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

Cantata BWV 68
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of June 10, 2007

Julian Mincham wrote (June 9, 2007):
BWV 68 Introduction

CONTEXT

(See comments for Cantata BWV 128)
This is the second and last chorale fantasia movement of the works comprising the last quarter of the cycle. Like BWV 74 it contains re-arranged movements from earlier works. Two arias originated in the Hunt cantata, Cantata BWV 208, written in 1713.

The cantata of the week BWV 68 Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt
God so loved the world.
Chorus/fantasia (Mvt. 1)--aria (sop) (Mvt. 2)--recit (bass) (Mvt. 3)--aria (bass) (Mvt. 4)--chorus (Mvt. 5).
The fifty-first cantata of the cycle 2nd day of Pentecost. Librettist:- Mariane von Ziegler.

The opening movement (Mvt. 1) of Cantata BWV 68 is set in brooding D minor. The chorale, used nowhere else in the cantata, was by Salomo Liscow and its eight phrases are ornamented to an unusual degree, declaimed by the sopranos, doubled by a horn.

The mood is elusive and enigmatic. There can be few greater contrasts in mood than that which occurs when the first aria (Mvt. 2) bursts upon us---my heart ever faithful sings---Jesus is here! An effervescent piccolo cello sets the tone in the first four bars and much of the movement can be perceived as a duet between it and the soprano. The long concluding quartet which explores a second exposition of the main theme is an oddity.

The bass recitative (Mvt. 3) continues the theme of joy in being part of Jesus' mission as arbiter between man and God.

The bass aria (Mvt. 4) demonstrates a very different facet of Bach's art as an arranger. .The new text requires a much tougher, more sinewy treatment which would explain why he takes the trouble to rewrite much of the latter part of the aria.

The last movement (Mvt. 5) is virtually unique in Bach's literature since he clearly begins in one key (A minor) and ends in another (D minor). The reason for this is obviously symbolic as well as demonstrating an example of long term tonal planning.

Uniquely for the cycle, there is no concluding chorale.

Cantata link: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV68.htm

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 9, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< The opening movement (Mvt. 1) of Cantata BWV 68 is set in brooding D minor. The chorale, used nowhere else in the cantata, was by Salomo Liscow and its eight phrases are ornamented to an unusual degree, declaimed by the sopranos, doubled by a horn.
The mood is elusive and enigmatic. There can be few greater contrasts in mood than that which occurs when the first aria (
Mvt. 2) bursts upon us---my heart ever faithful sings---Jesus is here! An effervescent piccolo cello sets the tone in the first four bars and much of the movement can be perceived as a duet between it and the soprano. >
Do any of the other recordings take the opening movement faster than Leusink [13]? I know there is a lot of ornamentation in the instrumental lines, but I found the tempo very flaccid.

It's worth noting that the soprano aria (Mvt. 2) is one of the most frequently performed cantata movements. It's ubiquitous in soprano aria collections and is a perennial favourite at weddings.

Jean Laaninen wrote (June 9, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] The constrasts of mood in Bach reveal darkness and light in such a perceptive manner. I have performed the soprano aria (Mvt. 2) three times in English, once in German, and once with the flute. I consider the piece to be one of my signature numbers. But the differences in tempo can be striking in the aria, too. When I learned it and first performed it the tempo was a lot slower than the one I used later for the German. By then I had attained the professional tempo and was able to take it at the speed done by Arleen Augér [8], whose work I admire greatly, and I have numerous of her recordings. Of all the numbers I have ever sung in my life, this one reflects my confidence personally that my life is going to somehow be alright, so I have loved singing it when the opportunity has been available. But I have to say I did not actually retain any knowledge about which cantata this was from, because I didn't know anything about the cantatas when I learned the number at age 21. I did not know of the wedding context that Doug mentions below, but certainly this would be an appropriate use.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 9, 2007):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
< Of all the numbers I have ever sung in my life, this one reflects my confidence personally that my life is going to somehow be alright, so I have loved singing it when the opportunity has been available. >
It's a stunning piece.

But why the odd proportions?

