Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Members of the Bach Mailing Lists
Part 13: Year 2011

Introducing myself

Henrich "Henner" Schwerk [Kirchenmusikdirektor Plöner Lantorei, Plön] wrote (January 3, 2011):
I'd like to introduce myself:

I'm a church musician in the North of Germany and in my opinion the best way to make church music is performing Bach Cantatas during the sunday service as I did it already many times.

So I am interested in any things belonging to Bach Cantatas and I'm looking forward to discuss with you.

Happy New year to all of you,

Anne (Nessie) Russell wrote (January 3, 2011):
[To Henner Schwerk] Welcome to the group Henner.

< I'm a church musician in the North of Germany and in my opinion the best way to make church music is performing Bach Cantatas during the sunday service as I did it already many times. >
I am a church musician in Canada. I wish I could attempt the kind of things you are doing. When I play Bach's music on the organ I get a good response, but not when we do any of his choral music. We did a Cantata last month, but it was a modern work. Doug from this list does better than I do. Perhaps living in a large city he has more people to draw on. I have had no luck interesting my choir in Bach's choral music. Only two choir members enjoyed singing the Chorale we performed.

Douglas Cowling [Director of Music, St. Philip's Church, Etobicoke, Toronto] wrote (January 3, 2011):
Henner Schwerk wrote:
< I'm a church musician in the North of Germany and in my opinion the best way to make church music is performing Bach Cantatas during the sunday service as I did it already many times. >
Welcome to the list.

I will be very interested to hear your comments on the survival of Bach's liturgical and musical patterns in the 21st century. My first question is whether there are any large churches with choir schools (e,g. the Thomaner) in Germany which maintain any of Luther's Latin "Formula Missae" (1523) in their Sunday services (e.g Latin Kyrie and Gloria) and whether there are any churches which sing daily services such as Vespers.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 3, 2011):
Nessie Russell wrote:
< I have had no luck interesting my choir in Bach's choral music. Only two choir members enjoyed >singing the Chorale we performed. >
Well, two is half-way to an OVPP choir, no? Unless they were both altos. Keep smiling.

Henner Schwerk wrote (January 5, 2011):
I think it is an important way to keep the bach music alive by performing it during the service. This is, where they belong. Actually it is not a performance like a concert, but the cantata is part of the service. In the lutheran meaning of service, the songs, the reading, the sermon - no part of the service is more worth than another.

In Germany we have only a few churches with a real choir school like Thomaner or Crucianer (Dresden). But most lutheran congregations make service by using the lutheran mass. We use the (by the way: greek) Kyrie and the Gloria and the other parts of the mass in a german translation. Sometimes a choir is singing a musical version of the mass, than we take Greek and Latin and not the german version. But always its Kyrie-Gloria-Credo-Sanctus-Agnus There are only a very few churches who maintain the tradition of daily services such as Mette - Vesper - or Complet. But: in the education of church msuician we teach these kinds of service. And in our hym-book we have these orders of worship.

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 5, 2011):
Henner Schwerk wrote:
< In Germany we have only a few churches with a real choir school like Thomaner or Crucianer (Dresden). >
It's interesting to look at churches which had musical establishments comparable to St. Thomas, Leipzig, at the time of Bach. The Kreuzkirche (Church of the Holy Cross) in Dresden was probably the closest geographically to Bach. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kreuzkirche

The cantor was Theodor Christlieb Reinhold whose tenure was 1720-55, almost identical to Bach's: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Reinhold-Theodor-Christlieb.htm

Reinhold would seem to represent the more conservative Lutheran model, as opposed to the Italian influence at the royal court. One account says that he maintained the polychoral tradition of placing choirs in separated galleries. Bach only appears to have done this in the St. Matthew Passion.

At some point in the late 18th century, the tradition of the Latin mass from Luther's "Formula Missae" died out and was replaced by the more familiar "German Mass" in both Dresden and Leipzig. The Kreuzchor and Thomanerchor still sang a lot of "antique" music, as they do today, but the liturgical framework of Latin mass and vespers and daily services disappeared in the early 19th century.

I hope Henner will keep his eye out for German churches which may have maintained some of the old traditions.

 

Introducing Myself

Melanie (picotsnkeys) wrote (January 8, 2011):
I live in California, Bay Area, and am new to "group" discussions on the computer. I look forward to reading and learning with you.

I am an organist sadly confined now to listening and singing for my Bach fix. I found after I gave up my bench time, I just couldn't give up the music I love. The local AGO chapter is active and gives me a volunteer outlet.

