Aria for Soprano BWV 1127Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn
Unknown Vocal Work by J. S. Bach Discovered
Teri Noel Towe wrote (June 7, 2005):
With thanks to Isabella de Sabata Gardiner for sending this exciting news!
FORSCHUNGSINSTITUT ª BIBLIOTHEK ª MUSEUM ª ERANSTALTUNGEN
June 7, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNKNOWN VOCAL WORK BY J. S. BACH DISCOVERED
A completely unknown composition by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered at the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, Germany by a researcher from the Leipzig Bach Archive. The discovery was made by Michael Maul in the course of a systematic survey of all central German church, communal, and state archival collections, an ongoing research project begun in 2002 and supported by the Packard Humanities Institute and the William H. Scheide Fund.
The score in Bach’s own hand dates from October 1713 and represents a setting of a strophic aria with ritornello for soprano, strings, and basso continuo composed on the occasion of the 52nd birthday of duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, whom Bach then served as court organist. The twelve-stanza sacred poem with the text incipit „Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn“ (Everything with God and nothing without him), the duke’s motto, was written by the theologian Johann Anton Mylius.
There has been no previous record of, or reference to, this composition. Moreover, in the seventy years since the 1935 discovery of the single-movement cantata fragment “Bekennen will ich seinen Namen” (BWV 200) no unknown authentic vocal work by Bach has come to light.
“It is no major composition but an occasional work in the form of an exquisite and highly refined strophic aria, Bach’s only contribution to a musical genre popular in late 17th-century Germany,” said Professor Christoph Wolff of Harvard University, chair of the Board of the Bach Archive, initiator, and supervisor of the current research project. “I am extremly proud of Michael who is a most resourceful researcher,” he added. “In less than three years he uncovered an unparalleled number of new archival Bach documents, but this is the first time he presented a musical discovery. The overall research project is far from being over and I am quite sure that sooner or later Michael Maul will make news again.”
A facsimile and performing edition of the newly discovered piece will be published in the autumn of 2005 by Bärenreiter-Verlag of Kassel, Germany. The first recording will be prepared by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, this year’s winner of the Bach Medal of the city of Leipzig, for release on his Soli Deo Gloria label.
For further information on the discovery, please contact the Bach-Archiv:
+49-(0)341-137102 www.bach-leipzig.de .
For further information on Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s involvement and the planned recording please contact Simon Millward PR, 020-7490-1591/07990-507-310.
Gary Hoffman wrote (June 8, 2005):
AFP is reporting the discovery of works by Bach and Handel. I have posted excerpts and a link at: http://www.operatoday.com/article/996/works-of-bach-and-handel-discovered
The Bach work consists of a two page composition that he performed in October 1713, for the 52nd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar (1662-1728). It is a setting of a religious poem by Johann Anton Mylius.
The Handel work is for soprano and harpsichord that appears to be an alternate version of the cantata "Crudel tiranno Amor" (HWV 97).
Anthony wrote (June 8, 2005):
[To Boyd Pehrson] I would really want to have a look at the work. Perhaps I can sing
that as well. Is there a soprano section?
Boyd Pehrson wrote (June 8, 2005):
[To Anthony] The article tells us the performance edition will be ready this Fall. We all look forward to hearing it soon, and hopefully choirs will obtain the new music as soon as it becomes available. The picture of the autograph score found at the Bach-Archive Leipzig website looks like the piece contains a coloratura soprano aria.
This is very exciting news.
Anthony wrote (June 8, 2005):
[Tp Boyd Pehrson] The fact is that Bach hates singers. From the unclear handwritten script, I can see that it's going to be quite complicated!
New recording of the Aria for Soprano BWV 1127
Aryeh Oron wrote (October 13, 2005):
I have not received yet my copy of Gardiner's recording of the new discovered Aria for Soprano BWV 1127, and a second recording is knocking on the door.
The following info appeared in the recent Ton Koopman Newsletter
A NEW BACH ARIA
On Monday, September 5th, 2005 Ton Koopman started the recording of a new discovered Bach Aria, found by Michael Maul/Bach Archiv and catalogued as BWV 1127. Soloist is the international highly esteemed soprano Lisa Larsson.Ton Koopman and his Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Choir are producing this new Bach Aria for the Bach Cantata CD series volume 20, which will be released beginning Novemer 2005.
On our webshop you can read the story of Michael Maul of how he discovered the new aria.
You can also pre-order your copy of this 3 CD-box at our webshop: http://www.antoinemarchand.nl
Continue of discussion from: Recordings of Bach Cantatas General Discussions Year 2006 [General Topics]
Juozas Rimas wrote (March 20, 2006):
John Pike wrote:
< The only work not in the Hänssler series I would guess is the work discovered last year. >
Is there any information available on when we can expect samples of this work (a movement only, IIRC) to be listened to online?
Aryeh Oron wrote (March 20, 2006):
John Pike wrote:
<< The only work not in the Hänssler series I would guess is the work discovered last year. >>
Juozas Rimas wrote:
< Is there any information available on when we can expect samples of this work (a movement only, IIRC) to be listened to online? >
The work is the aria for soprano BWV 1127 'Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn'. Gardiner, Koopman and Suzuki have already recorded it. If you want to hear samples from the recordings, please follow the links to Amazon at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1127.htm
And another excerpt to listen can be found at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV1127-Mus.htm
Bradley Lehman wrote (March 21, 2006):
[To Aryeh Oron] There is also a recording of it (three stanzas only) by soprano Amanda Balestrieri, not yet released. The conductor of that one is Daniel Abraham. They recorded this last October, during the week when they performed it and some Handel for the American Musicological Society. Concert details: http://www.bachsinfonia.org/concerts.shtml
I believe it's supposed to be released later this year in that same "Alexander's Feast" CD that I have already linked at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/larips/recordings.html
As for the NBA/Barenreiter score recently published as one of their blue-bound offprints: a nice package with a complimentary copy arrived to me a few months ago, and presumably one was sent to all fellow-members of the American Bach Society: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/
Juozas Rimas wrote (March 23, 2006):
I've read at Amazon that the whole aria in Suzuki's rendition is 48-minute long. Is it a typo?
Bradley Lehman wrote (March 23, 2006):
[To Juozas Rimas] I don't know about Suzuki's rendition, but the composition as printed in the NBA (pre-print by Bärenreiter, #5246) does have 12 stanzas. The editor then suggests performing only stanzas 1, 10, and 12.