And can anyone suggest why Bach used the picc cello as the obligato instrument?

Was it because it (rather than a flute) was available?

But might there be deeper musical reasons?

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 9, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>>And can anyone suggest why Bach used the picc cello as the obligato instrument? Was it because it (rather than a flute) was available?<<
According to Ulrich Prinz (JSBs Instrumentarium, 2005) p. 589, there are a few facts and some reasonable speculation involved concerning possible players of this instrument:

Christian Rother (a city piper from 1708-1737), named as the "Primgeiger" ("Primary violinist") for Bach's performances which employed the city pipers.

Georg Gottfried Wagner received musical instruction from Bach and for whom Bach wrote a letter of recommendation to the City Council of Plauen on September 26, 1726 confirming that Wagner could play the violin, the violoncello and other instruments well.

According to Walter F. Hindermann (author of "Die nachösterlichen Kantaten des Bachschen Choralkantaten-Jahrgangs" Hofheim, 1975, p. 29) the obbligato violoncello piccolo parts were still played holding the instrument in one's arm until April 2, 1725 (BWV 6), but thereafter it was held between the legs. Possibly C. F. Abel, with whom Bach was well acquainted, came from Cöthen to Leipzig to perform violoncello piccolo parts. The violoncello piccolo part in BWV 68 may thus have been one of the first performances using this new method of playing.

Peter Smaill wrote (June 10, 2007):
The austere fugal Chorus concluding this (chiastic structure) Cantata, BWV 68/5, is quite unusual, being a text from Scripure set contrapuntally as a final movement. It is set in three sections; subject; countersubject and then a double fugue. Bach thus emphasisise the antithesis of the text.

There has been some speculation that the truncation of the last line relative to the exposition of the earlier words implies a parody as with other movements. However, Melamed rejects this analysis since there are other instances. "The delaying of the last text unit cannot be reliably interpreted as demonstrating parody".

Without disagreeing I think there may be some influence in thematic material, note rhythms and structure between this movement and the C Sharp Minor Fugue (IV) from Book 1 of the WTC. I would be interested to know if others feel the same . The third subject of the WTC fugue does in my view appear episodically in the Chorus but is not there fully developed; is a remarkable similarity nonetheless.

Joel Figen wrote (June 11, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< It's a stunning piece.
But why the odd proportions?
And can anyone suggest why Bach used the picc cello as the obligato instrument?
Was it because it (rather than a flute) was available?
But might there be deeper musical reasons? >
I haven't read the whole libretto, or even listened to a recorded performance of the whole cantata, so my interpretation might be from left field, but this soprano solo has always moved me, and I did read the words when I prepared a midi file of it for practice by a soprano friend of mine.

Anyway, try this interpretation on for size: The moment depicted is that of entering into beatific vision. At this moment, "Jesus ist da." (at least for believing christians...). The disproportionate sinfonia at the end represents the beatific vision itself, with the newly-joined instruments representing the two members of the trinity not explicitly mentioned in the text. By deduction, then, the obligato vcpic has represented Jesus from the from the very start. Now,one might use a flute to represent Krishna or Pan, but it would be far from my first choice to represent the entirely human/entirely divine all male Savior of the Christians. (Unless I were in a new-agey mood :)

By extension, then, the soprano represents the soul, in perfect innocence, so a very fluty boyish voice would be ideal. A flute obligato wouldn't provide much contrast, musically speaking.(Though in a new-agey mood it might stress the similarities betweenthe soul and god.)

Also, the range of the vcpic is much greater than the flute, and this obligato uses a lot of it. Then again, bach would have written different notes, had he chosen a different instrument.

As for flutes not being available, that strikes me as inherently unlikely. The flutes are always with us.

One thing I can say about the charm of the movement is that it depends greatly on having the right continuo realization, at least until the Trinity chimes in, at which time the right hand might as well just as well fall silent. Too much continuo fill or too little damages the feeling of innocent delight.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 11, 2007):
I was interested in Joel's responses to my questions about BWV 68/3---an example of the sort of discussion based directly on the cantatas, of which I recently lamented the lack.

