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Cantata BWV 67
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of April 3, 2016 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (April 2, 2016):
Cantata 67, “Halt im Gedächtnis" Intro. & Quasimodogeniti

|Following the three-day Easter Festival, the Easter Season of readings from the Gospel of John commences with Quasimodogeniti (like newborn babes), or the First Sunday after Easter, when Bach premiered a new chorus cantata symmetrical form for the season in BWV 67, “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ,” (Keep in memory Jesus Christ) on April 16, 1724 in the first Leipzig cantata service cycle. The special form lasting only 15 minutes involves festive biblical dictum opening chorus with solo trumpet/horn, followed by a lovely tenor aria with oboe d’amore, “Mein Jesus ist erstanden” (My Jesus is arisen) and an unusual, extended dramatic scena of bass Vix Christi arioso, “Friede sei mit euch” (Peace be with you) in dialogue with an ATB chorus, “Wohl uns!” (How fortunate we are).1

Bach’s musical sermon features two appropriate, plain comfort and peace chorales, the central (no. 4) Nikolaus Herman 1560, “Der Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (The glorious day has appeared), and the closing (no. 7) Jakob Ebert 1601 “Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ” (You prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ). Cantata 67 was performed at the early main service at the Thomas Church, before the sermon of Pastor Christian Weise (1671-1736) on the gospel, John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to his disciples and Thomas doubts, says Martin Petzoldt in his Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.2

Quasimodogeniti, Cantata 67

Consider John Eliot Gardiner, notes to Vol. 23 (SDG 131) of the Pilgrimage cantata series.

<...with BWV 67 [Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead] we enter a different world. [...] Evidently much thought went into the planning of this impressive cantata, the first in a series of five leading up to Whit Sunday--almost a mimi-cycle within Bach’s first annual Leipzig Jahrgang of 1723/4 [...]. It begins with biblical dictum chorus and closes with plain chorale. The symmetrical form has a plain chorale in the middle (no. 4, surrounded by alternative pairs of arias and recitatives with [no. 6] a unique, dramatic scena of Vox Christi to the greeting to the disciples, “Friede sei mit euch” (Peace be with you).

Bach’s purpose in this scena is to depict the perplexed and vacillating feelings of Christ’s disciples, their hopes dashed after the Crucifixion, and to maintain the tension between Thomas legitimate doubts and the paramount need to keep faith [...].> Note that the parallels between spiritual tension of the texts and musical tension is a rewarding area of inquiry and appreciation, regardless of ones personal beliefs.

1. Chorus two-part choral fugues [SATB; Flauto traverso, Oboe d'amore I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ, der auferstanden ist von den Toten.” (Keep in memory Jesus Christ, who has risen from the dead; 2 Timothy 2:8)]; A Major; 2/2.
2. Aria two-part with ritornelli [Tenor; Oboe d'amore I, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: A. “Mein Jesus ist erstanden, / Allein, was schreckt mich noch?” (My Jesus is arisen, / so what still frightens me?; B. “Mein Glaube kennt des Heilands Sieg” (My faith knows that my Saviour is victorious); E Major to e minor; 4/4.
3. Recitative secco [Alto, Continuo]: “Mein Jesu, heißest du des Todes Gift” (My Jesus, you are called death's poison); c# minor to f# minor, 4/4.
4. Chorale plain [SATB; Corno da tirarsi e Flauto traverso e Oboe d'amore e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe d'amore II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo; “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (The glorious day has appeared); b minor to f# minor; ¾.
5. Recitative secco [Alto, Continuo]: “Doch scheinet fast, / Dass mich der Feinde Rest, / Den ich zu groß und allzu schrecklich finde / Nicht ruhig bleiben lässt.” (Yet it almost seems / that the enemies who remain, / whom I find too powerful and only too frightening, / do not let me stay in peace.); c# minor to A Major; 4/4.
6. Aria scena [Bass arioso Vox Christi] and Chorus [SAT; Flauto traverso, Oboe d'amore I/II, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo): ¾ Bass: “Friede sei mit euch!” Peace be with you!”; 4/4 SAT Chorus: “Wohl uns! Jesus hilft uns kämpfen/ Und die Wut der Feinde dämpfen,” (How fortunate we are! Jesus helps us to fight / and to subdue the rage of the enemy; A Major.
7. Chorale [SATB; Corno da tirarsi e Flauto traverso e Oboe d'amore e Violino I col Soprano, Oboe d'amore II e Violino II coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo]: “Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ” (You prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ); A Major; 4/4.

Quasimodogeniti (1st Sunday after Easter)

The first Sunday After Easter, Quasimodogeniti, (As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word), as the Octave of the Resurrection, concludes the Feast of Easter and begins the Johannine Christological transformation of Jesus Christ, completing his earthly life and ministry and the second half of the Great Parabola, the ascent following the descent and the kenosis or emptying.

The Gospel for Quasimodogeniti, John 20: 19-31, Christ Appears to the Disciples, and the Epistle, I John 4:5-12, Faith through Testimony, emphasize the process of collective, committed living Baptism, beginning with the symbolic wearing of white, for This White Sunday and White Week. The German text of Luther’s 1545 translation and the English Authorised (King James) Version 1611 is found at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Quasimodogeniti.htm. The polyphonic setting of the Introit is Psalm 116, Dilexi quoniam (I love the Lord), says Petzoldt (Ibid.) and the text is found at http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Psalms-Chapter-116/

Liturgical Comments

Written for the First Sunday after Easter. The name “Quasimodogeniti” Sunday comes from the opening words of the Latin introit, “Quasi modo geniti infantes” (Trivia: Victor Hugo’s hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame was given the name, Quasimodo, because he was found as an abandoned infant on that Sunday). The 2nd Sunday of Easter, or First Sunday after Easter, is also known as Quasimodogeniti Sunday. Quasimodogeniti being Latin for "Like newborn babes," it is the opening phrase of the Introit appointed for the church's worship today - "Like newborn babes desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2: 2-3).

