Recordings/Discussions
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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127


Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242
General Discussions - Part 1

Missae: Kyrie-Gloria, BWV 233-236: Contrafaction, Uses

Marcos Maffei wrote (July 17, 1999):
I've just bought a Bach recording that moved me deeply - and sort of unexpectedly. It's the Lutheran Masses, Volume 1 (BWV 234-5) (15), with The Purcell Quartet and soloists (Suzan Gritton/Robin Blaze/Mark Padmore/Peter Harvey - Chandos 0642).

I couldn't remember if anybody had already commented anything about it in this list, but instead of searching for it in the archives, I decided to share here my impressions.

It's played in a very intimate, chamberlike way: no choirs, just the four solo voices, plus 2 violins, viola, cello, organ, violone and 2 flutes (BWV 234) or 2 oboes (BWV 235). Such approach perhaps doesn't make much sense in musicological terms (it's hard to figure a historical situation in which a Mass would be sung by soloists rather than by a choir), but musically it sounds astonishingly beautiful. And particularly so BWV 234; for instance, to have only one voice for each part entering in the touching harmonic progression of the Christe Eleyson seems to give it a much more intense feeling than a choir would have, and so on. But in both masses an enhanced and wonderful cohesion is attained by having instead of a full choir just the four soloists singing together in the outer movements that frames their original arias. And, of course, the clarity in which you hear everything that's happening is amazing; a deeply rewarding an moving recording.

As for why I found it unexpected: I never cared much for these Masses. I've bought a complete set of them a long time ago (I don't remember with whom, just that it was an Archiv recording), and after hearing them two or three times and being not particularly impressed (not as exciting as the B minor, some cantatas, the Passions...) it became one of the least played Bach records of my vinyl collection (that no longer exists). So, it was with a sort of idle curiosity that I decided to hear this new cd in the store: and I found it awesome. (leaving me with this - sort of idle - question: was it the way they choose to record them, or just the twenty or so years that have passed since I've first heard them?)

BTW, although being a subscriber since september 1998, this is my first posting to this very interesting list; my name is Marcos Maffei, and I'm a writer from Brazil (sorry for the mistakes in my English). As for how I stand here, let me say that I'm a Gould and Herreweghe fan, don't understand why T. Pinnock is so lavislhy praised, don't care much about Gardiner, have my AoFs with Savall, Keller quartet and Berliner saxophon quartet (and will eventually buy it with Nikolayevna), MOs with Ensemble Sonnerie and Musica Antiqua Köln, WTC's with Gould, Nikolayevna, D. Moroney (and intend to have it with Sviatsolav Richter), and found Tureck's Goldberg utterly disappointing...

 

Gloria from BWV 233

Piotr Stanislawski wrote:
More than sure I will play several times perhaps the most powerful and joyful Gloria in Excelsis Deo ever written from Mass in F major (BWV 233, Herreweghe) (9). I can not keep from dancing (or something similar to that) when I listen to it.

Matthew Westphal wrote (January 7, 2000):
(To Piotr Stanislawski) You think Herreweghe's performance (9) is powerful and joyful? It is quite good, but you should hear McCreesh's (14)!

Piotr Stanislawski wrote (January 7, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal) I heard it, it fact it is even more powerful rendition than Herreweghe's one (9) - I mean it is played with more power. But it does not mean the more power = more joyful. Joy comes from the spirit, and I found Herreweghe's one more spiritual.

 

Recordings of Mass in A Major BWV 234 (in Discussion about Cantata BWV 136)

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 13, 2000):
Bach adapted the music of the first chorus of cantata BWV 136 as the 'Cum Sancto Spiritu' of the short Mass in A Major BWV 234. About this adaptation wrote Whittaker that it: "…does less violence than in the case of other rearrangements of these odd pasticci. As a matter of fact it sounds very much finer in the Latin version than in the German, and one is less conscious of its occasional defects".

Before reviewing the recording of this movement, I have to admit that I do not agree with Whittaker. I like the arrangement of the cantata much more.

(3) (Rilling) The singing here is large-scale and smooth. It is very different from Rilling's recording of the opening Chorus of the cantata.

(5) (Flämig) The singing here is also large-scale, but it is more jumpy and varied, and these qualities are more to my taste.

(6) (Corboz) My first thought when I listened to this was 'it is too slow'. My second thought after listening to it again remained the same. Sometimes renderings of Bach's music may be convincing even if they are very slow. But it can convince only if it has this mysterious quality, which we can call internal rhythm. In Jazz music it is called 'swing'. This 'swing' is totally missing here.

(7) (Hickox) I have this recording only on LP, and I was not able to listen to it.

(9) (Herreweghe) This performance starts also slowly, but it is gaining immediate momentum. The singing sounds to my ears like OVPP (or, at least, very small choir). It has clarity, transparency and liveliness. IMHO, this is the best recording of this movement.

Conclusion

Among the recordings of Cum Sancto Spiritu from BWV 234 my favourite is Herreweghe and the less convincing is Corboz.

 

Luterhan Masses

JohSebastianBach wrote (July 17, 2000):
(15) (16) < Galina Kolomietz wrote: I also like both volumes of the Lutheran Masses, both of which are OVPP. >
Ah, yes, but the performances with Purcell Quartet on Chandos Chaconne are unsurpassable!

 

Purcell Quartet's Bach: Masses & Trios

Harry Steinman wrote (August 16, 2000):
Some months ago the Paul McCreesh so-called 'Epiphany Mass' (14) was a subject of discussion and for me, the highlight of that recording was the so-called 'Lutheran Mass' in F Major, BWV 233. I recently found that the Purcell Quartet recorded this and several other short masses on two CD's, (Chandos 0652, 0653) (15) (16) and it's given me an opportunity to compare McCreesh's recording to that of the Purcell Quartet. And the PQ's inclusion of the Trio Sonata, BWV 529, led me to the ensemble's transcription and recording of these six works, BWV 525-530, also on Chandos, 0654.

I'm trying to figure out what is the common denominator between the Masses and the Trio Sonatas. Why did PQ choose those works? I don't know what they were thinking (perhaps I can e-mail them and ask!). The sonatas are transcribed for 2 violins, a viola de gamba and harpsichord and there is a very warm, rich hue in the recording. The instrumentalists are assisted on the Masses by various oboists (including Anthony Robson), flutists, cellists, violin and violists and an organ, but the sound (at least to me) is of reduced forces. Certainly the performance is OVPP (one voice per part) for all of the singers (including counter-tenors Michael Chance and Robin Blaze; Mark Padmore, tenor; Peter Harvey, bass, and Susan Gritton and my own personal favorite, Nancy Argenta, as clear, strong and nimble as ever).

First of all, let me say that I'm a fan of the McCreesh recording of the F Major Mass (a BIG fan!), but there are some things about the Purcell recording that I enjoy more. The PQ has a clarity that I don't hear in McCreesh. Is that because the Purcell version is OVPP? Is it because McCreesh places the microphones in the middle of the church in which the recording was made, producing what some call a muddy sound? I don't know! But I enjoy the sense of urgency that McCreesh brings to the work (listen especially to the 2nd movement, the Gloria, with its race among the voices, strings, oboes and the horns). I also believe that I hear the bass/cello accompaniment more clearly in the McCreesh recording. On balance, the Purcell recording has the voice of Nancy Argenta, which for me, is a big attraction, as is the clarity achieved by the simple voices and accompaniment.

Anotherhighlight of Vol.2 is the opening of the Gloria from the G Major Mass, BWV 236. The first several measures are sung by Argenta and Blaze in a perfect blend of the two voices that pinned me to my chair. When bass Peter Harvey finally comes, it's just perfect. If you think you'd like Argenta and Blaze then you must hear their singing of the Domine Deus duet. I've heard it said that Chance's lower range is weaker than Robin Blaze, who is the counter-tenor on the first volume, but I do not hear any deficiency at all!