My screen name comes from combining music with my other love: tatting. The design elements used in tatting patterns are somewhat mathmatical, much like music theory/counterpoint. I hope to someday gain enough skill tatting to realize musical compositions in lace.

To that end, I hope to gain an understanding through this group of what facets of Bach others are drawn to so that my lace truly represents the music.

Off to read past threads,

 

Introducing Me

Chasmanbooks wrote (January 18, 2011):
I've been digging up interesting bits and bobs on the Bach Cantatas website for several years and suddenly realized I could collect the gems (and, uh, the rest) on a daily basis by joining. So there. Call me Chasman.

My favourite musics are baroque vocal and classical era chamber, the composers whose work most absorbs me Bach, Handel and Haydn. As I type I am listening to Telemann's Kapitansmusik 1744 on CPO, just arrived in the mail. (I would add the umlaut if I knew how.)

It was Haydn's string quartets that captured me for classical music, and I'm really not sure how I made the trip to Bach's cantatas et al., but I think I found recordings by Cantus Colln entrancing enough that I tried their versions of Actus Tragicus and the motets. Haven't looked back yet.

(Might someone provide me with a translation of "actus tragicus" into idiomatic English?)

I confess withal a predilection for small performance forces, yea even unto OVPP! I have no opinion, however, concerning its historicity. I find it extremely beautiful, is all.

I'm far more likely to have questions than answers, but I hope I can add something valuable to your ongoing, 10 year old?, conversation.

Toodles.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 19, 2011):
chasmanbooks wrote:
< (Might someone provide me with a translation of "actus tragicus" into idiomatic English?) >
Welcome, Chasman. I might suggest well gone as idiomatic English for *actus tragicus*, if I were certain no one would take me seriously.

If no one provides a better answer pretty quickly, I can continue.

Evan Cortens wrote (January 19, 2011):
[To Chasman] Welcome! Looking forward to your participation in our discussions! I agree with your sentiment: the website is wonderful, but I've gained even more as a member of the mailing list.

Julian Mincham wrote (January 19, 2011):
[To Chasman] Just picking up on the amlauts issue , keyboards do fiffer but mant can be found by pressing the num lock key (a little light should come on) holding the 'alt' button and hitting the right combination of numbers of your numpad keys on the right of the keyboard.

For example do the above actions and, as you are holding down 'alt' do 129 of the numpads. This should produce ü . You can obtain lists of hundred of similarly uesful codes by googling 'numpad codes'

e.g. ö ä æ Ä etc Asch codes give you such as ↑ ♣ ♪ ► ◄ and many many more, obtained exactly the same way.

Have fun

 

Cantatas and parodies

Antonio Majer wrote (March 1, 2011):
Hi all, I'm writing from Italy, my name is Antonio Majer, I'm not a musician or someone who has received a bit of musical education in his youth, my passion for listening to ancient music is somewhat naive and of simpleton, but I can say I have had this passion since I was a kid; just out of curiosity, Palestrina and Byrd are my beloved composers, and BWV54 my most beloved Cantata. Said that, I just bought the whole collection of sacred cantatas conducted by Leonhardt/Harnoncourt (at long last, I remember I read of it in the late '70s when I was still a teenager), and following the link in the booklet I ended up here.
---
I totally concur with you about the use of such professional (affected?) terms. I for one am fascinated by the idea that even a huge artist has to face practical necessities, this fact raises the value of a genius, because it shows that no chain can limit his creativity. I like to think that self-citations work on Bach-lovers like a sign of mutual understanding, it's like he were saying to each and every of us: 'do you recognize it?'

 

Introducing myself

Sarah McEvoy wrote (June 5, 2011):
I discovered this group via the Brightcecilia Classical Music Forum at
http://www.brightcecilia.com/forum/index.php.

I was brought up in a musical household, but nonetheless didn't really discover Bach until my late teens, when I read Douglas Hofstadter's *Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.* Professor Hofstadter was clearly fascinated with Bach's music, and his enthusiasm was infectious. I bought a number of Bach's works, mainly for organ, and enjoyed them immensely; however, since at the time I didn't really know any other Bach fans, somehow his vocal music managed to pass me by.

Many years later, I met a gentleman known to his friends as Mole, who became my best friend. Mole is a very good semi-professional countertenor, and he introduced me to a whole raft of baroque and early music that I hadn't previously encountered, almost all vocal - including Bach's cantatas. My immediate reaction was "where has this music been all my life?!".

