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Cantata BWV 58
Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid [II]
Discussions - Part 5

Continue from Part 4

Discussions in the Week of April 27, 2014 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (April 27, 2014):
Cantata 58, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” Intro.

Bach’s fourth and last Cycle III dialogue solo cantata BWV 58 “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache) is a unique work in many respects, showing him as the consummate craftsman blending many special features into a concise, symmetrical work. First presented on January 5, 1727, for the less festive Sunday after New Year, it uses a traditional Lutheran theme of suffering and joy in an Italian operatic style between the reflective soprano communal Soul and the assured bass Jesus narrative, blending a strophic hymn stanza set to a popular melody with poetic and dotted-dancing poetry paraphrasing of the Gospel story of the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:13-23) with the Epistle of Christian Suffering (1 Peter 4:12-19).1

The intimate work with chamber orchestra accompaniment and no chorus features two chorale texts set to the same melody in a pure symmetrical form lasting about 17 minutes, with extended chorale-aria duets opening and closing Cantata 58 and a central soprano da-capo aria accepting joy in suffering, flanked by a biblical narrative bass recitative and a soprano recitative response in transition from earth to Eden. The chorale texts and melody are: Martin Moller (1547-1606), 1581 stanza 1, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache); and Martin Behm (1557-1622), 1610, “O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht” (O Jesus Christ, my life’s light; Mvt. 5), S. 2, “Ich hab für mir ein schwere Reis” (I have before me a difficult journey), both set to the Chorale Melody (Mvts. 1 & 5), “Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II” (anonymous 1455).2 The author of the poetic texts in the two duets and recitatives and the central soprano aria is anonymous, possibly Picander.

In this dialogue cantata, the soprano as the communal soul provides the chorale hymn and aria poetic commentary while the bass as the Jesus narrator in the poetic free-text interprets the Gospel and Epistle of the day with a growing sense of comfort and assurance. The central soprano aria, “Ich bin vergnügt in meinem Leiden” (I am happy in my sufferings), blends the themes of and sorrow and comfort, like the familiar Lutheran contrast between temporal suffering and heavenly joy, as is found in the Picander Ecclesiastical-style texts of Bach’s Matthew and Mark Passions of 1727 and 1731, respectively.

Cantata 58 has a perfect symmetrical palindrome mirror form ABCBA of (A) opening and closing dialogue aria with chorale, (B) bass recitative and soprano recitative, and (C) central da-capo aria. It also has a symmetrical harmonic direction (tonal descent and ascent) beginning and ending in with the chorale aria in C major, with the recitatives moving from a minor (relative major of C) to F Major to the central d minor aria and reversing in the second recitative from F Major to a minor for the closing chorale aria with the same chorale melody. The only difference is a change in meter from 3/4 in the opening chorale aria to 4/4 in the closing chorale aria, while the interpolated structure of the two texts is identical. 3

The common characteristics of Bach’s four Cycle III dialogue cantatas (BWV 57, 32, 49, and 58) include a concise symmetrical but non-traditional structure using a variety of movement types built around alternating recitatives and arias; the use of repeated textual/musical themes, questions or mottos as well as dance-style arias imitating progressive Italian operatic convention; the use of a standard small orchestra of strings with oboe, expanded to the pastoral sound two oboes and tenor oboe (taille) in Cantata 57 and 58; and the use of borrowed instrumental material in Cantata 49 Sinfonia (organ obbligato, BWV 1053/3) and possibly in Cantatas 58 and 32.

Cantata 58 presumably was presented on January 5, 1727, for the Sunday after New Year, before the sermon of Thomas Church deacon Johann Gottlob Carpzov in the morning main service, based on the day’s preferred Gospel lesson of the Holy Family’s flight into Egypt (Matt. 2:13-23), and the first Epistle of St Peter dealing with the sufferings of the Christian in the course of his earthly journey (4:12-19), says Martin Petzoldt in his BACH Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinity Fest.4

Both the Sunday after New Year (also known as the Second Sunday after Christmas) and the Sunday after Christmas, falling on alternate years, were considered lesser feast days as part of the Christmas Feast Time of six services in twelve days. The other feast days were the 1st to 3rd Day of Christmas (December 25-27), the Feast Day of Circumcision (New Year, January 1), and the Feast of Epiphany (January 6). Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, of 1734-35, observed in six cantatas with narrative recitatives the five fixed feast days as well as the Sunday after New Year in BWV 248/V, Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen (Let honour to you, God, be sung), observes Petzoldt in “Liturgy and Music in Leipzig’s Main Churches.” 5

The movements, scoring, initial text, key, and time signature are:6

1. Chorale and Aria (Soprano, Bass); Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo: Soprano, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache); Bass, “Nur Geduld, Geduld, mein Herze” (Only patience, only patience, my heart; C Major, ¾ time.
2. Recitative (Bass, Continuo): “Verfolgt dich gleich die arge Welt, / So hast du dennoch Gott zum Freunde” (If the evil world at once persecutes you, / then you still have God as your friend); a minor – F Major; 4/4.
3. Aria (Soprano, Violino solo, Continuo): A. “Ich bin vergnügt in meinem Leiden” (I am happy in my sufferings); B. “Ich habe sichern Brief und Siegel” (I have a sure letter and seal); d minor, 4/4.
4. Recitative (Soprano, Continuo): “Kann es die Welt nicht lassen” / Mich zu verfolgen und zu hassen” / So weist mir Gottes Hand / Ein andres Land.” (Even though the world does not cease / to persecute and hate me, / yet God's hand shows to me / another land); F Major to a minor; 4/4.
5. Chorale and Aria (Soprano, Bass; Oboe I/II, Taille, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo: Soprano, “Ich hab für mir ein schwere Reis” (I have before me a difficult journey); Bass, “Nur getrost, getrost, ihr Herzen” (Be comforted, be comforted, you hearts); C Major, ¾ time.