I also recently listened to the A Major Mass, BWV 234, the "Cum Santo Spiritu" and compared it to the opening chorus of "Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre, mein Herz", BWV 136, and the topic of this week's cantata study on the companion "Cantata Recordings" list. Both works use the same music. And again, I enjoyed the PQ version of the Mass' movement more than the cantata version, in this case recorded by Koopman. Although Koopman's treatment of the work drew fairly high plaudits by the cantata pundits, I liked the simple, elegant powerful and crisp version on the PQ recording.

The accompaniment by the PQ and friends holds its own with these singers and while I can't decide whether I enjoy the slightly greater forces in McCreesh's recording or those in the PQ, I haven't gotten a bit weary of alternating between the two and I suspect that I shall never manage to come to any conclusion. I like these recordings an Awful Lot.

The accompanying booklets for two of the three PQ CD's were penned by Richard Boothby, the group's cellist/viola de gambist and are useful and are useful, even for a non-musician like me.

So...I do recommend these recordings with the caveat that if OVPP isn't your cup of tea, you might get a bit less out of the Masses. I like OVPP as much as full choruses, so I like what I hear. The Trio Sonatas are very nice to listen to and are very well recorded (as are the Masses). So, if you're poking around for something to listen to, here are 3 discs from some musicians who clearly love their Bach and do the works proud.

Well, of to listen to even More Bach. Y'all be cool...

Thomas Boyce wrote (August 16, 2000):
(To Harry Steinman) (15) (16) Thanks! And duly noted.

Pascal Bedaton wrote (August 16, 2000):
(15) (16) I bought the 1st volume last year before having read a good paper on it in a magazine. I have waited the 2nd one for months and I bought it last month.

I found it very good, nearly close to "my" reference by Herreweghe but different due to the one-per-part.

If I can say 2 word, buy it!

 

Lutheran Masses

Harry Steinman wrote:
(While I'm on the subject of the Purcell [Quartet recording of the "Lutheran"] masses, and forgive me from straying from a strict discussion of the cantata of the week, but if one were to accept my recommendation and acquire the Purcell masses, I'd love to recommend that you compare Purcell's version of the F Major mass, BWV 233 (16) with that of Paul McCreesh on his "Epiphany Mass" CD (Archiv 457 631-2) (14) I love the McCreesh work, and I think that a full chorus sounds more 'taut' and more powerful than the OVPP approach, but the singing just sounds better for Purcell's OVPP approach. I keep listening to the two of them and I just can't decide!)

Matthew Westphal wrote (August 17, 2000):
(To Harry Steinman) Just to clarify: I'm not sure I'd want to call McCreesh's forces (14) for the Mass in F a "full chorus". His forces were 3-2-2-2 for the choruses in the Mass. For "Sie werden aus Saba kommen" he used 3-2-2-2 in the choruses, but deployed as concertists (soloists singing throughout) and ripienists (joining in intermittently). (McCreesh has told me that original performing parts for these two works have not survived.) For the Sanctus and "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" he used one singer per part only.

Harry Steinman wrote (August 17, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal) Thanks for the clarification. Interestingly, I did some searching and just found a review, in Gramophone Early Music by Bernard Sherman that compares the McCreesh (14) and Purcell Quartet (16) F Major Masses. (It's at http://www.kdsi.net/~sherman/purcellqt.htm) The reviewer refers to McCreesh's version as "two singers per part" I can't necessarily tell, as I listen, that the singers are only 3-2-2-2 v. a full chorus...but I can surely hear that the PQ version is OVPP!

Thanks for the clarification!

Claus Kretzschmar wrote (August 19, 2000):
(To Matthew Westphal) The Purcell Quartet recordings of the Four Short Masses (15) (16), which are in fact, de facto cantatas because they are largely parodies of cantata movements, are absolutely the non-pareil, the ne plus ultra.

And, as he so often does, McCreesh (14) dissembles when he says the performance parts for the Missa Breves do not survive. Technically, he is correct, but the original performing parts for some of the cantatas from which they are parodied DO survive, and those are all one voice per vocal line. I am certain when it comes to BWV 187, from which much of the G Minor Missa Brevis is parodied, for I have had the privilege of examining the original parts.

Matthew Westphal wrote (August 19, 2000):
< Claus Kretzschmar wrote: The Purcell Quartet recordings of the Four Short Masses (15) (16), which are in fact, de facto cantatas because they are largely parodies of cantata movements, are absolutely the non pareil, the ne plus ultra. >
Settings of the Lutheran Missa brevis are "de facto" cantatas because the music was adapted from cantata movements?

I'm not sure that makes any sense logically...

Is the B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) a de facto cantata?

Is Hercules auf den Scheidewege (BWV 213) a de facto Christmas cantata? (It was adapted from parts 3 and 4 of the Christmas Oratorio.)

< And, as he so often does, McCreesh dissembles when he says the performance parts for the Missa Breves do not survive. Technically, he is correct, >
Then he's not dissembling, is he?

< but the original performing parts for some of the cantatas from which they are parodied DO survive, and those are all one voice per vocal line. I am certain when it comes to BWV 187, from which much of the G Minor Missa Brevis is parodied, for I have had the privilege of examining the original parts. >
Actually, the notes say the following:
"In these performances a pragmatic position has been taken, especially as Bach's performance material does not survive for these works."

I take "these works" to mean the works on the Epiphany Mass recording -- that is, Cantatas BWV 180 and BWV 65, the Missa in F Major and the Sanctus BWV 238 -- and not the four Missa Breves. For what that's worth.

I don't know myself if performance material survives for the cantatas from which the Missa in F is drawn, but when I last interviewed McCreesh (April of this year), he indicated that it does not. (What he said was, "We looked at the cantatas the music [for the Missa] came from, and there was no help there either," meaning hints as to whether Bach may have used ripienists.)

As time goes on, McCreesh seems to be getting more hard-line about one-voice-per-part Bach, particularly for recordings. For concerts, he will sometimes use two per part or occasionally even three of that's what a particular presenter insists on. (It's the presenter who is paying the fee, after all.)

Also, for large works such as the Passions, when on tour he'll often use one singer on each choral part (two per part in the St. John, following the performance materials) but separate soloists who don't sing in the choruses. He does this because concert tours are generally very strenuous and if the singers get too tired, then the performance suffers -- and the music, the musicians and the one-voice-per-part practice all come out looking the worse for it. One friend of mine, a concert presenter in New York, thinks this is cheating; I think that it's a very reasonable compromise -- as long as the choruseare performed one-singer-per-part (and those singers are good), it doesn't bother me much if those singers aren't the same ones doing the solos. What do you all think about that?

John Hartford wrote (August 19, 2000):
< Matthew Westphal wrote: Is Hercules auf den Scheidewege (BWV 213) a de facto Christmas cantata? (It was adapted from parts 3 and 4 of the Christmas Oratorio.) >
Other way around, I believe.

Matthew Westphal wrote (August 19, 2000):
<< Matthew Westphal wrote: Is Hercules auf den Scheidewege (BWV 213) a de facto Christmas cantata? (It was adapted from parts 3 and 4 of the Christmas Oratorio.) >>
< JSB wrote (replying to me): Other way around, I believe. >
I had thought that was the case, but an old Gramophone review posted at Amazon implied otherwise. (Given the choice, I'll go with you, JSB.)

