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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 6

Continue from Part 5

Shawn Charton wrote (February 23, 2007):
Is it not possible that Bach took his "vacations" to stockpile works for church use so that he wasn't actually WRITING a cantata, having parts copied, rehearsing it and then performing it all in the same week?? There is PLENTY of evidence that Bach performed works more than just once... What was he doing during the time that he didn't have to compose that week's cantata?? He MUST have found time outside of church to compose other secular pieces.

JUST becuase we can date pieces according to a performance or even watermarks doesn't mean that that piece was written on THIS date to be performed exactly ONE week later. Dating of music is simply not THAT accurate. Thus it's kinda silly to have an intense argument about HOW Bach did it. We're not even sure he DID the Herculean task as we see it. Given, he obviously wrote FAST and, IMHO, well... but practical matters really throw an indefinable monkey wrench in the time-table that we CANNOT completely unravel.

IMHO,

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 23, 2007):
< 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. >
Well, him plus any other members here he's somehow managed to convince: that he personally knows better than working musicians what should really go decently in performance. And ignoring the facts about Bach's music being difficult (for voices and instruments alike), and the continuo parts often incomplete (i.e. absolutely requiring rehearsal just to figure out what harmonies to play, as beginning step!). And ignoring any principles that musicians should actually try to do a good job in church, for God and the edification of one's neighbors and fellow parishioners, as opposed to cultivating implausible conditions of weekly panic.

Plus any random readers of the BCW who stumble into his pronouncements and somehow think they're authoritative, just because he cites the NBA and other fine books frequently.....

< 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. >
Well said. But unfortunately, whenever this dogmatic problem is pointed out to him, he regularly just goes and finds somebody else to beat up, to take the load off his own responsibility to be accurate. And that "somebody" is unfortunately usually me, in the way he makes improper light of my tuning research; or sometimes he picks on Rifkin or Brischle or Harnoncourt or whomever else he's in the mood to beat up through his wild allegations. Anybody whom he can accuse of being more dogmatic than himself, in whatever way, whether such assessment is accurate or not.

Or, accuses people of not taking his purchased NBA collection seriously enough, and therefore allegedly disdaining scholarship. The NBA does have a huge amount of information in it, and it's easy to see how he might mistake this for a purchase of everything that's worth knowing. (Which is not to say that the NBA makes any silly assertions about no-rehearsal performances, either! The NBA presentations just get augmented or overruled as he sees fit.) It's not the fault of the NBA editors that some of its users get all dogmatic about the contents, or ignore research that happens to disagree with it or supersede it, or ignore research that simply takes a different editorial approach against its process of conflations.

We already know what the man thinks of performers: that we're almost all stupid morons unfit for duty, in so many ways (physically, mentally, spiritually, experience, training, whatever), yet Bach's schoolboys were better. Take, for example, the scathing reviews of just about everybody who's recorded BWV 92 (next week's discussion piece), back in February 2002. Not a charitable or appreciative word to be said about anybody's recording, there, but just the steady stream of barbs and mocking about how performers are worthless or misguided. The part against Gustav Leonhardt is especially odious, but the bits against singers and orchestral players are very nasty too: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV92-D.htm
If everybody modern allegedly sucks that badly, according to Thomas Braatz, where do these fictional Leipzig schoolboys come from who could not only do it all better, but sight-reading in church as a norm? From parts and scores that were much less clean than conflated NBA editions, all neatly printed and checked for errors?

Julian Mincham wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Shawn Charton] For Bach's first two years at Leipzig this argument doesn't really hold water. Peter Williams makes the point that Bach almost certainly overestimated his forces with his first cantatas performed just after he was appointed but written beforehand. Subsequently he adapted. There are about 15 cantatas from the first cycle which are known to be adaptations of earlier works--there is only one earlier work (BWV 4) in the second cycle and two others which have certain movements reworked.

So of over 60 from cycle 1 and 53 from cycle 2 that leaves almost exactly 100 (in just two years) of which there is not the slightest evidence of any one being composed earlier than June of 1723. In fact the internal evidence (orchestration, development of forms, use of hybrid movements, development of the chorale fantasias etc etc ) all combine to indicate very strongly that Bach did not write these works before the two Leipzig cycles.

So, as I have said on this list more than once, all the available evidence indicates that Bach wrote around 100 new cantatas in 2 years. There is NO evidence (once we set aside the several resussitated or rearranged works from cycle 1 and the few from cycle 2) of these works being composed befor the Leipzig years and stockpiled. This is another of those fantasies that crops up regularly on this list i.e. that Bach could not have sustained this level of output so he must have composed them at some other times than between June 1723 and May 1725.

It is not even sensible to conjecture about this since all the available evidence is to the contrary. I'm sorry if this seems a trifle dogmatic but we've been here before and it gets us nowhere. If one could provide some indication that even ONE of the first forty chorale cantatas from the second cycle was written at an earlier date, this line might be worth pursuing.

And why would Bach wish to stockpile such works unless he knew he was going to use them later in his career? I suppose one could create a fantasy case that between Dec 1722 (when he applied for the position at Leipzig) and May 13 1723(when he signed the articles) he just MIGHT have composed some cantatas later intended to comprise part of the first cycle, in the hope of gaining the appointment and thus preparing for it.

But there is no evidence of this. Furthermore the different structural elements to be found in the second cycle argue strongly in favour of the view that NONE of these works (with the exception of the three I mentioned above) could have been composed prior to the year in which they were performed.

Nessie Russell wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Cara Emily Thornton] I think Cara T. has hit the nail on the head

I have always thought that this might be a solution to thlack of rehearsal time in the schedule.

"These musicians came from a school devoted to the education of young musicians." Bach instructed these boys on a daily basis. Seems to me that a teacher with weekend performances would use some of the weekday lesson time to practise the Cantatas.

I know that 20 th and 21st century procedures are not necessarily the same, but common sense is common sense. When I was in high school, the music teacher devoted a part of class time to learning the music we would be playing in Concert Band and Jazz Band. Sure, we didn't have the full band in every class, but it meant that when we went to rehearsals we knew what we were doing. Why would Bach not do the same?

Shawn Charton wrote (February 23, 2007):
[To Julian Mincham] I have no problem with what you said but you misunderstand my post. I'll preface this by saying that while I am a conservatory trained classical singer and know the works of Bach WELL, I am not the hard core Bach fiend who seems to flourish here so please read this post as if it were from someone who is NOT familiar with a gillion posts from past discussions or where it has gotten you in the past.