New Year’s Contrasts & Cantata 58 Characteristics

The contrast between Bach’s festive New Year’s Cantatas (BWV 243, 41, 16, and 171) and the two (BWV 153 and 58) for the following Sunday after New Year are striking, says John Eliot Gardiner in his 2008 liner notes to his Soli Deo Gloria Bach Pilgrimage 2000 cantata recordings.7 “He observes: “the change of prevailing mood

is palpable, and comes as quite a jolt. Where the New Year’s Day cantatas are festive, grateful and stock-taking, the texts for the year’s first Sunday are pained and urgent.

Besides the harsher Gospel and Epistle Readings of flight from tyranny and sorrow, Bach had a pragmatic motive, says Gardiner (Ibid.): <<The same consideration, to ease the workload of his musicians, exhausted by the festive demands of Christmas and New Year, most probably lay behind Bach’s decision to score BWV 58 Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid as a dialogus for soprano and bass with simple string accompaniment. Almost certainly composed for 5 January 1727, it survives only in a revised version of 1733 or 1734 with a brand new central aria (No.3) and three oboes added to reinforce the strings in the outer movements. Perhaps by now his workload had eased, either through disenchantment or as a result of a debilitating stand-off with the Leipzig Consistory (or both). Like BWV 153 this cantata takes the Gospel reading as the basis for a description of the beleaguered Christian: the distressed, persecuted soul (soprano) in dialogue with a guardian angel or, by implication, Jesus (bass), who acknowledges that ‘es ist eine böse Zeit’ (‘these are bad times’).

The cantata is symmetrically arranged in five m, with two extended duets cast as chorale fantasias. Though the soprano sings the chorale melody, it is the bass, responding with consoling words in free verse, who has the tune in both duets. Yet the character of these twin C major movements is very different. Dotted rhythms and a chromatically descending lament figure in response to the anguish of the soprano’s chorale typify the first movement, while an upward triadic motif for the final, concerto-like choral fantasia is redolent of Bach’s sunny E major violin concerto BWV 1042. Concerto-like, too, is the elaborate violin part in the central aria, ‘Ich bin vergnugt in meinem Leiden’ (‘I am content in my suffering’). If its purpose was a device to fix in the listener’s mind a projected end to persecution and hatred in the world, then Bach’s modulatory plan for this cantata could not be more explicit or detailed: first in a downward direction (No.2) starting with God’s warning to Joseph in a dream (D minor), then evoking Herod’s attempt to kill Jesus (C minor) and lower still (G minor) at the mention of drowning in the Flood, then back up again (F major) at the prospect of Jesus’ comfort and thereafter in an upward trajectory (No.4) in the Soul’s aspiration to ‘behold my Eden’ (F major to A minor).>> © John Eliot Gardiner 2008; From a journal written in the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage.

Contrasting Motifs & Chorale Arias

The combination of contrasting motifs from the Gospel and Epistle in a symmetrical framework and the dramatic contrast between the first and final chorale aria, are the subjects of scholar Klaus Hofmann’s 2008 liner noyes to the Masaaki Suzuki BIS complete cantata recordings.8 <<The unknown librettist skilfully combines motifs from the gospel story of the flight of the holy family to Egypt (Matthew 2, 13–23) with elements of 1 Peter 4, 12–19 dealing with the sufferings of Christ. He thus contrasts distress on earth with the believer’s anticipation of heavenly joy. The argument of the final movement is thus ‘Hier ist Angst, dort Herrichkeit’ (‘Here is anguish; there is splendour’).

The text already predetermines the structure of the cantata, centred around the soprano aria (third movement). With fine symmetry, two duet movements based on the same chorale melody constitute a frame for the work. Both outer movements are based on a melody (‘O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht’ [‘O Jesus Christ, light of my life’]) that appears as a cantus firmus from the soprano, first with words from a strophe by Martin Moller (1587) andlater with a text by Martin Behm (1610). On both occasions the bass provides a commentary on the song text, in the manner of a dialogue partner. In character, however, the movements could hardly be more different. The opening duet, stylistically in the manner of a chaconne in the French style, emphasizes the torment and ‘Herzeleid’ (‘unhappiness’) that await the Christian on his earthly journey in the ‘böse[n] Zeit’ (‘evil time’) with chromatic turns and harmonic darkenings. By contrast, the final duet takes the form of a lively concert piece, the main motif of which – a signal-like rising triad – exudes confidence from the very first bar and, combined with the words ‘Nur getrost’ (‘Be comforted’) in the vocal bass, runs through the entire movement as an encouraging exhortation.>> © Klaus Hofmann 2008

Cantata 58 Background: Chafe & Dürr

The Cantata 58 BCW 2003 Background of Aryeh Oron and Thomas Braatz’ Commentaries summary from scholars Philipp Spitta, Voigt, Albert Schweitzer, Alfred Dürr, and Eric Chafe provide a fine introduction to his work.9 "One of the means by which Bach represents the destruction/restoration dynamic in his cantatas is that of tonal descent followed by ascent," says Chafe in Tonal Allegory in the Vocal Music of J. S. Bach (Berkeley, 1991). "The theme of suffering turned into joy effects a transformation of a somewhat different kind in BWV 58. The work is symmetrical." (NB: It is a mirror or palindrome form. The keys of each movement constitute a tonal mirror: 1=C, 2=a-F, 3=d, 4=F-a, 5=C. The movements constitute a chiastic or cross-like cantata: chorale fantasia duets 1& 5, aria 3, recitatives 2 & 4.)

Of special note is Dürr’s caveat that Cantata 58, although part of the chorale cantata cycle distribution, is not in true chorale cantata form since it does not contain one chorale text, literal and paraphrased, but “as a replacement for a missing chorale cantata it is nevertheless a reasonable substitution.” Further, Bach had use the chorale “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” in a traditional chorale cantata, BWV 3, in the pivotal Epiphany Time of the nearby Second Sunday after Epiphany, two years earlier in the second cycle, on January 14, 1725. Interestingly, while the chorale is listed in Bach’s Neu Leipzger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682 as No. 282 in the omnes tempore section as No. 282 under the heading “Cross, Persecution, & Challenges,” it is entirely appropriate in the pivotal time of omens of Jesus’ coming Passion.

Chorale Cantatas, Enigmas & Reflections

Although originally classified as a chorale cantata, BWV 58 represents the culmination of Bach’s odyssey in sacred cantata styles and contents. It possesses many traditional virtues of appealing music and palpable theology while Bach aggressively pursued his goal truly well-regulated, unified yet diversified musical sermons.

