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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

Markus-Passion BWV 247
General Discussions - Part 1

Bach's "St. Mark Passion"?/ The Bach's "St. Mark Passion" Rumor

Zachary Uram wrote (June 23, 2000):
Reading through the EARLYM-L archives I came upon a message quoting a Mr. Simon Heighes (musicologist?) on a BBC Radio 3 interview program saying:

"The St. Mark Passion, however, was most certainly the work of [is this a typo or what does this 'S' mean?] J.S. Bach and was first performed at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig on Good Friday (23 March) 1731. The autograph manuscript of the St Mark Passion, which in 1764 as in the possession of the Leipzig publisher J.G. Britkopf, has been lost, though a copy of the score made by the Bach collector Franz Hauser (1794-1870) survived until as recently as 1945 when it was burned in Dresden bombings. No other copies of the work are known. Only the libretto, written by Picander (Bach's librettist for St Matthew (BWV 244)), remains."

Is this true that we actually had a fair score copy of the "St. Mark Passion" surviving extant as recently as 1945! I know war is horrible and both sides carried out civilian/church bombings but this makes me very mad at the allies for bombing the Dresden church, which had this masterpiece. No excuse for this. Ugh, it is hard to believe that not a single person made an exact copy of this score between 1764 and 1945. Surely a copy must exist somewhere waiting to be discovered yes?

Sir Wingealot wrote (June 24, 2000):
Thank you for asking this question.

The version that I read, without any source attribution, said that the autograph was in the possession of a private collector in Berlin, and that it was lost in the bombings of Berlin.

I hope that someone on the list can give us the real scoop on this one.

Robert Murphy wrote (June 25, 2000):
(To Zachary Uram) Good to hear from you, it's been awhile!!

I am will be in Bach heaven from July 2-8 at Westminster Choir College in Princeton NJ (my graduate alma mater) for Bach Festival 2000 which will focus on the St. Matthew passion (BWV 244). It's a week long workshop that will culminate in a performance at week's end with Fuma Sacra and Westminster Bach Orchestra. In addition to the rehearsals there will be study of the passion from a variety of perspectives, analyzing hte liturgical, theological and cultural backgrounds also master classes and individual lessons, master classes and discussions for conductors singers, keyboardists, lectures on performance practice, continuo practice and lectures on baroque instruments. I can't wait!!

I have been listening to some of my recordings of the SMP (BWV 244) and have found something quite surprising, in that what were some of my favorties are no longer so, and some I didn’t think highly of I really appreciate.

I have two recordings by Karl Richter, one from 1959 and the other from 1979. I really love the 1958 performance, it is not historically informed, but I find the passion, dedication, and above all, love for the work that i never grasped before!! The 1979 is not as good, although the soloists should have been better, Edith Mathis, Janet Baker, Peter Schreier, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, but he perforamnce is leaden and very heavy. I know that Richter died soon after.

I used to really like the Gardiner performance, but in comparison the the 1958 Richter, I find it a bit to glib,and facile. Some of the tempos I find to be way too fast such as "Ich Will dir mein herzen schenken" although Barbara Bonney sing wonderfully, I don;t find any kind of connection with the words.

I picked up a version by Eugen Jochum and the Concertgebouw Orchestra dating from 1964 in a used bookstore in downtown Minneapolis. It too is quite wonderful. I find that the soloists in Jochum and Richter were operas stars too and I find their voices more satisfying full and rich, they have color in their voices, while in many in the historically informed performances I find the voices too white, lacking in color, very cold sounding!! Of course, that is just my own humble opinion!!

Here is how I would rate my SMP (BWV 244) record collection from favourite to least favorite:

1. Karl Richter (1959)
2. Eugen Jochum
3 Nikolaus Harnoncourt
4. John Eliot Gardner
5. Otto Klemperer
6. Karl Richter (1979)
7. David Willcocks
8. Nikolaus Harnoncourt (Concertgebouw, 1985)

Probably more than you wanted to know!!

 

What question would you ask?

John Downes wrote (October 23, 2000):
I would ask, 'Don't you think it might be a good idea to have the boys make some spare copies of the parts and scores of the St Mark Passion?'

 

St. Mark Passion music for sale or hire

Richard Adams wrote (January 24, 2001):
At the end of March my choir (The Belfast Philharmonic Choir) will be performing a reconstruction of the St Mark Passion. Following this the music will be available for sale or hire.

This very recent reconstruction by A H Gomme is published by Barenreiter. It uses the original surviving music of Bach's setting supplemented by the St mark setting of Rheinhard Kaiser a contemporary of Bach.

