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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 5

Continue from Part 4

Shawn Charton wrote (February 20, 2007):
BWV 82a, noch einmal

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote:
< I do thank Shawn for making me relisten to the bass aria in 13, really amazing stuff. >
I may not know much, but I know the good/strange stuff, Yoël. ;-)
Don't mention it.

Richard Mix wrote (February 22, 2007):
Thank you, Thomas, for lessening my confusion. I still have a few queries below (apologies for the surgery on the quotes).

Btw, are "doublet" and "singleton" indeed paper sizes? There's nothing on the: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/index.htm page, nor in OCC, HDM, NGCC, etc. Would folio and quarto be better English translations?

< 2f. Re: BWV 82 revisited [was: mezo] >
Posted by Thomas Braatz"
< Bb = a singleton part in E minor for soprano and/or mezzo-soprano copied circa 1731 >
I take it then this might be a single part that could be used with either key by imagining the appropriate clef. For someone like myself w/o absolute pitch not even this expedient would be needed.

< Bc = a singleton part in E minor for transverse flute copied circa 1735 >
How big a window is there with these dates, presumably based on watermarks?

< For the February 2, 1727 performance: Bach loses all the performing parts because they were never returned to him. >
A reasonable inference from the existance of later parts, or do we actually know they were lent out?

< 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. >
Yes, maybe, maybe...

< 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) >
Again, I wonder if the apparent difference in date is based on use of a new batch of paper. "different" can be justified if the supposed earlier instrument was not a flute, but surly you meant "not nessesarily the same"? The flute part is more persuasive evidence than a voice part alone that there ever was an orchestral performance in e. But a flute obligato would also greatly simplify the keyboard-reduction player's task, especially if she were trying to accompany her own singing...

< 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) >
Ha! A real more-than-OPPP man would have argued instead that Bach augmented the string band on this occasion. Or maybe instead he saw the light and these survivors are discards ;-)

< ...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. >
I dont think one can strictly equate choice of clef with choice of voice type. I, a bass, am performing a Telemann cantata published in C3 clef with the title "for Bass or Alto" this April. There's also a false start in c3 clef in Messiah (Thus saith the Lord, isn't it?) It's even less clear to me that "mezo" existed as a voice type. How odd that the clef dosnt even show up in the MO canons, btw. Does anyone know if it's used in the Floraligium (yikes, I hope someone guesses from that spelling what I'm talking about)? I assume it was taught, if only for use in transposing; I used to have an early 19c cello tutor that included exercises in ALL the clefs, though I know of no actual literature.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 22, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>Btw, are "doublet" and "singleton" indeed paper sizes?<<
These terms are not paper sizes. A 'doublet' is simply a duplicate part of an existing first copy of a part. A 'singleton' refers to the fact that a part is the only still-existing part from what was a larger or more complete set of parts for a specific version.

>>"Bb = a singleton part in E minor for soprano and/or mezzo-soprano copied circa 1731" I take it then this might be a single part that could be used with either key by imagining the appropriate clef.<<
"either key"?? E minor is the only key mentioned here. "Bb" is the NBA KB designation of the part/version to which this single part belongs.

>>"Bc = a singleton part in E minor for transverse flute copied circa 1735" How big a window is there with these dates, presumably based on watermarks?<<
I would assume give or take a year on either side of the date given. Watermarks are not the only way to date these copies. Some watermarks have a run that last at least a couple of years. The actual copyists involved are very important. It is usually a combination of these two techniques that will point to a circa date.

>>For the February 2, 1727 performance: Bach loses all the performing parts because they were never returned to him. A reasonable inference from the existance of later parts, or do we actually know they were lent out?<<
Partly due to the obvious substantial loss of parts and the need to recopy them, but also from a possible reference to them in a letter written on January 28, 1741 by Johann Elias Bach (Bach's secretary at the time) in which he makes clear that Bach had lent a composition for Basso Solo to a bass singer by name of Büchner, but that they have never been returned to him. If this is indeed a reference to the complete set of parts for BWV 82, it could explain the loss either of the original set of parts from 1727 or those from 1735 in C minor of which only the 1st and 2nd violin parts have survived.

>>"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."
Yes, maybe, maybe...<<
Please clarify the reason for your doubt.

>>"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)"
Again, I wonder if the apparent difference in date is based on use of a new batch of paper.<<
Yes, different paper, different watermark, different copyist, one (Soprano part from c.1731 has various corrections and additions by J. S. Bach, but the Flute traversiere part was left completely untouched by Bach (very unusual).

>>"different" can be justified if the supposed earlier instrument was not a flute, but surly you meant "not nessesarily the same"?<<
Yes, it could have been, but not necessarily so. The NBA reconstruction conflates these two parts for this reason.

>>The flute part is more persuasive evidence than a voice part alone that there ever was an orchestral performance in e.<<
Again, the NBA reconstruction confirms this.

>>But a flute obligato would also greatly simplify the keyboard-reduction player's task, especially if she were trying to accompany her own singing...<<
Are you suggesting that AMB used this specific part for a home performance of BWV 82 where she sang the soprano part, accompanied herself on the harpsichord with the flute providing the obbligato treble part?

>>It's even less clear to me that "mezo" existed as a voice type.<<
I presented information on the 'mezo' clef in an earlier post. The answer here is that it did exist. It is unusual for Bach to use it, but there are still 18th century references to it (I just recently saw one in one of Mattheson's books.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 22, 2007):
< 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 hand.
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? >
Heilige Kuh! You're asserting here that the NBA editors somehow weren't careful enough with their task?

< 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.] >
Is there any extant evidence that the parts were lent out to anybody, or was that just somebody's guess? (Whose?)

What is this "most likely" thingy based on? Some conflation with the history of another piece (Sanctus of BMM) that got lent out to Count Sporck, and never came back?

< 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]:(etc, etc) (...) >

A full-score reconstruction based how closely on Diethard Hellmann's Breitkopf edition that preceded it? Credited how, in the NBA's critical notes?

As you noted elsewhere:
< 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. >
I don't see how any reliable conclusion along that line can be drawn from an absence of information: "carefully avoids restating"?!?!? The information is either there or it's not. You don't know the intent of the writers, on any reason they allegedly left it out. And beyond the unknowability of their intent: one would also have to check every other KB to see if this piece gets mentioned in discussions of other compositions, before asserting that the NBA "carefully" omits something!

< 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. >
I've read through that posting several times, and I don't see where it mentions one of the principal sources from directly in the Bach household: movements 2 and 3 as found in Anna Magdalena's notebook. In G major, belonging (presumably) to some use of the E-minor version. And it could have been at any time between 1727 and 1731...or even possibly before the first bass performance 1727, C minor version.