“Peace be with you” is the basic theme in Bach’s cantatas or musical sermons for Quasimodogeniti, BWV 67 in 1724 and BWV 42 in 1725), and perhaps the emblematic theme for the sermon preacher, Christian Weiss Sr. at St. Thomas. It is Christ’s post-Resurrection first greeting to his disciples, Luke 24:36 (“Friede sei mit euch”), the Gospel for Easter Tuesday, and the corresponding greeting, John 20:21 (“Der Friede sei mit dir”), the Gospel for Quasimodogeniti. Bach also sounds the theme from John in the opening (and closing) of the beginning recitative of Cantata BWV 158 for Easter Tuesday 1725.

Bach uses comfort and peace-related chorales for both Quasimodogeniti Cantatas 67 and 42, which, like the 1724 Cantata 6 for Easter Monday 1724, are in the traditional cantata form (biblical dictum/internal chorale) of the first cantata cycle of 1723-24. In Cantata 67, “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ,” he uses the four-pasetting of the Easter chorale Hermann’s “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (No. 4) and closes with Ebert’s “Du Friedefürst,” Herr Jesu Christ” (No. 7, Stanza 1).

“Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” would have been most appropriate as a chorale cantata setting, although it has 14 stanzas requiring the middle 12 to be paraphrased in four movements (two recitatives and two arias). It is listed as the hymn for Chancel, Communion or Closing for Quasimodogeniti Sunday in Leipzig, as well as for Easter Tuesday and the Third and Fourth Sundays After Easter Sunday. Other Bach settings are BWV 629, chorale prelude in the Orgelbüchlein (OB 38), composed in Weimar 1712-13, and the closing chorale (No. 5) of Cantata BWV 145 (Stanza 14). It is one of three chorales specifically listed in Leipzig hymn books for Easter Tuesday.

“Du Friedefürst,” Herr Jesu Christ” is an <omnes tempore> chorale best known as Chorale Cantata BWV 116 for the 25th Sunday After Trinity in 1724. The chorale is also listed for Easter Tuesday in the Dresden hymn schedules (Stiller, ibid. 240). Bach’s earliest setting of “Du Friedefürst,” is as a Neumeister Chorale prelude, BWV 1102, c.1700. This chorale and the <omnes tempore> chorale, Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deine Wort,” also appear in the Neumeister Collection as BWV 1103. That chorale is the basis of Chorale Cantata BWV 126 for Sexagesima Sunday, Feb. 4 1725, one of Bach’s last second cycle chorale cantatas using paraphrases.

In 1725, for Cantata BWV 42, Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats” Bach uses two <omnes tempore> chorales, “Versage nicht, O Häuflein,” as a chorale duet (No. 4), and closes with the plain chorale (No. 6), “Verleih uns Frieden, gnädiglich”

“Versage nicht, O Häuflein” (O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe), <Stiller> 240, Dresden E3; BWV 42/4(S.1) E1, is Stanza 1 of the ?Fabricus text that may be a marching song of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. The melody is derived from “Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes Sohn” (Dürr <JSB Cantatas> 297, Whittaker <JSB Cantatas> I:298 ref. Terry Bach’s Chorales). Grunwald’s text, “Kommt her zu mir,” is based on Mat. 11:28, Jesus preaching. Thus the Fabricus texts and Grunwald tune have the related themes of comfort and peace.

Luther’s prayer for peace “Verleih uns Frieden” (Grant us peace, Dona nobis pacem) is a setting of the plainsong melody “Veni redemptor gentius,” and a textual translation of the Latin antiphon litany, “Da pacem Domine.” Bach’s other four-part setting closes Chorale Cantata 126, “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” (Lead us, Lord, with Thy Word) for Sexigeisma Sunday 1725. Luther’s text also is the closing chorale (No. 6) in Bach’s lost Cantata BWV 4a, “Wünschet Jerusalem Glück,” for the Town Council Installation in August 1725, to a Picander setting.

Quasimodogeniti Chorales

For Quasimodogeniti (First Sunday After Easter), Bach composed only two works and omitted chorales from other works since only general Easter chorales are required for this Sunday.

1724: 67, 4 Hermann “Erschienen ist” (S.1), 7. Ebert “Du Friedefürst” (S.1) (Weiss?) CC Tr.25
1725: 42, 4, Fabricus “Versage nicht” (S.1), 7. Luther “Verleih uns Frieden” (S.1) (Weiss?) (1 v. only)
1726: JLB-6 no chorale
1729: P-31 no chorale
1736-04-08 So Quasimodogeniti - G.H. Stölzel: Er heißet Friedefürst, auf daß seine Herrschaft groß werde, Mus. A 15:157 + Suche Friede, und jage ihm nach, Mus. A 15:158.

No chorale settings are found in the other two works associated with Bach for Quasimodogeniti. the First Sunday After Easter: 1726, Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-6, “Wie lieblich sind auf den Bergen,” and 1729, Picander text P-31, “Welt behalte du das Deine,” no music surviving.

EASTER 1 (Quasimodogeniti) (Cowling/Terry) has the following motets and hymns: Introit: “Quasimodo geniti” (LU 809), Motet: “Christus Resurgens”, “Jam Non Dicam”, “Tres Sunt”, Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”, Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”; and Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing: “Erscheinen ist der Herrlichen Tag”

The chorale <Ach blieb bei uns> is one of three used on Easter Monday in Leipzig (Stiller, 240). The other two, although not used by Bach on that date but later in the Easter season, are< Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag> (14 stanzas) and <Wenn Mein Stündlien vorhanden ist>. (5 stanzas) Other chorales that have too many stanzas to paraphrase include “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag,” ¾, 14 verses, and “Erstanden ist der Heil’ge Christ, der den Tod,” 3/4 which has varying numbers of stanzas, 19 in one version, and intersperses four “Hallelujahs” in each stanza.