Thomas Shephewrote (March 23, 2006):
[To Juozas Rimas] No its not a typo. BWV1127 is indeed 48 mins long and quite honestly I can't quite understand what possessed BIS allowing this recording as one of their FULL PRICED cds. Its getting quite an expensive series (£11.50 per vol. = £345 so far and another 30 vols. to go). As a church cantata, only BWV 51 is recorded for vol. 30. and it is a superb performance of Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, but is that really enough on a cd that is supposed to be devoted to the recording of the Cantatas in chronologica order of composition? I said in an earlier post (March 7th) that 1127 is a haunting little melody, but asked the question whether it is top notch Bach. Personally I'm waiting for Suzuki vol 31 and hope that vol 30 was a marketing aberration! Collectors of curios may buy it. I defy anyone to listen to it more than a couple of times in preference to some of the hidden gems of the cantatas.
Richard wrote (March 24, 2006):
[To Thomas Shepherd] This air shows that Bach himself could write bad music. After all, he was human.
Juozas Rimas wrote (March 24, 2006):
[To Richard] From my listening experience, JSB has written numerous generic pieces. I'm marking those for myself when listening, with the hope to come back later and find that it's yet another instance of music "opening" only after several listens in a certain period of time.
I suspect, though, that some 10 to 20 percent of all the cantata material will always sound average to me, regardless of the number of listens.
What are your percentages of mediocre vocal music by JSB?
Richard wrote (March 24, 2006):
[To Juozas Rimas] It is a matter of taste.. Very subjective. I know all the Cantatas. There are about 20 of them which are completely uninteresting. But the remaining 180 are so tremendous ! A bad cantata by Bach is anyway often stronger than a good one by Graupner...
Lex Schelvis wrote (March 25, 2006):
[To Richard] So there are only two categories: COMPLETELY uninteresting and tremendous. Nothing in between? That would be a problem for me. The category "completely uninteresting" is empty for me, but to call all cantatas tremendous is too much. BWV 1127 isn't in this category, not even the shorter versions of Koopman en Gardiner.
Douglas Cowling wrote (March 25, 2006):
[To Lex Schelvis] Am I alone in thinking that this is a pointless string and should be abandoned before a flame-war ignites?
BWV 1127 (was "Mache dich")
Bradley Lehman wrote (March 2, 2007):
< What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is that rarest of rare things: a genuine world-premiere recording of a piece by Johann Sebastian Bach appropriately entitled Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' (All with Got and Nothing Without).(...) In this recording by soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, (...) >
Is this the same as the Gardiner recording listed at|: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1127.htm ?
"Genuine world-premiere recording" is sort of a misnomer, there. In June 2005 I'd already heard two other radio recordings of it (BBC, and National Public Radio in US), plus a local concert of somebody singing it with piano. Granted, these other performances ahead of Gardiner's were of only the first page of the piece! The concert version I heard was from parts faxed in by the harpsichordist (Joseph Gascho) who had played it on NPR, just a few days earlier.
By the way, the fourth commercial recording listed there at the BCW page -- conducted by Daniel Abraham -- is now available here, released in December: http://www.bachsinfonia.org/cd_buy.htm
The Neue Bach Ausgabe's pre-print of the score, in their usual light-blue edition, showed up in my mail sometime in 2006, I don't remember which month. It was sent out automatically as a free perquisite, to all current members of the American Bach Society.
The most recent thing sent out by the ABS has been the terrific book Bach Perspectives 6 (dated 2007, arrived December 06) that has Rifkin's newest article in it. That's about BWV 1067, and the other two articles in there (by Jeanne Swack and Steven Zohn) are also about ouvertures.
Some of the back issues of their newsletter are available free, here: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/bachnotes.html
Don't miss the one about Geyersbach!
It's worth signing up to ABS for all this stuff; no requirements for membership other than interest in the topics, and paying the annual fee of $50 or $25.
Discussions in the Week of August 25, 2013
William Hoffman wrote (August 25, 2013):
BWV 1127 Alles mit Gott: Intro., Strophic Song
Bach's recently-discovered Weimar strophic continuo da-capo aria for soprano, "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn" (Everything with God and nothing without him), BWV 1127, is an occasional homage work for the 53rd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar (1662-1728) on Monday, October 30, 1713. It uses a text of Johann Anton Mylius, after the ducal motto (Omnia DEO, & nihil sine eo'). Mylius, Superintendent at Buttstadt (a town some 15 miles north of Weimar), had presented this congratulatory tribute to the Duke, who was his liege lord.
It was discovered in the spring of 2005 and first published in the fall of 2005 by Bärenreiter-Verlag of Kassel, Germany. It is a strophic soprano aria with basso continuo in 12 stanzas, with ritornello of 2 violins, viola, and cello/basso continuo in da-capo form. ( http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/Alles-mit-Gott-und-nichts-ohn-ihn-BWV-1127/7461990 with first page of manuscript and printed score); Facsimile: https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/program/facsimiles/baerenreiter-facsimile/bach-aria-alles-mit-gott/ .
The work is part of the strophic continuo aria tradition dating to Caccini and Monteverdi. Bach added a string ritornello to the return to the A section, new stanza, similar to an aria in the Hunt Cantata BWV 208 composed earlier in February 1713. The text is similar to other quasi-religious homage cantatas Bach composed to Hunold-Menantes texts in Köthen. Much later, Bach set for home use melodies to texts of sacred devotional songs. Still later, son Emmanuel composed sacred strophic songs.
The manuscript score is found on-line as IMSLP/Petrucci Music Library, http://imslp.org/wiki/Category:Sacred_cantatas, scroll down to: "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn, BWV 1127 (Bach, Johann Sebastian)", "Complete Score," click on "View" (two pages). The score and manuscript facsimile listing are found at Yo Tomita, Bach Bibliography): http://www.music.qub.ac.uk/tomita/bachbib/review/bb-review_BWV1127.html . Further information can be found at the following:
Details & Discography, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1127.htm .
General Discussion, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1127-Gen.htm .
The full Text [English-1] & Translation with notes (Z. Philip Ambrose) is found at: http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/BWV1127.html
A. Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn
wird einher Wundersegen ziehn.
B. Denn Gott, der Wunder tut im Himmel und auf Erden,
will denen Frommen, selbst, zum Wundersegen werden.
Der Mensch bemühet sich, will Wunder vielverrichten,
und voller Unruh ist sein Sinnen, Denken, Dichten.
Soll einher Wundersegen ziehn. d.c.
alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn.
1. "All things with God, without him nought"
will hither Wondrous blessing bring.
For God hath wonders wrought in heaven and on earth and
would for the just himself become a wondrous blessing.
Mankind is striving much, would wonders many fashion,
and ever restless in its senses, thoughts, intentions.
