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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 53
Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Watts (was: BWV 083)

Continue of discussion from: Cantata BWV 83 - Discussions Part 2

Yoël L. Arbeitrman wrote (March 2, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I am glad that I did, if only for Helen Watts in BWV 83/1 (alto sanity?). >
As far as I know Watts is only one of two altos whose recording of Pseudo-Bach cantata BWV 53 is not available on CD [8]. The other is Herta Glaz [6].

The rest of them may be found at: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/GMHof/
except for Claudio Hellmann in the Werner set [9] which I have not gotten on CDs as I really only want no. 53.
===================
Name Size Creator Created Actions
[10] audio/ Forrester, Maureen - 01 - Track 1.mp3
Maureen Forrester 1964 Janigro 2205 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 10, 2004
[24] audio/ Hoffmann-Carlos Mena-.mp3
Carlos Mena, Ricercar Consort, P.Pierlot (2000) 1241
KB erre_enne
Added: May 15, 2004
[25] audio/ Hoffmann-Laurens.mp3
G.Laurens, I Barocchisti, D.Fasolis, Schlage doch (2000) 1744
KB erre_enne
Added: May 15, 2004
[17] audio/ Jacobs, René - 13 - Track 13.mp3
René Jacobs 1987 Ensemble 415 1900 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 11, 2004
[21] audio/ Kowalski, Jochen - 11 - Track 11.mp3
Jochen Kowalski 1993 Sillito 1338 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 11, 2004
[14] audio/ Ledroit, Henri - 11 - Track 11.mp3
Henri Ledroit 1983 Ricercar Consort 1417 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 10, 2004
[1] audio/ Leisner, Emmi - 02 - Track 2.mp3
Emmi Leisner 1926 1112 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 10, 2004
[15] audio/ Love, Shirley - 03 - Track 3.mp3
Shirley Love 1984-86 Somary 1824 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 11, 2004
audio/ Lésne, Gerard - 07 - Track 7.mp3
[26] Gérard Lesne 1369 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: May 10, 2004
[22] audio/ Robin Blaze - 13 - Track 13.mp3
Blaze Parley of Instruments 1998 1384 KB ascagne_ascanio
Added: Jun 9, 2004
[5] audio/ Roessl-Majdan, Hilde - 09 - Track 9.mp3
Hilde Rössl-Majdan 1953 Scherchen 2303 KB ascagne_ascanio
==================
This occasional post to GMHof@yahoogroups.com will serve a good purpose at all events.

 

Bells in BWV 53

Continue of discussion from: Altos in Bach's Vocal Works [General Topics]

Jeremy Vosburgh wrote (March 3, 2006):
Majdan & Question

I'm glad Yoel and Ed mentioned Hilde yesterday.

She is one of the very few woman altos who has convincing sung sacred Bach in a period attempt imho (I know that seems like a contradiction in terms). I never warmed to Watts' interpretations although I greatly respect her technical ability and voice in general. That being said; I recently went on a rant about how I always prefer counter-tenors because of the greater apparent contrast in voices due to the same sex of all the singers. I must now make an exception for solo cantatas where this is not a factor. Especially with BWV 53 which is not even a Bach cantata and is very much an occasional piece.

Another note: can someone tell me why with all the professional recordings of BWV 53 there is not one that uses real bells? To me this is a travesty! I don't know if any of you are pyromaniacs, but I imagine I get a similar feeling when I think about large bells! Lets all petition Suzuki to not skip BWV 53 and use real bells when he does.

Can someone tell me once and for all: did bach use boy altos or late teen altos or full grown counter-tenors or some mixture? Somehow on this list, we seem to go on the subject again and again without actually nailing the truth down. Bach taught students in Leipzig. Isn't there a roll somewhere with the age and voice parts that everyone sung? How is it that we still don't seem to know today how many singers were present when the cantatas were sung. I seem to remember a description of one of his performances of the Matthew passion (BWV 244) which described the two choirs being greatly physically separated and the evangelist and Jesus being the only soloists who were separated from the choir. If we are able to have this great detail about one performance of Bach's, why don't we seem to agree on how many singers he had per part, etc.?

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 3, 2006):
Bells in BWV 53

Jeremy Vosburgh wrote:
< Another note: can someone tell me why with all the professional recordings of BWV 53 there is not one that uses real bells? To me this is a travesty! I don't know if any of you are pyromaniacs, but I imagine I get a similar feeling when I think about large bells! Lets all petition Suzuki to not skip BWV 53 and use real bells when he does. >
"Schlage Doch" is one of my favourite pieces of Baroque music -- I've asked for it at my funeral! The "campanella" are a fascinating question. Some recordings use a modern orchestral chime which sounds appropriately like a tolling funeral bell. Jacobs [17] and others use a very small chime which sounds like a mantle clock. I was surprised by this at first but then realized that the staccato string figure is meant to symbolize the ticking of a clock. Hoffmann notates it on the B above middle C. I've never heard any speculation what the "campanella" division in the organ sounded like.

I'll sign any petition to record this wonderful piece!

Ludwig wrote (March 3, 2006):
[To Douglas Cowling] There are no known recordings of BWV 53 with real bells in them. There could be some private ones out there somewhere but no one has spoken up about them.

This work is not by JS Bach but by his grandfather or cousin who had the same name. It was mistakenly attributed to JS Bach the later(the one everyone means when they say JS Bach) instead of the earlier Bach.

I do not know where your recording is from but it must be a rare recording as BWV 53 is very hard generally to find in a recording. I had to comb public libraries just to hear it.

Yes it is a very nice funeral work that could possibly be used in today's services.

If we examine the Documents concerning the Organ for the Church that this work was composed to be presented in --there are explanations of the bells. The Congregation wanted bells playable from the Organ Console apparently. Personally, not only being an Organist but also a Carillonneur, I do not understand how that would be possible in Bach's day other than some smart sophisticated use of the physics of levers and cranks to have a finger move the clapper of a large bell even if struck from the outside. The reason being is from a tracker Organ the clapper of the bell weighing upwards of 500 lbs would be very hard to ring if it were in the tower from the Organ because of the weight of the clapper. Could you lift 100 lbs with your little finger?? If not then that is the problem here with the score and it's interpetation. The clapper could not be set in motion with the depression of a key. Today this would be very possible even if the bell weighed 20 tons and had a 10 ton clapper.

If the church survived WWII and there is someone in Germany on this list who could enlightened us about if there were bells in the Church tower and how much did they weigh---they might solve the problem. Hitler and Napoleon, however, '' bells from most churches in Germany and melted them down into cannon and items for warfare and as a result almost no original bells survive from the war periods since the days of Napoleon.

The score calls for huge bourdons (these are the so-called bass bells and called such because they hum) which would weigh as much as 10 tons it we take the score literally. They could be nothing more than Zimbelstern type bells (so-called bicyle bells these days) or they might truly be real bells aka tower/church bells.

I would assume that the bells were playable only from the bass keyboard if they were of the Zimbelstern type which is the cause of the confusion.