I agree that the use of the cello/pic was likely to have been a musical and practical decision---I was also interested in the theory of explanation for the (virtually unique) extended instrumental section.

Sometimes when Bach reuses material it is easy to be mistaken about the musical imagery being derived from the text, simply because the original text not the subsequent one would have generated the ideas (e.g. opening of the Christmas Oratorio)

However 68/3 is not such a case because Bach has radically rearranged the music to suit his new purpose (a common characteristic of his reuse of earlier material in this cycle). The original text (from BWV 208) was built around some banal words of fleecy flocks adorning far-flung pastures and was for soprano and continuo line only. For 68/3 Bach completely rewrote (and substantially improved) the vocal line and added a new continuo line. The original continuo had been the cello solo of the later version---a typical example of Bach's combining the two functions (i.e. obligato and continuo lines) into one line.

So for 68/3 we have

a new sop line

a new continuo line

the addition of flute and violin in order to make up a quartete for the 'expression of the vision'

the retained original continuo line now given to cello/pic. And because he does not alter the key, this line lies in exactly the right range for cello and this is a good practical reason for ascribing it to the solo picc cello rather that a higher instrument which might seem to be more appropriate for the joyous sound.

We know of several examples where Bach reused earlier compositions with minimal alteration. This is something quite different; an example of a composer completely rethinking his earlier work, retaining the best bits of it and wholly adapting it to the new text.

An excellent model for students of arrangement and composition.

Jean Laaninen wrote (June 11, 2007):
[To Julian Mincham] Following the discussion below, would there be other cases within the cantatas where Bach used the cello/pic in an emotionally heart-warming text? I hope this does not sound too simple, but when you first raised this question having sung this piece numerous times, I was drawn to the idea of the warmth of the instrument along with the concept of confidence that comes out of being able (in my view) to have a faithful heart...a matter at hand in the text. I don't think the flute would convey the text of the soprano aria (Mvt. 2) in the same manner, being a little too jubilant, perhaps. But I leave this answer to those who know comparable instances of the instrumental use.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 11, 2007):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
< Following the discussion below, would there be other cases within the cantatas where Bach used the cello/pic in an emotionally heart-warming text? >
Yes I have often thought it would be a useful exercise to collate the arias which have the same obligato instrument in common (picc cello, various oboes, flute, violin, trumpet etc) and make comparisons with the texts.

Something I may get around to in the future. Having recently bought the new Bärenreiter complete edition of the cantata scores, I at least have the basic material.

Jean Laaninen wrote (June 11, 2007):
[To Julian Mincham] That sounds like a great idea.

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>>I have often thought it would be a useful exercise to collate the arias which have the same obligato instrument in common (picc cello, various oboes, flute, violin, trumpet etc) and make comparisons with the texts.<<
No need to repeat this exercise which has already been accomplished in great detail by Ulrich Prinz in his "J.S. Bachs Instrumentarium" 2005. Here is what you will find there on pp. 595-596:

Violoncello piccolo

As an obbligato instrument played by a single instrument only:

Expressly designated as "Violoncello piccolo" in

BWV 6
BWV 41
BWV 49
BWV 68
BWV 85
BWV 115
BWV 175
BWV 180 (via P46)
BWV 183

In Chronological Order:

BWV 180 (Oct 22, 1724)
BWV 115 (Nov 5, 1724)
BWV 41 (Jan 1, 1725)
BWV 6 (Apr 2, 1725)
BWV 85 (Apr 15, 1725)
BWV 183 (May 13, 1725)
BWV 68 (May 21, 1725)
BWV 175 (May 22, 1725)
BWV 49 (Nov 13, 1726)

Assumed to be used (probable, possible instances; most of these based on research by Alfred Dürr - these range from good possibilities to vague suggestions):

BWV 5/3
BWV 71/6
BWV 139/4
BWV 197a/4
BWV 199/6
BWV 234
BWV 1012 (for 5-string violoncello)

Not original conception, but used in repeat performances and/or later versions:

BWV 6/3 (on an additional page added to the viola part)
BWV 41/4 (Part B 12 - 1st violin doublet)
BWV 68/2 (a reworking of BWV 208/13)
BWV 139/4 (a later version uses a violin instead)
BWV 175/4 (a reworking of BWV 173a/7)
BWV 199/6 (for the performance on Aug 8, 1723; before
that point in time the Viola obligata or Violoncello
or Viola da gamba had been used)

Used as a solo instrument:

BWV 1012 (5-string violoncello)

Used as part of a trio setting (chronologically listed)

BWV 199/6 with soprano (repeat performance)
BWV 5/3 with tenor (Dürr's supposition)
BWV 180/3 with soprano
BWV 41/4 with tenor
BWV 6/3 with soprano
BWV 85/2 with alto
BWV 183/2 with tenor
BWV 68/2 with soprano
BWV 175/4 with tenor

Used as part of a quartet setting (chronological) (Another instrument, Violoncello piccolo, Voice, Continuo)

BWV 115/4 with traverso and soprano
BWV 139/4? with oboes 1 & 2, and bass
BWV 49/4 with Oboe d'amore and soprano
BWV 197a/4? with traverso 1 & 2, aalto

Used as part of an orchestral mvt."
BWV 71/4 with bass (middle section, mm 23-40)

Division according to voice parts:
(in chonological order)

Soprano

(BWV (199/6)
BWV 180/3
BWV 115/4
BWV 6/3
BWV 68/2
BWV 49/4

Alto

BWV 85/2
BWV 197a?

Tenor

BWV (5/3)
BWV 41/4
BWV 183/2
BWV 175/4

Bass

BWV 71/4;
BWV 139/4?

Julian Mincham wrote (June 11, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< No need to repeat this exercise which has already been accomplished in great detail by Ulrich Prinz in his "J.S. Bachs Instrumentarium" 2005. Here is what you will find there on pp. 595-596: >
Many thanks for this information.

I don't know Prinz's book but clearly should!

Does he list uses of the other obligato instruments (flute, oboes etc) in similar detail?

Neil Halliday wrote (June 11, 2007):
Peter Smaillwrote:
>The third subject of the WTC fugue (C# minor fugue Book 1) does in my view appear episodically in the Chorus but is not there fully developed; there is a remarkable similarity nonetheless.<
Yes, I heard this in my mind as soon as I read it. In fact the WTC third subject is very like the incipit (first six notes) of the counter-subject of this chorus.

BTW, both Robertson and the OCC mention that Bach borrowed, from BWV 208, the instrumental trio that concludes the soprano aria (Mvt. 2), but I cannot find that section in the BGA.

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
>>I don't know Prinz's book but clearly should! Does he list uses of the other obligato instruments (flute, oboes etc) in similar detail?<<
Yes, and much more, but he will not include any speculation about the symbolic significance of any instrument as it appears in Bach's sacred music. That is a book that still remains to be written by someone else (BCML members?]. However, armed with Prinz's book, the tedious chore of assembling this information on instruments has already been completed.

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2007):
Neil Halliday wrote:
>>BTW, both Robertson and the OCC mention that Bach borrowed, from BWV 208, the instrumental trio that concludes the soprano aria (Mvt. 2), but I cannot find that section in the BGA.<<
The instrumental trio is known as BWV 1040. The NBA has it as an "Anhang" to BWV 208. Perhaps the BGA also included at the very end of BWV 208 or has it elsewhere as an instrumental composition. Look up BWV 1040 in the BGA catalog.

This mvt., I believe, was discussed in some detail a few years ago on the BCML. Do a search on "BWV 1040" and see what might come up.

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 11, 2007):
< The instrumental trio is known as BWV 1040. The NBA has it as an "Anhang" to BWV 208. Perhaps the BGA also included at the very end of BWV 208 or has it elsewhere as an instrumental composition. Look up BWV 1040 in the BGA catalog. >
"The BGA catalog" is the BWV (Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis), unless you're referring to the old index volume 46 of the original redbound Bach-Gesellschaft (the books), which predates that numbering system by Schmieder.

