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Cantata BWV 106
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (Actus Tragicus)
Discussions - Part 7

Continue from Part 6

Discussion in the Week of May 19, 2013 (3rd round)

David D. Jones wrote (May 19, 2013):
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbest Zeit

Today's cantata is BWV 106, the "Actus Tragicus", God's Time is The Very Best Time. Probably composed August 10, 1707 in the Muhlhausen period (coincidentally, another cantata, possibly related to a great tragedy and one of my favorites, was composed during this period also, *Aus Der Tiefe*) this cantata displays the exquisitely peculiar (to modern ears) idea of longing for death. The soprano calls over and over, "Komm! Komm ja Jesu, Komm!" I always try to contextualize Bach's cantatas; I am interested in dates and places and circumstances of performance. Here, it has been suggested that this lovely piece was written for Bach's uncle, Tobias Lammerhirt. It has also been suggested that it was written for some prominent member of Muhlhausen society. My two favorite recordings of this piece are by Gardiner and Rifkin respectively. Rifkin achieves an elegiac delicacy and purity that is nearly unmatched; the articulation of his players is of jewel-like fineness and the singing is full of a nourishing mixture of both emotion and reserve. Gardiner brings the composition into sharper focus without compromising sobriety or delicacy, although in cases like this, Rifkin's OVPP theories make arguments for themselves they are not able to make in, say, Ich Hatte viel Bekermmunis or Ein Feste Burg. The fabric of this cantata is as fragile and ephemeral as life itself, and the sweet, calm major-key resignation of the final chorus is unmatched.

Paul Beckman wrote (May 19, 2013):
[To David Jones] I also enjoy Rotzsch's (can we arbitrarily add vowels to this one?) 1995 version on Berlin Classics. Rotzsch keeps an appropriately subdued tone through most of the work, building and making the transition from Old to New Covenant thoughts, and ending well with the final chorus. What an incredible, deep, and moving piece from such a young composer.

The liner notes, besides being sparse, include a couple of well-known quotations from Schweitzer and Spitta, the former avowing that he would have traded "two hundred church cantatas for one hundred written in the style of the Actus Tragicus.'" Just one more of those annoying Schweitzerisms that makes me think that a.) many of his opinions arose from an incredibly subjective, and often misinformed point of view (OK, that's probably true of most of us vis-a-vis music) and b.) it would be interesting to discuss some of these old fellows and their analysis of Bach's music in comparison to modern sentiment.

Julian Mincham wrote (May 19, 2013):
Paul Beckman wrote:
< The liner notes, besides being sparse, include a couple of well-known quotations from Schweitzer and Spitta, the former avowing that he would have traded "two hundred church cantatas for one hundred written in the style of the Actus Tragicus.'" Just one more of those annoying Schweitzerisms that makes me think that a.) many of his opinions arose from an incredibly subjective, and often misinformed point of view (OK, that's probably true of most of us vis-a-vis music) and b.) it would be interesting to discuss some of these old fellows and their analysis of Bach's music in comparison to modern sentiment. >
Yes, when I did my analysis of all the cantatas I re-read (amongst other things!) the two volume books by Schweitzer with a similar view to making comparisons with modern perceptions. It was extremely revealing in that sometimes he made some awful errors (e.g. his analysis of the sinfonia of BWV 42 but at other times he was very insightful. I like his comment ---to understand fully any one of the cantatas you have to have a deep knowledge of them all (paraphrase).Also he was extremely dismissive of the 'hybrid' recitatives of the second cycle, missing the shades of meaning that Bach was attempting in the fusing of recit, chorale, arioso etc. (see 101 as one of many examples)

But in his defense he must have found it very difficult to hear performances, perhaps even to obtain scores. Also he did not have the advantages of modern research and, at that time, there was a severe misunderstanding of the chronology of the cantatas which made much comparative analysis impossible. I think his achievement was quite considerable and, despite the reservations he remains interesting reading today. His observations about Bach's melding of musical motive and textual idea were, although not capable of being reductioned to a basic table or theory, was ahead of its time and laid the foundations for much critical work that has followed.

Peter Smaill wrote (May 19, 2013):
One of the most intriguing analyses of the verbal structure of the so-called "Actus Tragicus" is by Duerr: the text, though drawn from various Biblical sources, in fact symmetrically tracks the order and meanings of parts 2, 8,10 and 16 of the 18- verse Chorale, "Ich hab' mein Sach' Gott heimgestellt". This very popular hymn of mourning finds its way into at least two passions, the apocryphal St Luke Passion BWV 246 and the very fine Passionsoratorium of Bach's pupil, godson and nephew Johann Ernst Bach (1722-1777). In both cases it is placed at the Crucifixion, and again thereafter in BWV 246.