The fact that Barenreiter, the mainstay publisher of Urtext Editions, has decided to publish this work, is the main vote of confidence in this edition as the best performing version likely to appear barring a rediscovery of the original.

We will probably have up to 100 copies available either for purchase or hire and would be prepared to post anywhere in Europe. If you are interested please reply to me either directly or through this news group.

If you happen to be in Belfast on 24 March, come to the Ulster Hall and hear the performance!

 

St Mark Passion (long)

Michael Hartney wrote (January 25, 2001):
Richard Adams wrote:
< At the end of March my choir (The Belfast Philharmonic Choir) will be performing a reconstruction of the St Mark Passion. >
Chorallisters might be interested in some information about Bach's St. Mark Passion.

We know that Bach composed and performed a St. Mark’s on Good Friday 1731: the score is lost but the libretto survives. It comprises, besides the gospel narrative (the Evangelist’s recitatives and the turba choruses), 16 chorales and 8 “reflective” movements (2 choruses and 6 arias). We also know that after 1729, Bach often borrowed music from earlier works: witness the B-minor Mass (BWV 232) and the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248). Musicologists believe this is also true of the reflective movements of the St. Mark, and indeed they generally agree on the source of 6 of these 8 movements. Since there are also settings of the 16 chorales to be found in Bach’s other works, we have important elements for a reconstruction of the lost St. Mark Passion.

A number of reconstructions have been attempted over the years. The two most promising date from the 1990’s, one by Andar Gomme (Barenreiter) mentioned by Richard Adams, and one by Simon Heighes (King’s Music) which received its Canadian (and possibly North American) premiere last September at a music festival in Ottawa as part of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of Bach’s death. Here are some notes on these two reconstructions.

(1) Chorales: as we have no way of knowing which setting Bach used, the two editors chose whichever setting they thought appropriate. Sometimes they agreed, and sometimes not.

(2) Reflective movements: given that musicologists agree on the musical source for six of these, the editors followed the musicologists. For the other two arias, the editors chose the same music for one of them, but not for the other.

(3) Narrative: as Bach could not have borrowed earlier music for the Evangelist’s recitatives (since it had to fit the text of St. Mark’s gospel), both editors hit upon the same expedient: if we cannot have Bach’s music, that of one of his contemporaries is the next best thing. Both editors chose the St. Mark Passion of Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739) which Bach is known to have performed on at least two occasions (1713 and 1726). Keiser’s passion seems to be the first to surround Jesus’ words with a “halo” of string tone, a device Bach later used in his St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). So Keiser's narrative music is a good substitute for Bach’s.

But there was one problem with Keiser’s music. It begins with the scene at Gethsemani, while Bach’s libretto begins 26 verses earlier with the preparation for the Last Supper. So there is no music by Keiser for these 26 gospel verses. The two editors settled upon radically different solutions. Gomme chose to begin his reconstruction of Bach’s St. Mark where Keiser’s music begins and to omit the first 26 verses of the narrative. Heighes chose the opposite course but had to find music for these 26 verses: for the 4 turba choruses, he borrowed music from other Bach works, and for the recitatives he wrote the music himself in a Bachian style.

So we have two competing reconstructions of Bach’s St. Mark, very similar in many respects. In both cases, the recitatives are not by Bach, but much of the rest is, and some of it is almost certainly what he actually performed on Good Friday 1731. So, unless Bach’s score re-appears somewhere, these reconstructions are probably the closest we will get to the original work. As someone who took part in the performance of the Heighes version last September, I think every choir should attempt one of these reconstructions, if only for the experience of performing a two-hour "Bach" work no one has ever heard before! (Dare I add that I have parts and scores for the Heighes version?)

By the way, there are also 2 other very different recent reconstructions of the St. Mark out there. One published by Carus has all the missing recitatives replaced by music written in a 20th century idiom: this makes for a strange hybrid of baroque and modern music (which I find unsatisfying). Ton Koopman has also produced his own reconstruction which deliberately ignores everything musicologists have to say about the sources of the St. Mark. For the arias and choruses, he choses music from Bach’s other works which he considers suitable, and as for the recitatives, he simply writes his own. Neither of these versions seeks authenticity in the way Gomme and Heighes do.

John Howell (Virginia Tech Department of Music, Blacksburg, Virginia, U.S.A.) wrote:
Michael Hartney wrote a most welcome and interesting description of the reconstruction efforts on Bach's St. Mark Passion. I would only add a few warning remarks.

1. Just because we have the libretto (Picander?) that Bach may have used does not mean that Bach used it intact. There is ample precedent for Bach, and others, picking and choosing when setting such a dramatic work, starting at least as early as Monteverdi's "L'Orfeo." This is especially important in dealing with the question of the "missing" 26 verses.

