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Part 10: Year 2008

Introducing Myself

Laureano Lopez wrote (January 16, 2008):
My name is Laureano Lopez. I'm 23, and currently a student of Musical Composition at the Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, in Argentina. I'm a composer too... well, still getting accostumed to the fact heh. My concrete interest in Bach "suddenly" appeared around 6 years ago, when I decided to download "something" and I ended up listening to the whole Well Tempered Clavier and The Art Of Fugue in one night...

...and I liked them.

Since then, I've listened to many of the most known works (cantatas, concerti, keyboard pieces and major choral monsters) and became -I have to recognize it- a fan of the Mass in B Minor (BWV 232) and The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080). During 2007 I've been studying History of Baroque and Classical Music, which gave me a more specific approach of the style and the repertoire.

As limited as my knowledge may be, Bach's become very influential in my musical thinking... to the point of having a serious "problem" avoiding counterpoint and linear continuity in my own composition (problem of which, of course, my friends will endlessly make fun about).

Well, I think that's all. I hope to learn from you and be useful from time to time.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (January 16, 2008):
Laureano Lopez wrote:
< As limited as my knowledge may be, Bach's become very influential in my musical thinking... to the point of having a serious "problem" avoiding counterpoint and linear continuity in my own composition (problem of which, of course, my friends will endlessly make fun about). >
Who says you have to avoid counterpoint? Why not consciously put it in, and if anyone questions you on it, tell them you belong to the Neo-Baroque! And then I was going to suggest you find yourself some new company to keep, except you've already done that (by joining our list). So, I promise I won't make fun of you, and I bet none of the composers on the list will, either. Welcome!

Alain Bruguieres wrote (January 17, 2008):
[To Laureano Lopez] Welcome on the list! Thanks for your nice introduction. I can't imagine why anyone should make fun about counterpoint, although it's fun in itself, of course...

Amusing thing is I'll be visiting Cordoba in may - but in the Maths Department (nobody's perfect).

Laureano Lopez wrote (January 17, 2008):
Alain Bruguières wrote:
< Amusing thing is I'll be visiting Cordoba in may - but in the Maths Department (nobody's perfect). >
Well, I studied Information Systems for two years before starting Composition, and I'm rather "mathy" in my music too. In fact, last night I wrote a program to study the possibilities of a lydian circle of fifths structure...

(Debussy meets Bach, heh).

We'll be just two blocks apart when you come in May. Shout if you want some coffee.

Laureano Lopez wrote (January 17, 2008):
Cara Emily Thornton wrote:
< Who says you have to avoid counterpoint? Why not consciously put it in, and if anyone questions you on it, tell them you belong to the Neo-Baroque! And then I was going to suggest you find yourself some new company to keep, except you've already done that (by joining our list). So, I promise I won't make fun of you, and I bet none of the composers on the list will, either. >
Weee! I'm neo-something! Thanks for your support! :D

I think they make fun about it because writing chords is easier than writing melodies, heh... Anyway, sometimes I've had the more serious observation of "too much information".

And then I remember the critics' attitude when Mozart started writing fugues in his symphonies and concerti...

...after having studied Bach...

...and I go back to my work.

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 17, 2008):
Laureano Lopez wrote:
< Well, I studied Information Systems for two years before starting Composition, and I'm rather "mathy" in my music too. In fact, last night I wrote a program to study the possibilities of a lydian circle of fifths structure... >
I'm curious about this "lydian circle of fifths structure". A useful technique in both improvising and composing is to get a circle of fifths harmonic progression going as far as you feel like going, the bass usually leaping either down a 5th or up a 4th, but then give the bass one motion of a tritone instead. In this way it's easy to modulate to whatever key you want. The tritone leap also signals the listener that we're probably coming to a cadence soon.

Laureano Lopez wrote (January 17, 2008):
[To Bradley Lehman] I gave the name of "lydian circle of fifths" to a cliché of my own composition, which I'm sure I've borrowed from Debussy. It just consists in a continuous series of 5ths (C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E...), vertically supported by a lydian scale on each fundamental. This implies that each chord is, to a certain extent, a major subdominant in "floating" tension, so the obvious way out is taking a step as IV, and solving V-I. If you rest on each chord enough to give it a melodic breath, the effect is pretty... ethereal. Now, taken as a basis for tonal organization, the normal frigian cadence (say, C, Bb, Ab, G as Im, Vm, VIM, VM) becomes a tone progression to bV (Gb); that is, V and IV lose their function as complementary tones and enharmonic modulation becomes a "normal" procedure rather than a way of deviation. Normally, when I use this kind of harmony I "walk" through the "development" this way, and it sounds, in the context, very natural. The difficult part comes when you have to achieve a real tension and return to a strong idea in an important point of articulation; in that cases, I break the tendence in a tonal way similar to what you describe: putting a semitone where a tone is expected, and/or (at the same time or not) a tritone where a natural 5th is expected. The progression, as I said, becomes fluid in its context, so it needs something more progressive than a straight dominant or so to surprise. Generally I find the circle too mechanical when used plainly, so I combine it with more normal tonal/modal procedures, hide it with an irregular harmonic rhythm, make temporal breaks by staying on a chord that becomes a centre for a while (sometimes losing the lydian character), color it with politonal extensions, and so.

As a cliché it seems to be very flexible: last night, as I said, I wrote a program to analyze the progression and found 44 (subtly) different combinations using a very restricted rule of voice conduction.

