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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 82
Ich habe genug
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 17, 2007):
BWV 82 Further question

Thomas Braatz wrote:
>>But, for 82, there aren't separate numbers/letters for the several versions (and instrumentations) in C minor and E minor.<<
< As I had correctly stated! >

Why is this a problem? Is it that such a, b, and so forth labelling should be reserved e.g. for those cantatas where the same music is used for a different text such as BWV 207a and so forth and not for those cantatas such as the three versions of BWV 82 where essentially there is a key change and a change of instrument such as the flute for oboe (I am ignoring subspecies of each instrument here)?

Please do explain for the musically naive amongst us.

Thank you,

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< In general the chiastic works are rich in allusions to the Passion, longing for death and salvation doctrines. Several of Bach's librettists seems to have used chiastic techniques and the device appears to have been IMO part of the poetic toolkit of the baroque era rather than specific to Bach's sacred music. >
Chiasm as a literary term appears in New Testament writings most notably in the Johannine literature: the Prologue of the Gospel of John is perhaps the most famous example. Literary critics point out that the scriptural writers employ chiasm like a "U" shape: the top of the left fork of the letter represents God, heaven and eternal life, with a descent to the bottom of the letter representing earth, humanity and death, and a symmetrical ascent to the top of the right fork to heaven. Events and themes are symmetrical on both sides of the "U".

Bach uses a large chiastic structure in both the Magnificat and the Credo of the B Minor Mass. Although it is common to say that both works are symmetrical, they really have a chiastic structure, the Magnificat centring on the fall of the proud at "dispersit superbos", and the Credo on the "low" point of the "Crucifixus".

I can't recall offhand if other symmetrical works such as "Jesu Meine Freude" use chiasm. There is certainly a body of opinion which sees this as the defining structure of the Matthew Passion (BWV 244).

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Bach probably did not use this designation/term very much, but it does actually exist on the original Soprano part (E minor) from circa 1731. Here is how it appears on this part copied by Johann Ludwig Krebs:
"Soprano" written by
Krebs
"mezo" [sic!] added by JSB >

Fascinating. What is special about the voice part that would make Bach add the note, clearly intended to alert people that a particular voice type or perhaps a particular person was to sing? Do we know other instances where Bach used "mezzo/mezo"? In this cantata is there a different clef used?

I would be curious to know whether the designation appears in the Magnificat or Credo where there are five soloists (SSATB), and whether it is a traditional designation for the "middle" part between the soprano and alto. I can't think of another use of the term as a voice type until the 19th century. It does appear in "mezza voce" markings in the Classical period.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>What is special about the voice part that would make Bach add the note, clearly intended to alert people that a particular voice type or perhaps a particular person was to sing? Do we know other instances where Bach used "mezzo/mezo"? In this cantata is there a different clef used?<<
Just to review quickly the clefs which Bach used (it is the type of clef usually seen now only for viola parts -viola clef - except that this clef was movable as follows):

The clef centered on the bottom line of the 5-line staff is the soprano clef.

The clef centered on the second line from the bottom is the mezzo-soprano clef.

The clef centered on the third line from the bottom is the alto clef (same as the viola clef).

The clef centered on the fourth line from the bottom is the tenor clef.

The clef centered on the fifth line from the bottom (the top line) is the baritone clef.

Strangely enough the 1731 soprano-voice version (reconstructed by the NBA from many missing parts) has, in Bach's own hand a soprano clef instead of the mezzo-soprano clef. Did Bach add "mezo" only after the part had been copied and realized that he had indicated the wrong clef in the process of transposition?

I do not know whether Bach used this term, 'mezzo-soprano' anywhere else.

In the original Eb Magnificat (BWV 243a), Bach has the following:
Bach uses the following clefs:
Bass voice: our traditional bass clef
Tenor voice: tenor clef (on 4th line from bottom)
Alto voice: alto clef (on 3rd line from bottom)
Soprano II: soprano clef (on bottom line)
Soprano I: soprano clef (on bottom line)

This is the same for BWV 243 in D major.

BWV 232 II/1 (Early version of Credo in G major)
BWV 232 later version

I am unable to find any instance where Bach uses the mezzo-soprano clef. Do you have any other compositions in mind that might be worth checking?

From this cursory investigation it would appear that Bach never used the mezzo-soprano clef even when he clearly had a mezzo-soprano in mind. Why would this be? Is there a reason for this?

Shawn Charton wrote (February 18, 2007):
< IMO part of the poetic toolkit of the baroque era rather than specific to Bach's sacred music. >
I would agree with you, Peter. I am currently writing a thesis on Messiah and part of it involves a possibl chiasmus in it... Acutally it is sort of based on my work with BWV 82 since it deals with symmetry based on false key signatures.