This chorale is heard in the background, in three part harmony, sounded by the instruments for BWV 106 in its central chorus,

As previously mentioned, there may be some numerological significance. In the Neumeister chorale setting of "Ich hab'..." BWV 1113, the work extends by an unusual triple cadence sequence so as to total 41 bars; in the St Luke Passion the chorale is set in an unorthodox ABA structure in the wonderful passacaglia/aria " Lasst mich ihn nur einmal kuessen", thus totaling 41 bars (in which the original instruction, producing a mournful sound, was that the oboes be muted with paper!)

To this we can add, coincidence or not, the observation by Arthur Hirsch, that the opening choral section ("God's time is the best time") has 41 notes in both soprano and tenor; bass and alto have 33, which happens to be the
age of Jesus at his crucifixion; it is also the number of bars in BWV 123/3, "Auch die harte Kreuzereise". ("Even the hard journey of the Cross...")

The usual caveats apply on the use of the natural-order number alphabet in which J S BACH scores 41. There may be some other significance to the number. But, being an odd prime number, it is strange to find it three times just by chance in these instances and always close by the words or music associated with this particular chorale...........

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 19, 2013):
Paul Beckman wrote:
< a.) many of his opinions arose from an incredibly subjective, and often misinformed point of view (OK, that's probably true of most of us vis-a-vis music >
Well, the past is always misinformed with respect to the present, but then, the present is misinformed with respect to the future! Its a wonder we get anything done at all.

< b.) it would be interesting to discuss some of these old fellows and their analysis of Bach's music in comparison to modern sentiment. >
Actually, quite a bit of that in the archives, although I agree, not much of late. It is an interesting and challenging avenue. Whittaker has always struck me as one of the *old fellows* who had many (indeed, mostly) perceptive insights, despite struggling with an incorrect chronology of composition for the cantatas.

Thomas Savary wrote (May 19, 2013):
Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a private live recording of this cantata by four soloists from the Tölzer Knabenchor in 1990: Philipp Cieslewicz, boy soprano; Christian Günther, boy alto; Carsten Müller, tenor; Christian Immler, baritone (only 19 years old at this time). The recording quality is quite... amateur, but what a concert! Christian Günther was an extraordinary boy alto, almost as good as Panajotis Iconomou and more extrovert than his famous predecessor. In “In deine Hände”, he is just wonderful, as well as in the chorale in the duet with Christian Immler: I hnever heard a more passionate and moving performance than his, and his voice was so rich and colourful, by far more beautiful than the average falsettist’s! What a pity that there was no official recording with him as a soloist in Bach’s music!

Admittedly, he took part to a recording with Andrew Parrott in Johannes-Passion as the alto ripienist. I think he should have sung at least one aria, as well as Christian Fliegner, who was a soprano ripienist. Although I disapprove of Andrew Parrott’s choice not to let each boy sing one aria, I am grateful to him for having picked out both of them for this recording. They both made a very valuable contribution to the choruses and chorales. Fliegner even sang the (very) short Magd recitative: “Bist du nicht dieses Menschen Jünger einer?”Parrott’s recording of Bach’s Johannes-Passion would be among my very favourites, if only he would have chosen a better evangelist and Jesus. Although I love Rogers Covey-Crump in Renaissance repertoire, I don’t think his voice and style are appropriate for Bach’s music, at least for the evangelist parts. On the other hand, Tessa Bonner, Emily van Evera and Caroline Trevor are excellent. It seemed to me that the latter tried to imitate a boy alto. I would have prefered the original one, i.e. Christian Günther in this case, but she did a very good job.

At least Christian Günther took part for Capriccio in Schütz’s Kleine geistliche Konzerte, such as this one, “Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele?”:

Regarding the amateur recording of this live Actus tragicus, would it be legal to share it with interested people through this mailing list? This is no commercial recording at all, of course. I was given a copy of this private recording on an audio tape in the 90’s and later made a digital transfer on my computer in FLAC format. However, being not well-informed about that kind of legal matters, I am not sure that I am allowed to share this recording in any way.