It is possible that Bach had little interest in setting the hymn <Ach blieb bei uns> as a chorale cantata since its four-line nine-stanza text has little to do with the Easter season, being more appropriate for Reformation Day or as an Evening Song or for the Word of God or Christian Church

Easter Season: John’s Gospel

With the exception of the Three Days of Easter and Ascension Day, all of the gospel readings during the fifty days of the Easter season are from the Gospel of John. This is the pattern inherited from the pre-Reformation church and confirmed by Luther. The gospel and Bach’s Cantatas for each Sunday are:

Quasimodogeniti [1st Sunday after Easter, "As newborn babes"] John 20: 19-31, Christ Appears to Disciples; BWV 67, 42
Misericordias Domini [2nd Sunday after Easter, "Goodness/tender mercies"] John 10: 12-16, Good Shepherd; BWV 104, 85, 112
Jubilate [3rd Sunday after Easter, "Make a joyful noise"] John 16: 16-23, Christ's Farewell; BWV 12, 103, 146 (224)
Cantate [4th Sunday after Easter, "Sing"] John 16: 5-15, Work of the Spirit; BWV 166, 108
Rogate [5th Sunday after Easter, "Pray"] John 16: 23-30, Christ's Promise to the Disciples; BWV 86, 87
Ascension Day Mark 16: 14-20; BWV 37, 128, 43, 11
Exaudi [Sunday after Ascension, "Hear"] John 15: 26 - 16: 4, Spirit will come; BWV 44, 183
Whit Sunday [1st Day of Pentecost] John 14: 23-31, Promise of the Spirit; BWV 172, 59, 74, 34, 218
Whit Monday [2nd Day of Pentecost] John 3: 16-21, God so loved the world; BWV 173, 68, 174
Whit Tuesday [3rd Day of Pentecost] John 10: 1-10, Parable of Sheep; BWV 184, 175

Notes on Cantata 67 Movements

Cantata 67 Notes on Movements are found in Douglas Cowling’s BCML Intro. to Weekly Discussions, Part 3, (August 15, 2010), http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67-D3.htm [edited]:

<<Mvt. 1: Chorus, “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ.” A glance at the music presented in the Easter season of 1724 above should put to rest the Exhausted Choir Hypothesis. This cantata has two difficult concerted choruses in addition to the two chorales. Bach was putting his performers through a marathon which attests to the high standard of performance which he could ask for in Leipzig. We brood on the problems of the “Eintwurff” far too much. The Leipzig musical infrastructure was professional and more than capable of meeting Bach¹s extraordinary demands. Bach doesn¹t even give the boys a break in this chorus by using a simple sustained chorale as cantus firmus!
Mvt. 2: Aria, ²Mein Jesus ist erstanden.²
Mvt. 3: Recitative, ²Mein Jesu, heißest du des Todes Gift.² From a purely literary point of view, it could be suggested that the order of the recitative and aria have been reversed. The alto seems to gesture back to the opening chorus in recit¹s closing line, ³The song of praise we have been singing² If the aria followed the recitative, the final line would be ³Appear, my Savior, now!² which the chorale answers with ³Appeared is now the glorious day².
Mvt. 4: Chorale ,²Erschienen ist herrlich Tag.² This familiar chorale was sung throughout the Easter season which ended for Bach on Ascension Day (see chorale outline above). For Bach¹s listeners, the first verse of the chorale in the middle of this cantata was a premonition that they would sing the full hymn later in the service. Bach transposes the melody up a major third which carries the soprano line up to a high F#. Was that an aural signal to the congregation not to attempt to sing along?
Mvt. 5: Recitative, ²Doch scheinet fast.²
Mvt. 6: Aria & Chorus, ²Friede sei mit euch.² Bach adapts this chorus as the ³Gloria in Excelsis² for the Mass in A Major (BWV 234) and produces a movement probably without precedent in the history of the mass. Where many composers used the opening ³Gloria in Excelsis² as a ritornello which returns to interrupt the movement (Beethoven¹s ³Missa Solemnis² is a late example), Bach uses the recurring ³Adagio² to interrupt the rejoicing of the ³Gloria². A comparison reveals Bach¹s brilliant rhetorical device of juxtaposing the extrovert Allegro/Vivace section (A) with the reflective Adagio (B).
Mvt. 7: Chorale, ²Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ.² In the first chorale of this cantata, Bach sets up a dynamic interface with his listeners by using a chorale that they themselves will sing later in the same service. In contrast, his use of this chorale is not determined by its liturgical context but by its thematic reference to Christ as the ³Prince of Peace², a theological extension of Christ¹s words, ³Peace be with you.² This theological approach allows him to use a chorale which was not associated with the Easter season and which would have drawn its listeners¹ attention precisely for its novel appearance. Bach used the same chorale in the disparate cantatas BWV 116 for Trinity 25 and BWV 143 for New Year¹s Day. In both cantatas, the reference to Christ as the Prince of Peace triggers the association with ³Du Friedefürst² in Bach¹s mind.>>

Cantata 67 Librettist, Link to SJP

The author of the libretto and a possible connection to the St. John Passion performed on Good Friday are the two questions posed by Peter Smaill in Cantata 67 BCML Weekly Discussion Part 2 (April 2, 2006), http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67-D2.htm. << Two very open questions regarding this Cantata, "Halt in Gedaechtnis Jesum Christ," observed by all commentators as particularly effective in its dramatic construction. Firstly, who wrote the libretto? And, the second, possibly an underexploited line of enquiry, is there some evidence that the compositional methods of in BWV 67 (and indeed last week's BWV 134) relate to the style, techniques and theology of the SJP, performed for the first time on 7 April 1724?

As regards BWV 134," Ein Herz, das seinen jesum lebend weiss", for 11 April 1724, Bach 's librettist (as discussed) employs on a small scale a palindromic or chiastic structure, as is majestically revealed in the SJP where the focus is the Chorale, "Durch dein Gefaegnis."

The SJP has also been analysed in terms of gematria by William H Scheide and others. BWV 134 would also be an interesting subject for this controversial approach but in passing it is noteworthy that the second tenor recitative consists of fourteen lines, the number associated with the number of movemenin Bach's first cantatas at Leipzig, BWV 75 and BWV 76, and in gematria terms the number for BACH, revealed by Smend to be the number of notes in the two canonic parts in the Haussman portrait (he also spotted that there are fourteen buttons on the jacket in this famous representation of the composer!).

With BWV 67 the connectivity is perhaps so obvious that it is not much analysed; in BWV 67/6 for Quasimodogeniti, 16 April 1724, there is the exquisite alternation of a Bass voice (representing Christ) and a turba-like orchestral and choral activity, as it were depicting the crowd transformed into the believing multitude after the agonies of doubt and despair.

