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Part 11: Year 2009

Introducing Myself

Brach Jennings wrote (January 2, 2009):
I am a third year music major at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. I started using the Bach Cantatas website when I was a freshman in college, and I have enjoyed reading the lively discussions. As part of a New Year's Resolution to study Bach as often as possible, I thought it would be useful to start posting on the List, rather than only reading the BCW.

Happy New Year to you all!

Julian Mincham wrote (January 2, 2009):
[To Brach Jennings] Brach? Go for it and welcome. Insights into the cantatas are always welcome--though some might say rare!

Brach Jennings wrote (January 2, 2009):
[To Julian Mincham] Thanks for the warm welcome. Yes, my name is "Brach." People have asked me before if I changed the spelling so that it was like "Bach," but I did not.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (January 3, 2009):
[To Brach Jennings] Whilst I think that the idea is a good one, I would also suggest that you not limit your resources.

Here are some other suggestions:

1.) The Bach-Jahrbuch
2.) The Bach Magazine (published by the Bach-Archives Leipzig)
3.) Such books as Bach: The Learned Musician
4.) The Bach Reader and the New Bach Reader
5.) The Kritischer Bericht to the volumes of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe
6.) The Supplement to the aforementioned NBA edition (which contains Bach documents from his lifetime up to the 19th century).
7.) Treatises by such men as Johann Mattheson, Johann Gottfried Walther, etc.

and so forth....

There is a wealth of materials in collegiate music libraries that go unused.

 

BCML - Introducing ourselves

Ed Myskowskli wrote (January 14, 2009):
I am Ed Myskowski, a couple of my cyber-mates are Julian Mincham and Harry Crosby. You will know which one I am because I am the guy wearing the Hawaiian shirt. Unless Harry wears them also, I have no idea. A couple of us, me and Harry, were dubbed the Old Dudes by another mate, Brad Lehman.

Thats when the stuff started to hit the fan. One of the Old Dudes (guess which one) started to get uppity about who is senior. 82.5 plus, he claims, I guess you can already figure out that is not me. My five year old grand-daughter used to say, back in the old days, <I am way more than four and a half, Grampy!) Ba-da-bing?

If you go to the BCW photo archives, you will see pictures of me and Julian, we look like twins, except that he looks fleshy, while I am <portrait as petrus>, lower case p emphasized. I have no doubt that Julian is youngest, Harry is oldest, and I am in the middle. Out of respect for the senior Old Dude, I will sign as Old Dude, Jr., when appropriate.

I am working on a gemiatric puzzle to allow the very hip to calculate my exact age, for comparison with Harrys 82.5 plus. Dont sit on pins waiting, it could take a while. Harry might even be 83 by then.

Aloha (guy in Hawaiian shirt), Ed Myskowski (aka Old Dude, Jr.)

 

Introducing myself

Ladislav Furman wrote (February 21, 2009):
I must first admit that I am not professional musician by long shot, in fact I work in field of information technology. However, I have some experience with choir singing (baritone/bass at our small local church choir here in Olcnava, Slovakia - yes you can look it up on Google Maps :) ) and because of that I came to love choral music as well. The first contact with Bach's choral works was through one of his biggest: St. Matthew's Passion (BWV 244). After that it was also his organ works, other chorals and so on. I often listen to Bach in my work too. And last year's Christmas gifts from my parents were Karajan's recording of Brandenburg Concertos and also Handel's Messiah recorded by Andrew Parrot :)

I look forward to hear from all of you.

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 21, 2009):
[To Ladislav Furman] Welcome to the group.

Ed Myskowski wrote (February 21, 2009):
Ladislav Furman wrote:
< I look forward to hear from all of you. >
An Eastern Euorpean (not to say Slavic) sense of humor would be especially welcome.

Nicholas Johnson wrote (February 21, 2009):
[To Ed Myskowski] I think I may have found the most dissonant Bach part writing. Cast your eyes over bar 33 second quaver in the g sharp minor fugue book one. From the top B,D sharp, C double sharp, B sharp. What do you reckon ?

James Atkins Pritchard wrote (February 23, 2009):
Ladislav Furman wrote:
< I look forward to hear from all of you. >
Welcome to the list, Ladislav. Are there many live performances of Bach's choral works in Slovakia?