I'm not suggesting that Bach wrote all of the cantatas and then socked them in a drawer hopeing for the day to use them. I'm suggesting that why is it impossible that, after he got his church job, he felt the need to spend his free time getting a leg up on future cantatas. Perhaps he wrote a couple over a long weekend and thus... he didn't necessarily write, copy, rehearse, and perform every cantata that same week it was performed. Perhaps he performed a cantata from a former cycle... JUST because there is good evidence to say that they were written during a particulr two year period doesn't preclude that they MUST have been written weekly for performance the same week. One must also consider difficulty of material. Some cantatas are much easier than others... perhaps Bach was preparing them for a particularly difficult week and thus composed a smaller work to help the load... OR a solo cantata...

Scholarship is one thing, but one MUST consider practical issues. I have NO problem what so ever that Bach did the job... the real question in my mind is: How did Bach play the same balancing game that we all must play in order to do the work that he did. Unfortunately, the answer, "he was just THAT good..." doesn't satisfy. We all know he was GOOD... but GOOD doesn't excuse one from practicality.

Chris Rowson wrote (February 23, 2007):
Shawn Charton wrote:
< JUST becuase we can date pieces according to a performance or even watermarks doesn't mean that that piece was written on THIS date to be performed exactly ONE week later. . >
TB´s argument, as I understand it, is that JSB regularly left the completion of the cantatas until the DAY before the performance, and in fact late in the evening.

Harry W. Crosby wrote (February 23, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
". . . 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."
As one who attempts to write accurate history and include reasonable interpretations, I must say that last sentence strikes me as a real gem concisely stated. Oh how often in reading or listening to pontifications I have had just this thought in mind and wished to express it. Let me shake the hand of Douglas Cowlng for this statement that should be a cornerstone of scholarship (and which surely has some broader philosophical connotations better not elaborated here).

Julian Mincham wrote (February 23, 2007):
Hi Shawn (apologies if the name is wrong, I think I saw it on a previous posting---but please correct me) My comments indented below:

< I have no problem with what you said but you misunderstand my post. >
Apologies if that is the case

< I am not the hard core Bach fiend who seems to flourish here so please read this post as if it were from someone who is NOT familiar with a gillion posts from past discussions or where it has gotten you in the past. >
fair enough

< Perhaps he wrote a couple over a long weekend and thus... he didn't necessarily write, copy, rehearse, and perform every cantata that same week it was performed. Perhaps he performed a cantata from a former cycle... JUST because there is good evidence to say that they were written during a particulr two year period doesn't preclude that they MUST have been written weekly for performance the same week. >
I totally agree. I think that Bach almost certainly found the time to compose as and when he could. I have never claimed that he wrote one regularly on the dot each week. I believe though that he wrote around 100 in two years. There may well have been a bit of 'bunching up' In fact the last 8 cantatas of the 2nd cycle were performed in a mere month---two a week which seems a practical impossibility. But my point is that he was pretty consistent during that two years if, as all the evidence suggests, 100 cantatas were written within that time.

< Scholarship is one thing, but one MUST consider practical issues. I have NO problem what so ever that Bach did the job... the real question in my mind is: How did Bach play the same balancing game that we all must play in order to do the work that he did. Unfortunately, the answer, "he was just THAT good..." doesn't satisfy. We all know he was GOOD... but GOOD doesn't excuse one from practicality. >
Again total agreement and there are a lot of things here we just don't know about. I am, myself, only trying to puncture the idea (which I know from your second email you weren't putting forward) that he composed a great number of cantatas when he was free (when??) for future use. Some bunching and give and take almost certainly--but still 100 in as many weeks overall.

It's also worth looking at what he did before and after these two incredibly (one is tempted to say, from the practical viewpoint almost impossibly) productive years. Before he wrote far fewer--he wrote when he had to, to order. Afterwards the pace slackened as well----the 3rd cycle is spread over a greater period and he also made much more use of other works e.g. the 18 by JL Bach. This could have given him some scope for stockpiling--but if so many must have been lost--which according to the Obituary, would have been the case

But he had proved to himself and everyone else that he could meet the incredible demands in his first 2 years---why would he want to stockpile for the future thereafter?

So I guess my position is---some degree of latitude within the known perameters, almost certainly It makes sense. But any form of stock piling of groups of them for later use? Probably not.

Julian Mincham wrote (February 23, 2007):
Douglas Cowling and Harry W. Crosby wrote
DC: Forcing inconclusive data into dogmas is not a worthy exercise."
HC: As one who attempts to write accurate history and include reasonable interpretations, I must say that last sentence strikes me as a real gem concisely stated.
True. But there's an important difference between 'forcing inconclusive data into dogma' on the one hand and making reasonable suppositions which accord with the available internal and external evidence on the other.

The problem, it seems to me, is that some people cannot differentiate between the two.

Canyon Rick wrote (February 23, 2007):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< "These musicians came from a school devoted to the education of young musicians."
Bach instructed these boys on a daily basis. Seems to me that a teacher with weekend performances would use some of the weekday lesson time to practise the Cantatas.
I know that 20 th and 21st century procedures are not necessarily the same, but common sense is common sense. When I was in high school, the music teacher devoted a part of class time to learning the music we would be playing in Concert Band and Jazz Band. Sure, we didn't have the full band in every class, but it meant that when we went to rehearsals we knew what we were doing. Why would Bach not do the same? >
I agree. To me, there seems to be many time periods floating around in Bach's week whichare largely unaccounted for. What was actually done during music classes seem a major mystery. Keep in mind, these music classes took up seven hours per week--a substantial amount of time to spend on a subject.

One might think music class time could used for:
1) Music theory--tho when one considers that the age range would be maybe 12/13 thru 25--to say nothing of the vast range of musical aptitude--I think it unlikely that the entire 150 (alumni + externi) student body would necessarily profit from hearing the same lecture. I would think that, somehow, these classes would be broken down into more meaningful sizes with lessons of appropriate difficulty.

2) Vocal instruction--for example, the First Choir might well be instructed separately from those who sang only hymns, or were new to the school. Perhaps First Choir instruction might include how to sing Sunday's cantata properly.

3) Instrument instruction--if I understand correctly, all students received cembalo instruction. But, it seems that many students studied additional instruments such as flute, strings, or trumpet. When did they receive this instruction, if not during music classes? If so, would this not imply then that the music class was broken down into groups for this instruction?

Two possible caveats:
1) Since the classes were in 7 one hour blocks, JSB might have wished for longer sessions--maybe, at least, a two hour block. (I note that the present day Hannover Knabenchor has 2 3-hour rehearsal slots per week)
2) As I understand it, all classes before the 1732 renovation were taught in the aud, which must have produced conflict, if students were divided up for whatever reason.