William Hoffman wrote (May 23, 2013):
Cantata 106: Funeral Music & Chorales

Bach's interrelated music of death - cantatas, motets, Passions, and other music - constitutes a major portion of his sacred music to the glory of God. Focusing on mourning and consolation, as Bach scholar Alec Robertson says, it is grounded in a wealth of chorales, motets and lyrical poetry, with related biblical passages, especially the Passion narrative and Psalms, as well as theological teachings. It ranges from the late 1730s simple funeral and burial setting of the chorale "O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht" (O Jesus Christ, my Life's Light) to the 1707-08 Mühlhausen memorial vocal concerti, "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God's Time is the best time [eternity]), BWV 106, and the <de profundis (Psalm 130), "Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir" (Out if the depth I call to Thee), to the monumental "rest in the grave" closing choruses of all three Passion oratorios: the sarabande, "We sit down in tears," of the 1727/29 St. Mathew Passion, BWV 244; the minuet, "Rest well, ye holy limbs," of the 1724 St. John Passion, BWV 245; and the gigue, "By Thy rock grave and great tombstone, will I always, my Jesus, remain," of the 1731 St. Mark Passion, BWV 247.

Bach's death music is all the more amazing since it continually embraces both joy and sorrow through affirmation, remembrance and grief; it essentially serves as non-liturgical music for special services and vespers; and it functions as transformation through parody and adaptation as the impulse to greater expression and for related uses. For example, his three extended funeral cantatas for his earthly rulers (BC B-19, BWV 198, and BWV 244a) also served as music for the three Passion oratorios for the Leipzig Good Friday vesper services.

Other music of death related to Bach includes the Chaconne from the Violin Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004, and its "hidden chorales" as a tribute to his first wife, Maria Barbara, and Bach's own possible memorial music in GEORGE B. STAUFFER, "BEYOND BACH THE MONUMENT, WHO WAS BACH THE MAN?" NEW YORK TIMES (APRIL 2, 2000), BCW In addition is the recording of Joseph James' "Requiem after Bach," based on keyboard music, particularly the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903. Other music involves the memorial service of Christine Eberhardine, Saxon Princess, in 1727 (Cantata BWV 198 and Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 544), and John Butt's recent reconstruction of the Leipzig Good Friday Vespers when Bach's Passion oratorios were presented. Cantata 198 is the basis of music for All-Souls Day, November 1, with four plain chorales and a new text based on Gottsched's original by BGA editor Wilhelm Rust in the late 19th century. Cantata BWV 53, "Schlage doch, gewunschte Stunde" (Strike then, longed for hour), for a children's funeral, has only a possible connection to Bach through the death of his children in Leipzig.

Mourning & Consolation Music

The following are the Cantatas for Funerals (and Memorial Services), as well as music that may have involved memorial services. They include earlier memorial works, BWV 150, 106, 131 and possibly 21(a); three royal memorial services, BC B-19, BWV 198, and BWV 244a/BC B-21; an extant dual purpose work, BWV 157; and texts only, BWV Anh. 209, 17, and 16. The dates of BCW Discussion No. 3 are found in brackets [ ], with one (BWV 157) already discussed, others to be discussed this year (BWV 150, 106, 131, and 198), and the rest to be outlined in the coming weeks BCW Discussions. (BC B-16, BWV 21a and 244a, and BWV Anh. 209, 16 and 17.

BWV 150, Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, Penitential Service ? (1704-1707) [June 9, 2013]
BWV 106, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, Funeral (1707-1708) [May 19, 2013]
BWV 131, Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, Penitential Service ? (1707-1708) [June 16, 2013]
?BWV 21(a), Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis (3 choruses), ?Memorial, 1707-08
BC B-19, no BWV, "Was ist, das wir Leben nennen? Funeral, 4/2/1716
BWV 157, Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, Memorial, 2/6/1727 [Nov. 18, 2012]
BWV Anh. 209, "Liebster Gott, vergißt du mich (Memorial, text only), 2/6/1727, Part 2
BWV 198, Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl, Memorial, 10/17/27 [Nov. 3, 2013]
BC B-21, [First Köthener Funeral Music], lost no text or music; Memorial 3/23/1729
BWV 244a, "Klagt, Kinder, klagt es aller Welt, funeral lost; Memorial 3/24/1727
BWV Anh. 17, Mein Gott, nimm die gerechte Seele; 6/5/1732
BWV Anh. 16, Schließt die Gruft! Ohr Trauerglockensecular, doubtful, 11/9/1735