Yes I also would like to hear this with big heavy bells. If you record it or know anyone who is please let the list know.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 3, 2006):
Ludwig wrote:
>>This work [BWV 53 "Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde" is not by JS Bach but by his grandfather or cousin who had the same name. It was mistakenly attributed to JS Bach the later(the one everyone means when they say JS Bach) instead of the earlier Bach.<<
BWV 53 was composed by Georg Melchior Hoffmann. For more information about him, do a search for "Georg Melchior Hoffmann" or simply "Melchior Hoffmann" on the BCW (Aryeh Oron's Bach Cantata Website) [be sure to enclose the search string with quotation marks].

The Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV) of 1998 still has a question mark behind Hoffmann's name, but research in the meantime has confirmed Hoffmann's authorship.

Another cantata, BWV 189 "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" is also without a doubt by Melchior Hoffmann and definitely not by J.S. Bach.

The BGA incorrectly ascribed the Magnificat in A-minor or sometimes called the "Little Magnificat" to Bach (BWV Anh. 21). It also is a composition by Melchior Hoffmann.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 3, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The BGA incorrectly ascribed the Magnificat in A-minor or sometimes called the "Little Magnificat" to Bach (BWV Anh. 21). It also is a composition by Melchior Hoffmann. >
Has this Magnificat been published?

Aryeh Oron wrote (March 3, 2006):
[To Douglas Cowling]
See the following pages at the BCW:
BWV Anh 21 - Recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh21.htm
BWV Anh 21 - Discussions: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh21-Gen.htm
Georg Melchior Hoffmann bio: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Hoffmann.htm

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 3, 2006):
In addition to the links supplied by Aryeh Oron, there are some passages I would like to share regarding the subject matter at hand. BTW, Andreas Glöckner's [isn't it odd that "Glöckner' in German means "Bell ringer"?] article on Melchior Hoffmann in the Grove Music Online (Oxford University Press, 2006, acc. 3/3/06) still features in the most recent bibliography his articles from 1982 and 1990. At that point in time, he still considered the ascription of BWV 53 to Hoffmann as being in doubt. I thought that I had read elsewhere that it was no longer being disputed, but I cannot find that particular reference. In lieu of this, I will supply other references, from the Grove Music Online (source as given above) that might shed some further light on Melchior's activities and potential for being the composer of BWV 53. However, first I will share some excerpts from Johann Gottfried Walther's "Musicalisches Lexicon...." Leipzig, 1732:

Entry:
Glöcklein-Ton
a 2-foot stop with a wide measurement. It sounds like someone hitting an pleasantly-ringing anvil. When it is coupled (used together with) a 16-foot 'Quintade'
stop, it can easily (appropriately) be used in faster moving passages along with a sweet-sounding accompaniment supplied on another manual.

Entry:
Tintinabulum or Tintinnabulum (Latin), a little bell or a small bell (like a sleighbell) or any other kind of sound produced that sounds like a little bell.

Remarkably, although there are a number of Hoffmanns listed in Walther's musical dictionary, Melchior Hoffmann is not even mentioned anywhere!

Here is an excerpt from George J. Buelow's article on Kuhnau in which Hoffmann is mentioned. Rather unsenstive and morbid is the manner in which the city council officials of Leipzig recruited replacements for the major musical directors in Leipzig -- Bach was treated similarly only because he was beginning to lose his sight.

>>During the last years of his life Kuhnau suffered constantly from ill-health and grew deeply dissatisfied with the deteriorating conditions at the Thomasschule. The number and quality of young voices available for the choir at the Thomaskirche declined as the students were enticed away to perform at the Leipzig opera. When the young Telemann arrived in 1701 as a law student, he immediately established a rival musical organization in the form of a collegium musicum, which attracted some of Kuhnau's pupils. Telemann managed to obtain permission from the mayor to write music for the Thomaskirche: this blatantly undermined Kuhnau's authority, and he was powerless to prevent it. Much the same privilege was granted to Melchior Hoffmann when Telemann left Leipzig in 1705. Moreover, one of Kuhnau's own pupils, J.F. Fasch, attempted to interfere further with his musical responsibilities by proposing to establish another collegium musicum in the university and by trying to take over the direction of the music at the university and the Paulinerkirche, but Kuhnau managed to forestall him. In 1703, during one of his several periods of illness, the town council too annoyed Kuhnau by asking Telemann to succeed him should he die. Despite his difficulties, however, he had the satisfaction of teaching many excellent students, including Graupner and Heinichen. He was greatly esteemed by many of Germany's foremost musicians and was the last of the many-sided Thomaskantors, a man who 'displayed an element of medieval universality and mastered music, law, theology, rhetoric, poetry, mathematics and foreign languages' (Schering, 1926). Scheibe put him alongside Handel, Keiser and Telemann as one of the major German composers before Hasse and the Grauns, and Mattheson, paying equal tribute to his musicianship and his erudition, claimed never to have known his like as composer, organist, chorus director and scholar.<<

From another very interesting article on the Leipzig opera by the same author, Stauffer, we find that Melchior Hoffmann had a relatively long tenure (considering his short life-span) as the director of the Leipzig Opera. During this time he would have had opportunity for employing bells as part of the staging and sound effects. Also worth noting are some potential Bach connections: 1. Stauffer's reference to the figures on stage addressing the audience directly -- this, a century later, becomes the very essence of Romantic drama (dramatic stage plays during the time of German Romanticism, in which the characters on stage would step out of their roles temporarily to address the audience directly concerning what was happening in the play) which Stauffer compares to Bach's madrigal-like cantatas (does Stauffer refer to the sacred cantatas here as well?). 2. The itinerant Italian troupes included castrati which visited and performed in Leipzig during Bach's tenure -- is there a connection here to BWV 51?

>>The formal beginning of opera in Leipzig can be traced to the licence granted by Elector Johann Georg III to Nicolaus Adam Strungk of Dresden in 1692 to operate a public opera house and present 15 performances during each of the three trade fairs. Strungk acquired a plot on the Brühl, just inside the city wall on the north-east corner of town, and commissioned Italian architect Girolamo Sartorio, builder of opera houses in Hanover, Amsterdam and Hamburg, to construct the town's first opera house. The house opened on 8 May 1693 during the Easter Fair with a performance of Strungk's Alceste, which featured a German libretto fashioned from Aurelio Aureli's well-known Italian text by Paul Thymich, a language instructor at the Thomasschule, and a cast of local singers that included Thymich's wife, Anna Catharina, in the role of Alcestis. Local composers, local performers and mostly German texts were to become mainstays of the Leipzig opera with its audience of wealthy citizens, university students and fair visitors.

