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Markus-Passion BWV 247

Conducted by Roy Goodman

Recording

V-1

Markus-Passion BWV 247

Roy Goodman

Ring Ensemble of Finland / European Union Baroque Orchestra

Tenor [Evangelist]: Rogers Covey-Crump; Baritone [Jesus]: Gordon Jones; Treble: Connor Burrowes; Alto: David James; Tenor: Paul Agnew; Baritone: Teppo Tolonen

Musica Oscura / Brilliant Classics

Mar 1996

2-CD / TT: 100:50

In a reconstruction by Dr. Simon Heighes

Markus Passion: Dumb Questions

Harry Steinman
wrote (October 20, 1999):
Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know: No Dumb Questions, blah-blah-blah. But these are REALLY dumb. So here goes. I have been listening to the Markus Passion (Brilliant Classics 99049, Roy Goodman conducting the Ring Ensemble with the European Union Baroque Orchestra) and here's what's puzzling me. (The Brilliant Classics passions are great because they are nicely recorded, good musicians and soloists and they are WAY inexpensive through Berkshire Record Outlet--$16 for all 4 passions-but there are no liner notes...)

1. First Dumb Question: Some of the choruses ("Du edles Angesichte" or "Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn") sound EXACTLY the same as a recurring theme in the Matthew Passion (for example, "Erkenne mich, mein Huter" or "Ich will hier bei dir stehen") Now, I know that JSB borrowed liberally, but I also know that the Markus Passion is being reconstructed by Koopman (and I have tickets to the premier in NYC! Yes!). So, maybe the version I have is a 'Work In Progress'. So, the question is, Are these choral pieces close to identical because Bach recycled 'em, or have they been pieced together by others? Will I be able to compare the Koopman reconstruction with what I have or will they bear little resemblance?

2. Second Dumb Question: All of the soloists that are listed on the Brilliant Classics version have men's names. But I hear what sounds like a female voice but has a man's name ("Connor"). The singer is listed as a 'treble'. So, is the treble really a guy with a *really* female sounding voice, like an alto, or what? Or is it simply a European word for soprano?

Perplexed in Boston,

Simon Crouch wrote (October 20, 1999):
(To Harry Steinman, About the St. Mark Passion)
1. The Goodman recording is a reconstruction of the parody process that Bach is supposed to have used in the St. Mark Passion. In this case, the reconstruction is done by Simon Heighes (and you can get the score from King's Music, if you're really keen!) It'll be interesting to compare Koopman's reconstruction with Heighes' and, indeed, with the several others that are around at the moment. (I believe that even the Neue Bach Ausgabe are bringing out a version soon). Now, there's a common core of agreement about much of what was parodied (into and out of) the St. Mark Passion (the big arias, for example come from BWV 198 and BWV 54 etc etc), but for certain areas (near the start, the "turba" [crowd] choruses and the recitatives) there are few clues to what should be done, so the reconstructors provide different solutions for different needs (performing editions, study editions....).

Because he was aiming to produce a performing edition, which requires a lot of reconstruction, Heighes uses a fair amount of material from the St. Mark Passion of Reinhard Keiser, since Bach is know to have performed this a number of times and seems to have been influenced by Keiser' style (particularly the crowd choruses) in the St. Matthew Passion. Heighes also, as a last resort, composed some stuff anew.

Now, to get to your question (!), I'm not aware of any direct parody from the St. Matthew to the St. Mark, and I'll check the movements you mention when I get home tonight, BUT

(a) Bach was influenced by Keiser's St. Mark, bits of which appear in Heighes' reconstruction. If you listen to Keiser's St. Mark, you'll "hear" some of Bach's St. Matthew.

(b) The Funeral Ode, BWV 198 was parodied into BWV 244a, the lost funeral cantata for Prince Leopold, along with a lot of stuff from the St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244. BWV 198 was also parodied into the St. Mark. There's a lot of common heritage going on around here!

(c) The totally newly composed bits in Heighes' edition may have taken the style of the St. Matthew as models.

2. Connor is a boy! "Treble" = pre broken voice male.

Simon Crouch wrote (October 20, 1999):
So I got home and checked the movements that you mention and find that the answer to your question is much simpler :-)

All of the movements that you mention are chorales, that is, they are verses from hymns written by Lutheran composers before Bach's time. It was common practice in passions for composers to insert these hymn verses in their settings and Bach was no exception. What Bach did do was to take the hymn tunes and compose the most wonderful harmonizations for them. So, the answer to your question is: yes, they are straight lifts. If you listen to other passions of the same period, you'll hear the same tunes (but with different harmonies).