Of the four motets Bach composed in Leipzig and identified with funeral or memorial services, only one has been dated (BWV 226), two are presumed to be identified with funerals (BWV 227 and 228), and two with unknown occasions:
BWV 226, Der Geist hilt unsrer Schwachheit auf (Funeral, Oct. 24, 1729)
BWV 227, Jesu, meine, Freude (?Funeral 1723)
BWV 228, Fürchte dich nicht (?Funeral 1726)
BWV 229, Komm, Jesu, komm (unknown occasion, 1723-30)
BWV 230, Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden (unknown occasion and date)

Funeral Motets

Three funeral motets now have been identified with Bach:
BWV Anh. 159, Ich Lasse Dich Nicht, Du Segnest Mich Denn, funeral or remembrance (1713)
BWV 118, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, Funeral (1736-1737) [May 26, 2013]
BWV 1088, with Tristis est anima mea/Der Gerechte kömmt* um (Johann Kuhnau), "BWV 1088, Passion Pasticcio: Intro., Pastiches, Fugitive Notes, Etc,"

*About 1735, Bach underlaid Luther's German text, "Der Gerechte kömmt um" (The righteous perisheth), to the Jacob Händle Gallus (1550-91) SATB motet, "Ecce quando moritur justus" (Behold how the righteous man dies, Isaiah 57:1-2), from the <Florilegium portense> to an SSATB Passion motet setting of "Tristis est anima mea" (My soul is exceeding sorrowful; Matthew 26:37-,51,56), Bach Compendium BC B-8. It was attributed to Bach's Leipzig predecessor, Johann Kuhnau, and now possibly to Italian musical models of Francesco Durante or Antonio Lotti, the latter who worked in the Dresden Court, 1717-20.


The five Passions referred to in Bach's Obituary probably involve a Weimar/Gotha oratorio Passion now lost, three authentic works, and the spurious St. Luke Passion performed in Leipzig.
BC D-1 Weimar/Gotha oratorio Passion, O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß (O man, bewail thy great sin)
BWV 244, St. Matthew, Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen (Come, you daughters, help me to lament)
BWV 245: St. John, Herr, unser Herrscher, dessen Ruhm/ In allen Landen herrlich ist! (Lord, our ruler, whose glory/ is magnificent everywhere!
BWV 246: St. Luke (apochryphal): Furcht und Zittern, Scham und Schmwerzen (Fear and trembling, shame, and pain)
BWV 247: St. Mark, Geh, Jesu, geh zu Deiner Pein! (Go, Jesus, go to Thy suffering)

Bach's Passion Liturgy. The Leipzig Service of Vespers for Good Friday (John Butt Reconstruction).
Chorale Prelude Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund', BWV 621
Chorale Prelude Christus, der uns selig macht (I), BWV 620
Chorale Prelude O Lamm Gottes unschuldig (I), BWV 618
Chorale Prelude Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657
Johannes Crüger: Chorale Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657
Jacob Handl Gallus: Ecce quomodo moritur (motet)
J.H. Schein: Chorale Gott sei uns gnadig und barmherzig
J.H. Schein: Chorale Da Jesus an dem Kreuze Stund
J.H. Schein: Chorale O Lamm Gottes unschuldig

Children's funeral music

Cantata BWV 53, Schlage doch, gewunschte Stunde, Funeral (c1730), 1704-15 [June 2, 2013]

Death-Related Chorales

Bach's chorales and sacred songs related to death form the largest portion of his settings. They are found in the <de tempore> for Lent/Passiontide section preceding the Easter Season and in the <omnes tempore> section for Catechism Penitence and the general section following Christian Life and Conduct. The template for Bach chorale settings is found in various hymnbooks, primarily <Neu Leiziger Gesangbuch> of 1682, as well as Bach's two organ chorale prelude collections, the c.1700 Neumeister, BWV 1090-1120, and the Weimar c.1714 Orgelbüchlein, BWV 599-644, and "Sebastian Bach's Chorale Buch" c.1740 student collection.

