Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Chorales in Bach Cantatas
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

A Known Melody (But Not By Me)

Sw Anandgyan wrote (April 15, 2005):
While surfing the net about the 'Ein Deutsches Requiem' I came across these words from David Isadore Lieberman:

"The choral conductor Siegfried Ochs reports Brahms's claim that a single Lutheran chorale melody, which Ochs determined to have been "Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten," provided much of the work's thematic material, although the chorale itself never makes a literal appearance. The central importance of a Lutheran chorale immediately draws the work into the tradition of J.S. Bach, whose music Brahms knew more intimately than did any other composer of his day. The melody Ochs identified indeed appears in more than one Bach cantata ... "

This is way beyond my reach.

So if there is one member who knows which funeral cantatas from Bach that this could point to, please kindly let me know so I can expand my horizon further.

tx

Neil Halliday wrote (April 15, 2005):
[To Sw Anandgyan] BWV 93: "Wer nur den lieben Gott laesst walten".

Robertson writes in his introduction to this cantata: "The libretto is based on Georg Neumark's hymn (1657) with the above title and its melody, with verses 1,4,5, and 7 set in their original form in the corressponding numbers in the cantata, the rest being paraphrased, the melody coming into every number".

(It's a beautiful cantata).

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 15, 2005):
[To Sw Anandgyan] "Wer nur den lieben Gott" is used in at least the cantatas BWV 21, BWV 27, BWV 84, BWV 88, BWV 93, BWV 166, BWV 179, BWV 197; and the instrumental pieces BWV 434, 642, 647, 690, and 691. [Source: the handy list on p481 of the BWV...]

Neil Halliday wrote (April 15, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman] Wow! One of Bach's favourite tunes, by the looks of it!

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 15, 2005):
[To Neil Halliday] Yep, perhaps so. One of my favorites, too; I made recordings of BWV 690 and 691a a couple of weeks ago, as my choices to demonstrate the key of A minor.... 691 is in the Anna Magdalena collection, and 691a is an expanded version of it with some flourishy stuff for a second manual.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 15, 2005):
I've put a one-minute excerpt of BWV 691a up to: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/

Enjoy!

Neil Halliday wrote (April 15, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thanks, Brad.

That's a lovely piece of music, with fine registration, and well-played.

(I will see if I can write down the tune that Bach had in mind when he wrote all these wonderful and varied pieces of music).

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 15, 2005):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< (I will see if I can write down the tune that Bach had in mind when he wrote all these wonderful and varied pieces of music). >
"Wer nur den lieben Gott"

The tune (pared down to essentials) is:

Sol, Do Re Me Re, Do Re Ti Sol;
Te Te Le, Sol Do Do Ti, Do;

Sol, Do Re Me Re, Do Re Ti Sol;
Te Te Le, Sol Do Do Ti, Do;

Re Me Fa, Sol Sol Fa Fa, Me;
Me Re Do, Ti Do Me Re, Do.

(Where "Me"--pronounced "may"--is the flattened version of "Mi", and "Te" likewise is flattened "Ti", and "Le" is flattened "La".)

"Bar form", i.e. AAB where the first section goes twice and then the last section is different.

Alternately in some versions the last line is "Me Re Do, Ti Do Do Ti, Do."

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 15, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>"Wer nur den lieben Gott" The tune (pared down to essentials) is:....Alternately in some versions the last line is....<<
As the BWV puts it, Bach's use of this melody is 'often only a rough approximation' of the standard form of the chorale melody as notated in the Zahn catalog.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 15, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
"The tune (pared down to essentials) is......"
Yes, but I was able to find the score of the piece you play in your example, in the BGA CD-ROM, and right under that is a simple form of the melody itself (easier for people who can read music):

(In A minor): E A B C B A B G# (F#) E // G natural (twice) F natural E E A G# A // B C D E E D D C // E D C B A C B A .

This immediate flattening of the G# and F# at the start of the second line is the distinctive feature of the melody.