Since we are talking about BWV 82, one might also ask what the First Choir might have done during its performance. Would they even be needed? Maybe they (except for the bass soloist) got to sleep in on those Sundays.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 24, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< It is not even sensible to conjecture about this since all the available evidence is to the contrary. I'm sorry if this seems a trifle dogmatic but we've been here before and it gets us nowhere. If one could provide some indication that even ONE of the first forty chorale cantatas from the second cycle was written at an earlier date, this line might be worth pursuing. >
I don't think that anyone here would deny Bach's prodigious capacity for writing music. What we don't know is what the trajectory of Bach's compositional process was. It certainly didn't begin each Monday morning. We know that the cantata libretti were printed weeks ahead and the poetry may well have been commissioned at least two or three months ahead. Bach's collaboration with the poets indicates that the composition had already begun. Whether this was a purely mental process (as with Mozart) or whether Bach kept sketch books we will never know. But his close control of the texts indicates that musical conceptualization must have begun very early.

Stepping further back, when Bach began at Leipzig, he knew precisely which days in the year required compositions and what readings would influence their composition. For example, he knew years ahead that in 1731, the church year would have a 27th Sunday after Trinity, a Sunday which only occurred roughly once a decade. He knew that the occasion for "Wachet Auf" was coming. Similarly, when he decided to write a Christmas Oratorio, he knew that the six parts had to correspond to the peculiar sequence of festivals in 1734. The work couldn't be performed in other years because the sequence in the calendar was different.

How far does this compositional process go back? It is fairly clear that when Bach was appointed to Leipzig he planned to raise the standard of concerted music by composing five Jahrgang cycles of cantatax. We know that this was a giant unified conceptual project because he basically stopped composing cantatas after five years. I have no problem accepting the premise that a genius like Bach may have had a an outline for the whole gargantuan project. He knew where he could re-use old cantatas, he knew when he needed a particular kind of text from a poet.

And we know he could work on several works simultaneaously: he was composing organ, keyboard, chamber and orchestral works at the same time as the cantatas. Why not simulataneous cantata projects? Unless one is prepared to say that the SMP was composed, copied and rehearsed in one month, Bach may well have been involved in its composition for months or years. Did Bach plan for years that he would begin with the SJP and then move to an infinitely more complex project with the SMP?

Now before the flaming begins, let me reassure you that this is all speculation. There are no records, no sketch books, no diaries ... Nothing to appeal to. And yet I don;t think anything I've suggested is beyond the realm of possibility. What I'm not prepared to do is trawl through the sparse records and grab at anything which could be twisted to become a proof text.

The questions are too complex for such simple answers.

Julian Mincham wrote (February 24, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Now before the flaming begins, let me reassure you that this is all speculation. There are no records, no sketch books, no diaries ... Nothing to appeal to. And yet I don;t think anything I've suggested is beyond the realm of possibility. What I'm not prepared to do is trawl through the sparse records and grab at anything which could be twisted to become a proof text. >
No flaming necessary and we all know that much information is missing.

All I am saying is that the evidence is strongly in favour of his writing 100 cantatas in two years and that the intensity of this prodigious process may well have implications about the ways in which we, many years later, consider and receive his work.

Whether he started thinking about their shapes and forms on his mother's knee no-one can say. One cannot get inside his mind. One can only draw reasonable deductions from what we know of the historical evidence and what we can reasonably deduce from the music itself.

Richard Mix wrote (February 24, 2007):
I've been awfully lazy about going to the library this week, and now find some of the answers were already near at hand:

Thomas Braatz wrote:
< 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. >
D. Schulenberg in the Oxford Composer Companion is unambiguous:

"...BC A [Bach-Compendium Anhang?] 169a, performed in 1727, was already for bass voice with oboe and strings. Yet Bach had originally written the first aria for alto, only then adding a rubric directing transposition of the vocal part down an octave for bass...the change cannot have been undertaken for want of an alto, for an alto sings in bwv 83, a work of 1724 which was repeated on the same day in 1727. [But maybe Bach noticed a conflict in the crowded rehearsal sched.]

Probably four years later, Bach prepared a second version in which a soprano replaced the bass (BC A 169b, sometimes referred to improperly as bwv 82a). This version entailed transposition... and replacement of oboe by flute. Of this version only the ms parts for voice and flute survive...

Some time after 1735 Bach altered the clef and keysig. in the soprano part of of 1731 to produce a c minor version. He also added 'mezo' to the right of the original 'soprano' heading. This has led to the view that this third version (BC A 169c) as one for mezzo-soprano, although it lies entirely within Bach's usual [indeed original!] alto range; the new heading might have been meant to point only to the unusual clef (c2) in the revised ms part.

...Sill later [ie after 1746/7] Bach added an oboe da caccia to double the first vln in the second aria, thus producing the final version (BC A 169d)."

[TB] <... One copyist may be associated with copying for Bach only during a limited time span based upon other works which were copied during same time frame... >
Yes, but one must beware the potential for circular argument. In a different example, it's reasonable to establish a tentative chronology of works based on their order in a bound book, but one needs an independent dating to assert that they were not copied out of order.

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:"

Thanks; halbe Discant is a nice translation of Mezzo-soprano. I notice you mentioned the Walther once before (making me feel even lazier). Do I understand you correctly to say that he uses the words "mezzo sopran"? In any case we're still talking clefs, not voices; BC A 169c has the same pitches as the 'original' state of BC A 169a i, for 'alto'.

< 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. >
DS makes it clear he thinks the words "Basso o Mezzosoprano" are the NBA's alone.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 24, 2007):
< D. Schulenberg in the Oxford Composer Companion is unambiguous:
"...BC A [Bach-Compendium Anhang?] 169a, >

Yup, that's what it says in the OCC's table of abbreviations, for "BC". I'm not sure one way or the other about the "Anhang" part of that, but short of going to look at the series (yet) I'd guess the A maybe stands for something else. Anybody here know for sure?

1,724 pages for the vocal works, across four volumes.

< performed in 1727, was already for bass voice with oboe and strings. Yet Bach had originally written the first aria for alto, only then adding a rubric directing transposition of the vocal part down an octave for bass...the change cannot have been undertaken for want of an alto, for an alto sings in bwv 83, a work of 1724 which was repeated on the same day in 1727. [But maybe Bach noticed a conflict in the crowded rehearsal sched.] >
...Or just had different altos assigned to different pieces, for the same day's work. That's one reason why he needed three or four of them available in the ensemble...!

< Probably four years later, Bach prepared a second version in which a soprano replaced the bass (BC A 169b, sometimes referred to improperly as bwv 82a). >
"BC A 169b" being so much easier to remember, in association with "BWV 82", than "BWV 82a" is! Sorry, I've gotta smirk on this! :)

But that's what it says there in the OCC, confirmed. And as I pointed out last week, the BWV (1998) just has the single number "BWV 82" covering both versions.

Ah, the foibles of cataloguers.

< This version entailed transposition... and replacement of oboe by flute. Of this version only the ms parts for voice and flute survive... Some time after 1735 Bach altered the clef and keysig. in the soprano part of of 1731 to produce a c minor version. He also added 'mezo' to the right of the original 'soprano' heading. >
Yup; see below.