These techniques rarely appear in the Cantatas but the proximity to the SJP with its turba passages and Bass representation suggests that Bach and his librettist wished to extend the dramatic personification of Christ into the post Passion narratives following Easter. (The nearest comparator to BWV 66 is the "tumult" image in BWV 27 of 1726, "Wer weisse wie nahe mir mein Ende," but there it is the believer who imparts the peaceful response, not Jesus.)

As to poetic structure, BWV 67 is, like BWV 134, of unusual structure and both conform to the "Christus Victor" conception of the Passion. The extreme simplicity of the final chorale, creating a devotional response to the highly-wrought musical drama of the dialogue BWV 67/6, is a masterstroke by Bach, as is the devotional impact of "Ach Herr, lass dein' leib engelein" of the SJP (BWV 245).

Who wrote the exceptionally effective libretto ("One of his greatest and most original cantatas"(Alfred Dürr: No suggestion; W. Gillies Whittaker: Christian Weiss, Sr. (?); Malcolm Boyd (Nicholas Anderson): perhaps Salomo Franck; Mel Unger: perhaps Salomon (sic) Franck; Stephen Daw: supposed to be by Christian Weiss (due to structure-but BWV 67/6 has to be classified as an aria to be so!). The jury is out!

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 2, 2006): Here are a few others to add to the list:

*Philipp Spitta (1873-1880s) : "it is reminiscent of Franck's manner, and if Picander worte, it is better than anything else that he had written."
*BWV Verzeichnis (1998) Unknown librettist (Dürr is one of the most important editors of this volume)
*NBA KB I/11.1 (1989) p. 41 "librettist is not identified" The text exists in the form of one of Bach's text booklets (1724) which were printed for use by the congregation, but no author is mentioned". Reinmar Emans is the editor of the KB. He continues: "The following poets have been considered as possibilities:
1. Christian Weiß, Sr. (in Werner Neumann's "Handbuch der Kantaten Joh. Seb. Bachs" Leipzig, 1967; in the 4th edition of Werner Neumann's "Sämtliche von Johann Sebastian Bach vertonte Texte", Leipzig, 1974, this conjecture no longer appears.
2. Christian Weise and/or J. S. Bach in Wolfgang Schmieder's BWV, Leipzig 1950.
3. Mariane von Ziegler in Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini's "Sudi sui testi delle cantate sacre di J. S. Bach" Padua, 1956, pp. 115ff. (This was based upon some textual correspondences in the group of cantatas BWV 67, BWV 166, BWV 86, BWV 37 and BWV 44." [End of KB].
4. Konrad Küster "Bach Handbuch" 1999, pp. 230-231: No reference whatsoever to the librettist whether unknown or conjectured

Christoph Wolff/Ton Koopman "Die Welt der Bach Kantaten" 1999 No information about the possible author or that the author is unknown.<<

FOOTNOTES

1 Cantata 67 BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67.htm. Score Vocal & Piano [2.21 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV067-V&P.pdf, Score BGA [2.99 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV067-BGA.pdf. BGA XVI (Cantatas 61-70, Wilhelm Rust, 1868), NBA KB I/11.1 (Quasimodogeniti, Reinmar Emans, 1989), Bach Compendium, BC, Zwang K 66.
2 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).
3 Gardiner notes, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P23c[sdg131_gb].pdf; BCW Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-Rec4.htm#P23.

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To Come: Easter Season texts and Motets & Chorales for Quasimodogeiti.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 3, 2016):
The final chorale of this work is so seemingly artless that only one of the commentators has anything to say about it; yet the juxtaposition of "Du Friedefuerst, Herr Jesu Christ" with the vox Christi arioso, "Friede sei mit euch", is a masterpiece in terms of atmosphere and relaxation of the tension created in the preceding, animated, dialogue. Here is Hans-Joachim Schulze (my translation)

"Der Schlusschoral “Du friedefurst Herr Jesu Christ” bildet ein nachhaltige Bekraeftigung. Erwartungsmass erscheint er in shlichtem vierstimmigen Satz, hier jedoch so einfach gelegt, dass zu fragen bleibt, ob Bach ihn- wie es gelegentlich vorkommt-einen aelteren Quelle entnommen hat."

"The closing Chorale is a confirmatory affirmation "O Jesu Christ, Thou Prince of Peace". Christ appears here in such a straightforward harmonisation such that the question remains to be asked- as happens occasionally with Bach- whether he has taken the Chorale from an older source in a very simple four-part setting."

Another antique setting that come to mind is the Rosenmuller "Welt Ade, ich bin dein Mude" in BWV 27, also occurring after the depiction as in BWV 67 of the "Weltgetummel". Is this pure coincidence or a deliberate archaism, harking back to olden times amidst the tumult?

Luke Dahn wrote (April 3, 2016):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Another antique setting that come to mind is the Rosenmuller "Welt Ade, ich bin dein Mude" in BWV 27, also occurring after the depiction as in BWV 67 of the "Weltgetummel". Is this pure coincidence or a deliberate archaism, harking back to olden times amidst the tumult? >
It's worth pointing out the setting of "Welt Ade" from BWV 27 is a verbatim presentation of the hymn as it appears in the 1682 version of the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch, (including the same key). This is not the case for either of the two chorales in BWV 67, both of which are presented in a rather straightforward, hymn-like fashion.

I believe that Bach used settings from the NLGB on at least one other occasion.

William Hoffman wrote (April 4, 2016):
Cantata 67, Easter Season Crisis & Easter Chorales

Besides all the other explanations -- both external and internal -- for Bach’s cessation of the chorale cantata cycle (1724-25) at the beginning of the 1725 Easter season, three-fourths completed, Bach may have had already on hand non-chorale cantata texts in the forms of the first cycle chorus cantatas, some begun a year before.

Bach apparently reached a crisis in composition of service cantatas at the Easter Season 1724 of his first Leipzig cycle, observes John Eliot Gardiner in his recent Bach musical biography, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (New York: Alfred A, Knopf, 2013: 312f). We “can only guess whether this was because Bach had received a stern theological reproof [possibly from the town council] or was simply a consequence of his having overextended himself” with the required – and desired -- St. John Passion composition for Good Friday, April 7.