Should hither Wondrous blessing come,
all things with God, without him nought
Liner notes of Recordings provide extensive information, especially Michael Maul's writings (Nos 1 & 3):
1. John Eliot Gardiner & Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists (premiere recording, Stanzas 1, 3 & 12 only); liner notes, "My God, it looks like Bach! Michael Maul on a sensational discovery" (translation, Stephanie Wollny); Recording and Music: http://www.classicsonline.com/catalogue/product.aspx?pid=224879 or Details & Discography No. 1 Ibid.). Maul, a prominent scholar and researcher at the Bach-Arkiv Leipzig, describes the research and background on the Weimar Court and his 2005 discovery of the manuscript text and music in Bach's hand. He also describes the work and its typographic layout.
BCW Discussion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-L01.htm
2. Ton Koopman, Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Stanzas 1, 4, 8, 12)
Christoph Wolf liner notes: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Koopman-C20c[AM-3CD].pdf or BCW Details & Discography No. 2 (Ibid.)
3. Masaaki Suzuki Bach Collegium Japan (all 12 stanzas, 48:30; with full text and translation)
liner notes, another Maul detailed account, "The History of a Discovery," and "BWV 1127 - Bach's only contribution to the traditional genre of the strophic aria." (see http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Suzuki-C30c[BIS-SACD1471].pdf or BCW Details & Discography No. 3 (Ibid.).
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hxfQXqgJ0w .
Other Bach Works
The general nature of the Mylius text is reminiscent of similar birthday quasi-sacred homage texts of Hunold/Menantes that Bach set as serenades in Köthen between 1718 and 1721 for Prince Leopold's birthday, December 10. Five birthday works are documented as Hunold-Menantes texts to Bach Köthen Cantatas, beginning with the dialogue Serenata BWV 66a, "Der Himmel dacht auf Anhalts Ruhm und Glück" (Since heaven cared for Anhalt's fame and bliss): http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/BWV66a.html [© Copyright Z. Philip Ambrose]. Köthen Court poet Hunold/Menantes also wrote the texts to Cantatas BWV Anh. 5 and 6. Hunold-Menantes, who taught poetry and rhetoric at nearby Halle University, published many cantata texts in "Auserlesene und theils noch nie gedruckte Gedichte unterschiedener Berühmten und geschickten Männer" (Selected and in Some Case Not Yet Printed Poems by Distinguished Famous and Skilled Men). These birthday works will be discussed in more detail as an addenda to next week's BCW Discussion, "Secular Cantatas, Festive Music for the Courts; Sep 1, 2013; BWV 208, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd! Birthday (Hunt Cantata) (1713)." Details, Discussion and Discography are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV208.htm
The structure of Bach's Strophic Aria, BWV 1127, "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn" "resembles the aria, `Weil die wollenreichen Herden' [While the flocks rich in wool, Francis Browne, BCW translation] from the Hunting Cantata BWV 208, also composed in 1713; in both cases the actual aria is accompanied by continuo alone, and only the ritornello separating the individual stanzas is score for two violins, viola, and continuo," says Maul in his Gardiner CD notes (Ibid., Recording No. 1). The mood of the Salamo Franck text and melodic treatment is different. Cantata 208 later served, with minor name changes, as a birthday cantata in Weimar and a nameday cantata in Leipzig for the Saxon Court.
1st performance: February 23, 1713 - Weißenfels, for the birthday of Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weißenfels
2nd performance: April 19, 1713 or 1716 - Weimar (?), for the birthday of Duke Ernst August of Weimar (1688-1748)
3rd performance: 1742 - Leipzig, for the nameday of the Saxon elector, Friedrich August II (BWV 208a)
[After Johann Ernst's death in 1707, his successor and eldest son, Ernst August, was nominally given his father's power, but the real power was retained by his uncle, co-regent Wilhelm Ernst (Johann Ernst's brother), until his death in 1728, when Ernst August became the sole reigning duke of Saxe-Weimar. Johann Ernst's second son by his second wife, Prince Johann Ernst (1696-1715), was a talented composer who studied with Bach and of whose concertos Bach made transcriptions.]
Similar Sacred Songs
J. S. Bach composed many sacred songs for solo voice and continuo. The Schemelli Songbook published in Leipzig in 1735 contains 69 popular sacred songs on various <omnes tempore> devotional themes that Bach set with figured bass, BWV 439-507. See BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV439-507-Gen.htm , especially Thomas Braatz' article, scroll down to "BWV 439-507 (Schemelli's "Gesangbuch" or "Songbook")"
(June 1, 2006). It is a hymnal with the texts of 954 sacred songs/chorales, old ones as well as new, arranged in church-year order, with mostly Trinity Time themes, for family use in the home as a devotional book with simple sentiments.
The Schemelli Songbook is followed in the Back Werke Verzeichnis (BWV) works catalog with another collection of 16 mostly-sacred songs and chorales for soprano and basso continuo, many by other composers, for domestic (home) music-making, "Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein," BWV 508-523 (1725-1733) [ http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV508-523.htm ], with the actual index list, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef13.htm . See BCW General Discussion, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV508-523-Gen.htm . Found in the NBA KB (Bärenreiter, Kassel): BA 5098-41, Series III, 3; Chorale Settings and Songs of Doubtful Authenticity with Critical reports on works which were mistakenly attributed to J.S. Bach as well as an appendix to the critical commentary Volume III/2 (Chorales and Sacred Songs, Part 2); Rempp, Frieder, Critical Commentary 2002.
Bach also composed four-part sacred chorale settings of all the stanzas with the full hymn melody in four service hymns: Nikolaus Deius/Martin Luther five-stanza "Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr'" (God alone on high be glory, German Gloria) BWV 260; Luther's three-stanza (with Amen) "Wir Glauben all an einem Gott" (We all believe in one God, German Creed), BWV 437; Luther's 12-stanza Catechism chorale, "Dies sind die heil'gen Zehn Gebot" (These are the 10 holy commandments), BWV 298 (all three c.1730); and Martin Behm's 15-verse memorial motet, "O Jesu Christ, Meins Lebens Licht" (O Jesus Christ, my life's light), BWV 118 chorale chorus (1736-37). In all cases Bach set only one stanza to music and text, while indicating repeats of the remaining stanzas set to the same harmonization.
Historical Survey of Solo- and Part-Songs
Christoph Wolf in his liner noto the Koopman recordings (Discography No. 2 (Ibid.) observes: "BWV 1127 is Bach's only surviving strophic aria, and is remarkable for this fact alone. The strophic aria was a genre that was popular in Germany towards the end of the 17th century, but in the 18th century interest in the form waned. Bach turned to the old-fashioned genre on account of the poetic text, but lent it completely new features by combining a challenging, ornate vocal part with a motivically independent continuo and through the close motivic link between the two-voice aria [soprano and basso continuo] and the four-voice instrumental [strings] ritornello."
