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Cantata BWV 159
Sehet! wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem
Provenance

Thomas Braatz wrote (February 15, 2002):
BWV 159 - Provenance:

The autograph score and parts were lost together will all the other source materials of the year-long cantata cycle known as the Picander Cantata Cycle (1728-29). These had belonged to Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and nobody seems to know why these cantatas disappeared so completely without a trace. The only reason, why we are able to hear this cantata in a version probably quite true to the original is that Christian Friedrich Penzel had made a copy from the original (c. 1770.) Very likely he had to pay W.F. Bach dearly to “take a peek!” Penzel’s copy is most important source for the printed editions of the BG (Vol 32) (July 1886) and the NBA I/8. Of some special interest is the situation regarding the famous bass aria (Mvt. 4). It is missing in the Penzel score! He left space for it, but never completed it (perhaps the time allotted for his ‘peek’ at the scores had run out?) Luckily he had been able to copy all the mvts. for the set of parts. The missing aria in the Penzel copy of the score was filled in by one of the later owners of the score: Franz Hauser, a collector of Bach’s works. As a famous bass soloist, Hauser must have been disturbed by the missing bass aria in the score, thus he reconstructed the score from the parts almost a century later and filled in what Penzel hat omitted for some unknown reason.

1st Performance:

February 27, 1729 (Dürr) The final appoggiatura in Mvt. 1 could well be a stylistic modernization undertaken by Penzel (1770) as this was not normally customary in Bach’s scores (comment by NBA editors, 1998.)

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 12, 2008):
Further details from the NBA KB I/8.1-2, pp. 76-88

2nd Mvt. Oboe and Bassoon Parts:

These parts were not part of the original set of parts that Christian Friedrich Penzel (1737-1801) had prepared at the time when he had copied the score (circa 1770). The oboe and bassoon parts have been identified as Nachträge (addenda) that had probably been created after Penzel’s copy of the score and parts (not the Organo transposto part by another copyist) had been completed but before an actual performance that must have taken place after 1770 in Merseburg where Penzel had obtained the position of Cathedral- and City-cantor in that city beginning in 1765-1766. [Wilhelm Friedemann Bach was the organist and music director at the Liebfrauenkirche in Halle from 1746-1771. There is evidence that W.F. Bach knew Penzel personally. Halle is situated not too far from Merseburg.]

The NBA KB editors consider Penzel’s copy of BWV 159 as the primary source while his copy of the parts (except for Mvt. 4 which is missing in the original) has only secondary importance.

The score’s title is simply: Dom. Esto mihi. J.S.B. Duetto is written over Mvt. 2, Recit. Tenore for Mvt. 3. For Mvt. 4 the title is Aria. Basso Solo with the only clear indication of instruments to be used: Oboe Solo, Violino 1mo et 2do, Viola, Cont. There are 3 different watermarks for the parts. The cover/folder for the parts states: Domin. Esto mihi | Sehet, wir gehen hinauf gen Jerusal. | a | Oboe oblig: | due Violini | Viola | 4 Voci cant. | Fondamento | di J. S. Bach. [btw: Picander’s original text from a 1732 printing of the cantata texts is punctuated as follows: Sehet!...Wir gehen hinauf,…Gen Jerusalem.]

The oboe part is titled: Oboe concert: and contains mvts. 2, 4, and 5, but a closer observation reveals that this single page is written on both sides. The first side is marked Tacet for mvts. 1-3 and contains the part for Mvt. 4 and Mvt. 5. At the end of Mvt. 5, the title Duetto. | Chorale appears after which the Mvt. 2 is copied out.

The bassoon part appears on the back of the sheet containing the Violino Primo part. This violin part begins with mvts. 1, 4, and 5 and includes a Tacet for Mvt. 2 to which has been added: Siehe auf der folgenden Seite [see on the following page – the reverse side]. The bassoon part has the title Fagotto as well as Duetto Alto et Sopr.

Missing Recitative:

Picander’s cantata text contains a recitative which is missing in the Bach original. This, however, may be due to other factors such as Penzel’s uneven and sometimes unreliable transmission which is the only source available. Bach may have composed music for this recitative:

Herr Jesu, dein verdienstlich Leiden
Ist meine Herrlichkeit
Mein Trost, mein Ruhm, mein Schmuck und Ehrenkleid.
Daran erhalt ich mich, drauf leb ich allezeit,
Drauf will ich auch dereinst verscheiden.


This recitative was positioned after the bass aria Es ist vollbracht and before the final chorale.

 

Cantata BWV 159: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2

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 10, 2008 ý09:31:51