The chord structure is A minor - E major - A minor (in the form without accidentals), A minor (in the form with F# and G#); followed by C major, then back to A minor.

Very simple, but attractive melody.

One can easily follow the melody in the soprano part of the opening chorus of BWV 93 (sounding like it is in C minor in Rilling's recording).

Tom Dent wrote (April 15, 2005):
A Known Melody - Romantic connections?

[To Neil Halliday] I can't see any immediate link to the Brahms Requiem. However, the version notated above does remind me quite a bit of Brahms' Fourth Symphony. I suppose it is the hints of Phrygian modality. For those that really like obscure links, the first five notes are identical to the Scottish Symphony of Mendelssohn, even in the same key. There is also a Scarlatti sonata with the same first five notes. But then that is no surprise with 600 to choose from.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 15, 2005):
Re: "Wer nur den lieben Gott"

>I can't see any immediate link to the Brahms Requiem.<
"Denn alles Fleisch..." usw, besonders.

Tom Dent wrote (April 16, 2005):
[To Bradley Lehman] Yes, Brahms reshapes the melody quite non-trivially. Now this is only one or two phrases in a 70-minute work... my guess is that people have been overenthusiastic in claiming that much else in the Brahms corresponds to Wer nur der liebe Gott.

Sw Anandgyan wrote (April 16, 2005):
Merci About That Melody

I would like to thank most particularly Brad and Neil for their insights about the 'known melody' in the Brahms Requiem.

I'm convinced that delving into the world of J.S. Bach is akin to plunging into the world of chess or the game of go; simply inexhaustible.

Merci beaucoup.

Anne Vriend wrote (April 16, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< I've put a one-minute excerpt of BWV 691a up to: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/files/ >
It does sound very smooth indeed in this temperament. Apart from the Anna Magdalena book, it's also in the notebook for W.F. Bach, with a few slightly different notes in the left hand.

 

Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works - Feedback needed

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 7, 2005):
Thomas Braatz and I have started working work on a new section added to the BCW - Chorale Melodies used in Bach Vocal Works.

The data for each Chorale Melody will include: short history, Bach's works in which it is used, music examples (MIDI & ram formats), and of course, musical notation/s. There will be also links to the complete text & translation of the associated chorale/s (provided by Francis Browne), bios of the original composer and writer, etc.

For the first example, please take a look at the page of the Chorale melody "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe": http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Werde-munter.htm

We would like to get your feedback before proceeding.
Please tell us what do you think about the concept as a whole and the way the data is presented.

Peter Smaill wrote (August 7, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you indeed for embarking on this project, which greatly facilitates the task of linking chorale use to the development of Bach's musical outlook. I will be delighted if you are able to complete this huge challenge.

At the risk of making the task superhuman, it would also be helpful to interlink with the organ and other deployments of chorales i.e. outside the cantatas. For example, "Werde Münter, mein Gemuthe" occurs as thNeumeister Chorale BWV 1118. Somtimes, the organ treatment is thematically significant to the choral work, as in "Ach wie fluchtig, ach wie nichtig" BWV 26, also in the Orgelbuchlein BWV 644.

In practical terms it can be arduous to dig out the relevant chorales for comparison purposes. A help to this is the four CD set of chorales issued by Brilliant Classics (CD 157-160) 99575/1 -4 (Nordic Chamber Choir/Freiburger Barockorchester), which arranges the chorales by title and sets out 200 of the settings from the Cantatas and BWV 253-438.

The texts are also interesting since Bach rarely sets more than one or two verses but would have known the imagery surrounding the chosen texts. "Lutheran Chorales in the Organ Works of JS Bach" by Mark Bighley (Concordia, 1985) gives 330 pages of German/English translations.

The thread of the Chorales is a fascinating line of enquiry in elucidating the purpose of the Cantatas and this initiative is just the sort of enrichment to our website which can accelerate Bach scholarship- a great idea.

Alain Burguieres wrote (August 7, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron & Thomas Braatz] This is a wonderful idea! I concur with Peter Smaill's suggestions, however as it stands now, the first page on "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe" is very nice.