Good -- that makes for an even better rhetorical question (and the one I had first hoped to pose): Are Parts 3 and 4 of the Christmas oratorio a de facto "dramma per musica" because they were adapted from Hercules auf dem Scheidewege?

Harry Steinman wrote (August 19, 2000):
< Matthew Westphal wrote: That makes for an even better rhetorical question (and the one I had first hoped to pose): Are Parts 3 and 4 of the Christmas oratorio a de facto "dramma per musica" because they were adapted from Hercules auf dem Scheidewege? >
Um...interesting question. Only thing is, what's a "dramma per musica"?

Johan van Veen wrote (August 22, 2000):
< Matthew Westphal wrote: Also, for large works such as the Passions, when on tour he'll often use one singer on each choral part (two per part in the St. John, following the performance materials) but separate soloists who don't sing in the choruses. He does this because concert tours are generally very strenuous and if the singers get too tired, then the performance suffers -- and the music, the musicians and the one-voice-per-part practice all come out looking the worse for it. One friend of mine, a concert presenter in New York, thinks this is cheating; I think that it's a very reasonable compromise -- as long as the choruses are performed one-singer-per-part (and those singers are good), it doesn't bother me much if those singers aren't the same ones doing the solos. What do you all think about that? >
I agree. What matters is the character of the voices used: considering the fact that Bach's soloists were "ensemble singers" there shouldn't be a big difference in character between the "soloists" and the "choir". The soloists should be such that they could sing in the ensemble, if they had to, without disturbing the overall sound. If that is the only compromise a conductor has to make to modern concert life, than he (and the audience) should be happy. Finding the right venue is far more important and often far more difficult.

 

The Purcell Quartet Missa Breves

Teri Noel Towe wrote (December 1, 2000):
(15) (16) < Galina Kolomietz wrote (November 29, 2000): Missae Breves, Purcell Quartet on Chandos >
Thank you for reminding me that these appeared in 2000.

If it is possible to wear out CDs by playing them too often, I am in danger of doing so with these recordings. I have been passionately fond of the pieces since my teenage years (back in the dark ages, believe me!), and I cannot conceive of finer performances than the ones given by the Purcell Quartet, et al.

Stupendous!

Harry J. Steinman wrote (December 1, 2000):
(15) (16) I shall add my rave about the Purcell Q releases...they are wonderful. And when I submit my nominations for the year's best, these shall be included!

 

Sanctus in c

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 6, 2005):
Richard wrote:
< Any Bach's Music lover feels that this music is Bach's... However, there is some strange writing, exactly like in The C Sanctus, probably not by Bach but so "Bachian...". Bach could have improved some contemporary works, add trumpets and counterpoint, like he did for his own music ( Gloria of b minor Mass, probably come from an earlier concerto grosso). >
The C Major Sanctus is a stunning work and another example of how we should know more about the composers like Hoffmann whom Bach admired and whose works he performed. What is the scholarly opinion on who wrote the C major Sanctus?

Thomas Braatz wrote (November 6, 2005):
Doug Cowling asked:
>>What is the scholarly opinion on who wrote the C major Sanctus?<<
The NBA KB II/2 states regarding BWV 237 that the doubts raised by Hans Theordore David (1961) and Christoph Wolff regarding the authenticity of this work are insufficient in the face of rather clear evidence: "Das Werk hat demzufolge solange als echt zu gelten, bis das Gegenteil nachgewiesen wird" ["This work, accordingly, is to be considered authentic until contrary proof can be offered."] The reasons given (more than can be listed here) are 1) an autograph composing score with numerous corrections (it even has a "JJ" at the head of the title); 2) J. A. Kuhnau's original parts with corrections by Bach; and 3) CPE Bach's confirmation of his father's authorship on the cover page.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 6, 2005):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The NBA KB II/2 states regarding BWV 237 that the doubts raised by Hans Theordore David (1961) and Christoph Wolff regarding the authenticity of this work are insufficient in the face of rather clear evidence: >
HURRAY! It's wonderful piece and I have always thought it would be the perfect Christmas Sanctus with "Christen Atzet diesen Tag"

 

BWV 235 Kyrie

Chris Kern wrote (March 10, 2006):
I find the Kyrie of the BWV 235 Mass in G Minor to have a rather interesting and unusual (at least in my experience of Bach) construction. It consists of three separate sections all starting with the same orchestral ritornello, and then the third fugal section segues almost seamlessly back into the first one. That segue especially strikes me as rather un-Bachian but maybe there are other examples of this in his writing as well.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 10, 2006):
[To Chris Kern] Check Alfred Dürr's analysis of mvt. 1 in his book on the cantatas and search for further analysis on Aryeh Oron's BCW Bach Cantata Website under BWV 102 Mvt. 1 on which this mvt. is based.

 

Bach Mass in F

Monte Garrett wrote (October 5, 2006):
I have programmed Bach's Mass in F with my college choir this semester and am curious if John Eliot Gardiner has recorded it. I haven't done a thorough search, but haven't yet found it, if it exists. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (October 6, 2006):
[To Monte Garrett]

Berkshire Record Outlet
Bach, Christmas Oratorio; St. Matthew Passion; St. John Passion; Mass in b. (Vocal soloists include Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Anne Sofie Von Otter, Barbara Bonney & Olaf Bar. The Monteverdi Choir & English Baroque Soloists/ Gardiner)
Add to cart | Price: $ 44.91 | 9 in set. | Country: GERMANY | D/A code: Digital | Code: 469769-2 | BRO Code: 121371 | Label: DG ARCHIV Genre: Choral

Bradley Lehman wrote (October 6, 2006):
< I have programmed Bach's Mass in F with my college choir this semester and am curious if John Eliot Gardiner has recorded it. I haven't done a thorough search, but haven't yet found it, if it exists. >
I don't know of one by Gardiner in that piece (BWV 233). But, the recordings by the Purcell Quartet and by Herreweghe are both excellent.

Parts of this mass reuse movements from cantatas BWV 102 and BWV 40...which Gardiner obviously has recorded. It's always worth comparing such bits where Bach has reused his music, to get ideas about the music's possible characters.

Get a good horn player! I performed this piece a few years ago (as continuo organist) and recall that there was some tricky stuff there.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (October 6, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< I don't know of one by Gardiner in that piece (BWV 233). But, the recordings by the Purcell Quaand by Herreweghe are both excellent. >
oops, I read too fast.
wrong mass.
Sorry about that,

Drew (BWV 846-893) wrote (October 11, 2006):
If you are interested in getting all of Herreweghe's recordings of Bach's masses (for Virgin), Mass in b included, go to www.mdt.co.uk and look under November pre-releases . . .

http://www.mdt.co.uk/MDTSite/pages/product/product.asp?ctgry=NR_November06&prod=3728562

The five disc set is available for about 12 pounds or $23 (+ shipping).

 

The Masses 233-236

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 17, 2007):
< I enjoy Purcell Quartet's OVPP recordings of the Lutheran Masses (why don't more people record these wonderful works? the parody stigma lives on, I guess), but everytime I listen to them miss the "choral" element, and turn to Herreweghe's account. >
There's another fine new set of them, too, released 2006: all four of those Masses BWV 233-236 performed by Publick Musick (Boston) directed by Folan. It was recorded in 2004-5.

The choir membership (adult, mixed) is listed as 6, 5, 5, 6...which includes all six of the vocal soloists singing with the choir. 15 string players are credited, plus the winds and organ.

Info and a sample are here: http://www.musicaomnia.org/bachchoral.asp

I have the older Herreweghe recording too, bought a long time ago, and now I enjoy that one and Folan's about equally. Good to have both. One nice difference is that Folan's ensemble uses a more Germanic pronunciation of the Latin (with hard G sounds, etc). The recorded sound on Folan's seems crisper and better focused, too. If I have a complaint about the Herreweghe set, it's that the music seems almost too refined/gentle and therefore not so interesting! Next to that, Folan's is more vigorous.