Shawn Charton wrote (February 18, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I can't recall offhand if other symmetrical works such as "Jesu Meine Freude" use chiasm. There is certainly a body of opinion which sees this as the defining structure of the Matthew Passion. (BWV 244) >
I believe you mean St. John's Passion (BWV 245). I don't find a chiasm in St. Matt (BWV 244) but St. John is reputed to be chiastic. The Credo of the B minor mass was, I believe, Smend's first acknowledged chiastic structuring. I KNOW that BWV 4 is the example that is USUALLY used in regard to his cantatas. I, however, prefer BWV 82- it is chocked fuller of stuff than BWV 4 (IMHO...) Thanks for all that useful info. I didn't know most of it.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
[To Shawn Charton] I appear to have lent my copy of the Harnoncourt Matthew Passion to my son, but, if memory serves me right, there was an article in the notes which argued that the Passion is symmetrical around a central point. Would someone who has the recording please check the name and author of the article and what was proposed centre of the Passion?

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
BWV 82 - Messiah

Shawn Charton wrote:
< I would agree with you, Peter. I am currently writing a thesis on Messiah and part of it involves a possibl chiasmus in it... >
At last fall's International Bach Festival in Toronto, Michael Marrisen of Swarthmore College mentioned in passing that he was working on a book on Messiah which was exploring the link between Jennens' libretto and a contemporary theological commentary which assembled Old Testament passages for the purpose of promoting the conversion of British Jews. He might have some insights on chiastic structure from a textual perspective,

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2007):
Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
>>Why is this a problem? Is it that such a, b, and so forth labelling should be reserved e.g. for those cantatas where the same music is used for a different text such as 207a and so forth and not for those cantatas such as the three versions of BWV 82 where essentially there is a key change and a change of instrument such as the ffor oboe (I am ignoring subspecies of each instrument here)?<<
This is difficult for experts as well to understand because the BWV catalog system has some serious flaws which the Bach Compendium has attempted to correct. The present editors of the BWV Verzeichnis are the first to admit that their system has some great flaws, the greatest of which is its dependence on the old 19th-century BGA numbers which remain the base for this catalog. There is much inconsistent patch-work which forms a confusing overlay of the original system. The Bach Compendium at least tries to maintain chronology of composition in each of its categories. It follows a clearly systematic principle, but one which has little chance of wide acceptance because the BWV Verzeichnis is solidly entrenched. This is perhaps comparable to the lack of acceptance of the metric system in the USA or English spelling reforms that have been attempted from time to time.

If anyone finds any reliable rules (without exceptions) to describe just how the letter extensions to the BWV numbers are applied, it would be appreciated if you would share these with the BCML. Yoel's question deserves a reasonable answer if there is one.

For instance, having an 'a' after a number does not necessarily mean that it is chronologically earlier although it could be.

Does having an 'a' indicate that the text is different, but the music is essentially the same? BWV 36 shows two versions with the essentially the same text but with some major differences and even some completely different music. The second version is longer (divided into 2 parts) the first is much shorter.

Both versions are listed as BWV 36 without a letter extension. And yet some of the same music occurs almost unchanged with the exception of the text and removal of chorale references and addition of new material in BWV 36c, a birthday cantata. BWV 36a, and BWV 36b are also birthday or congratulatory cantatas for different occasions. BWV 36a, BWV 36b, BWV 36c have in common that they were performed with differing texts for separate occasions.

BWV 80 appears to be a later revision of both BWV 80a and BWV 80b. They all have certain movements in common, but BWV 80a was the earliest to be performed on Oculi Sunday while BWV 80b and BWV 80 were both designated for Reformation Day. BWV 80b was revised to become BWV 80 at a later date.

By analogy BWV 82 also shows distinctions between versions (key changes, vocal ranges, instrumentation), but perhaps these changes were not considered to be significant enough to warrant the 'a', and 'b' designations?

Does anyone see a reasonable, logical explanation for the letter designations used by the BWV Verzeichnis?

From the BWV Verzeichnis: "Every work -- whether new or already listed -- now bears only one one-to-four digit number with, at the most, an appended small-print letter to indicate a variant." The question remains: Are the variants for BWV 82 pseudo-variants or bona-fide variants which warrant the addition of a lower-case letter? It seems that only the editors of the BWV Verzeichnis are capable of making this decision officially. BTW, the Bach-Compendium, following the model established by the BWV Verzeichnis, appears to list all of the variants of BWV 82 as BC A 169.