Harry J. Steinman wrote (October 20, 1999):
< Simon wrote, in part, regarding the Mark and Matthew Passions: All of the movements that you mention are chorales, that is, they are verses from hymns written by Lutheran composers before Bach's time. It was common practice in passions for composers to insert these hymn verses in their settings and Bach was no exception. What Bach did do was to take the hymn tunes and compose the most wonderful harmonizations for them. So, the answer to your question is: yes, they are straight lifts. If you listen to other passions of the same period, you'll hear the same tunes (but with different harmonies). >
Thanks a million for the explanation. I never knew before that a 'chorale' is a hymn-based piece. I hadn't much thought about the process of composing a passion, cantata, etc., and so I never considered the inclusion of hymns. Makes sense. Makes me wonder if some of these works were more instantly accessible to the ears of Bach's contemporaries as they would have these very familiar moments. Just idle speculation.

Anyway, this kind of info is really helpful to someone like me, who am not a musician. Thanks again.

Jacco Vink wrote (October 21, 1999):
< Harry Steinman wrote: Thanks a million for the explanation. I never knew before that a 'chorale' is a hymn-based piece. I hadn't much thought about the process of composing a passion, cantata, etc., and so I never considered the inclusion of hymns. Makes sense. Makes me wonder if some of these works were more instantly accessible to the ears of Bach's contemporaries as they would have these very familiar moments. Just idle speculation. >
These hymns are still sung in the Lutheran church today (and also in the Dutch reformed churches). Since I went to a Dutch church as a child a lot of the hymns are familiar to me like "Vom Himmel hoch", which is used in the Weihnachts-Oratorium. I recently went to Leipzig and accidentally ended up in the Nicolaikirche in a memorial service for the Revolution in 1989 (which started in this very church, where the Weihnachts-Oratorium (BWV 248) was first performed). They sang Jesu Meine Freude, which I could sing because I know the melody from the Bach Motet. The whole setting made that the hymn really gripped me by the throat.

In general I think that knowing a little about the bible helps understanding the cantata texts better. For instance if in Christ lag in Todesbanden the choir sings that Jesus blood shows the door, how many listeners understand that this alludes to one of the plagues in Egypt in Exodus. So this text is rather dramatic (as is the music). So in that sense, underwhat is written adds an extra dimension to the music.

Talking about this cantata. I own the version by Suzuki and by Gardiner. I am not a Gardiner fan, when it comes to Bach, but this version (Erato) is a nice and well-interpreted alternative to Suzuki and Harnoncourt, as he is using a choir instead of solo voices. The cantata on my CD is coupled to BWV 131, but the sound quality is really bad for BWV 131. So only buy it when it is cheap (as I did), or at least check the sound quality, maybe I had some bad luck.


Brilliant Classics label

Wim Huisjes
wrote (October 21, 1999):
< Brian Ratekin wrote: I understand the Brilliant Classics Mark and Luke passions don't include the texts. Do you know where I could find the texts with an English
translation? (Snip) >
Don't know about the texts. Brilliant Classics did provide the texts of Schemelli's Gesangbuch, Mass in b (both with English translations), the motets, Lutheran masses and Easter Oratorium (without English translations). Not very consistent, so I'll have to wait and see what happens when Kruidvat comes around with the passions set. Since each reconstruction of the Luke and Mark passions will have a different text: if B.C doesn't provide them, we'll have a problem, though Simon Crouch mentioned a source where the text of the Goodman performance of St. Mark can be found. Maybe the text of the Luke passion comes close to the one Helbich uses on CPO. (Snip)


Goodman / Koopman St. Mark Passion

Jaime Jean
wrote.:
Are the reconstructions of the St. Mark Passion by Roy Goodman and by Ton Koopman completely different works or are there any similarities? (performance aside). They are both based on the "parody" technique (highly questionable, considering that neither the SJP or SMP are parody works). Do they base their reconstruction on the same arias and choruses from the cantatas, or did each find a different set of cantata parts to parody?

Tom Hens wrote:
< Jaime Jean wrote: Are the reconstructions of the St. Mark Passion by Roy Goodman and by Ton Koopman completely different works >
Yes. See below.