Other composers to write for the Leipzig house included Telemann, Christian Ludwig Boxberg, Gottfried Grünewald, Johann David Heinichen, Melchior Hoffmann and Johann Gottfried Vogler. Although the music to most of this repertory is lost, the surviving librettos show a marked taste for both mythological and historical themes - Strungk's Nero (1693) or Agrippina (1699), Telemann's Ferdinand und Isabella (1703) or Die Satyren in Arcadien (1719) and Heinichen's Hercules (1714), for instance - and comic subjects - Grünewald's Der ungetreue Schäffer Cardillo (1703) and Heinichen's Der angenehme Betrug oder Der Karneval in Venedig (1709), for example. The Leipzig librettos show a strong inclination towards informality, with opera seria gods speaking to the audience about everyday situations in everyday language, much like the figures in the madrigal texts of Bach's cantatas. Like opera elsewhere, Leipzig productions often dwelt on the spectacular. Strungk's Phocas (1696) called for a burning tower, a wild bear and a storm. For singers the Leipzig opera relied principally on students for the male roles and wives and daughters of men associated with the company for the female roles. Grünewald, Telemann, Graupner, Fasch, Heinichen and others took time from their academic studies at the university to sing in the opera. The instrumentalists, too, were drawn chiefly from the student ranks, much to the annoyance of Kuhnau, who complained that the opera was draining the resources for church music-making. After Strungk's death in 1700 the Leipzig opera was directed by Telemann, who ran the operation with great vigour from 1702 to 1704 by recruiting the students from his collegium musicum. Following Telemann's departure for Sorau (he continued to contribute works afterwards), Hoffmann served as principal director until his death in 1715. After Hoffmann's tenure Leipzig opera declined. A gradual accumulation of debts led to the closing of Sartorio's opera house in 1720, and the building was razed in 1729. For the next 30 years opera was provided by itinerant Italian troupes that performed on temporary stages (indoor and out) during the fair times. The most famous visitors were the Mingotti brothers, Angelo and Pietro, whose virtuoso ensembles sometimes included castratos. Riemer reports seeing the opera Adelaide, Königin aus Italien and the intermezzo Amor fa l'uomo cieco with excellent Italian soloists (including castratos and prima donnas) during the 1744 Easter Fair. Also significant was the appearance of the Singspiel in the form of Der Teufel ist los (an adaptation of Charles Coffey's The Devil to Pay) presented first by a visiting troupe under Johann Friedrich Schönemann in 1750 and then by Heinrich Gottfried Koch's local company in 1752. Visiting or temporary troupes remained the chief source of opera in Leipzig until the construction of the Comödienhaus after the Seven Years War (1756-63).<<

In another article by Stauffer, Melchior Hoffmann is mentioned again in connection with a collegium musicum:

>>Credit for making the collegium musicum a force in Leipzig cultural life must go to Telemann, who formed a group around 1702 while studying law at the university. Under his energetic direction, the 'Telemann collegium' grew to 40 players and gave well-organized weekly performances in coffee houses (which appeared in great numbers after being introduced to Leipzig in 1694). Telemann's group also provided sacred music in the Neukirche, where Telemann was awarded the post of organist in 1704 on the promise that he would bring his student players with him. After Telemann's departure in 1705, his collegium was directed by Melchior Hoffmann (1704-15), Johann Gottfried Vogler (1715-20), Georg Balthasar Schott (1720-29), J.S. Bach (1729-36 and 1739-41) and Carl Gotthelf Gerlach (1736-9 and 1741-c1745). Apart from Bach, all served as organist of the Neukirche. During Bach's tenure, the ensemble met on Friday evenings in Zimmermann's Coffee House during the winter and Wednesday afternoons in Zimmermann's Coffee Garden during the summer. A second collegium, such as that directed by Johann Friedrich Fasch from 1708-11 or that by Johann Gottlieb Görner from 1723-56, often ran parallel to Telemann's. During the trade fairs both collegia added a special weekly concert and arranged the schedule so that fair visitors could hear music four evenings per week.

The concerts featured a mixed fare of appealing, progressive vocal and instrumental music. Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel, who played in Telemann's collegium from 1707 to 1710, described the programme as beginning with an overture, continuing with vocal and solo concertos and closing with Sinfonie. This parallels the music that Bach performed during his collegium tenure: overtures (including pieces by Johann Bernhard Bach), violin and harpsichord concertos, secular cantatas (including the famous 'Coffee Cantata'), instrumental sonatas and possibly book 2 of Das wohltemperirte Clavier. The collegia also took part in performances of allegiance music written for the Saxon royal family, which often involved large-scale polychoral pieces performed on the market square, such as Bach's Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215.

A third collegium appeared in 1743. Organized by Leipzig merchants and termed the 'Grosse Concert-Gesellschaft', the ensemble performed in the hotel 'zu den drei Schwanen' to a subscription audience that grew to over 200 people by 1750. It was this group, directed at first by Johann Friedrich Doles and then by Gerlach and Johann Schneider, that outlasted the others. By 1763 it had grown to include a string section of 8-8-3-2-2 and a full complement of woodwind and brass.<<

Finally, in a cooperative effort by James Blades and Charles Bodman Rae, the authors of the following excerpt, find that BWV 53 constitutes the first use ever of bells used with other instruments. [I wonder whether the authors have investigated Michael Praetorius description of various bells (with illustrations) used in music (Syntagma musicum II, p. 4) which includes "Campanae, Glocken" ("Bells"); "Tintinabula, Glöcklein" ("Little Bells"); "Nolae, Schellichen" ("Sleighbells")]? There is a recording by the August Wenzinger (sp?) group on LP many years ago of dances by Praetorius where bells are used together with viols, etc. Would this not constitute the earliest example of what the authors above had mentioned? [This observation is not intended to deprive Hoffmann of the distinction of being the first, if and when it is definitively established that he was the composer of BWV 53.]

>>Bells were first used in orchestral music in the cantata "Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde" (formerly attributed to Bach, now tentatively attributed to Melchior Hoffmann) they were probably small and operated from the organ manual. Bells are called for in various late 18th-century scores, e.g. Dalayrac's opera Camille (1791) and Cherubini's Elisa (1794). Rossini called for a bell to sound g' in the second act of Guillaume Tell (1829), and Meyerbeer for low bells sounding c and f in Les Huguenots (1836). Possibly real church bells were used on these occasions, and also by Berlioz for the finale of his Symphonie fantastique (1830). In the original score of Boris Godunov (1868-9) Musorgsky called for trezvonï (see Chimes, §1; for details of the bells used at the first performance of Tchaikovksy's 1812 Overture (1882), see §2 above). The use of real church bells, or their near equivalent, is connected more with the theatre than the concert hall: the stage equipment of many opera houses includes real church bells. Some composers have aimed to imitate their effect with orchestral colour; others have used substitutes, including tubular bells, bell plates, mushroom bells and electrically amplified metal bars, piano wires and clock gongs. Mushroom bells and large bronze plates, such as those used in La Scala and the Covent Garden mushroom bells, have proved effective substitutes for church bells. The instruments used for the notorious ostinato tolling which accompanies the processions of the Grail Knights in Wagner's Parisfal (1882) have ranged from church bells and a piano frame with four strings (occasionally supplemented with the 16' stop of an electric organ) to hammered bell machines, amplified metal rods and gongs; since the 1970s synthesizers and electronic instruments have increasingly been used. Wagner apparently based the ostinato, a pattern of interlocking perfect fourths c-G-A-E, on chimes which he had heard at Kloster Beuron; the motif was soon to become as ubiquitous in German timepieces as William Crotch's 'Westminster' chimes had long been in England (see Chimes, §2). The bells generally used in the concert hall are Tubular bells (termed 'chimes' in the USA, 'orchestra bells' being the term for the glockenspiel). These were introduced by John Hampton of Coventry in 1886, for the peal of four bells in Sullivan's Golden Legend. In 1890, tubular bells appeared with a keyboard (the codophone) at the Paris Opéra. In the symphonies of Mahler, bells are used for literal effects (the sleigh bells in the outer movements of the Fourth Symphony) and metaphoric reasons (in the Sixth Symphony real alpine Cowbells allude to the ascension of a human soul). In the fifth movement of the Third Symphony Mahler employed bells in pentatonic patterns. Outstanding bell writing in the modern orchestra can be found in John Ireland's These Things Shall Be (1937), Britten's chamber opera The Turn of the Screw (1954), Messiaen's Turangalîla-symphonie (1946-8) and Chronochromie (1960), Boulez's Pli selon pli (1959-62), William Alwyn's Fifth Symphony 'Hydriotaphia' (1972-3) and Tippett's The Rose Lake (1991-3); Stockhausen wrote for a specially constructed set of bell plates in Musik im Bauch (1975).