Hope I didn't bore you! :D

Julian Mincham wrote (January 17, 2008):
Laureano Lopez wrote:
< A useful technique in both improvising and composing is to get a circle of fifths harmonic progression going as far as you feel like going, the bass usually leaping either down a 5th or up a 4th, but then give the bass one motion of a tritone instead. In this way it's easy to modulate to whatever key you want. The tritone leap also signals the listener that we're probably coming to a cadence soon. >
Bach was one of the first composers to fully grasp this siginificance. A good example which everyone know comes in Brandenburg 3, first movenet just after the little violin canon. The bass starts on a D and, falling through five notes on each occasion goes to G, C and then---- not F but F#. Thus the music passes from D to an eventual A minor--a climactic and magical moment.?

Jean Laaninen wrote (January 19, 2008):
[To Laureano Lopez] Welcome aboard, Laureano. I think you will have an interesting time and much to share as we go along. Good for you for being so involved with Bach's works.

 

Introducing Myself

William Hoffman wrote (January 31, 2008):
Background: BA English & American Studies, Eastern New Mexico University (1969); Master of Music (History & Literature, University of New Mexico, 2000 (thesis: Parodied Recitatives in Bach's St. Mark Passion (BWV 247)).

12/1962, Washington DC; The American University Chorale (chorus member), National Symphony Orchestra, Norman Scribner, conductor; National Cathedral, BWV 248. Also, Harmony class with Sc, textbook: Bach, 389 Choral-Gesänge, B.F. Richter ed., Breitkopf & Härtel, 1898.

Current Goal: While pursuing a PhD in music at UNM, to complete a reconstuction of the BWV 247 narrative, or realizations of the lost Gotha/Weimar Passion or the lost Pentacost Oratorio (ref. Alfred Dürr).

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (January 31, 2008):
[To William Hoffman] What are your sources for the Lost Pentacost Oratorio and are they here in the US or you will be traveling to Berlin or some esoteric Castle or Palace to find any remnants of this Oratorio? My personal opinion (and I could be very wrong and would appreciate correction) is that with all the wars that Germany has been through since Bach's time----the statistics are very much against lightening striking for you. What did not disappear before WW I certainly had a slim chance of suriving after then especially with the campaigns of Allied Bombing whose goal was not only to do a Blitzkrieg but also create a firestorm that rivaled anything that the Bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did. Dresden was nearly 99.9% reduced to rubble and ashes as well as most of Hamburg as the result of Allied Bombing and Fire Bombing---more than 1-million people are estimated to have died from the intense fires---many were never found. However, if you are lucky you might find what you are seeking at Baldwin Wallace College,the Library of Congress, Harvard University Library,Yale University Library, perhaps in Philadelphia, New York Morgan Library, the Bodelin Library, the British Library, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and in Berlin. I do not know if anything is in Leipzig (which was also destroyed by bombing) and Finally St. Petersburg at the Russian National Library---lots of luck here as the collections are so disorganized that even the Librarians do not know what is in the collections and it is a nightmare to search for just about anything but they do have manuscripts of Beethoven, Russian Composers and just maybe a stolen Bach??. I mentioned Philadephia because recently some manuscripts of other composers have been found there at a religious college which had escaped notice for a very long time.

William Hoffman wrote (February 7, 2008):
[To Ludwig] Will Hoffman replies: Alas, there are no extant musical sources. The search starts with speculation from Dürr: "A Whitsun Oratorio may also have been planned (1734-35 season); indeed, it may have been written and then later lost." (Preface, BWV 248, Bärenreiter, 1961), based on the fact that the three days of Pentecost were a major feast day, as were those celebrated by the other, oratorios, BWV 248, BWV 249, and BWV 11. Examing these other parodied oratorios, there is an amazing amount of collateral evidence to support Dürr's thesis: common librettist, Picander; biblical narrative sources; and common parodied sources (Cantatas 201, 205-207, 215, & 50! and extant chorales BWV 370 & 406). While there is a wealth of possible sources from the extant Penetcost cantatas for all 3 days, interestingly, none was repeated after 1735 while a new work appeared, Cantata BWV 34, "O ewiges Feuer," in 1746-47. As for text, we have Picander's settings in the so-called Bach Fourth Cantata Cycle, Nos. 38-40, for the three days of Pentecost; only one (39) having been set by Bach, Cantata BWV 174, "Ich liebe den Hochsten" (6/6/1729). Yes, it's all conjecture but I think there is strong evidence in contrast to recent attempts to create a Bach Te Deum, Requiem, secular cantata, and 7th Brandenburg Concerto.

 

New member [BRML]

Giselle Sheridan wrote (February 2, 2008):
I am a newbie...My name is Giselle..love music particularly Classical, Acoustic guitar instrumentals, pop instrumentals,quartets,bebop jazz....some of my fav players are Wes Montgomery, Segovia, Noel Lorica, Peter White etcc.....

Dick C. wrote (February 2, 2008):
[To Giselle Sheridan] Great! Always glad to hear of someone that likes Bach on classical guitar! I am working on the Chaconne now (starting my second year on it) Welcome! I too am a Segovia fan; have you heard some of the Oriental women playing Bach? Check out YouTube.

Steven Bornfeld wrote (February 2, 2008):
[To Dick C.] We're here, lurking...............................................
Generally prefer listening on lute, but I'm not going to start on the lute now.
Good luck with the Chaconne...

Santu de Silva (Archimedes) wrote (February 4, 2008):
[To Giselle Sheridan] Welcome!

I have been on the list for a while, and my tastes vary pretty widely, too. (The list moderator, Arieh, also is a Jazz fan.)