At the same time, Cantata 58 doesn’t fit the traditional mold of the varied, heterogeneous, formal yet appealing and accessible first cycle; the structured, fixed yet internally diversified chorale cantata partial second cycle, or the intimate, personal, dramatic and often operatic yet heterogenous, fragmented, incomplete third cycle. To his great credit, Bach constantly sought ever new means of literary and musical expression with techniques that embraced the old and new as no one else had or could or has done since. Here are some reflections and revisions of some of my previous writings on Cantata 58: 10

While Bach already had composed a chorale cantata for the Sunday between Christmas and Epiphany, BWV 122, 12/31/1724, Cantata BWV 58 is part of the chorale cantatas cycle (see Dürr above), based upon its distribution identical with the other Cycle 2 cantatas. Technically, there are three versions of the so-called Chorale Cantata Cycle:

1. The actual chronological cycle of some 58 cantatas which Bach composed from BWV 20 for the First Sunday After Trinity, 6/11/1724, to BWV 176, Trinity Sunday, 5/27/1725, omitting 12 cantatas for the Easter Season from Easter Monday to Pentecost Tuesday not set to complete chorale texts.
2. The expanded chorale cantata cycle after 1725 (to 1735), filling in gaps for Trinity Sundays +4 (BWV 177), +6 (BWV 9), +12 (BWV 137), +27 (BWV 140), Misericordias (BWV 137), and Epiphany +4 (BWV 114), as well as the per omnes versus (pure hymn) chorale cantatas (BWV 192, BWV 117, BWV 97, BWV 100) undesignated, probably for weddings and/or other sacred services.
3. The actual Cycle 2 chorale cantatas, 42 scores and parts sets, in 1750 were divided and distributed between Friedemann (scores) and Anna Magdalena (parts sets), which includes works not technically chorale cantatas: BWV 58, 128 (Ascension) and 156 (Epiphany+3), which have chorale incipits. Further, seven chorale cantatas were never divided, with Friedemann keeping for himself both the parts sets and the scores for Cantatas BWV 80, BWV 111, BWV 113, BWV 115, BWV 130, BWV 135, BWV 180, as well as BWV 68 for Pentecost Monday, which opens with a chorale chorus but also is not technically a chorale cantata. Cantata 68 is one of nine Easter Season cantatas with Mariane von Ziegler texts performed in 1725 (BWV 68, 74, 87, 103, 108, 128, 175, 176, 183). Except for Cantata 68, the other eight Ziegler-texted cantatas as well as Cantatas 6 (Easter Monday), 42 (Easter 1), and 85 (Easter 2) to anonymous texts (?Weise, Picander) became part of the third cycle-distribution between Friedemann and Emmanuel, with Emmanuel receiving the scores and Friedemann the parts sets which survive.

Postscript. Noting that for the 1725 Easter season, Bach composed no further choralcantatas but initially turned to Cantatas 6, 42, and 85 in the style of the first cycle with biblical texts and previous forms, Gardiner suggests that Bach initially may have commissioned Ziegler to do the remaining Easter Season 1724 texts in his new Bach musical biography, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven.11 These blend established ingredients of Cycle 1 with the new directions of chorale choruses and interpolated melodies in Cycle 2, as well as dramatic non-biblical arias and duets, often in dance styles, with the use of borrowed materials found in Cycle 3. Given Bach’s revival of his St. John Passion on Good Friday 1725 with new dramatic choruses and arias, Gardiner suggests that Bach originally planned to have it followed by the new direction of non-chorale cantatas. With some adjustments in wording, Bach did use nine Ziegler texts in the Easter Season 1725 while the revival of the St. John Passion “strengthens the argument that BWV 6 and its two sequels [42 and 85] belong in Bach’s mind to the previous cycle – and were perhaps even sketched then.”

Cantata 58 Fugitive Notes

Bach's original composition and revision. Only the continuo template survives from the original 1727 version, showing a different middle aria (No. 3). Dürr (Cantatas: 165f). conjectures that "the newly composed soprano aria (of 1733 or '34) was designed to replace a simpler predecessor." The opposite view is taken by David Humphries in his OCC:JSB article on BWV 58 (p.3), He says, "the relatively undemanding voice part of the later aria raises the possibility that the singer may have found the first one too difficult." Listen to this free-da capo aria with solo violin and decide for yourself about its degree of vocal difficulty.

At the same time, Dürr suggests that the original version accompaniment for strings only was done "to ease the burden on musicians exhausted by festive demands." He also sounds this theme for the earlier Cantata BWV 153. Thus, Dürr observes, Cantata BWV 58 has no parts for alto or tenor soloist or a chorus. In the second version of 1733 or '34, Bach adds two oboes and a taille or tenor oboe, found only in the opening and closing duet chorale fantasias (Nos. 1 and 5), primarily doubling the upper strings.

Several commentators have pointed out the influence of violin music in BWV 58 and Bach's possible use of existing music, a technique employed often in the third cantata cycle, especially with opening sinfonias from instrumental music. Besides the substantial soprano aria with violin obbligato -- Whittaker, Dürr, and Humphries all note the violin concerto style of the closing movement.

Julian Mincham wrote (previous BCW discussion, March 16, 2008): "Incidentally another piece of evidence supporting Whittacker's theory (p.303f) about the last movement being an adaption of an existing concerto is the fact that the chorale phrases all lie in the episodes which connect the tutti sections (which are as one would expect to find in such a movement). It would have been a relatively simple matter (for Bach!) to adapt the harmony and the figuration of the episodes to the chorale without having to recast the form of the entire movement."