For the “Great Fifty Days” of 14 Easter Season services in a season of contrasts involving eight feast days of Easter (three), Pentecost (three), Ascension and Trinityfest Sunday, Bach had on hand only a handful of previous compositions for reperformances: Cantatas 4 and 31 for Easter Sunday, Cantatas 172 and 59 for Pentecost Sunday, and Cantata 12 for Jubilate Sunday (3rd after Easter). Bach’s original plan possibly envisioned composing a mini-cycle of structured musical sermons beginning with a biblical dictum chorus, closing with a plan chorale and having a plain chorale in the middle, surrounded by a pair of alternating arias and recitatives.

“For whatever reason, Bach was not able to keep to his original plan for a through-composed sequence and as a consequence we find him being forced into makeshift-solutions – resorting to” reperforming the previously five composed cantatas as well as adaptation through parody with new-text underlay of festive Cothen serenades appropriate for Easter and Pentecost Mondays and Tuesdays and the Trinity Festival (BWV 66, 134; 173, 184; 194). Meanwhile, Bach had solicited texts for the needed five of the six Sundays after Easter as well as Ascension Day (BWV 67, 104, 166, 86, 37, and 44) in the new structure by a still-unknown librettist, possibly St. Thomas pastor Christian Weise Sr.

In addition, in the same structure are texts for Cantatas 6 (Easter Monday), 42 (Quasimodogeniti) and 85 (Misericordias), which were performed a year later in 1725 in lieu of chorale cantatas in the second cycle. These “texts may have been taken from a collection originally reserved for the first cycle, and nine cantatas with texts by Christiane Mariane von Ziegler (BWV 103, 108, 87, 128, 183, 74, 68, 175, 176)” from Jubilate to Trinityfest. In 1725, it “seems, then, that Bach planned this new sequence as a way of completing his first cycle in a more satisfactory way than had been possible in the spring of 1724, this time mirroring the liturgical character of the ‘Great Fifth Days’ unified by the preponderance of texts drawn from St John’s Gospel,” says Gardiner.

These nine Ziegler texts “may have been planned as sequels to the John Passion the previous year,” says Gardiner (Ibid.: 333). The last of the newly composed 1724 first cycle work, Cantata 44, shares the same design with the trio of 1725 cantatas (BWV 6, 42, and 85) and “in the emphasis placed on Christian suffering in the world,” observes Gardiner, citing Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of JSB (2005: 33). “This leads to the conclusion that Bach originally intended those three cantatas to be incorporated into his First Leipzig Cycle along with BWV 44 . . . but they had not been set to music until now – casualties of the fallout from the John Passion in 1724.

Thus, in lieu of new chorale cantata composition for the 1725 Easter Season, Bach initially presented a repeat of Cantata 4 for Easter Sunday, with a new parody composition, the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249, Cantata 6 for Easter Monday, and reworked Weimar Cantata 58 for Easter Tuesday. For the Sundays after Easter, Bach presented new compositions, Cantatas 42 and 85, followed by Ziegler’s nine cantatas, beginning with BWV 103.

Cantata 67 & Easter Season Tension

For the first Sunday after Easter (Quasimodogeniti) 1724, Cantata BWV 67, “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ,” (Keep in memory Jesus Christ), for Quasimodogeniti, “is especially impressive,” says Gardiner (Ibid.: 312). The “music vibrates with a pulsating rhythmic energy and a wealth of invention.” “Bach’s purpose in this scena is to depict the perplexed and vacillating feelings of Christ’s disciples, their hopes dashed after the Crucifixion, and to maintain the tension between Thomas’ legitimate doubts and the paramount need to keep faith,” Gardiner says in his earlier liner notes ( BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P23c[sdg131_gb].pdf, Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-Rec4.htm#P23). “Note that the parallels between spiritual tension of the texts and musical tension is a rewarding area of inquiry and appreciation, regardless of ones personal beliefs.”

Cantata 67 “reflects the Easter season contrasting tension of hope and joy with doubt and perplexity in the Johannine gospels. Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, “we enter a different world. [...] Evidently much thought went into the planning of this impressive cantata, the first in a series of five leading up to Whit Sunday -- almost a mini-cycle withiBach’s first annual Leipzig Jahrgang of 1723/4 [...]. [no. 6] a unique, dramatic scena of Vox Christi to the greeting to the disciples, ‘Friede sei mit euch’ (Peace be with you).”

-----------------

Chorale Cantata Settings for the Easter Season1

Chorale settings were essential to Bach’s well-regulated and -appointed church music to the glory of God. The diversity of his treatment in both the musical form embracing chorales and the range of sacred song use is without parallel. In particular, Bach focused on the <de tempore> or seasonal settings for the main Sunday and festival services, particularly the principal chorale, called gradual hymn, sung between the two biblical readings of the Epistle and the Gospel. The< omnes temporary> or Ordinary Time hymns were appropriate for any season, particularly the half-year Trinity season of the thematic teachings and works of Jesus Christ, and were most appropriate for evening vesper services.

Beginning with his settings of both types of chorales in his organ prelude collection, the <Orgelbüchlein> (OB) or “Little Organ Book,” Bach favored the <de tempore> chorales for Christmas and Easter, two main festivals in the church year. Composed almost entirely in Weimar, the <Orgelbüchlein> sets only three of the nine Pentecost chorales Bach listed and neither for Ascension Day. “It is hard to explain why,” says Russell Stinson in <Bach, the Orgelbüchlein> (Oxford Univ. Press 1999: 27). A close examination (below) suggests reasons Bach may not have set well-known Pentecost chorales.

Emphasis on Easter is apparent in Bach’s later cantata settings using seasonal chorales found in Bach’s hymnbook with music and text, Das neu Leipziger Gesangbuch of 1682.2 For Easter, Bach composed 23 cantatas using Easter chorales and only six set as either organ preludes or four-part unattached chorales. Meanwhile, for Ascension Day and Pentecost, only eight cantatas or oratorios have appropriate chorales while 12 are set as individual preludes or hymns. Of the 17< omnes tempore> (Ordinary Time) chorales Bach used in cantatas for the Easter season, only three in the OB are for Ascension Day and one, “Du, o schones Weltgebaude,” is appropriate for Pentecost, another major festival.