< This has led to the view that this third version (BC A 169c) as one for mezzo-soprano, although it lies entirely within Bach's usual [indeed original!] alto range; the new heading might have been meant to point only to the unusual clef (c2) in the revised ms part. ..Sill later [ie after 1746/7] Bach added an oboe da caccia to double the first vln in the second aria, thus producing the final version (BC A 169d)." >
At least this separate lettering of 169a, 169b, 169c, 169d is worth something in distinguishing separate rounds of the piece.

< Thanks; halbe Discant is a nice translation of Mezzo-soprano. I notice you mentioned the Walther once before (making me feel even lazier). Do I understand you correctly to say that he uses the words "mezzo sopran"? In any case we're still talking clefs, not voices; BC A 169c has the same pitches as the 'original' state of BC A 169a i, for 'alto'. >
According to the NBA KB, in the source that they label "Bb" (the E minor version from approx 1731, where only the vocal part survives) -- the voice is labeled "soprano mezo". The word "soprano" was written by the copyist, Krebs; and the "mezo" is stuck in there afterward by Bach.

And the paper's watermark is either "MA" or "AM" depending which way you flip the paper, viewed from one side or the other. I don't know if that has anything to do with "Anna Magdalena" or not, but stranger things are possible.... [A private run of paper for the lady, for years of household use! Oh no, don't flame me!] Anyway, same "AM" or "MA" watermark on the approximately-1735 flute part for the E minor version, and I don't see their reasoning why they put these two parts four years apart, both for an E minor performance(s), but hey. It's pages 82-83 of that KB if you want to look it up. :) "Anonymus Vh" copyist on that part.

<< 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. >>
< DS makes it clear he thinks the words "Basso o Mezzosoprano" are the NBA's alone. >
See also the pages 90 and 93 that I posted here, for more on that:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/bwv82/

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 24, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>D. Schulenberg in the Oxford Composer Companion is unambiguous: "...BC A [Bach-Compendium Anhang?] 169a, performed in 1727, was already for bass voice with oboe and strings...<<
The problem here is that David Schulenberg's article is based upon outdated scholarship: The BC (Bach-Compendium volumes, A, B, etc. were published during the second half of the 1980s. However, the research and publication of the versions of BWV 82 by the NBA is dated 1994. Such a well-researched publication updates and/or replaces the BC presentation while also extending our knowledge about the various versions which can be 'pieced together' from the fragmentary remains of the various sets of parts.

As already presented here before a number of times, but a fact which seems to be overlooked by those who wish to hang on to outdated scholarship, Hans-Joachim Schulze, whose credentials in Bach scholarship, particularly in regard to Bach's sacred music, clearly surpass in this area those of David Schulenberg, whose particular specialty is Bach's keyboard music and who graciously supplied what he considered was a short summary of BWV 82 for the OCC:Bach (Oxford University Press, 1999), has presented the most recent (2006) academically sound summary of knowledge about BWV 82 and does not list its separate versions as BC A 169a, A 169b, A 169c, A 169d or BWV 82a, BWV 82b, BWV 82c, or BWV 82d, but rather has only the following: BWV 82 and BC A 169. What this means is that as of now, those Bach scholars and experts that are really concernedabout being up to date and do not wish to include designations which are not recognized by the BWV Verzeichnis, the generally recognized source for accurate references to Bach's works, will continue to avoid the use of letter designations after the accepted numbers of this cantata: BWV 82 or BC A 169.

RM: >> [TB]... 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...
Yes, but one must beware the potential for circular argument. In a different example, it's reasonable to establish a tentative chronology of works based on their order in a bound book, but one needs an independent dating to assert that they were not copied out of order.<<
You can rest assured that this was certainly done very carefully with the AMB bound motebook 1725, if this i
what you seem to be referring to here.

RM: >>...halbe Discant is a nice translation of Mezzo-soprano. I notice you mentioned the Walther once before (making me feel even lazier). Do I understand you correctly to say that he uses the words "mezzo sopran"? In any case we're still talking clefs, not voices; BC A 169c has the same pitches as the 'original' state of BC A 169a i, for 'alto'.<<
I am not certain which versions these numbers with letters refer to. I think it would be best not to use them on these lists until they are officially recognized and until we can agree specifically what they stand for. Remember these designations stem from the latter half of the 1980s and are not being used by scholars such as Alfred Dürr, Martin Geck, Konrad Küster, Ulrich Prinz (2005), and now by Hans-Joachim Schulze (2006). Those who continue to insist on using out-dated and/or not officially recognized designations for Bach's works run the risk of creating unnecessary confusion and revealing thereby their own lack of knowledge by accepting what outdated secondary sources still say about this matter.

Yes, mezzo-soprano is used as a voice type. I have just found an example of its use in a vocal composition set for 5 voices by Benedetto Palavicino "Misero te", a portion of which is reproduced in Michael Praetorius' "Syntagma musicum" Part III, Wolffenbüttel, 1619.

In the collection "Motecta festorum totius anni" printed in 1563, the "Dies sanctificatus" has the following clefs from the top down: G (treble)clef (cantus/soprano, C-clef on the 2nd line from the bottom (mezzo-soprano), C-clef on the 3rd line (Alto), and C-clef on the 4th line from the bottom (tenor).

Hans Leo Haßler "Angelus ad pastores ait" from "Cantiones sacrae de festis praecipuis totius anni" (1591): from top down: Treble clef: soprano; mezzo-soprano clef-C clef on the 2nd line (mezzo-soprano); alto clef C-clef on the 3rd line; bass clef on the 3rd line !!! baritone?

Melchior Franck "O Mensch, bereit das Herze dein" from "Geistlichen Musicalischen Lustgarten", 1616: Cantus/soprano: C clef on the 1st (bottom line); Mezzo-soprano: C clef on the 2nd line; Alto: C clef on the 3rd line; Tenor: C clef on the 4th line.

Jokob Meiland, "Alles, was Odem hat, lobe den Herren" from his "Sacrae aliquot cantiones latinae et germanicae", 1575: for 5 parts (from top down) 2 treble clefs (Cantus/soprano 1 and 2); C clef on the 2nd line from the bottom (mezzo-soprano); C clef on the middle line (alto) and bass clef on the middle line (bass, baritone?).

RM: >>TB:"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."
DS makes it clear he thinks the words "Basso o Mezzosoprano" are the NBA's alone.<<
He may be right about this since I have not found these words anywhere on the autograph score or in the original parts.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (February 24, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< [snip]
Hans Leo Haßler "Angelus ad pastores ait" from "Cantiones sacrae de festis praecipuis totius anni" (1591): from top down: Treble clef: soprano; mezzo-soprano clef-C clef on the 2nd line (mezzo-soprano); alto clef C-clef on the 3rd line; bass clef on the 3rd line !!! baritone?
[snip]
Jokob Meiland, "Alles, was Odem hat, lobe den Herren" from his "Sacrae aliquot cantiones latinae et germanicae", 1575: for 5 parts (from top down) 2 treble clefs (Cantus/soprano 1 and 2); C clef on the 2nd line from the bottom (mezzo-soprano); C clef on the middle line (alto) and bass clef on the middle line (bass, baritone?). >
There are actually two baritone clefs in existence: one of them being C5 (i.e. a C clef on the top line of the staff), but AFAIK by far the more common of the two is the F clef on the middle line, which is referred to in the above paragraphs.