Shawn Charton wrote (February 18, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< At last fall's International Bach Festival in Toronto, Michael Marrisen of Swarthmore College mentioned in passing that he was working on a book on Messiah which was exploring the link between Jennens' libretto and a contemporary theological commentary which assembled Old Testament passages for the purpose of promoting the conversion of British Jews. He might have some insights on chiastic structure from a textual perspective, >
OOOOOOOO! I'd love to talk to him... how do I get in touch with him?? My main source on Jennens is an article by Ruth Smith. Granted, it's a really GOOD article but it's only one.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
BWV 82 - Mezzo Soprano

Thomas Braatz wrote:
< From this cursory investigation it would appear that Bach never used the mezzo-soprano clef even when he clearly had a mezzo-soprano in mind. Why would this be? Is there a reason for this? >
Curiouser and curiouser ...

It's hard to understand what Bach is asking for if he doesn't use a different clef for the soprano part, and if he doesn't mark "mezzo/mezo" on the Soprano 2 parts in the Magnificat and Credo -- they fit the bill for a middle voice type between high soprano and low alto.

Could "mezzo" refer to something else? --- a performance indication for 'mezza voce"? A singer from the "middle" choir or class?

Does "mezzo" mean anything else in German? I assume "Mittel" is the equivalent.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 18, 2007):
[To Shawn Charton] His contact information and a list of his publications can be found at:
http://www.swarthmore.edu/Humanities/music/marissen_pubs.htm

On a more general note for this whole list, Marissen has written extensively on the question of Bach's Passions and anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2007):
Shawn Charton wrote:
>>I don't find a chiasm in St. Matt but St. John is reputed to be chiastic.<<
The article on 'chiastic structure' in the Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach, Oxford University Press, 1999, indicates the famous "Herzstück" of the SJP (BWV 245) and the aria "Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben" from the SMP (BWV 244). Eric Chafe also discusses the chiastic design of BWV 106 (Actus Tragicus) in his book, "Tonal Allegory in the Vocal Music of J. S. Bach", University of California Press, 1991.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 18, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>Could "mezzo" refer to something else? --- a performance indication for 'mezza voce"? A singer from the "middle" choir or class? Does "mezzo" mean anything else in German? I assume "Mittel" is the equivalent.<<
Again, I am referring to Walther's dictionary as perhaps the best possible reference here because Bach was intimately acquainted with this work and may have even helped to contributing to it or revising articles contained therein.

The only other entry worth considering here is "mezza, mezo" (or feminine: "mezza or meza" defined in German by Walther as "halb" = "half" or "mittelmäßig" = "average, in the middle". Examples given are "mezzo forte" ("not too loud") and "mezzo piano" ("not too soft").

Bach wrote "mezo" directly behind "Soprano" on the only Soprano part that has survived for BWV 82. In this position it becomes fairly certain that he is not specifying this for an average or half voice singer or a soprano from the middle of the choir. The NBA experts who have analyzed this carefuly have decided that Bach did mean "mezzo-soprano" here.

Richard Mix wrote (February 19, 2007):
mezo

[To Thomas Braatz] Is it certain that this word (meza following soprano in the title of a version of bwv 82) is in the same hand? Btw, I'm quite unclear on the incarnations of this piece, and especially on how much is conjectural; would this have anything to do with the lack of a-c numbers?

I'm familiar with later use of "mezza voce" both as a dynamic in between mp & mf and as a 'healthier' version of sotto voce but have never heard it used as a voice classification! But perhaps I'm missing something...

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 19, 2007):
BWV 82 revisited [was: mezo]

[To Richard Mix] No, I have misread/misinterpreted information given for the soprano part. This gives me an opportunity to rectify this by giving the following information which supersedes what I have recently presented here:

1. NBA KB I/28.1 p. 82 definitely identifies the word "mezo" following the designation of "Soprano" on the part which was copied by Johann Ludwig Krebs (the latter copied everything but the title, initial clef and key signature for the transposition to C minor) as being in J. S. Bach's handwriting.

In essence, this critical part is in E minor (Soprano), but after Krebs finishes his task, J.S. Bach indicates the clef and key signatures to be used for the C minor version. [This soprano part is 2 pages longer than the bass solo part listed below. It may be that Krebs then copied out a transposed C minor version following the E minor version. The NBA KB is not clear on this matter. What is clear is that Bach noted somewhere on this part the clef change** (from the E minor to C minor) and the key signature (from 1 sharp to 2 flats)].

**I do not understand why Bach would change from the soprano clef to any other clef since as far as I can determine, Bach never used the mezzo-soprano clef (a moveable clef centered on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff rather than the 1st. Perhaps the NBA editors did not look carefully at Krebs' soprano clef for the E minor version to compare it with Bach's? They are probably the same. [In some future year, who knows when?, we will be able to call up digitized facsimiles of all of Bach's scores and parts to resolve issues like this one immediately.]

