49, BWV 31, BWV 41 etc.
A and O (2:10)

BWV 61/4 Jesus knocking at the door (3:20)
BWV 21/11 The Lamb that was slain (5:11-12)
BWV 50/1 Casting down of the accusers (12:10)
BWV 60/4 Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord (cf Brahms) (14:13)
BWV 106 He who testifies says, "Come, Lord Jesu" (22:20)

The affinity of Revelation with mystical language helps to explain the move within Lutheranism away from the rejection of this Book as inauthentic, to the position where Bach's librettists could use its texts. The composer almost invariably produces settings (either of the words or in the relevant cantatas overall) of exceptional musical quality.

These texts help to confirm that Bach did not simply churn out Cantatas, sometimes striking lucky with the effect, but responded to the nature and quality of the sources and images which he handled. in BWV 31 Salomo Franck gave precisely the quality of libretto allowing Bach to achieve an outstanding musical tour de force.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 24, 2005):
Doug Cowling wrote:
>>This cantata is one of those rare instances of Bach writing for five voice choir (SSATB). The most notable other examples are in the Magnificat and the Mass in B Minor. Is there any significance to Bach's choice of scoring?<<
In keeping with its editorial policy ('aus letzter Hand'= the last version available represents the composer's final intention) of ascertaining and printing the latest version (often they do print earlier versions as well as later versions), the NBA, in this instance presents BWV 31/2 as SSATB. As David Schulenberg (OCC) determined, it is 'the only such mvt. in Bach's regular Sunday cantatas' [actually, Easter is anything but a 'regular' Sunday!] A glance at the BWV (Alfred Dürr, et al, 1998) will inform the reader that this cantata is for SATB as far as the choral forces are concerned. Interesting! To find out what has really happened here, it is necessary to consult the NBA KB I/9 pp. 34ff for Bach's original intentions on April 21, 1715. Even here the editor (Alfred Dürr in 1986) came to the conclusion (a 'wild' guess without any evidence to back it up other than that Bach once perthis mvt. in 1731 with a second soprano part) that among the missing vocal parts there must have been two soprano parts [p. 44). Fortunately, on p. 35, the NBA KB gives the necessary evidence in the form of an autograph [!!!] title page from 1715 which states quite clearly:

Feria 1 | Pashatos. | Der Himmel lacht, die Erde jubilieret | a | 4 Voci. | 3 Trombe | Tamburi | 2 Hautbois. | 2 Violini | 2 Viole | 3 | Continuo | di |
Joh. Seb. Bach.

Based upon this, we can assuredly assume that the 1st performance of this work had only a single soprano part.

I would rather doubt that anyone has attempted reconstruct the original of this mvt., or does anyone know of any recording where the sopranos are not split into two parts?

Eric Bergerud wrote (April 25, 2005):
[To Peter Smaill] I'm not sure that Luther ever rejected Revelation. When first translating the Bible, Luther was still to some extent, a "reformer" and a scholar. He didn't reject Revelation, but recognized the tradition of books "spoken against" and those accepted by early Church fathers as unquestionably accurate. As always Luther was good with a quip. Frustrated by the complex symbolism he commented: "A revelation should be revealing."

According to Luther scholar Mark Edwards (former head of St. Olaf College, one of the excellent small and expensive liberal arts colleges in Minnesota) Luther's attitudes toward the book changed greatly as he turned from reformer to revolutionary. When the gloves came off Luther was quick to employ images directly from or associated with Revelation (Anti-Christ, Whore of Bablyon) in his polemics directed toward Rome. Some of the woodcuts Luther used in his editions of the Bible and also in his polemics exploit these images with full impact. (The earthiness of some of Luther's works was nothing unusual. The sainted Thomas Moore replied in exactly the same type of language.) Edwards contends as Luther's life progressed he indeed became influenced by millennial thought and spent much time trying to decithe more opaque symbols found in Revelation - I bet that gave him a headache. In any case, Luther lived, for his era, a long life. And like many people of genius, particularly individuals prolific with words and speech, it can be tricky to look for consistency in Luther's teachings. As might be exepcted the Church replied in kind. Obviously Luther was pictured as the Anti-Christ. Some early Jesuist writers speculated that the Reformation (if that's the right word) might herald the "end of days" - quite a departure from Augustine. People did take these thing seriously. Oddly this period was one of the few prior to the 19th century where Revelation was looked at as some kind of literal road map toward the end of time. Now such stuff is commonly encountered in fundamentalist sects.