Probably a database on the texts could be developed independently at a later stage, with links between the melody pages and the text pages. The task of writing a page for each melody already seems herculean!

Doug Cowling wrote (August 7, 2005):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
< Thomas Braatz and I have started working work on a new section added to the BCW - Chorale Melodies used in Bach Vocal Works. >
Thank you Thomas and Aryeh! This is a terrific resource, especially the earlier versions of the chorale melody.

If possible, I would love to see an entry which lists the liturgical day or rite for which the chorale was sung, especially for the cantorals which Bach used in his various positions (Leipzig would suffice). Bach often uses a chorale which has a particular association for his listeners. The use of the German Agnus Dei, "O Lamm Gottes" in the opening of the Matthew Passion (BWV 244) is a good example. Sorting out Bach's use of the "Passion Chorale" in its many apparitions is another example.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 7, 2005):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
>>The data for each Chorale Melody will include: short history, Bach's works in which it is used, music examples (MIDI & ram formats), and of course, musical notation/s. There will be also links to the complete text & translation of the associated chorale/s (provided by Francis Browne), bios of the original composer and writer, etc.<<
Thank you for the quick feedback (encouragement, which will definitely be needed to get this daunting task started; suggestions, which help to improve what information potential readers might have at their fingertips)!

In advance, if you have not noticed it: under "Text", BWV 555 should read BWV 55/5 which you may already have found in the notation examples below where it is given correctly (I overlooked this, sorry, Aryeh.)

Aryeh has down much to improve the organization of the page and I like very much the possibility that he offers: it is still possible to add certain things (new categories, etc.) after the project is already in place. Of course, it would be much more helpful if we knew now which format, which information should be included up front, directly on each the chorale melody pages.

Peter Smaill's suggestion to include other instances such as organ works which are based upon chorales has already been taken into account. The fact that BWV 1118 is already there on the page but not listed directly under the examples (I did not do this because no specific verse is being referred to - we only have the title/incipit and nothing else) is what causes the problem. I think we should make an effort to list at the top in some way or other all the instances that will follow no matter whether the specific verse used by Bach is known or not. Does Mark Bighley's book on original chorale texts and English translations include every possible verse of each chorale text (sometimes circa 12 to 18 verses at least!)?

Alain suggested linking the texts with the melodies. This is already 'in the works' and will be added when Francis Browne's efforts in this area are completed.

Doug Cowling's suggestion for adding a category for the associations of the chorale texts with the liturgical day or rite is a very good one, but I wonder if this should not be covered in Francis Browne's Chorale Text and English Translation listings since a given melody may have two or more chorale texts which may easily not be related to the same liturgical day or rite. Would Francis Browne's pages with this information be sufficient or should this information be placed 'up front' on the chorale melody page right next to the 'Text' and 'Alternate Text' categories?

Speaking for Aryeh without whose efforts this would not come to pass, let me express my gratitude to those who have already responded or will respond to this call for feedback. All of the information you have given has been very helpful.

Paul Farseth wrote (August 7, 2005):
This index to chorale melodies (and texts) is a a great idea. Thank you, Aryeh, Thomas, and Francis.

Leonardo Been wrote (August 7, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] Anything that shows more of the context - you might also call it the roots - of the music, I think is or will be appreciated by many, and certainly is very much appreciated by me, which I am not elaborating.

Maybe you are disappointed that I do not contribute more to your work, other than an occasional remark. I enjoy your and the contributions of others no less.

I have already expressed several times, that with the music Bach created a framework, a connection to life, from which I can now look at various aspects of life that have to be looked at and that need proper defining.

I can also express the previous sentence in Fine Particle Physics, but then it would be lost, at the current level of understanding which I however have tried to approach, by writing 'Who feels Bach correctly - the Soul of Music' or such title:

Thus your work and the work of other members contribute to a 'Feste Burg,' a secure connection from which to feel life as it is.