Composers also use orchestral colour to imitate the motivic and timbral effects of bell ringing and chiming for metaphoric or allusive reasons.<<

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 3, 2006):
BWV 53 Bracha Kol (Abu Ghosh Festival) [23]

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachRecordings/message/16922

Because Aryeh does not compress as much as I do with audiograbber and which is rather necessary in the limited space of Yahoogroups files, there was no room at GMHof or at BachCantatas for this file made from a live concert in Israel (I am assuming) which Aryeh very generously and kindly sent me.

Therefore I uploaded it to the BachRecordings files area where there is almost no use of the file space.

I have not listened to it.
I do thank Aryeh again,

Peter Smaill wrote (March 4, 2006):
[To Doug Cowling] Not only can one hope that Suzuki will record the lovely "Trauer-Aria" BWV 53, "Schlage doch," but certainly Gardiner who holds the piece in high regard, having played it at Iona on the 250th anniversary of Bach's death. Here is the programme note by Ruth Tatlow;

"Although this funeral aria is now known to be by Melchior Hoffmann (1685-17150 rather than by Bach, it is sufficiently Bachian in style to have tricked the editors of the Bach Gesellschaft and so find a place in Schmieder's original catalogue of Bach's works in 1950. the aria features solo bells in G and D, graphically depicting the word "Schlage" (beat) representing both the death knell, albeit joyous, and the failing heart beat."

On the campanella we have more detail fom Whittaker:

"there are two bells, B and E, written for in the bas stave as transposing instruments, D and g being the indicated notes. there is nothing to tell whether deep or high bells are required, though the string bell effects suggest that a contrast of pitch is needed. It will be remembered that when Bach drew up a specification for the reconstruction of the Mühlhausen organ he inserted a st of bells to be operated by the pedals." (W goes on to talk about Handel's ownership of a keyboard carillon.)

He also surmises that BWV 53, was written for a child's funeral "The sound of the bell is a welcome one, the call to an ideal life".

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 4, 2006):
Ludwig wrote:
< Still from an Organ pedal these bells would still be difficult to operate. It is hard from some Carillon Consoles from which most large bells are played except in more modern baton consoles where the learnings of science have made it easier without electrifying the action of the bells ( regarded as an unacceptable practice). >
If I recall correctly, there is only one bar of 3/2 in which the bell sounds more than once. There would be plenty of time even if the mechanical action required considerable force.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 3, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< "Schlage Doch" is one of my favourite pieces of Baroque music -- I've asked for it at my funeral! The "campanella" are a fascinating question. Some recordings use a modern orchestral chime which sounds appropriately like a tolling funeral bell. Jacobs [17] and others use a very small chime which sounds like a mantle clock. I was surprised by this at first but then realized that the staccato string figure is meant to symbolize the ticking of a clock. Hoffmann notates it on the B above middle C. I've never heard any speculation what the "campanella" division in the organ sounded like. >
Every time this subject comes up, I go back and listen to Karl Muck's 1927 recording of the so-called "Transformation Scene" in Parsifal (now on Naxos Historical "The Complete Karl Muck Parsifal Recordings") which is supposed to be the only place where one can hear "the bells of Monstalvat, built to Wagner's specifications for the first performance of Parsifal, and alas destroyed in the Second World War. [These bells] made (and still make) an extraordinary impact on the listener".

I would rather not moan any destruction of WWII connected to Wagner who one cannot exculpate for much destructive philosophy that caused far worse destruction than bells.

However, while the Muck recording is fascinating, just listened to tracks 6-9 (end of CD) three times, I don't hear much of the bells. My loss, I am sure.

Tom Hens wrote (March 3, 2006):
I've looked at the earlier list discussions on this topic on the website to see if I might not simply be repeating things said earlier, but I don't think so. So here goes:

Douglas Cowling wrote:
< "Schlage Doch" is one of my favourite pieces of Baroque music -- I've asked for it at my funeral! The "campanella" are a fascinating question. >
Why not assume the simplest answer is the right one? Campanella is a perfectly ordinary Italian word, the diminituve of "campana", and means little bell or chime. A bit of very superficial googling also shows it is used in musical contexts (completely unrelated to this cantata) as a synonym for "tintinnabulum", again a "small, tinkling bell" (American Heritage Dictionary), or a small set of such bells joined together. It definitely does not mean "large (church) bells".

< Some recordings use a modern orchestral chime which sounds appropriately like a tolling funeral bell. Jacobs [17] and others use a very small chime which sounds like a mantle clock. I was surprised by this at first but then realized that the staccato string figure is meant to symbolize the ticking of a clock. >
And this seems to me to be the solution to the riddle, if there ever was a riddle in the first place. Simply reading the short text shows it doesn't say anything specific at all about church bells, or such bells tolling for a funeral. It does refer very specifically to a clock, however, in the last lines: "Ich begehr' von Herzensgrunde / Nur den letzten Zeigerschlag!" "Zeigerschlag" refers to the ticking of a clock (either the sound made when the seconds or the minutes hand moves, or the visual equivalent). It seems to me the underlying metaphor of the text, and the intended musical representation with the bells, is clearly that of a clock ticking away the time until the chimes sound at the top of the hour. Church bells tolling at a funeral don't mark a specific "Zeigerschlag" on a clock, AFAIK.

< Hoffmann notates it on the B above middle C. I've never heard any speculation what the "campanella" division in the organ sounded like. >
One very well-founded piece of speculation would be: it could simply be used as an italianate designation for a glockenspiel register, perhaps coupled to the pedal as in the St. Blasius organ in Mühlhausen. Assuming such an arrangement would also seem to explain Hoffmann's notation using a bass clef: it would simply be transposing notation to make things easier for the organist. But since only two notes are needed, any two properly tuned little bells would serve just as well.

Tom Hens wrote (March 3, 2006):
Ludwig wrote:

On the off chance someone might take you seriously, let's just put the record straight:
< This work is not by JS Bach but by his grandfather or cousin who had the same name. It was mistakenly attributed to JS Bach the later(the one everyone means when they say JS Bach) instead of the earlier Bach. >
There is no other composer with the name Johann Sebastian Bach, he was the first in the family to have the name Sebastian. The only other Johann Sebastian Bach was a grandson, one of C.P.E.'s children, who didn't produce music, he was a painter.

< If we examine the Documents concerning the Organ for the Church that this work was composed to be presented in --there are explanations of the bells. >
There are no documents showing that BWV 53 was ever intended for performance in a church, let alone which church specifically.

Tom Hens wrote (March 3, 2006):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Not only can one hope that Suzuki will record the lovely "Trauer-Aria" BWV 53, "Schlage doch," >
Is the designation "Trauer-Aria" actually on the ms., or is that just another one of those nineteenth-century accretions?