Given this record during the Easter season, it seems problematic whether Bach in 1725 could have been able to set chorale cantatas for all 13 Easter season services, including seven feast days (three each Easter and Pentecost festivals and Trinity Sunday, the end of the de tempore half of the church year), if he had available, appropriate texts for internal arias and recitatives paraphrasing all but the first and last stanzas of the chosen chorale. The record shows that during the previous Easter season of 1724, Bach already had used major Easter Season chorales, with notable exceptions. For the Third Day (Tuesday) of the Easter Festival in 1724, Bach had used no chorale in Cantata 134 and none for Pentecost Monday in Cantata 173. Bach also omitted chorales in the Easter Oratorio, BWV 149, in 1725.

The record also shows that for any projected 1725 13 Easter Season chorale cantatas, Bach did provided chorale settings involving at least five cantatas:

*Two pure-hymn chorale cantatas, Cantata 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden,” for the Easter Festival, and Cantata 112, “Der Herr ist meine getreue Hirt,” for the Second Sunday After Easter 1725, completed about 1731.
*Two chorale opening choruses, BWV 128/1, “Aus Christi Himmelfahrt Allein,” for Ascension Day 1725, and BWV 68/1, “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt,” for Pentecost Tuesday in 1725;
*A chorale aria, “Ach bleib bei uns,” BWV 6/3, for Easter Monday 1725;
*Possibly later three pure-hymn chorale works: Cantata 100, “Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan,” for the Third Sunday After Easter; Cantata 117, “Sei Lob und Her dem Höchsten Gut,” for the Fifth Sunday After Easter; and Cantata 97, “In Allen meinen Taten,” for the Sixth Sunday After Easter, which Bach apparently began about 1725.

Sketches for the beginning of opening instrumental sinfonias for possibly chorale cantata fantasias for both the first and sixth Sundays after Easter (Quasimodogeniti and Exaudi) exist, suggesting that Bach at least considered the possibility of other chorale cantatas for the Easter season without selecting the particular hymn to be paraphrased and soliciting a libretto.

It is possible that Bach in the1725 Easter Season had no appropriate chorale choices for chorale cantatas for the First and Fourth Sundays After Easter and was limited in the possibilities for Easter and Pentecost Tuesdays, and the Third Sunday After Easter.

Complicating matters, various Easter chorales were challenging to set as chorale cantatas. Three lacked sufficient stanzas: Luther’s famous “Christ ist erstanden,” which has one three-part stanza (AAB), Luther’s “Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, der den” has only 3 verses, and the popular Pentecost chorale “Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt” has only one stanza. Other chorales that have too many stanzas to paraphrase include “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag,” ¾ time 14 verses, and “Erstanden ist der Heil’ge Christ, der den Tod,” ¾ time which has varying numbers of stanzas, 19 in one version, and intersperses four “Hallelujahs” in each stanza. “Komm, heiliger Geist, erfülle die Herzen deiner Glaübigen” listed as Orgelbüchlein OB 42 but not set, is a vespers litany response and is not found as a congregational hymn in later Lutheran hymn books.

Further complicating matters, in Leipzig service and Bach usage, certain Easter chorales could be sung throughout the season, later Easter Sundays had no designated chorales, and some were used to anticipate the succeeding Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost, as Bach had done with Epiphany chorales anticipating the three pre-Lenten “Gesima” Sundays. Cantata BWV 108, for the Fourth Sunday After Easter 1725 in the von Ziegler text, closes (No. 6) with Gerhardt’s Pentecost chorale, “Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist.” The chorale “Heut triumphiret Gottes Sohn” was the Introit hymn for the Easter Festival and the vespers hymn for Ascension Day. Beyond designated chorales for the three-day Pentecost festival, the second and third days have no dedicated chorales only for those two days.

A contributing musical factor, according to various Bach scholars, included Bach's weariness at composing 40 works in the severely-restricting form of the chorale cantata during nine monthly of unrelenting composition of all new works. Both Schweitzer (JS Bach II:245) and Whittaker (Cantatas of JSB I:435f) cite the rigid stanzas of chorale texts, usually ranging from four to eight, which create monotony among the choruses, arias, and recitatives, especially in da capo arias which need contrasting closing lines in the B section. Further, the chorale stanzas rarely made direct reference to the appointed Gospel or Epistle lessons for the service, despite Bach’s chorale cantata libettists’ skillful paraphrasing of the arias and recitatives.

Bach also seemed to have had little interest in the appointed chorales for the later Easter season cantatas. He did use Easter season chorales in his chorale preludes in the Orgelbüchlein and other collections for the church year (Günther Stiller, JSB & Liturgical Life in Leipzig, pp. 240f). He was simply expected to present settings of chorales appropriate to the season and the appointed gospel. The exception is "Komm heiliger Geist" for Pentecost. The other available chorales were rarely set more than once in the cantatas for this time period. Bach simply may not have been excited to set the Easter season chorales in chorale cantata form.

Fortunately, for Bach, his earliest service cantata compositions for Easter Sunday embraced the seasonal signature hymn, "Christ lays in bondage," particularly for the three-day Easter Festival. Besides treating all seven stanzas with variations on the melody in Cantata BWV 4 for the First Easter Day (Sunday)1724 and 1725, Bach used it to close Cantata BWV 158 for the Third Easter Day 1725, originally a Marian Feast work which he adapted from Weimar.

Other musical factors causing the cessation of the chorale cantata cycle could have been Bach's loss of the services of the librettist, who has never been identified. Also, Bach could have been concerned with the quality of the choir, which he finally outlined in his 1730 letter to his employer, the Town Council, on "a well-appointed church music." In addition, the Easter Season marked the end of the de tempore half of the church year and the conclusion of the St. Thomas School term when Bach was busy as part of his Cantor duties giving final exams; accounting for instruments, materials, and books; writing letters of recommendation and auditioning incoming students for the new school session which began the omnes tempore (Ordinary Time) of the church year on the First Sunday after Trinity, when in 1723 Bach began officially assumed his post his undertook duties.

FOOTNOTES

1 Original material is found at Cantata 104, BCML Discussions Parts 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV104-D3.htm
2 NLGB, BACH'S HYMN BOOK: Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch des Gottfried Vopelius (Leipzig 1682),"Berlin: Merseburger, 1969. ML 3168 G75.