Not to neglect that that movement 3 by itself is a really nice lullaby to use around the house, singing or humming it to a child, as I've done. That might be a good reason for it to be in Mrs Bach's book, in a transposition that fit her voice range.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 22, 2007):
>>"Bb = a singleton part in E minor for soprano and/or mezzo-soprano copied circa 1731" I take it then this might be a single part that could be used with either key by imagining the appropriate clef.<<
< "either key"?? E minor is the only key mentioned here. "Bb" is the NBA KB designation of the part/version to which this single part belongs. >
I don't see that anybody is confusing that "Bb" there with a key.

A part written for C minor, if it's notated in soprano clef (middle C on the bottom line), can be performed rather easily in E minor by pretending it's notated in treble clef, and mentally changing the key signature and any accidentals that come up.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 22, 2007):
BWV 82 Schlummert ein

< I've read through that posting several times, and I don't see where it mentions one of the principal sources from directly in the Bach household: movements 2 and 3 as found in Anna Magdalena's notebook. In G major, belonging (presumably) to some use of the E-minor version. And it could have been at any time between 1727 and 1731...or even possibly before the first bass performance 1727, C minor version.
Not to neglect that that movement 3 by itself is a really nice lullaby to use around the house, singing or humming it to a child, as I've done. That might be a good reason for it to be in Mrs Bach's book, in a transposition that fit her voice range. >
Or hey, why not play out the conjecture that maybe Anna Magdalena composed that "Schlummert ein" aria, as represented by that shorter draft in her notebook...before her husband borrowed and transposed it for church, adding a melody instrument too?

Or maybe JSB himself sang the bass version himself at least once in church?

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 22, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>You're asserting here that the NBA editors somehow weren't careful enough with their task?<<
The ability to view these parts directly would have easily resolved this question.

BL: >>Is there any extant evidence that the parts were lent out to anybody, or was that just somebody's guess? (Whose?)<<
This information has been posted twice, once as recently as yesterday.

BL: >>What is this "most likely" thingy based on? Some conflation with the history of another piece (Sanctus of BMM) that got lent out to Count Sporck, and never came back?<<
You need to read my posts more carefully and not confuse them with other issues.

BL: >>A full-score reconstruction based how closely on Diethard Hellmann's Breitkopf edition that preceded it? Credited how, in the NBA's critical notes?<<
Perhaps no need at all to go back to an outdated edition. A fresh start at a reconstruction is probably better accomplished without reference to an earlier edition. The NBA does not provide a complete listing of their differences from the BGA. It is usually summarized in just a sentence or two. Likewise the NBA feels no need to provide critical notes on the Hellmann edition since they are working directly from the originals and not from another person's interpretation of these original parts.

BL: >>I don't see how any reliable conclusion along that line can be drawn from an absence of information: "carefully avoids restating"?!?!? The information is either there or it's not. You don't know the intent of the writers, on any reason they allegedly left it out. And beyond the unknowability of their intent:one would also have to check every other KB to see if this piece gets mentioned in discussions of other compositions, before asserting that the NBA "carefully" omits something!<<
The intent is obvious: By omitting the designation BWV 82a in referring to Hellmann's reconstruction and simply calling it an edition of the E minor version, they are clearly avoiding the use of this category. This has been subsequently confirmed by various key Bach scholars who likewise still (2006) do not add any letters to the BWV 82. Why is this so difficult to comprehend or accept?

BL: >>Not to neglect that that movement 3 by itself is a really nice lullaby to use around the house, singing or humming it to a child, as I've done. That might be a good reason for it to be in Mrs Bach's book, in a transposition that fit her voice range.<<
"A lullaby to use around the house"? Let me refer here to your 'flight of fancy' not substantiated by any hard evidence the next time you criticize me for coming up with a reasonable scenario.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 22, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Or hey, why not play out the conjecture that maybe Anna Magdalena composed that "Schlummert ein" aria, as represented by that shorter draft in her notebook...before her husband borrowed and transposed it for church, adding a melody instrument too?<<
And perhaps that Brad Lehmann is the first to have rediscovered Bach's secret method of tuning?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 22, 2007):
< BL:>>Not to neglect that that movement 3 by itself is a really nice lullaby to use around the house, singing or humming it to a child, as I've done. That might be a good reason for it to be in Mrs Bach's book, in a transposition that fit her voice range.<<
"A lullaby to use around the house"? Let me refer here to your 'flight of fancy' not substantiated by any hard evidence the next time you criticize me for coming up with a reasonable scenario. >
"Prove" that Mr or Mrs Bach never sang or hummed it at home, to comfort an upset child. It's perfect music for that, and it's right there in that Anna Magdalena book where they compiled household-use music. I've tested empirically that it works on at least one child. Cuddle the child up, and walk or bob gently while singing. The text is nicely appropriate, too, about closing the eyes and going to sleep. "Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, Fallet sanft und selig zu!"

Another really good lullaby is in the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). "Schlafe, mein Liebster, genieße der Ruh, Wache nach diesem vor aller Gedeihen!"

Chris Rowson wrote (February 22, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Or hey, why not play out the conjecture that maybe Anna Magdalena composed that "Schlummert ein" aria, as represented by that shorter draft in her notebook...before her husband borrowed and transposed it for church, adding a melody instrument too?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< And perhaps that Brad Lehmann is the first to have rediscovered Bach's secret method of tuning? >
Yes, both are possibilities, arenīt they?

Alain Bruguieres wrote (February 22, 2007):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< "Prove" that Mr or Mrs Bach never sang or hummed it at home, to comfort an upset child. It's perfect music for that, and it's right there in that Anna Magdalena book where they compiled household-use music. I've tested empirically that it works on at least one child. Cuddle the child up, and walk or bob gently while singing. The text is nicely appropriate, too, about closing the eyes and going to sleep. "Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen, Fallet sanft und selig zu!" >
I'm not sure the text matters; I've used 'Hebt euer Haupt empor' from BWV 70 with my son, to the same effect...

Vladimir Skavysh wrote (February 22, 2007):
Child Pacification (Was: BWV 82 revisited)

Alain Bruguières wrote:
< I'm not sure the text matters; I've used 'Hebt euer Haupt empor' from BWV 70 with my son, to the same effect... >
Has anyone tried "Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen"? Sing that to a child!

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 22, 2007):
BWV 82 NBA on the various versions

BWV 82

A Summary Translation of pp. 90-92 of NBA KB I/28.1:

On the various versions in C minor

By far the greatest number of parts for this cantata are in C minor. For the various performances in this key, there are several differently orchestrated variants. At least twice (for the 1st performance in 1727 and the later one circa 1746/1747, the vocal part was for a bass voice, but at least once a mezzo-soprano was called for.