< Here is the programme note by Ruth Tatlow;
"Although this funeral aria is now known to be by Melchior Hoffman (1685-1715) rather than by Bach, it is sufficiently Bachian in style to have tricked the editors of the Bach Gesellschaft and so find a place in Schmieder's original catalogue of Bach's works in 1950." >
Based on what I've read, the erroneous 19th century attribution to Bach, just as with Hoffmann's "little" Magnificat, had nothing at all to do with it being Bachian in musical style, but simply with Hoffmann's hand being quite similar to that of JSB. And of course it found a place in "Schmieder's original catalogue": he made a table of contents to the chaotic BG edition, not as a systematic works catalogue separating authentic from inauthentic works. (As the editors of BWV 2a put it: "kein Werk-, sondern ein Inhaltsverzeichnis zur alten Bach-Gesamtausgabe"). Since they had published it as cantata no. 53, it inevitably became BWV 53, whatever doubts about authenticity existed.

< On the campanella we have more detail fom Whittaker:
<snip>
"It will be remembered that when Bach drew up a specification for the reconstruction of the
Mühlhausen organ he inserted a set of bells to be operated by the pedals." >
How easily things get twisted. Bach did no such thing. In the memorandum he wrote somewhere in early 1708 about the refurbishment of the organ in St. Blasius in Mühlhausen, he mentions a new Glockenspiel register as point 6 in the list of things to be done:

"Das von denen Herrn Eingepfarten begehrte neue Glockenspiel ins Pedal, bestehend in 26 Glocken à 4 Fuß-thon; Welche Glocken die Herrn Eingepfarten auff ihre kosten schon anschaffen werden, und der Orgelmacher solche hernachmals gangbahr machen wird".

My translation: "The new Glockenspiel in the pedal which the members of the parish council [I hope that's a correct interpretation of "Herrn Eingepfarten"] want, consisting of 26 bells at 4' pitch. These bells will be acquired by the parish council at their expense, and subsequently made playable [i.e., incorporated into the pedal mechanism] by the organ builder."

other words, this glockenspiel register wasn't Bach's idea at all, it's something people in the parish insisted on, and even the finances are handled separately from the rest of the work.

< He also surmises that BWV53, was written for a child's funeral. >
"Surmises" is a nice way of putting "he's just making it up". I surmise it was written for the birthday party of a 103-year old lady who was in bad health, and fondly hoping to die soon. Prove me wrong.

Tom Hens wrote (March 3, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Finally, in a cooperative effort by James Blades and Charles Bodman Rae, the authors of the following excerpt, find that BWV 53 constitutes the first use ever of bells used with other instruments. [I wonder whether the authors have investigated Michael Praetorius description of various bells (with illustrations) used in music (Syntagma musicum II, p. 4) which includes "Campanae, Glocken" ("Bells"); "Tintinabula, Glöcklein" ("Little Bells"); "Nolae, Schellichen" ("Sleighbells")]? There is a recording by the August Wenzinger (sp?) group on LP many years ago of dances by Praetorius where bells are used together with viols, etc. Would this not constitute the earliest example of what the authors above had mentioned? >
Bells have been used in combination with other instruments since antiquity.

< [This observation is not intended to deprive Hoffmann of the distinction of being the first, if and when it is definitively established that he was the composer of BWV 53.] >
It begs the question: how and to what year did they date BWV 53? If the good burghers of Mühlhausen insisted in 1708 on having a glockenspiel register in their refurbished organ, that means such registers must have been around for some time already -- they would hardly come up with an unheard-of instrumental innovation all on their own. So they were definitely being played by that date, and in combination with other instruments (at the very least, the other organ registers).

Peter Smaill wrote (March 4, 2006):
Poor W Gillies Whittaker! He wrote his extensive review of the Cantatas in 1959 (c. 1500 pp) and of course on many scholarly points analysis of Bach has moved on. The reference to the Mühlhausen organ "having bells operated by the pedals inserted by Bach" is on the evidence wrong in that "inserted by" overstates his role. However, as Duerr (c.1000pp, including texts) (and Robertson) does not deign to analyse BWV53 at all we are left with him, and the attribution of "Schlage doch" is duly and rightly described by Whittaker as "doubted".

Whittaker does clearly state that ""Trauer-aria" is clearly written on the manuscript".

The surmise (Whittaker states that it is one) that "Schlage doch" was for a child is certainly statistically more probable than the 103 year old lady theory. When John Eliot Gardiner states on stylistic grounds that "some insisted on stylistic grounds that the high-pitched quavers in the flute in BWV 61/4 and in BWV 8/1 symbolise the high pitched funeral bells associated with infant death," no-one rises up to challenge the "surmise' of a living specialist, who, like Whittaker, is careful enough to avoid saying it is a fact.

Where an individual, dead or alive, has immersed themselves in baroque Cantatas and indicates when the speculation begins, then we have an interesting line of conjecture which other scholarship may help confirm or deny. It is not invalidated as such by postulating an absurd and improbable countertheory with no stylistic evidence at all, leaving the implication that the absurd is as likely as the conjectures of the (admittedly never infallible) expert.

What is appealing about Whittaker (say as compared to Dürr) is a greater level of warmth in the emotional response to the Cantatas as well as scholarship, less painstaking than the latter no doubt. But sometimes more revealing.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 4, 2006):
Bells and Bach

Tom Hens wrote:
< It begs the question: how and to what year did they date BWV 53? If the good burghers of Mühlhausen insisted in 1708 on having a glockenspiel register in their refurbished organ, that means such registers must have been around for some time already -- they would hardly come up with an unheard-of instrumental innovation all on their own. >
I'm speculating which organ works of Bach might have used a pitched bells rank -- as opposed to the percussive zimbelstern. The likeliest candidate would "In Dulci Jubilo) with its long pedal points on G and D. That would mean that the bells would have to be played by the left hand from a manual.

Just speculating .... No evidence whatsoever.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 4, 2006):
Tom Hens wrote:
< There are no documents showing that BWV 53 was ever intended for performance in a church, let alone which church specifically. >
Conversely, there is no evidence that is wasn't performed in church as a funeral motet.

Douglas Cowling wrote (March 5, 2006):
Tom Hens wrote:
< It seems to me the underlying metaphor of the text, and the intended musical representation with the bells, is clearly that of a clock ticking away the time until the chimes sound at the top of the hour. Church bells tolling at a funeral don't mark a specific "Zeigerschlag" on a clock, AFAIK. >
A personal request ... I raised the question because there was a difference of opinion among performers. The logical solution is the one you outline above. However, I find the tone of your response supercilious and offensive. Please try to frame your responses objectively without gratuitous comments about the worth of the question or the intention of the posting member.

Tom Hens wrote (March 4, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Conversely, there is no evidence that is wasn't performed in church as a funeral motet. >
Of course not. But the person I was responding to was going on about imaginary "Documents" purportedly showing that BWV 53 was intended for performance in a specific church with a specific organ.

Tom Hens wrote (March 4, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< A personal request ... I raised the question because there was a difference of opinion among performers. The logical solution is the one you outline above. However, I find the tone of your response supercilious and offensive. >
I'm sorry if it came across to you that way. I was just trying to state clearly what to me seems the most straightforward interpretation of the text. If you hadn't referred to the possible musical depiction of a ticking clock, I would never have looked at the text in detail in the first place. (I was also catching up on some backlog all at once, so I perhaps didn't reread what I'd written as carefully as I'd normally do.)