I'll get the Purcell Quartet's set sometime, as I want to hear it with fewer singers too! :)

In the Brilliant Classics box I have the Dresden/Flamig rendition (1972) that I haven't got around to listening to yet; therefore no comment on that.

Dima Vinokurov wrote (April 17, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Konrad Junghänel conducting Cantus Cölln has also recorded Messen BWV 233-236 and they are due to be released in the middle of May of 2007. Apparently this is OVPP recording in the spirit of their earlier recording of Messe h-moll BWV 232. Ton Koopman had included Messen BWV 233-236 in the last volume of his complete recording of cantatas, but I haven’t heard it yet.

Drew wrote (April 18, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thanks, Brad, for the tip.

I found even more sound samples of the Lutheran Masses on Publick Musick's website: http://www.publickmusick.org/Recordings/Missae_Breves.htm

Free shipping, too. Too bad I am not living in the US.

 

Discussions in the Week of October 20, 2013

William Hoffman wrote (October 20, 2013):
Mass Movements: Intro., Sanctus, Christe eleison, BWV 237-242

Although Bach’s composition of the individual Mass Ordinary movements of the Sanctus, as well as the Christe eleison, usually a few minutes, Bach put considerable effort into composing or arranging some six Sanctus movements in Leipzig for feast day celebrations, beginning with three in his first two years, 1723-24. They vary from the spectacular “Sanctus in D Major” in the B-Minor Mass, originally composed for the Christmas Mass in 1724 to simpler settings arranged in the later 1730s for his perfects to present with lesser choruses. Yet two Mass movements also were part of larger Mass settings including the Kyrie and Gloria by composers by Johann Kaspar Kerll and Francesco Durante. In addition, Bach composed a complete chorale setting of Luther’s German Sanctus, with Osanna and Benedictus, as well as providing for simple Latin Sanctus responses. The 5 Sanctus & Christe eleison, BWV 237-242, are found at BCW Details:http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242.htm .)

Sanctus text (Isaiah 6:3; omits refrain “Osanna” and blessing “Bendictus”):
Latin: “Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria tua/eus”;
German: “Heilig, heilig, heilig ist der Herr Zebaoth; alle Lande sind seiner (his) Ehre voll”;
English: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts! Heaven and earth are filled with Thy/His glory.”

Bach composed and presented his initial Sanctus setting, the original version later found in his B Minor Mass, for his first Christmas Mass in Leipzig in 1723. The work, virtually unchanged in the final Missa tota in the late 1740s, contains only the “Sanctus” and “Pleni” phrases, like the other Sanctus movements, BWV 237-241. They all omit the seceding Osanna and Benedictus. The Sanctus, BWV 232III, is lavishly scored for six voices – two sopranos, two altos, tenor and bass – and an orchestra of 3 trumpets and timpani, 3 oboes, strings, and continuo.

Two of the other five Sanctus, in Bach’s autograph, are also scored for trumpets while all are for four voices (SATB), BWV 237-240, except one: the Sanctus in D Major, BWV 241, from the Johann Kaspar Kerll “Missa Superba,” is scored for 8-voice double chorus (SATB x 2). The two Sanctus, BWV 237 and 238 are attributed to Bach, while the two apocrypha “Sanctus,” BWV 239 and 240 are considered possible Bach adaptations from Missae of other composers. Two other Sanctus, originally attributed to Bach, are unpublished and classified as BWV Anh. (Addendum), 27 and 28. Bach also composed a chorale setting of Luther’s complete German Sanctus, “Helig,” BWV 325, containing the Osanna and Benedictus. Other Sanctus uses in Bach’s time, without Osanna and Benedictus, are three Latin settings, listed in the Vopelius’ Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682, Appendix, Nos. 425, 426, on high feast days before Communion, “Sanctus . . . Sabaoth,” and also No. 429, for SSATTB.

The cataloging and status of Sanctus movements attributed to Bach is found in Part IV, “Vocal Works,” Section E, Latin Church Music, “Masses” and “Single Movements from the Mass Ordinary,” in the Bach Compendium (BC): Analytical-Biographical Repertory of the Works of JSB> (Leipzig: Edition Peters, 1989).

BC BWV Title (forces) Date/Service(timing)
E10 237 Sanctus in C (SATB, 2 tp., ti, 2 ob., strings, cont.), 1723/?Pent., Trin., John (1:42)
E11 238 Sanctus in D (SATB, cn., strings, cont.) 1723/?Xmas (3:21)
E12 [232III] Sanctus in D (SSAATB, 3 tp., ti, 3 ob, strings, cont. 1723/?Christmas (5:14)
X 239 Sanctus in d(SATB, string, cont.) c1735-1746/? (1:56)
X 240 Sanctus in G[BC X] (SATB, 2 ob, strings, cont.) c1734-46/? (2:20)

Addendum
E17 241 Sanctus in E/D (SATBSATB etc.) from Kerll Missa (BC X*) c1747-48/? (2:00)
*X, BC extraneous vocal works

“The Sanctus compositions (E10-E12, E17) were performed in the Leipzig main churches on the high feast days,” says the Bach Compendium (BC, Ibid.: 1153f). They are the first and second days of the major <de tempore> festivals of Christmas Easter, and Pentecost, as well as the single day festivals of New Year’s Day, Epiphany (January 6), Ascension, Trinity, St. John (June 24), St. Michael (September 29), and the three Marian Feasts: Purification, (February 2), Annunciation (March 25) and Visitation (July 2) [footnote, p. 1154, BC Ibid.)

The Sanctus settings, BWV 237-241 “belonged to Bach’s Leipzig repertory for practical use,” says Peter Wollny (liner notes, Apocryphal Bach Masses II, Wolfgang Helbich, CPO CD 77561, 2012), BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Helbich.htm (V.6). “They perhaps formed part ofa collection of less demanding figural compositions with which he supplied his prefects in case they had to substitute for him or that that he had sung by the less accomplished second choral group on feast days.” The scores of Sanctus, BWV 239 and 240, “presumably arrangements of works by other composers – belong to the period around 1740.”

The Mass ordinary Sanctus was presented in the Lutheran main service between the Mass Propers Latin Prayer, known as the Praefaction (Preface, NLGB of 1682, p. 440) and the Words of Institution for Communion. Bach followed tradition in his Sanctus setting by omitting the succeeding Osanna and Benedictus, which he added onto with contrafactions of German cantata movements (BWV 215/1, and possibly Anh. 15) in the late 1740s to complete his Missa totta, Great Mass in B Minor, BWV 232.

Provenance

The six Sanctus movements, BWV 237-241 and 232III, survive in Bach autograph scores, although only BWV 237 and 232III have Bach’s signature. At the 1750 estate divisions among Bach’s sons, Johann Christoph Friedrich (“The Bückeburg”) Bach (1732-95, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Bach-Johann-Christoph-Friedrich.htm) made this note on materials he received: “Magnificat and Sanctus by the late Papa as well as several Sanctus by other authors” [BC E, Ibid., “Preliminary Remarks”: 1153].

*Sanctus in C major, BWV 237 (BC E10)
Composed Leipzig, 1723 ? | 1st performance: 1723 ? - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 4-parChorus (SATB)
Orchestra: 2 trumpets, timpani, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo
Score BGA [0.87 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV237-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XI/1 | NBA: II/2 | BC: E 10 | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1862
Recording (YouTube), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZcAUWi8sgE (Corboz, Lausanne), BCW

Bach’s festive Sanctus in C, BWV 237 was composed at the beginning of Bach’s first year in Leipzig, possibly for the Pentecost and Trinity Festivals in May and certainly for the Feast of John the Baptist, June 24, 1723. It runs 37 measures.