2. The various "incarnations" (versions) of this cantata were given in a recent posting. Please retrieve this information there and compare with what I give here now. A few changes may be in order:

The various versions are based upon the evidence of autograph (composing) score from the 1st performance and various parts that were copied for the performances (versions with their actual or approximate performance dates).

In the NBA KB, the autograph score is listed as A.

The parts are grouped under B as follows:

First Performance/Version (1727)in C minor:
[The NBA has printed out the full score for this version for Bass voice in C minor]

A: autograph score

Ba = two violin doublets and 1 continuo [doublet?] part.
[Remember that Bach had most likely lent the full performance set to someone after the 1st performance and it was never returned. As usual, the doublets stayed with the original score which was never lent out.]

Second Performance/Version (1731):
[The NBA has printed a full-score reconstruction of this version for Soprano in E minor with the transverse flute as obbligato instrument]:

Bb = the soprano part in E minor AND

the mezzo-soprano part in C minor (whether only indicated clearly by Bach as a version to be written out or as also written out by Krebs on the same part). Dated: circa 1735

Bc = an isolated flute traversiere part in E minor from the same period circa 1735 but copied by Anonymous Vh and the watermark is slightly different from Bb.

Third Performance/Version (1735 & 1746/47):
[The NBA has published this version for Bass or Mezzo-soprano based on the Soprano-Mezo-Soprano part from 1731 and all of the following parts]

Bd = 1st and 2nd violin parts in C minor from circa 1735 with the same watermark but completely different from Bc.
1st violin part copied by Rudolf Straube
2nd violin part copied by Friedrich Christian Samuel Mohrheim

The following parts in C minor are from 1746/47 and have a completely different watermark than any of the above:

Be = Bass solo part J.S. Bach copied mm 1 -64 of mvt. 1 and Johann Christoph Altnickol finished mvt. 1 and copied all the remaining mvts.

Oboe part copied entirely by J. S. Bach (the specific designation for Oboe is missing - the top of the page had been cut off)

1st violin (Doublet)

2nd violin (Doublet) (corrected title, it had originally Oboe 2 on top)

Viola copied entirely by J. S. Bach

Continuo copied by J. S. Altnickol
Organo (transposed, figured) entirely by J. S. Bach

Bf = different watermark from the above, dated 1746/47, but could be as late as August 1748. C-minor

Oboe da Caccia entirely in J. S. Bach's handwriting

Re: Mezzo-Soprano

There is a mezzo-soprano clef which centers on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff. This clef, in Germany, was predominantly used in the 16th century (Thomas Stoltzer was a composer who used it, for example). Its use became rare or non-existent during the 17th century; however, French composers still used it a lot well into the 18th century. I have been unable to find any instances at all where Bach used it. His 2nd soprano parts still use the same soprano clef that the 1st sopranos do. Mezzo-soprano in Walther's music dictionary (Leipzig, 1732) still defines mezzo-soprano as a specific range located between the soprano and the alto voice: a high alto or low descant(soprano). Bach, accordingly, had his mezzo-soprano parts (usually specified as Soprano II) but used the soprano clef for them rather than the actual mezzo-soprano clef that most composers of his time in Germany knew about but did not use. [This statement is based upon available information in the MGG1. BTW, Michael Praetorius still used the mezzo-soprano clef for instruments with a certain range (similar to the vocal range), instruments which were part of a choir of similar instruments with various ranges.]

I hope this clears up a few things about BWV 82, and Bach's use of mezzo-sopranos without specifying the clef position which was once associated with them at an earlier point in time in Germany.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 19, 2007):
I had just stated:
>>**I do not understand why Bach would change from the soprano clef to any other clef since as far as I can determine, Bach never used the mezzo-soprano clef (a moveable clef centered on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff rather than the 1st. Perhaps the NBA editors did not look carefully at Krebs' soprano clef for the E minor version to compare it with Bach's? They are probably the same.<<
Just after posting the above, I once again checked the 3 versions as printed in the NBA and have determined that the 1st version was originally scored for an alto voice with an alto clef. This version shows only two flats (representing the original score) in the key signature. Very likely any bass part that was copied from the score following Bach's instructions would have had a bass clef.
The 2nd version, also in C minor like the first, but with a modern key signature of 3 flats has the original bass/mezzo-soprano notation with a mezzo-soprano clef !!, the first one I have ever seen! Where does this come from? This must be from Bach's clef and key signature changes which he made to Krebs' soprano part. So Bach must have used this mezzo-soprano clef after all!
The 3rd version (reconstruction) shows Krebs' soprano clef for the e minor version.

