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Cantata BWV 87
Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen
Commentary and Examples from the Score

Text Changes | Mvt. 3: Aria [Alto] | Mvts. 5, 6 & 7

 

Text Changes

Already discussed were the text of the chorale (Mvt. 7) and the tenor recitative (Mvt. 4) which Aryeh explained as having been interpolated by Bach. The key words here are "most likely by Bach." Likewise the experts believe that Bach also was responsible for the following changes: [First the original printed version by von Ziegler, which was printed later than the time of the composition of the cantata, and then Bach's changes.]

Von Ziegler:

O Wort! Das Geist und Hertz erschreckt,
Ach Menschen=Kinder! Merckt, was wohl darhinter steckt;
Ihr habet das Gesetz vorsetzlich übertreten,
Und dißfals möcht ihr Tag und Nacht,
In Buß und Andacht beten:

Bach has:

O Wort, das Geist und Seel erschreckt,
ihr Menschen, merckt den Zuruff, was dahinter steckt!
Ihr habt Gesetz und Evangelium vorsetzlich übertreten,
und dißfals möcht ihr ungesäumt
in Buß und Andacht beten.

Von Ziegler:

Ich will leiden, ich will schweigen,
Jesus wird mir Hülff erzeigen/
Denn er tröst mich nach dem Schmertz.
Weicht ihr Sorgen! Flieht ihr Klagen!
Seele, du darffst nicht verzagen,
Fasse dich betrübtes Hertz.

Bach changes the last three lines of the aria to:

Weicht ihr Sorgen Trauer Klagen
Denn warum solt ich verzagen
faße dich betrübtes Hertz.

 

Mvt. 3: Aria [Alto]

In the alto aria (Mvt. 3) we have Schweitzer and Dürr attempting to describe the upward moving figure in the ostinato bass. Schweitzer sees or hears it as the 'felicity' -motif, resembling quiet gently-flowing waves that aid in carrying the sighs and moans of the oboes up to heaven. Dürr calls the ostinato bass a 'pleading' gesture, while the parallel figures in the oboes are sighing figures which help to accentuate the word, "vergib" ("forgive") which the voice sings.

 

Mvts. 5, 6 & 7

Leave it to Harnoncourt to come up with an exaggeration or a special accent which lacks all sense of proportion and, to my ears, sounds utterly ridiculous. The first example is in the bass aria (Mvt. 5):

where the embellishment which Bach uses is over-emphasized, the second in the beautiful tenor aria (Mvt. 6).

where a two-note phrase, with no special markings indicated by Bach, is so heavily accented that the beautiful musical line is virtually destroyed. The last example

is the chorale (Mvt. 7) with its textual problems that continue until the present day (Leusink, for example, who still uses the adulterated text in the year 2000.)

 

All snippets from NBA I/12
Contributed by Thomas Braatz (May 25, 2001)

Cantata BWV 87: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions

Scores: 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 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Other Vocal BWV 1081-1127, BWV Anh | Instrumental | Chorale Melodies | Sources
Discussions: Scores of Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bach’s Manuscripts: | Part 1 | Part 2 | Scoring of Bach's Vocal Works
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Last update: ýFebruary 21, 2008 ý01:42:24