In particular, I like Bach pieces arranged for other instruments, e.g. the Swingle Singers (essentially Bach sung with a swing to scat syllables), and most of the performers featured on the DVD Swinging Bach, hosted by Bobby McFerrin (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmdDmnHKQvk).

Also Brian Slawson, who plays Bach on percussion (Bach on Wood).

But don't get me wrong; I like traditional Bach perfectly well!

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (February 4, 2008):
[To Santu de Silva] The other day just before this thread began, I heard on the radio late at night one of the Bach violin sonatas (I believe no. 3) played on the Cimbalon/um (but with an -i- and not a -y). I was ready to abhor it. In fact is was superb. The CD is called something like Bach on Mallets and Strings. At Amazon by searching "Mallets Bach", you will find it as one of two that will manifest themselves.

Giselle Sheridan wrote (February 4, 2008):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Thanks for the info.....

 

Introducing Myself to fellow Bach-Lovers

Heidi Van der Veer wrote (March 10, 2008):
Introducing Myself guidelines...he/she will tell the group something about his/herbackground and how he/she got acquainted with Bach's music, especially the Bach Cantatas.

I am happy to have recently found this group! I am a classically-trained singer and a few years ago, I decided to make the vocal music of J.S. Bach my primary musical focus (along with music of the baroque period and sacred music). I live in Monterey, California and sing at a All Saints Episcopal Church, in Carmel-by-the-Sea (see bio on church's website). http://www.allsaintscarmel.org/SoloSoprano.htm

Ever since I was a child I have loved Bach. From a recent grad school application essay I wrote,

Ever since I can remember, I have always loved classical music. And ever since I can remember, I have always loved J.S. Bach. The music of the baroque period has always inspired me and the sacred vocal works of J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel are among my favorites. From an early age, I knew that my calling was in music, as a singer. Through voice lessons since high school and further undergraduate musical training, I was introduced like most music students, to the gamut of composers, styles, periods, and languages found in music. Nevertheless, I had always felt drawn to the beauty and sacred nature of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. A few years ago, when I decided to concentrate on oratorio (and sacred music from all musical periods), it became a very clear choice: most of the same vocal techniques are necessary; language and diction and breath mastery are still an inherent part of oratorio singing, however the themes are of a biblical and sacred character, rather than the mostly mundane themes of opera...
...
...I love Bach because he excites my theological, musical, mathematical, literary, linguistic, poetic, and spiritual senses! It is an emotional-intellectual connection that I experience with my best self. I do not find anything else that compares. When I listen to the musof this intense composer I am brought to the highest that my mind can grasp of my life here on earth. Everything that is refined, wonderful, elegant, promising, and pure is brought forth in my heart when his music is played. It makes me know that there is a God in this crass world.

I am just finishing making the recordings for the big Bach vocal competition in Leipzig this summer hosted by the Bach-Archiv: they require a DVD submission of a JS Bach recit and aria, a JS Bach song from the Schemellis Songbook (BWV 439-507), and a song by Carl Friedrich Zelter. I will send my audition package off this week and wait to hear (late April) if I have been invited to compete in Leipzig in July; they accept 60 singers under the age of 34 from around the world.

P.S. Is everybody able to read my formated message with the font being a little larger than normal and in Times New Roman, or is this font and sizing a bad idea for this list?

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Jean Laaninen wrote (March 10, 2008):
[To Heidi Van der Veer] Welcome to the group Heidi. You will find much to challenge your thinking in these online discussions, and over the past months we have had a number of singers join in. It's good to have you here.

Nicholas Johnson wrote (March 10, 2008):
[To Heidi Van der Veer] Interesting to see your repertoire and what a lot of other arias there are.Do you know the alto aria with flute and oboe d'amore BWV 125?

Heidi Van der Veer wrote (March 12, 2008):
[To Johnson Nicholas] Thank you for your reply. I did not know of this beautiful aria until I listened to it yesterday for the first time. Is it one of your favorites? And who do you think does the best, most Bach-authentic interpretation? What do you do musically?

 

Hello

David Haslett wrote (April 4, 2008):
I am new to this group - prompted obviously by a love of Bach and especially the cantatas. These are a mixture of new and old discoveries for me. I know so many from my youth as a boy, later tenor chorister.

Despite singing a lot of Bach in choir, I was resistant to Bach as a composer until some 15 years ago. Bach demands! I was too lazy. Other 'great' composers ask for less from the listener. Now... Bach has simply changed my life.

Now I am making up for lost time.

I have two complete recordings of the Bach Cantatas - and I subscribe to the Gardiner series.

I am building up to this idea of following the cantatas through the liturgical year. But I am diverted constantly by the thrill of novelty - suddenly coming upon something beyond the usual excellence! In the meantime I am discovering so much that is extraordinary. At the moment it is 'Shlage doch bald, selge Stunde' from BWV 95. All commentaries talk about the ringing of bells but this seems to me to be the ticking of a clock....

Ultimately, music is abstract.

Best wishes from Berlin,

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 4, 2008):
[To David Haslett] Welcome, David. The depths of Bach are a well of riches to be explored. We're happy to have you along on this journey with us.

 

Introducing myself

Lissette Jimenez wrote (April 6, 2008):
My name is Lissette and I am a DMA candidate from UIUC in Vocal Performance and Literature. I currently teach voice at Florida International University and am active with several opera companies in South FL. I have always enjoyed the music of J. S. Bach (who doesn't really?), but it was my coursework at UIUC that inspired me to write my dissertation on the application of ornamentation to Bach's DaCapo arias. My research for my dissertation will take me heavily into the form and structure of his cantata arias, so I sincerely look forward to discussing these wonderful works with you.