Examining once again the original score and what came after it as far as scoring the cantata for a specific voice, it would appear that Bach originally intended BWV 82 to be for an alto but then quickly (or not so quickly) changed his mind to transform it into a bass cantata by writing at the bottom of the first page of the score: NB. The vocal part needs to be transposed into the bass range.

When did Bach write this note at the bottom of the page? The NBA is unable to date the NB note. The latter is written rather quickly and appears to me (a non-expert in handwriting analysis) to be different from his handwriting elsewher on the same page (the result of being very much in a hurry? a sudden last minute change -- a vocalist ill or unable to perform but a reliable bass ready to step in athe last moment?) Unfortunately the bass part which had been lent out and never returned is missing. There we could have discovered whether it was notated in the usual bass clef. If, however, an alto part had been copied out and even performed as the first version before Bach added his note in a later year, let's say, then this cantata would originally have been performed with an alto instead of a bass.

Summary:

There is a possibility/probability that BWV 82 for which Bach's autograph score has an alto part written out entirely using the alto clef (not the usual bass clef) was originally performed with an alto on February 2, 1727. This, of course, would disagree with all other findings, but the evidence here might be interpreted differently just because some key parts are missing for verification.

Alfred Dürr points out that another NB occurred a month earlier with BWV 58, where Bach writes at the end of mvt. 1 "This aria has to be set (changed into) a bass part". This mvt. however, does not show a change of clef from a soprano or mezzo-soprano or alto clef as it is notated in the autograph score as a bass clef to begin with. Dürr claims that Bach's original concept was for a soprano (chorale) with an alto commentary. Was there a common mezzo-soprano/alto problem here or not?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 19, 2007):
Somebody posted:
<<< Bach scholarship does not recognize any designation other than BWV 80 (There is no BWV 80a, BWV 80b, BWV 80c). >>>
I remarked in response:
<< In the 1998 edition of BWV, http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/bwv-review.htm
there is indeed a pair of separate listings in the main section for BWV 80a and BWV 80b, coming after BWV 80 in this book.
But, for BWV 82, there aren't separate numbers/letters for the several versions (and instrumentations) in C minor and E minor. >>
Somebody then quoted back just that last sentence again, cutting off his own earlier mistake about BWV 80/80a/80b, and retorted:
< As I had correctly stated! >
Look. It's one thing to offer misinformation, and it's another to compound it with more misinformation. One should either admit that the mistake happened the first time (three times in a row!) typing "80" when meaning "82" (what, a typist crossing his own intentions?!); or by refraining from re-defining the word "correctly" the second time (i.e. face-saving that made it worse instead of better).

- BWV 80, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott", indeed has alternate versions BWV 80a and 80b, right there in the BWV (the official catalog numbering Bach's compositions) on page 85, 1998 edition. This is an indisputable fact.

- "Correctly stated" implies that the thing said "82" the first time; but it didn't. It said 80. The member should probably check the copies of his own postings, and then admit (at least to himself) that he was mistaken.

Shawn Charton wrote (February 19, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] NOT that I'm weighing into this but...

a) Since the introduction of BWV 80 was completely random and it is only one number off I just assumed that it was meant to be 82. >brain flattulence<

b) From the content of the post, it doesn't really matter to which particular cantata he's referring. The real point was that different versions are not designated by the letters. (I think that was his point and I don't want to look up the post because I have to go soon.)

I don't know whether or not that last statement is true, but -as I understood it- that's what he meant...

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 19, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Bach, accordingly, had his mezzo-soprano parts (usually specified as Soprano II) but used the soprano clef for them rather than the actual mezzo-soprano clef that most composers of his time in Germany knew about but did not use. >
I think we should be careful about calling Bach's Soprano 2 parts "mezzo-soprano" parts on the basis of one notation on one part. If Bach notates them with the soprano clef and doesn't call them "mezzo-soprano" in the Magnificat and Mass in B Minor, then it would seem that the designation was old-fashioned in concerted music.

One last question ... In the Bodenschatz motet collection which Bach's choirs used every Sunday, did five-part motets notate Soprano 2 parts in the mezzo clef and designate them so? I've never seen the designation used in any 17th German music such as Schutz, Schein and Praetorius. Does anyone have an example of a lower soprano part marked "mezzo-soprano"?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 19, 2007):
BWV 82a, noch einmal

In the interest of getting the facts straight about the numbering BWV 82a, which is the E minor version of BWV 82 (Ich habe genug / genung) :

Ian Bostridge's fine recording of this composition is displayed here: Amazon.com
The booklet notes of that CD: on pages 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 16 all refer to "BWV 82a" as if it exists. The booklet annotations are credited to Michel Roubinet, and this CD was published in 2000. (I'm listening to it again right now; beautiful performance IMO.)