In the autograph score, Bach notates in mvt. 5, mm. 54ff, where one treble line stands for 2 instruments: "Violino I con Hautb." From this we can suspect at least that the treble obbligato part from 1746/1747 (which had its designation cut off from the top of the page) may have been for oboe. For mvt. 1, the use of an oboe can only be suspected because there is no source available which substantiates the use of this instrument. Possibly the performance of mvt. 3 in 1735 had an oboe da caccia the obbligato instrument which may also have been used for the 1st performance in 1727. This observation is based upon the flute traversiere part from 1735 in E minor which must have been copied from a lost C minor part for Oboe da caccia. When BWV 82 was performed circa 1746/1747, the new oboe da caccia part did not play this mvt. Since Bach personally copied the late oboe da caccia part (Be2), there is no reason to consider that this might have been an oversight on his part and not intentional. The reasons for having the oboe not play at this point are unknown, but perhaps Bach wanted to thin out the texture of the orchestration, or there simply was no oboe da caccia available for this specific performance. This was then remedied with mvt. 3 restored, when Bach copied the part expressly labeled as "Oboe da Caccia" (Bf).

In the final mvt. as performed circa 1746/1747, the 2nd violin part is divided. The included ripieno part (Be4) was first written out as an independent part with all of the 'piano' passages being replaced with rests/pauses, apparently under Bach's personal directive. Based upon this, it is highly unlikely that Bach would have used ripieno violin parts for his earlier performances of BWV 82.

A separate organ part remains only from the circa 1746/1747 version. Since this part shows many deviations not found in all the other continuo parts, even at times departing from what is found in the autograph score, a question remains whether this represents what may have been part of the original set of parts for the early performances of this work, or whether there might have been another reason that caused Bach to undertake these modifications: he left out the unaccented {time signatures? the bar/measure lines?} ["Taktzeiten"], a fact which points to a conscious more refined/differentiated continuo realization. [I am not certain here what the NBA editors are referring to]. Very conspicuously the note Eb (as it sounds) is always avoided. One reason for this could be that, for the organ used in the performance of this cantata, this note was not available or playable. Historical records indicate that the organ in St. Thomas Church was under repair beginning in June 1747, because it "durch den vielen Staub und Unrath bey nahe unbrauchbar worden [.und von den Pfeifen.] die mehresten von denselben gar nicht mehr ansprechen" (Spitta II, p. 870-871) ("was almost unplayable because of the amount of dust and rubbish so that most of the organ pipes did not even speak any more.")

The version in E minor

Since there are only two parts (Bb1 and Bc1) that have survived and because these two parts are from different years (circa 1731 vs. circa 1735), only very hypothetical conjectures about the orchestration of this version are possible.

The vocal part was intended for soprano voice. Probably for reasons due to the limitations of range [which had changed through transposing the composition from C minor to E minor] of the original obbligato instrument (Oboe or Oboe da caccia) a transverse flute was used instead. The flute part was transposed from a now-lost original oboe part and not from the violin part playing the same line. The flute part follows the same "Stimmknickungen" ("the sudden up or down transposition by an octave when the limits of an instrument are reached") that the oboe part would have had, but which the violin part would not have displayed. The oboe part would have avoided going beyond the low 'B'. Since, however, there is no surviving part for any wind instrument for the postulated performance on February 2, 1731, it remains unclear if a transverse flute might already have been used for that performance. (Since all the other instrumental parts are missing as well, a performance with an obbligato keyboard instrument can not be excluded as a possibility.) The version of BWV 82/3 with continuo accompaniment found in the Anna Magdalena Music-Notebook 1725 could possibly be a echo/suggestion of such an orchestration.

Possibly, where these perfoin E minor are concerned, it may be more a question of non-official, non-sacred circumstances such as private concerts. Some indications that this might be the case come from considering the following: BWV 82/3 may have been one of Anna Magdalena Bach's favorite arias since she included it twice in her notebook. Conceivable would be a private performance with AMB as soloist (an official performance by her in any Leipzig church at that time would have been out of question, but a performance by a boy soprano might have been possible.) Some support for the private-performance theory comes from the fact that the same copyist, Anonymous Vh, for the only existing flute part, joined C P E Bach in copying out the parts for the Coffee Cantata (BWV 211). Also possible would be a performance by AMB outside of Leipzig, perhaps as the Weissenfels Court, where women customarily sang such parts. The text of this cantata offers the possibility that it could have been used as "Trauermusik" ("Funeral/Mourning Music") which is not bound to its use as an Epistle or Gospel text that is tied into the liturgical year.

[Bach, having in 1729 assumed the directorship of the Collegium musicum which performed weekly on Friday nights (8 to 10 o'clock) in Gottfried Zimmermann's Coffeehouse in winter and in summer on Wednesday afternoons outdoors in the coffee-garden near the Grimmäische Thor and otherwise twice weekly during the large trade fairs in spring and autumn, would encounter no difficulties with Leipzig authorities if AMB performed either BWV 82 (or the more popular parts thereof) or what must have been a very popular hit, BWV 211, the Coffee Cantata after Bach orchestrated Picander's libretto in 1734. This date comes close to the one related to the E minor flute part for BWV 82. This all seems to fit together somehow.]

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 22, 2007):
Chris Rowson wrote:
>>Yes, both are possibilities, arenīt they?<<
Yes, as wildly possible as having AMB dictate her composition for Bach to write down in his composing score for the performance of February 2, 1727 where his first conception was for Alto voice, then changed to Bass voice.

AMB's incomplete, unfinished drafts contained in her Notenbüchlein were entered in 1733-1734.

Why does Brad Lehman persist in posting suppositions and theories such as these which have no realistic foundation based upon existing facts which he chooses to overlook?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 23, 2007):
>>Yes, both are possibilities, arenīt they?<<
< Yes, as wildly possible as having AMB dictate her composition for Bach to write down in his composing score for the performance of February 2, 1727 where his first conception was for Alto voice, then changed to Bass voice. >
But that's your conjecture (albeit also the belief of lots of other people) that this "first conception" of that aria was by JSB at all; and that it didn't exist on some other scrap(s) of paper around the house, at any time January 1727 or earlier, by anybody capable of composing it.

< AMB's incomplete, unfinished drafts contained in her Notenbüchlein were entered in 1733-1734. >
According to what hard evidence, proving that it absolutely was not written anywhere before that particular copy; or that that particular copy had to have been written out only during that year? She had the book already in 1725, to fill up whenever she got round to it. And she surely had access to other bits of paper around the house, to do any sketches or other drafts if she were inclined to do so.