Strophic songs (with continuo), originated with Caccini and Monteverdi.
"As early as 1600 the homophonic song supplanted the polyphonic composition and remained popular during the next two centuries. In some collections, such as the "Amphion Anglicus" (1700) of John Blow, it was included along with compositions for solo voice. In the early solo song in particular, Italian monody was manifest. The Heinrich Albert (1604-1651) "Arien," but also the "Neder-landtsche Gedenck-clanck" by Adriaen Valerius, are striking examples. In general there was still question here of a strophic song, such as in the French "air" and the English "ayre".
"The declamatory style is more clearly present in Constantijn Huygens ("Pathodia sacra et profana," 1647) and achieved an extraordinary expressiveness especially in the work of Purcell ("Orpheus Britannicus," 1698). In Germany the solo song only began to blossom in the course of the eighteenth century. In Berlin collections of songs by composers such as Marpurg, Graun and Kirnberger appeared around the middle of the century. They are usually strophic in form and were still printed with only a bass as accompaniment. It is only with Haydn (for example, the Canzonettas) that we encounter a more independent piano part with a completely elaborated right hand. Simplicity of style also characterizes the work of C.Ph.E. Bach, Mozart and Reichardt. In the same period in England the strophic song was popular as light entertainment with composers such as Thomas Arne, Samuel Arnold and Johann Christian Bach. The ballads by Zumsteeg included here form a separate chapter, for they are already close to the oeuvre of Schubert." [For details, see "Collection Content."] [MS WORD] Guide - MMF Publications http://www.mmfpublications.nl/mmf_publications/vocal.doc
- - similar pages, Guide to. MUSIC FROM DUTCH LIBRARIES. PART VI: VOCAL MUSIC 1650- 1820. on Microfiche. Haags Gemeentemuseum, Music Department, The Hague VOCAL.DOC
One of the most significant and influential genres is the German/Austrian Songs (Composers and repertory), http://www.longwood.edu/staff/swansoncl/Vocal%20Literature/German/German1.htm .
Heinrich Albert (8 July 1604 - 6 Oct 1651). German composer and poet. Began studying music formally in 1622 in Dresden under his cousin Heinrich Schütz. His main achievement lies in his eight volumes of Arien, 170 songs, sacred and secular. This was one of the first publications of songs for solo voice with an accompaniment (although not written out) in Germany.
Handel's German Songs
Georg Frideric Handel (1685-1759). His best music for solo voice was within his large choral and dramatic works. Deutsche Arien: (1724-7) 9 arias for solo soprano voice, continuo and violin obbligato. HWV 202-210. Written in an operatic style, text Berthold Heinrich Brockes. "Handel's "nine German arias" (he wrote other arias in German, but this is a discrete group) were written in the mid-1720s, long after the composer left his native Germany for Italy and then booming Great Britain. It is not known why he should have written music in German at that late date, and the pieces have a quietly contented tone that sets them somewhat apart from almost everything else in Handel's oeuvre. The texts are by Hamburg poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes, whose so-called Brockes-Passion had already been set by Handel a decade earlier. They are religious but not exactly sacred -- spiritual in a personal way, perhaps, with a good deal of nature imagery that is only lightly reflected in the music. Instead Handel sticks to the da capo aria pattern, forging a gentle language for the soprano soloist that evokes the outlines of the Italian operatic aria but tones the whole thing down to chamber dimensions"
[ http://www.allmusic.com/album/handel-neun-deutsche-arien-mw0001864422 ].
"A tradition of German poetry was thus set in motion which lead to the religious outpourings of Klopstock and the more anthropocentric romanticism of Eichendorff, in which the very essence of self is discovered only by contact with nature. The composers who set this poetry are the great names of Western music. Brockes' next success was the Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott (Earthly Pleasures in God) of 1721, from which Handel chose and shortened nine poems. The leitmotif of the texts seems to be a harmonically organised world à la Leibniz, with God as its centre but with nature now perhaps of equal importance in Man's search for personal truth. Handel and Brockes have thus created a set of pieces ideal for domestic devotion or public church performance, challenging both amateur and professional performers on a number of levels"
[ http://www.eclassical.com/shop/art29/BIS-CD-1615_booklet.pdf-cd5407.pdf ]
Emmanuel Bach's Sacred Songs
Sebastian Bach's second son, Carl Philipp Emmanuel (1714-1788), composed more than 250 songs, called lieder, following in both the footsteps of his father in sacred songs, and the progressive German school, established by Brockes and later at the Berlin Song School, that lead to lieder called "art songs" of the Romantic era. Here are three passages from Ulrich Leisinger's Preface to the "Songs" in the C.P.E. Bach Complete Works Edition, discussing the types of songs Emmanual Bach wrote, his early songs, and the sacred songs he composed in Hamburg, beginning in 1768.
"The modern distinction between secular and sacred songs, though helpful in many respects, is not entirely sufficient to cover the wide array of song types that [Emmanuel] Bach wrote. Eighteenth-century writings distinguish the Lied (song) from the more elevated Ode (ode) and the Hymne (hymn). Bach strongly preferred the song to the ode and only occasionally set hymns to music (e.g., the Dank-Hymne der Freundschaft as a large-scale piece with orchestral accompaniment; see CPEB:CW, V/5.1). This distinction is in accordance with aesthetic theories of Bach's time, according to which ode and hymn are self-sufficient whereas the song as a poetic genre is written to be sung and thus requires a melody, be it parodied or newly composed. A typical song consists of several homogeneous stanzas whereas the stanzas of an ode are more varied with respect to meter and contents. As a result, lieder are usually set strophically whereas odes may require a new setting of each stanza for proper expression. Among Bach songs only a handful are through-composed and may thus be described as odes."
Emmanuel "Bach actively participated in several crucial phases of the development of the German song. His first extant song compositions were published in Johann Friedrich Gräfe's anacreontic Oden-Sammlungen (Halle, 1737-43); some of these may have already been written in Leipzig, since one of his earliest songs uses a text by the Leipzig poet Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, who had provided J.S. Bach with cantata texts in the mid-1720s. A larger number of C.P.E. Bach's songs are related to the activities of the so-called first Berlin Song School (Berliner Liederschule). Musically, Bach's contributions rank among the best of the Berlin Liederschule; nevertheless he did not participate publicly in the aesthetic discussion about the true nature of song and the characteof the German lied as opposed to the French chanson."