Interpreting someone's intended tone in this purely written medium is often difficult. Especially when one is communicating among people with widely divergent personal and cultural backgrounds, for many of whom English isn't their native language. Based on past experience I've decided that stating things clearly avoids more communication problems than it causes, even though it also carries the risk of coming across as brusque or overly blunt.

< Please try to frame your responses objectively without gratuitous comments about the worth of the question or the intention of the posting member. >
I've reread all the messages I sent earlier today. I can't find any comments that fit your description. But at least I've learned that calling someone's tone "supercilious and offensive" counts as an objective response, and isn't a gratuitous comment about the intention of the posting member at all. Thank you.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 5, 2006):
Schlage doch Bracha Kol [23]

Lutherans, Atheists, Zoroastrians, simple music lovers (as this isa music list),

I listened to the Schlage doch live recording by Bracha Kol [23] a little while ago. She indeed has a lovely voice and fine diction and the bells are on the light side. She does to my ears a lot of (appropriate) embellishments at various phrases which gives the work her own distinctive touches. I totally enjoyed her and the work but towards the very end I began to laugh out loud. This was not a sign of disrespect but a reaction on the part of my soul to what seemed to me to be a certain lack of "gravitas" in this recording compared to all the other recordings of this aria-cantata that I have heard throughout the years. I was laughing and then the applause came on and I joined in the applause and continued laughing and I have never had that reaction to Schlage doch in my life.

Thanks to Aryeh for the opportunity and the pleasure of hearing this recording.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (March 6, 2006):
[To Douglas Cowling] I believe you are correct. It is typically played with cybelstern.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (March 6, 2006):
[To Tom Hens] I am in the midst of a thesis and do not have time to get in this but if you will remind me I can probally (if I do not have this confused with something else) give you a citation documenting what I have said.

Ludwig wrote (March 6, 2006):
[To Tom Hens] I am not sure with the reply who said what but it is true that Bells have been used with other instuments as many medaevil manuscripts will show and say and probally before then. I just do not have the time at this moment to research this further back than the 11th century.

Tom Hens wrote (March 9, 2006):
Peter Smaill wrote:
<snip>
< The surmise (Whittaker states that it is one) that "Schlage doch" was for a child is certainly statistically more probable than the 103 year old lady theory. >

It is? Statistically, the probability that special music would be written for the funeral of a child is extremely low, and at a bet I'd rate it as zero. At least, I've *never* heard of any music from Bach's era and geographic area that was written explicitly for the funeral of a child. Maybe I've missed something, can you name some examples? Bach himself doesn't seem to have written anything of the kind for the many children he had to bury. All funeral music we have by him is for people well advanced in years.

< When John Eliot Gardiner states on stylistic grounds that "some insisted on stylistic grounds that the high-pitched quavers in the flute in BWV 61/4 and in BWV 8/1 symbolise the high pitched funeral bells associated with infant death," no-one rises up to challenge the "surmise' of a living specialist, who, like Whittaker, is careful enough to avoid saying it is a fact. >
I might, at least if I could tell more clearly just what Jeggy stated, and what sources he gives. I somewhat fail to grasp why many contributors here seem to hold Gardiner in such high regard, either as a performer or as a "specialist". Is this statement based on historical sources about what kind of bells were rung at Lutheran funeral services in Saxony in the first half of the eighteenth century? It might be, but as you quote it, the claim is introduced with "some insisted" -- now there's an unclear phrase if ever there was one. Or is he by any chance just rehashing things earlier "specialists" have "surmised"?

< Where an individual, dead or alive, has immersed themselves in baroque Cantatas and indicates when the speculation begins, then we have an interesting line of conjecture which other scholarship may help confirm or deny. >
We might have. So, where is that scholarship on BWV 53 linking it to a child's funeral?

< It is not invalidated as such by postulating an absurd and improbable countertheory with no stylistic evidence at all, >
The burden of proof for a claim lies with the person making the claim. I did not advance a countertheory, I just gave an example of a similar "surmising" with just as little evidence to back it up as you did for Whittaker's one. Maybe there is more in his book, of course. So please tell me on what stylistic grounds Whittaker concluded that BWV 53 was composed for the funeral of a child. Please also tell me on what evidence he bases the assumption that it was composed for a funeral at all. The piece itself seems to be much too short to function as a piece of stand-alone church music. The funeral assumption just seems to be based on the text. But we can find exactly the same sentiments expressed in the aria "Schlummert ein", for instance, which is in the Notenbüchlein of Anna Magdalena Bach. We know that definitely wasn't intended for a funeral. And we know the cantata, BWV 82, from which that aria was borrowed also isn't intended for a funeral.

< leaving the implication that the absurd is as likely as the conjectures of the (admittedly never infallible) expert.
>

People I would consider experts don't go in for unsubstianted "conjectures", which is usually a polite way of saying "pure speculation". (Always be especially careful of sentences starting with "Undoubtedly". What follows is usually pure invention.)

Eric Begerud wrote (March 23, 2006):
<> BTW: thanks to the recent thread concerning mezzos and countertenors, I've been listening to a lot of solo cantatas done by males and females. Stumbled on a Naxos recording by Marianne Kielland [28] that I liked a lot. Anyway it included Schlage doch with lots of bells: not the king Quasimodo would have tended to, but real bells. Sweet.

 

Introduction to BWV 158 - "Der Friede sei mit dir"
OT: Schlage Doch

Continue of discussion from: Cantata BWV 158 - Discussions

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (January 22, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I remember being shocked when I read that cantata BWV 53, "Schlage Doch Gewünschte Stunde" was by Hoffmann not by Bach. How could something so beautiful not be by Bach? Perhaps that's what we're encountering here in this cantata. Bach looms so large for us that it is hard to credit lesser mortals with writing fine music. >
Somehow I was not shocked or hurt or offended when I heard that one of my desert island works was not by Bach.

Somehow there was no reason at all to think that there were not other composers who could and did produce stunning works.

Somehow the work simply spoke and sang to me for so long that it stood as what it is.

Sadly however complete cantata sets stopped including it and that was mis-guided in my opinion.

However there are so many wonderful recordings, most, it seems, with counter-tenors amongst the recent ones. An exception is Israeli mezzo Bracha Kol whose recording [23] is not generally available and whose recording together with the participants is one of the most felicitous.

I am sure that they are many great works which each of us has not heard.

There are many magical composers but most of them seem to have produced a couple of great works but not endless great works.

We don't really know much of Hoffmann and I doubt that we can form a judgment on him as a whole.

Then again how many works on the level of his Stabat Mater did Pergolesi produce (yes, he died at 26)?

There are the two Salve Regina settings and then a lot of things that were ascribed and a few other items including a well-known opera with which I have never really bothered.

Then there are composers like Mozart and Haydn who produced without end. Personally I find much of Mozart less than super-duper (that's my own view and cannot be argued against). I find some of Mozart amazing.

I fear that Glenn Gould felt much the same about Mozart; actually he used to express a far lower opinion.

