Thomas Braatz wrote (November 13, 2002):
BWV 99 - Provenance:
The Autograph Score:
It would appear that this cantata from the 2nd Leipzig cantata yearly cycle was inherited by W. F. Bach in 1750 after his father’s death. Whatever happened to the cantata after that point remains unclear. It surfaced again on September 22, 1874 when a manuscript collector from Marburg, Guido Richard Wagner, presented it as a gift to the BB (Deutsche Staatsbibliothek Berlin.) Somehow Wilhelm Rust, the editor of the BG Volume 22, had been able to use it prior to that date along with the original set of parts as a basis for the BG’s printed version of this cantata.
It is possible that the autograph score, at some point at the beginning of the 20th century, but certainly before a new cataloging effort that took place in the 1930s, was incomplete with only 6 of the 8 pages remaining. Three of these pages were found in 1976 among a collection of musical manuscripts which had been given to the Landeskirchenamt in Eisenach by an anonymous donor. On February 17, 1977, these pages were returned to the BB to be placed in the original folder. The title page, pages 1-2 and 7-8 are located in the Biblioteka Jagiellońska, Kraków, in Poland, to which location they had been brought during WWII. These pages have had their edges cut, thus they are smaller than the other pages. Pages 3-6 are in extremely poor condition: they were folded in the middle where the crease caused the loss of some text. The upper third of page 3 is missing and page 4 has been cut through the middle. To protect the pages from further damage, the page fragments were place in a folder of stiff Makulaturpapier ["waste paper"] on which the crossed-out name “Brahms” appears using blue ink on the front side. The name “Brahms” appears again in red in the upper right corner. The Cracow portion of the score is in a bright yellow folder which bears the official signature of the BB.
The autograph title is all the exists of the original cover:
Dominica 15 post Trinit: | Was Gott thut das ist wohlgethan. | a |4 Voci. | 1 Traversiere | 1 Hautbois: | 2 Violini | 1 Viola | e. | Continuo | di | Joh: Sebast: Bach.
The Original Parts:
These belong to the St. Thomas School and were given to the school by Anna Magdalena Bach soon after Bach’s death. They were being temporarily stored in the Leipzig City Archive in 1988 (the publishing date for this volume of the NBA) but are intended for the Bach-Archive of Leipzig, where they probably are located now. Originally, there were doublets for both violin parts and the continuo, but these are missing today. The identified copyists are Johann Andreas Kuhnau, and Christian Gottlob Meißner, who copied all the parts except the ‘Corne’ part (Bach did this one himself – only Mvt. 1 and Mvt. 6) and the continuo part copied by Anonymous IId – Bach filled in the figured bass. Bach then reviewed and corrected all the parts, included all dynamics and most of the phrasing marks.
The librettist is unknown. The basis of the text is the chorale text by Samuel Rodigast (1674) consisting of 6 verses, of which verses 1 and 6 are quoted with only a few rather insignificant changes. Verses 2 through 5 are paraphrased freely.
Date of Composition:
The dating was accomplished by watermark (an ‘eagle’and an ‘H’,) handwriting analysis of the copyists and the correct date based on the liturgical date within the church year. Thus the date of the first performance took place on September 17, 1724 in Leipzig (Dürr.)
Specifying the Brass Instrument Used:
The only place where the instrument is specified is the part that indicates that a “Corne.” should be used. This term allows for a number of different interpretations: Mvt. 1 & Mvt. 6 in which this instrument is called for are notated in a regular treble clef. The range required of this instrument is the same in both mvts.: a G major scale from d’ to e’’. It plays nothing of an obbligato nature but rather plays entirely colla parte with the soprano. The part could be played on a natural horn in D, however its g’ being the 11th natural tone would be too high in pitch while the tones b’ and c’’ as the 13th and 14th natural tone would be too flat/low. These problems could be remedied by certain lip techniques so that these notes would be reasonably tolerable. A horn in G would not work because it would exceed the possibilities available to such a natural horn.
Judging by the range, the untransposed notation, and the fact that the part only supports the voice (does not have an independent role in this cantata), the conclusion could be reached that Bach really intended, as in similar cantatas (BWV 4, BWV 23, BWV 28, BWV 64, BWV 101, BWV 118, and BWV 133), to use a Zink. A complete survey of the cantatas in which a Zink was used is found in Thomas G. MacCracken’s article, “Die Verwendung der Blechblasinstrumente bei J. S. Bach unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Tromba da tirarsi” in the BJ [Bach Jahrbuch] 1984, p. 80 ff. In this case the word, “Corne.” is considered as an abbreviation of “Cornetto.” Reinmar Emans, in his article contained in “Musik und Kirche” 1983 (Book 2, p. 77), comes to the conclusion that “Corne.” is an abbreviation for Cornetti.
The more recent book by the Csibas, “Die Blechblasinstrumente in J. S. Bachs Werken” (1994) assigns this part to the Corno in C (16 Foot) with the only notes that need to be played being: [d’ c f# g a b c’’ d e].