By the way, that part of the book has some missing pages, too. As pointed out in the notes of one of the editions I have here: "This aria has been written down twice: the first time only the vocal part, without taking care of the bass-system (p. 120), the second time with the bass part, but without the ending. Both copies are separated from each other. In both instances the writer must have been called away from her work, without having found the time to finish it. Six pages have been cut between p. 129 and p. 130, which points to some further disturbance at the time of these writings. Both versions have no instrumental prelude and vary, besides, in regard to the length of the interludes. Our edition supplements everything missing except for the prelude, according to the cantata version."

That suggests to me, especially with regard to the varied lengths of the interludes and the other missing stuff (such as the obbligato instrument!), that maybe these reflect a drafting process before the cantata. It's not impossible -- despite the penchant of 20th C editors simply to assume that the whole thing should be corrected backward from the cantata version, inserting allegedly missing bits and forcing it all to line up nicely, as they've done. And what's in the missing batch of six pages? Cut out when? We don't know.

< Why does Brad Lehman persist in posting suppositions and theories such as these which have no realistic foundation based upon existing facts which he chooses to overlook? >
Since I disagree with almost every clause of that bizarre sentence/question, there's no way I can dignify it with a proper response either.

It would just perplex you further, anyway, and (as history has demonstrated) draw further cavalier personal abuse from you. Invariably these bursts of your wrath and incredulity are coupled with your usual principle that the NBA KB tells you everything you care to know...except for the places where you suggest their editors weren't careful/thorough enough, and the other sallies where you make up your own scenarios about the household (everybody round the table with the kids in bed!). Here's your own recent comment about the way the NBA editors allegedly didn't do their own job properly, with regard to BWV 82:

< **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? >
Q.E.D. Well hey, if you're gonna overrule your own preciously purchased NBA and its KB, whenever it doesn't suit you, it all becomes "just makin' up stuff." The editors screwed up because they didn't look closely enough at Krebs's clef? Oh, but then the NBA and its KB can be brought up as weaponry to put anybody else down, by you. Weird game there. It's either authoritative or it's not, at your authoritarian whim. Weird wild stuff.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 23, 2007):
< A Summary Translation of pp. 90-92 of NBA KB I/28.1: >
Didn't some other fine member of this group, several months ago, point out correctly that "summary translation" is an oxymoron?

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 23, 2007):
< A Summary Translation of pp. 90-92 of NBA KB I/28.1:
(...)
The version in E minor
(...)
Possibly, where these performances in E minor are concerned, it may be more a question of non-official, non-sacred circumstances such as private concerts. Some indications that this might be the case come from considering the following: BWV 82/3 may have been one of Anna Magdalena Bach’s favorite arias since she included it twice in her notebook. Conceivable would be a private performance with AMB as soloist (an official performance by her in any
Leipzig church at that time would have been out of question, but a performance by a boy soprano might have been possible.) >
Let's be clear. Is any of that paragraph in the NBA KB? (Yes or no, please.) Or is it all a bunch of explication by the "summary translator", summarily putting forth a view that's not printed in that book?

Anyway, a nifty "non-official, non-sacred circumstance" could be something like putting a kid to bed. Especially so, since those other conjectural "private performances" are not based on any hard evidence either. What better way to prepare for a private concert (alno evidence is presented for the existence of such an event), than to go around the house singing the vocal part, trying out its phrasing? Or humming it further at bedtimes, or any other occasions after this evidence-free private concert, having troubled to learn the piece?

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Let's be clear. Is any of that paragraph in the NBA KB? (Yes or no, please.) Or is it all a bunch of explication by the "summary translator", summarily putting forth a view that's not printed in that book?<<
I respect your right to critize my postings, but the only way you will ever know if what I have presented is accurate is to consult these sources yourself rather than wasting many readers' time in wading through your numerous, off-the-mark criticisms that amount to accusations that I have misrepresented Bach scholarship on these lists.

Richard Mix wrote (February 23, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< These terms are not paper sizes. A 'doublet' is simply a duplicate part of an existing first copy of a part. A 'singleton' refers to the fact that a part is the only still-existing part from what was a larger or more complete set of parts for a specific version. >
So a full set of nonduplicated parts would consist of what, "singlets" instead of singletons? What term does the NBA use anyway? And do they also use "folio" "quart" "octav" usw...?

>>"Bb = a singleton part in E minor for soprano and/or mezzo-soprano...
< "either key"?? E minor is the only key mentioned here. >
I am of course relying on your description, "either/or", whether that means copied twice, as I understood you to suggest, or once with a choice of clef that allows the bottom staffline to be read as e or c.

>>"Bc = a singleton part in E minor for transverse flute copied circa 1735" How big a window is there with these dates, presumably based on watermarks?<<
< I would assume give or take a year on either side of the date given. Watermarks are not the only way to date these copies. Some watermarks have a run that last at least a couple of years. The actual copyists involved are very important. It is usually a combination of these two techniques that will point to a circa date. >
Yes, for example even I without training can clearly see changes in JSB's late hand due to stokes which can be pinpointed in time from signatures on official documents. It would be interesting to see the chain of reasoning that leads to such precise dates for the bwv82 parts. No doubt it might be possible to establish that the e minor material could not have been copied near enough in time to be used for the same performance, but different paper & copyist in themselves dont prove more than division of labor, do they?

Btw, if one rejects NBA's conflation this might make it a "doublet", yes?

>>For the February 2, 1727 performance:... substantial loss of parts and the need to recopy them, but also from a possible reference to them in a letter written on January 28, 1741 by Johann Elias Bach (Bach's secretary at the time) in which he makes clear that Bach had lent a composition for Basso Solo to a bass singer by name of Büchner, but that they have never been returned to him.
Very interesting; thank you.

< Please clarify the reason for your doubt [that Bb could not be used without orch. parts in e] >
Well, I'm projecting my modern facility in transposing a vocal part at sight back to Bach's environment, as well as going by the "either/or" above.

< Are you suggesting that AMB used this specific part for a home performance of BWV 82 where she sang the soprano part, accompanied herself on the harpsichord with the flute providing the obbligato treble part? >

Are you suggesting I would ever venture a suggestion based on lack of surviving evidence? >:-[
Besides, the "Ich habe genug" in the Büchlein is the recit., not the obligato first mvt. The flute does make for a more appealing version than keyboard alone, though.