Have a wonderful day,

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Lissette Jimenez] Welcome to the group, Lissette.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Lissette Jimenez] Nice to see you, Lissette,

You sent me googling. UIUC = University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign? Even thought I spent about 10 days visiting friends there years ago, I would not recognize the initials. And DMA, I am guessing, = Doctor of Musical Arts? Diplomate of musical arts? As to who doesn't really enjoy Bach's music, I would assume 99% of Americans and Canadians are either unaware or indifferent. Obviously, if you would say who doesn't enjoy the Rolling Stones, that would be more on the mark. I have never enjoyed the Stones but I guess a large plurality of Americans, Canadians, Brits, etc. do. You will find that a majority of the posters, not the membership, but the active posters, are much more concerned with Church calendars, Lutheran and Pietistic theology than in music.

On a list where one discusses, let's say Bellini's great Norma or Verdi's Otello, just to pick two of my personal favorite operas, music will be discussed and the libetto only as it pertains to the music but here enforced theology rules much of the time.Of course there are a number of musical experts here. Perhaps you will
help restore an equilibrium?

Aryeh Oron wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Lissette Jimenez] Welcome aboard!
I shall be happy to present your dissertation on the BCW (in the Articles section) as well as any other Bach-related article by you or by any other member.

Lissette Jimenez wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you very much Aryeh,

I look forward to writing it. I've been so busy with work and performing, that to find time to sit down and think about the dissertation is difficult. Summer is coming, however, and my schedule is a lot lighter, so I have a chance to get things done.

Lissette Jimenez wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] As much of an importance the Lutheran tradition played in Bach's life, which was a lot, as far as I can remember, I don't recall seeing Lutheran Pastor on his resume. I'm currently rereading the New Bach Reader, Bach was certainly a character.

I don't much care for the Rolling stones either. If only 1% of Americans and Canadians love Bach, imagine how few of them love Machaut and Ockeghem, two of my other favorite composer. It is truely small company indeed.

I like Norma, and have looked at both Adalgisa and Norma in moments of spare time.

Take care, and thank you for the warm welcome.

Paul T. McCain wrote (April 9, 2008):
<> and enjoy the truly helpful conversations here about music and the Cantatas....much to be found here.

Terejia wrote (April 9, 2008):
[To Lissette Jimenez] Nice to meet another Bach lover. Since you seem to be a very intelligent person, I just wondered if your first "homework" here might be differentiating personal opinions from the fact?
<>
< and enjoy the truly helpful conversations here about music and the Cantatas....much to be found here. >
I concur. Paul is another valuable resource who has great insight into Bach's music and humanity in general, although he occasionally makes mistakes in humanrelationships.

As for myself, I choose to focus on the good part of personality whoever it may be, to the best of my ability. Of course I am not perfect, either. Censoring and focusing is upon you.
<>

Lissette Jimenez wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Terejia] Thanks for your welcome Nevergiveupterjia!

I'm a moderator at a UK tropical fish-keeping forum, and I was selected partly because of my ability to remain objective and keep calm during tense situations. Nothing is more fun than dealing with a Flame war when a member puts a plecostamus in a goldfish bowl! Plecos: algae-eating fish that can grow to over 2 feet in length, not for bowls. If I bring anything to the table, which probably won't be much for now, as I'm still getting the feel for things, it'll always have more of a musical slant, because that's my area of focus. You'll probably also see me critique recordings for not using pornaments, or using too much or too little. I also like to focus on analysis, Rhetorical topics in the music, and on the biographical circumstances (including Lutheranism) surrounding the composition. I'll warn you now, though, as a mezzo-soprano, I tend to be ever so slightly biased against countertenors (they compete with me for these kind of jobs, you know), but only if they are poor singers. A good singer is a good singer, however, no matter the voice type, if they interpret the music well. I also don't think Bach should be limited to one type of voice, whether it be heavy or light, as long as they are sensitive to the music and the performance practice of the time. But these are just my opinions, and you are welcome to you own interpretations. I'm about getting the music out there for people to enjoy.

I look forward to contributing, I have a feeling this is going to be pretty cool.

 

OT: Perspective

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 9, 2008):
I remember Charlton Heston as Moses in the Ten Commandments, since it was one of the few movies my parents approved when I was young. Heston played the character, in my view, so well. And I also find the content of these recorded words (the commandments) meaningful even today. But Heston also had another side in his real life, finding security in the ownership and freedom to use (hopefully wisely) destructive weapons - guns.

Words are often harsher than the weapons of war, and as a person who treasures peace greatly, I hope that I have followed the words of the movie figure Moses and managed the destructive thoughts that come to me and to all of us at one time or another. Loving one's neighbor as one loves oneself is one of the primary goals of Christianity, and I hope that to the degree I am able to know others on the list I will love them in that way.

Respect was a key attitude in my grandparent's home--a serious value. My grandmother, with her thick Swedish brogue challenged me as a young person not to pass judgment on others. This varies from evaluating what is said and responding in the best possible way. Perhaps it was one of the wisest things she ever taught me - leaving that realm of action to God.

She also influenced a good many lives in her young teaching career in Nebraska, and when she died the church was completely filled with people who told stories about her an mourned her passing.

Bach certainly knew strife, but he dealt with it from the books I've read, and proceeded to turn his creativity into the glorious works we are privileged to hear, play, sing and study today. I wonder what he would think of us when we get so upset with each other.