Lent (Passiontide) (Suffering & Death of Jesus Christ)
(7 OB set, 5 OB not set, 1 OB fragment)
OB 21. BWV 618 - O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig; BWV 401(PC), BWV 656 (a)(18); BWV 1085(MC), 1095(NC), Emans 152 (D); BWV 244/1(soprano), SBCB44 (Z6283)
22. BWV 619 - Christe, du Lamm Gottes (Agnus Dei); BWV 23/4(EC)=BWV245/40a, BWV233a, SBCB39 (Z58)
23. BWV 620 - Christus, der uns selig macht; BWV 245/15,37(PC), BWV 283=?BC D1(PC), SBCB40-41,42-43 (Z5283), BWV 747(MC), Emans 46(MC)-D
24. BWV 621 - Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund (Seven Last Words); BWV 1089(PC), SBCB46 (Z 1706), Emans 48(MC); = "In dich hab, ich gehoffet her"
25. BWV 622 - O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß; BWV 244/29, BWV 402(PC), SBCB54-55 (Z8303; BWV 622 variant(Emans 153), Anh. 61(MC)-D; = Es sind doch selig alle"
26. BWV 623 - Wir danken dir, HJC, dass du für uns gestorben; BWV 1096(NC); See OB 149, 6283Christe, der du bist Tag und Licht
27. BWV 624 - "Hilf, Gott, daß mir's gelinge" (Z4329); BWV 343(PC), SBCB45 (also Praise & Thanks, Easter)
OB 28. O Jesu, wie ist dein Gestalt (Z8360); BWV 1094(NC)*
OB 29. O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid (fragment, Z1915), BWV Anh. 200frag.)*; BWV 404(PC)
OB 30. Allein nach dir, HJC, Verlanget mich (1 stanza) (Z8544, or others?) (NLGB 360 Death & Dying, Batholomäus Gesius, Z8541); Michael Praetorius, Gesamtausgabe der musikalischen Werke (ed. F. Blume, Wolfenbuttel, G. Kallmeyer, 1928)
OB 31. O(Ach) wir armen Sünder ("Ehre sei dir, Christe, der du Leides Not); BWV 407(PC), SBCB52-53 (Z8187 h), BWV 1097(NC)*; see OB 5, BWV 603
OB 32. Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen; BWV 1093(NC)*; BWV 244/3,46(PC), BWV 245/17, SBSC48 (Z983), Emans 105, 103(PC)-D
OB 33. Nun gibt mein Jesus gute Nacht (340c); cf. So gibst du nun, mein Jesu, gute Nacht (Z849); BWV 412(PC), 501
Good Friday Vespers (4 OB set above, 2 others)
-- "Da Jesus an dem Kreuze stund" (7 Last Words); Vespers 1; see OB 24, BWV 621
-- "O Lamm Gottes unschuldig"; Vespers 2; see OB 21, BWV 618
-- "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend"; Vespers 3; see OB 49. BWV 632 (Pentecost)
-- "Ecce quomodo moritur justus" (Jacob Gallus, 1577, 4 vv motet, Isaiah 57, NLGB 85a, Suffering & Death of Jesus): Vespers 4;
-- "O Trauigkeit, o Herzeleid"; Vespers 5; see OB 29, BWV Anh. 200 frag.); BWV 247, SBCB50 (Z1915)
-- "Nun danket alle Gott" (Rinkart, NLGB 234 Christian Life & Conduct) Zahn 5142; Vespers 6; see Christian Life
-- "Ach stirbt denn so mein allerliebestes Leben"; SBCB56 (Z1831a); = Ach Herr, erhör mein Seufzen"
-- "O hilf Christe, Gottes Sohn"; BWV 1084(PC)=BC D-5/14a
-- "Jesu, Leiden, Pein und Tod" (NLGB 77, Zahn 6288b); BWV 245/14,28(PC); BWV 355(PC)=?247/21, SBCB47 (Z6288b); = "Jesu Kreuz, Leiden und Pein"
-- "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen/";BWV 395(PC), BWV 244/10,36(PC); BWV 245/11(PC), BWV 247/7=BWV393(PC); = O Welt, sieh' hier dein Leben," SBCB51 (Z2293b); = "Nun ruhen aller Wälder" (see OB151)