Cantata BWV 31 may have been repeated in Weimar on April 12, 1716. A tentative chronology of possible scheduled performances on Sundays every four weeks in 1716 shows the following:

Date Occ. BWV Type Title Poet Repeats Notes

*1.19.16 Eph. 2 155 S-satb Mein Gott, wie lange, Franck 1715 1724 new schedule
2.16.16 Sexag. ??[181/5] Chs. Laß, Höchster, uns zu ? 1724 early sketch
-- Mein Jesu, laß mein Herz Franck 1715 text only
*3.15.16 Lent 3 BWV 80a Chs. Alles, was von Gott Franck 1715 ? 1724/Reform.
4.12.16 Easter ?(BWV 31) Chs. Der Himmel lacht! (Franck 1715) ? 1724 repeat
5.10.16 E.+4(Can.)? (A.191) ? Leb ich, oder leb ich (Franck 1715) lost repeat
6.7.16 Trinity ?( BWV 165) S-satb O heiliges Geist- und (Franck 1715) ? 1724 repeat
7.5.16 Trin.+4 ?( BWV 185) S-satb Barmherziges Herze (Franck 1715) 1724 repeat
or??24a S-atb Ein ungefärbt Gemüte Neumeister IV 1723
?8.2.16 Trin.+8 Lass, Seele, dich Irrlichter Franck 1715 Monthly ??
?8.9.16 Trin.+9 BWV 168 S-satb Tue Rechnung! Donner Franck 1715 1725 early Weimar ver.
?8.30.16 Trin.+12 Ach, die Notist ubergloss Franck 1715 text only
?9.6.16 Trin.+13 BWV 164 S-satb Ihr, die ihr euch von Ch. Franck 1715 1725 early Weimar ver
*9.27.16 Trin.+16 BWV 161 Chs. Komm, du süße Todes. Franck 1715 ?1735 Visit. new on sched.
*10.25.16 Trin.+20 BWV 162 S-satb Ach! Ich sehe, jetzt Franck 1715 1723 new on sched.
11.22.16 Trin.+24 -- Solo Süßes sterban, sanftes Franck 1715 text only
*12.6.16 Adv. 2 BWV 70a Chs. Wachet! betet! Betet! Franck 1717 1723(Tr.+26) new
*12.13.16 Adv. 3 BWV 186a Chs. Ägre dich, O seele, nicht Franck 1717 1723(Tr.+7) new
*12.20.16 Adv. 4 BWV 147a Chs. Herz und Mund und Tod Franck 1717 1723(Visit.) new
?12.25.16 Chr. 1 (BWV 63) Chs. Christen ätzet diesen Tag ? Heineccius various mvts. ?

* Performance date accepted
? Performance date of early version questioned: 72, 158a, 168, 164

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 5, 2010):
Cantata 31: Cantata Overures

William Hoffman wrote:
< DISCUSSION 1. Aryeh Oron wrote (April 15, 2001):
Furthermore, the orchestra part is an adaptation of the first movement of the D major Overture BWV 1069, as most probably the Sonata of BWV 31 is an adaptation from a concerto. >
The pairing of a concerto movement with an "ex abrupto" chorus continues to obsess me. Why would Bach provide this cantata with such a splendid opening that spills into the chorus -- he does the same in "Wir Danken Dir" (BWV 12) -- and leave the equally spectacular choruses of "Es Erhub Sich Ein Streit" (BWV 19), "Ein Feste Burg (BWV 80) and "Nun is das Heil" (BWV 50) without any orchestral preface?

Is there any scholarly speculation that Bach may have kept folders of concertos handy to provide overtures for these cantatas? Or perhaps we have to assume a brilliant organ improvisation as a prelude.

How frequently does Bach use "Sonata" for a cantata overture? I can think of BWV 180 and "Sonatina" in BWV 106.