Back to Coarse Particle Physics:

A German spell checker - if installed - would have caught Bahmische to mean Bohmische (I have no umlauts on my keyboard now, to write 'o umlaut'), or 'Boehmische' as would currently also be valid German spelling.

The visibility or understandability of the page would increase considerably, in my opinion, if BORDER=0 would be changed to BORDER=1, in line 17 (of the current version of the page)

<TABLE CELLSPACING=0 BORDER=1 CELLPADDING=7 WIDTH=750>

which (border) you already do have showing on the home page.

For the remainder, I only can give you and the other members compliments, and repeat my considerable appreciation.

Koos Nolst Trenite

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 7, 2005):
Leonardo Been wrote:
>>A German spell checker - if installed - would have caught Bahmische to mean Bohmische (I have no umlauts on my keyboard now, to write 'o umlaut'), or 'Boehmische' as would currently also be valid German spelling.<<
I checked the original page which I had sent to Aryeh and it has "ö", but somehow, in transmission, this was changed to an "ä." Of course, this is important, and it bothered me when I saw it on the sample page on the BCW, but at this point, there are still much larger issues to be resolved as, for instance, the formating of the page, readability, quick accessibility to the information. An example of the latter would be to include at the top of the page (the first screen that is visible, links to each item below so that it will not be necessary to scroll through more than 20 items (score samples) to get to the one you want to view. (Just imagine what the list for "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" will be like!

Thanks for your input and the suggestions regarding the border (whiAryeh will see as I have nothing to do with this aspect of setting up the page.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 7, 2005):
A perspective:

- A well-researched catalogue of the chorales in Bach's works is already readily available, produced by real musicologists with access to the sources. It occupies eleven pages in the BWV. Details: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/bwv-review.htm

- That index uses the standard academic encyclopedia of hymnology, as to the original forms of the melodies in their sources: Zahn's catalogue of 9000+ tunes, in their various versions. That set is relevant to serious Bach research, as it shows the various versions Bach would have known or seen; not the less useful readings from a 20th-century Lutheran hymnal as used on this burgeoning web project. (If there is difficulty locating a copy of Zahn, let me know: I can give specific instructions to visit the copy I used as an undergraduate student of hymnology 20 years ago, in research for class projects. It is in a library about two hours' drive from Chicago, and still in good shape: I used it again last summer to look up some things.) If a new list of the chorales is to be done at all, one should probably at least use and credit the BWV, and use and credit Zahn.

- This web project, while perhaps interesting, strikes me as little more than another manifestation of a serious problem: namely, the attitude that amateur "research" can somehow do musicology BETTER than standard academic inquiry does, and MORE insightfully, and MORE thoroughly, and that it deserves to be more widely distributed (i.e. all free on the web for other amateurs) than expert work is. It's yet again a condescending slap against the value of academia, the value of university libraries, the value of intellectual/technical training in a serious field of research, and against respect for work that has already been done well. This uses the Bach-Cantatas web space, obviously with consent, to promote an anti-academic and anti-scientific approach to the study and promotion of Bach's music.

- The person spearheading this web chorales project is the same one who regularly asserts (always without proof) that real experts are intellectually deficient, spiritually misguided or empty, technically unprepared, dishonest, and worse. His ongoing vendetta is to leave everybody's published work in the rubbish bin, and/or ridicule it in public, whenever it crosses the conclusions he would prefer. That is, he and not the established experts should be the main or sole authority listened to. Does this not strike anyone else but me as suspiciously cultish: as to accepting whatever it is he comes up with in the pretense of positive and original research of chorales, with his own spin of things and his own claims to be better spiritually attuned to Bach's work than anybody? We've already seen examples of his ability and penchant to make up anything whatsoever and to make it look meaningful:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Esoteric.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV127-M1-Chorale.htm
His essays put forth patterning that is arrived at by simply ignoring whatever notes don't fit the preconceived notion that a particular chorale is present at all, in any particular piece of music. How do we know that his new comprehensive catalog on the web would not be simply more of the same, a list of made-up connections, blissfully free of the rigor of real scholarship? (And scholarship which is already readily available, and reliable, in the BWV catalog as mentioned above?)