< or are there any similarities? (performance aside). They are both based on the "parody" technique (highly questionable, considering that neither the SJP or SMP are parody works). >
It's not all that questionable, IMO. It makes perfect sense for Bach to have recycled music written for a one-off performance like the Trauer-Ode (BWV 198) into a work for regular use. The comparison wouldn't be the St. John or St. Matthew but the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), which is also largely based on cantatas composed for special occasions. And just like the Christmas Oratorio, one might surmise that this wasn't a post-factum decision, but that Bach and Picander planned it that way right from the start. Certainly Picander's libretto for the St. Mark fits a lot of the music from the Trauer-Ode like a glove. Such a highly consistent match in metrical structure, rhyming scheme and affect between two works by one librettist who worked closely with Bach is highly unlikely to have arisen purely by chance.

This is not exactly a new idea. From Simon Heighes's notes to his own St. Mark reconstruction (the one recorded by Goodman):
"The realisation that the St. Mark Passion was probably a parody work came as early as the 1860s when Wilhelm Rust, the editor of many volumes of the Bach Gesellschaft, was examining Picander's text of the St. Mark and noticed that several of the stanzas mirrored the metrical structure and rhyme scheme of the main choruses and arias of Bach's Trauer-Ode (cantata BWV 198) written in 1727. He concluded that Bach must have commissioned Picander to write the text of the St. Mark Passion in such a way that the chief numbers of Cantata 198 could be incorporated into the new Passion with the minimum alteration."

< Do they base their reconstruction on the same arias and choruses from the cantatas, or did each find a different set of cantata parts to parody? >
Simon Heighes takes the opening and closing choruses and three of the six arias from the Trauer-Ode (BWV 198) and one aria from BWV 54, which seems to be the scholarly consensus (I can post a more complete list if anyone is interested). There is less agreement on the source of the two remaining arias. Heighes takes one from BWV 204 ("Himmlische Vergnügsamkeit" becomes "Angenehmes Mordgeschrei"), and one from the 1725 version of the St. John (BWV 245), deleted in the 1730 version (the aria "Himmel reisse" becomes "Welt und Himmel") -- since we know some music migrated between the St. John and the St. Matthew, it doesn't seem unlikely a leftover from the St. John wandered into the St. Mark. The recitatives and turba choruses are largely taken from a Passion by Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739), which Bach is known to have performed on at least two occasions (in 1713 and 1736). (Interestingly, the words of Christ have the same string "halo" Bach adopted for the St. Matthew.)

Based on a review of Koopman's version in Diapason, I'm not sure his effort can even be described as an attempted reconstruction. He doesn't use the Trauer-Ode (BWV 198) at all, but instead imagined himself in the position of a pupil of Bach in 1731 given the task of choosing appropriate music from Bach's earlier cantatas for Picander's libretto. He composed the recitatives himself (I don't know what he did with the turba choruses). The reviewer for Diapason was more than puzzled by the fact that the CD booklet doesn't even specify which cantata movements Koopman used. Presenting it as "St. Mark Passion, BWV 247, ed. Ton Koopman" seems completely unjustified. Not that I don't like Koopman in general, but to be honest, based on what I've read I fail to see what the point of his exercise is.

Jaime Jean wrote (March 23, 2000):
(To Tom Hens) Thanks for your interesting replies.


Markus Passion, reconstruction by Dr. Simon Heighes

Harry J. Steinman
wrote (April 6, 2000):
In anticipation of attending a performance of Koopman's reconstructed Markus Passion, I've been listening to the Brilliant Classics version, with the reconstruction done by Dr. Simon Heighes. (Roy Goodman, conductor with the European Union Baroque Orch and the Ring Ensemble of Finland; Brilliant Classics, 99049). (I don't expect the two to resemble each other, but I thought it would be a nice selection while I work.)

The Brilliant Classics recordings are wonderful for their price, but woeful in that there are no notes, no booklet. So I wonder, does anybody know anything either about this Dr. Heighes or about the reconstruction? Be interested in knowing anything about it!

PS I think I'll post this in the Cantata & Recordings list...so if you're a member of both lists, forgive the double-post!

Marie Jensen wrote (April 6, 2000):
(To Harry Steinman) My initial impression , just got the CD's a few days ago: The very strong english accent of the evangelist (Rogers Covey-Crump) spoils it all. Of course I will give the work a chance, I'm going to a Koopman show too and want to compare, but the evangelist is a very important part of a Bach passion.

Johan van Veen wrote (April 7, 2000):
(To Harry Steinman) Here is some information regarding this reconstruction.

