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Bach Cantatas Website - Newsletters
Year 2008

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Year 2009 >

The Bach Cantatas Website celebrates its 7th anniversary

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 4, 2008):
The Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) was launched in its current form and address on December 30, 2000.

The BCW is located at:
Description: The Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) is a comprehensive site covering all aspects of J.S. Bach's cantatas and his other vocal works. The BCW contains discussions and detailed discographies of each cantata and other vocal works, performers and general topics. The BCW also contains texts and translations, scores, music examples, articles and interviews, and over 4,800 short biographies of performers of Bach's vocal works and players of his keyboard works, as well as of poets & composers associated with Bach. There are also other relevant resources such as the Lutheran church year, database of chorale texts & melodies and their authors, detailed discographies of Bach's solo keyboard works and piano transcriptions and their performers, reviews and discussions of Bach's non-vocal works, books and movies on Bach, terms and abbreviations, schedule of concerts of Bach's vocal works, guide to Bach tour, Bach memorabilia, thousands of links to other relevant resources. The BCW is an international collective project, being compiled from various postings about the subject, most of which have been sent to the Bach Mailing Lists.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank the numerous contributors to the discussions in the Bach Mailing Lists and some other lists, whose messages are compiled into the pages of the BCW. Their names are mentioned accordingly above each quoted message. I would also like to thank the many Bach lovers around the world who have sent me material to be included in the BCW, such as articles, translation of cantata texts, recording details, biographies, photos, music examples, links to other sites, etc. Their names are mentioned accordingly in the relevant pages.

There have been many improvements & additions to the BCW last year.
The major additions were:
A. Comprehensive Discographies of ALL Bach's Solo Keyboard works BWV 772-994.
B. Piano Transcriptions of Bach's Works and Bach-inspired Piano Works (PT) - Lists of all known PT & Comprehensive Discographies.
C. Comprehensive Bach Discographies of artists who have recorded Bach's Solo Keyboard Works & Bach's Piano Transcriptions.
D. Comprehensive Discographies of Complete (or near complete) Sets of Bach's Organ Works.
E. Bach Memorabilia Section (including Bach Stamps).

For more info, please take a look at:

I am encouraged by the positive feedback the BCW is getting from all over the world. Many of the feedback messages from last year can be read at the page:

I continue to look forward to receiving your comments (corrections, suggestions, improvements, etc.) about the BCW. The instructions how to send me comments, appear in the following page:

I wish you all another Great and Happy Bach Year!


BCW: Changes & Additions

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 12, 2008):
I would like to update you about some of the recent changes and additions to the Bach Cantatas Website (BCW):

a. Home Page: A new look

b. Navigation Bars:
The upper and lower navigation bars, which appear on every page of the BCW, have been updated and now include links to the new sections of Memorabilia, Transcriptions and Movies (the last one is still in progress).

c. Bach Family:
Bios of all the musicians in the Bach Family (the Wechmar line) have been added.
They are sorted by Name, Number and Family Tree.

d. Memorabilia section:
Please pay attention to two important additions:
- Bach Portraits (most of the material has been provided by Thomas Braatz)
- Hommage a Bach: Tribute to Bach & Bach-inspired Art Works (most of the material has been provided by Teddy Kaufman)
"From the end of the 19th century until today, Bach's influence in modern painting and in music has been continuous. Numerous artists - like Kandinsky, Kupka, Delaunay, Van Doesburg, and Klee - most of them protagonists of non-objective painting - found a model and inspiration in Bach's scores."

I hope you like these changes & additions and find them useful.


BCW: Some Updates & Additions

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 20, 2008):
1. Sitemap (Site Map):
I am trying to do my best to make the BCW as easier to navigate as possible. However, I am aware that visitors of the BCW (especially newcomers) might get lost in the wealth of information the BCW has to offer. For a long time I have used the sitemap facility created by FreeFind search engine. I do not know how useful it was since it presented only one level deep from the Home Page. After checking some other tools I came to the conclusion that using an automatically generated sitemap is not applicable for the BCW due to the enormous number of internal links. Therefore I decided to build manually a schematic sitemap, representing the structure of the BCW in 2-3 levels.

The BCW contains over 17,000 pages, divided into 27 sections. An overview of each section is given below the title of the section's main page.
Each page of the BCW can be reached in several ways: by internal and external search engines, by link from other internal or external pages, and by 1-3 clicks from any other page of the BCW using the main menu at the top and at the bottom of each page. For easier navigation there is a sub-menu (below the top main menu, or above the bottom main menu) according to the section to which the page belongs. Now you have also the Sitemap to help you finding pages on the BCW.

2. What's New:
The BCW is so huge (see details above) that you can spend some months reading through the various pages and still have a lot to find. However, there are those visitors who always want to know what has been changed since their last visit. For them I have created a new page which contains links to:
- Page of Recent & Updated pages (this page is updated once a week)
- New & Upcoming Recordings pages (see below)
- New Bach Movies page (a new page)
- Newsletter pages

3. New & upcoming recordings:
I came to the conclusion that if I want to keep the recording pages of the BCW updated, I must keep the section of New & Upcoming Recordings as updated as possible.

From Year 2007 this section includes 2 pages for each month - Vocal Works / Non-Vocal Works. Both new releases and reissues of old recordings are listed.
For your convenience all the monthly pages are inter-linked.

I have recently updated this section to include all the new & reissued recordings of Bach's vocal works and solo keyboard works up to June 2008. I gave these two segments higher priority because at this stage the BCW aims at being comprehensive regarding these parts of the Bach canon.