My grandmother loved Bach's hymns, even though she was quite pious, and by the time I was seven or so I could play the easier ones on her old upright piano. And I knew many of them by memory from about three or four on. Such is the heritage that brought me to the Bach I know and love today--and about whom I will read much more beginning in another week and a half.

Grandma had a favorite saying that she taught to many. I think it applies here when we get upset:

Step lightly over trouble
Step lightly over wrong
It will only make it double
If you dwell upon it long.

 

New to the list

Bill Abott [Cartoonist] wrote (May 25, 2008):
Thank you for allowing me to join this list - I am early in my Bach education, but look forward to learning from some of the well-versed here. My single favorite piece by Bach is his concerto for violin and strings - allegro assai, mt. 3. Is anyone familiar with the historical background of this piece - I'd love to learn about it.

 

Hello One and All.........Remarks about BWV 131 (Gardiner)

David Jones wrote (May 27, 2008):
Hello all! My name is David Jones and I say hello and merry meet to all fellow Bachophiles. As many of you probably well know, three new Soli Deo Gloria CDs have been released...and the internet almost kept me from buying Gardiner's jewel of an interpretation of BWV 131. Gardiner has recorded this particular cantata twice, once on the Erato Label...and on a slightly off note, I must say that I bet Gardiner's old company Archiv is really eating crow now!!!!! Anyway, in the Erato recording, the first phrases are sung by a full choir, whereas in the new recording, there is an alternation between concertisten and ripieno. When I was listening to clips from the new recording on Amazon, I thought that Gardiner had followed behind Joshua Rifkin's OVPP theory, which I find terribly insulting to Bach as well as lacking in impact and force; you mean to tell me a great musician like Bach can't rustle up more than FOUR singers for a choir? are you kidding me? The first phrases were sung by the concertisten, and so, I almost DIDN'T buy this recording, but once I got it, I was so glad I did. He brilliantly reconciles the OVPP theories and the luminosity of the full choir style in this recording; his tempos are finely calibrated and once you get used to Gardiner in this regard, you'll think anyone else is a record going too slow or fast....absolutely dazzling. And how about those pictures on the covers? Absolutely haunting..........

 

Greetings

Kelsie Jackson wrote (June 8, 2008):
Greetings to all: My name is Kelsie and I am new as an official member to the ML, although I've followed some of the older discussions (especially those pertaining to the Mass in B minor (BWV 232)) with interest. A year ago I received my baccalaureate degree in organ performance and American history, and I'm currently working toward an M.A. in early United States history. During my undergrad degree, I spent an extensive amount of time acquainting myself with Bach's enormous output, and I'm a very avid collector of CDs (672 so far!).

As there were no other "Bach specialists" at my undergraduate school, I look forward to learning a great deal from the mailing. Thanks for including me!

David Jones wrote (June 8, 2008):
[To Kelsie Jackson] Welcome Kelsie!!!!

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 8, 2008):
[To Kelsie Jackson] Welcome. Nice to have another organist on board.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 8, 2008):
[To Kelsie Jackson] Welcome to our often contentious list, Kelsie. It's a right place for "avid" or "extreme" record collectors in whatever medium one chooses. Some of us are extremely interested in other baroque music in addition to JSB. We even have a Graupner specialist and that's special:-)

 

(unknown)

John McStea wrote (July 28, 2008):
My first post on this forum, so hello everyone.

As SDG is Gardiner's own (presumably relatively shoestring) operation, I can understand it being somewhat irregular (as opposed to BIS, which is a "proper" record label, where it's harder to understand). Being a relative music ignoramus, I find Gardiner's notes quite interesting and informative, even though much of what he says goes over my head. He gives the performer's persepctive, whereas Prof.. Dürr in his book has the more scholarly approach. Anything that casts enlightenment on a great body of music is always welcome.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (July 29, 2008):
[To John McStea] Welcome to our list! This site is 'liner notes to the nth degree and more', so I'm sure you will learn a lot. Here at least you can ask if you find something has gone over your head :)

 

Introducing myself

Anne Bedish wrote (August 29, 2008):
I have just joined the Bach Recordings Mailing list and decided to join this one too. I have been besotted by Bach's music since my husband introduced me to it many years ago. I listen to it for hours every day ! Over the years we have bought various recordings of the cantatas, and, around the time of BBC's 10 days of Bach (what bliss that was), started in earnest to collect Masaaki Suzuki's recordings.....we plan get them all as they come out. Just recently we also purchased the boxed set of the complete Harnoncourt/Leonhardt recordings and are having such a wonderful time listening to them. We love listening to both Suzuki's and Harnoncourt/Leonhardt's recordings, I cannot choose one above the other, they're both equally wonderful in their own ways.

I am not a musician, just a lover of Bach's music, so I do not know if I will be able to contribute to this list but I would enjoy reading what others write.

When I'm not listening to Bach I take care of our son, watch Star Trek and moderate a Yahoo group for parents who home educate children who have Asperger's Syndrome or autism.

Jane Newble wrote (August 29, 2008):
[To Anne Bedish] It is lovely to have you in the group. I am Jane, live in Scotland with my husband, and am also besotted with Bach - have been since I was a child when we used to go to the St Matthew Passion every year (in Holland).

Have you come across Herreweghe ? - he has done quite a few cantatas as well. I also like Suzuki and Koopman. For the other vocal works, I am a recent fan of Enoch zu Guttenberg.

I shall be awy from my computer for two weeks, but I look forward to hearing more from you when I am back.