Shawn Charton wrote (February 24, 2007):
< As already presented here before a number of times, but a fact which seems to be overlooked by those who wish to hang on to outdated scholarship, >
I'm not sure it's that we WISH to hang on to outdated scholarship as much as it is that we try to find a consistent thread between one era of scholarship and another. And, speaking for myself, I simply don't have the resources to REALLY keep up in this area... I was forced to move home to Arkansas to help my mother when my father passed away in 2004 so I've been a bit out of date for FAR too long. I wish I did have access to some real Bach research. I appreciate all the info you guys are putting up. It's kinda my connection to my life of choice right now.

< Do I understand you correctly to say that he uses the words "mezzo sopran"? In any case we're still talking clefs, not voices; BC A 169c has the same pitches as the 'original' state of BC A 169a i, for 'alto'.<<
Yes, mezzo-soprano is used as a voice type. Melchior Franck "O Mensch, bereit das Herze dein" from "Geistlichen Musicalischen Lustgarten", 1616: Cantus/soprano: C clef on the 1st (bottom line); Mezzo-soprano: C clef on the 2nd line; Alto: C clef on the 3rd line; Tenor: C clef on the 4th line. >

Assuming that I'm not clinging to outdated scholarship, BWV 82 was the only (or at least one of the FEW) cantatas that Bach specifically labelled so. I believe it is written at the top of the c minor parts. (I actually find this kinda strange because I don't find much Italian about the piece but in any case.) If that is true, Bach clearly was in the mood to use Italian designations... can it thus be surmised that his use of "mezo" (if it is really
there) might be more justified??

Chris Rowson wrote (February 24, 2007):
Shawn Charton wrote:
< As already presented here before a number of times, but a fact which seems to be overlooked by those who wish to hang on to outdated scholarship, >
I'm not sure it's that we WISH to hang on to outdated scholarship as much as it is that we try to find a consistent thread between one era of scholarship and another. ...

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

As well as which, it is not reasonable to assume that the latest scholarship is always correct - in ten years time it may in its turn be outdated. After all, it was all the latest once.

It is more logical to regard all scholarship as tentative, assuming that it may be superseded in due course, and to think of propositions rather than "facts", considering all scholarship as subject to further review, and no scholarship as final.

Julian Mincham wrote (February 24, 2007):
Chris Rowson wrote:
< As well as which, it is not reasonable to assume that the latest scholarship is always correct - in ten years time it may in its turn be outdated. After all, it was all the latest once. >
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 24, 2007):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
>>There are actually two baritone clefs in existence: one of them being C5 (i.e. a C clef on the top line of the staff), but AFAIK by far the more common of the two is the F clef on the middle line, which is referred to in the above paragraphs.<<
Thanks for the clarification!

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 24, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>And the paper's watermark is either "MA" or "AM" depending which way you flip the paper, viewed from one side or the other. I don't know if that has anything to do with "Anna Magdalena" or not, but stranger things are possible....<<
Not that strange! There are 3 separate forms of this watermark and quite a number of Bach's works show this watermark for all or part of the work in question. The watermarks for the two AMB notebooks are completely different from each other and neither shows the "MA" or "AM". The NBA research on all of Bach's watermarks gives the following information about "MA" or "AM" as a watermark:

This watermark is most likely from the paper mill in Doubrava near the city of Asch in Bohemia. Tpapermaker's name is Adam Michael (not Anna Magdalena).

The flute part for BWV 82 in E minor is of the same type used extensively for the parts throughout all the sections of BWV 248 (WO); however, the soprano part is not. The latter has exactly the same type of "MA" or "AM" watermark as BWV 51 (score and parts) first performed September 17, 1730.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 25, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< And perhaps that Brad Lehmann is the first to have rediscovered Bach's secret method of tuning? >
It has been my observation that a gratuitous reference to tuning is never OT on BCML, so here comes one.

First of all, thanks to everyone who recommended Ledbetter's book re WTC. Although that was in the context of analyzing a specific parallelogram/X-motif figure, I also found the text to have an excellent, concise, and reasonably non-speclialist (I could grasp all but the most technical details) analysis of Bach's tunings. I recommend it to anyone with even a slight interest in the subject. Ledbetter's conclusions can be summarized in a few sentences:

<As far as Bach's tuning in 1722 is concerned, it [...] preserved something of the evolutionary nature of the collection [WTC I] in a subtly shaded inequality. <end quote>

<Such leads as we do have for Bach's tuning apply to the 1730's and 40's and have to do with organs he is known to have played, [...] and the evidence points overwhelmingly to equal or near-equal temperament.
<end quote>

<He may have paid lip-service to equal temperament at that stage [1722], but the feeling of the music is that there is still a sensitivity to intervals and keys based on unequal tuning. By 1744 equal temperament was well established, though in practice what was used was humanised to retain a nuance of traditional key character. <end quote>

The implication is that strict equal temperament applied only to organ tuning later in Bach's career, and even then not exclusively. Otherwise, the preference was for nuanced equal temperament, a category which includes Brad's suggested tuning, if I understand correctly.

Richard Mix wrote (February 26, 2007):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
>>There are actually two baritone clefs in existence: one of them being C5 (i.e. a C clef on the top line of the staff), but AFAIK by far the more common of the two is the F clef on the middle line...<<
Only the second, f3, is properly speaking the baritone clef. The other, used of course by JSB as a treble 15ba clef in the Opfer, is sometimes called contra and is much used by Ockeghem, for example, though later composers tend to get by with only seven clefs.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 26, 2007):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< A good question : why did Bach bother to write the disparate and lengthy BWV 92/2, consisting of ten lines of the chorale and (I count) 25 interspersed glosses on the text by the librettist. It didn't impress Whittaker or his acolyte Robertson, but there is IMO an artistic reason.
The answer may lie in the text itself, the key words being "Und mein Gemuet, Das immer wankt und weicht" ("and my disposition, which always vacillates and yields"). Thus the singer sways from doubt to faith, from scaredy Jonah (as in
BWV 111) >
I suppose you are correct that Jonah is pretty one-dimensional in BWV 111, but certainly not in the biblical Book of Jonah.

< to rock-like Peter. >
Except for that little incident: You will deny Me three times before the cock crows.

The singer vacillates, but so do the poles (not Poles, of course) you propose.