Ladislav Furman wrote (February 23, 2009):
[To James Atkins Pritchard] Thank you for your kind words. As to live performances, I am not aware of any in this time, I would like very much to hear BMM live. For now I am content with listening to some great recordings of that great work :-)

Morten Lambertsen wrote (February 24, 2009):
Johnson Nicholas wrote:
< I think I may have found the most dissonant Bach part writing. Cast your eyes over bar 33 second quaver in the g sharp minor fugue book one. From the top B,D sharp, C double sharp, B sharp. What do you reckon ? >
Very dissonant indeed, but still 'just' part writing within an A# with a b9 suspension, all the accidentals just makes it look more complex than it really is I think.

I can't recall anything more "dissonant" in the 48's than the two last quavers ms. 24 of the a-mi. fugue WK I (Ami/c - sus 4 + 9 to Dmi 6/7). These two "chords" are a perfect result of pairs of polyphonic voices in contrary motion. Played out of context they sound like Hindemith or Bartok.

Kristian J. (Szaginder) wrote (February 24, 2009):
The most dissonant Bach part

[To Johnson Nicholas] Can the score be trusted???

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Dissonance [General Topics]

 

Great Bach Cembalistini

Ed Jeter [Little Rock, AR, USA] wrote (February 23, 2009):
Julian Mincham wrote [The state of these lists]:
< Having stopped reading posts for the last few weeks and having made the decision not to contribute further I?dipped in ?to see what was happening yesterday and, lo and behold, I find myself flooded with posts about the state of the lists. Also were some unwarranted criticisms of the moderator. I am breaking my (self imposed) rule of non-participation to add my thoughts and i write as someone who has contributed upwards of 20 cantata introductions as well as to various list discussions over the years--i.e. not a 'lurker' but an active participant.
On the first point I have made two positive suggestions about the ways in which the lists could be improved, the first (last year) being a division into two streams --one to deal SPECIFICALLY with matters closely related to Bach's music, performance and recordings and one to deal with light bulbs--sorry, I mean general social chat which has no, or at least minimum, bearing on the actual body of music. People could suscribe to either, neither or both.
Just under 20 people entered into the debate (work that out as a proportion of membership) several bringing up?irrelevant objections ?some even implying that this was a form of covert censorship (!!!) The only conclusions that one could draw from this exercise were
1 most people don't care and
2 most of those who have a view don't really want a change, preferring the present mishmash.
More recently, at a point where sometimes one had to scroll through 20 posts to find one that?was relevant to Bach in general (let alone the specisific cantata or work of the week) ?I suggested that we all applied a little self discipline and posted, as an experiment and for two weeks only those?which were directly relevant to Bach (music, performance, recordings etc). Three people agreed---and almost within the hour there were posts by two of the most vociferous members with a load of irrelevance.
So much for self discipline. Which brings me to the second point. It is in the hand of members to use this list in an interesting, stimulating and creative manner to debate and inform matters relating to Bach. Why blame the modeif the members can't discipline themselves? it's like an unruly class claiming that their lack of academic progress was all the teacher's fault--nothing to do with them or their attitudes or behaviour. Easy copout.
I strongly believe that a great opportunity is being thrown away here. The website is a unique and precious resource. The music of Bach even more so. Yet the list discussions?have degenerated into a childish succession of trivia, petulances and silly arguments. Try to discuss something like Bach's musical structures or his colorful harmony or a striking example of colourful word setting (I have) and you'll be lucky to get a response. Mention something about?almost any form of religion and you get a flame war.
The health of the list is in the hands of the members not the moderator. If people contribute, relate their comments to Bach in general and/or the works currently under discussion in particular,? this could be a medium for healthy debate, honest arguments and opinion differences and the exchange of useful information.
I wish it were to be so----I should live to see the day!
Julian Mincham--------in memorium.???
PS if anyone thinks I am getting at him/her personally, well, I am not. These observations are general. >
Let me introduce myself. I joined the Bach Records List just a few week ago, so it appears I came in at an exciting time. I didn’t know what to expect, but it appears that Bach scholars are not deadly dull at all.