Jane
"Es muß alles möglich zu machen seyn"
J.S.B

Anne Bedish wrote (August 29, 2008):
[To Jane Newble] Thank you for your welcome. Yes we have some CDs of Herreweghe, and also Joshua Rifkin, John Eliot Gardiner and Ton Koopman...it's just we have only a few of their recordings. Twenty years ago my son was subjected in the womb to several cantatas recorded by Joshua Rifkin, I'd stand right in front of our speakers so he would hear the beautiful music ! And later when he was a baby and insisted on being carried round the room for long periods I'd put on our longest CD which was The Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with John Eliot Gardiner. My son had a good diet of Bach and he still likes some of it I'm glad to say, though he gets a little irritated that I'm listening to so many cantatas recently :-) I cannot get enough of Bach as I find that each time I listen to piece I can hear it in a different way because of all the 'layers' interweaving in different ways...and his music makes me feel so good. I adore the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) too ! We have the Herreweghe version with René Jacobs. I wish that the Jonathan Miller production of the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) would come out on DVD as my video from the TV production is getting quite worn out. I shall look out for Enoch zu Guttenberg.

I don't speak German so I don't understand your quote from Bach in your signature, but it reminds me to use a quote I sometimes use in my signature line !

Anne
"Mozart tells us what it's like to be human, Beethoven tells us what it's like to be Beethoven and Bach tells us what it's like to be the universe." Douglas Adams

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (August 30, 2008):
[To Anne Bedish] Welcome!

Paul T. McCain wrote (August 31, 2008):
"am also besotted with Bach"

Just picked up that phrase in Jean's post. That could well be the tag-line for this group, couldn't it?

Paul T. McCain wrote (August 31, 2008):
Jane Newble wrote:
"besotted with Bach"
That could well be the tag-line for this groups, couldn't it?

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 31, 2008):
[To Anne Bedish] Welcome Anne.

Jump in whenever the mood strikes you.

John Pike wrote (September 1, 2008):
[To Anne Bedish] Welcome, Anne!

Anne Bedish wrote (September 1, 2008):
[To Douglas Cowling & John Pike] Thanks for the warm welcomes Doug and John.

When I saw you were from Toronto, Doug, I thought of my favourite keyboard player of Bach, Glenn Gould. A friend of mine is on holiday in Toronto right now, she doesn't know anything of Bach or Glenn Gould, but as a favour to me she sought out the statue of Glenn on a bench and had a photo taken of her sitting next to him holding his hand :-) Little does she know he'd have not liked his hand held one bit ! I'm thrilled though as I'm unlikely to visit Canada as I live in the UK and it's just too far.

bw's

 

Trio Sonatas for Organ BWV 525-530 [BRML]

Michael Duron wrote (September 5, 2008):
Hello! My name is Michael. This is my first time responding to the group. Studied musicology at UCLA in the early nineties. I am a tenor at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church under the direction of Chris Walker in Westwood, Ca. and I play the cello. The trio sonatas are probably my favorite of Bach's organ output. A definite must have recording, IMHO, is Kay Johannsen's wonderfully balanced performance on the Metzler Orgelbau AG Dietikon Organ at Stadkirche Stein am Rhein.

It is a Hänssler Classic release, CD 92.099 Hännsler Edition Bachaksdemie 1998. It is available at most online retailers and you can special order it at Border's.

 

Introducing Myself

Russ Sakowitz wrote (September 14, 2008):
I am a long term devotee of classical music in general and JS Bach in particular. I have a large collection of CDs with major concentrations in the music of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin. I first came to know Bach's music in high school (I attended the High School of Music and Art in New York) and in particular when I heard in the Passacaglia in C Minor in our Music Appreciation class- it overwhelmed me. As a voice student I also sang and played (piano) some of his works. I also should admit to listening to radio shows like the Lone Ranger and loving the associated music. For example, besides the William Tell Overture, the Lone Ranger also used passages from Mendelssohn's Fingals Cave Overture and Liszt's Les Preludes. Of course I discovered this long afterwards. I also belonged to several choruses over many years and have sung much great music including several of Bach's major works e.g., the B Minor Mass (BWV 232). My interest is in beautiful music. And having found some work I like, I then seek the recording which best speaks to me. For example, Cantata BWV 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden, also blows me away, and in searching recently for a specific recording I stumbled into the Bach Cantata website. Karl Richter's recording with Fischer-Dieskau is my favorite, primarily for his use of the chorus in lieu of the alto/tenor/soprano solos. It is to my ears, heavenly, and pleases me much more than other recordings featuring soloists. The other Bach vocal recordings I like are by Gardiner, Klemperer and Suzuki. I perhaps have overstayed my time here so I will end by inviting anyone who has discovered wonderful music and recordings to contact me.

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (September 14, 2008):
[To Russ Sackowitz] Welcome to the group Russ. This month we are discussing the Trio Organ Sonatas BWV 525 - 530. You are always welcome to start a discussion on something else.

Jane Newble wrote (September 14, 2008):
Russ Sackowitz wrote:
< also blows me away, and in searching recently for a specific recording I stumbled into the Bach Cantata website. Karl Richter's recording with Fischer-Dieskau is my favorite, primarily for his use of the chorus in lieu of the alto/tenor/soprano solos. It is to my ears, heavenly, and pleases me much more than other recordings featuring soloists. The other Bach vocal recordings I like are by Gardiner, Klemperer and Suzuki. I perhaps have oversmy time here so I will end by inviting anyone who has discovered wonderful music and recordings to contact me. >
Welcome, Russ. Have you come across Herreweghe and Enoch zu Guttenberg? They record Bach's vocal works, and I think zu Guttenbergs latest SMP is one of the most moving performances I have ever heard.