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 7, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>A well-researched catalogue of the chorales in Bach's works is already readily available, produced by real musicologists with access to the sources. It occupies eleven pages in the BWV. Details: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/bwv-review.htm -
That index uses the standard academic encyclopedia of hymnology, as to the original forms of the melodies in their sources: Zahn's catalogue of 9000+ tunes, in their various versions. That set is relevant to serious Bach research, as it shows the various versions Bach would have known or seen; not the less useful readings from a 20th-century Lutheran hymnal as used on this burgeoning web project. (If there is difficulty locating a copy of Zahn, let me know: I can give specific instructions to visit the copy I used as an undergraduate student of hymnology 20 years ago, in research for class projects. It is in a library about two hours' drive from Chicago, and still in good shape: I used it again last summer to look up some things.)<<
Thank you for your suggestion. I am well aware of this resource [Zahn] which is not at my disposal nor is it easily accessible to me. Unless you or anyone can provide a scan for each of the melodies that Bach used, I will need to work around this in a way that I see fit (obviously not at all ideal, but serviceable on a less scholarly level.)

>>If a new list of the chorales is to be done at all, one should probably at least use and credit the BWV, and use and credit Zahn.<<
I am using the NBA, the BWV and intend to credit them. Perhaps the Zahn numbers could be included since they are already in the BWV. But as it is, unless I can have someone supply me with the scanned images from the Zahn, there really is no great merit in presenting these numbers or giving credit to them (they can always be added in later.)

>>This web project, while perhaps interesting, strikes me as little more than another manifestation of a serious problem: namely, the attitude that amateur "research" can somehow do musicology BETTER than standard academic inquiry does, and MORE insightfully, and MORE thoroughly, and that it deserves to be more widely distributed (i.e. all free on the web for other amateurs) than expert work is. It's yet again a condescending slap against the value of academia, the value of university libraries, the value of intellectual/technical training in a serious field of research, and against respect for work that has already been done well. This uses the Bach-Cantatas web space, obviously with consent, to promote an anti-academic and anti-scientific approach to the study and promotion of Bach's music.<<
This project is "perhaps interesting"? Where are you coming from? Have you any comparable source where all this information will be readily accessible, at one's fingertips or with the click of a mouse? Name the university library or the professor's house where all of this can be viewed as quickly and conveniently as on Aryeh's BCW site. This is a new age for musicology and certainly bona fide Bach musicologists can speak up and indicate where misinformation is being presented.

>>How do we know that his new comprehensive catalog on the web would not be simply more of the same, a list of made-up connections, blissfully free of the rigor of real scholarship? (And scholarship which is already readily available, and reliable, in the BWV catalog as mentioned above?)<<
First of all, its not my new comprehensive catalog on the web, it is the cooperative effort of a number of individuals who will provide an easily accessible source to all interested individuals. It will not be locked away in inaccessible libraries with special fees and priorities which do not allow a normal human being to check out valuable resources.

Secondly, there is no book or resource currently available to all Bach scholars which brings all of this information together, for direct comparison, with musical scores based on the NBA, complete chorale texts with English translations, background on the composers of the chorale melodies as well as the poets who conceived the chorale texts. In the real world, a Brad Lehman would first have to use the listing in the BWV to determine just where Bach used a specific chorale melody like "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe," then he would think to h: "My o my, I don't see BWV 147/6,10 listed here where it belongs. Hmmm...let's see: I'll look at every BWV number listed behind each chorale melody to see if it is anywhere else, because, in the back of my mind this tune sure sounds a lot like "Werde munter, mein Gemüthe." [a half hour or an hour later] Lo and behold, BWV 147/6,10 is not to be found anywhere in this very scholarly list. Hush, let's not broadcast this in a public arena, but rather keep this to ourselves and when some day I happen to meet a true Bach scholar who specializes or is even responsible for putting this list together, I will quietly and humbly take him/her aside and mention this very slight lacuna that could just possibly have been due to an oversight not worth mentioning, however."