The piece that Neil Halliday seeks is in BGA volume 29, pages 250-251, which is part of the appendix to that volume that also includes "Was mir behagt". It includes the interesting feature that some of the continuo line is only in tablature instead of staff notation (so, they just left that third stave blank for part of the way, and printed the letters under it instead).

The BWV is the index into both the BGA and the NBA, and it also contains information that's newer than both of them, at least where it refers to NBA volumes that are more than 10 years old by now.

The current (i.e. 1998) edition of BWV has both BWV 208 and BWV 1040 listed together as the same entry, on page 212. And at 1040 in the numerical listing, p. 423, it sends us back to that entry on page 212.

It also mentions there on p. 212 that the ritornello (which gets its own incipit on page 214) was used in BWV 68 mvt 2.

In plain English, we're talking about the instrumental bit that introduces the famous "My Heart Ever Faithful" aria, in BWV 68, as used in zillions of weddings and elsewhere.

As for the main melody of this aria, the current hymnal for Mennonite/Brethren churches (and perhaps some other hymnals as well) has a four-part arrangement of it at #83, with a text "With happy voices singing" from 1888. Yes, for four-part singing, either unaccompanied or accompanied, and no ritornello. A decent arrangement, D major, and easy to sing.

Julian Mincham wrote (June 11, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< The current (i.e. 1998) edition of BWV has both BWV 208 and BWV 1040 listed together as the same entry, on page 212. And at 1040 in the numerical listing, p. 423, it sends us back to that entry on page 212. >
This makes sense because the trio and aria (combined in the one movement in BWV 68) are clearly not two individual pieces but two different developments of the same theme.

The unanswered question is, was the trio (listed as BWV 1040) used as a part of BWV 208 the earlier work? and if so at which point?

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 11, 2007):
< The unanswered question is, was the trio (listed as BWV 1040) used as a part of BWV 208 the earlier work? and if so at which point? >
A reduction of it (no oboe or violin) became the basso continuo of movement 13, the aria "Weil die wollenreichen Herden".

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2007):
BWV 68 Introduction (BWV 1040)

BWV 1040

[based on Alfred Dürr's discussion of this mvt. in the NBA KB I/35 (which includes BWV 208), pp. 46-47]

I believe this matter has been discussed before on the BCML, but here is what Dürr says about this trio mvt.:

The autograph score ends with a "Fine" after which BWV 1040 is included.

What purpose it served is not clear, but some conjectures are possible.

It was not appended at a later date but rather was added to the score at the same time (not later in the Cöthen or Leipzig periods - this is based upon the shape of the c-clef which Bach used).

The use of the same thematic material as BWV 208/13 proves that it was not composed independently for a different occasion.

It may have been composed in connection with either one of the performances of the cantata that took place in Weißenfels or Weimar.

It certainly was not a draft based on BWV 208/13 and composed in preparation for its use in BWV 68/2.

It appears slightly altered as an appended Ritornello in BWV 68.

A specific necessity for its reuse in BWV 68/2 cannot be established. Evidently it was added only so that this trio mvt. would not be completely forgotten and because it is related thematically to the preceding aria.

What purpose/function may this mvt. (BWV 1040) have originally served? There is no definite answer to be given here.

Conjecture 1:

Perhaps it was already intended to be added on to BWV 208/13 and the original parts, if they had been available now, would have had it placed where it really belonged.

Conjecture 2:

Perhaps it was played at a different point in the cantata [BWV 208] and served a linking function such as to fill out the time when a presentation was being made to the prince/ruler.

------

In any case, BWV 1040 is so intimately connected with BWV 208 that it should appear in print as part of the same cantata.

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 11, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] Conjecture 3: perhaps it was a wholly separate piece, or a draft of a piece. It could have been composed on (and used for) any other occasion, either before or after BWV 208, or with it for some performance. We can't prove that it was, and we can't prove that it wasn't. It just happens to be preserved on the last page of autograph score for that piece. There could have been any number of other copies, on any other occasions, either with this 3-part instrumentation or some other arrangement. WE DON'T KNOW; nor do we know what instrument(s) played the continuo. Hey, part of a page of manuscript paper free, and a nifty bass theme already proven to work nicely, let's whip out a little instrumental arrangement for some other occasion!