The following search with "82a" and the title of the piece comes up with more than 1000 hits:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=enrls=en&hs=CKp&q=%22ich+habe+genug%22+82a

And to do even better (fewer results but tighter search), include "hellmann" in the search as he was the scholar who prepared a published score (Breitkopf), the one referred to as BWV 82a! Diethard Hellmann is a well-respected Bach scholar with more than a dozen books/articles about Bach, to his credit.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&rls=en&hs=CKp&q=%22ich+habe+genug%22+hellmann

Try: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=hellmann+82a+bach&btnG=Search&hl=en&lr=
Up pops Stephen Daw's 1973 review of that edition, in Musical Times.

David Schulenberg's short article about this piece, on page 230 in the _Oxford Composer Companion_ (1999), mentions an alternate numbering: "BC A 169b, sometimes referred to improperly as BWV82a". "BC" here is the Bach Compendium edited by Schulze and Wolff.

I haven't yet consulted a copy of Hellmann's early-1970s Breitkopf edition, itself, to see what it asserts about its own numbering of the piece.

But, I believe the point is made sufficiently: some serious Bach scholarship does recognize "BWV 82a" as a valid number referring to the soprano/flute version of the piece (which in any case the BWV dates to 1731 or 1730 for first performance). And some other Bach scholarship disagrees about that numbering: most notably the BWV itself, lumping all the versions under the single entry of "82"...and not bothering to mention the work of the competing publisher (Breitkopf) in its short "Literatur" section about this piece!

So, the numbering "BWV 82a" does make some scholarly sense: even though -- as of 13 and 9 years ago respectively -- the NBA (M Wendt and U Wolf) and BWV (A Durr and colleagues) hadn't granted it such a number.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 19, 2007):
< a) Since the introduction of BWV 80 was completely random and it is only one number off I just assumed that it was meant to be 82.>brain flattulence< >
Probably so, but you're never going to get any admission of error from that source.

< b) From the content of the post, it doesn't really matter to which particular cantata he's referring. The real point was that different versions are not designated by the letters. (I think that was his point and I don't want to look up the post because I have to go soon.) >
But sometimes the different versions are designated by the le. For example, BWV 1006 is the violin version and BWV 1006a is the harpsichord (or lute) version of the E major partita. So, it makes sense that the number "BWV 82a" could indeed refer to a transposition or re-orchestration of BWV 82.

< I don't know whether or not that last statement is true, but -as I understood it- that's what he meant... >
Whatever he meant, it's not what he said. And the way he said it (and followed it up) was so pedantic, too, claiming to speak for the whole body of "Bach scholarship" as if it's all somehow available in one place...his computer desk and/or bookshelf, presumably.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 19, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< In the interest of getting the facts straight about the numbering BWV 82a, which is the E minor version of BWV 82 (Ich habe genug / genung) :
Ian Bostridge's fine recording of this composition is displayed here:
Amazon.com
The booklet notes of that CD: on pages 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, and 16 all refer to "BWV 82a" as if it exists. The booklet annotations are credited to Michel Roubinet, and this CD was published in 2000. (I'm listening to it again right now; beautiful performance IMO.) >

Not having followed most of the thread and myself not finding much value in such a question which doesn't change much one way or the other, I simply state for the moment that, when a few months ago I listened again to the Bostridge (whom I had developed an allergy to from some other [lieder] recordings), I was very touched and moved by this performance for which I give credit to both Biondi and his group and to the way with this group and conductor Bostridge used his instrument to express so much of the affecting but not affected loveliness inherent in this work.

Certainly there is no tenor version but likewise there is no you name it version of Winterreise and much else. We have all experienced (I assume) all kinds of voices that do a moving and meaningful Winterreise.

It is my understanding that Winterreise was written for tenor, is predominantly the domain of baritones and basses and works wonderful with other voices. The question for me is how effective is the performance (with all the variables that are inherent is any such work) in expressing the composer.

Theoretical issues of labelling are fairly irrelevant.

The matter with Nuits d'été is more complex and the piano version was written for low voice as I recall while the orchestrated version was written with each song assigned to a different kind of voice.Recordings that follow this way (those I have heard) are not very effective.

I also believe that Berlioz really did not get to hear them performed this way once he did his orchestral assignment.

There are wonderful mezzo for the most part and a truly moving tenor recording here and there.

Helmut Krebs (whose Bach I never did take to) has left an aircheck recording of Sommernächte (not all of the cycle but an interpretation I am very moved by)

There is much in such discussions and arguments that is of importance to scholars who do fill journals with such matters. That is only right. However for listeners, why would anyone care whether Bostridge has committed a sin against authorial intent? I am fully aware that Brad is not discussing the same matter that I am. I am saying that which I have to say.