2. Just because "some" musicologists agree to "some" extent on possible movements taken from other works, it's still 90% guesswork. What seems possible, even what seems probable, is not necessarily what is true. We do know, for instance, that when he may have been working on the St. Mark, he had a hurry-up call for funeral music needed at Köthen, and that cantata (which has survived--Actus Tragicus (BWV 106)??--this is without benefit of references) is assumed to have used some of the new music he was working on, with different texts. It is an assumption--an educated guess.

3. Bach was an absolute master at using the Lutheran chorale repertoire for maximum effectiveness. He knew that repertoire backwards and forwards, and his placement of the chorales, his selection of just the right one, his careful selection of just the right verses, and his choice of key and degree of elaboration were always made with great care. Just to select settings which he may have intended for use in other contexts lacks that care, unless the scholar doing the selecting is the equal of Bach in knowledge of the Lutheran church and in Bach's musical craftsmanship.

4. If we lack Bach's setting of the Evangelist's parts, we lack the musical glue that held the entire work together, giving it coherence and shape and drawing the congregation into the emotional unfolding of the drama. Keiser's setting may be very lovely, but Keiser is not Bach and never was. If one must combine them, at least be honest enough to call the result Bach-Keiser or, better yet, Keiser-Bach.

5. So do I object to such pastiche reconstructions being performed? Of course not. It is at least interesting to hear them, and at best may illuminate something unexpected. But let's not get carried away about "the experience of performing a two-hour "Bach" work no one has ever heard before!" Present it as what it is, like the reconstruction of Mozart's C Minor Mass or Beethoven's 10th symphony, or the completion of Mozart's Requiem Mass or Puccini's Turandot. A work by Bach it is not, but it has a certain interest nonetheless.

 

Markus Passion

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 30, 2001)
While the Simon Heighes reconstruction of the Markus Passion is a nice and pleasant enough listening experience, a rather tranquill experience indeed, it certainly cannot possibly bear any similarity to any Passion which Bach would have composed. The six arias I count are all (except the last, the baritone one) ultra familiar and very beautiful and maybe for some having them in a reconstructed Passion context adds something. But everything else is recitative and chorale and this does not add up to a Bach Passion. The orchestral accompaniment to the closing chorus is very much what we expect from Bach. The performance is beautiful and touching. But I tolerate the Passion texts for the music, not the other way around. But then again, this is a nice experience and it is almost for free in this set which I guess every Bach nut (of vocal Bach) would want to have.Happily this is not a blatantly anti-Jewish text. BTW, there are non-Jews amongst music lovers who are happy neither with the Passion texts nor with some of Wagner's ideas and works. I am sure I will enjoy the historical value of the Lukas Passion (BWV 246) as well. Sorrily I missed Homilius' setting at Berkshire, not that I have ever heard of Homilius.

 

Passion for Passions…

Steven Langley Guy wrote (June 6, 2001):
I am curious. I know that Bach wrote at least three settings of the Passion (the St. Mark, St. John (BWV 245) and St. Matthew (BWV 244)), four, if you count the apocryphal Lukas Passion (BWV 246). Yet I have read somewhere that they may have been another Passion or two composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and the score(s?) for this work is now lost*. Is there any basis in verifiable fact for this assertion?

Many cantatas are lost - we know this. (I think that up to one thousand of Georg Philipp Telemann's cantatas have survived? Or is this estimate too high? More were recently discovered if my memory serves me correctly?)

I wonder what the survival rate of Bach's compositions has been? Do we have 80% of his music? Or perhaps only 60%, or even less? Can we ever know? Anyway, I'm just curious, that's all.

* But being re-assembled 'pasticcio-style' by Ton Koopman as I write! ;-))

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 7, 2001):
[To Steven Labgley Guy] While we are back to the Lukas Passion (BWV 246) which I am sure Steven will hear all the dislike for Koopman's and the liking for the one I mentioned here a few days ago (under Gerhard Rehm),in re my question re the tenor, if anyone has the original CPO or otherwise knows the answers, please do consider responding. Again I repeat that Operissimo has confused the Pseudo-Bach Lukas Passion (BWV 246) with that of Penderecki. And maybe I am presently confusing the discussion of Koopman's reconstruction of the Markus Passion with the Lukas (BWV 246), but no matter. About that we can read on the site which Aryeh maintains with all the useful information.