As the critical report of the BGA points out (P.G. Waldersee, in Eisenach, October 1881; page XXVIII of volume 29 of BGA), it's a piece of special interest because it's built on the basso ostinato theme of that aria "Weil die wollenreichen Heerden" from "Was mir behagt" (i.e. BWV 208).

As indeed it is.

=====

"...based on Alfred Dürr's discussion of this mvt....", based on it how loosely?!

Whatever liberties have been taking in reporting and/or distorting Dürr's work (blending fact from Dürr and opinion from Braatz together into a seamless whole!):

- The evidence is too scanty to assert a conclusion that it "certainly was not a draft based on BWV 208/13" ; the person writing that isn't Bach and doesn't know.

- The evidence is also too scanty to assert a conclusion that "evidently it was added only so that this trio mvt. would not be completely forgotten" ; the person writing that isn't Bach and doesn't know.

- The evidence is furthermore too scanty to assert a conclusion that "It was not appended at a later date but rather was added to the score at the same time"; why couldn't it have been at some date within a couple of months or a year, when Bach was still using a similar style of clef? Well, the person writing that isn't Bach and doesn't know.

=====

My own opinion, with the piece of music right here onscreen (from BGA vol 29), and having sight-read through it here at my harpsichord:

It's a pleasant little piece, 27 bars of music for violin and oboe and continuo. Bach could have had any number of reasons for writing/preserving it, not known to us. Why restrict him to "certainly not" doing any such-and-such? It could have been played any number of times, at any number of occasions with or without the vocal music from BWV 208. WE DON'T KNOW THAT IT WAS, OR WASN'T.

But, it's not necessarily so "intimately connected" with BWV 208 "as part of the same cantata". It just happens to be based on the same theme, and handwritten in otherwise unused space on the last page of the score. And as I already noted earlier today, 8 of the last 9 bars didn't fit onto the page anyway, so he did the continuo part of those in tablature instead of score...

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 11, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Making this musical/thematic interconnection obvious, here's the piece in the "BWV1040" folder: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Conjecture 3: perhaps it was a wholly separate piece, or a draft of a piece. It could have been composed on (and used for) any other occasion, either before or after BWV 208, or with it for some performance. We can't prove that it was, and we can't prove that it wasn't.<<
Yes, but Dürr's assessment seems to rank higher and to appear slightly more credible as a reasonable conjecture than your wild guesses which you suggest on the spur of the moment without giving this matter much thought.

BL: >>As the critical report of the BGA points out (P.G. Waldersee, in Eisenach, October 1881; page XXVIII of volume 29 of BGA), it's a piece of special interest because it's built on the basso ostinato theme of that aria "Weil die wollenreichen Heerden"from "Was mir behagt" (i.e. BWV 208/13).<<
This is the thematic link that Dürr referred to.

BL: >>"...based on Alfred Dürr's discussion of this mvt....", based on it how loosely?! Whatever liberties have been taking in reporting and/or distorting Dürr's work (blending fact from Dürr and opinion from Braatz together into a seamless whole!)<<
If you distrust this information so much, why not check out the source and report back here what you have found?

BL: >>- The evidence is too scanty to assert a conclusion that it "certainly was not a draft based on BWV 208/13" ; the person writing that isn't Bach and doesn't know.<<
Well, that person is Alfred Dürr who as a true Bach scholar knows more about and has much more experience with Bach's music than you do!

As I interpret Dürr's "keinesfalls", it is clear that Bach did not touch or use the space at the end of BWV 208 (after the 'Fine') at any point in time after the repeat performance in Weimar. BWV 1040 may actually have been physically written down for the first performance, but it cannot be entirely ruled out that it might have been added as a 'space/time' filler in Weimar, but not after that time (like in Cöthen for a courtly function or in Leipzig in preparation for BWV 68/2.) The argumentation is based on the fact that Bach changed the way he wrote his c-clefs. In Weimar he still used the old way exclusively, but in Cöthen, Bach was already mixing the old with the new style and in Leipzig, he never used the old style anymore.