Cycle III Chorale Uses, Structures, and Cantata 58 Revision

Bach’s special use of chorales in the solo and dialogue cantatas of Cycle III, the unorthodox beginnings and endings of these cantatas with their broad range of structures, and Bach’s Cantata 58 substitution of new music in the central soprano aria (Mvt. 3) in the reperformance (1733-34) are issues explored in Mincham’s Commentary to Cantata 58.12 <<If Bach wrote new cantatas for the Christmas and New Year season of 1726/7 they have not survived. Following C 36 (for the First Sunday after Advent and itself a reuse of an earlier composition) music would certainly have been required for Christmas Day, the days which followed it, New Year’s Day and the Sunday after that. Until C 82, written for the Purification, the only new extant cantata to fill this gap is C 58. >>

<<Other cantatas written for this day [Sunday after New Year’s] are C 153 from the first cycle (vol 1, chapter 34) and C 248, Part 5 of the Christmas Oratorio (chapter 48). The Lutheran year fell such that nothing was required for this day in the second cycle. C 153 begins, most unusually, with a four-part chorale setting, the first of three uncomplicated harmonisations, the last of which concludes the work. Dürr (p 165) suggests the reasons for this were essentially pragmatic so as to allow the chorus some respite in the middle of a particularly heavy period. It is also likely, of course, that Bach decided to make good use of this restriction by experimenting with new ways of using chorale melodies for structural unity and balance within his ever-developing cantata formats.

Whatever the reason, it seems that Bach was not prepared to spare his soloists or string players. The tenor aria, a dramatic depiction of the storm of enemies around us is especially demanding, particularly when considered in the context of the extremely limited rehearsal time that must have been available.

C 58 is the fourth and last of the Dialogue cantatas that Bach composed for the third cycle, the earlier ones being C 57 (part of the Christmas music of the previous year), Cs 32 (performed less than three weeks later) and C 49. Essays on and contextual comments relating to these cantatas may be found in chapters 7, 11 and 30 and in vol 1, chapter 68 (C 152). A point worth noting however, is that the first two dialogue cantatas end with four-part chorales [Lehms texts] while the second two do not [anonymous texts, possibly Picander]. This observation prompts a review of Bach’s use of the chorales in the solo and duo cantatas of this cycle.

Of the three for alto (170, 35 and 196) only the last ends with a conventional chorale setting, as do both for soprano (52 and 84) and the single one for tenor (55). Of the two for bass (56 and 82) the first ends with the chorale and of the four dialogue cantatas for soprano and bass, only the first two have concluding chorales. It would seem that Bach was still undecided about the best ways of incorporating chorales into these works, continuing to experiment with various permutations.

If so, Cs 49 and 58 assume particular significance because in the final movements of both works Bach found another solution to his problem; in each case he melded the chorale with the closing aria. In one sense this might not seem like a radically original solution. Bach had previously demonstrated many ways of combining chorales with choruses, arias, recitatives and ariosi, not least in the second cycle which is virtually a textbook on the subject. But seen within the context of Bach’s experimentation with the use (or not) of chorales in this cycle, it does appear to mark yet another stage in his thinking about what might constitute the most effective and appropriate types of concluding movements in his canon of ‘well regulated’ church music.

The closing arias of these two cantatas are not merely economical in that they merge two potential movements into one. It is done in such a way that, while still highlighting the chorale as a contemplative reflection (Soul) Bach combines it with an encouraging, more colloquial, assertion of love and support (Jesus). In each case the orchestra envelops the singers with an ebullient depiction of the bliss of heaven and much sought-after salvation.

If a broad range of structures are appropriate to end cantatas, then why should a composer not adopt similarly diverse configurations to begin them as well? Of the earlier three dialogue cantatas, C 49 began with a sinfonia, C 57 with an aria for bass and 32 with an aria for soprano. All four were composed in a little over a year and it is reasonable to conjecture that Bach looked back over the scores before taking a deliberate decision to approach C 58 differently. The principle of the combined aria/chorale having been established, Bach decided to make use of it in both the opening and closing movements of C 58.

The version of C 58 known today is not exactly that which Bach composed in 1727, but a later which added three oboes and replaced the middle aria for soprano (Dürr p 167/8). The continuo part only remains of the original movement (Bârenreiter scores vol 2, p 377) but it is sufficient to suggest that Bach may have had radically different second thoughts about the appropriate character of the piece.

There may well have been powerful aesthetic reasons in that, sandwiched as it was between two recitatives, a little more dynamism might have been appropriate to keep up the impetus. But Bach’s change of mind may also have reflected a revised and more developed view of the text. Both movements are in Dm but the original was in the more pastoral time of 12/8, and seems to have been much more flowing. The soprano aria which replaced it is more assertive and aggressive. If the earlier one stressed the images of contentment and resignation in the midst of suffering, the substitution portrays the muscular strength that unites God and Soul under His firm hand. Indeed, the crux of this cantata is the difficult journey the Soul must take and latterly Bach may have felt that the pastoral quality of the original aria simply did not adequately convey it.

Without the complete missing movement one cannot be certain. But it may well be that this serves to illustrate how Bach became increasingly focused upon the appropriateness of the imagery and significance of texts as he continued to mature.

Additionally, he was always making efforts to 'improve' his compositions. Why else take the trouble to replace the original aria?>>