I have been into learning piano seriously for a little over a year. Against reasonable advice my primers have been LVB Sonata 8 and Sonata 14. I got interested in JS Bach via an admiration for the playing of Glenn Gould. That led me to Bach’s Goldberg of course and then to the beauty of hearing Goldberg played on the harpsichord the instrument for which it was composed. I have a small number of CD of Bach and other early composers being played on the harpsichord that are excellent. But, if I am not out of line in doing so could I ask for recommendations for particularly good cembalistini who play Bach? They seem to be less well known that the great pianists.

PS. I printed the sheet music for BWV 988 from i-net line this morning and tried to play the Aria.

Jens F. Laurson [Toronto] wrote (February 23, 2009):
< But, if I am not out of line in doing so could I ask for recommendations for particularly good cembalistini who play Bach. They seem to be less well known that the great pianists. >
I, too, didn't really "take to" the Goldbergs on piano, but was instantly captivated by hearing them on harpsichord. The recording I keep coming back to as my standard is Trevor Pinnock's, but wouldn't want to be without those by Koopman, Suzuki, Karl Richter and (just so we know whom to thank for all this--despite the atrocious sound), Landowska.

 

Introducing myself

Muniini K. Mulera [Toronto] wrote (March 26, 2009):
I recently joined this group and I write to introduce myself. I have listened to and collected recordings of Bach's music, including the cantatas, for very many years. I have always enjoyed his works. However, this has been part of my love affair with the great music that spans the period ~ 1600 to 1930. The Classical and Romantic periods formed the bulk of my collection and listening. I really did not listen to Bach's vocal works as actively and critically as I should have.

However, over the last two years, I have been discovering Bach, as if for the first time. I have been listening to his vocal works with a critical ear and with my full attention in a way that I have found to be both musically satisfying and spiritually uplifting. The result has been a love affair with Bach's vocal music that has become all consuming and wholesome.

I have set myself a goal to listen - to really listen - to all of his available cantatas in an organized and sequential manner. I started in January 2009 and, the Lord willing, hope to achieve this within 24 months. Or am I dreaming? At therate I am going, it may take me longer, because I keep re-listening to many of them. What is a person to do when a piece of music is that sublime!

The bulk of my Bach cantata collection consists of the Suzuki/BCJ and the Gardiner/EBS/Monteverdi series on BIS and SDG, respectively. I am on a search for others that contain the cantatas that are not yet released in the above series.

I was introduced to classical music in high school in Uganda, my country of birth. My musical journey has since been an adventure of great discovery. But I am not a musician. Indeed I have no musical talent whatsoever, except my ears and brain that have the gift of hearing and connecting with beautiful music.

I am a paediatrician by profession, working and living in Toronto, Canada.


I look forward to learning a lot from you.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Muniini K. Mulera
Toronto

Vivat205 wrote (March 26, 2009):
< The bulk of my Bach cantata collection consists of the Suzuki/BCJ and the Gardiner/EBS/Monteverdi series on BIS and SDG, respectively. I am on a search for others that contain the cantatas that are not yet released in the above series.
I was introduced to classical music in high school in Uganda, my country of birth. My musical journey has since been an adventure of great discovery. But I am not a musician. Indeed I have no musical talent whatsoever, except my ears and brain that have the gift of hearing and connecting with beautiful music. >
Welcome! The Gardiner/SDG collection will consist only of the sacred cantatas. The Suzuki will contain both sacred and secular (supposedly), but it's hard to imagine that his sacred cantata performances would make you feel guilty about running out and getting all the wonderful Rilling sacred cantata recordings (reasonably priced in used condition through selective shopping on Amazon). I suspect, in addition, that it won't be long until you start appreciating the value of having more than one recording of a given cantata. In that case you've got Rilling and Richter (for terrific modern style) and Herreweghe, Koopman, maybe Harnoncourt/Leonhardt (boys instead of women), and many others for "original" style.

Marcel Gautreau wrote (March 27, 2009):
< I recently joined this group and I write to introduce myself >
Welcome, Muniini

< Indeed I have no musical talent whatsoever >
Disagree - you have to have some to appreciate what you're listening to. Personally, I can't carry a tune in a teacup, as my partner is wont to point out to anyone who will listen.