>>It's even less clear to me that "mezo" existed as a voice type.<<
< I presented information on the 'mezo' clef in an earlier post. The answer here is that it did exist. It is unusual for Bach to use it, but there are still 18th century references to it (I just recently saw one in one of
Mattheson's books.) >
Interesting; does he actually name it mezo- or mezzo- schlussel? Btw, what I am querying are the vocal classifications mezzo & baritone in an 18c context.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>But that's your conjecture (albeit also the belief of lots of other people) that this "first conception" of that aria was by JSB at all; and that it didn't exist on some other scrap(s) of paper around the house, at any time January 1727 or earlier, by anybody capable of composing it.<<
No, these are very well-considered conjectures on the part of the NBA editors, not at all like Brad Lehman's off-the-cuff imagination which has behind it a completely distorted view of "AMB's great capabilities as a composer". Until more evidence to support this contention is found, it is best not to insist on such insupportable theories that stretch the historical record beyond its breaking point.

Regarding my evidence from the NBA KBs: "AMB's incomplete,unfinished drafts contained in her Notenbüchlein were entered in 1733-1734."

BL: >>According to what hard evidence, proving that it absolutely was not written anywhere before that particular copy; or that that particular copy had to have been written out only during that year?"
The hard evidence is found in the NBA KB, a useful source that anyone, particularly one who apparently has a degree in some form of musicology, asking such questions as the above ought to consult before even asking or reiterating questions which only serve to reveal one's own ignorance and inability to realize which sources are most apt to supply the information needed.

Working with incomplete historical records as with Bach's music, there is a place for reasonable conjectures. What you suggest are possibilities that are extremely far-fetched ("an den Haaren herbeigezogen" = literally: 'pulled in by one's hair') and highly improbable. Just to assert childishly these extremely remote probabilities is to place oneself behond the pale of good scholarship.

BL: >>She had the book already in 1725, to fill up whenever she got round to it. And she surely had access to other bits of paper around the house, to do any sketches or other drafts if she were inclined to do so.<<
Are you not aware of the fact that her entries in this hardbound book are arranged in a chronological order: the earliest entries at the beginning and the latest at the end?

BL: >>By the way, that part of the book has some missing pages, too. As pointed out in the notes of one of the editions I have here: "This aria has been written down twice: the first time only the vocal part, without taking care of the bass-system (p. 120), the second time with the bass part, but without the ending. Both copies are separated from each other.<<
This means they were separated spatially in the notebook as Numbers 34 & 38, not being torn out as separate pages.

BL: >>That suggests to me, especially with regard to the varied lengths of the interludes and the other missing stuff (such as the obbligato instrument!), that maybe these reflect a drafting process before the cantata. It's not impossible...<<
Yes, it is impossible. The dating of these entries by AMB is based on the particular form of the natural sign she used. This places both of her copies to after 1733 until the end of 1734. BTW, this proof of dating was already suggested by Spitta in the 19th century.

BL: >>...your usual principle that the NBA KB tells you everything you care to know...<<
You could potentially learn a lot from the NBA KBs. You will find in them much useful and meaningful information of which you are obviously unaware.

BL: >>Here's your own recent comment about the way the NBA editors allegedly didn't do their own job properly, with regard to BWV 82:<<
This was corrected by me on the next day in another post ithis same thread. Too bad that you never got to read it. Now, unfortunately, I and other readers will need to hear this same accusation brought up by you over and over again.

BL: >>...the NBA and its KB can be brought up as weaponry to put anybody else down, by you. Weird game there.<<
No, it is only a case of your shooting yourself in the foot each time when you are forced to confront the careful scholarship of the NBA. I relate this information to these lists because, in many instances, these sources are the best available and others are genuinely interested in what they have to say. The fact that you do not generally accept what they have presented, despite the fact that they have collected and examined more hard evidence regarding any given work by Bach than any other source, is not my fault. I should not be blamed for your apparent inability to comprehend whatever conclusions or reasonable conjectures they present after they have carefully deliberated and considered most of the feasible possibilities that exist.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>So a full set of nonduplicated parts would consist of what, "singlets" instead of singletons?<<
This varies from cantata to cantata. The minimum set of parts usually included a single part for each voice and instrumental part with the exception of the violins and continuo which usually exist in doublet parts as well. Sometimes ripieno vocal parts also exist.

RM: >>What term does the NBA use anyway? And do they also use "folio" "quart" "octav" usw...?<<
In reference to the parts for BWV 82, the NBA KB refers to a single part as being "1 Bogen" ("sheet") which is divided into to "4 Seiten" ("pages"). The "Blattformat" ("Leaf-format") varies from 35 x 21 cm to 34.5 x 21 and 33.5 x 20.

RM: >>I am of course relying on your description, "either/or", whether that means copied twice, as I understood you to suggest, or once with a choice of clef that allows the bottom staffline to be read as e or c.<<
The NBA KB is not clear on this matter as I have indicated before. The page length of the soprano part is 2 pages longer than the basso part. Actually seeing this part or a facsimile would immediately clear this matter up.

RM: >>Yes, for example even I without training can clearly see changes in JSB's late hand due to stokes which can be pinpointed in time from signatures on official documents. It would be interesting to see the chain of reasoning that leads to such precise dates for the bwv82 parts. No doubt it might be possible to establish that the e minor material could not have been copied near enough in time to be used for the same performance, but different paper & copyist in themselves dont prove more than division of labor, do they?<<
But the use of a specific copyist at one time and another at another time do. One copyist may be associated with copying for Bach only during a limited time span based upon other works which were copied during the same time frame. This is what happened with Bb by Johann Ludwig Krebs and Anonymous Vh. The world's most respected analyst of Bach's handwriting is Yoshitake Kobayashi. He is involved in providing evidence for dating Bach's handwriting as well as those who assisted him, but his main emphasis is upon dating Bach's handwritten manuscripts and documents.

RM: >>Btw, if one rejects NBA's conflation this might make it a "doublet", yes?<<
No, not unless it is a part which exists as a true doublet and/or is marked accordingly. The NBA's conflation involves the Bb soprano part (1731) and the Bc flute part (1735) which were copied circa 4 years apart from each other. Yet, it is conceivable that the flute part may have been used in a circa 1735 performance together with the soprano part which had been copied earlier earlier. The Hellmann practical edition of the E minor version and the NBA reconstruction are based upon this assumption.

RM: >>Please clarify the reason for your doubt [that Bb could not be used without orch. parts in e]<<
For a transposition from one key to another, Bach usually has a new set of transposed instrumental parts copied out. Under such circumstances he does not rely on having all the instrumentalists transpose their parts at sight. Is it not sufficient for them already to be able to sight-read their parts at a performance without adding an additional hoop for them to jump through?