Emmanuel "Bach resumed the composition of songs soon after his move to Hamburg in 1768, providing a dozen songs for the monthly periodical Unterhaltungen and including one song in the periodical he edited, Musikalisches Vielerley (1770). After contributing to the first collection of Balthasar Münter's Geistliche [Sacred] Lieder (1773), Bach composed three sets of strophic sacred songs for private devotion: a selection of forty-two psalms, using the poetic versions by Johann Andreas Cramer (Wq 196, 1774); and two sets of thirty songs each with texts by the head pastor at St. Petri in Hamburg, Christoph Christian Sturm (Wq 197-198, 1780-81). An impressive list of subscribers shows that Bach songs were distributed mainly in North Germany and among German-speaking enclaves abroad. From the choral versions of several of these songs used in the Hamburg Passions and as four-part motets, we may conclude that Bach was looking for alternatives to the texts of the Hamburg hymnal that had been in use since 1700."
Series VI is thus organized as four volumes:
1. Gellert Songs [Wq 194, 1758]
2. Cramer and Sturm Songs [Wq 196, Wq 197-198]
3. Miscellaneous Songs
4. Arias and Chamber Cantatas
Volumes 1 and 2 contain the printed collections of sacred songs, Wq 194-198, which could be used for public worship as well as private devotion. Readings on C.P.E. Bach Songs are found at:
(Complete Works), Preface, Ulrich Leisinger (Gen. Ed.), http://www.cpebach.org/prefaces/songs-preface.html ,
Recording, Odes/Sacred Songs, http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Brilliant%2BClassics/94309 .
Post-Script. For some light-hearted fun, listen to one of Haydn's 13 profane Part-Songs, "Die Beredsamkeit" (Talkativeness) - YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWbM0qrveOI ; details: http://www.answers.com/topic/part-songs-classical-album .
Douglas Cowling wrote (August 25, 2013):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's recently-discovered Weimar strophic continuo da-capo aria for soprano, "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn" (Everything with God and nothing without him), BWV 1127, is an occasional homage work for the 53rd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar (1662-1728) on Monday, October 30, 1713. >
Do we know at what kind of court occasion these homage arias and cantatas were performed? An evening Abendmusik? a morning aubade? Tafelmusik? Private? Public?
Aryeh Oron wrote (August 25, 2013):
BWV 1127 Alles mit Gott – Recordings
William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's recently-discovered Weimar strophic continuo da-capo aria for soprano, "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn" (Everything with God and nothing without him), BWV 1127, is an occasional homage work for the 53rd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar (1662-1728) on Monday, October 30, 1713. It uses a text of Johann Anton Mylius, after the ducal motto (Omnia DEO, & nihil sine eo'). Mylius, Superintendent at Buttstadt (a town some 15 miles north of Weimar), had presented this congratulatory tribute to the Duke, who was his liege lord. >
For your enjoyment, I have added 5 Audios/Videos at the main paged of this work on the BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1127.htm
Claudio Di Veroli wrote (August 25, 2013):
< Bach's recently-discovered Weimar ... It was discovered in the spring of 2005 ... >
A world-class scholar told me a few years ago that he is convinced that there is still lots of matter to be found in old libraries and archives, not so much in scores or formal treatises (easy to spot) but in casual texts about ancient performance practices. Thus, one day, we will finally find something "solid" from Bach or his entourage about temperament, articulation, organ registration and other performance matters, and there will be lots of "I told you!", or else "I did not expect that!" between scholars, and also (hopefully) players adapting to the new findings.
Although, actually, it would be good if players followed existing findings and books by the best present-day scholars: it is a pity to hear so many period instrument performances marred by historically unwarranted practices, such as playing ALL the long notes with messa di voce and vibrato in the second part of the note, or performing trills and mordents on the weak beat performed before the beat, singers with a continuous Romantic vibrato yet failing to produce true trills . . .
William Hoffman wrote (September 6, 2013):
Strophic Aria, BWV 1127, Bach & Simple German Song
Bach & Simple German Songs
(The following about Sebastian and Emmanuel Bach’s involvement in simple German songs offers a history of the German strophic song and makes a transition in the BCW discussion from Bach sacred music to secular works.)
While not part of his recognized legacy, recently discovered Sebastian Bach strophic continuo aria, “Alles mit Gott” (Everything with God), BWV 1127, suggests the significant role poetic texts played in the emergence of German musical style and poetry following “The Songless Time” (die liederlose Zeit). Sebastian was deeply involved in the development of German music and lieder and his son, Emmanuel, following the lead of Leipzig poets, would bring to fruition.
The “strophic song went out of fashion in Germany in the 1680s and then, after half a century, was reborn in the 1730s,” says William H. Youngren (1931-2006), in the Preface (IX) of <C.P.E. Bach and the Rebirth of Strophic Song> (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2003; http://www.amazon.com/C-P-Bach-Rebirth-Strophic-Song/dp/0810848406 ). Essentially, simple music and lyrics in the repetitive form of the strophic aria had reached a temporary dead end. They were replaced by new, distinctively Germanic vocal forms, derived from the Italian opera aria, that helped pave the way for the heart of classical music to move out of Italy north to Vienna and Dresden. Meanwhile, German vocal music found its unique voice in the form of the sacred cantata annual service cycle and the various forms of operatic-style yet static profane cantatas, oratorios, serenades and drammi per musica with Sebastian Bach playing a major role.
Strophic Song Background
The German strophic song had been developed during the previous, 17th century, at the beginnings of the so-called Baroque (Common Practice) Era, having its origins in Caccini’s “Le Nuove Musici” (The New Music) of 1602, also known as <stile moderno> monody of simple song and related lyrics. As Martin Luther had done almost a hundred years earlier with German chorale hymns, the simple style of music was set to the vernacular German by Heinrich Schütz’ cousin, Heinrich Albert, emphasizing the fusion of “Wort und Ton,” that “enabled him to match the intimacy and naturalness of his Italian models,” says Youngren (Ibid.: 43f).
In the second half of the 17th century, German composers began to compose in the larger Italian (mostly instrumental) forms of the concerto and sonata while simple, direct vocal music declined. Sebastian continued and became the bridge to classical style primarily through the perfection of solo and ensemble instrumental music. At the same time, the distinction between instrumental and vocal music became clarified. The original strophic or stanza form of the lied or song, known originally as “Oden” or odes, while preserved and enhanced in the church sacred song or chorale with pietistic texts, was eclipsed by the influence of the cantata and opera with their emphasis on the repeat da-caria with new melodies for each stanza while striving for a unified “affect” or singular mood.
The other major historical force was the German Enlightenment, which came late to German-speaking lands still not unified politically or religiously, ironically at a time of religious revival seeking simplicity of human thought and expression at the beginning of the 18th century. By the 1730s, scholasticism and rationalism also influenced the growth of German literature, centered in Bach’s Leipzig, the focus of publishing, the intellectual forces flourishing at the University of Leipzig, and various religious currents thriving and mingling in the Lutheran Church.