Douglas Cowling [Director of Music - St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke, Toronto] wrote (March 27, 2009):
Muniini K. Mulera wrote:
< I look forward to learning a lot from you.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Muniini K. Mulera
Toronto >
Nice to see the Toronto contingent growing.

Welcome.

Ed Myskowski wrote (March 28, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>Nice to see the Toronto contingent growing.<
EM adds: Totonto is a subset of the eastern North America contingent, welcome from the larger neighborhood (neigbourhood?), as well.

Muniini K. Mulera wrote (March 28, 2009):
Thank you all for the warm welcome. It is wonderful for one to be among people who share one's passion.

 

Introducing myself

André Bankarosz wrote (March 30, 2009):
Claudine wrote (November 14, 2002):
< A short notice about me. I'm 23, and studying musicology (I'm doing my master degree) at the university of Montreal. The subject of my thesis is Schumann's opera Genoveva (I know, it has noting to do with Bach...) I like Bach, of course, but I also like just about all type of classical music. I'm attracted to a lot of things. I've been following the discussions lately, some sounds very interesting.
Well, I guess that's it! >
me i reside in belgium antwerp and regul brussels

had a good music education but lately sind aroun 7 years ago I discovered baroque music and opera thanks to a director and conductor (rené jacobs) when performing a german baroque opera 'croesus' fter haendels, mozarts, jb lully and so on in the meantime i learned and continue piano in a quick tempo as profs said that i have good abilities. i like as an amusical work bach songs and organ works and also piano works also ditriech buxtehude organ works i would like to be in contact with not only music lovers but also with person who are performing and or are studyng at the conservatory. i hope that we will be able to be in contact .

 

Week of April 5, 2009: Magnificat in A Minor, Sanctus in D major and in C Major

T. Barndt wrote (April 4, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Week of April 5, 2009: Magnificat in A Minor, Sanctus in D major and in C Major. >
Doug, Thank you for the work you have been doing giving background for the discussion group.

As a newcomer to the list, I found it a great help.

To introduce myself: I studied piano and music theory in my youth. I've been involved in amateur music-making all my life. One of the joys of my retirement has been not only the re-discovery of old friends ( i.e. compositions by Bach ) that I enjoyed over the years, but also the newly-made acquaintance of works I had never encountered in the past. *And works like the Hoffman Magnificat and the Kuhnau Uns ist ein Kind Geoboren which give insight into compositions mistakenly attributed to Bach - both of which are delightful regardless of whether they were by Bach or not.*

I appreciate any recomendations for additional reading.

 

introducing myself

Silvio Battaglia wrote (April 17, 2009):
My name is SIlvio Battaglia, I am a 24 years old university student. I live and study in the very special city of Venice and I find myself dealing with matters of which I am highly concerned: literature, critics, philosophy and language studies. My field is actually the spanish language and literature, namely the baroque ones.

I feel very happy for having the possibility of sharing with you all, which I mostly respect and appreciate, my depp passion for Bach's music. My following of his great works runs back to about five years ago, when I first listened with some accuracy to the Mozart requiem mass, in its various versions on disk, and found out I needed more and more. It did not take a long time to realize that my goal was Bach's music, both instrumental and vocal. SInce then I've been very closely in contact with Bach's Cantatas and the two main passions, with a strong and warm attention if not with a firm theorical background. So, to describe myself, I just can say I'm a very careful and dedicated listener.

I've looked at your discussions for quite a long time now, found it very useful and challenging to establish connections between my opinions and the ones expressed here. I shall mostly ask you for advice, since youre much more experienced than me, and give you some quick notes about my conceptions, only those which I imagine would be interesting to everyone.

My next message, so, would be about the Berlin S M P, with Mark Padmore, which I happened to experiience and has left me with big impressions and lots of interrogations to my usual way of knowing and loving Bach's music (everyone would know that this version was with no choir, I believe following the Rifkin's theory).
Best regards to everyone

sincerly yours

SIlvio Battagliap.s.
I was so impressed my white cane fell noisely on the wooden floor of the chamber, causing much discontent to me and shame... strangely enough a journalist wrote it was a willchair that broke... I can tell you, it was not!