*Sanctus in D major, BWV 238 (BC E11)
Event Unknown
Composed Leipzig, 1723 ? | 1st performance: Christmas 1723 or Easter 1724 - Leipzig; 2nd performance: 1735 - Leipzig; 3rd performance: 1736-1737 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 4-part Chorus (SATB)
Orchestra: cornetto, 2 violins, viola, continuo
Score BGA [0.70 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV238-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XI/1 | NBA: II/2 | BC: - | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1862
Recording (You Tube): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv7CcJsYK5Q (Corboz, Lausanne), BCW.

Bach’s second Sanctus setting, of 48 measures, is less festively score with one coronet but is more contrapuntal.

*Sanctus in D major (later BWV 232III, B-Minor Mass Sanctus (Mvt. 22) [BC E12]
Event Christmas
Composed 1st performance 1724 - Leipzig| 2nd performance 1727 ?Easter – Leipzig | 3rd performance 1742-48 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 6-part Chorus (SSAATB) Orchestra: 3 trumpets, timpani, 3 oboes, 2 violins, viola, cello, continuo
Score NBA II/1a (Score BGA http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV232-BGA.pdf [26.9 MB, PATIENCE], scroll down to pp. 243-270)
Recording (YouTube), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIFrrUAmzJk (Butt, Dunedin OVPP).

Bach’s third Sanctus setting is his most festive and longest at 168 measures. Soon after the first performance, Christmas Day 1724, Leipzig, Bach lent the parts set to Count Franz Anton von Spork of Bohemia, who may have attended the Leipzig Christmas Mass. The set was not returned and Bach subsequently copied a new set of parts from his autograph score for the 1727 performance, probably at Easter. A third performance in Leipzig between 1742 and 1748 is documented through an additional continuo part when he began to contemplate completion of his Great Mass [Uwe Wolf, “Preface,” <Early Versions of the Mass in B Minor> (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2006: VIIIf; NBA KB II/1a).

*Sanctus, in D minor (after an unknown work), BWV 239 (BC X, Extraneous)
Event ?
Composed Leipzig, c1735-1746 | 1st performance: 1738-1741 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 4-part Chorus (SATB)
Orchestra: 2 violins, viola, continuo
Score BGA [0.44 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV239-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XI/1 | NBA: II/9 | BC: - | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1862
Recording (MP3 Download): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007EON9G2 (Track 15, CPO, Helbich, 1:56)

*Sanctus in G major (doubtful), BWV 240 (BC X, Extraneous]
Event ?
Composed Leipzig, c1735-1746 (possibly an arrangement of a work by another composer)
1st performance: c. 1742 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 4-part Chorus (SATB)
Orchestra: 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola, continuo
Score BGA [0.76 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV240-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XI/1 | NBA: II/9 | BC: - | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1862
Recording (MP3 Download): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007EON9G2 (Track 14, Helbich, 2:20)

These two two-minute works are presumably Bach’s “arrangements of works by other composers – belong to the period aboutn1740, when Bach apparently endeavored to update his repertoire. The structure of the works is simple . . . and this simplicity reflects, as Bach formulated it in 1736 in a submission to the Leipzig City Council, the ‘capacity of those who are supposed to execute it’” (Peter Wollny, liner notes, Helbich CPO CD, 2012 (see Recordings below).

Sanctus in D/E transposed Major (after Kerll), BWV 241 (BC E17)
Event: See below
Composed Leipzig, 1747-1748; Arranged from Missa Superba by Johann Kaspar Kerll, 1st performance: 1747-1748 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: 8-part Chorus (SATB, SATB)
Orchestra: 2 oboes d’amore, 2 violins, 3 violas, continuo (+ bassoon, violoncello, violone)
Score BGA [0.83 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV241-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XLI | NBA: II/9 | BC: E 17 | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1894
Performed by J.S. Bach in Leipzig, July 1747 - August 1748
Recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJRYVcwM19Y (2:00):http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242-Rec1.htm (No. 22, Rilling, Hänssler)
BCW Details & Recordings, Johann Kaspar Kerll “Missa Superba” and BWV 241, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Kerll-Missa-Superba.htm .

“J.S. Bach arranged the Sanctus in D major (listed as BWV 241) from this work in Leipzig between July 1747 and August 1748. Bach exchanged the colla-parte instruments (4 trombones) for 3 viols and bassoon. The 3 viols play together with the alto and tenor voices and with the tenor voice in the 2nd; the 1st and 2nd viols receive obbligato voices in bars 13 to 18. J.S. Bach lets an oboe d'amore accompany each of the 2 soprano voices; the performance parts are in E major, in contrast to the score. Because he had no need for the Osanna and Benedictus for church services in Leipzig, but still desired an impressive conclusion for the movement, J.S. Bach replaced J.K. Kerll's music to the Pleni sunt coeli with the music of the original Osanna; he not only reworded the voices, but intensified the flow of the piece by using 16th instead of 8th notes.” [Source, Missa Superba Details & Recordings (BWV 241, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Kerll-Missa-Superba.htm , from Liner notes by Andreas Bomba to the CD 'Edition Bachakademie Vol. 72 - Sacred Music in Latin II', conducted by H. Rilling (Hänssler, 1999)] “’The revised theme evinces much greater rhythmic and melodic vivacity and shows, especially in the polyphony used, a previously unknown suppleness, intensified plasticity, and greater harmonic richness,’ is Peter Wollny’s judgment of this adaptation [Bach-Jahrbuch 1991, p. 173ff],” says Bomba (Ibid.), “although a ‘close comparison of the original and the adaptation shows that Bach kept strictly to Kerll’s polyphonic framework, i.e. nowhere did he expand, delete or change the musical substance.”

The “Missa Superba” was composed by Kerll sometime before 1674. As little as three years later the St. Thomas School in Leipzig acquired the work, probably in the form of a set of parts from which Bach copied and arranged his setting of the Sanctus movement, perhaps as a possible alternative to BWV 232III.

The complete recording of the “Missa Superba,” Thomas Hengelbrock, is found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Hengelbrock.htm#C2 , Aus der Notenbibliothek (From the Music library) von Johann Sebastian Bach, Vol. II.

SANCTUS, BWV 237-241, RECORDINGS
BWV 237-242: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242-Rec1.htm (No. 7, (Corboz, Erato)
BWV 237, 238, 240, 241, 242: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242-Rec1.htm (No. 22, Rilling, Hänssler)
BWV 237, 239-240: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Helbich.htm (V-6, Helbich, CPO)

Full Sanctus-Osanna-Benedictus

Bach also set the complete Sanctus/Heilig as a four part chorale, BWV 325, in F Major about 1730. Its 17 measures include the succeeding Osanna (2 ½ measures) and Benedictus (6 ½ measures). The melody is found in the Kirchengesanng Teutsch und Lateinisch, Nürnberg 1557; the text is the German Sanctus. This version is not found in the NLGB. Bach’s Leipzig source may have been the handwritten <Choralbuch Steinau> of 1726

[Recording: CH-8, Edition Bachakademie Vol. 81 A Book of Chorale-Settings for German Mass, Rilling, Hänssler, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV250-438-Rilling.htm .