18th Century German Music and Bach
The early leaders of distinctively progressive German music were the Hamburg Opera’s pioneering Reinhard Keiser, the lyricists C. H. Postel and Hunold/Menantes, and the English-trained writer and composer Johann Mathesson. They were followed by the arcadian and Freemason- and English-influenced poet Barthold Heinrich Brockes, best-known for his operatic, non-liturgical Passion oratorio text (1712), with his <Irdisches Vergnügen in Gott> (Earthly Pleasures in God) of 1721, leading the way in the reform of German letters.
Into this vortex was drawn Sebastian Bach, who in 1713 presented two profane birthday offerings: his first modern-style Tafelmusik, Hunting Cantata BWV 208, at Weißenfels on February 23 and the fusion of quasi-sacred archaic strophic/da-capo continuo aria, “Alles mit Gott,” at Weimar on October 30. Then at Köthen Bach produced a series of profane birthday and New Year’s serenades for Prince Leopold set to Hunold/Menantes texts between 1717 and 1722 (see Bach’s Dramatic Music: Serenades, Drammi per Musica, Oratorios; http://bach-cantatas.com/Articles/HoffmanBachDramaII.htm ). These included a lengthy ode of 80 alexandrines “that Bach presented to his sovereign on behalf of the court orchestra on the occasion of his birthday on December 10, 1719,” says Smend in Bach in Köthen (Appendix A, Eng. Ed. 1985).
Bach in Leipzig
Bach’s search for cantata service poets actively began in the late summer of 1723, his first year as Leipzig church cantor and music director. He found one of Picander’s earliest sacred texts, a strophic poem of six verses that he adapted as the libretto for Cantata 148, “Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens” (Bring to the Lord the glory of his name), probably on the17th Sunday after Trinity (September 19). About the same time, Bach was assembling his text to the St. John oratorio Passion, BWV 245, adapting poetry from the Hamburg Brockes Passion and Postel. Bach also probably was adapting his own parodies from Köthen serenades (including recitatives) for the second and third days of the Easter and Pentecost Festivals and the Trinity Sunday Festival in 1724 (BWV 66, 134, 173, 184, and 194).
In the 1725 Lenten break, Bach formally turned to Picander to provide texts for two significant birthday serenades, the Shepherd’s Cantata, BWV 149a, and Wedding Cantata, BWV 36a, that then became through parody the Easter oratorio and an Advent Cantata, respectively. Bach also accepted commissions with designated homage serenade texts for Leipzig scholastic, business, and political dignitaries as well as his first surviving work for the visiting Dresden Court: BWV Anh. 9, May 12, 1727; “Entfernet Euch, ihr heitern Sterne” (Remove Yourself, Ye Clear Skies); dramma per musica, text C.F. Haupt; evening music commissioned by Leipzig University students for the birthday of Augustus II; May 12, 1727; music lost.
By this time, distinctly German opera was destined to decline and Bach’s status was symptomatic of this. Bach's encounter with opera was an example of his being, to use the American expression, "a day late and a dollar short," at Eisenach, Weimar, Köthen, and Leipzig. By the time he got to work at those communities, the local opera had folded, according to Christoph Wolff and Martin Geck. Of course, it had a lot to do with the passing fancy of opera and the inability to sustain a German form of the genre, “opera,” which means "work" (singular) until a fella named Gluck came along. Gluck, incidentally, visited Leipzig for several months with the traveling Italian opera troupe ca.1748, so he must have met old Bach. Another irony was the failure of Italian opera in England, around 1734, with the Beggar's Opera, which influenced the rise of the singspiel.
Gottsched & “The Songless Time”
Meanwhile, Johann Christoph Gottsched (1700-1766) was appointed lecturer at Leipzig University, leading the reformation and modernization of German language, literature and theater (Youngren, Ibid.: 39ff). Bach serendipitously utilized three Gottsched poems in his profane Leipzig cantatas: serenade BWV Anh.196, “Auf! süß entzückende Gewalt” (Up, sweet-enchanting force and pow'r), for a 1725 secular wedding; BWV 198, “Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl,” (Let, Princess let one more ray), for the 1727 funeral of Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine; and BVW 13, “Willkommen! Ihr herrschenden Götter der Erden! (Be welcome, ye sovereign immortals terrestrial!), for the Saxon Court visit and wedding in 1738. Bach used music in BWV 196 for the Ascension Oratorio, BWV 11, in 1735 and from Funeral Ode 198 as the core music in the 1731 St. Mark Passion, BWV 247. No music from homage Cantata BWV Anh. 13 survives, although commentators said it contained some of Bach’s most progressive music (see BCW Gottsched Short Biography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Gottsched.htm ).
The 1730s mark the end of the era called “The Songless Time” (die liederlose Zeit), although German poets and composers, especially the Hamburg school, had continued c. 1700 to use simple lyrics while adding naturalistic descriptions and pietistic or more intelligible, less functional, language and sentiments while absorbing Italian opera style and French dance style into a proto-German style. Meanwhile Sebastian Bach had formalized the cantata with its so-called “madrigalian” involved arias and choruses. In the 1730s, he ceased composing church-year cantatas and pursued three vocal music interests: the four-part chorale with its strophic stanzas, leading to the simple devotional sacred song with similar, strophic stanzas for voice and continuo; the secular celebratory cantata, usually called drammi per musica that provided parodied music for his feast day oratorios; and the Mass Ordinary movements of Kyrie and Gloria, usually in the old <stile antique>.
Bach’s colleagues, especially Telemann and Gottfried Heinrich Stözel, sought to set simpler texts and melodies with less polyphonic, instrumental-style music. Away from the church and formal civic events, places like Zimmermann’s Coffeehouse were a meeting ground for all manner of songs and arias. Gallant music and dance styles were a happy medium. Lead by the writing of Gottsched, whose <Versucht einer crtiischern Dichtkunst vor die Deutschen> (Essay on a German Critical Poetic Theory) was first published in 1730, the rethinking and reforming of German letters was called the <Aufschwung> or “upswing” (upturn). It brought back the strophic song as a genre in part as an effort to replace the alleged “schwüstiges und verworrenes Wesen” (bombastic and confused manner) exemplified in Sebastian Bach’s music with “something lighter, more elegant, more up-to-date,” says Youngren (Ibid.: 57ff). The critic was Johann Adophe Scheibe, Gottshed student and former Bach student, writing in 1737.