Steven Langley Guy wrote (June 7, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] Sorry, my comment vis-a-vis Koopman was a little bit of flippant nonsense. (I neither condemn nor endorse Koopman's St Mark Passion reconstruction - I heard most of it on the radio and enjoyed in a detached sort of way). I was wondering if there was another lost St. Matthew (BWV 244) or St. John Passion (BWV 245). That's all.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 7, 2001)
Actually, although I have never heard the Koopman, I followed the advice on this list and did very much enjoy the Markus Passion under Roy Goodman in the same Brilliant Classics Box. It was a good experience and the two Passions, one with real Bach music and the other with excellent albeit non-Bach music, are really worth having even if this set were normal priced. Well none of us would probably pay normal price for the run of the mill Matthäus (BWV 244) and Johannes (BWV 245), but a good experience. The lack of notes for the lesser known works and on the performers is a cause for suffering however.

 

Markus and Lukas passions Brilliant set again

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 9, 2001):
Some time ago, maybe 8 months ago, when we were for a while discussing the Markus Passion reconstruction as done by SH and contained in that supercheap set from Brilliant Classics together with the non-Bach Lukas Passion (BWV 246), I distinctly recall everyone having the same experience as I myself, to wit that it was a shame that no notes and esp. no libretto, no German words of the two passions were included whatsover. I recall not a dissenting voice.

By chance, the subject came up elsewhere, in a most unlikely place where the poster insisted that his set came with booklets in each of the passions and that he had texts to the Lukas (BWV 246) and Markus passions.

Does anyone else share this bounty? Please do tell,

Tom Hens wrote (December 10, 2001):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] At least as sold in the Netherlands and Belgium (in downmarket chain drugstores), all the vocal works in the Brilliant series came with booklets with the full texts (no translations), and the St. Mark also has notes by Simon Heighes explaining his reconstruction. I believe that in the compact reissue of the complete set in cardboard sleeves all these booklets have been combined into one book.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (December 10, 2001):
[To Tom Hens] Thank you, Tom.

The set of the 4 passions in a box which I have had no texts and no notes at all. Obviously neither was necessary for Markus and Matthäus (BWV 244).The person with whom I was disputing this matter is sending me the necessary texts.

Eitan Loew wrote (Jaanuary 30, 2002):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] The other day I've purchased the same disk of the St. Luke Passion BWV 246 (Brilliant Classics, 99369/8-9) and there was a booklet; however – it contains the German text only, no notes.

I wonder if somebody can enlighten me - who reconstructed this lost Passion? what musical material did he use?

I have also St. Mark Passion BWV 247 reconstructed by Ton Koopman. In the booklet there Koopman explains his work, including his decision to write the recitatives himself. Who knows about the St Luke? By the way, the recitatives here sound very "non-Bach" to me.

Also, how come that the BWV list numbers had been allocated for these Passions, while it was not done for hundreds of other Bach lost works?

By the way, in the same booklet Christoph Wolff tells about a fifth Passion composed in 1717 for the Duke of Sachsen Gotha. Anybody knows more about it?

Thanks for any information,

Marten Breuer wrote (January 30, 2002):
Eitan Loew wrote:
< By the way, in the same booklet Christoph Wolff tells about a fifth Passion composed in 1717 for the Duke of Sachsen Gotha. Anybody knows more about it? >
If I am not mistaken, it was Forkel who in the first biography on Bach's life mentioned a Passion composed in 1717 but the music is completely unknown. However, it is assumed that those parts of the second version of the St. John Passion (BWV 245) that were newly introduced might be taken from the 1717 Passion.

 

New Markus Passion Reconstruction

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 19, 2003):
Last night, many hours after the SMP (BWV 244) I referred to in a post yesterday, there was a performance hosted by Bill McGlaughlin of MPR of course, that was also nationally syndicated. It was a NEW reconstruction of the Markus-Passion. Alas I caught only the very end of it. Both this and the Matthaeus-Passion must have been captured by someone in the USA. On many lists persons do capture such things and often help out with them. At all events I do hope some heard it.

Matthew Westphal wrote (April 20, 2003):
[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] I did a quick Google search and the most information I could find out about this program was here: http://www.gpb.org/gpr/programs/?progid=197.

I was hoping that some public radio station would have this program archived in streaming audio, but if there is, I didn't find it.

The radio program grew out of a staging presented in Oslo in 2002; Simon Russell Beale gives narration in English while Edward Higginbottom and the Norwegian Baroque Orchestra (no mention of choir or soloists that I could find) sing the music in German.

Yoel, I don't know if the bit you heard made mention of who did the musical reconstruction; I saw no indication anywhere I looked. Based on what I did see, I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that the "new" part of this is the interleaving of English narration with the music -- and that the actual musical edition/reconstruction used was not new at all. My guess is that they probably used the Simon Heighes version (the one Roy Goodman recorded for the Musica Oscura label) or something based on it (like the Andor Gomme version that used recits by Keiser and that ASV recorded). But that is just a guess.