Sanctus Text Origin

The actual liturgical Sanctus is from the prophet Isaiah 6:3b (KJV): "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory," followed by the refrain "Hosanna in the highest” (Psalm 118:25 and Mark 11:10). The text also is found in Revelation 4:8 (KJV): "And each of the four living beings had six wings about him, and they were full of eyes within; and they rested not day and night, saying, `Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come!'" The Sanctus phrase is followed by the words of Psalm 118:26 (and Matthew 21:9), "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord," The refrain, "Hosanna in the highest," may be repeated.

Benedictus text

Latin: Benedictus, qui venit in nomine Domini. Osanna in excelsis!
German: Gelobt sei Der da kommt im Namen des Herrn. Hosianna in der Höhe!
English: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the Highest.

In the Roman Catholic Mass Ordinary the two sections flanking the central Creed are angels' canticles of praise: the "Gloria in excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the Highest) and the "Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth" (Holy, Lord God of Hosts). They have their German vernacular equivalents in the hymns of Martin Luther's Deutsche Messe (German Mass), found in Bach plain chorale settings, respectively, "Allein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr'" (To God alone on high be glory), BWV 260, and "Heilig, bist du Herr Gott Zebaoth!" (Holy, You are the Lord God Zebaoth), BWV 325. In both cases, Luther wrote poetry in 1525 for the Catechism of doctrine and instruction, using traditional Ordinary chant. It is possible that during the feast day Masses, Bach used various settings of the Gloria and Sanctus, both from the Latin Mass Ordinary and the Deutsche Messe, the Gloria following the Introit and Kyrie, and the Sanctus preceding communion.

The Leipzig Breitkopf publisher’s initial 1761 fall catalog lists following No. 1, motets, the category of No. 2. Hymns, Lieder, Songs With Instruments : “d. Sanctus, with instruments” (all three Sanctus movements attributed to Bach, for four voices). They are Bach’s Sanctus in D, BWV 238 (Bach autograph), as well as the Sanctus in F Major, BWV Anh. 27 (eventually attributed to Bach student and copyist Johann Ludwig Krebs, 1726-35), and Sanctus in B-flat Major, BWV Anh. 28 (anonymous). The source of these three works is the Leipzig New Church, probably from the estate of the church organist and music director Carl Gotthelf Gerlach (1707-1761, Bach student and later director of the Leipzig Collegium musicum (BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Gerlach-Carl-Gotthelf.htm). The attribution is found in Hans-Joachim Schulze’s “Bach’s Vocal Works in the Nonthematic Catalog’s of 1761 to 1836,” Bach Perspectives 2: J. S. Bach and Eighteenth Century Music Trade, ed. George B. Stauffer (Lincoln NE: Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1996: 38. The Breitkopf general catalogs available at the Leipzig Spring and Fall Fairs listed manuscript scores for copying at a price. Breitkopf in 1769 also published a special catalog of Latin and Italian Church Music.

The Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA, Bach Society Edition), BGA XI1 (Magnificat and Mass movements) published the Sanctus movements, BWV 237-40, Wilhelm Rust editor, 1862). It also lists Latin Church works of other composers (doubtful authenticity), including the three Sanctus, BWV 241, Anh. 27, and 28 with the first two three instrumental measures The Sanctus in E/D, BWV 241, was published in BGA XLI (Cantatas, Individual Mass Movements), Alfred Dörffel editor, 1893), as well as the Christe eleison, BWV 242, from the Durante Kyrie, BWV Anh. 26, first described in the Rust edition, BGA Xi of 1862.

*The Sanctus in F Major, BWV Anh. 27 is attributed to Johann Ludwig Krebs and is scored for SATB, 2 oboes, 2 horns, strings and continuo. The final 12 measures on a single score sheet of 13 parts with the final words “gloria eius,” is in Krebs handwriting, says Yoshitake Kobyashi, “Neukenntnisse zu einigen Bach-Quellen” (New Knowledge of Some Bach Sources), Bach Jahrbuch 1979: 46-50, facsimile 48. The parts copyist is Anonymous 17 and the work probably dates to about 1732 or 1733 when Krebs also was a Bach copyist. The two-measure introduction in 4/4 is marked “Un poco allegro.”

*The Sanctus in B-Flat Major, BWV Anh. 28, exists in a parts set originating at the New Church and three score copies made in the 19th century. The parts copyist are Bach Copyists Johann Ludwig Dietel and Anonymous Vf, says Kirsten Beißwenger, NBA II/9(KB). “Lateinische Kirchenmusik/Passionen: Bearbeitungen fremder Werke, Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit” (Latin Church Music/Passions: Adaptations of Extraneous Works, Works of Doubtful Authenticity) 2000: 28. The performance materials date to about 1734 for music director Gerlach. Like BWV Anh. 27, it is score for 2 oboes, 2 horns, strings and continuo.

The three-measure introduction in 3/2 meter shows parts for violins, soprano singing “Sanctus,” bass, and continuo. The composer is anonymous although the parts set is attributed to Bach.

Sanctus Catholic Origins

For the Catholic origins of the Sanctus in the Mass Ordinary, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanctus . Here are pertinent passages:

“The Sanctus . . . is a hymn from Christian liturgy, forming of the Order of Mass. In Western Christianity, the Sanctus is sung (or said) as the final words of the Preface of the Eucharistic Prayer, the prayer of consecration of the bread and wine. The preface, which alters according to the season, usually concludes with words describing the praise of the worshippers joining with the angels, who are pictured as praising God with the words of the Sanctus.”

“The first part of the Sanctus is adapted from Isaiah 6:3, which describes the prophet Isaiah's vision of the throne of God surrounded by six-winged, ministering seraphim. A similar representation found in Revelation 4:8 appears to be the basis of the Trisagion, with which the Sanctus should not be confused. In Jewish liturgy, the verse from Isaiah is uttered by the congregation during Kedusha, a prayer said during the cantor's repetition of the Amidah (18 Benedictions):

Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh Adonai Tz'vaot
Melo Kol Haaretz Kevodo.

The text of the second part, beginning with the word Benedictus (Latin for "Blessed"), is taken from Matthew 21:9, describing Jesus' Palm Sunday entry into Jerusalem, which is in turn based off of the first half of Psalm 118:26.

The Sanctus appears in the Sacramentary of Serapion of Thmuis (the saint died in 360), but may go as far back to Christian liturgy in North Africa in the year 200.”

“Musical settings: The Sanctus has been set to numerous plainchant melodies, many of which are given in the Roman Missal, and many more composers have set it to polyphonic music, both in single settings and as part of cyclic mass settings.”

Reformation Sanctus Usages

According to the ritual directions of the Deudsche Messe, in the Holy Communion the Bread was first consecrated and received by the communicants, and then this Sanctus (Luther’s Heilig), or else Luther's "Gott sei gelobet*," or "Jesus Christus unser Heiland*" (from Huss) was sung. The Wine was then consecrated and received [Deudsche Messe und ordnung Gottis Diensts, Wittenberg, 1526]. The other two Sanctus Communion chorales are

*Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet, NLGB No. 185, Catechism Communion Chorale (3 stanzas, SATB), Zahn melody 8078; Bach’s use is plain chorale setting, BWV 322.

Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet
Der uns selber hat gespeiset
Mit seinem Fleische und mit seinem Blute;
Das gib uns, Herr Gott, zu Gute!
Kyrie eleison.
Herr, durch deinen heil'gen Leichnam,
Der von deiner Mutter Maria kam,
Und das heilige Blut hilf uns,
Herr, aus aller Noth!
Kyrie eleison!

*Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, NLGB No. 184, Catechism Communion Chorale (10 stanzas, SATB) Zahn Melody 1576

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland
Der den Tod überwand,
Ist auferstanden,
Die Sünd hat er gefangen,
Kyrie eleison.