RM: >>Well, I'm projecting my modern facility in transposing a vocal part at sight back to Bach's environment, as well as going by the "either/or" above.<<
I thought you were referring to the instrumentalists who would have to read the C minor parts as E minor. Could a vocal soloist read the E minor soprano part copied by Krebs in C minor? That would certainly seem possible, but why would the soprano part have been transposed to E minor in the first place and why would the flute part also be in E minor and not C minor like all the previous parts that had existed before that time?

RM: >>Interesting; does he [Mattheson] actually name it mezo- or mezzo- schlussel? Btw, what I am querying are the vocal classifications mezzo & baritone in an 18c context.<<
Johann Mattheson "Kleine Generalbass-Schule", Hamburg, 1735, p. 76:

"Zum andern nimmt dieser c-Schlüssel auch die zweite Linie ein: da denn die Note, so auf solcher Linie zu stehen kömmt / c heisst; nach welcher Benennung sich alle andere richten. Bey dieser Stellung heisset er das hohe Alt=Zeichen / oder der halbe Discant=Schlüssel, und siehet so aus:"

("In this second instance [the first instance once the soprano clef where the C-clef points to the bottom line of the staff], the C-clef points to the 2nd line from the bottom, since the note that sits on this line is called C. The other lines [and spaces] are named accordingly [in alphabetical sequence]. When the C-clef assumes this position it is called "the high-alto sign" or the "half-descant" clef, and it looks like this:")

Remember that Johann Walther, in his "Musicalisches Lexicon....", Leipzig, 1732, actually has a full entry for "Mezzo-Soprano" defined as a high alto or low descant voice. This is a voice type. Walther then incidentally adds the fact that its clef [the mezzo-soprano clef] encloses the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff.

Add to this Bach's own use of this mezzo-soprano clef for the "Basso o Mezzosoprano" C-minor version from the 1730s and 1740s. This is verified in the printed score of BWV 82 on p. 111 of the NBA I/28.1.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 23, 2007):
BWV 82 revisited FANTASY ALERT!

Thomas Braatz wrote:
< For a transposition from one key to another, Bach usually has a new set of transposed instrumental parts copied out. Under such circumstances he does not rely on having all the instrumentalists transpose their parts at sight. Is it not sufficient for them already to be able to sight-read their parts at a performance without adding an additional hoop for them to jump through? >
FANTASY ALERT!

Here we go again. In the midst of a factual description we have this fantasy that Bach's musicians did not rehearse and sightread his music.

Frankly, I find it easier to believe that Bach's musicians were able to transpose a part without having it recopied than this constant assertion of an impossibility.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 23, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>FANTASY ALERT!
Here we go again. In the midst of a factual description we have this fantasy that Bach's musicians did not rehearse and sightread his music.<<
And here we go again with the presumption that today's musicians know precisely how things were done in Bach's time under his direction simply because "the way things are done today must be the same way things were done back then". This is just as if times, customs, practices and the methods used in the presentation of music are eternal and never undergo any changes. This allows today's musicians 'logically' to 'know' exactlyhow things must have been done in the Leipzig during the 1720s and 1730s.

Is this a realistic approach for determining what happened when Bach composed and performed his cantatas at a rate of at least a cantata a week, sometimes even more? I do not think so.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] I have always said that we cannot be dogmatic about Bach's performance practice because the documents are so sparse. But YES, it is time for you to acknowledge that there is continuity between the 18th century and 21st in the practical aspects of music-making. Of course there are differences -- there is no such thing as an "eternal" method and no one has ever suggested that -- but your sightsinging/no rehearsal assertions are just plain wrong.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] I don't think making this kind of assertions is any better than making firm assertions in the other direction. Unless I am missing something here, Bach took his musicians from a school devoted to the education of young musicians. One of a certain renown, if I am not mistaken. Maybe it was a Baroque version of the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia (as in, the one half the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra graduated from)?

Well, let me tell you something. Nearly everyone at Curtis has perfect pitch. At least that's how it was back in the 1980s. Surely you are aware of what sort of effect that would have on people's sight-reading ability? Not that perfect pitch is a necessity for sight-reading ability. But if one is doing one cantata a week, one has to be an awfully quick study to deal with the workload...

If these folks were really doing that much material in that small a time frame, we have to ask what else they were doing with their time. I mean, there are only 168 hours in a week. And I don't think that has changed since
Baroque times ;;) How much time could they even have had to do rehearsals?

And even if they did rehearse, I bet it was a lot less than the scenarios people have been proposing. Probably these folks were indeed able to sight-read everything perfectly, so that all they needed was at most a runthrough before Sunday.

My two grosze.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 23, 2007):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
< But if one is doing one cantata a week, one has to be an awfully quick study to deal with the workload... >
You have found an effective way to state what I hope everyone involved would agree with. But there is still a lot of territory between 'quick study', and Sunday AM sight-reading of compositions hot off the quill at Saturday midnight. This proposed not as a rare emergency response, but as standard working procedure.

Agreed, rehearsal time was scarce, but Bach wanted as much of it as possible, both points clear from his own statements.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Cara Emily Thornton] I think we have to be careful about aligning perfect pitch and sight-singing. There are many singers who have perfect pitch but have defective reading skills in rhythm. I have no doubt that Bach's musicians were more than capable of singing his music: he simply wouldn't have written such music if it was poorly performed week after week. They had the advantage over us that they were completely immersed in the style and had Bach to direct them.

My objection here is that the reords do not justify Thomas's assertions. Last year, he asserted that Bach used the Saturday evening Vespers as the rehearsal. I objected that common sense tells us that Bach would never have used a public liturgy of the church for rehearsal purposes. He then seized on Bach's comments about one particular singer's sight-reading abilities and turned that into a dictum that Bach's singers and instrumentalists did not rehearse.

Let's be clear here. Thomas Braatz is the only person in the world who holds this impractical opinion. I have not seen it even suggested anywhere in the scholarly literature. We do not know how the day-to-day preparation for the weekly cantata proceeded and I doubt we ever will. Forcing inconclusive data into dogmas is not a worthy exercise.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 23, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The hard evidence is found in the NBA KB, a useful source that anyone, particularly one who apparently has a degree in some form of musicology, asking such questions as the above ought to consult before even asking or reiterating questions which only serve to reveal one's own ignorance and inability to realize which sources are most apt to supply the information needed. (...)
You could potentially learn a lot from the NBA KBs. You will find in them much useful and meaningful information of which you are obviously unaware. >
Enough with your patronizing demeanour and lectures about this. Way more than enough. I worked in a music library for three years, handling those NBA and KB volumes all the time and reading them often. Your phrase "obviously unaware" is just a bunch of nonsense, especially since you've never met me. I am very well aware what's in those NBA score volumes and Kritische Berichte (KB), as to the thrust of the research they represent. The problem nowadays is that I don't very often get opportunity to go spend a whole evening reading them, which requires driving to visit a university library, and more importantly having childcare arranged so I'd have the free time to go do it. Library time is a precious commodity and a rare treat. Not having spent the $35,000+ you did to buy a whole personal copy of the NBA, for a shelving unit at home, I don't have the luxury of consulting it every time somebody squeaks about whatever piece of music.