I have also sung in the B Minor Mass, and it was such a wonderful experence. If you have just stumbled across the Bach Cantata Website, then you have a treat stored up for you - there is so much wonderful information there - it will keep you going for ages. Don't wory about overstaying your time - we all love reading about Bach's music!

Russ Sakowitz wrote (September 14, 2008):
[To Jane Newble] Jane: I had not heard of zu Guttenberg - I have recordings of SMP by Gardiner, Klemperer and Suzuki. I prefer Gardiner but find Klemperer's version very moving. How would zu Guttenberg stack up against them? Also I found 2 versions of zu Guttenberg - a DVD from 2002 - and the newer CD of 2007. Are you referring to the CD version?

Gerd Wund wrote (September 14, 2008):
My favorite versions of the SMP (BWV 244) are Herreweghe,s with Collegium Vocale Gent. Oustanding performances in every aspect. I was lucky to listen to his performance a couple of times in Schaffhausen und Zürich, Switzerland.

A wonderful recording is by Helmut Rilling and the Gächinger Kantorei.

John Pike wrote (September 14, 2008):
[To Russ Sackowitz] Welcome, Russ!

Jane Newble wrote (September 14, 2008):
[To Russ Sackowitz] It is the newer CD of 2007 that I am referring to. His interpretation is really quite different from the others. For example, in most versions the evangelist's part sounds very similar - in his, the evangelist's voice expresses powerfully the emotion or feelings of whatever is happening, which makes the whole thing come alive in a sometimes startling way. His interpretation of (non-written) dynamics is unusual and often very beautiful.

The CD comes with a Bonus CD on which he explains his reasons for doing certain things and it fascinating to listen to. Unfortunately it is in German, and I don't know if you can understand that language. However, even without that CD, the rest is quite an eye-opener. It has become my all-time favourite, but I expect some might not like it. My second choice is Herreweghe.

 

Self-Introduction: Mahiruha Klein

Mahiruha Klein wrote (September 21, 2008):
My name is Mahiruha Klein, and I come from Chicago.

I love Bach's music for its deep, genuine and universal spirituality.

I am particularly fond of the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). I have twelve different versions of this great work (I'm bragging!), mostly on vinyl. If I had to choose my favorite version of it, I'd probably go for the Mauersberger interpretation for its persuasive sincerity and technical elegance.

I am also extremely fond of Bach's beautiful cantatas- especially BWV 109 and BWV 155, as interpreted by Helmuth Rilling.

I'd like to extend my deepest thanks to Mr. Aryeh Aron for his remarkable service to this group and to the cause of Bach research, scholarship and appreciation in general.

And, Mr. Donald Satz, I really enjoyed your lively, impressionistic survey of Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) recordings! You've written other articles in this Bach Cantata Universe that I look forward to reading, as well.

I look forward to participating actively in this most inspiring forum!

With respectful gratitude,

 

Introducing Myself - Corentin Bresson

Corentin Bresson wrote (September 21, 2008):
I am Corentin Bresson from Paris, France.

I know nothing about music, but two of my long-time bedside recordings have been solo works from Bach (the Goldberg Variations and the Cello Suites). I stumbled across BachCantatas.com after discovering the Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244), and the idea of getting into the cantatas with the infos provided here appealled to me, so here I am.

I won't be able to contribute much, so thanks all the more to Aryeh Oron and all the contributors for sharing your knowledge of and enthusiasm for Bach's music.

 

Introducing myself

Cory Hall wrote (September 28, 2008):
Some of you might know me from the Bach Musicology group. I used to belong to this group several years ago, but for various reasons had to discontinue. Anyway, I'm back now and am eager to get into the discussions. I spent at least five years studying the cantatas and discovering some unknown Bach secrets; namely, in his choice of styles, measure numbers, and tempos in order to create proportional duration ratios. I'm sure some of you are already familiar with my "controversial" theory of tempo in Bach's music.

Even though I am primarily a pianist (and organist, as secondary instrument), I love Bach's cantatas and own the Leusink 60-CD set of all the sacred cantatas. This set was very helpful when I was initially familiarizing myself with the cantatas so that I could verify my hypotheses made from study of most of Bach's other works. (By the way, my theory holds true for virtually every movement in every cantata as well.) I'm very happy now with the proliferation of the internet and video sharing sites like YouTube, since I can now finally put my Bach tempo theory into practice with my own performances. If I could play all the cantatas on the piano I would, but I have at least recorded several works already on the piano and have several more in the works. (I recorded the 15 Inventions on YouTube all in one session. I plan on also recording the Sinfonias soon as well as the Goldberg Variations in the near future.) I also have a bunch of ragtime in the works too, as this is another interest
of mine. (What is it about Bach and ragtime? I'm not the only pianist who has excelled in these areas.) To Listen to my YouTube videos, just go to the site and look for the channel called BachScholar. I recently bought a Canon HV-30 camcorder and an external microphone, which I am pretty pleased with.

Of particular interest to this group is my website. On it, I have at least 50 pages of text that outlines my tempo theory in detail, which includes a 20 or so page detailed analysis of the B-minor Mass (BWV 232). I warn that this is not easy reading and estimate that it would probably take the average educated musician at least one week of reading and digesting to read the complete website and fully understand my theory. Just visit www.BachScholar.com and click on the Mass analysis link.

Anyway, it's nice to be in this group again and I hope to exchange some views.