First: Simon Heighes. Studied for his Doctorate at the University of Oxford, where in 1990 he presented a thesis on the music of Handel's contemporaries. He is lecturer and Director of Music and Queen's College, Oxford, and lectures, broadcasts and writes regularly on music of the 17th and 18th centuries. He is currently working on a study of Bach's parody technique in his Leipzig choral and orchestral works and editing a book on English music. (This information comes from the programme book of the 1993 Holland Early Music Festival, where his reconstruction of the St Mark Passion was performed under the direction of Roy Goodman.)

These are the programme notes of that performance:
"Accordito his obituary, Bach compiosed five Passions. But only two of these (SMP and SJP) have survived intact. One of the five was almost certainly the single choir arrangement of SMP mentioned in the inventory of the library of CPhE Bach. The St Luke (BWV 246), long thought to be genuine, is now known to be a copy in Bach's hand of a work by an unknown contemporary. The St Mark Passion, however, was most certainly the work of JSB. The autograph manuscript of the St Mark Passion has been lost, though a copy of the score survived until as recently as 1945. Only the libretto, written by Picander, remains. Yet as early as the 1860's, Wilhelm Rust noticed that several of the stanzas mirrored the metrical structure and rhyme scheme of the main choruses and arias of Bach's Trauer-Ode (BWV 198). He concluded that Bach must have commisioned Picander to write the text of the St Mark Passion in such a way that the chief numbers of cantata BWV 198 could be incorporated into the new Passion with minimum alteration. This, it appears, was how the majority of the new Passion was constructed. From various cantatas Bach selected some of the finest arias and choruses he wished to re-use. From Picander's printed libretto we can see that Bach's third Passion consisted of two large-scale choruses which framed the work, six arias, sixteen chorales, and linking recitatives punctuated by short 'turbae' choruses. By matching Picander's parody texts with the poetic structure of likely cantata choruses and arias, Rust and more recently Friedrich Smend and Alfred Dürr have argued convincingly that the music for the opening and closing choruses and three arias were drawn from the Trauer-Ode (BWV 198), and that the alto aria "Falsche Welt" was a parody of the opening aria of cantata BWV 54. The identity of the two remaining arias is more difficult to establish. Although Smend claimed that the aria "Angenehmes Mordgeschrei" was irretrievably lost, I believe that the soprano aria "Himmlische Vergn Ögsamkeit" from cantata BWV 204 is a very likely candidate. For the final aria I have turned to the bass aria "Himmel reisse", which Bach composed for his revival of the SJP in 1725. This aria was later deleted when he revived the SJP in 1730. The chorales present far fewer problems. Harmonisations of all the required melodies are to be found in Bach's cantatas and CPhE Bach's collection of his father's homophonic choral works. The most serious obstacles to a complete reconstruction of the St Mark Passion are, of course, the settings of the Gospel texts (the recitatives and 'turba' choruses). I have borrowed the missing recitative and turba choruses from the St Mark Passion by Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739), a work which Bach performed on at least two occasions and which had a decisive impact on the recitative and and arioso in his own SMP. Of the three surviving sources for the Keiser Passion, two sets of parts are in Bach's hand; they differ considerably from a third independent copy, which suggests that Bach was not simply a passive copyist, but may have added a few 'improvements' of his own. Unfortunately, Keiser begins a little later in the Passion narrative than Bach. The required recitatives have therefore be composed afresh, and the second and third 'turbae' have been drawn from appropriate cantata choruses. Comparison with the SMP suggests that the use of arioso for the Institution of the Holy Eucharist is appropriate, and the music has been borrowed from cantata BWV 187. Simon Heighes"


Rarest of rare/ Connar Burrowes, Roy Goodman

Boyd Pehrson wrote (November 20, 2001):
[To Douglas Neslund] Thank you for uploading the rarest of the rare!... Connar Burrowes singing the soprano aria in German "Angenames Mordgeschrei" from the reconstructed Bach's St Mark's Passion, directed by Roy Goodman! (Yes, it only gets this rare in Bach_Cantatas folks!) It was recorded at New College Oxford in 1996 with the European Union Baroque Orchestra. Oh how sweet it sounds! You can sample it in the files section. The pops and clicks are the from the original ever resistent special Panasonic digital imbedding. The recording is from the label "Musica Obscura," and true to its name, the CD set is now virtually unavailable.