Well, last night I did go read it. I wanted to see what the NBA KB really says about BWV 82, and I needed to research another half dozen compositions too, from other volumes, for real work (not this internet yakking). I read various things in six different volumes for a precious hour, and then I photocopied out as much as I'd need to see again, until my $6.00 of pocket coins ran out.

Also unfortunately last night, somebody else had the KB of the Anna Magdalena book checked out, and I didn't get to look at that one. I'll try again next time I get opportunity. But fortunately for me, I got the other thing I needed from the NBA's score volume of that: verified the reading of the extra-long version of the C minor courante. And I took a look at the NBA's presentation there of the "Schlummert ein" aria and its preceding recit. That conflation, right there, misrepresents the two conflicting sources and puts together a version that simply didn't exist in Anna Magdalena's book. But, that's the NBA's standard policy, to conflate such things; and then to blather all the details off to the separate volume (having already given musicians something in score that didn't exist)! It makes it look as if the bass part and vocal part do line up adequately, or at least should line up adequately, as a single arrangement instead of representing two different and conflicting versions of the piece. <sigh>

< BL:>>Here's your own recent comment about the way the NBA editors allegedly didn't do their own job properly, with regard to BWV 82:<<
This was corrected by me on the next day in another post in this same thread. Too bad that you never got to read it. Now, unfortunately, I and other readers will need to hear this same accusation brought up by you over and over again. >
Are you sure you really want to go down that line, "too bad that you never got to read it"? Since you're the guy who openly refuses to go read recommended things that might educate you to understand the topics you ask about? (Rifkin's 2002 book on choral deployments; Mendel and Williams articles about basso continuo organ-playing in Bach's vocal music; Kivy and Taruskin on authenticity and aesthetics; Brischle on brass playing; more.) And, the way you "review" (i.e. wildly misrepresent) both my published tuning work and Dr Duffin's new book leads me to believe that you haven't read those -- or at least haven't understood them adequately -- either, since all you do is quotthe same single page three or four times and then scoff at it. "Same accusation brought up by you over and over again."

Rifkin's 2002 book has been readily available in libraries since 2002, and for sale at various places too. But instead of reading it, over the past six weeks here you've just gone on and on and on making up stuff on your guess of what it says or doesn't say, and still refusing to go read it. If you would go read it, which wouldn't take more than two or three hours of your time plus the travel to a suitable library, maybe you'd pull back on the absolute crap you've made up against it.

Hence my careful skepticism toward your presentations on any musical topic: your track record (like the fable of the boy who cried wolf) where we don't get to see which parts you're being accurate with (borrowed from other people's scholarship!), and which other parts are your elaboration or fiction; so always the need to go look at the actual thing instead of trusting your summaries.

On the topic at hand, which was your accurate (or not) representation as "summary translation" of that BWV 82 commentary: the paragraph that I questioned yesterday turned out to be something that you rendered mostly accurately (for once). But, the other paragraphs ahead of it, about the C minor version, are your own reshuffling and condensation of things that weren't together, and fashioned into your "summary translation" -- a piece by you that really does misrepresent the work of those NBA editors!

Anybody curious to see this for themselves can bring up the temporary copy of those pages, here,
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/bwv82/
and compare them directly against your "summary translation"
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/22685
as I did last night. Your retort yesterday was a good impetus -- instead of simply saying a forthright yes or no about the KB having the paragraph I questioned, you unhelpfully (and what looked to me like "haughtily") said I should go look at it. So, I called your possible bluff and went to look at it, checking up on your work as you directly requested I should do. Here are those NBA pages for anybody to check your work.

It's also clear, on page 93 (which I also scanned here since it's about another recent discussion of yours), that the editors weren't necessarily "carefully avoiding restating" any claim of a BWV 82a numbering, as you asserted. There on page 93 they simply mentioned the publication number (Breitkopf 5016) of Diethard Hellmann's edition, plus its date (summer 1970), and remarked that it was the first critical edition done since the Bach-Gesellschaft of 1875.

I notice, earlier on page 90 in a section you didn't bother to "summary translate", that the dating of the first performance to 2/2/1727 is given simply because Durr's classic book says so. Sure, it's based on watermarking and on copyists' names, including two anonymous copyists. But the watermarking thing always bugs me a bit. Watermarks only tell us the earliest date that the paper was made, and therefore the earliest date that a copy of music could be written onto them. But, they don't tell us how long the paper sat around in a box before or after being sold, or before coming up for use in making music sheets.

There's also the bit, in that same paragraph on page 90, where they offer the conjecture that the first movement of BWV 82 was written out at least a month ahead of the rest of it. You haven't mentioned that. What does that do to your conjecture that Bach typically waited till the last week or so before performance time, and then composed and copied things in a flurry, and handed fresh Saturday-night parts to sight-readers for Sunday morning?

And all their dating of the 1730s versions, both here on page 90 and the nearby pages about the sources, is guesswork. Sort of around 1731, maybe, and sort of around 1735, maybe. That's a good reminder how much of this really is conjecture, even at a top level of scholarship as represented here.

< BL:>>...the NBA and its KB can be brought up as weaponry to put anybody else down, by you. Weird game there.<<
No, it is only a case of your shooting yourself in the foot each time when you are forced to confront the careful scholarship of the NBA. I relate this information to these lists because, in many instances, these sources are the best available and others are genuinely interested in what they have to say. The fact that you do not generally accept what they have presented, despite the fact that they have collected and examined more hard evidence regarding any given work by Bach than any other source, is not my fault. I should not be blamed for your apparent inability to comprehend whatever conclusions or reasonable conjectures they present after they have carefully deliberated and considered most of the feasible possibilities that exist. >

I especially wanted to see what the BWV 82 editors had to say about that special organ part that's missing all the E-flats, as you described in your "summary translation". You also included a remark within that translation about not understanding what they're talking about, at the "Taktzeiten", and I take you at your word on that. It's apparently a referral to having the organist play only on the downbeats of that first movement, leaving out beats 2 and 3 of the 3/8, the same way as is shown in the Bach-Gesellschaft and some other editions. The organist merely punctuates all the downbeats; nothing extraordinary there. The BG editor in that conflated edition gave two separate lines in the score: one for continuo with pulsed repeated notes on all the beats, and the separate one "ed Organo" with only the downbeats.