Yoel L. Arbeitman wrote (April 21, 2003):
Matthew Westphal wrote:
< I did a quick Google search and the most information I could find out about this program was here: http://www.gpb.org/gpr/programs/?progid=197.
I was hoping that some public radio station would have this program archived in streaming audio, but if there is, I didn't find it. >
Unfortunately I have one and 1/2 classical stations. The one whole station, not an NPR affiliate, has a website with zilch information.The other 1/2 station has a great website with more information than one could hope for. The whole station (no website) broadcast this.Thus no information. I only caught the last few seconds, sorry for us all.

Someone undertook to record the Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244) for me, but he decided in his wisdom that the performance was less than outstanding and thus he ceased to record. But he also likes women singers (what can I say:-)?

 

New Markus Passion Reconstruction (another one)

Riccardo Nughes wrote (May 4, 2003):
< It was a NEW reconstruction of the Markus-Passion. >
BTW, atthe press conference introducing the new of Milan's "G.Verdi Symphony Orchestra" http://www.orchestrasinfonica.milano.it/start.htm it was announced that a new reconstruction of the Markus Passion has been realized by Georg Christoph Biller (ThomasKantor in Lipsia today). A live performance is scheduled for 2004 or 2005.

 

Answer a question

Maxime Abolgassemi wrote (May 4, 2003):
Markus Passion Question BWV 247, proper part (apologies)

Wimjan wrote (January 12, 2002):
Gene Herron first wrote:
< I'm referring to the Simon Heighes reconstruction of same on BWV 247 as recorded by Simon Goodman. The last movement, "Bei Deinem Grab und Leichenstein" is accompanied by a wonderful oboe and bassoon work. Does anyone know the cantata or work this oboe and bassoon piece came from originally? I do not think it was the Trauer Ode I'd like to hear how Bach worked the theme out in context of the whole work.
[and then]
My apologies,
The piece I was referring to is entitled, "Ich will hier bei Dir stehen". I wish to know the origin of this work which is accompanied by an oboe and bassoon work, which is quite beautiful. >
Just a simple information, Bei Deinem Grab und Leichenstein" does come from the Cantata BWV 198: it's exactly the last chorus "chorus ultimus" wtih the famous text dedicated explicitly to the Queen of Poland Eberhardine who had died. A gap is made from a queen death (but with the idea that "du stirbest nicht") and the death of Jesus, that the final text of the Markus Passion sings, but interesting choice (same object, one in a secular context, one for a passion).

 

St Mark Passion

John Pike wrote (September 2, 2003):
I have just finished listening to Dr Simon Heighes' reconstruction of this passion (for which only the libretto remains). A reconstruction of much of it is fairly reliable since careful study has shown that the original was created by "parodying" other music by Bach, ie. He assembled the music he wanted to use and Picander then wrote the libretto to fit the music. By careful study of the metre of each movement, and of what best fits, we can be fairly certain of many of the movements from cantatas etc. that Bach originally used. Where no such reconstruction is possible is with the recitatives, for which music by Bach's contemporary, Keiser, in his own St Mark Passion has been used for this recording (Bach performed Keiser's St Mark Passion twice himself). Unfortunately, Keiser's version starts 22 verses later in the gospel story than Bach's version, so some fresh composition was necessary. Nevertheless, I think this reconstruction is very successful, with some very beautiful and moving music. I think the performances and recording are both very good, with excellent soloists, good choir and orchestra. A treble boy's voice is used in an all-male line up of soloists, and I think the treble, Connor Burrows does a very good job. I was not at all disconcerted by his voice as I have been by some of the boy trebles in the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt cantata series. A warmly recommended recording.

I have another reconstruction of the St Mark on order and will report on it when I have had a chance to listen.

Bob Henderson wrote (September 2, 2003):
[To John Pike] To which recording do you refer? Is that the Koopman?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (September 3, 2003):
[To John Pike] I like it, too. Unfortunately the copy I have has no liner notes (in which undoubtedly they would have printed the movements they used to reconstruct the music for the Markuspassion). Do you have a copy of the liner notes? If so, could you possibly e-mail me with a movement-by-movement listing of the sources (BWV and movement numbers) that they used to reconstruct the music (next to the numbers of the movements they were used to reconstruct)? Of course you do not need to e-mail me a list of the Chorales, as I have the names of the Chorale sources that were excerpted.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (September 3, 2003):
[To Bob Henderson] No. Koopman went on his own for his recording. The one that used Simon Heighes' reconstruction is led by Roy Goodman.