THE EASTER SEASON IN LEIPZIG (Cowling)

Douglas Cowling’s listings, the Sunday Musical Context of Bach’s Cantatas in the Easter Season, based on Terry’s findings, conforms to a great extent with Stiller, EASTER SEASON CHORALES & Motets [Sundays after Easter Festival, with 1725 cantata music:]
EASTER 1 (Quasimodogeniti) No chorale
Introit: “Quasimodo geniti” (LU 809)
Motets: “Christus Resurgens,” “Jam Non Dicam,” “Tres Sunt “
Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Erscheinen ist der Herrlichen Tag”
EASTER 2 (Misericordia) Good Shepherd BC A 64 7 bar-sketch fantasia, “Der Herr is mein getreuer Hirt” CC112 5vv
Introit: “Misericordia Domini” (LU 816)
Motets: “Alleluja Serrexit,” “Surrexit Pastor Bonus”
Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Erscheinen ist der Herrlichen Tag”
EASTER 3 (Jubilate) CC100 Was Gott Tut 6 vv Rodigast
Introit: “Jubilate Deo Omnis Terra” (LU 821)
Motet: “Jubilate Deo Omnis Terra”
Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Erscheinen ist der Herrlichen Tag”
EASTER 4 (Cantate) No chorale
Introit: “Cantate Domino” (LU 826)
Motet: “Cantate Domino”
Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Erscheinen ist der Herrlichen Tag”
EASTER 5 (Rogate) Kommt her zu mir (86/3 1724; CC117 Sei Lob und Ehr (9 vv.) Appro. 4 E5 (86/6).
The title, “Sonntag Rogate”, does not come from the introit. It is a reference to the traditional pre-Reformation Rogation processions which blessed the newly-seeded fields but were suppressed by Luther. The theme of “asking” appears in the Gospel reading.
Introit: “Vocem Jucunditatis” (LU 830)
Motets: “Vocem Jucunditatis,” “Exivi a Patre,” “Pater Noster,” “Oremus Praeceptis
Hymn de Tempore: “Christ Lag in Todesbanden”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ ist Erstanden”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Vater Unser”
ASCENSION DAY (Himmelfahrt Thursday, 40th Day after Easter)
Introit: “Viri Galilaei” (LU 846)
Motet: “Omnes Gentes”
Hymn de Tempore: “Nun Freut Euch”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ fuhr gen Himmel”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Heut triumphiret Gottes Sohn,” “Du Lebensfürst,” “Aus Christi Himmelfahrt Allein”; cle chs. 128/1 von Ziegler 1725; 3vv “Gott fahret auf gen Himmel”
SUNDAY AFTER ASCENSION (Exaudi) Nun freut euch 10 vv. Luther (Communion) (BC A 80 6-bar sketch fantasia)
Introit: “Exaudi Domine” (LU854)
Motet: “Deus Adjutor Fortis,” “Exaudiet Te Dominus”
Hymn de Tempore: “Nun Freut Euch”
Pulpit Hymn: “Christ fuhr gen Himmel”
Hymns for Chancel, Communion& Closing: “Zeuch ein zu Thoren”
Easter Season Compositions, Gospels
Easter Season, Bach compositions (Cantata Cycles in parentheses (1), Chorale Cantata (CC):
1st Sunday After Easter, Quasimodogeniti, "As newborn babes" BWV 67(1), BWV 42(2), JLB 6(3)
2nd Sunday After Easter, Misericordias, Goodness/tender mercies (Shepherd) BWV 104(1), BWV 85(3), CC BWV 112(2) JLB 12(3)
3rd Sunday after Easter, Jubilate, "Make a joyful noise"; BWV 12(1), BWV 12(2), BWV 146(3)
4th Sunday after Easter, Kantate, "Sing"; BWV Anh. 191 BWV 166(1), BWV 108 (2), JLB 14(3)
5th Sunday after Easter 5. Rogate "Pray" BWV 86(1), BWV 87(2), JLB deest(3)
Ascension Day (Himmelfahrt) Festo ascensionis Christi BWV 37(1), BWV 128(2), BWV 43(3), BWV 11(5)
6th Sunday after Easter Exaudi "Hear" BWV 44(1), BWV 183(2), no JLB(3)
Douglas Cowling wrote (Readings, April 15, 2007):

With the exception of the Three Days of Easter and Ascension Day, all of the gospel readings during the fifty days of the Easter season are from the Gospel of John. This is the pattern inherited from the pre-Reformation church and confirmed by Luther.

Quasimodogeniti [1st Sunday after Easter, "As newborn babes"] John 20: 19-31, Christ Appears to Disciples;
Misericordias Domini [2nd Sunday after Easter, "Goodness/tender mercies"] John 10: 12-16, Good Shepherd;
Jubilate [3rd Sunday after Easter, "Make a joyful noise"] John 16: 16-23, Christ's Farewell;
Cantate [4th Sunday after Easter, "Sing"] John 16: 5-15, Work of the Spirit;
Rogate [5th Sunday after Easter, "Pray"] John 16: 23-30, Christ's Promise to the Disciples;
Ascension Day Mark 16: 14-20; BWV 37, 128, 43, 11
Exaudi [Sunday after Ascension, "Hear"] John 15: 26 - 16: 4, Spirit will come.

William Hoffman wrote (April 11, 2016):
Cantata 67: Notes on Text

Bach’s chorus Cantata BWV 67, “Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ, der auferstanden ist von den Toten.” (Keep in memory Jesus Christ, who has risen from the dead; 2 Timothy 2:8)] for Quasimodogeniti Sunday (First, Low Sunday after Easter) 1724, reveals that the unknown librettist, possibly Christan Weise Sr., relied extensively on the biblical writings of theologian Johann Olearius (1611-1684). This finding comes from Don O. Franklin’s essay, “’Recht Glaugben, Christlich Leben , Seelig Sterben’ (Righteous Faith, Christly Life, Blessed Death): Johann Olearius and the Libretto of Cantata 67” (BACH, Journal of the Remenschneider Bach Institute, Baldwin; XLVI: 1, 2015, 2-28). In addition, Franklin observes, Bach was influenced by the writings of Abraham Calov and Heinrich Müller, in his personal library.