Russell Telfer wrote (January 23, 2007):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote: (in reply to Douglas Cowling - about BWV 53)
< Sadly however complete cantata sets stopped including it and that was misguided in my opinion. >
I agree! I'd like to help push this inthe public domain: there is a market opportunity for someone who is prepared to create quality performances for the neglected ducklings: BWV 15, BWV 53, BWV 141, BWV 142, BWV 160, BWV 189, BWV 217, BWV 218, BWV 219, BWV 220, BWV 221 and BWV 222. I'm sure Brad, Douglas, or one of our distinguished alumni could pave the way for a bit of worthwhile enterprise.

< Personally I find much of Mozart less than super-duper (that's my own view and cannot be argued against). I find some of Mozart amazing. >
I agree again. I bought the Brilliant Complete Mozart and was surprised at how tawdry some of the music in this set is. And of course some of it is amazing too.

Eric Bergerud wrote (January 23, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] I'm not sure Bach was the type of gent that would have chuckled about incorrect attribution of his work, but Mr. Landon's point via Doug is certainly well taken. This brings up a question that perhaps wiser heads can answer. According to my liner notes of Herreweghe's version of BWV 158 and those accompanying the wonderful CD Apocryphal Bach Cantatas (BWV 15, BWV 141, BWV 142, BWV 160) by Wolfgang Helbich there were a number of Bach works originally attributed to JSB that have been "defrocked" - mostly in relatively modern times. It would be very interesting to know how many Bach instrumental works were in this category. Anyway, all of the works on Helbich's were attributed as early Bach as was 158 according to Wolff. The good gents first attempting to catalog Bach's works seem to have started with the basics: let's find the works with Bach's signature, hand writing or a solid attribution from a good source. Contemporary research as proved them wrong on occasion. However, were they wrong because they didn't know Bach's works or those of his contemporaries well enough, or were they more easily fooled because they were dealing with very large amounts of early 18th century music and were thus vulnerable to misjudging the work of a lesser composer who happened to have a very good day. In other words, did they have too much or too little data? Anyway, pity the poor musicologists. Anyone dealing with stylistic analysis for attribution or interpretation is always skating on thin ice. (Think of how many fewer Rembrandt's we have these days thanks to modern analytical techniques.) Gives one a case of the humbles. Of course now we have copyright: too bad there's so little music worth preserving. (And if Bach didn't compose Schlage Doch he should have, or at least used bells more often.)

BTW: Actually there are some Schubert operas out there. I have Fierrabras which has some really nice music, but a dopey libretto. Judging from the lyrics of his songs, Schubert was no master of the word. I wonder if inane plots might not have kept some of Schubert's operas off the stage. But heaven knows opera fans are fickle. I've also developed a pretty hefty Telemann collection and love it dearly. He couldn't match Bach day in day out, but why Vivaldi gets better press is beyond me.

Eric Bergerud wrote (January 23, 2007):
OT: Schlage Doch

Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I remember being shocked when I read that cantata BWV 53, "Schlage Doch Gewünschte Stunde" was by Hoffmann not by Bach. How could something so beautiful not be by Bach? Perhaps that's what we're encountering here in this cantata. Bach looms so large for us that it is hard to credit lesser mortals with writing fine music. >
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< Somehow I was not shocked or hurt or offended when I heard that one of my desert island works was not by Bach.
Somehow there was no reason at all to think that there were not other composers who could and did produce stunning works.
Somehow the work simply spoke and sang to me for so long that it stood as what it is.
Sadly however complete cantata sets stopped including it and that was mis-guided in my opinion.
However there are so many wonderful recordings, most, it seems, with counter-tenors amongst the recent ones. An exception is Israeli mezzo Bracha Kol whose recording
[23] is not generally available and whose recording together with the participants is one of the most felicitous. >
Schlage Doch fans really should check the Naxos version included in Bach Sacred Cantatas for Alto (BWV 54, BWV 169, BWV 170 and BWV 200). They are sung by Norwegian mezzo Marianne Kielland with the Cologne Chamber Orchestra [28]. Kielland is young for the job but has a very weighty voice, almost masculine: a kind of anti-Cecilia Bartoli. Anyway, to my ears it's a lovely CD all around. And Schlage Doch is beautifully sung with lots and lots of bells. I like bells.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (January 23, 2007):
[To Eric Bergerud] Are these REAL Bells not fake substitutes as electronic chimes, tubular chimes and other fakes??

Eric Bergerud wrote (January 23, 2007):
[To Ludwig] I wouldn't underestimate electronic fakers, but they sure sound real to me and there are lots of them. Sure don't think they're chimes: I'd guess hand bells. (It might not fit the libretto, but a pity they didn't throw in a canon round or two. Hey, it ain't Bach.) You can check the Naxos catalogue http://www.naxos.com . (The work is number 8.557621 - that's the easiest way to search their huge catalog.) I'm not sure whether you'll be able to hear enough of the cut to tell. I paid them a fee to be able to listen to cuts in their entirety: normal humans I think get about 90 seconds. Worth a try though.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 23, 2007):
Eric Bergerud wrote:
< I wouldn't underestimate electronic fakers, but they sure sound real to me >
Nor would a few of us underestimate 19th C. (that would be 1800's, for those unclear on the concept) counterfeiters, pre-electronic fakers. If it sounds like Bach, is it Bach?

Eric Bergerud wrote (January 23, 2007):
Russell Telfer wrote:
< I agree! I'd like to help push this into the public domain: there is a market opportunity for someone who is prepared to create quality performances for the neglected ducklings: BWV 15, BWV 53, BWV 141, BWV 142, BWV 160, BWV 189, BWV 217, BWV 218, BWV 219, BWV 220, BWV 221 and BWV 222. I'm sure Brad, Douglas, or one of our distinguished alumni could pave the way for a bit of worthwhile enterprise.
<< Personally I find much of Mozart less than super-duper (that's my own view and cannot be argued against). I find some of Mozart amazing. >>
< I agree again. I bought the Brilliant Complete Mozart and was surprised at how tawdry some of the music in this set is. And of course some of it is amazing too. >
It would be nice to get every out of print recording available online. A good project for Aryeh on a slow day. However, all (or at least most) of the works listed below are available and in print. Wolfgang Helbich's two volumes are both really nice: I recommend Vol II with no hesitation. There are six Schlage Doch's out there but only Ms. Kielland's [28] is sung by a mezzo: the others are countertenors.

As for Mozart, I have lots of serenades, diverimentii etc: the things he did to pick up a quick dollar or whatever he picked up. There is a real lack of profundity in many of such works,but what strikes me is how "pretty" they all are. Perfect music for reading, cleaning the room or accompanying my trusty combat flight simulator. Might add that some months back I mentioned that the Requiem did not really impress me. Since then I've picked up two wonderful recordings (Harnoncourt and Hogwood) and hmm.... my bad. The work is a masterpiece.

Computer matches for BWV 53

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 22, 2009):
I was searching amazon.com (and everywhere else) for two I missed, the Banditelli and the Nes (former only available from Germany with more postage than CD cost; latter out of print). Anyway, here is what amazon has recommended for me. I love computer brains.