Johan van Veen wrote (November 21, 2002):
[To Boyd Pehrson] It's a fine performance indeed. You are right that it isn't available anymore on Musica Oscura, mainly because - as far as I know - that labekl doesn't exist anymore. But it has been reissued as part of the Bach Edition of Brilliant Classics. Connor Burrowes also sings a beautiful aria in the first part: "Er kommt, er kommt, er ist vorhanden". BTW, the whole recording is quite good.

Boyd Pehrson wrote (November 21, 2001):
[To Johan van Veen] It is great to hear of this being re-issued! I don't know of too many groups recording "Bach's St Markus Passion"! Please send the CD information and we shall add it to the database. Connar Burrowes certainly had a beautiful soprano voice, and he certainly makes Bach sound very easy for a boy to sing! ...a superbly trained boy that is! ;-) I think Burrowes could have sung the aria of BWV 51 "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen." Connar Burrowes' performances of Mozart were simply sterling, and I believe he could have handeled Bach's BWV 51, and sung it with all good taste!

Douglas Neslund wrote (November 22, 2001):
[To Boyd Pehrson] I've just come into possession of a rare videotape of the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244), performed by the Tölzer Knabenchor under the direction of a very young Sigiswald Kuijken, and recorded in Antwerp, The Netherlands in 1989, and employs boy soloists in the soprano arias. Excellent countertenor, tenor and bass soloists round out the cast; the orchestra is the excellent La Petite Band.

The singing is seraphic - beautifully articulated, with gorgeous tone in exquisite acoustics. Does anyone know of a commercial CD or better, videotape release of this performance? (The videotape I have is an off-the-air recording.)

Johan van Veen wrote (November 22, 2002):
[To Douglas Neslund] I have that performance on video as well. Basically it is the same as the CD recording by Gustav Leonhardt, which was released on deutsche harmonia mundi in 1990. The trebles in that recording are Christian Fliegner and Maximilian Kiener. The only difference with the tv-recording is that on CD all soloists have "doubles" on CD: David Cordier (alto II), John Elwes (tenor II) and Peter Lika (bass II) don't appear in the tv-recording.

I'm glad to have them both. The video is nice because of the atmospheric pictures of the beautiful church, and because seeing musicians sing and play adds a dimension.

Katia Tiara wrote (November 22, 2001):
http://www.bth.at/tiara/cd/MarkPassion.htm

Douglas Neslund wrote (November 22, 2001):
[To Katia Tiara] Vielen Dank, Katia!

Boyd Pehrson wrote (November 24, 2001):
[To Katia Tiara] Many thanks for your information, but I haven't been able to find that title at CD connection. It is available at Tower Records (http://www.towerrecords.com) for USD $8.99 in "low stock." This means it has been out of print for over a year. I would caution the avid boy soprano fan that Master Burrowes' two soprano arias are limited to just that... TWO!, and they total merely 7'42'' on this entire two CD set. Also, be forwarned Connar Burrowes is the only boy on this recording, and the choir is adult mixed. There are also female Sopranos and Altos, so, who knows why Master Burrowes was employed for his two solo arias! But, all that said, if you can obtain it for USD $8.99, it is not a bad Bach recording, a rare one at that, and you do get two rare Connar Burrowes solos, certainly worth at least USD $4.50 each!

I believe both labels are currently out of print: Musica Obscura, and Brilliant Classics...a 1999 reissue. Nevthe-less, I have posted Katia's information in the database for future reference.

The only other currently available St Mark's Passions are Downing College Cambridge, and the Ton Koopman version where Koopman is directing the The Breda Sacrament choir. This Koopman recording has received not so sterling reviews, but he does use boys' choir in many of his Bach recordings. If anyone has a review of Koopman's St Markus Passion, please feel free to post!


Markus Passion Question BWV 247, proper part (apologies)

Gene Herron
wrote (January 11, 2002):
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..

The piece I mistakenly referred to, "Bei Deinem Grab und Leichenstein" is based upon the final movement of the Trauerode.

Thanks in advance,

Wimjan wrote (Jaanuary 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. >
It's not a definitive answer, but perhaps this helps (from an earlier post by Tom Hens in this group):

<quote src="http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV247-General1.htm">

Simon Heighes takes the opening and closing choruses and three of the six arias from the Trauer-Ode (BWV 198) and one aria from BWV 54, which seems to be the scholarly consensus (I can post a more complete list if anyone is interested).