FOOTNOTES

1 Readings for the Sunday after New Year’s: Epistle: 1 Peter 4:12-19 (Epistle: 1 Peter 4:12-19 The sufferings of Christians); Gospel: Matthew 2:13-23 (The flight into Egypt); see BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Sunday-After-New-Year.htm (Martin Luther German translation c.1545; English translation, Authorised (King James) Version 1611). The Introit Psalm is Psalm 62, Nonne, Deo? (Truly my soul waiteth upon God, KJV, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+62&version=KJV), “To the chief Musician, Psalm of David).
2Chorale Texts: Moller and Behm German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale065-Eng3.htm; and http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale067-Eng3.htm. Chorale Melody (Mvts. 1 & 5): “Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II” Zahn melody 533a, EKG 317; BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Jesu-Christ-meins-Lebens-Licht.htm. Moller BCW Short Biography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Moller.htm). Behm BCW Short Biography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Behm.htm.
3Cantata 58, BCW Details and Discography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV58.htm; Scoring: Soloists, Soprano, Bass; 4-part Chorus; Orchestra: 2 oboes, taille, 2 violins, viola, continuo; Score Vocal & Piano [1.05 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV058-V&P.pdf; Score BGA [1.54 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV058-BGA.pdf. References: BGA XII/2 (Wilhelm Rust, 1863, Cantatas BWV 51-60); NBA I/4 (Werner Neumann, 1964, Cantatas for Sunday after New Year’s); Bach Compendium BC A 26; Zwang K 161. Provenance, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV58-Ref.htm.
4 See Petzoldt, Bach-Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1.Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 333, text 344f; commentary 345ff).
5 Petzoldt, see in Die Welt der Bach Kantaten, ed. Christoph Wolff, vol. 3: Johann Sebastian Bachs Leipziger Kirchenkantaten (Metzler/Bärenreiter, Stuttgart/Weimar, Kassel, 1999) pp. 11f), translated by Thomas Braatz © 2013, BCW Articles, http://bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Leipzig-Churches-Petzold.pdf.
6 Anonymous (Picander) German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV58-Eng3.htm.
7 See Gardiner notes, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P17c[sdg150_gb].pdf, BCW Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-Rec3.htm#P17.
8 See Hofmann notes, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Suzuki-C38c[BIS-SACD1631].pdf, BCW Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Suzuki-Rec2.htm#C38
9 See BCW Commentary, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Guide/BWV58-Guide.htm.
10 Based on Cantata 58, BCW Discussion, Part 4, Week of September 20, 2009; http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV58-D4.htm.
11 Gardiner, Chapter 9, “Cyces and Seasons” ((Alfred A, Knopf: New York, 2013: 332-34).
12 See Mincham, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: A listener and student guide, Revised 2014; http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-35-bwv-58.htm.

TO COME:

Cantata 58 Discography, Chorales, and “Opera in Church,” Robin A. Leaver’s new Bach Jahrbuch article on Bach’s operatic texts for the third cycle.

ADDENDUM

My five-page article "Theology," is now on-line at BCW Articles, See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Theology[Hoffman].htm. It is written and posted to accompany Thomas Braatz' BCW Article translation, "Liturgy and Music in Leipzig’s Main Churches," article, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Leipzig-Churches-Petzold.pdf. My article explains the recent movement to study Bach's spirituality and Petzoldt's work, especially his Bach Commentaries.

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 28, 2014):
Cantata BWV 58 - Revised & Updated Discography

The discography pages of Cantata BWV 58 “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” [II] for solo soprano & bass, 2 oboes, taille, 2 violins, viola & continuo on the BCW has been revised and updated. See:
Complete Recordings (15): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV58.htm
Recordings of Individual Movements (3): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV58-2.htm
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this solo cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 58 missing from these pages, or want to correct/add details of a recording already presented on the BCW, please do not hesitate to inform me.

William Hoffman wrote (April 29, 2014):
Cantata 58: Chorales and Opera in the Church

Bach’s final dialogue cantata in church cycle III, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache), BWV 58 for the Sunday after New Year’s in 1727 represents the culmination of a fusion of madrigaloperatic style with alternating recitatives and arias with the strophic, set-stanza style of the Lutheran chorale hymn. At the same time, the cantata blends the Gospel and Epistle lessons of Lutheran sufferings and joy, as revealed in the opening and closing soprano communal Soul chorale dialogue of distress with the bass Jesus aria of comfort. Besides a subdued small orchestra as well as perfect pyramid symmetrical form and harmonic, allegorical direction of descent and ascent, Bach uses a popular chorale melody in both dialogues, that has variant texts and tunes, to provide further unity for a subdued Sunday in Christmas Time following the festive New Year’s Day service. At the same time, Bach in Cantata 58 has achieved a new form of opera in the church service that paves the way to his sacred drama oratorios for the Good Friday annual Passion histories and the major feasts days of Christmas, Easter, and Ascension.

The Sunday after New Year's was first observed by the Church of the Reformation in the early part of the 17th Century. The day's position in the church year and its proximity to Epiphany led to the selection of the only remaining Gospel of the Infancy not otherwise appointed during Christmas Feast Time. This Gospel, Matthew 2: 13-23, is the account of the Flight into Egypt and the so-called Martyrdom of the Innocents, slain by Herod. While the Roman Catholic Holy Innocents Day was excluded from the Lutheran church year, Luther says this Gospel reading is important because of its teaching and its comfort. The teaching involves the battle between the forces of evil against the new Kingdom of God. The comfort is that Christ, his Word, and his Church shall defeat evil and possess the battlefield. The symbolic struggle, which occupied Bach in other teachings, most notably the angelic victory at the Feast of St. Michael, here on this Sunday is portrayed not as a celebratory victory but as a reflection on passion as suffering in both lessons: the suffering of the children of Bethlehem and the ultimate passion of the Child who was initially saved, and the ensuing suffering legacy of Christians in the day’s Epistle (1 Peter 4:12-19). (My source for these two paragraphs is Paul Zeller Strodach's The Church Year.1

This Sunday after New Year’s, also known as the Second Sunday after Christmas, has an alternate lectionary reading, although not used by Bach: Matthew 3:13-17 (Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan) and 1 Peter 3:20-22 (God’s patience in the time of Noah), observes Martin Petzoldt in BACH Commentar, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinity Fest.2

The other dominant characteristic in Bach's three extant church pieces for this Sunday after New Year's is the central role of the chorale: three plain chorales in Cantata BWV 153 (Mvts. 1, 5 and 9), two in the fifth part of the Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248/V (Mvts. 4 and 11), and the duet Jesus-Soul chorale fantasias opening and closing Cantata BWV 58 (Mvt. 1 and 5). In keeping with the emphasis on suffering, the chosen chorales are vested with the theme of Christian suffering and Christ's Passion. It is quite possible that the libretto for all three extant works involved not a single poet but the collaboration of the composer Bach, the preacher of the day's sermon, Christian Weiss, and possibly the poet Picander, who also may have been involved in the New Year's Day cantata performed the previous day, BWV 190. It is also quite possible that all three collaborated in the text of the St. Matthew and St. Mark Passions, as well, to achieve a more perfect well-regulated church music.