I'm now taking singing lessons myself, having realised in the last few years that I can afford to do so, and am turning into a reasonably competent mezzo (or alto; it's arguable). My long-term goal is to be able to sing BWV 35, Geist und Seele wird verwirret, which I think is utterly beautiful; I've been very much inspired by Robin Blaze's recording of this with the Bach Collegium Japan. I'm collecting two series of Bach cantatas: one is the Purcell Quartet's series on Chaconne, and the other is the Montreal Baroque series on Atma. They're both one voice to a part. I have fuller arrangements of some of the cantatas which I also like, but it seems that I really prefer my cantatas as lean as possible.

I am also the webmaster of the Charles Daniels Society, and I think I've now managed to accumulate the overwhelming majority of the Bach that Charles has recorded. :-)

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 5, 2011):
Sarah McEvoy wrote:
< I'm now taking singing lessons myself, having realised in the last few years that I can afford to do so, and am turning into a reasonably competent mezzo (or alto; it's arguable). My long-term goal is to be able to sing BWV 35, Ge ist und Seele wird verwirret, which I think is utterly beautiful >
I'm off this evening to a Bach Vespers which will feature Cantata BWV 42, "Am Abend aber" with the humungous alto aria , "Wo zwei und drei".

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 10, 2011):
SMP: van Veldhoven

Sarah McEvoy wrote:
< I am also the webmaster of the Charles Daniels Society, and I think I've now managed to accumulate the overwhelming majority of the Bach that Charles has recorded. :-) >
Welcome, Sarah! The newest Daniels Bach recording that I'm aware of is the St Matthew Passion that was released about a month ago: Jos van Veldhoven conducting. It is drawn from the Netherlands Bach Society's annual series of live performances. Brilliant performance that plays up the drama of the piece.

 

BWV 187

Dr. Linda Gingrich, D.M.A [Artistic Director/Conductor, Master Chorus Eastside] wrote (August 26, 2011):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Which brings back to mind the endlessly fascinating speculation, just what, in the complex imagery of Bach's religious works, was written for mankind to recognise and understand, and what was primarily only intended for God? >
I am new to this list and happy to be a part of it. My 2008 dissertation examined the musical allegory that operates between the cantatas in the Trinity season portion of Bach's chorale cantata cycle, and thus connects them into metaphorical groups. Which also brings up the question of how much was evident to Bach's congregations and how much was intended only for God. The allegorical links are plentiful and amazing, and much of it can't be perceived by the ear, or even by the eye without some digging, especially considering that the cantatas were heard a week apart, in most cases, in alternating performances between the two main churches! I'm not even sure that much of it was evident to his singers. I'm convinced that nearly all of it was for God, and if someone picked up on what Bach was doing under the surface, it may well have brought a twinkle to his eye!

 

Introducing Myself

Warren Prestidge wrote (September 8, 2011):
I've just joined, thank you! I live in Auckland, NZ. I'm a Baptist minister, with degrees in English and Theology. Although I have wide interests in "classical" music, Bach has been my favourite composer for 50 years.. For most of that time, I have played his music on the piano. I also have some (limited) experience of playing his organ music.

I first encountered his cantatas in the 1950's through BWV 147, which I borrowed from the local library (New Plymouth, NZ). It featured Joan Sutherland: if only she had sung more Bach! Soon after, I bought BWV 11 and BWV 67, featuring Kathleen Ferrier - in English! Cantata recordings were very scarce in those days. Then Felix Prohaska on BWV 112 and BWV 78. Back then I could not envisage a time like the present, when all the cantatas are readily available, in multiple versions, by specialist practitioners!

In the 1970's, as more LP's came out, I bought a series with various German regional groups - some very good (the Oryx Bach Series), some in the Bach Research Series, etc. I have recordings by Richter, Münchinger, Ansermet, Winschermann, Gonnenwein, etc. I bought quite a few in the Harnoncourt / Leonhart series when they began to come out. Just recently, to fill in all the gaps, I've bought the complete set of Leusink.

It took a little while to become accustomed to "authentic" performances. No problem at all now, and yet I still see no good reason not to use mixed choirs or female soloists as well. I am happy with either "authentic" or modern, so long as the performances carry conviction (neither ponderous nor frivolous). For example, I like the clavier music on the harpsichord (e.g. Helmut Walcha), but I also find Angela Hewitt hard to beat!

I look forward to deepening insight and increasing enjoyment. Bach is surely inexhaustible.