The main sources of information are record labels, record stores, and the artists. Release dates differ from country to country and from continent to continent. As a rule of thumb, each recording is placed according to the earliest world-wide release date, of which I am aware.

4. Bach & Other Compos
Following recent discussions of Bach & other composers, I have created a page which will serve as a gate to all the relevant discussion pages, as well as to the music example pages of other composers.
Please notice that the composers in this new page are only a small part of the composers associated with Bach, listed at "Poets & Composers - Index to Short Biographies":

I hope you find these updates & additions useful. If you have any improvement suggestion, please write to me, either through the Bach Mailing Lists or off-list.


Lute Works BWV 995-1000, BWV 1006a - Revised discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 28, 2008):
In February 2004, I informed you of a discography I had compiled of J.S. Bach's Lute Works BWV 995-1000 & BWV 1006a (LW). That discography included 114 recordings. During the four years and a half I have gathered info of additional recordings, using every possible source I could find, including websites as J.S. Bach Home Page and All Music Guide, web-stores, artist websites, and other websites I have been able to find using Google search engine, as well as various catalogues and my private collection. I am not aware of any similar web-discography of the LW.

You can find the list of LW recordings split into several pages, a page for a decade, starting at the page:
The discography includes complete sets of the 7 LW, as well as complete recordings of individual LW. Except for a few cases, it does not include recordings of individual movements from these works.

All in all, 219 different albums, which include recordings of the LW, are now listed (meaning that the previous list has almost been doubled). As with other discographies on the BCW, each recording is listed only once. All the issues of each recording are presented together. Most of them are played, of course, on either lute or guitar. However, you can also find recordings of these works on harpsichord, piano, organ, lute-harpsichord, chamber ensembles, etc. On the other hand there are recorded arrangements of other Bach's works on lute or guitar, such as the Violin S&P, the GV, etc. But those recordings are beyond the scope of the discography at hand.

In the process I have also built Bach discographies and bio pages of most of the artists who have recorded the LW. For your convenience, the artist discographies and the LW discography pages are inter-linked, as with other discographies on the BCW.

If you are aware of a recording of the LW not listed in these pages, or if you find an error or missing information, please inform me, either through the BRML or to my personal e-mail address.


BCW: New section - Bach & Other Composers

Aryeh Oron wrote (December 20, 2008):
On January 1, 2006 I announced the addition of composers to the BCW. I wrote:
"J.S. Bach was not only the greatest composer of his generation but of all time. If anybody has needed any proof, he/she should listen to his works played around the clock for 10 days from BBC (UK) and from WKCR (NY). I cannot imagine any other composer justifying such ambitious broadcasting programmes. Greatest, indeed, but not an isolated figure. He belonged to a big musical family, his main post had other important composers before and after him, he used musical material of many composers, and this material has been used (and actually continued to be used) by many other composers.
In order to give fuller view of J.S. Bach's musical surroundings, I have started adding to the BCW short biographies of composers relating to J.S. Bach. These composers belong to one or more of the following categories:
a. Composers of Chorale Melodies.
Each composer page in this group includes a list of the CM he composed with links to the relevant CM pages.
b. Composers who composed works based on CM used by J.S. Bach.
Each composer page includes a list of his works in which he used CM's with links to the relevant CM pages.
c. Thomaskantors.
d. Members of the Bach family.
A complete list of the composers together with poets whose texts were used in J.S. Bach's works can be found at: "

To this announcement John Pike responded:
"An excellent idea. Maybe, at a later date, it would be worth adding other composers with links to Bach in other ways, eg Vivaldi, Telemann, Lotti, Caldara, Pergolesi, Pachelbel."

Since than I have added another category:
- Arrangers/transcriptors of Bach's works for piano

Now, almost 3 years later, I am glad to inform you that I have just finished the first version of a new section "Bach & Other Composers"

Based on material provided to me by William Hoffman and Thomas Braatz a few months ago and on various other sources, I have built a new section: "Bach & Other Composers". The aim of this section is to present all works of other composers associated with J.S. Bach.

To the previous categories I have added the following lists:
- Spurious & doubtful works in BWV & BWV Anh lists
- Works of other composers performed by J.S. Bach
- Works of other composers arranged by J.S. Bach
- Works of other composers in J.S. Bach's library

Discussions of Bach & other composers, previously presented in the General Topics section, have also been moved to the new section

I have also added, expanded and updated many composer biographies whose works appear in one or more of the above mentioned lists.
The bios are linked directly from the above lists.
Each such composer bio now contains lists/s of his (sorry, no her) works associated with J.S. Bach, and in many cases also a section describing the connection between the composer and J.S. Bach.

The main page of the Bach & Other Composers section:

The next phase was building comprehensive discographies of vocal works by other composers performed by J.S. Bach.
You will find here discographies of Passions, Masses, Cantatas, Motets, etc. which J.S. Bach performed.

The raison d'être for presenting these discographies is simple: - if the works were good enough for Bach to perform them, they are possibly good enough for us to listen to them. After all the man proved time and again that he had a good taste.

For example, did you know that J.S. Bach performed at least three works of his great contemporary G.P. Handel?
- Brockes Passion
- The Italian Cantata Armida abbandonata
- Arias from the Opera Alcina.

I hope you enjoy the new section as much as I did building it.

I am sure quite certain that at this stage the lists & the discographies contain numerous mistakes & omissions. Therefore, I would appreciate if you check them carefully and inform me of any change/correction/addition that should be made.


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