And now having seen what the NBA editors wrote in that KB, I note that they didn't present what to me is the most obvious hypothesis about that rogue organ part, but rather they gave a bunch of red-herring stuff about the Thomaskirche organ being in disrepair in about 1747.

Unlike you with your usual rounds of reportage and commentaries, I hesitate to go forward insultingly and assume "they didn't even consider" such-and-such in not mentioning it; or, worse and again borrowed from your method, that they "carefully avoided stating" such-and-such. Both of your usual rhetorical strategies along that line impute to professional musicologists a round of alleged stupidity, ignorance, dishonesty, or inability to think as well as you; and it's silly. My quarrel there is mostly about the presumptuous tone in the sentences you write: so dismissive of professionals and their work. You have no real idea what they actually considered or didn't consider, on the way to choosing what to print.

But anyway, to the musical topic here:

A possibility that's obvious to me, but not mentioned by them (for whatever reason(s) unknown to me!), is this: that this 1746-7 performance -- otherwise undocumented -- was at some other venue altogether, a place where the organ didn't have that note available. Why? Because, let's recall, it's a transposing part...notated in five or four flats (rather than three or two), with the organist playing that first movement in B-flat minor while the rest of the band is in C minor. That means that the note sounding E-flat, the consistently missing thing from Bach's bass line for this movement, is being played as D-flat on the keyboard. And why would D-flat be missing? Two reasons: some organs in 18th century Germany simply don't/didn't have a key for that note in the lowest octave since it's so seldom used anyway; and D-flats were tuned as C-sharps. So, we've got the lowest C# possibly missing altogether; and the tenor C# and middle C# both tuned as C# instead of Db. (***) Major chords C#-F-G# do sound hideous, on organs whose tuning is anywhere near meantone...and that's a great reason to avoid playing those chords. Instead, one might rewrite the basso continuo part to leave out as many of them as is feasible...especially in the unaccented beats, whicis exactly where this NBA KB says the notes are left out.

And that's an easy possibility, playing only some of the bass line and leaving out the parts that sound terrible, because the cellist is going to be supplying the skipped notes of the bass line anyway. Not to neglect, either, that it's also a typical practice to rearrange or leave out some of the keyboard bass part anyway, in improvisatory ensemble-playing from continuo parts: whenever it's too busy or simply too loud. (I did a bunch of that myself, just two days ago in a concert playing Telemann: leaving out a bunch of passing notes, repeated notes, and arpeggios because they sounded too loud on the harpsichord...and just let the cellist play them with gentler strokes. Plenty of precedent for this in CPE Bach, Heinichen, and other 18th century treatises on continuo playing -- if things are sounding bad or noisy, leave them out and play a simpler bass line, whether the written part says to leave them out or not. And the opposite, too: play some other stuff in bass octaves and thicker chords, whenever the music seems to need it, whether the part says so or not. The key strategy according to CPE Bach is to discern the composer's presumed intent of the effects to be made, and then do improvisatory emendations to help that come out most clearly.)

Back to the red-herring bits in the NBA KB about the Thomaskirche's organ having a bunch of unplayable notes on it, in June 1747: yeah, so what? Everybody who already worked there (Bach and students) with any duty to play that instrument should already know which notes aren't working well, and simply improvise around them with normal technique. I don't see any need to write out a separate part carefully leaving out all the C#s, to play it on an organ where it's already been played before, unless the part is going to be given to somebody who's seriously inexperienced at playing continuo (i.e. doing his job and working out any problems in practice). It's more elegant to hypothesize that it was for some other organ where the note (C# in those octaves) didn't exist, and where that might be at least some mild surprise or inconvenience to the player. Such are the type of situations where it is better to rewrite the part and to leave out the offending or impossible portions.

Since these same editors proposed some undocumented private performances for the E minor version, why not also propose some undocumented visit to somebody else's church around 1746/7, taking along the C minor version (with at least this revised continuo part for the occasion)? Or doing some guest gig somewhere that would require only organ continuo, some melody instrument (could even be a violin in a pinch), singer (Bach at age 61-2?), probably a bowed bass, and maybe any other string parts or maybe not? The whole piece could be done in such an arrangement, by as few as 4-6 people; and the only thing necessary to write out freshly on paper would be a copy of the organ part, adjusted to finesse around the Chorton C#s and anything else unavailable on that instrument. Since Bach and/or his assistants were rearranging and reworking the music anyway (instrumentation, voice, key, etc), in the 20 years after its composition, why not some gigs where they only took along the smaller handful of parts they actually needed for the occasion?

Come to think of it: since there are so many conflicting sources for this obviously popular and well-received composition, and the NBA is already giving two different conflations (one in C minor and another in E minor), why not just print this rogue continuo part separately -- either in facsimile or transcribed -- and any of the other interesting parts, on their own? Why does the whole piece across at least five performances have to be conflated down into only two official NBA scores? Music is a more dynamic process than that, with arrangements and rearrangements! In some other pieces the NBA does print whole alternate versions of things, and I applaud that; I just wish for it here too.

(***) Before anybody here gets too incredulous about this business of the organ part lacking notes because the organ did: I myself have played a concert on an original-condition 1739 organ, in Germany, with such a layout -- and all in meantone. It's in Jade, this one: http://www.ev-kirche-jade.de/users/bc10/ev-kirche-jade.de/udp-010.html
The keyboard just goes C, D, E, F with four white keys in a row, no accidentals between them, which is rather disorienting. But even more disorienting, although it resembles typical short-octave practices, is the pedal there: again the lowest notes C# and Eb aren't there at all, but this time the note looking like D plays C, and the note looking like Eb plays D. We got to this church for the concert with only an hour or so to rehearse, and nobody had told us ahead of time about any of this short-octave stuff, or the fact that the organ was in meantone, or that it was a half step away from modern pitch. There was not much we could do, but to cut out of the program everything that was impossible in meantone...and for the music that remained, the trumpeter mentally transposed his entire part, no time to write it out. And I practiced hard to play a cantus firmus line with my feet, playing the Eb pedal wherever the music needed D, while my hands had to play D and deal with other notes that were missing. Fun, but yikes. And in the improvised accompaniments of some of our other pieces, I had to leave out whatever notes were way wrong because of the meantone use of the wrong enharmonic. Good thing we had the hour to rehearse, and this was in music we'd already performed 20 times in the preceding few weeks, nearly memorized. If we'd been sight-reading anything, forget it.

 

Continue on Part 6

Cantata BWV 82: Details
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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 | Individual Movements
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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]

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

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Last update: ýNovember 6, 2014 ý19:13:05