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Cantata BWV 122
Das neugeborene Kindelein
Provenance

Thomas Braatz wrote (December 31, 2001):
BWV 122 - Provenance:

Autograph score (with additional 3 doublet parts from the original set)
From Wilhelm Friedemann Bach inheritance, or possibly also through his sister Elisabeth Juliana Friederica Altnickol
To Christian Friedrich Penzel (1737-1801), a cantor in the city of Merseburg
To his nephew Johann Gottlob Schuster (1765-1839)
To Franz Hauser (1794-1870), a collector of Bach manuscripts
Acquired from the latter’s estate (1904) and still located in the Preußischer Kulturbesitz of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (The State Library of Berlin)

The full set of original parts was donated by Bach’s widow, Anna Magdalena Bach, to the St. Thomas School in Leipzig soon after Bach’s death. They are now located in the Bach Archiv in Leipzig.

Titles:

The title on the 1st page of the autograph score (obviously in Bach’s own handwriting):

J.J. Do[min]ica post Nativ. Xsti
Das neügebohrne Kindelein.

The title on the separate title page in Johann Andreas Kuhnau’s (a copier, who copied out many cantata parts from the original score for Bach) handwriting:

Domin: post Nativit: Christi
Das neugebohrne Kindelein
4 Voci
3 Hautbois
2 Violini
Viola
Con
Continuo
Del Sign:
J:S Bach

What is missing here? The 3 recorders that play in Mvt. 3 are not listed! These parts were originally intended for either strings, or 2 oboes and a viola, which would play an octave lower. Perhaps this simply was not angelic enough for Bach, so he changed it almost at the last moment to 3 recorders.

Text:

The libretto is based on Cyriakus Schneegaß’ (1597) chorale text which was sung using a chorale melody by Melchior Vulpius (1609).
Mvt. 1 was a verbatim copy of vs. 1
Mvt. 4 was a verbatim copy of vs. 3
Mvt. 6 was a verbatim copy of vs. 4
Mvt. 2 & Mvt. 3 were a free paraphrase of vs. 2
Mvt. 5 was a free variation of vs. 4

There is no connection whatsoever with either the Epistle or Gospel text for this Sunday. As each verse has only 4 lines, this makes the introductory chorus seem even shorter than it is because of the comparison with the longer texts of the other chorale cantatas.

1st Performance:
December 31, 1724, the Sunday after Chrisrmas. This is a chorale cantata from the 2nd Leipzig cantata cycle (year).
Later performances may have been given during Bach’s lifetime, but there is no hard evidence available to prove this.

 

Cantata BWV 122: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

References: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Vocal Works BWV Anh | BGA | NBA | BC: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | Sources
Discussions of BWV Numbering System: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Last update: ýSeptember 27, 2011 ý23:37:07