Vivat205 wrote (September 29, 2008):
< Of particular interest to this group is my website. On it, I have at least 50 pages of text that outlines my tempo theory in detail, which includes a 20 or so page detailed analysis of the B-minor Mass. I warn that this is not easy reading and estimate that it would probably take the average educated musician at least one week of reading and digesting to read the complete website and fully understand my theory. Just visit: www.BachScholar.com and click on the Mass analysis link. >
Impressive website...but doesn't it take "paralysis by analysis" to new heights?

Cory Hall wrote (September 29, 2008):
paralysis by analysis

< Impressive website...but doesn't it take "paralysis by analysis" to new heights? >
That's a good line..."paralysis by analysis". I realize my site is long and involved, but this is the only way I could prove my theory. But being that this is the Cantatas group, I figured a full temporal analysis of the B-minor Mass might be read with enthusiasm. Actually, my use of technical jargon is very low compared to many journal
articles. If you give yourself a week or so and read a little at a time, I'm sure you will avoid paralysis.

William Hoffman wrote (September 29, 2008):
introducing myself: Bach Tempo Theory

I finally had a changeto visit your website www.BachScholar.com.
I'm impressed and would like to see the treatise, which hopefuly, will compare other Bach works. I have little understanding of theoretical science or mathematics. It's all left-brain; therefore non-musician.

A couple of thoughts. Not original: The B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) overall form is palindome content and scope with the middle movement Credo the heart, the Gloria and Sanctus-Beneditus-Osana the celebration, and the Kyrie and Agnus Dei-Dona nobis pacem, the pleading. There are other palindrome (chiastic) works, like Cantata 4 and large sections of the SJP, as well as the arguments about unity through diversity and verse-visa.

I think tempo and tone are the inherent, intrisic, fundamental factors in Bach, almost a set of laws. I would add this: The two necessary, equal components in music are sound and its supposed antithesis, silence. The latter is just as necessary for it gives us tempo, rhythm and phrasing. Without silence, music would not speak to us but be a sounding in the universe, full of chaos, waiting for the light and dark to be separated.

Cory Hall wrote (September 29, 2008):
[To William Hoffman] Thank you for finding the time to explore my website. Yes, silence is an integral component to music. Mozart used to say that the rests are just as important as the notes themselves. John Cage even wrote 4'33", which is over four minutes of silence. To experience some effective silences or rests, just go to my YouTube channel (BachScholar), click on "Tabby Cat Walk" by Bolcom and view until the end when he asks for several long silences. This is when the cat is waiting to pounce on something, perhaps a mouse or a cockroach (my cat likes cockroaches). I try to freeze during the silences as a cat would when stocking his prey.

 

Membership

Rose Grifffan wrote (October 28, 2008):
Hi Aryeh, Thank you for accepting me as a member of the group. Thank you also for the information you sent me. If you don't mind, I'll start in January 2009 when the new cycle starts.

 

Greetings

Marcel Gautreau wrote (October 30, 2008):
Hello to all; nice to find new friends with the same obsession.

I first discovered Bach at, of all places, a music festival in high school. Someone played the Prelude & Fugue in d minor from WTC II, and I was hooked. I was playing trumpet in the school band & cornet/flugel horn in the church band, and fooling around on the piano. Thereafter, I took up piano in earnest, mostly to learn to play baroque music in general and Bach in particular (although I was never very good at it). I studied piano & composition for a time before realizing I would have to teach if I wanted to eat. I made the same error again later by studying mathematics at university.

Having worked through a lot of his instrumental works (during the course of which I've decided I'm an "on period instruments" snob, and so less enthusiastic about Bach on the piano), in more recent years I've been discovering Bach's vocal works; the Cantatas, Passions, Magnificat, b minor Mass, etc, and the incredible diversity they encompass.

During the day, I earn money to feed my baroque habit by working as a systems analyst with a local municipality. My boss, a former German national, flagrantly supports my addiction by supplying me with German language primers; everyone else in the department knows who Bach was, whether they want to or not. They make me sit by myself.

Santu de Silva wrote (November 11, 2008):
[To Marcel Gautreau] Your story seems to echo my own in several aspects, down to the mathematics at University. (I wanted to do physics, but they wouldn't take me. I'm so glad; I figure I learned a lot more physics in my mathematics courses.)

I don't have to sit by myself, but I have a sound-proof office! heh heh heh

 

NEW MEMBER - introducing myself

Big Bono 12 wrote (December 25, 2008):
Merry Christmas everyone "frohe Weihnachten", "Buon Natale".

I am happy to have just joined our group. I am an amateur musician (piano, compostion). Professionally I am an architect and designer (theatre sets and costumes). I studied music history at Harvard University and composition and piano at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston in the USA. I presently live in the countyside outside of Siena in Italy. I first came to know Bach's music though the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) and the Christmas Cantatas, and then from then on it was non-stop hunger and enthusiasm. I am also a member of the group Handel.it, whose music I love profoundly also. I have written several papers on Mozart operas (the Magic flute,and Le Nozze di Figaro) and some of the Haydn piano sonatas. Well that's my little blurb to introduce myself so you can know me a bit.

Terejia wrote (December 25, 2008):
Bigbono12 wrote: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BachCantatas/message/29629

Welcome to the list!

warmly,

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (December 25, 2008):
[To Bigbono12] Herzlich Willkommen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just so you know, it's not "frohe Weinachten", but rather "Froehliche [or Heilige, either one] Weinachtsen!".

Jane Newble wrote (December 26, 2008):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Frohe Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr!
And welcome to Bach!

 

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Last update: ýMarch 13, 2010 ý10:24:32