[Other Plain, Sacred, and Organ Chorales]
-- "Als Jesus Christus in der Nacht"; BWV 265(PC), BWV1108(NC)
-- Brich entzwei, mein armes Herze: BWV 444(SG)
-- Da der Herr Christ zu Tische saß, BWV 285(PC)
-- Die bitter Leidenzeit beginnet abermal, BWV 450(SG)
-- "Der am Kreuz ist meine Liebe" (Z 6551a), SBCB58; = "Werde Munter, mein Gemüte"
-- Du grosser Schmerzenmann, BWV 300(PC)
-- Es ist vollbracht! Vergiß ja nicxht dies Wort, BWV 458(SG)
-- Herr Jesu Christ, du meist bereit', BWV 333(PC)
-- Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht: BWV 335(PC), BWV 750(MC-D)
-- Heut ist, O Mensch, ein großer Trauertag, BWV 341(PC)
-- Jesu, dein Liebeswunden: BWV 471(SG), BWV deest (Weimar 8, PC)
-- Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen, BWV 413(PC) , BWV 481(SG)
-- Mein Jesu! Was vor Seelenweh, BWV 487(SG), BWV deest (Weimar 11, PC)
-- O du Liebe, mein Leibe, BWV 491(SG)
-- Selig, wer an Jesum denkt, BWV 498(SG)
-- "So gehest du nun, mein Jesu, hin"; BWV 500(SG); BWV 500a=BC D-5/9(PC)
-- So gibst du nun, mein Jesu, gute Nacht, BWV 412(PC), BWV 501(SG)
-- Warum sollt ich ich denn grämen, BWV 228 (motet, S. 11, 12), BWV 422(PC) (Thanks)
-- Werde munter, mein Gemüte, BWV 146/8(PC), BWV 55/5=?D-1(PC);
-- Wo Gott der Herr (Psalm 124,NLGB 698 Z4437)/Ach lieben Christen, BWV 257(PC)=?247/26, BWV 258(PC)=?247/3; BWV 1128=Anh. II 71(MC)


Penitence and amendment (Confession, Penitence & Justification) see also Lent (Passiontide)
67. "Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir" (Zahn 4438); CC BWV 38, BWV 686-7(OBIII), BWV 1099(NC)*
68. "Erbarm' dich mein, O Herre Gott" (Psalm 51); BWV 305(PC), 721(MC)*
69. "Jesu, der du meine Seele"; BWV 352-4(PC), BWV 752(MC)-D; Krebs, Krebs-WV 53*
70. "Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ"; CC BWV 33, BWV 261(PC), BWV 1100 (NC)*
71. "Ach Gott und Herr"; BWV 255(PC), BWV 692-3(KC, J.G. Walther); BWV 714* (MC in NC)
72. "Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut"; CC BWV 113, BWV 334(PC); ?BWV1114(NC); Zachow, LV 11*
73. "Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder," melody "Herzlich tut, mich verlangen"; CC BWV 127, BWV 270-71(PC), BWV 742(MC, NC)*
74. "Wo soll ich fliehen hin"; CC BWV 5, BWV646(SC)=188/6, 694(KC)* cf."Auf meinen lieben Gott," OB136
75. "Wir haben schwerlich" (Zahn 2099) (no NLGB);
76. BWV 637 - Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt; BWV 705(KC); 1101(NC), alt. mel. "Ich ruf zu dir, H.J.C." (OB
91, BWV 639
77. BWV 638 - Es ist das Heil uns kommen her; CC BWV 9(Tr.6)

Friday Penitential Vespers: Vesper Psalms, 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143
-- "Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen"; BWV 256(PC); BWV 770(CP-spurious)
-- "Christe, du Beistand deiner Kreuzgemeine"; BWV 275(PC)
-- "Eins ist not! ach Herr, dies eine"; BWV 304(PC), BWV 453(SG)
-- "Erwürgtes Lamm, das die verwahrtwn Siegel"; BWV 455(SG)
-- "Herr, ich habe Mißgehandelt"; BWV 247/32=?BWV 330-31(PC)
-- "Herr, nicht schicke deine Rache"; BWV 463(SG)
-- "Mache dich, mein Geist bereit" (mel.), "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn" (Psalm 6); CC BWV 115
-- "Mein Jesu,dem die Seraphinen"; BWV 486(SG)
-- "Wo ist mein Schäflein, das ich liebe"; BWV 507(SG)
-- "Tilge, Höchester, meine Sunden" (Psalm 51, motet; Pergolesi Stabat mater, Vesper hymn, BWV 1083