I do hope to follow this tread in back-reading but BWV 82 is simply such perfect Bach and I strongly believe that not all cantatas are. I do thank Shawn for making me relisten to the bass aria in BWV 13, really amazing stuff.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 19, 2007):
A correction in my previous description of original parts for BWV 82 is needed in the following section where I had stated:

>>Second Performance/Version (1731):
[The NBA has printed a full-score reconstruction of this version for Soprano in E minor with the transverse flute as obbligato instrument]:

Bb = the soprano part in E minor AND the mezzo-soprano part in C minor (whether only indicated clearly by Bach as a version to be written out or as also written out by Krebs on the same part). Dated: circa 1735

Bc = an isolated flute traversiere part in E minor from the same period circa 1735 but copied by Anonymous Vh and the watermark is slightly different from Bb.<<

The separate line: "Dated: circa 1735" should be deleted. Restating the facts we have the following:

Bb = a singleton part in E minor for soprano and/or mezzo-soprano copied circa 1731

Bc = a singleton part in E minor for transverse flute copied circa 1735

The Second Performance/Version should be dated circa 1731 - 1735

This may mean that the 1731 Performance/Version may have had a different obbligato instrument (no specific instruments are specified in the original score so the precise nature of the obbligato instrument is not clearly indicated for the 1727 performance.

A Possible Time Line for BWV 82:

For the February 2, 1727 performance:

1. The autograph score begins with an alto (not bass!) clef indicating a performance by an alto voice. (The NBA KB claims that an alto clef would correspond to a Mezzo-soprano voice. I disagree.) However, after completing the entire first mvt.(I have just found this out!), Bach uses the bass clef for the remaining mvts. This means that Bach changed his mind in midstream in favor of a bass voice and wrote at the bottom of the first page of the score: "This vocal part (mvt. 1) has to be transposed to become a solo bass part." This implies that the first set of parts would have included a bass voice part. It is unknown which obbligato instrument was used.

Bach loses all the performing parts because they were never returned to him.

For the February 2, 1731 (circa) performance:

2. A transposed part for Soprano in E minor was copied out by Johann Ludwig Krebs. This means a whole new set of parts in E minor (to replace the missing ones in C minor) were needed. The nature of the obbligato instrument is still unknown here.

Anna Magdalena Bach's personal copies of BWV 82/2,3 in her Notenbüchlein, 1725, were made, at the latest in 1733 or 1734, but probably not much earlier than that. Her copies are in E minor instead of C minor.

For the February 2, 1735 (circa) performance:

3. The soprano version is used again, but this time a different obbligato instrument is added: "Flute Traversiere" (in E minor as in the Soprano part)
(Had some form of oboe or even violin been used up to this point?) The same parts existing from 1731 could be used for this performance.

For the February 2, 1735 (circa) performance:

4. A new set of parts, this time in C minor, must have been copied out (1st and 2nd violin parts still exist)

Bach takes the existing Soprano part in E minor and indicates at the end what the transposition should look like with a changed clef and changed key signature (actually the key changes from E minor to return to the original key in C minor); however, the mezzo-soprano clef makes clear that this performance is for a mezzo-soprano instead of an alto as was Bach's original intention in the autograph score. So Bach is not really returning to his original concept for alto as indicated in the autograph score, but has a new voice category in mind here. [If the original Krebs copy of the soprano part also includes the mezzo-soprano part written out by Krebs, then this supposition is nonsense, but if Bach only indicated how the transposition was to be carried out by a different copyist, then this may make a lot of sense. It may be that the resulting mezzo-soprano version (copy of the part) was lost or perhaps never copied or even performed.]

For the February 2, 1746 or 1747 (circa) performance

5. Another set of parts in C minor is generated since the first and second sets, with the exception of the two violin parts, have been lost.

Johann Christoph Altnickol, Bach's, son-in-law and a very good bass soloist, copies out the "Basso solo" part from the autograph s(not from Bach's indications at the end of the Krebs Soprano part). Bach personally copies the obbligato part (the top of the page has been cut off so we really do not know precisely which instrument it is supposed to be). Bach also copies the Viola and Organo parts, the latter transposed and figured. Altnickol copies a complete continuo part.

For the February 2, 1746, 1747 or as late as August 1748 performance:

6. Bach copies out an entirely new obbligato part for "Oboe da Caccia". All the other previously copied parts in C minor could be used for this performance.

Summary of Points:

1. Bach's original concept was for an alto cantata, but he changed his mind after the first mvt. to make it become a bass cantata. The nature of the obbligato instrument used is unknown other than that it must have been a treble instrument.