Peter Bright wrote (August 8, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron & Thomas Braatz] This looks like another wonderful and welcome addition to the site - I, for one, would be very disappointed if you took to heart the grumblings of the 'trained musicologist'. The Bach Cantatas site really is something to behold - a fountain of knowledge, clearly laid out and accessible to enthusiasts of all levels of expertise...

Clearly this is going to be a lot of work - but it should prove to be a really useful exercise. So, if you can find the time to put this together, I think you will be doing us all (or at least the majority of us) a great service.

Many thanks again,

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 8, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>If a new list of the chorales is to be done at all, one should probably at least use and credit the BWV, and use and credit Zahn.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
>I am using the NBA, the BWV and intend to credit them. Perhaps the Zahn numbers could be included since they are already in the BWV. But as it is, unless I can have someone supply me with the scanned images from the Zahn, there really is no great merit in presenting these numbers or giving credit to them (they can always be added in later.) >
What excuse is there for not using a standard and comprehensive resource, that is in a library within two or three hours of one's home? Just go there during their regular open hours for a day or two, copy out everything you want, and fit it into the work. That is what musicology entails: making use of the resources where the work has already been done thoroughly.

Peter Smaill wrote (August 8, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] Further thoughts on this project:

It is perhaps not suprising that there is a comprehensive academic survey of the corpus of the Lutheran chorales, but I think we are trying for something Bach-centric, accessible via the internet and rich in cross references, which may well differ in output.

There could be cross references to significant settings of the chorales by other baroque composers, for example, the finale chorale of "Wachet Auf" BWV 140 ("Zion hort/Gloria sei dir gesungen....") was reset by (from memory) one of the sons, Johann Christoph Friedrich, in his Motet, "Wachet auf.. ". "Werde Munter" certainly exists as a chorale prelude by contemporaries of JS Bach.

I'm a bit vague on this but more specific than Aled Jones on Classic FM today who introduced a "Concerto by Bach" for "Viola and Fortepiano" - quite evidently by a later Bach and not JS; I don't suppose very many people noticed!

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 8, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>What excuse is there for not using a standard and comprehensive resource, that is in a library within two or three hours of one's home? Just go there during their regular open hours for a day or two, copy out everything you want, and fit it into the work. That is what musicology entails: making use of the resources where the work has already been done thoroughly.<<
You are certainly welcome to help with this task of copying out everything that is on the BWV list. I am certain that all of us would appreciate this positive contribution to this project. All you, or any graduate student, who recognizes the importance of this project (perhaps a professor of musicology will even give him/her extra credit for this) have to do is share the results of copying the pertinent pages of the chorale melodies under the Zahn numbers listed in the BWV by scanning and sending them either to Aryeh or me. They will certainly be included without a doubt and the names of those who helped will be acknowledged.

In any case, you are the one with all the experience and the connections needed for doing this type of specialized research on chorales. Your active contribution to this cause will be much appreciated by all concerned.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 8, 2005):
Peter Smaill wrote:
>>There could be cross references to significant settings of the chorales by other baroque composers,.... "Werde Munter" certainly exists as a chorale prelude by contemporaries of JS Bach.<<
Yes, Johann Mattheson composed a keyboard fugue (probably for organ) on "Werde munter..." and Johann Pachelbel has a chorale partita with 4 variations on the same chorale melody.

It would be interesting to add references such as these as well. Aryeh informs me that it will be relatively easy for him to add new categories as we progress, but I feel we should try to establish the optimal format early on. Backtracking, once you have consulted certain references and not noted parallel items such as those you have mentioned, it does become wearisome to have to go back yet once again to retrieve information you may not have considered important or interesting enough for inclusion.