 

Greeting and a word on cantata 199

Josh Clasins wrote (June 13, 2009):
My name is Josh, a student living in Miami,Fl. A couple years ago I watched a DVD of Gardiner et al. with M. Kozena perfroming cantata BWV 199 ("Mein herzhe...")

After being so stirred and amazed by this beautiful music the cantatas have interested me and I look forward to learning more about them.

This forum enjoys a plan for discussion, however I noticed this year the 199th is not featured. Just recently I decided to purchase a recording of cantata BWV 199, and wished to learn a bit about it. That's when I found your group.

Without interrupting the current June discussion, anyone who has enjoyed it, and has a moment to spare; an anecdote,music theory fact, or simple thought regarding this cantata, if shared would be appreciated.

thanks to you all in advance,

Neil Halliday wrote (June 14, 2009):
Josh Klasins wrote:
< Without interrupting the current June discussion, anyone who has enjoyed it, and has a moment to spare; an anecdote,music theory fact, or simple thought regarding this cantata, if shared would be appreciated. >
Josh, there are pages of discussions about this cantata at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV199-D.htm

Glen Armstrong wrote (June 14, 2009):
[To Josh Klasins] Greetings, Josh, If this is old hat for you, forgive me: typing "BWV 199" will bring you to Aryeh's superb link (first site). There you will find past discussions, and enough information to keep you engaged for hours. In the "musical examples" you can hear a complete version of Leusink. Can't remember if one or two of his trebles are as awful as in some cantatas. On second thoughts, I guess the choir is absent: just soprano.There is also a review of Gardiner's DVD and high praise for Kozena.

Josh Clasins wrote (June 14, 2009):
[To Glen Armstrong] Thanks Glen, this review of Gardiner and comp. and Kozena's performance sounds interesting, after all it is the only recording of BWV 199 I have heard (and it could even be the last I was so blown away by her singing!)

 

Personal Introduction

Evan Cortens wrote (June 21, 2009):
As I'll be leading the discussion for the next five weeks, I thought it would be a good idea for me to offer a few words about myself. First my thanks to Francis Browne for the past few weeks of introductions and the kind words. I am currently a doctoral student in musicology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. In addition, I
hold a Master of Music in Musicology from Boston University and a Bachelor of Music in Music History and Literature from the University of Calgary. My principal focus through these years of academic study has been German liturgical music, principally that of J.S. and C.P.E. Bach. One of my main areas of interest is source-critical studies, and I shall try to bring that to my introductions here. In addition to my work on the scholarly side, I'm an active singer and oboist.

I've been a member of the Bach Cantatas mailing list for almost two years now and I'm looking forward to becoming a more active member in writing some introductions. Over the next five weeks, we'll be discussing the three cantatas Bach wrote for the Sunday after Christmas, BWV 152, BWV 122 and BWV 28 as well as the chorales and sacred songs. I remember being particularly impressed with the organization of Doug Cowling's introductions earlier this year, and I've decided to model mine after his.

 

Introduction

David McKay wrote (December 13, 2009):
My name is David McKay and I am a new member of the list. I am hoping to develop some familiarity with Bach's cantatas over the next few years by listening to the relevant cantatas for the church year.

I've only just begun and am listening to some Advent and Christmas cnatatas, but especially the oens from Bach's first cycle, as listed in Christoph Wolff's J S Bach: the learned musician on pp. 270-73.

In 2001 our local record store had the Bach 2000 set at an attractive price and I purchased a copy and listened to all of the cds. I was amazed when a Dutch company later brought out Bach's extant works for a fifth of what I had paid for the Teldec set.

Then in about 2006 I subscribed to Eliot Gardiner's Bach Pilgrimage set and have been thoroughly enjoying each one.

My problem is that although I listen to them, I can't remember which one is which, beyond a few familiar favourites.

I'm hoping this will change with time and that eventually I will know which version of Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland I am listening to.

I am a pianist and have played throthe Well tempered clavier but there are few of the preludes and almost none of the fugues that I can play well. We enjoyed hearing Angela Hewitt perform them last year in Sydney and were amazed to see her play 96 pieces over 2 days from memory so beautifully.