2. The first performance in 1727 was as a bass cantata.

3. The original set of parts (other than two violin (doublets) and the continuo (doublet?) were lost by 1731 probably as a result of lending the parts without ever having them returned.

4. In 1731 the first version for soprano appeared. The accompanying obbligato instrument is unknown.

5. During the period from 1731 to 1734, Anna Magdalena Bach copied two mvts. of BWV 82 into her musical workbook which she had begun in 1725.

6. In 1735 an obbligato transverse flute part was created, probably for another performance. The NBA conflates this flute part with the 1731 soprano part for their reconstruction of this version in E minor.

7. The appearance of newly copied violin parts from circa 1735, not in E minor, as might be suspected, but in C minor, points to the possibility that a version of BWV 82 for mezzo-soprano may have been prepared and performed. This assumes that Bach's indications of a changed clef and key signature, returning to C minor as appearing at the end of Krebs' soprano part (1731), were followed and a mezzo-soprano part copied four years later in 1735.

8. Johann Christoph Altnickol joins the Bach family. He was in Leipzig from 1744-1748. As an excellent bass soloist, he appears to be the most likely performer involved in the final revival(s) of this cantata. He is very active in preparing the parts (even his own part as bass soloist). On February 2, 1746 or 1747, He probably gives his first performance of this cantata. The precise nature of the obbligato instrument is not known, but for a repeat performance, probably in 1747 or even as late as August 1748, Bach personally prepares an obbligato part for an oboe da caccia.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 19, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>And to do even better (fewer results but tighter search), include "hellmann" in the search as he was the scholar who prepared a published score Breitkopf), the one referred to as BWV 82a! Diethard Hellmann is a well-respected Bach scholar with more than a dozen books/articles about Bach, to his credit.<<
This E minor version edited by Diethard Hellmann is dated "the summer of 1970". And ever since the appearance and use of this practical edition, the notion of BWV 82a has proliferated. The NBA KB very carefully avoids restating Hellmann's claim that this version is BWV 82a or that such a designation was ever acceptable.

BL: >>David Schulenberg's short article about this piece, on page 230 in the _Oxford Composer Companion_ (1999), mentions an alternate numbering: "BC A 169b, sometimes referred to improperly as BWV82a". "BC" here is the Bach Compendium edited by Schulze and Wolff.<<
And the same Schulze, in his "Die Bach-Kantaten" published in 2006 also does not consider BWV 82a as a proper designation. What does that tell you?

The use of BWV 82a is based on very much outdated scholarship. This designation should be dropped in any discussion of the various versions of this cantata until the Bach scholars currently working on this problem come up with a solution that can be incorporated into the BWV Verzeichnis.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 19, 2007):
Shawn Charton wrote:
< a) Since the introduction of BWV 80 was completely random and it is only one number off I just assumed that it was meant to be 82. >brain flattulence< >
Never to be outdone in the field of nitpicking, I have returned from a couple days away just in time to get my one or two cents worth in here. You are correct that there is an error in only one digit, but it is actually two numbers off: 82 vs. 80.

< b) From the content of the post, it doesn't really matter to which particular cantata he's referring. The real point was that different versions are not designated by the letters. (I think that was his point and I don't want to look up the post because I have to go soon.)
I don't know whether or not that last statement is true, but -as I understood it- that's what he meant... >
The last statement is not true, and that's not what he meant. Hence the incessant attention to detail in our discussions. It is a pain, for sure. Also necessary.

TB meant to say that there is no scholarly acceptance (read NBA) of letter designations for BWV 82, but he wrote BWV 80 in error, subsequently corrected. Others have subsequently questioned this, or at least questioned the definition of 'scholarly acceptance'. If I understand correctly, BWV 82a has been used as a designation on commercial recordings, so it is worth knowing what it means, regardless of its scholarly status.

There are accepted variants, BWV 80 a and b, with important implications, and TB did not intend to say that there are not.

Shabtai Atlow wrote (February 19, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski] Thanks for the Edziu-cation.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 20, 2007):
Shabtai Atlow wrote:
< Thanks for the Edziu-cation. >
You are welcome. I will not let it go to my head (or elsewhere).

 

Continue on Part 5

Cantata BWV 82: Details
Recordings:
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Recitative and Aria for Soprano from Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein | Recordings of Individual Movements
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Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | BWV 508-523 Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein - General Discussions
Articles:
Text, music and performative interpretation in Bach’s cantata Ich habe genug [U. Golomb] | Sellars Staging [U. Golomb] | The Need for Bach: A discussion of his life, Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, BWV 51 and Ich habe genung, BWV 82 [S. Burton]

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Last update: ęDecember 30, 2012 ę08:09:26