John Pike wrote (August 8, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] I must confess this is a topic which I find very overwhelming. It should be a very useful resource and i appreciate the time that will be spent on it. I have noted Brad's comments about Zahn and I agree with him that it would be helpful to incorporate this if possible but I realise that the workload is enormous. Nevertheless, this site can be something that can be added to over the years and improved. I suspect that the main audience will be people like me, with a strong interest but not needing something of absolute top-notch scholarship, so I would not be too concerned if all the relevant sources had not been researched for the first draft. Anyone needing further information will be well aware of the other sources, like Zahn, and can consult them through a library.

I am confident that this will be good and valuable resource. Thank you.

These comments refer purely to the project. They do not indicate approval of some of the likely by-products of the exercise or those already witnessed in its launch.

Lew George wrote (August 9, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] Many thanks to you and Thomas for commencing this initiative. You have my heartfelt thanks. Unlike some, I don't have the time to travel 3 hours or so to the nearest university to copy what I want, and I would not be re-imbursed the consequent travel expenses either. Also, I am heartily sick of logging on to sites that promise all but only deliver for a fee. Unlike the average professional musicologist I have no budget for purchasing musicological materials that interest me, and neither does my work place, which has nothing to do with music. As for professionalism, I can only say that amateurs have found many comets and fossil remains to the delight and admiration of professionals, indicating that amateurs more often than not have a highly professional approach to their topic of interest, and that the secure professional generally welcomes their endeavours rather than discourages them. Enough for now. Feel encouraged!

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 9, 2005):
Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works - Improved Version

Thomas Braatz and I would like to thank you all for your input. Almost every remark has been taken into account in building the new version of the CM (= Chorale Melody) pages. See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Werde-munter.htm

Your continoufeedback is most important to make this section of the BCW as comprehensive, as accurate and as useful as possible. Please do not hesitate to send us your remarks/corrections/additions etc.

Thomas and I shall update you from time to time about our progess.

Alan Melvin wrote (August 9, 2005):
This is a fantastic idea. Even if I live minutes from a great music conservatory (I do), and enjoy foraging in the cramped and ill-lit library stacks (I really do), having a full-time nonmusical day job means that, at the moment a Bach question comes up, I am usually limited to resources I've already copied and brought home several weeks
before.

In forming a database for this, a good head start would be importing data that's already been electronically compiled, such as the tables at Margaret Greentree's valuable site, especially the sub-page http://www.jsbchorales.net/list.html . (Perhaps she would even share the original spreadsheet if you asked.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 9, 2005):
Aryeh Oron wrote:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Werde-munter.htm
Please do not hesitate to send us your remarks/corrections/additions etc. >
As a printed text/tune resource on all chorales used in the organ works, Peter Williams's 2nd edition (2003) of The Organ Music of JS Bach is indispensable. If the chorale has been used in cantatas, I try to consult (at least) the Oxford Composer Companion and Young's The Cantatas of JS Bach for any connections they offer. Occasionally I look at Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology along with the handbooks of whatever modern hymnals I can find that have a particular tune or text in them. Often the old Spitta bio of Bach has much good stuff, as well.

And Zahn I've already mentioned, along with pp471-81 of the 1998 BWV. To find a copy of Zahn near oneself: http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/top3mset/853e8762b878390d.html
Other OCLC/WorldCat searches: http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/open/tryit/default.htm

Through subscribing libraries a standard resource is RILM, for more detailed leads: http://www.rilm.org/
Some 3000 other music indexes are listed and annotated in Duckles/Keller, where used copies are readily available for less than the price of a sandwich:
Amazon.com
http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/wcpa/ow/2632706fcf5f4ed8a19afeb4da09e526.html

But that discussion about RILM and D/K has been had before (2003), as to getting good musicological leads and using them seriously: http://search.freefind.com/find.html?id=6207535&pageid=r&mode=ALL&n=0&query=duckles%2Fkeller
The published sources are accessible to anyone who's willing to use them....

