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Cantata BWV 69
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele [I]
Cantata BWV 69a
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele
Provenance

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 23, 2002):
BWV 69 and 69a - Versions

There are 3 versions of BWV 69:

1) BWV 69a “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele” composed immediately preceding its 1st performance on the 12th Sunday after Trinity on August 15, 1723

2) BWV 69a “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele” – the accepted date for this revision is c. 1727, but the NBA editors have provided evidence that Dürr’s assumption that the entire cantata was given another performance in 1727 and that this is why the aria, among other things, was transformed, is erroneous. What did seem to happen is that the original [1723] tenor aria, “Meine Seele, auf, erzähle” in C major was transformed into an alto aria [1727] in G major [with the original text? or a portion of the text changed as well?] In the process Bach dropped the recorder and oboe da caccia parts and replaced them with an oboe and a violin. This is the version that Bach included in the final version:

3) BWV 69 “Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele” with new recitatives replacing the original ones, further changes in the text and a substitution of a final chorale for the one originally used, Bach adapted the above cantata for the Leipzig Council Elections (or Installation of New Council Members) on August 26, 1748. The revisions that Bach undertook are very extensive and are fully documented in the KB of the NBA I/20 and I/32.2.

The NBA indicates that the 1727 aria change may have occurred for a reason other than that of a complete 2nd performance of BWV 69a: the G major alto aria may have been utilized for some other purpose such as a single performance of this aria in a setting that can not be documented, or perhaps as a substitution for another aria in a different cantata (also not documented.) There is no way to determine which text was used for the 1727 version – was it the 1723 text or the 1747 one?

For all practical purposes, there can only be two recordings of this work: the original BWV 69a (1723) version and the very late adaptation and revision for the City Council Elections in 1748.

Provenance:

The autograph score:

Absolutely nothing at all is known about the whereabouts of this score which served as a basis for both BWV 69a and BWV 69. The NBA does not even offer a conjecture as to which of Bach’s sons may have inherited it in 1750. [My own guess, based on the extensive revisions that Bach undertook, is that the score was almost unusable due to numerous corrections and perhaps the paper was, as a result, in very poor condition. Whoever inherited it would have had a new score prepared from the original parts, but somehow it never came to this point. It is rather amazing that no such copy of the score from the latter half of the 18th century exists as is frequently the case with other cantatas.

The original set of parts:

These were copied from the original score in 1723 by Johann Andreas Kuhnau. He was aided in this project by other copyists such as Meißner and a cohort of anonymous individuals who prepared the doublets from the original parts that Kuhnau had copied out first. The 1727 transformed tenor to alto aria parts were copied by Johann Heinrich Bach. The changes and corrections to the original set of parts, extensive as they are, were undertaken by J.S. Bach himself.

The 1st known owners of these parts are the Counts [sic] Voß-Buch. Together with all the other original manuscripts in their possession, the BB (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. Preußischer Kulturbesitz) acquired this set of parts as well. The parts are still located in the BB today.

 

Cantatas BWV 69 & BWV 69a: Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 69 | Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 69a | Recordings of Individual Movemnts from BWV 69 | 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: ýNovember 29, 2011 ý09:43:04