< A striking contrast lies is in the concise BWV 92/8, which is presaged in the closing text of BWV 92/7:
"Und ich kann bei gedaempften seiten Dem Friedefurst ein neues Leid bereiten."
("and I can with muted strings, The Prince of Peace a new song prepare"). >
I start trouble every time I bring this up. That is not my intent, so cut me some slack. Or don't, I can cope either way. I do not find Christ as the Prince of Peace one of the more convincing iconic images of Christianity, that's all.

If you think we have had 2000 years of peace (or 4,560,000,000), I am willing to be convinced. And if you think it is just another name, and the words mean nothing, I think you are nuts. If it is a private, mystical metaphor, perhaps, but a lot of wars have been fought over the misunderstanding. Still are, by some accounts. Not to mention the Great Nations of Europe, coming through the Americas to spread the word of Christ. Grab the gold, in passing. Not a proud epoch in the history of religion, if you ask me. You didn't, but I gave my opinion anyway.

< The beautiful BWV 92/8 is that very contrasting, "new" song , and the muted strings (pizzicato) are those referred to! So the text in both these examples affects the forms and music of the two movements themselves, BWV 92/2 and 92/8 respectively. They act as illustrations of the movement from doubt and indecision in the jerky recitative/chorale to the serene and measured faith of the rhythms in the lovely aria.
Bach is going beyond single word-painting in that the entire movements are shaped by words in these examples. >
And I think we can appreciate this point equally, however much belief (or lack) we have in the actual truth of those words. Hence the value of translating the texts, not to spread the belief (already way out of date) but to spread the understanding of the music. IMO, anyway. Even IMHO.

Aloha, Ed Myskowski. Free Hawaii. From who, you might ask? From the USA, but the conquest began with Christian missionaries from ... from... from New England. Salem MA, my home town. There you go.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 26, 2007):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Hi Cara thanks for your response. >
I second that!

< I am somewhat surprised at your conclusion that this aria could be fully accomplished within a single day--but then I am not a singer which is why I asked the question of those who are. As a keybaord player I would have thought it would have taken longer. I will be equally interested to see what others have to say. But your response does support the minimal rehearsal theory. >
Yes, but not the 'no rehearsal' theory, an important distinction in the discussions.

Richard Mix wrote (February 26, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< "BC A 169b" being so much easier to remember, in association with "BWV 82", than "BWV 82a" is! Sorry,
I've gotta smirk on this! :) >
I am in complete sympathy!

<< DS in OCC: ...Still later [ie after 1746/7] Bach added an oboe da caccia to double the first vln in the second
aria, thus producing the final version (BC A 169d)." >>
< At least this separate lettering of 169a, 169b, 169c, 169d is worth something in distinguishing separate rounds of the piece. >
Yes, it's clear enough at least, but there is a tacit assumption that 169c actually existed as a distinct version. Suppose the vocal part was among the unreturned parts, but Bach had the e minor soprano part at hand for the next bass who was to sing the (OK, a) c minor version. Why bother to copy a new part for someone who could mentaly transpose down an octave from c2 clef? This may be reason enough not to have separate bwv #'s. Yet NBA states catagoricly "at least one performance with mezzo-soprano took place." I cant quite see this.

>> RM: but one needs an independent dating to assert that they were not copied out of order.<<
TB : < You can rest assured that this was certainly done very carefully with the AMB bound motebook 1725, if this is what you seem to be referring to here. >
You must know me by now as an inveterate sceptic who is happy to let others do the legwork (thank you both very much, btw), so I will just have to look forward to a future post on that.

RM: >>... Do I understand you correctly to say that Walther uses the words "mezzo sopran"? In any case we're still talking clefs, not voices; BC A 169c has the same pitches as the 'original' state of BC A 169a i, for 'alto'.<<
TB: < I am not certain which versithese numbers with letters refer to. >
These are the voice part labeled "soprano mezo" and the first movement of 'A', the autograph score with the voice in c3 clef. Since this forum is obviously the most up-to-the-second place for Bach research, maybe we should agree to replace BC A 169a-d with the NBA's 82A, 82Bb+Bc, 82A+Bbmz etc... Even this won't make everybody happy; whenever I see Bb my eye whispers to me "B-flat" which sets up a dissonance with the key of e that sends me running upstairs to the piano, which is so heavily tempered that by the time I reach it I cant remember whether I meant to resolve it to the subdominant of c or the dominant of e. %-P

TB: < Yes, mezzo-soprano is used as a voice type. I have just found an example of its use in a vocal composition set for 5 voices by Benedetto Palavicino... >
When I say "mezzo-soprano"' I mean a woman who is specialized to sing Azucena instead of Leonora or Ulrica (admittedly some contraltos also market themselves as "mezzo" to get more work). This isnt a very useful distinction in JSB's context (unless of course some source discusses boys voices in these terms.)

'Baritone' is a standard type in Verdi, but even in his first opera Oberto is still called 'basso', leading to possible disapointment for those of us who have very few title roles to lay claim to (to my joy, Bluebeard's Castle is on for this fall, though technically speaking it's the set designer's show).

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (February 26, 2007):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
>>There are actually two baritone clefs in existence: one of them being C5 (i.e. a C clef on the top line of the staff), but AFAIK by far the more common of the two is the F clef on the middle line...<<
Richard Mix wrote:
< Only the second, f3, is properly speaking the baritone clef. The other, used of course by JSB as a treble 15ba clef in the Opfer, is sometimes called contra and is much used by Ockeghem, for example, though later composers tend to get by with only seven clefs. >
How odd... I distinctly remember being taught that they are both 'baritone' while studying in the music department at Penn, of all places. I suppose this is a level of subtlety they didn't bother with for us undergrads? Or perhaps it's something new since the 1980s?

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 26, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>Suppose the vocal part was among the unreturned parts, but Bach had the e minor soprano part at hand for the next bass who was to sing the (OK, a) c minor version. Why bother to copy a new part for someone who could mentaly transpose down an octave from c2 clef?<<
Perhaps for a concert in the Bach household, but not as a cantata sung in a church. Also, why would Johann Christoph Altnickol, Bach's son-in-law, who was musically very talented and had a good bass voice, write this part out for himself in 1746/1747, if he could just as easily have used the E minor soprano part which was still in existence and readily available to him?

RM: >>Yet NBA states catagoricly "at least one performance with mezzo-soprano took place." I cant quite see this.<<
On the soprano part copied by Krebs, Bach personally wrote down the mezzo-soprano clef and the key signature to indicate a transposition of all the still existing parts from E minor version to C minor. [For all we know, this set of C minor parts may have been generated sometime between 1731 and 1735, or the Bd parts for 1st & 2nd Violin from 1735 in C minor give evidence that the mezzo-soprano version was created at that time (Bach, then, picking up the Krebs' soprano part in 1735, having indicated what he wanted at the end of Krebs' E-minor soprano part).

