Thomas Braatz wrote (March 6, 2003):
The Autograph Score:
After Bach’s death, it was inherited by C.P.E. Bach, in whose possession it still was at the time of the latter’s death (the listing of all items in his estate in 1790.) After this time there are gaps in the ownership of this score. It is quite probable that Georg Poelchau was the next owner who stipulated that the next owner would not resell the manuscript, but rather eventually donate it to the Berliner Singakademie. It was Abraham Mendelssohn (1776-1835) who purchased it from Poelchau in 1811 under the conditions that were required of him. It is not clear just when the Berliner Singakademie received it from Mendelssohn. From the Berliner Singakademie the score was acquired by the BB in 1854.
Bach’s Title on Top of the 1st Page:
Concerto – Dominica Esto mihi. â 4 Voci. 1 Hautb: 2 Violini | 1 Viola, Violoncello è Cont. di JSBach [the initials JSB are combined in a monogram; notice the rather formal attribution in Italian – this type of autograph is rather rare in his vocal works]
Mvt. 1: ms. 42 Allegro
Mvt. 2 above the 1st line: Aria Alto è Hautbois solo
Mvt. 2 at the end: Segue il |Recit: | col’ accomp:
Mvt. 4 at the top: Aria Tenore è Stromenti
Mvt. 4 at the end: Seq[uitur] Chorale | finalis
Mvt. 5 at the top: Chorale
Mvt. 5 at the end: Fine.
The score is “Reinschrift” [clear copy] indicating that there must have been an original score before this one, one that is lost along with all the original parts.
Although the librettist is unknown (no definite evidence is available), the text reveals similarities with Graupner’s “Probekantaten” [these were presented only a few weeks earlier than Bach’s ‘audition’ cantatas (BWV 22, BWV 23)] and with BWV 75 and BWV 76. These all seem to have the same author. These texts (BWV 22 and BWV 23) were very likely sent to Bach by an official source prior to his arrival in Leipzig. Bach had had sufficient time to complete the cantatas in Cöthen before traveling to Leipzig. This situation contrasts with his ‘audition’ for the post in Halle in 1713 where he had to compose a cantata while shut in a room just prior to the performance.
In 1985 Hans-Joachim Schulze suggested as a possible librettist Dr. Gottfried Lange (1672-1748) chairman of St. Thomas Church, and current (1723) mayor of Leipzig.
Two verses from the Sunday Gospel for Estomihi precede the cantata text: Luke 18:31 & 34); and the final chorale quotes the 5th vs. of Elisabeth Kreuziger’s “Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn” (1524) along with its associated melody.
Date of Composition:
The cantata was completed just previous to its 1st performance on February 7, 1723. The usual time allotted for preparation was about 3 weeks. According to Christoph Wolff, BWV 22 was performed before the sermon and BWV 23 after it. This can be determined by the nature of the texts involved. The chorale in BWV 23 “Christe du Lamm Gottes” is also a typical communion hymn and would fit better with the time just prior to communion or during it. A later performance is documented to have taken place in 1724 and another one seems likely to have occurred c. 1735.
Instrumentation and Distribution of Parts:
Following the pairing of the Evangelist and Vox Christi, it is very likely that the beginning of the fugue (exposition) would have been performed by the Concertisten and would later be joined by the Ripieni (Repienchor.)
The continuo group, although only indicated in the score as “Violoncello è Cont.”, probably would have been much larger. In BWV 23, the cantata performed during the same church service, called for a large continuo group consisting of Organo, Harpsichord, Violoncello, and Bassono. It can reasonably be assumed that Bach would have used the same continuo players in BWV 22.