John Pike wrote (September 3, 2003):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] David is correct. After reading comments on the Bach Cantatas website about the various reconstructions available, I decided not to get the Koopman one. It has been described as "more Koopman than Bach". Christoph Wolff was apparently not enthusiastic about it at its first preformance. Koopman does not accept conventional belief that the Truaer Ode (BWV 198) was the source for much of the St Mark Passion and I understand he wrote ALL the recitatives himself.

The other recording I have on order uses a mixture of Bach and Keiser in the reconstruction and is described on the web site as being the other most satisfactory attempt at reconstruction.

Stevan Vasiljevic wrote (September 3, 2003):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
< could you possibly e-mail me with a movement-by-movement listing of the sources (BWV and movement numbers) that they used to reconstruct the music >
Unfortunately the issue that I have also didn't come with liner notes. But, for starters, before someone gets you a thorough list, I can give you some information about it that I found on: http://www.bachfaq.org/
"In the case of the St. Mark Passion, scholars seem to be in agreement that the parody models are mostly provided by the cantatas BWV 198 (the Trauer-Ode) and BWV 54 (Widerstehe doch der Sünde). These sources, however, fail to account for all of the work, and at this point disagreement begins. In a recent reconstruction, Dr. Simon Heighes adapts the remaining arias from the cantata BWV 204 (Angenehmes Mordgeschrei) and the aria Himmel reisse from the 1725 version of the St. John Passion. More trouble arises from the reconstruction of the recitatives and the crowd (turba) choruses. Dr. Heighes has identified music from the Christmas Oratorio and from BWV 198 for some of the choruses but that still leaves a substantial gap. A neat solution to this impediment to an effective performance edition is the incorporation of excerpts from the St. Mark Passion of Reinhard Keiser, a work which seems to have greatly influenced the turbae of Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244). Nonetheless, since Keiser's narrative starts later that Bach's, some music has to be newly composed. Previous reconstructions have solved the problems presented by the missing choruses and recitatives with solutions ranging from omitting them altogether (and reading the text in performance) to complete de novo re-composition."

I agree with John Pike that it's fine music. In fact, it is in my CD player for a few days now. I think that a good approach to listening to this passion is not to say: "Well, Bach could/would have done it differently" as some of my friends did. It's better to just listen to the music and say whether you like it or not. My impression is that it somewhat lacks that drama of Matthäus-passion (BWV 244), but on the other hand, what can measure with SMP (BWV 244)?

John Pike wrote (September 3, 2003):
[To : David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Here are the details as extracted from Simon Heighes' notes. There is good evidence that all the items below except the last one (no. 5 in recitatives and turba choruses) may well have been used by Bach in his original:

Arias:

1. "Geh, Jesu zu deiner Pein!" (from Trauer-Ode, BWV 198)
2. Counter-tenor aria "Mein Heiland" (Trauer-Ode, BWV 198)
3. Trbaria "Er Kommt" (Trauer-Ode, BWV 198)
4. Tenor aria "Mein Troester" (Trauer-Ode, BWV 198)
5. Second counter-tenor aria "Falsche Welt" (from "Widerstehe doch der Sünde", BWV 54 of 1714)
6. Aria "Angenehmes Mordgeschrei" (from Treble aria "Himmlische Vergnuegsamkeit" from Cantata BWV 204)
7. Aria "Welt und Himmel" (from "Himmel reisse", composed for revival of St John Passion (BWV 245) in 1725 and later deleted when Bach revived St John Passion in 1730)

Chorales:

1. Part 1 ends with an arrangement of "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" from BWV 135 in which the tune is intoned slowly by the basses
2. Harmonisations of all required melodies can be found in Bach's cantatas and in CPE Bach's collection of his father's chorales issued in 4 parts between 1784 and 1787.

Recitatives and Turba Choruses:

1. "Ja nicht auf das Fest" (later used in Christmas Oratorio "Wo ist der neugeborne König?")
2. "Pfui dich" (later used in Christmas Oratorio "Lasset uns nun gehen")
3. "Kreuzige ihn" (later used in Christmas Oratorio "Ehre sei Gott")
4. "Er hat andern geholfen" (Final chorus of Part 1 of Trauer-Ode BWV 198 "An dir du Fürbild grosse")
5. Other recitatives and turba choruses really are completely lost. For this recording, some have been borrowed from other cantatas, some borrowed from Keiser's St Mark Passion and some composed afresh to cover first 25 verses of narrative (not included in Keiser's version). 1st turba chorus "Ja nicht auf das Fest" borrowed from "Wo ist der neugeborne König?" in Christmas Oratorio, 2nd and 3rd turbas were drawn from workable cantata choruses. Institution of Holy Eucharist "Nehmet, esset, das ist mein Leib" borrowed from arioso in BWV 187)

David Glenn Lebut Jr. Wrote (September 5, 2003):
[To Stevan Vasiljevic] Thanks anyways. I was aware of all the things you mentioned (with the exception of BWV 204), but without exact movement-by-movement listing, it doesn't help much.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. Wrote (September 5, 2003):
[To John Pike] Thanks a lot. that helped me out much.