Ed Myskowski wrote (June 5, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Doug Cowling wrote (April 24, 2005):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< This allusion to Jesus derives from the quasi-apocryphal Book of Revelation and finds expression particularly in BWV 31 and
BWV 41. >
The Book of Revelation has always been one of the canonical books ofthe New Testament. >
EM:
Always is a big word! From the beginning of the Home Planet, 4.56 ba? From the beginning of writings about Jesus, a little less than 2000 years ago (2ka)? From the codification of the Roman New Testament, in the 4th C. AD (CE), afew hundred years later?

WH:
Peter Smaill wrote (April 24, 2005):
Bach and the Book of Revelation
[To Doug Cowling] Doug Cowling has spotted that I hedged my bets on the Book of Revelation, calling it quasi -apocryphal. It is indeed as he says historically a canonical book of the Bible, but is the most challenged right from the beginning and even today scholars doubt its status. >
EM:
It is not at all the most challenged. The many Christian writings which did not pass the first cut ( 4th C. AD) are the most challenged! Including my personal favorite, the Gospel of Thomas: words of Jesus (original or borrowed), pure and simple.

WH (?):
< St Jerome never accepted it as part of the Bible; his view found support in Luther and only by Bach's time had Revelation been accepted into mainstream Lutheranism. >
EM:
If Luther (based on St. Jerome?) questioned the 4th C. decision (by Constantine and cohorts?) to include Revelation, how then did Revelation subsequently become accepted as mainstream Lutheranism? In a broader sense,, what exactly does mainstream Lutheranism mean? Following the preaching of Luther? Following the preaching of the followers of Luther?

As I understand the issues, there were factions (little brooks of the main stream?) even within the microcosm of Leipzig 18th C. politics, posing both a political and spiritual challenge to Bach. Some evidence (Bach’s marginalia to the Calov glosses of Luther’s Bible) suggests that Bach was interested in drawing his own conclusions, directly from the Biblical texts. Is that mainstream Lutheranism, in the 16th C? 18th C? 21st C (not exactly relevant to Bach)?

Aloha, Ed Myskowski (<Lift a stone and you will find me. Cleave a piece of wood and I am there.> Gospel of Thomas)

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 5, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< As I understand the issues, there were factions (little brooks of the main stream?) even within the microcosm of Leipzig 18th C. politics, posing both a political and spiritual challenge to Bach. Some evidence (Bachs marginalia to the Calov glosses of Luthers Bible) suggests that Bach was interested in drawing his own conclusions, directly from the Biblical texts. Is that mainstream Lutheranism, in the 16th C? 18th C? 21st C (not exactly relevant to Bach)? >
Luther certainly articulated and amplified a theological opinion which articulated a "canon within the canon", that, although equally inspired, some books of the Bible are more "important" than others. This goes back to the formation of the Hebrew canon in which the Books of Torah are preeminent and take precedence over the Writings.

In the Christian canon, the four Gospels have an analogous place to Torah, followed closely by the "Great Letters" of Paul: Romans, Corinthians, Thessalonians. These are the books from which doctrine is drawn. Even in patristic times Ephesians was recognized as not by Paul and Revelation was a late arrival in the canon.

Luther focussed on the "canon within the canon" for his teaching and tended to ignore those NT books which emphazised the hierarchical organization of the early church with its bishops and deacons -- later scholars would call these books the "Catholic Epistles". Luther was particularly disparaging of the Epistle of James which of course speaks of the importance of works to faith.

Bach certainly had opinions and insights in his reading of Scripture – the Cavlov glosses show that -- but there isn't much to suggest that he dallied among the heterodox of his day, not even the Pietists. The notion that he had a universalist, pan-Christian faith which raises his music to timeless humanism doesn't have much evidence, nor did he espouse beliefs drawn from a indivualistic reading of scripture. I can't imagine him handling snakes on
the banks of the Pleiss.

Neil Halliday wrote (June 9, 2010):
In the soprano aria (Mvt. 8), the alternate 'forte' and 'piano' markings in the oboe part in the ritornello remind me of those in the ritornello of the "echo" aria in BWV 213.

(Interestingly, both have pizzicato continuo cello).

Recognising that each 'piano' phrase is mostly a repeat of the preceding 'forte' phrase makes BWV 31's ritornello obbligato easy to learn.

The lovely warm tone of the unison upper strings carrying the chorale is also a feature of this beautiful aria.

 

Cantata BWV 31: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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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