There is less agreement on the source of the two remaining arias. Heighes takes one from BWV 204 ("Himmlische Vergnügsamkeit" becomes "Angenehmes Mordgeschrei"), and one from the 1725 version of the St. John (BWV 245), deleted in the 1730 version (the aria "Himmel reisse" becomes "Welt und Himmel") -- since we know some music migrated between the St. John and the St. Matthew, it doesn't seem unlikely a leftover from the St. John wandered into the St. Mark. The recitatives and turba choruses are largely taken from a Passion by Reinhard Keiser (1674-1739), which Bach is known to have performed on at least two occasions (in 1713 and 1736). (Interestingly, the words of Christ have the same string "halo" Bach adopted for the St. Matthew.) </quote>

One more clue is given by Harry Steinman (on the same page):

<quote> Some of the choruses ("Du edles Angesichte" or "Das Wort sie sollen lassen stahn") sound EXACTLY the same as a recurring theme in the Matthew Passion (for example, "Erkenne mich, mein Huter" or "Ich will hier bei dir stehen") </quote> So, isn't this chorus just the one from the Matthew Passion? You could ask Tom Hens for his more complete list of sources, see <http://groups.google.com/groups?threadm=8b6nm812g1o@enews1.newsguy.com> for his e-mail address.

Gene Herron wrote (January 12, 2002):
[To Wimjan] Thank you. You know, I've never heard the entire Matthaus... ? I am definitely a deprived young man.

What little I did hear reminds me of that piece for which I was searching. Tom Hens replied and I think cleared it up. Time for more CD shopping.

thank you again,

Tom Hens wrote (January 12, 2002):
< Gene Herron wrote...
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. >
It's the opening chorus of cantata BWV 135, "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder", using a different verse of the so-called "Passion Chorale", Herzlich tut mich verlangen. According to Heighes's notes, this is more of a personal choice than a strict reconstruction: all that is known is that the first part concluded with a setting of that chorale verse, and in keeping with what Bach did in the St. Matthew passion he decided that a more elaborate setting was appropriate, rather than a simple four-part harmonisation.

There doesn't appear to be a bassoon involved, BTW, at least not as an obbligato instrument. It's scored for two oboes, strings and BC, as well as a trombone (doubling the cantus firmus sung by the bass, I suppose, but I don't have a score in front of me).

Tom Hens wrote (January 12, 2002):
I just remembered I have a score of BWV 135 in the house and checked what I wrote. Not only does the trombone double the bass part, so does the basso continuo. The unusual sound of the movement is due to the fact that the BC is therefore silent during the instrumental parts (something Bach also did to great effect in the St. Matthew passion, and of symbolic significance in passion music, the lack of the normally omnipresent basso continuo standing for the taking away of Jesus. IOW, this seems to have been an extremely good pick by Simon Heighes.)

Gene Herron wrote (January 12, 2002):
[To Tom Hens] Thank you.

Some Bach stuff is simply beautiful, and some of it is painfully beautiful. This is of the latter quality. Reminds me of parts of the later Zelenka masses, though both men were drawing upon a common tradition of composition, which they raised to heights....

I have to confess that in this instance Bach comes out ahead of Zelenka. There is a quality which I cannot yet define about Bach which sets him apart for everyone else. Whether it is his own thumbprint, a sense of honesty or courage... Zelenka most of the time could do this, but Bach always seems to have done it.

I could have sworn I heard a bassoon. As you say, not obligatto, but perhaps added for depth or not. It's sometimes is hard to tell.

Thank you again,


BWV 247

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (April 18, 2003):
< Aryeh Oron wrote: BTW, Dr. Simon Heighes did the reconstruction of Markus-Passion BWV 247, recorded by Roy Goodman and included in Brilliant Classics Bach Edition - Volume 10 [Passions]! >
I have two objections to his reconstruction: the first to the adaptation of "Himmel reisse, Welt erbebe" placed directly after Jesus's death, but before the earthquake, after which it would make more sense, with the lightning and tremors in the bass line. The other reconstructions that I know aren't exactly ideal, taking the soprano aria from BWV 120 and "Domine Deus" of the Missa in A as models. The other objection is to the Keiser material, which simply does not resemble Bach's contrapuntal style; of course, other reconstructions have their own problems with setting the crowd texts.


Markus-Passion BWV 247: Recordings | General Discussions: Part 1 | BWV 247 Goodman | BWV 247 Koopman


Roy Goodman: Short Biography | The Brandenburg Consort | Recordings | BWV 247 Goodman

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: June 1, 2004 22:51:47