BL: >>The evidence is also too scanty to assert a conclusion that "evidently it was added only so that this trio mvt. would not be completely forgotten"; the person writing that isn't Bach and doesn't know.<<
Well, that person is Alfred Dürr who as a true scholar knows more about and has much more experience as well
as a better track record with Bach's music than you do!

The word "evidently" is my translation of "offenbar".

BL: >>But, it's not necessarily so "intimately connected" with BWV 208 "as part of the same cantata". It just happens to be based on the same theme, and handwritten in otherwise unused space on the last page of the score.<<
The same way that Bach still had to add the final chorale to his scores in Leipzig after the copyists had already begun copying out the parts; except that in this instance, after composing BWV 208 and writing down 'Fine', he probably received a late request from the master of ceremonies that he would like to 'interrupt' the cantata for a short presentation ceremony. This makes eminent sense compared to your "we simply cannot know anything for certain" or "it just happens to be based on the same theme". What we have here with Dürr's comments are some very reasonable conjectures based upon a lifetime of academic and musical experience with Bach's works. Your 'arguments' here sound more like cheap shots which anyone might bring up if they need to indulge in empty criticism.

BL: >>And as I already noted earlier today, 8 of the last 9 bars didn't fit onto the page anyway, so he did the continuo part of those in tablature instead of score...<<
Bach composed rapidly and only needed to prepare the score sufficiently so that he could copy out these parts very quickly before performing BWV 208 along with this additional instrumental composition that is intimately linked to one of its arias: BWV 208/13. He probably composed this 'ritornello' as fast as he did his final 4-pt. chorales. He seemed to compose his best music when under extreme pressure of time and, at the 1st performance, the musicians probably had to sight-read the parts since they had no opportunity to study them beforehand.

Jean Laaninen wrote (June 12, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Almost everweek someone cites Durr, as below , and looking at the work on Amazon.com he seems to provide a pretty good overview of the cantatas. I plan to get a copy soon, but I would be interested in knowing the relative strengths or any omissions in this reference. Thanks...I appreciate it.

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 12, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< (...) He seemed to compose his best music when under extreme pressure of time and, at the 1st performance, the musicians probably had to sight-read the parts since they had no opportunity to study them beforehand. >
That's the closing sentence of a posting that purports to be factual and scholarly?

But there it is.

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 12, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< He probably composed this 'ritornello' as fast as he did his final 4-pt. chorales. He seemed to compose his best music when under extreme pressure of time and, at the 1st performance, the musicians probably had to sight-read the parts since they had no opportunity to study them beforehand. >
And once again the 'Saturday Night Fever Copying Scenario' and the 'Superhuman Sight-Reader Fantasy' make their ever-anticipated appearance.

Ever notice that the former is never mentioned when Bach has to provide three cantatas on three consecutive days as on Pentecost Sunday, Monday and Tuesday?

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 12, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Well, that person is Alfred Dürr who as a true Bach scholar knows more about and has much more experience with Bach's music than you do! >
I'll grant cheerfully that Dr Dürr has been conducting Bach scholarship since before my birth. That (alone) doesn't prove that he's absolutely infallible on every occasion, or any particular occasion; nor that I'm mistaken on any particular occasion, either.

I'm curious, in your game of haughty one-upmanship and authoritarian thwacking (i.e. your hero is brought in to be smarter than a person who happens to disagree with you):

Where does your attitude leave our fine citizens who don't have any music degrees, don't perform any of Bach's music regularly, and haven't taken (or taught!) any lessons on any of Bach's instruments? But, whose enthusiasm for the material is only through reading books they've purchased, and listening to recordings? Are they all unworthy, next to those of us who do have degrees and who do perform/study/teach those instruments? Or are those people (like yourself) conveniently smarter than me, too?

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 68: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Last update: ýSeptember 29, 2011 ý11:26:47