Bradley Lehman (September 5, 2003):
[To John Pike] I have the [1965] Epic LC 3906...one of the American reissues of the Erato recording (premiere) by Gönnenwein. That issue is mono. According to the corner of the libretto, there was also an Epic stereo issue BC 1306. (Aryeh, you might want to add Epic and 1965 to the page at that first entry.) The cover art is part of Bruegel's "Carrying of the Cross."

According to the jacket notes, this version was put together by Alfred Dürr, drawing on earlier work by Smend and Rust. It has items 1-5 and 7 below; plus a final chorus "Bei deinem Grab" (i.e. parody of the concluding chorus from the Trauer-Ode); plus five chorales: "Betrübtes Herz", "Jesu, ohne Missetat", "Ich will hier bei dir stehen", "Man hat dich", and "O, Jesu du, mein Hilf und Ruh!"

I also have the Goodman recording of the Heighes version, on Brilliant Classics, but the cover art is different from those that are shown at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV247.htm

 

Markuspassion and Johannespassion, Version II

David Glenn Lebut Jr. Wrote (September 5, 2003):
One question I have from readings various articles, CD liner notes, and looking at the scores and texts of the Markuspasison BWV 247 and the Johannespassion BWV 245 Version II: were they composed for 2 choirs or for 1 choir? The reason I bring this up is that based on my reading in Bach biographies, Bach books, etc., the Thomaskirche zu Leipzig (for which the Markuspassion and the above-mentioned 2nd version of the Johannespassion (BWV 245), as well as the Matthaeuspassion, were written) had 2 standard choirs, whereas the Nikolaikirche zu Leipzig (for which the Johannespassion (BWV 245) in the three other versions was written) had only 1 standard choir. Yet in all the recordings I have heard of either work, they would lead one to believe that they were written for 1 standard choir. Another reason I bring this up is practical: I am in the midst of constructing authoritative texts and scores for all Bach Passions in all their versions, from the Passionspasticcio Bach wrote ca. 1712 on the Markuspassion formerly thought to have been composed by Reinhard Keiser (now thought to have been written by Friedrich Nicolaus Bruhns, Nikolaus Bruhns' brother) and the so-called "Weimarer Passion" of 1717 to the 1st version of the Johannespassion (BWV 245) in 1724 and the second version of 1725 to the Matthäuspassion (BWV 244) of 1727 and 1729 to the Lukaspassion (BWV 246) of 1730 and 1735 and the Markuspassion of 1731 to the two Leipziger Fassungen of the abovementioned Keiser/Bruhns Markuspassion (1726 and ca. 1742) to the later versions of the Johannespassion (BWV 245) (1732, 1749, and 1739-49) and the Matthäuspassion (BWV 244) (1736 and 1742-48) to the Passionspasticcio "Wer ist der, so von Edom koemmt" for which Bach wrote 3 movements to the Trauermusik "Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt" for the Fürsten Leopold von Anhalt-Köthen BWV 244a.

In that connection, too, I would like any assistance anyone could furnish in regards to compiling authoritative texts and scores of the abovementioned works.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (September 7, 2003):
[To Hohn Pike] Also, where did you get the notes? The notes you have have the Turbae movements "Ja nicht auf das Fest" and "Pfui dich" mixed up. Here is what I have (which is based on hearing the recording I have):

Nr. 2b Turba "Ja nicht auf das Fest": based on BWV 248 III, Nr. 3 (26) "Lasset uns nun gehen gen Bethlehem"

Nr. 39b Turba "Pfui dich, wie fein zerbrechst du den Tempel": based on BWV 248 V, Nr. 3(45)a&c "Wer ist der negeborne Koenig der Juden?" and "Wir haben seine Sterne gesehen"

John Pike wrote (September 9, 2003):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] I have checked my reporting of Dr Simon Heighes' own liner notes that came with the CD and I have reported his note accurately. There is no possibility of misinterpreting the way he has phrased it. Maybe he has made a mistake in his notes?

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (September 10, 2003):
[To John Pike] I have based mine on the recording that I have (which, according to a source I have seen,is based on his reconstruction).

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (September 10, 2003):
[To John Pike] The information I found on a web page that lists all the different Passion arrangements, where performed, what BC number, details about the works, listing of Recordings, and notes about either recordings or works. The link I found it on is: http://www.s-line.de/homepages/bachdiskographie/kaneins/geistliche_kantaten_eins_frame.htm

 

Could It Be?