Chorale translation, history, Bach’s usages plain chorale BWV 364, BWV 626: Orgelbüchlein No. 28 (organ chorale prelude)

Johann Sebastian Bach, Bach’s Chorals, vol. 3 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Organ Works [1921] (Online Librasy of Liberty)

1. Christ Jesus, our Redeemer born,
Who from us did God’s anger turn,
Through His sufferings sore and main,
Did help us all out of hell-pain.

2. That we never should forget it,
Gave He us His flesh, to eat it,
Hid in poor bread, gift divine,
And, to drink, His blood in the wine.

3. Who will draw near to that table
Must take heed, all he is able.
Who unworthy thither goes,
Thence death instead of life he knows.

4. God the Father praise thou duly,
That He thee would feed so truly,
And for ill deeds by thee done
Up unto death has given His Son.

5. Have this faith, and do not waver,
’Tis a fool for every craver
Who, his heart with sin opprest,
Can no more for its anguish rest.

6. Such kindness and such grace to get,
Seeks a heart with agony great.
Is it well with thee? take care,
Lest at last thou shouldst evil fare.

7. He doth say, Come hither, O ye
Poor, that I may pity show ye.
No physician th’ whole man will,
He makes a mockery of his skill.

8. Hadst thou any claim to proffer,
Why for thee then should I suffer?
This table is not for thee,
If thou wilt set thine own self free.

9. If such faith thy heart possesses,
And the same thy mouth confesses,
Fit guest then thou art indeed,
And so the food thy soul will feed.

10. But bear fruit, or lose thy labour:
Take thou heed thou love thy neighbour;
That thou food to him mayst be,
As thy God makes Himself to thee.

Martin Luther (1483-1546) Tr. George Macdonald1 .

Melody & Text: Zahn: 1978 | EKG: 77; http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Jesus-Christus-unser-Heiland.htm

Luther’s Isaiah Chorale

In addition to his German Bible translation of the Catholic Sanctus-Osanna-Benedictus, Luther also wrote the melody and text for another German Sanctus entitled, "Jesaiah, dem Propheten" (Isaiah, the prophet). It is a versification of Isaiah 6:1-4 but there is no extant Bach setting.

“Jesaia(Esaia), dem Propheten, das geschah” (These Things the Seer Isaiah did befall) uses Martin Luther’s text and melody (Zahn 8534) of German Sanctus (Chorale No. 25, 1526, for the German Mass). It is based on Isaiah 6:1-4 and the English translation is by R. Massie; harmony by Erythraeus, 1608. It is found in Vopelius’ <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> (NLGB) 1682 No. 183, Catechism Communion Chorale. Later it is found as an Evening Meal Hymn [on-line music and text:

Martin Luther, The Hymns of Martin Luther [1884] (Online Library of Liberty) (Dr. Martin Luther’s Deutsche Geistliche Lieder. The Hymns of Martin Luther set to their original Melodies with an English version, ed. Leonard Woolsey Bacon and Nathan H. Allen (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1884).

The original text, Isaiah 6:1-4, reads: “ In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the LORD sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. “ 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.”

The full Luther text is:

Jesaja, dem Propheten, das geschah,
Daß er im Geist den Herren sitzen sah
Auf einem hohen Thron in hellen Glanz,
Seines Kleides Saum den Chor füllet ganz.
Es stunden zween Seraph bei ihm daran,
Sechs Flügel sah er einen jeden han,
Mit zween verbargen sie ihr Antlitz klar,
Und mit den andern zween sie flogen frei,
Gen ander rufen sie mit großem Gschrei:
Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth,
Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth,
Heilig ist Gott, der Herre Zebaoth,
Sein Ehr die ganze Welt erfüllet hat,
Von dem Geschrei zittert Schwell und Balken gar,
Das Haus auch ganz voll Rauchs und Nebel war.

http://www.martinschlu.de/kulturgeschichte/renaissance/frueh/luther/lieder/jesajadempropheten.htm

Isaiah, mighty seer, in days of old
The Lord of all in spirit did behold
High on a lofty throne, in splendor bright,
With flowing train that filled the temple quite.
Above the throne were stately seraphim;
Six wings had they, these messengers of Him.
With twain they veiled their faces, as was meet,
With twain in reverent awe they hid their feet,
And with the other twain aloft they soared,
One to the other called and praised the Lord:
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth!
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth!
Holy is God, the Lord of Sabaoth!
Behold, His glory filleth all the earth!
The beams and lintels trembled at the cry,
And clouds of smoke enwrapped the throne on high.

[See http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/i/s/a/isaiahms.htm, composite translation]

CHRISTE ELEISON, BW242

Christe eleison in G minor, BWV 242 (BC E8)
Event Unknown occasion
Composed Leipzig, 1727-1731; inserted in Mass C minor, BWV Anh 26 by Francesco Durante. 
1st performance: 1727-1731 - Leipzig
Scoring Soloists: Soprano, Alto; 4-part Chorus (SATB)
Orchestra: 2 violins, continuo (3 trombones doubling alto, tenor & bass in tutti passages)
Score BGA [0.79 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV242-BGA.pdf
References BGA: XLI | NBA: II/2 | BC: E 8 | Zwang: - | First Published: BG, 1894
BWV Anh. 26 and 242, BCW Details & Recordings, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh26.htm
BCW Discussion, BWV Anh. 24-26, August 18, 2013 (excerpt): , http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh24-26-Gen.htm

Neopolitan Missa of Durante, BWV Anh. 26

Missa in C minor, BWV Anh. 26, Francesco Durante (1684-1755), arranged by Bach 1727 with new Christe eleison duet, BWV 242 [1:38]. Also found in the Breitkopf collection, BWV Anh. 26, is scored for SATB, 2 violins, 3 trombones <in ripieno> reinforcing the lower three voices, and continuo. It is in the florid, progressive Neopolitan style. “Copied by J.S. Bach during the second half of 1727. J. S. Bach changed the structuring of the Kyrie part of his source. He retained only Kyrie I, composed a new filigree duet for the Christe (BWV 242), and employed the music from the beginning of the Gloria for the Kyrie II. In the Gloria simple plainsong intonation takes the place of the first section, and it is not until the words "Et in terra pax" that Durante's music is resumed” [see Details BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh26.htm ]. The complete Kyrie may have been composed as part of the established festive service for the First Sunday in Advent in Leipzig, c.1727.

“In its original form, the serious, melodically somewhat brittle, yet harmonically bold work has an orchestra consisting of two (tutti) violins and continuo,” says Peter Wollny in the CPO liner notes (Apocryphal Bach Masses & Magnificat, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Helbich.htm#V3). Therefore, the three lower choral parts are reinforced by trombones in order to fit out the middle range.” It is not known if this was part of the original or a later addition. The BWV Anh. 24 Missa incipit and first two bars of the opening “Kyrie” music are printed in the Rust Bach Gesellschaft Vol. XI1:16 (Ibid.). The “Gloria proceeds over spacious harmonic terrain,” explains Wollny, outlined below in the movements with [timing]:

1. Kyrie eleison (orch. intro), [2:20];
2. Christe eleison, BWV 242, BCW Discussion Week of October 20, 2013 [1:38];
3. Kyrie eleison [1:27];
4. Gloria (bass intonation) [0:57];
5. Laudamus te (soprano, alto) in G minor [1:21];
6. Gratia agimus tibi in E minor [2:43];
7. Domine Deus soprano solo in C major [2:00];
8. Qui tollis peccata mundi [1:55];
9. Quoniam tu solus sanctus [1:37];
10. Cum sancto spiritu in C major with Amen fugue [2:30].