Google Print and Google Scholar also continue to expand: http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/
For example, pop up Williams's book at: http://print.google.com/print?q=williams+organ+music+bach&btnG=Search+all+books&ie=UTF-8
go into it and search for "werde munter"...and Williams's page 571 comes right up. Sometimes the whole books haven't been scanned yet for searchability; and one must always respect copyrights in fair use of anything found. But there's a lot that can be found.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 9, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>As a printed text/tune resource on all chorales used in the organ works, Peter Williams's 2nd edition (2003) of The Organ Music of JS Bach is indispensable.<<
Does Williams indicate precisely where each tune tune is taken from? Please give examples of the sources he uses for "Werde munter" and "Es ist das Heil" so that I can know what you are talking about.

>>If the chorale has been used in cantatas, I try to consult (at least) the Oxford Composer Companion and Young's The Cantatas of JS Bach for any connections they offer.<<
A much better (and more reliable and up-to-date source is Alfred Dürr's "Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Bach Kantaten" [Bärenreiter.]

>>Occasionally I look at Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology along with the handbooks of whatever modern hymnals I can find that have a particular tune or text in them.<<
I really do not think that I would find much of any value for this project in such books. As you must know, the object of this database is not focused primarily on the original tune/melody used as it is on what version of the tune/melody may most likely have come into contact with.

>>Often the old Spitta bio of Bach has much good stuff, as well.<<
He is well-appreciated when he is not out-of-date.

>>And Zahn I've already mentioned, along with pp471-81 of the 1998 BWV.<<
This I have been using for some time along with certain volumes in the NBA concentrating on the chorales.

>>To find a copy of Zahn near oneself:<<
This request is unnecessary and practically impossible to fulfill. What about some grad student very interested in Bach and who is languishing with an uninteresting topic and would love to score extra credit points with a professor who understands the importance of this project? This grad student would get some practice in German as well while looking up and copying/scanning the pertinent pages from Zahn.

As I have explained before, the emphasis of the Chorale Melodies Page is more upon Bach's use of particular melodies rather than establishing the history of each chorale he uses. Wherever this information about the history of the chorale is given elsewhere, I will continue to use it and would appreciate corrections if the corrections appear to be valid.

Thanks for pointing out other references, but it appears to me that these other resources will not be an improvement over what I am using now.

BTW, Bärenreiter is in the process of printing a comprehensive summary of information about chorale melodies which will make Zahn (now outdated in research) no longer the key resource used by researchers for chorale melodies.

Peter Smaill wrote (August 9, 2005):
Is not the potential secondary output of this work a more comprehensive version of Reimenschneider, whose 371 harmonised Chorales are incomplete, subjectively described, and with allusions to (not fully set out examples of) really good English translations?

I love Reimenschneider and my copy is therefore falling to pieces; but the organisation and indexing of the work is chaotic. There is no reference to the harmonic relationship of words to the settings, and the sources are often absent. Other settings by notable composers are ignored (except Rosenmuller) and reception of the Chorales into later hymnals only touched upon (especially via Catherine Winkworth, a key figure in hymnody).

I think it can be improved on by individuals in our Group, given the lowered costs of desktop publishing - volunteer(s) please !

 

Continue on Part 4

Chorales BWV 250-438: Details & Recordings
Individual Recordings:
Hilliard - Morimur | Chorales - Matt | Chorales - Rilling | Preludi ai Corali - Quartetto Italiani di Viola Da Gamba
Discussions: General:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Chorales in Bach's Vocal Works: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Hidden Chorale Melody Allusions | Passion Chorale
References:
Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438
Texts & English Translations of Chorales:
Sorted by Title
Chorale Melodies:
Sorted by Title | 371 4-Part Chorales sorted by Breitkopf Number | Explanation
MIDI files of the Chorales:
Cantatas BWV 1-197 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-248 | Chorales BWV 250-438
Articles:
The Origin of the Texts of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales [Schweitzer] | The Chorale in the Church Service [Schweitzer] | Choral / Chorale [Terry] | The History of the Breitkopf Collection of J. S. Bach’s Four-Part Chorales [Braatz] | Chorale Melody Allusions in Bach's Vocal Works [Braatz]
Hymnals used by Bach | Abbreviations used for the Chorales | Links to other Sites about the Chorales

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: żNovember 8, 2014 ż15:13:51