Martin Moller’s 18-stanza 1581 hymn, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” (Ah God, how many a heartache), is listed in Bach’s Neu Leipzger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682 as No. 282 in the omnes tempore section as No. 282 under the heading “Cross, Persecution, & Challenges,” and is entirely appropriate in the pivotal time of omens of Jesus’ coming Passion. The specific chorales in Bach's three works (BWV 153 [1724], 58 [1727], and 248/V) were well-suited for the Sunday after New Year, says Günter Stiller in JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig (p. 237) as well as the ensuing transitional Epiphany season leading to Lent.

Stiller points out that the hymn "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" is used in both Cantatas BWV 58/1 (Stanza 1) and 153/9 (Stanzas 16-18) and is often listed in contemporary hymn books under the heading of "Cross, Persecution, Tribulation." Moller’s German text and Francis Browne’s English translation of "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale065-Eng3.htm. Opening Cantata 58, the first verse is sung as a soprano Soul chorale with the chorale theme also played in the instruments, against the bass (Jesus) poetic aria “Nur Geduld, Geduld, mein Herze” (Only patience, only patience, my heart). In Cantata 153, “Schau lieber Gott, wie meine Feind / So listig und so mächtig seind, (Behold, dear God, how my enemies / are so cunning and powerful), closes with a plain chorale setting of the final three stanzas of Moller’s hymn, beginning “Drum will ich, weil ich lebe noch” (Therefore I want, while I still live). Moller’s hymn is set to the anonymous 1455 melody “Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II” (Lord Jesus Christ, light of my life) Zahn melody 533a, EKG 317. As described herein, there are two different but associated texts (found in Cantata 58/1 & 5) set to three different melodies and described on-line at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Jesu-Christ-meins-Lebens-Licht.htm.

Cantata 58 closes with the same melody, “Herr [or O] Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II,” set to the 1610 associated text of Martin Behm, Stanza 2, “Ich hab für mir ein schwere Reis” (I have before me a difficult journey) and sung by the soprano to the bass (Jesus) poetic aria, “Nur getrost, getrost, ihr Herzen” (Be comforted, be comforted, you hearts). Behm’s German text and Francis Browne English translation, see BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale067-Eng3.htm. Te origin of Behm’s text is found in Chares Sanford Terry’s Bach’s Chorals, vol. 2.3 “The words of the Choral are the second stanza of Martin Behm’s funerary Hymn, “O [Herr] Jesu Christ, mein’s Lebens Licht,” first published in a collection entitled Christliche Gebet (1610), and thence in his Zehen Sterbegebet Reimweise zugerichtet (Wittenberg, 1611).[250]

Behm was born at Lauban, in Silesia, in 1557. He was assistant in the Town school, deacon, and eventually chief pastor there. He died in 1622. He was one of the best and most prolific hymn writers of his period.

Bach's setting of Stanza 1 of “Herr [or O] Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II,” in Martin Behm's 1610 14-stanza text set to Seth Calvisius' 1594 adaptation of the melody Rex Christe factor omnium is found in his funeral motet, BWV 118, as well as various cantata settings of two alternate texts and two melodies (see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Jesu-Christ-meins-Lebens-Licht.htm). The full German text and Francis Browne's English translation is found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale067-Eng3.htm. Bach also harmonized Behm's melody in his chorale, BWV 399 in B Major, also known as "O Jesu, du, mein Bräutigam" (O Jesu, thou, my bridegroom), associated with Johann Heermann's 1630 hymn of 12 four-line stanzas by C.P.E. Bach in his 1786 publication of his father's 371 plain chorales. Chorale, BWV 399. Picander's cantata cycle published text (1728) for the 13th Sunday after Trinity, August 22, 1728, Cantata P-56; "Können meine nassen Wangen," closes with chorale,< Herr/O Jesu Christ, meines Lebens Leben> (Lord/O Jesus Christ, my Life's Life), using Stanza 11, "Auf deinen Abschied, Herr, ich trau'" (In your farewell, Lord, I place my trust). The Behm-Chymn setting is found the NLGB Hymn Book as No. 374 in the final, Miscellaneous section as a sacred journey of Christian death to eternal life. It carries the double title of <Herr/O Jesu Christ, meines Lebens Leben> and O Jesu, du, mein Bräutigam" and is found in Volume 84, "Jesus Hymns" (per omnes versus) of the Hanssler Complete Bach Edition of CDs. The associated Zahn melodies are 423, 533a and 762.

The opening stanza of Moller’s "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" is adapted as a tenor continuo chorale aria to the associated melody, “Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht II,” in the Mvt. 4 of Cantata BWV 44, “Sie Werden euch in den Bach tun I” (They will banish you) for the Sixth Sunday after Easter (Exaudi, also Sunday after Ascension), 1724, libretto possibly by Christian Weise Sr.

Although not a true chorale cantata, BWV 58 is nominally part of the Chorale Cantata Cycle. Bach had used the chorale “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” as a traditional chorale cantata, BWV 3, in the pivotal Epiphany Time of the nearby Second Sunday after Epiphany, two years earlier than Cantata 58 in the second cycle, on January 14, 1725. Bach sets Cantata 3 in the traditional chorale cantata form with an opening chorale fantasia setting of the first stanza and a plain chorale setting in the closing Mvt. 6 of the final 18th Stanza, 18. “Erhalt mein Herz im Glauben rein” (Keep my heart pure in faith). In between, Bach’s anonymous librettist selectively paraphrases the nine of the remaining 16 stanzas into four movements for SATB chorale (Stanza 2) with recitative poetic paraphrase trope, bass da-capo aria, tenor recitative and soprano-alto da-capo duet.

The origins and usages of “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” are described in Chares Sanford Terry’s Bach’s Chorals, vol. 2 (Ibid.). “A Choral Cantata [BWV3], on the Hymn, “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid,” first published in Martin Moller’s Meditationes Sanctorum Patrum (Görlitz, 1587, 2nd ed.). The Hymn is a free paraphrase of Bernard of Clairvaulx’ “Jesu dulcis memoria,” attributed to Martin Moller. Moller was born at Kropstädt, near Wittenberg, in 1547, became Cantor at Lowenberg in Silesia and eventually deacon there. In 1600 he became chief pastor at Gorlitz, and died there in 1606. The Hymn is attributed also to Conrad Hojer, Sub-Prior at Mollenbeck, near Rinteln on the Weser. In the first, second, and last movements of the Cantata [BWV 3] Bach uses the melody generally known as “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid.” By prescriptive right it should bear the name of Martin Behm’s finest Hymn, “O [Herr] Jesu Christ, mein’s Lebens Licht,” first published in 1610. The earliest version of the tune is set to Behm’s Hymn in As hymnodus sacer (Leipzig, 1625). It bears, however, so close a resemblance to a Konigsberg ms. melody of 16021 that it must be considered a derivative of that tune or of some common source. The proper, and quite distinct, melody of “Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid” probably was composed by Bartholomäus Gesius and appeared first in his Ein ander new Opus Geistlicher Deutscher Lieder (Frankfort a. Oder, 1605).