Scheibe, along with critics Gottsched and Lorenz Miztler, founder of the Society of Musical Sciences in 1738 in Leipzig, sought to avoid the dilemma, of the strophic song as Mattheson had framed it: “how can a strophic sing achieve expressive unity of text and music when one melody must fit all the stanzas of a given poem?” (Youngren, Ibid.: 39f). Scheibe’s solution was to establish the extremes of the now-rare through-composed song and the “ubiquitous simple strophic song” and then to pursue the middle-ground of whaGottsched called the <Wechseloden> songs in which two different melodies set alternate stanzas of a poem. Various German composers expanded on these principles: Christian Gellert devotional songs emphasized the return to nature and Sebastian’s son, Emmanuel, set 55 of his poems in his first song collection of 1758 in Berlin. Sebastian composed intimations of the Singspiel light-opera style in his Picander-texted Coffee and Peasant cantatas, respectively, BWV 211, 1734-35, and BWV 212, 1742 (Cantata Burlesque).
Strophic Song Collections
Major strophic song collections that were published mostly in Leipzig included: Johann Valentin Rathgeber’s <Augsberger Tafel-Confect> (Table Confections, songs and quodlibets) volumes (1733, 1737), Sperontes’ (Johann Sigismund Scholze) <Singende Muse an der Pleisse> (The singing muse on the Pleisee river, 1736), Johann Friedrich Gräfe <Sammlung verschiedener und auslesener Oden> (Collection of various and selective odes,1737), and Hagedorn’s <Oden und Lieder> (1740).
Sperantes’ “Singende Muse an der Pleisse”
The Sperontes collection contains 250 satirical poems set (parodied) to short, originally instrumental pieces, either marches or popular dance forms: polonaises, minuets or murkies. These poems with simple musical settings depict scenes and activities from everyday Leipzig life (See Sperontes, BCW http://www.bachcantatas.com/Lib/Sperontes.htm ). Bach has been credited (somewhat unconvincingly) with two of the settings: ‘Ich bin nun, wie ich bin’ and ‘Dir zu Liebe, wertes Herze,’ BWV Anh. II 40 and 41, respectively (NBA KB III/3; Frieder Rempp, Chorale Settings and Songs of Doubtful Authenticity with Critical reports on works which were mistakenly attributed to J.S. Bach as well as an appendix to the critical commentary Volume III/2, 2002). There are two appendices to the collection: Aria “Ihr Schönen, höret an,” variant to BWV Anh. 40, and “Menuet di Bache,” variant to BWV Anh. 41.
Collaboration between Bach and Gottshed with the song, BWV Anh. 40, “Ihr Schönen, höret an,” a parody of the text “Ich bin nun, wie ich bin,” is considered in Katherine A Goodman’s recent account of Leipzig's historic coffeehouse culture in "From Salon to Kaffeekranz," in <Bach's Changing World: Voices in the Community,> ed. Carol K. Baron, University of Rochester Press, 2006: 190-215, especially 197-200). The assumption is based on the research of Philipp Spitta, Bach biographer who also identified “Sperontes” (see “Aria di Giovanini” below). Goodman presents at length the arguments for and against the Gottsched-Bach collaboration and Bach’s authorship of the melody set to either text. Music: Tobi´s Notenarchiv - Johann Sebastian Bach - Anhang II; http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de/bach/19-Anhang_II/01-Vokalwerke/index.htm ;
Says Goodman [Ibid.: 199f): “The 1740s, mark a significant change in German cultural politics and practices. In fact this [Sperontes] songbook represents a new trend in music. It gave those who were upwardly mobile songs they could sing at home, and it quickly became a classic. It [the 1741 edition] supplied new, lighter, more respected lyrics for well-known melodies and appeared in many editions throughout the 19th century.” “Ihr Schönen, höret an” “became a favorite of the rising middle class.” The <Bach Compendium> (BC, 1985), H-3 under Vokale Kammermusik, lists the song as a “Murky” for soprano (discant) and Basso continuo (“Murky-Bass,” octave-jumping) and provides information on the text, work history, sources, first printing, editions, and literature. The BC also lists the Quodlibet, BWV 524, and the Songbook tobacco song, BWV 515, as vocal chamber music.
The most important characters in Katherine Goodman's closet drama, besides Bach and Picander, are the writers Gottsched and his wife, poetess Luise Kulmus, and another Bach librettist, Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, whose father was the notorious Mayor of Leipzig, F.C. Romanus. Sounds like a household French farce or a Western melodrama (villains, heroes, maidens)? Actually, we're dealing here with very learned, talented people. All they needed were outlets, or stages, whether a house (salon or living room) concert, public garden, moral weekly, satirical work like Sperontes' "The Singing Muse on the Pleisse," or, of course, a coffeehouse, where everyone gathered for public concerts and, hopefully, there were no duels.
Gräfe Song Collection
The Gräfe collection of 36 strophic songs, beginning in 1737, also including songs of Conrad Friedrich Hurlebusch (27), Gräfe himself (7), and Carl Heinrich Graun (2). The 1741 volume introduced two new composers: Emmanuel Bach, age 27, with one song, and a “mysterious Italian named “di Giovanini,” whose history and identity are obscure and whose first name remains unknown” (Youngren, Ibid.: 64), with six songs.
“Aria di Giovanini,” BWV 518
An “Aria di Giovannini,” listed in parentheses under the title “Willst du dein Herz mir schenken” (If you would give me your heart), a four-stanza strophic song. BWV 518, is found in the Anna Magdalena Songbook (No. 37 of 39), begun in 1725 with no composers listed. It was originally assumed that because of the Italianized name of Johannes, this refers to Johann Sebastian. Son Emmanuel, who much later possessed the Notebook section, numbered the three pages of the song (see: Youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNKN50Lr7lg
There are two sources of information on “Giovanini” and his aria. It “is the most puzzling as far as authorship is concerned,” writes Georg van Dadelsen, in the 2001 Liner notes Harmonia Mundi CD 39570942 (Songbook, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson). “The song, which employs the theme of secret love so dear to the rococo period, is copied in a foreign hand; it was from time to time separated from the Notebook, which has lead to the propagation of the strangest theories regarding its origin. The melodic idiom of this delightful love song recalls airs written by Johann Adolph Hasse.” The complete Notebook includes polonaises of the young Emmanuel Bach (BWV Anh.) as well as one by Hasse, in G Major (BWV Anh. 130). SEE ‘POLANAISES’ BELOW
The other source says that Giovanini was the Count of St. Germaine, a mysterious figure described variously as a musician, alchemist, man of letters, and mystic. The musician, according to <Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians> was an Italian violinist and composer and student of Leclair, who lived in Berlin 1740, presented a pasticcio in 1745 in London and died c.1782. Groves cites Bach biographer Spitta as finding that the six Giovanini songs in the Gräfe collection closely resemble “Willst du dein Herz,” BWV 518. Youngren (Ibid.: 69ff) finds that Giovanini’s setting of a the poem “Sinne,” writer identified only as poet “A,” shows the influence of Italian opera, as a “dashing, miniature cabaletta,” while the Sperontes/Scholze setting, based upon a preexisting instrumental piece, is “characteristically ungainly,” with a “vocal line without profile or character and the harmony is so dull as to be generic.” The “Sinne” poem “in its Gräfe incarnation, is a kind of empiricist’s declaration of faith.” This blending of the secular and profane is also found in Menantes/Hunold’s texts, Gottsched’s Funeral Ode (BWV 198), and in Emmanuel Bach’s revival of the strophic song (see below).