Perhaps from 1731 to 1746, BWV 82 was known only in these two versions: one for mezzo-soprano in C minor and the other in E minor for soprano?

RM: >>When I say "mezzo-soprano"' I mean a woman who is specialized to sing Azucena instead of Leonora or Ulrica (admittedly some contraltos also market themselves as "mezzo" to get more work). This isnt a very useful distinction in JSB's context (unless of course some source discusses boys voices in these terms.)<<
Obviously, boys and young men are meant when a mezzo-soprano clef is used in sacred vocal music before 1700. After 1700, attempts were being made to introduce women's voices in church music. In such instances a woman might also be able to sing BWV 82 in its soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto versions; however, one thing is quite certain, (all the experts agree on this point), Bach would not have been allowed to have any woman sing such music in any of the Leipzig churches while he lived and worked there. Nothing, however, would have prevented Bach from featuring such female vocal soloists in small, out-of-town churches or court chapels or with his Collegium musicum in Zimmermann's Coffee House where this cantata might easily have been performed (and parts more easily lost - or destroyed by a sudden thunderstorm in Zimmermann's outdoor '(Beer?/Coffee garden') near the Grimma City Gate (just outside the city wall).

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 26, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< On the soprano part copied by Krebs, Bach personally wrote down the mezzo-soprano clef and the key signature to indicate a transposition of all the still existing parts from E minor version to C minor. >
I'm confused. I thought the "mezzo-soprano" version used the usual soprano clef. Did Bach use this the mezzo clef? It must be the only example if he did.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 26, 2007):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>I thought the "mezzo-soprano" version used the usual soprano clef. Did Bach use this the mezzo clef? It must be the only example if he did.<<
The Krebs copy of the E minor soprano part uses a soprano clef (C clef on the bottom line of the staff) as expected (NBA I/28.1, p. 155 Reconstruction).

The "Basso o Mezzosoprano" version (NBA I/28.1, p. 111) uses the mezzo-soprano clef (C clef on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff).

The "Basso/Alto" version" from the autograph score (NBA I/28.1, p. 77) shows an alto clef (on the middle line like the common clef still used for violas).

Another instance where Bach uses this mezzo-soprano clef: BWV 1073.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 26, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The "Basso o Mezzosoprano" version (NBA I/28.1, p. 111) uses the mezzo-soprano clef (C clef on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff).
Another instance where Bach uses this mezzo-soprano clef: BWV 1073. >
Hmmm ... I can see this unusual clef being used in an "abstract" contrapuntal work, but why would he use the mezzo-soprano clef in this one vocal work and not in the works which had a second soprano part which could legitimately be called "Mezzo-Soprano" (e.g. Credo, Magnificat, Jesu Meine Freude) ?

Curiouser and curiouser ...

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 26, 2007):
< The Krebs copy of the E minor soprano part uses a soprano clef (C clef on the bottom line of the staff) as expected (NBA I/28.1, p. 155 Reconstruction). >
Dude, right into your own trap of not looking at things thoroughly enough, and going from the NBA's conflated/arranged score instead of their own critical notes! That's the error that you accuse musicians of making: being disdainful and/or ignorant of the goodies in the KB!

The KB on page 85, for that same part ("Bb" from 1731 copied by Krebs), says that it got corrected from a soprano clef into a mezzo-soprano clef. And on page 82 it says that Bach was the one responsible for that clef change, when he wrote in the word "mezo" and changed the piece back to C minor in that source.

The KB also says on page 110 that movements 4 and 5 for that vocal part each have some missing accidentals, where somebody [=Bach] missed the necessary changes along with the clef.

< The "Basso/Alto" version" from the autograph score (NBA I/28.1, p. 77) shows an alto clef (on the middle line like the common clef still used for violas). >
And it also has a footnote there next to that alto clef, on page 1, in different and brighter-colored ink: saying that the part needs to be "transposed" (in this case, shifted an octave) when the vocal bass part gets writout. "NB. Die Singstimme muß in den Bass transponirt werden." This is explained on page 68 of the KB.

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 27, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Dude, right into your own trap of not looking at things thoroughly enough, and going from the NBA's conflated/arranged score instead of their own critical notes! That's the error that you accuse musicians of making: being disdainful and/or ignorant of the goodies in the KB!<<
I think the error is on your part as you are all too eager to find fault without studying the details carefully!

BL: >> The KB on page 85, for that same part ("Bb" from 1731 copied by Krebs), says that it got corrected from a soprano clef into a mezzo-soprano clef. And on page 82 it says that Bach was the one responsible for that clef change, when he wrote in the word "mezo" and changed the piece back to C minor in that source.<<
I am not certain what you are getting at here. I had already pointed out correctly who made which changes to the Krebs Soprano part. Perhaps you missed this presentation (not unusual, it is called 'selective reading' by you). If, however, you seem to be implying that Krebs, when he began copying this part (Bb from circa 1731), was stopped dead in his tracks by Bach who then proceeded immediately to correct the initial clef and key signature that Krebs had written to change the soprano part into a mezzo-soprano part so that a real soprano part never really existed for a performance other than the fragmentary notation by AMB in her 1725 notebook, then read on:

Admittedly, the NBA editors might have explained this situation in greater detail. As I had indicated earlier, I wanted to know if the C-minor mezzo-soprano version indicated by Bach by means of the mezzo-soprano clef was also written out in full by Krebs in addition to the E minor version since this part (Bb) is two pages longer than the Basso part copied by Altnickol 15 years later. Here are some important points to clear this up in lieu of a complete facsimile of the Krebs part which I would very much like to see and study:

1. From the editorial comments on p. VI of NBA I/28.1:

"In der Besetzungsangabe zum Vokalpart ist in unserer Ausgabe ferner eine um 1731 entstandene Stimme mitberücksichtigt, die, ursprünglich in e-Moll ausgeschrieben und für Sopran bestimmt, von Bach nachträglich nach c-Moll versetzt und mit entsprechender Umschlüsselung dem Mezzosopran zugewiesen worden ist."

("Regarding the orchestration [in this instance, the assigning of a specific voice for this vocal part], we have also taken into consideration in our edition a part which dates from about 1731, a part which originally had been [completely] written out in E minor and was meant for the soprano voice, but which afterwards was transposed to C minor and assigned to the mezzo-soprano voice by means of the corresponding change of clefs.")

Sequence:

a.) Krebs copies out the entire soprano part in E minor. He is responsible for writing the title "Soprano", the appropriate clef (soprano clef - C-clef on the bottom line), the appropriate key signature for E minor, all the musical notation "Noten" and the text (words under the notes).