Bach uses the melody also in Cantatas Nos. 44, 58, 118, and 153. Invariably he prefers the form of lines 1-3 in Joseph Clauder’s Psalmodia nova (Leipzig, 1630).”

The chorales used in the other two works for the Sunday after New Year’s, BWV 153 and 248/V, have various themes and associations. Cantata 153 opens with the plain chorale setting of the chorale melody “Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein” (David Psalm 12, “Christian Life & Conduct) and Mvt. 5 is a plain chorale setting of “Herzlich tut mich verlangen,” a variant of the Passion Chorale, “O sacred head now wounded” (O Haupt vollBlut und Wunden). In the 1734-35 Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248/V, Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen (Let honour to you, God, be sung) the plain chorales are “In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr” (Mvt. 4) and “Gott des Himmels und der Erden” (Mvt. 11). "Also well suited, for the settings of the Sunday after New Year's," Stiller says (Ibid.), is the Paul Gerhardt hymn "Befiel du deine Wege,” also a variant of the Passion Chorale "O sacred head now wounded.”

Opera in the Church

Bach’s operatic texts and influences in his Cycle III church cantatas for 1725-27, including Cantata 58, and the immediate Leipzig influences as well as the importance of the Italian-style opera texts developed and influenced by Erdmann Neumeister are the subject of Robin A. Leaver’s new Bach Jahrbuch 2013 article, “Oper in der Kirche.”4 Following the setting of Neumeister operatic texts set in Weimar, Bach set Menantes texts in Köthen and Cantata 204, “Ich bin in mir Vergnügt” (1726-27) as well as texts of Christiane Mariane von Zigler and Picander in Leipzig, observes Leaver (Ibid.: 195).

Among the Church Cantatas Cycle III (1725-27) set to libretti with Italian opera influences Bach used 20 published texts by Georg Christian Lehms (Darmstadt 1711), Rudolstadt (1726), Salomo Franck (1715), Erdmann Neumeister (1716) and J. F. Helbig (1720) as well as setting seven contemporary anonymous texts, some possibly by Picander. Leaver’s Tables of Cantata Libretti (Ibid: 202f) for 1725-27 are Georg Christian Lehms Darmstadt 1711, 9 cantatas (BWV 110, 57, 151, 16, 32, 13, 170, 35 & 157); Rudolstadt, 1726, seven cantatas (BWV 43, 39, 88, 187, 45, 102 & 17); one each of Neumeister (1716, BWV 28), Salomo Franck (1715, BWV 72), and J. F. Helbig (1720, BWV 47); as well as seven anonymous cantata texts (1726-27; 34a, 169, 56, 49, 98, 52& 58), some possibly by Picander. Leaver also notes (Ibid.: 197f) the operatic influences on Picander’s original ode adapted as the libretto to Cantata BWV 19, “Es erhub sich ein Streit” (There arose a strife) in the middle recitatives and tenor aria with chorale melody for The Feast of St. Michael’s, September 29, 1726.

Leaver shows the direct contemporary influences in Leipzig, particularly in a 1725 published cantata cycle (see http://vd18.de/de-sub-vd18/content/titleinfo/15258911 ) of Leipzig University theology student (1717-19) and music writer Gottfried Ephriam Scheibel (1696-1758). In Scheibel’s Purification cantata, “Licht des Lebens, leuchte mir,” the da-capo aria (Mvt. 5), “Schummert ein, ihr Augenlieder” shows strong influences on Bach’s aria, “Schummert ein, ihr matten Augen” (Rest in sleep, you weary eyes) in the solo Cantata BWV 82, “Ich habe genung” (I have enough), for the Feast of the Purification, February 2, 1727 (BCW Discussion March 16, 2014), which also appears in the Klavierbuch für Anna Magdalena (No. 34) for soprano, begun in 1725. Cantata 82 was repeated four times in Leipzig, 1731, 1735, c1746-47, and c.1747-8/48. Composer Christoph Gottlieb Schröter (1699-1782), who also was a Leipzig University student (1717-24), used Scheobel’s annual cycle text while organist at Minden (1726-32), says Leaver (Ibid.: Footnote 3, 172).

Further, the Scheibe Purifcation cantata form and movement types are similar to Bach’s Cycle III cantatas of alternating Italianate da capo arias with recitatives and church chorales: 1. da-capo aria, accompanied recitative, chorale, recitative, aria, recitative, arioso, chorale, Leaver points out (Ibid.: 173). Scheibel’s influence also is shown in his words “Jauchzet frohlocket” and “Tonet ihr Pauken” in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Cantata 214/1, 1733-34, says Leaver (Ibid.: 173).

Leaver points out influences of Neumeister’s 1716 published cycle are found in two Bach Cycle III 1726 cantatas: “Willkommen! will ich sagen” ("Welcome!" I want to say) from Neumeister’s libretto for the Sunday after Trinity is the incipit for Cantata BWV 27/3 alto free da-capo aria, and “Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen”(I would gladly bear the cross-beam) in Neumeister’s libretto for the 21st Sunday after Trinity is the incipit for Cantata BWV 56 for the 21st Sunday after Trinity (BCW Discussion March 29, 2014).