“Bist du Bei Mir,” BWV 508
The lovely simple soprano aria “Bist du bei mir,” BWV 508, in the <Anna Magdalena Songbook>, once was attributed to Sebastian, now to Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bist_du_bei_mir#cite_note-2 ]. It contains one stanza and originally was assumed to be a strophic aria or simple Bach setting (see Youtube, Marilyn Horne recording, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzB-afqeyXc ). Stölzel, Kapellmeister at the Gotha Court (1619-1649) and probably a friend of Sebastian, was a talented composer in both sacred music, including two church cycles Bach performed in Leipzig 1736-37 and later) and profane court music of occasional works such as birthday cantatas and serenatas, and operas.
J. S. Bach composed many sacred songs for solo voice and continuo. The Schemelli Songbook published in Leipzig in 1736 contains 69 popular sacred songs on various <omnes tempore> devotional themes that Bach set with figured bass, BWV 439-507. See BCW General Discussions, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV439-507-Gen.htm , especially Thomas Braatz’ article, scroll down to “BWV 439-507 (Schemelli's "Gesangbuch" or "Songbook")”
(June 1, 2006). It is a hymnal with the texts of 954 sacred songs/chorales, old ones as well as new, arranged in church-year order, with mostly Trinity Time themes, for family use in the home as a devotional book with simple sentiments.
The Schemelli Songbook is followed in the Back Werke Verzeichnis (BWV) works catalog with another collection of 16 mostly-sacred songs and chorales for soprano and basso continuo, many by other composers, for domestic (home) music-making, “Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein,” BWV 508-523 (1725-1733) [ http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV508-523.htm ], with the actual index list, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef13.htm . See BCW General Discussion, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV508-523-Gen.htm . Found in the NBA KB (Bärenreiter, Kassel): BA 5098-41, Series III/3 (cited above).
All of the arias in homage drama per musica BWV 30a are dance-related, with No. 11, a polonaise, a dance-style honoring the King of Poland (BWV 30a11=210a/8). Of this "Aria tempo di Polonaise, " Szymon Paczkowski explains: The polonaise was "immensely fashionable in Saxony" (ref. Sperontes famous collection <Singende Muse an der Pleisse>, 1736, in which sung polonaises make up about a third of the collection" (p.80, <Bach and the Story of an "Aria Tempo di Polonaise" for Joachim Friedrich Flemming> BACH, Vol. XXXVIII/2 (2007), 64-98.
Bach's extensive use of polonaise rhythms in his drammi per musica: BWV 212/4,6,10,12; 205/13; 216/7; 249a/5; 214/3; 201/13; and 30a/11=210a/8. [reference, BCW Cantata 212, Discussion No.2, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV211-D2.htm
Chorales/Sacred Songs and Mixes
Sebastian Bach in his four-part settings of Lutheran chorales, especially the final group in the early 1730s, offered a solution to the “dead-end” dilemma of the monotonous strophic song with one melody and little varied accompaniment in the particular word-setting. Emmanuel Bach in his forward to his first edition of Sebastian’s chorales, 1765, cites their “special arrangement of the harmony and the natural flow of the inner voices and the bass [New Bach Reader, No. 378]. In particular is Bach’s setting of the chosen stanza in his cantatas, usually related to the designated church-year service, where the particular harmony and the harmonic rhythm of the voices supports and enhances the actual words. In Bach’s parody or new-text underlay, special attention is paid to the new subtle alterations of Bach’s musical adaptation, particularly in the <B-Minor Mass>, BWV 232.
In Bach’s non-vocal setting of the organ chorale preludes, certain authors have sought to show how Bach’s treatment of specific passages of the chorale melody are influenced by the particular stanza he had in mind. Peter Williams in his <The Organ Music of J. S. Bach> addresses this general concept while the late Anne Leahy in her study, <JSB’s “Leipzig” Chorale Preludes: Music, Text and Theology> (Lanham MD: Scarecrow Press, 2011), analyzes Bach’s treatment in a holistic manner. As Robin A. Leaver observes (p. xiv f): Leahy examines each hymn in detail, including Bach’s usages in other works, and “the development of thought from stanza to stanza”; analyzes the musical characteristics of each chorale prelude setting, reviews the interpretations of other authors, and finally “the stanzas of the associated hymn text are then reexamined to see whether there is one stanza more than any other, that matches the musical fingerprint of the compositional characteristics of the particular chorale prelude.”
When Emmanuel moved to Hamburg in 1768 he actively took up sacred songs as part of his strophic lieder interest, particularly while he was editing his father’s chorales for complete publication, finishing in 1784. “After contributing to the first collection of Balthasar Münter’s Geistliche [Sacred] Lieder (1773), Bach composed three sets of strophic sacred songs for private devotion: a selection of forty-two psalms, using the poetic versions by Johann Andreas Cramer (Wq 196, 1774); and two sets of thirty songs each with texts by the head pastor at St. Petri in Hamburg, Christoph Christian Sturm (Wq 197–198, 1780–81),” says Ulrich Lesinger (C.P.E. Bach Complete Works), Preface, http://www.cpebach.org/prefaces/songs-preface.html .
Previously, in the 1764 Gellert (devotional poem) Collection Appendix, three of Emmanuel’s 12 strophic song settings “had been marked ‘Choralemässig’ [chorale-mixture], and had mingled the idioms of chorale and solo song,” says Youngren (Ibid.: 278f). In his new strophic sacred collections, Emmanuel simply provided the melodies in half notes, with texts, including BAR settings of stollen and abgesang, over a figured bass, as his father had done with the Schmelli Gesangbuch of 1736. Emmanuel was observing basic practice but would transform some of these chorales into full settings in his annual Hamburg Passions and in four-part motets.
In the coming BCW Discussions, various topics mentioned above will be examined, such as the Dresden Court and polonaises (BWV 213-215), as well as Leipzig culture and home entertainment, particularly, Various Occasions, beginning Dec. 1, BWV 204, “Ich bin in mir vergnügt, and the Coffee Cantata BWV 212.
Aria for Soprano BWV 1127: Recordings | Discussions | BWV 1127 - Gardiner