The text is based upon the readings for this Sunday: Gospel, John 20: 19-31, Christ Appears to the Disciples, and the Epistle, I John 4:5-12, Faith through Testimony. The German text of Luther’s 1545 translation and the English Authorised (King James) Version 1611 is found at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Quasimodogeniti.htm. The first Sunday After Easter, Quasimodogeniti, (As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word), as the Octave of the Resurrection, concludes the Feast of Easter and begins the Johannine Christological transformation of Jesus Christ, completing his earthly life and ministry, and the second half of the Great Parabola of Jesus Christ, the ascent following the descent and the kenosis or emptying. The importance of the Olearius commentary was first pointed out by the late theologian and Bach scholar Martin Petzoldt, and most extensively in his Bach Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1. Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale BachakadStuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007).

“Immediately apparent from the reading of the cantata’s [BWV 67] libretto is that many of the themes are reminiscent of those of the St. John Passion, performed nine days earlier [Good Friday, April 1]: Jesus as Christus Victor in the Passion is here depicted as Jesus Victorious over death., says Franklin (Ibid.: 16). Just as Jesus’s victory on the cross was of “primary importance” in the BWV 245 libretto, “Jesus’s victory over death, the message of Easter,” is of “primary importance” in the Cantata 67 libretto. The key gospel phrase is (verse 19), “Friede sei mit euch” (Peace be with you), Jesus’s greeting to his bewildered disciples in the upper room in Galilee after his resurrection, which as a common greeting among the Jews. Repeatedly uttered by the bass Vox Christi in the arioso with chorus (no. 6) in Cantata 67, this now key Christian greeting calms “the fear and anxiety of the assembled disciples,” says Franklin, who also cites the writings of Calov and Müller.

In contrast to this “conventional reading” of the Gospel text, Olearius’ “commentary is all the more striking,” says Franklin (Ibid.: 18). The gospel reading reveals a “certainty of the faith” in terms of the “Glaubens-Sieg” (Triumph of Faith) beyond the commissioning of the disciples to go into the world and preach the good news of the resurrection. “Furthermore, by fusing the gospel and epistle reading into a single, cohesive message,” Olearius “highlights the theme of the Victory over death and evil,” linking the day’s gospel closely with the Easter message.” Olearius’ commentary is “more thematic than descriptive, that is rich in metaphors and similies, and whose practical application to the reader is immediately apparent.”

Bach’s setting of various biblical quotations, as well as particular congregational hymns, reinforces the biblical themes cited in Olearius, Franklin observes (Ibid.: 18). The opening chorus biblical dictum, 2 Timothy 2:8, cited in Olearius, exhorts the early Christian to remember the resurrection, the central action and belief of Christianity. The peace greeting from the gospel, “now serves as a sign of confirmation that Jesus has triumphed over the forces of evil,” Franklin points out. The tenor free da-capo aria (no. 2), “Mein Jesus ist erstanden, / Allein, was schreckt mich noch?” (My Jesus is arisen, / so what still frightens me?); makes indirect reference to the Epistle, I John 4:5-12, Faith through Testimony, paraphrasing verse 5:4b. In the B section, “Mein Glaube kennt des Heilands Sieg” (My faith knows that my Saviour is victorious), the line that immediately follows, shifts the text’s focus away from the “Sieg” theme of John’s text to the doubts of the believer, says Franklin, represented in the gospel by the doubts of disciple Thomas. “Doch fühlt mein Streit und Krieg” (yet felt my contest and struggle) sings the soloist.

The plan chorale (no. 4) verse, “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (The glorious day has appeared), “is particularly rich in theological associations,” says Franklin (Ibid.:23), stressing “Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” paraphrased as the chorale’s dictum, “Christ, unser Herr, heut triumphiert” (Christ, our Lord, today triumphs). The placement of the plain chorale at the center of the cantata not only reflects the form Bach established for this mini-series of cantatas for the Easter season, but also serves the librettist as an opportunity to resolve the doubt expressed in the previous movement, says Franklin, and “establishes the foundations of the ‘Recht Glauben’ (right faith).” It also reflects Olearius’s citation of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (1 15:57): “But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

The bass scena with chorus (no. 6), with the peace greeting expressed three times, specifically follows the direction of Olearius, affirms Franklin (Ibid.: 24ff). Placed near the end of Cantata 67, the greeting is a joyous “three-fold affirmation” that “sums up the [cantata’s text] progression from doubt to belief.” The ATB chorus describes Olearius’s enemies referred to throughout his commentary, Biblische Erklärung, namely “Sin, Death, Devil and Hell,” says Franklin (Ibid: 26).

This progression is reinforced in the closing chorale (no. 7), “Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ” (You prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ), also advocated by Olearius, but not found in most hymn books for Misericordias Domini. Instead, it is an omnes tempore (Ordinary Time) hymn that reflects Jesus Christ’s militant defeat of the enemies at the end of Trinity Time.

The libretto of Cantata 67 in relation to that of the John Passion reveals a “theological pairing: the Christus Victor theme of the Crucifixion gives way to the ‘Glaubens-Sieg” of the Resurrection with the joyful new that Jesus has triumphed over death,” says Franklin. Thus “all doubts in the mind of the believer are dispelled with the remembrance that Jesus is risen from the dead.” The “librettist[s] of both passion and cantata derived the themes of individual movements by drawing on the same portions of the Biblische Erklärung.” In this context, the libretto of Cantata 67 ”stands in stark contrast” the Cantata 42 libretto for the same day in 1725, says Franklin (Ibid.: 27f).

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 12, 2016):
Cantata BWV 67 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of Cantata BWV 67 "Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ" (Keep in memory Jesus Christ) for Quasimodogeniti [1st Sunday after Easter] on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for alto, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of corno da tirarsi, transverse flute, 2 oboes d'amore, 2 violins, viola & continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (25): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67.htm
Recordings of Individual Movements (9): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67-2.htm
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
2 audios and 2 videos of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 67 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.

You can also read on the BCW the recent discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67-D4.htm

Enjoy,

 

Cantata BWV 67: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | 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: Monday, September 11, 2017 15:25