As a Leipzig University student from 1717 to 1719, Scheibel probably knew Johann Kuhnau at the Nikolaus, Thomas, and Pauline (university) churches and probably attended the first Leipzig performance of Telema’s operatice Brockes Passion Oratorio, TVWV 5:1, at the New Church on Good Friday, 1717, under the auspices of Johann Gottfried Vogler, church music director, says Leaver (Ibid.: 175

Following Neumeister’s innovation, Scheibel advocated for theatrical style in church music in 1721, “with a whole-hearted defense of stylistic unity,” says Joyce Irwin in “Bach in the midst of Religious Transition.” 5 “Although we cannot know whether Bach was aware of Scheibel’s work, Bach practiced much of what Scheibel advocated: the use of recitatives and arias for giving expression to religious affections, the adaptation of music used in secular contexts, and the concern for relating poetry and music skillfully and effectively,” says Irwin (Ibid.: 118).

FOOTNOTES

1Strodach, Studies in the Introits, Collects, Epistles and Gospels (United Lutheran Church, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 57ff).

2 See Petzoldt, Bach-Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke K ommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1.Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 333).
3 Terry, The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921). 3 vols. Vol. 2. April 28, 2014; Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 2 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts [1917] (Online Library of Liberty), scroll down to Cantata III.
4 See Leaver’s “Oper in der Kirche: Bach in der Kantatenstreit in der frühen 18. Jahrhundert” (Opera in the Church: Bach in the Cantata Argument of the Early 18th Century)” in the new Bach Jahrbuch 2013: 171- 203.
5 Irwin in Bach’s Changing World: Voices in the Community, ed. Carol K. Baron (University of Rochester [NY} Press, 2006: 115).

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 30, 2014):
Baptism of Christ

William Hoffman wrote:
< This Sunday after New Year’s, also known as the Second Sunday after Christmas, has an alternate lectionary reading, although not used by Bach: Matthew 3:13-17 (Jesus’ Baptism in the Jordan) and 1 Peter 3:20-22 (God’s patience in the time of Noah), observes Martin Petzoldt in BACH Commentar, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinity Fest.2 >
It is interesting that the theme of Christ's baptism is subsumed by the feast of John the Baptist for which Bach wrote four cantatas.

William Hoffman wrote (April 30, 2014):
[To Douglas Cowling] The most impressive music for this event is chorale Cantata 7, Luther's Baptist Hymn, "Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam" (Christ our Lord came to the Jordan). wIt as written by Martin Luther 1524-41. It has 7 stanzas and is listed in the NLGB No. 176, Catechism Baptism. See Francis Browne's English translation of the chorale, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale106-Eng3.htm. Luther's hymn is based on the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist in all four Gospels -- Mat. 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-22, and John 1:29-34 - as well as Christ's Great Commission to his disciples, Mat. 28-16-20 (Stanza 5). As Luther's last Catechism teaching hymn, it is titled: "A Spiritual Song of our Holy Baptism, which is a fine summary of What is it? (Stanzas 1, 4, 7) Who established it? (Stanzas 2, 3) What are its benefits? (Stanzas 5-6)."

Bach set Stanza 1 in the opening chorale fantasia of chorale Cantata BWV 7 (1724, Feast of John the Baptist), and Stanza 7, "Das Aug' allein das Wasser seiht" (The eye sees only water) in the closing plain chorale. Browne's translation of Cantata BWV 7 text paraphrasing Stanzas 2-6, is found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV7-Eng3P.htm.

The melody of 1541 is attributed to Luther colleague Johann Walther, as Zahn 7246, previously identified with "Es wolle Gott uns genädig sein" (May it be God's will to be gracious to us, Psalm 67), Zahn melody 7247, full details of the melody at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Christ-Jordan.htm. Walther's earlier 1524 melody to Luther's setting of Psalm 67 is a "general prayer for grace and blessing" while the latter "is an exposition of the specific grace and blessing of baptism," says Robin A. Leaver in <Luther's Liturgical Music (Grand Rapids MI: Eerdmann's Publishing, 2007: 138ff). This "theological association" may very well be why Luther used the redundant tune, emphasizing "musical hermeneutics" says Leaver. The English title is "To Jordan Came the Christ, Our Lord," No. 79, Epiphany, Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing, 1978).

Bach used the melody sung in the tenor in the opening chorale fantasia of Cantata BWV 7, his only such use in a cantata fantasia. He also harmonized the melody set to Stanza 7 in the plain chorale in E minor/dorian/aeolian, closing Cantata 7, and as a free-standing plain chorale, BWV 280, in D minor/dorian/Aeolian, set to Luther's text. The Walther melody is set twice as a Catechism organ chorale (1739) in the Clavierübung III, liturgical German Catechism Organ Mass, BWV 684 with cantus firmus in bass in G minor 4/4, and BWV 685 "alio modo manualiter" in ¾ with modal progression. It is listed as a chorale prelude in the <Orgelbüchlein> collection (Weimar, c.1714) but not set. The melody is harmonized to the Paul Gerhardt Text No. 2, "Was alle Weisheit in der Welt" (What all knowledge in the World), Stanza 8, "Auf daß wir also allzugleich/ Zur Himmelspforten dringen" (In this way therefore we/ break through to the gates of heaven) in E-flat Major, plain chorale closing (No. 6), Cantata BWV 176, "Es ist ein trotzig and verzagt Ding" (There is something obstinate and desperate), for Trinity Sunday 1725.

The above comes from the BCW Cantata BWV 7, Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam
Discussions - Part 3; Week of January 20, 2013, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV7-D3.htm.
NB. The tenor continuo da-capo aria (No. 2) in Cantata 7, "Merkt und hört, ihr Menschenkinder, / Was Gott selbst die Taufe heißt" (Mark and hear, children of mankind,/ what God himself calls baptism) is the anonymous librettist's poetic paraphrase of Luther's strophic Stanza 2,"So hört und merket alle wohl,/ Was Gott heißt selbst die Taufe (Therefore hear and mark well / what God himself calls baptism. This aria may have been parodied in Bach's St. Mark Passion in the aria "Welt und Himmel, nehmt zu Ohren" (Earth and heaven, listen) at the point were Jesus dies. Here is the adaptation perfromed on YouTube of the Alexander Ferdinand Grychtolik adaptation, http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF7301655EBD98F36.

Attention also pointed to the BCW Motets & Chorales for Feast of John the Baptist,
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-John.htm.

 

Cantata BWV 58: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5


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