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Lamenti of Johann Christoph Bach

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (May 24, 2009):
Some years ago, when either Cantata BWV 53 (now Georg Melchior Hoffmann) or Cantata BWV 54 was being discussed, as memory serves, it was Aryeh who expressed a preference for the late Henri Ledroit [14] (in one or both). Simultaneously the recordings of the friend and disciple of HL, Gérard Lesne [26], were being discussed. I soon acquired copies of both of these amazing resp. CD sets and CD of Bach Family "Cantatas" (sensu lato), both of which happened to include BOTH of the famed "lamenti" by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703). One "Ach, dass ich Wassers gnug hätte in meinem Haupte" is indeed for alto singer. The other "Wie bist du denn, O Gott, in Zorn auf mich entbrannt": in the "Ledroit" 2-CD set it is sung by bass Max van Egmond, whose single recording in this Ledroit album was made 13 years after the numerous "cantatas" by Ledroit himself and wisely added to this admirable collection. In Lesne's CD, Lesne sings both lamenti and thus, to my knowledge has made the only alto recording of "Wie bist du denn, O Gott".

As I have continued to collect recordings of Cantata BWV 53, a long time "hobby" of mine, as some here know: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/GMHof/ , I keep on gathering automatically for the most part recordings of "Ach, das ich Wassers gnug hätte" as today mostly it comes together with the Georg Melchior Hoffmann (ascribed) "Schlage doch". Nevertheless I seem to somehow have gathered a small collection of "Wie bist du denn, O Gott" as well, although, outside of the two albums I have mentioned, it does not come together with "Schlage doch".

I shall list the small collection of both of these lamenti I have, listing the alto one first and making a division by counter-tenor and female alto/mezzo:

Henri Ledroit/Ricercar Consort;
Gérard Lesne/Seminario Musicale;
Carlos Mena/Ricercar Consort;
Robin Blaze/Parley of Instruments;
David Cordier/Musica Antiqua Köln, Goebel (1st recording);
Daniel Taylor/Theatre of Early Music;
(I know of Bowman's recording);
FEMALE ALTO:
Julia Hamari/Rillling (here the work is ascribed to Heinrich Bach);
Magdalena Kozená/Musica Antiqua Köln, Goebel (2nd recording);
Clare Wilkinson/Gardiner (live broadcast 14, Sept, 2007).

Follow now the recordings of the Bass lamento:
Max van Egmond/Ricercar Consort (in the Ledroit album, as noted);
Max van den Kamp/Period Instrument Ensemble;
Michael Schopper/Musica Antiqua Köln/Goebel (with Goebel's 1st recording of the Alto lamento);
Wolfgang Schöne/Rilling (with the Hamari/Rilling recording of the Alto lamento);
Matthew Brook/Gardiner (live broadcast 14, Sept, 2007;
ALTO:
Gérard Lesne/Ricercar Consort.
----------------
So it becomes quite logical and obvious how one leads to the other.

Obviously the older (and they do go back a while) female altos who recorded "Schlage doch" did not record the two Johann Christoph Bach lamenti, whose recorded life began at a much later period. With so many recordings, I often hesitate a long time before acquiring a new one of "Schlage doch" or of the lamenti and I have just acquired recently the Daniel Taylor CD and found it far beyond my expectations, both for its "Schlage doch", the alto lamento, and for terrific Buxtehude items on it. The artistry and inborn talent are moving.

To my "horror" I found that I have missed two CD "Schlage doch" recordings, that of Banditelli [20] and that of van Nes [19], the former only available in Germany (it seems) and the later out of print. Sorry for my typos and any mistatements,

Seeking the Jard van Nes CD which includes cantata 53

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 6, 2009):
I (the creator of this BWV obsession "list") am seeking a copy of the Jard van Nes CD of the following cantatas:

J.S. Bach: Cantatas BWV 169; BWV 54; BWV 200; BWV 53 Amsterdam Bach Soloists, Jard Van Nes [19].

I already have her only other Bach cantatas recording and hers remains the only performance on CD of BWV 53 (Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde) that I am lacking.

The CD is out of print (offered for monstrous prices on Amazon by sellers. I am really floored by her Bach as well as the little Mahler and even Karl Amadeus Hartmann I have heard.

There is an odd reality. Almost any opera CD or live performance or often even LP transfers can be found on Operasell (either for trade, for just sharing [once I even asked there for the Tourel "Erbarme dich, mein Gott", never on CD, and some stranger who had transferred the whole LP simply sent me a copy and refused any reciprocation] or sometimes for buying and all three seem reasonable to me for unavailable stuff), and for symphonic stuff, it was not hard to find persons over the years on the net who traded rare and unavailable stuff, but for baroque this seems rarely to occur. Thus without someone's help, I don't know how to get this. I have of course posted Operasell.

Finally Two I have been seeking

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 14, 2009):
The two out of print recordings of Schlage doch which I have just uploaded are both amazing. In my opinion, it's one man's opinion, Jard van Nes with the conductorless Amsterdam Baroque [19] soloists rises to the top of the list as one of the most impressive and moving performances I have heard. It is unqualifiedly glorious. And it is SANE.

OTOH Gloria Banditelli [20] is possessed of a fine contralto voice but both the conductor and she, it seems to me, take excesses with this masterpiece that become tiring, the more so after several listenings.

I would finally put it near the bottom of my collection with appreciation for their efforts in a live concert.

See Aryeh's http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV53.htm

My documentation however gives Van Doeselar as organist (only), with no conductor.

Please share your own opinions,

Many schlage dochs on Youtube

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 14, 2011):
YouTube links

The trouble is that they require various search terms."BWV53" yields some not others and also yields some organ work. "Schlage doch" yields some, and so forth.

Dinah Kamm singt olim BWV53

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 25, 2011):
Impressive take <>: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i70WCUKjXSo

Uploaded by ma20je on Oct 12, 2011

Die zauberhafte Aria "Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde" wurde lange für ein Werk Johann Sebastian Bachs gehalten und als solches auch in die Alte Bach-Ausgabe (später als BWV 53) eingeordnet. Inzwischen wird sie dem Leipziger Kantor Melchior Hoffmann (um 1679-1715) zugeschrieben.

Ensemble Sacrum&Profanum München, Live-Mitschnitt eines Konzertes vom 6.
August 2008 in St. Michael Wolfratshausen
Dinah Kamm (Alt)
Corinna Mayr und Beatrix Baier (Violinen), Susanne Biedermann (Viola), Thomas Waldherr (Violoncello), Reinhard Kreuzinger (Glockenspiel), Constanze Schlager-Lindner (Cembalo)
Andreas Schierlinger-Langeheinecke (Leitung)
www.sacrumetprofanum.de

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 25, 2011):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< Die zauberhafte Aria "Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde" wurde lange für ein Werk Johann Sebastian Bachs gehalten und als solches auch in die Alte Bach-Ausgabe (später als BWV 53) eingeordnet. >
Wirklich zauberhaft ...

I wish this was by Bach!

I want it at my funeral.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 25, 2011):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I wish this was by Bach!
I want it at my funeral. >
Whats the hurry? Happy New Year to all.

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 53: Details & Complete Recordings | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Non-Bach Cantatas - Recordings:
BWV 15 | BWV 53 | BWV 141 | BWV 142 | BWV 160 | BWV 189 | BWV 217 | BWV 218 | BWV 219 | BWV 220 | BWV 221 | BWV 222 | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Georg Melchior Hoffmann: Short Biography | Cantata BWV 53 | Cantata BWV 189 | Little Magnificat BWV Anh 21

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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Last update: żOctober 11, 2013 ż19:43:22