Thomas Braatz wrote (September 1, 2002):
BWV 33 - Provenance:
The Autograph Score:
The autograph score belongs to Professor (Dr.) Walther Schubring in Hamburg-Othmarschen, Germany. He, in turn, inherited from his grandfather, Julius Schubring (died in 1889), who was, at first a pastor in Dessau and later became a member of the High-Consistory. The latter made the score available to Wilhelm Rust in his preparation of Vol. 7 of the BG (1857.) In all probability Julius Schubring received this score as a gift from his friend, Felix Mendelssohn, who, in turn, must have received it from the circle of individuals connected with Zelter. Zelter’s handwriting appears in the words of the chorale (Bach frequently omitted or simply indicated the first two or three words of the chorale beginning – [this was simply wasted energy as far as Bach was concerned since almost everyone knew these verses by heart.])
On the title page Bach wrote:
Dominica 13 post Trinit: | Allein zu dir Herr Jesu Christ | a | 4Voci | 2 Hautbois | 2 Violini | Viola | e | Continuo | di | Joh: Sebast: Bach.
On top of the first page where the musical score begins he wrote:
J. J. Dominica 13 post Trinit: Concerto | Allein zu dir H. Jesu Xst.
The Original Set of Parts:
These were presented by Anna Magdalena Bach to the Thomas School in Leipzig soon after Bach’s death. They are now in the Bach-Archiv in Leipzig.
There are 11 pages copied out by 4 copyists, of which the 4th’s seemingly one and only task was to write 2 of the ‘tacet’ (to indicate when an instrument or voice has nothing to play) markings. [Because these two markings look more like the clumsy block letters of a 1st grader, it is easy to imagine that one of the very young children in the Bach family was given this opportunity to join in this family endeavor. Since this is already a personal aside, allow me to bring up the following: How many of you have read in the various biographies of Bach that Anna Magdalena frequently assisted in copying parts for the weekly cantatas when Bach was still producing them at the rate of one a week? So far I can not remember a single cantata where Anna Magdalena helped in copying out the parts. Some copyists have been identified and the others are given a number such as Anonymous 7 or Copyist 3. Some are known by the initials only, the initials that they included at the end of the page. The experts who analyze the various handwriting styles would certainly recognize her ‘hand’ since some evidence of her work can be found in the notebook dedicated to her. Is this another one of the myths concocted by the various novelist-biographers?]
Bach made many corrections/additions to the parts:
added sharps and flats as needed
staccato markings (dots)
dynamic markings (piano, forte)
corrected wrong notes by writing above them the letters of the notes
special indications such as ‘col surdino’ [with mute], ‘pizzicato’ and ‘arioso’
figured bass for the transposed continuo part only
The librettist is unknown. He uses Konrad Hubers’ chorale, “Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” (1540) and keeps the 1st and the last verse exactly as in the original. The middle verses are treated freely in a paraphrase of the original verses. There are correspondences in thoughts expressed and in the actual words used:
Original: Mein Sünd’n sind schwer und übergroß
1st Recitative: Und meine Sünd ist schwer und übergroß
Orig: und reuen mich von Herzen
1st: doch weil sie mich von Herzen reuen
Orig: Vor allen Dingen lieben dich und meinen Nächsten gleich as mich
2nd Aria (Duet): Gib, daß ich aus reinem Triebe als mich selbst den Nächsten liebe.
Orig: Am letzten End dein Hülf mir send
2nd Aria (Duet): Sende du mir Hilfe zu
Date of 1st Performance:
Based on the watermark of the paper used for both score and parts, the dating is restricted to a very limited series of cantatas from the 9th to the 15th Sunday after Trinity (BWV 94, BWV 101, BWV 113, BWV 33, BWV 78, BWV 99). Also the graphological evidence points to the same period in the latter half of 1724. The actual date, given by Dürr, and commonly accepted as correct is September 3, 1724. Thus Spitta’s assumed date as being after 1735 had to be discarded. [It is interesting how difficult it can be to assess the date of composition of any of the Leipzig cantatas based on stylistic observations alone! Friedrich Smend (1950) even considered this cantata to be from 1740 ff.]