Half way through this year I enjoyed accompanying a colleague on Bach's Flute sonata in B minor in a concert at our local Anglican cathedral
.
I like Rachmaninov's saying
Music is enough for a lifetime
but a lifetime is not enough for music

and am sure it could be altered to be about Bach and his music.

I look forward to learning from the group.

David McKay
www.aussiemusician.blogspot.com

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 13, 2009):
David McKay wrote:
< My name is David McKay and I am a new member of the list >
Welcome to the list.

Jump right in.

 

hello/introduction

Paul Johnson wrote (December 27, 2009):
This is just an email to say 'hello' and to introduce myself. I have been reading the Cantatas website for a number of years now - it's a great source of information - and decided to join this mailing list. I am a regular listener to the music of JSB and listen often to the cantatas - recently I have tried to be more systematic about listening to them for the liturgical days for which they were written (which is good at this time of year because the cantatas for the first, second and third days of Christmas are both bountiful and tremendous). I live in England, and am a Sociologist. I have no professional connection with music, being just an 'amateur listener', so I am not sure I will have anything profound to add to the discussion!

Anyway, hello! And very merry Christmas.

Neil Halliday wrote (December 27, 2009):
Paul Johnson wrote:
>Anyway, hello! And very merry Christmas<
Welcome aboard Paul. Hope you're not snowed in over there!
(But if so, you can spin a Bach CD. -:)

Neil H. (Australia)

Paul Johnson wrote (December 27, 2009):
[To Neil Halliday] We are quite snowed in. But, as you say, it offers some good listening opportunities. I listened to all the cantatas for the Third Day of Christmas this morning. I am listening mostly to Gardiner, but also to Harnoncourt.

Trying to listen on 'proper' days poses a problem this year: there is no Sunday after Christmas! When am I supposed to listen to the cantatas for that day? It looks like 2011 is the next opportunity. :-)

Best to Oz.

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 27, 2009):
[To Paul Johnson] Welcome to the list. Jump into the discussion.

Peter Smaill wrote (December 27, 2009):
[To Paul Johnson] Sundays after Christmas.... well there is part 3 of the Christmas Oratorio for the third day of Christmas; also BWV 152, "Tritt aus die Glaubensbahn" from 30 December 1714; and "Das neugeborne Kindelein" from 31 December 1724. All these reflect the birth of Jesus; BWV 28, "Gottlob! Nun geht das jahre zu Ende", from 30 December 1725, contemplates the end of the old year and the beginning of the next.

Here is snowbound Scotland the New Year is still considered by many, thanks to historic Calvinist attitudes, to be more important than Christmas but it would seem that Lutherans found significance in both; very exhausting for Bach and his choir(s) as has been noted here before.

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 27, 2009):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< Here is snowbound Scotland the New Year is still considered by many, thanks to historic Calvinist attitudes, to be more important than Christmas but it would seem that Lutherans found significance in both; very exhausting for Bach and his choir(s) as has been noted here before. >
I read somewhere that Christmas wasn't a statutory holiday in Scotland until the 1950s. Historically, New Year's Day and Epiphany were much bigger social occasions than Christmas in both Catholic and Protestant cultures. The Honours List of titles and awards is still proclaimed at New Year's in England. The Queen's representative still presents gold and frankincense in the Chapel Royal on Epiphany. I suspect the same kinds of ceremonial may have been traditional with the Leipzig Council and and the Saxon Court. Certainly, the singing of the Te Deum was an important annual civic event.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (December 28, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< [...] Historically, New Year's Day and Epiphany were much bigger social occasions than Christmas in both Catholic and Protestant cultures. >
This surprises me concerning Catholic culture.

In our (Catholic) culture, I have always heard of Christmas as a much bigger occasion than Epiphany. There is a long and festive mass at midnight (or at least late at night), and many traditions (such as welcoming poor or lonely people for the family meal). There are also "nativity scenes" everywhere, even living ones, and music (choirs which sing Christmas carols, many concerts,...).

Epiphany is only the day where you eat the "galette des Rois" (cake of the Kings).

This is maybe a difference between Protestant and Catholic cultures?

On the other hand, I have never heard of any religious dimension in New Year's Day, but it seems it had such dimension for Bach and his context. Is this still true for Protestants today?