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 8, 2011):
Warren Prestidge wrote:
< I look forward to deepening insight and inenjoyment. Bach is surely inexhaustible >
Welcome to the list, Warren. NOW, we have someone who will pick up the scriptural allusions! Jump right in.

Ed Myskowski wrote (September 9, 2011):
Warren Prestidge wrote:
< I first encountered his cantatas in the 1950's through BWV 147, which I borrowed from the local library (New Plymouth, NZ).
[...]
It took a little while to become accustomed to "authentic" performances. No problem at all now, and yet I still see no good reason not to use mixed choirs or female soloists as well. >
If you can still play those old LPs, perhaps we can revive discussion of comparisons of recorded performances, spanning fifty years? Most of the old ones sound surprisingly good, sometimes superior, to my ears. Plenty of relevant commentary in the BCW archives.

Aloha, Ed Myskowski (not far from Plymouth [Rock], MA, USA)

Warren Prestidge wrote (September 9, 2011):
[To Ed Myskowski] Thanks for your response, Ed. Yes, I can still play LP's and some of the older versions certainly still sound good. For example, Wilhelm Ehmann conducting BWV 37 (one of my favourites). The puzzle of the tenor aria, where the original obbligato part is now apparently lost, is successfully resolved in this recording with what I think is a very beautiful violin part, derived quite closely but not slavishly from the vocal melody. I don't know who composed the violin part. The sleeve of my LP does not say. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

 

Introducing Myself

Claudio Zardon [Mestre-Venezia, Italy] wrote (October 17, 2011):
Greetings fellow members,

I live in Mestre which is not far from Venice and I am a computer programmer by profession.

I think the best and most pertinent way of introducing myself is to elucidate with a few words (maybe too many), my passion for Bach's music and the cantatas in this context.

I listen to all types of music but as time passes Bach's music is the one that I inexorably return to. First of all It's because of what I'd call the "goose bump factor" which his music triggers time and time again with surprising and unerring regularity. Secondly because after hearing his music I come away with an impression of having been privy to a sort of perfectly coherent, flawless and independent new world. I realize that is by no means an original view; Robert Marshall (Professor of Music, Brandeis University) said this on Bach's creative reaction to his existential disillusionment after having lost both of his parents at an early age: "In many ways what he was going to do with his music was to in a sense create his own world, his own better world, the perfect world, in a sense he himself is going to become a creator". But for me this was not a lessened learned from others but a lesson acquired spontaneously through his music.

I joined the Bach Cantata group because even though I was acquainted with a small portion of the Cantatas from early on - mainly through the Leonhardt/Harnoncourt sets, I wanted to increase my knowledge of them, stimulated and excited by the journey I will be making to next year's Bachfest in Leipzig to hear Ton Koopman (with his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra) play three Cantatas in the Nikolaikirche, which are: BWV 51, BWV 199 and BWV 202.

This will be the first time I will have attended a Cantata performance (they are hard to come by in the Venice area).

I would like to take the opportunity of thanking the contributors of the postings I've seen since becoming a member and which have already illuminated on me on new and different aspects of the Cantatas.

Douglas Cowling wrote (October 17, 2011):
Claudio Zardon wrote:
< I listen to all types of music but as time passes Bach's music is the one that I inexorably return to. First of all It's because of what I'd call the "goose bump factor" which his music triggers time and time again with surprising and unerring regularity. Secondly because after hearing his music I come away with an impression of having been privy to a sort of perfectly coherent, flawless and independent new world. >
Welcome to the site. I hope you'll join the discussions.

Your comments remind me of a friend's reaction to last week's concert by Tafelmusik in Toronto of a program of Bach and Zelenka. They performed Zelenka's brilliant "Missa Votiva". My friend thought it was beautiful and exciting, but the Bach "Singet dem Herrn" was "something else - something wider and deeper."

 

Members of BCML, BRML & BMML: Year 1999 | Year 2000 | Year 2001 | Year 2002 | Year 2003 | Year 2004 | Year 2005 | Year 2006 | Year 2007 | Year 2008 | Year 2009 | Year 2010 | Year 2011 | Year 2012 | Year 2013 | My First Cantata
BCML:
Year 2003 | Year 2004 | Year 2005 | Year 2006 | Year 2007 | Year 2008 | Year 2009 | Year 2011
Profiles of Members & Contributors:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Links to Sites of Members | Guidelines for Discussions

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: řApril 21, 2013 ř01:44:53