Time span unknown here: on the same day or after BWV 82 had been performed this way a number of times between circa 1731 and circa 1735.

b.) JSB adds "mezo" after Krebs' "Soprano" designation at the top of the part. JSB then adds somewhere, probably at the end of the part: the mezzo-soprano clef (C-clef on the 2nd line from the bottom of the staff) and the key signature for the transposition back to C-minor (the original key).

c.) If JSB added these indications directly (in 1731) to Krebs' part, Krebs may have completed writing out the C-minor mezzo-soprano version on the same part, thus accounting for the greater length of this part,

d.) If Bach added these indications later (in 1735), then this part was either used (with Krebs' extended, double version part or replaced by another C-minor mezzo-soprano part which has been lost. In any case, such a mezzo-soprano part would have been used for a performance with the only two existing violin parts from 1735 in C minor.

BL: >>The KB also says on page 110 that movements 4 and 5 for that vocal part each have some missing accidentals, where somebody [=Bach] missed the necessary changes along with the clef.<<
These two notes missing their accidentals may have been caused by the individual (not Bach) who used the E minor soprano part for copying and transposing to C minor (mezzo-soprano part) and in the process of adding hints to the original part, ended up obliterating two notes which are now not clearly identifiable in Krebs' original part. Nothing really of importance implied here, just being very accurate about what is visible and what may have caused this obliteration.

Hope this clears things up,

Richard Mix wrote (February 27, 2007):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
< There are actually two baritone clefs in existence...>
RM: < Only the second, f3, is properly speaking the baritone clef. >
CT: <... I suppose this is a level of subtlety they didn't bother with for us undergrads? Or perhaps it's something new since the 1980s? >
Since I rushed in without verifying anything from an authoritative source, we should also consider the case that I might be misinformed myself! I would think it strange, though, if the other two F clefs had to share a single name between them.

Bradley Lehman wrote (February 27, 2007):
< If, however, you seem to be implying that Krebs, when he began copying this part (Bb from circa 1731), was stopped dead in his tracks by Bach who then proceeded immediately to correct the initial clef and key signature that Krebs had written to change the soprano part into a mezzo-soprano part so that a real soprano part never really existed for a performance other than the fragmentary notation by AMB in her 1725 notebook, then read on: >
Since nobody here has implied that, or even "seemed to imply" that, everything that you've followed that with is a straw-man presentation against nothing.

My point, if indeed I had one, was: it's better to go read the NBA and its KB directly, than to rely on anyone's internet "summary translations" or other bizarre condensations or concoctions.

By the way, on that 57-word clause above: take a breath, dude!

Richard Mix wrote (February 27, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>Suppose the vocal part was among the unreturned parts, but Bach had the e minor soprano part at hand for the next bass who was to sing the (OK, a) c minor version. Why bother to copy a new part for someone who could mentaly transpose down an octave from c2 clef?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Perhaps for a concert in the Bach household, but not as a cantata sung in a church. >
Sorry, care to explain?

< Also, why would Johann Christoph Altnickol, Bach's son-in-law, who was musically very talented and had a
good bass voice, write this part out for himself ... >
Speculative scenarios are not lacking: Bach may have learned his lesson about lending out parts; JCA might have wanted a copy to own (is there perhaps anything suggestive in the transmission history of this material?); Krebs or AMB or someone else might have needed NBA-Q Bb (ugh) back... I notice that I have 6 copies of bwv 82 aroud the house, notwithstanding a thick stack of library cards in my wallet.

< Obviously, boys and young men are meant when a mezzo-soprano clef is used in sacred vocal music before 1700. After 1700, attempts were being made to introduce women's voices in church music. In such instances a woman might also be able to sing BWV 82 in its soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto versions >
Again, I'm still not aware of any evidence that either boys or women were sorted along these lines at that time, and rather a lot of evidence that singers learned to read more than one clef, as they still do. Are you possibly suggesting that Bach imagined an alto timbre in the opening movement, realized something wasn't right, and, after long experiments with bass and soprano, discovered that what he really needed all along was a voice with a tessiatura a third higher than alto, but singing the same pitches? impossible, but I begin to see the wisdom of reserving bwv #'s...

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 27, 2007):
I had stated and Brad Lehman quoted me on this:
>>The Krebs copy of the E minor soprano part uses a soprano clef (C clef on the bottom line of the staff)as expected (NBA I/28.1, p. 155 Reconstruction).<<
Brad Lehman responded with:
>>Dude, right into your own trap of not looking at things thoroughly enough, and going from the NBA's conflated/arranged score instead of their own critical notes! That's the error that you accuse musicians of making: being disdainful and/or ignorant of the goodies in the KB!<<
Just to set the record straight:

1. Johann Ludwig Krebs, on his (Bb - c.1731) copy of the Soprano part in E minor, uses the soprano clef (a C-clef located on the bottom line of the staff) which is accounted for on p. 155 of NBA I/28.1 (Reconstruction). This is essentially a repeat of what I had stated. It is truly unfortunate the Brad Lehman is unable to see this and insists that I have given a report which is in error. It is not my fault if he is unable to understand properly the critical source materials offered by the NBA.

2. In the above reconstruction, the soprano part that Krebs copied is accurately accounted for. All the rest has been explained in my previous post.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 27, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
< Not impossible, but I begin to see the wisdom of reserving bwv #'s... >
Ooh! That could be construed as a one-liner.

 

OT: BWV 82 - Ich habe genug

Santu de Silva wrote (March 28, 2007):
George Fischer wrote:
< Since we just analyze single words and phrases, that text is quite clear for me (also in the other stanzas):

(Ich habe genug,)
Ich habe den Heiland, das Hoffen der Frommen,
Auf meine begierigen Arme genommen;
Ich habe genug!
(Ich hab ihn erblickt,)
Mein Glaube hat Jesum ans Herze gedrückt;
Nun wünsch ich, noch heute mit Freuden
(Von hinnen zu scheiden.)

1) He has enough from the present world, he is fnished with it
2) because he saw Jesus
3) and therefore he wishes to leave the world today with happiness

I don't see that this relates to the "vollbracht" / "erfuellen" topic, because is spoken/sung by one of us. >

I apologize; I had misunderstood the phrase (Ich habe genug.") Nevertheless, as the member below points out, being fulfilled or satisfied (as Simeon declared, at the circumcision,) is quite different from having discharged a duty or obligation.

(I thought the Ich habe genug occurred in the Elijah story, when he was 'despondent' and generally sulking.)

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (March 28, 2007):
Santu de Silva wrote:
< (I thought the Ich habe genug occurred in the Elijah story, when he was 'despondent' and generally sulking.) >
In Mendelssohn's German Elias the aria is "Es ist genug". Strangely enough I have a recording of this in Hebrew
by the famed Bulgarian, later Israel Bass Raffaele Arie. It is a commercial pirate of recordings given by his wife (or widow, I assume).

 

Continue on Part 7

Cantata BWV 82: Details
Recordings: Complete:
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
Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | 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]

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: ıNovember 6, 2014 ı19:13:06