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 28, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< The Queen's representative still presents gold and frankincense in the Chapel Royal on Epiphany. >
According to the Gospels of Thomas and Phillip(sp?), both suppressed, myrrh was the incense of choice for spiritual liberation. Hope that tidbit of *data* gets us back on track to spirited discussion.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 28, 2009):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< Epiphany is only the day where you eat the "galette des Rois" (cake of the Kings).
This is maybe a difference between Protestant and Catholic cultures? >
Or perhaps North vs. South? In my household, dominated by Hispano-Cuban tradition (not me!), we are on our way to Twelfth Night (sunset, Jan 5, leading to Three Kings Day). Le Jour de Trois Rois? This eveining on my block, Dec. 27, we are just beginning Third Night. If you disagree by a day either way, direct complaints to my spouse, c/o me.

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 28, 2009):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
< On the other hand, I have never heard of any religious dimension in New Year's Day, but it seems it had such dimension for Bach and his context. Is this still true for Protestants today? >
I'm really referring to the 16th - 18th centuries. We have to be careful in projecting our modern holiday customs, Catholic, Protestant or secular, back into Bach's time. For instance, Midnight Mass was not a popular liturgy for Catholics until late in the 19th century. We all have a very hazy picture of how Bach's civic/religious calendar was celebrated. I couldn't tell you the schedule or nature of domestic Christmas celebrations in the Bach household.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (December 28, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I'm really referring to the 16th - 18th centuries. >
I don't know if you have seen "The Tudors," but last season showed extensive Christmas celebrations at the court of Henry VIII during Jane Seymour's reign as Queen, it was quite nice eye candy, and something I've never seen before in Tudor dramatizations. If you get a chance, watch the DVDs.

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 28, 2009):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< I don't know if you have seen "The Tudors," but last season showed extensive Christmas celebrations at the court of Henry VIII during Jane Seymour's reign as Queen, it was quite nice eye candy, and something I've never seen before in Tudor dramatizations. If you get a chance, watch the DVDs. >
"The Tudors" is Melrose Place in tights. It's an avalanche of historical inaccurancies -- Cardinal Wolsey commits suicide! -- although it was amusing to see the great Tudor composer, Thomas Tallis, appearing as a secondary character. He was portrayed a promiscuous bisexual but at least we got to hear a bit of his music.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (December 28, 2009):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< "The Tudors" is Melrose Place in tights. It's an avalanche of historical inaccurancies. >
Yeah, and VERYnice tights too. :-)

The Tudor's is a drama, not a documentary. That said, the extensive coverage of the "Pilgrimage of Grace" in the 3rd season (Henry VIII was nearly deposed) was the first time I've seen that topic covered in any significant manner for a dramatization, and the coverage of Reginald Pole and Henry's murder of his family was extremely poignant and accurate.

But like I said before, the renaissance Christmas sets in Tudor England were gorgeous and worth seeing ;)

Peter Smaill wrote (December 28, 2009):
[To Douglas Cowling] In the village south of Edinburgh where I live as late as the 1880's school was held on Christmas Day; but in a strange imitation of the Roman Saturnalia, on the shortest day the tradition then was for the schoolchildren to lock out the master!

Leipzig was very different. According to Stiller, Christmas was a three day observance ,the second and third being observed as the days of the Protomartyr St Stephen (26) and as the day of St John, apostle and Evangelist (27). "BWV 40 and BWV 57 are fully intelligible only in relation to St Stephen."

Epiphany is called "the great New Year or Feast day of the Three Kings or of the Revelation of Christ". On the eve of the feast there was the festive ringing of all the bells, and the festival was inaugurated with solemn Vespers immediately thereafter.

The Christmas season lasted until the Feast of the Purification of Mary. Christmas hymns were sung on all these feast days as an extension of Christmas, with the Christmas preface read out on each day. "A liturgical observance of New Year's Eve as we now have it did not exist in Bach's time (Rost)", by which I think is meant that the Christmas aspect remained the theme, rather than reflection and emphasis on the subtext of the dying year as in the Orgelbuchlein chorale, "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" BWV 614.

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Events in the Church Year - Part 5 [General Topics]

 

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Last update: ýMarch 13, 2010 ý10:24:57