Details

Thomas Braatz’ 2008 BCW Biography of Durante provides more details in the section, “J.S. Bach Connection
[ http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Durante-Francesco.htm ], quoted here:

“Thomas Braatz wrote (July 5, 2008):
The NBA KB II/2 dating from 1982 was still unable to identify the source of the other two mvts. included in the score which is a Bach autograph. BWV Anh. II, 26 contains a Christe eleison mvt. which, along with all the other mvts., originally had been attributed by Alfred Dörffel (BGA) in 1894 to Johann Ludwig Bach. Spitta (II, 510) had already considered the entire work to be by an Italian composer, despite the fact that Bach had written after the title of the Christe eleison mvt.: di Bach, thus indicating correctly which of the mvts. was really by him. The BWV Verzeichnis (1998) gives the Mass in C minor as being by Francesco Durante, not the Christe eleison mvt. which obviously is genuinely by J.S. Bach and is listed as BWV 242. Alfred Dürr has identified the watermark of the paper used by Bach as belonging to the period from 1727 to 1731.”

Later, as with Missa BWV Anh. 24, Hans-Joachim Schultze again identified the actual composer of BWV Anh. 26 as Durante (“JSB’s Vocal Works in the Breitkopf Non-Thematic Catalogs” in Bach Perspectives II, <JSB, the Breitkopfs, and the Eighteenth Century Music Trade, ed. George Stauffer (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996: 48f.), Source: NBA KB II/9, Works formerly attributed to Bach, p. 55.

[Source: Liner notes by Andreas Bomba to the CD 'Edition Bachakademie Vol. 72 - Sacred Music in Latin II', conducted by H. Rilling (Hänssler, 1999), 242:http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242-Rec1.htm (No. 22, Rilling, Hänssler).

The Durante Missa in C Minor in Bach’s autograph score is found in the Breitkopf Catalog, fall 1761, under No. 3, Masses With Instruments. There are six Masses attributed to Bach in his hand: Bach’s Missa in A Major, BWV 234; Bach’s Missa in G Minor, BWV 235; Johann Ludwig Bach’s Missa in C major, BWV Anh 25; Durante’s Missa in C Minor, BWV 26; J. L. Bach’s Missa in E Minor, BWV Anh. 166; and older Anonymous Missa in G Major, BWV Anh. 167. This music was found in Bach’s Music Library at his death in 1750. It is assumed that a Bach family member inherited this collection and eventually it was acquired by Breitkopf.

-------

To come this week: “Liturgy and Music in Leipzig’s Main Churches” as well as Liturgy and Theology in the Early Works of Bach.

William Hoffman wrote (October 27, 2013):
Bach’s Latin Church Music: Current BCW Discussions:

The current third-round of Discussions, 2009-2013) includes systematic discussion of Bach’s Latin Church Music: Cantata BWV 191, Gloria in excelsis Deo; Magnificat, BWV 243(a); Mass in B Minor, BWV 232; the four so-called Missa Brevis (Kyrie-Gloria), BWV 233-236; individual movements from Bassini Credo and Caldara Magnficat; the apocryphal Mass movements, BWV Anh. 24-26; and next week’s Masses: the Sancti and Kyrie Eleison, BWV 237-242. Here are the relevant discussions:

Order of Discussion, Year 2009; Beginning of the 3rd Cycle of Cantata
Discussions; Cantatas for the Church Year:

*2009, Gloria in excelsis Deo (Christmas 1745), BWV 191, March 8 (Greater Dixology & Lesser Dixology – Gloria patri [Glory be to the Father); third discussion, http://bach-cantatas.com/BWV191-D3.htm
*2009, Magnificat, BWV 243(a), March 22, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV243-Gen6.htm
*2009, Mass in B minor BWV 232, General Discussions - Part 17; Discussions in the Weeks of October 4+11,
2009; Uri Golomb wrote (October 3, 2009): Mass in B minor (BWV 232): Introduction: http://bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV232-Gen17.htm .
*2010, Masses: Oct 10, 2010, BWV 233, Missa Brevis in F major, BWV 233a, http://bach-cantatas.com/VD/BWV233.htm , scroll down to “Discussions in the Week of October 10, 2010, Ed Myskowski wrote (October 10, 2010): Introduction to BWV 233 -- Missa Brevis”; and BWV 233a, Kyrie ‘Christe du Lamm Gottes’ [There is no Systematic Discussion of BWV 233a].
*2011, July 3; Other Vocal Works, BWV 1081, Credo in unum Deum for Mass in F major by Giovanni Battista Bassani, and BWV1082, Suscepit Israel puerum suum after Magnificat in C major by Antonio Caldara; General Discussions, http://bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1081-Gen.htm
*2011, Missa Brevis in A Major, BWV 234; “Systematic Discussions of Bach’s Other Vocal Works, Missa in A major BWV 234, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/VD/BWV234.htm , scroll down to “Discussions in the Week of October 9, 2011; Ed Myskowski wrote (October 10, 2011): Introduction to BWV 234 -- Missa Brevis, A Major.
*2012, Missa Brevis in G Minor, BWV 235, October 7, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/VD/BWV235.htm
*2013, “Apocryphal” Missa movements BWV Anh. 24-26 etc. August 18, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh24-26-Gen.htm
*2013, Missa Brevis in G Major, BWV 236, October 13, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/VD/BWV236.htm

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Work-Perform.htm

Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis. Kleine Ausgabe. Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, 2a.); ed. Wolfgang Schmieder, Breitkopf and Hartel, Wiesbaden. 1998 ISBN 3-7651-0249-0.
This is a complete catalog, in German, of every piece Bach wrote, with abbreviated information. The first few measures of each movement of every piece are shown, with words when applicable. It is updated to include the music added to the catalog since 1990.

NBA II/9(KB). <Lateinische Kirchenmusik/Passionen: Bearbeitungen fremder Werke, Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit> (Latin Church Music/Passions: Adaptations of Extraneous Works, Works of Doubtful Authenticity) by Kirsten Beißwenger, 2000.

Stauffer, George B. <Bach: the Mass in B Minor: The Great Catholic Mass> (Yale University Press: 2003).

Wiermann, Barbara. ‘Bach und Palestrina - Neue Quellen (Sources) aus Johann Sebastian Bachs Notenbibliothek (Music Library)’, Bach-Jahrbuch (2002), 9-25.

Wolff, Christoph. Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs (Wiesbaden, 1968).

Wolff, Christoph. “Bach and the Tradition of the Palestrina Style,” <Bach, Essays on his Life and Music: Outlines of a Musical Portrait> (Harvard University Press, 1991).

ADDITION:

After Wolff’s seminal study of Bach’s involvement in Latin music (Der stile antico in der Musik Johann Sebastian Bachs) other Bach scholars such as Kirsten Beißwenger have made major contributions to the understanding of this music as well as and its impact on Bach’s creativity. See: Kirsten Beißwenger, “Bachs Einggriffe in Werke fermder Komponisten Beobachtungen an den Notenhandschriften aus seiner Bibliothek unter besonderer Berüucksichtigung der latinischen Kirchenmusik” (Bach’s Involvement in Extraneous Work Compositions in Adherence With Musical Manuscripts in His Library, With Separate Consideration of Latin Church Music), <Bach Jahrbuch>, 1991; pp. l27-47.

STILL TO COME: To come this week: “Liturgy and Music in Leipzig’s Main Churches” as well as Liturgy and Theology in the Early Works of Bach.

 

Continue on Part 2

Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242: Details
Complete Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Recordings of Individual Movements | Sanctus BWV 241 | Christe Eleison BWV 242
General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Systematic Discussions: BWV 233 | BWV 234 | BWV 235 | BWV 236 | BWV 233-236 | BWV 237-242


Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127



 

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Last update: Wednesday, September 06, 2017 01:31