John Pike Wrote (March 13, 2004):
I have been listening to a reconstruction of the St Mark passion. I have two reconstructions of this and posted details of the first on the Bach cantatas website a few months ago.

Many people have tried to reconstruct this work, for which the libretto remains but Bach's music has been lost. There is good evidence that the wowas a parody, drawing on music which he had composed for other pieces. The two most satisfactory reconstructions both use much music from the Trauer-Ode of 1727, BWV 198, and from various other compositions. In the version I have been listening to, (Geoffrey Webber, Choir of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, Cambridge Baroque Camerata, on ASV/Gaudeamus CD GAX 237), the reconstruction is by Andor Gomme and uses mainly music by Bach, but Turba Choruses and Recitatives from the St Mark Passion by Bach's contemporary Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739). It is a fine performance, which I can warmly recommend. The reconstruction is satisfying and the bits by Keiser, while lacking Bach's genius, are pleasant enough.

 

CD review: St Mark Passion

Johan van Veen wrote (May 9, 2005):
Bach, St Mark Passion, with additional music by the contemporary German composer Volker Bräutigam. See: www.musica-dei-donum.net

 

Bach's "St. Mark Passion" ? [BACH-LIST]

Totoro Daisuki wrote (December 2, 2005):
Reading through the EARLYM-L archives I came upon a message quoting a Mr. Simon Heighes (musicologist?) on a BBC Radio 3 interview programme saying:

"The S Mark Passion, however, was most certainly the work of [is this a typo or what does this 'S' mean?] J.S.Bach and was first performed at the Thomaskirche, Leipzig on Good Friday (23 March) 1731. The autograph manuscript of the St Mark Passion, which in 1764 as in the possesion of the Leipzig publisher J.G.Britkopf, has been lost,though a copy of the score made by the Bach collector Franz Hauser (1794-1870) survived until as recently as 1945 when it was burned in Dresden bombings. No other copies of the work are known.Only the libretto,written by Picander (Bach's librettist for St Matthew), remains."

Is this true that we actually had a fair score copy of the "St. Mark Passion" surviving extant as recently as 1945! I know war is horrible and both sides carried out civilian/church bombings but this makes me very mad at the allies for bombing the Dresden church which had this masterpiece. No excuse for this. Ugh, it is hard to believe that not a single person made an exact copy of this score between 1764 and 1945. Surely a copy must exist
somewhere waiting to be discovered yes?

John Briggs wrote (December 2, 2005):
Totoro Daisuki wrote:
< Is this true that we actually had a fair score copy of the "St. Mark Passion" surviving extant as recently as 1945! I know war is horrible and both sides carried out civilian/church bombings but this makes me very mad at the allies for bombing the Dresden church which had this masterpiece. No excuse for this. Ugh, it is hard to believe that not a single person made an exact copy of this score between 1764 and 1945. Surely a copy must exist somewhere waiting to be discovered yes? >
Calm down! No, it isn't true. The copy offered for sale by Breitkopf was presumably a copyist's score. (They may have had an archive score and would make a copy for you if you were willing to pay - print-on-demand, so to speak. If no one did, they would have eventually disposed of their copy.) No copy is known to have existed since 1764, although there may be one somewhere.

Totoro Daisuki wrote (December 2, 2005):
[To John Briggs] I see. Thanks John!

 

Markus-Passion BWV 247 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 25, 2009):
Following the revised discographies of SMP, SJP & MBM, I am glad to inform you of the revised & updated discography of the Markus-Passion BWV 247.

For the already existing recordings I have added exact recording date (not only month/year) and link/s to source of info/possible purchase sources.
I have done the deepest possible search over the web and discovered some unfamiliar recordings.

The page of Markus-Passion, including the discography: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV247.htm
18 recordings in various reconstructions are now presented in this page (in the previous version there were 14).
Please notice that for many recordings (I do not have them all at my disposal) scans of both the front and back covers are presented. If you click on the small picture, you get a bigger one, allowing you looking into further details of the recording.

Please also notice that the other Markus-Passion associated with Bach (performed by him several times), by Brauns (Bruhns) / Keiser is presented at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Brauns-Markus-Passion.htm

Despite my efforts, the info presented for some of the recordings is only partial. Therefore, I would appreciate any help in making this discography (as well as other discographies on the BCW) even more comprehensive, updated and accurate by adding recordings, correcting errors and completing missing details.

 

Continue on Part 2

Markus-Passion BWV 247: Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | BWV 247 - R. Goodman | BWV 247 - T. Koopman
Article:
Narrative Parody In Bach's St. Mark Passion [W. Hoffman]

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Last update: ýAugust 20, 2012 ý19:48:53