Judgment; Death and the Grave (/Dying, Death & Eternity) [see Lent (Passiontide, Suffering & Death of Jesus Christ)]
127. "Wenn mein Stundlein vorhanden ist"; BWV 428-30=?247/13(41); Joh. Michael Bach*
128. "Herr Jesu Christ, wahr Mensch und Gott" (Z340c); CC BWV 127, BWV 336(P{C); Zachow, LV 32*
129. "Mitten wir im Leben sind; BWV 383; Walter, LV 106*
130. "Alle Menschen müssen sterben" (various melodies); BWV 262(PC); BWV 1117(NC)*
131. BWV 643 Allen Menschen (alio modo)
132. "Valet will ich dir geben"; BWV 245/26(PC), BWV 415(PC), BWV 735a*(MC)-736
133. "Nun lasst uns den Leib begraben" (Zahn 352); BWV 734(MC)*, BWV 1111(NC)
134. "Christus, der ist mein Leben"; CC BWV 95, BWV 281(PC)=?BC B19/21), BWV 282(PC)=?BC B19/18; BWV 1112(NC)*
135. "Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, O Herr"; BWV 340(NC), BWV 750(MC-D), BWV 1115(NC)* (also Christian Life)
136. "Auf meinen lieben Gott"/Wo sol lich fliehen hin" (CC BWV 5); BWV 744(NC)*
137. "Herr Jesu Christ, Ich weiss gar wohl" (Riemenschneider 73 et al or Zahn 4525); BWV 1114(NC)*
138. "Mach's mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt'; BWV 245/22(PC), BWV247/15=?BWV 377(PC), BWV 957(N)*
139. "Herr [O] Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht; BWV 118(motet), BWV 335(PC), 750(MC)*
140. "Mein' Wallfahrt ich vollendet hab'" (Riemenschneider 41 et al, or Zahn 5704a)
141. "Gott hat das Evangelium" (Last Days); BWV 319(PC), Johann Michael Bach JMB6-7
142. "Ach Gott, thu' dich erbarmen" (Zahn 7228a); BWV1109*
--- "Ach, daß nicht die letzte Stunde"; BWV 439(SG)
--- "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid"(Persecution); CC BWV 3(Ep.2)
--- "Aus der Tiefe(n) rufe ich" (Psalm 31, Z 1218, NLGB 366); BWV 246/40a(B,bc)
--- "Denket doch. Ihr Menschenkinder": BWV 1122(PC)
--- "Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben"; BWV 457(SG)
--- "Es wird schier der letzte Tag herkommen"; BWV 310(PC)
--- "Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele"; BWV Anh. 52, 53; deest (Emans 72-73)
--- "Gottlob es geht nunmehr zum Ende"; BWV 321(PC)
--- "Herr, ich denk an jene Zeit"; BWV 329(PC)
--- "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (NLGB329; also, O Haupt voll Blut und wunden, Befiehl du deine Wege); BWV 727(MC), BWV 244/15,17,44,54,63; BWV 247/23,28,30, SBCB49 (Z5385a)
--- "Ich hab' mein Sach' Gott heimgestellt" (Z1679, NLGB 339); BWV 707-08(a) (KC-D), 1113(NC)
--- "Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht"; BWV 345(PC), BWV 464(SG), BWV deest (Wiemer 7, PC)
--- "Kein Stündlein geht dahin"; BWV 477(SG)
--- "Komm, süßer Tod"; BWV 478(SG)
--- "Liebster Gott, wann wird ich sterben"; CC BWV 8; BWV 483(SG)
--- "Liebster Herr Jesu, wo bleibst du so Lange"; BWV 484(SG)
--- "Meinen Jesum, laß ich nicht, von mir"; CC BWV 124(Ep.1), BWV 244a/35(PC), BWV deest (Emans 135)-D
--- "Meines Lebens letzte Zeit"; BWV 381(PC), BWV 488(SG)
--- "Mitten wir im Leben sind"; BWV 383(PC)
--- "O finstre Nach, wann wirst du doch vergehen"; BWV 492(SG)
--- "O wie selig sind ihr doch, ihr Frommen"; BWV 405-06(PC), BWV 495(SB)
--- "So wünsch ich mir zu gutter Letzt"; BWV 502(SG)
--- "Vergiß mein nicht, mein allerliebster Gott"; BWV 505(SG)
--- "Was mein Got will, das gescheh allzeit"; CC BWV 111(Ep.3); mel., "Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn"; CC BWV 92(Sep.)


AMB - Anna Magdalena Buch
AS = Alternate setting
CP = Chorale Partitas, BWV 765-771
D = Doubutful work of JSB
KC = Kirnberger Chorales, BWV 690-713
MC = Miscellaneous Chorale Preludes, 714-64, etc.
NC = Neumeister Chorale Collection, BWV 1090-1120
OB = Orgelbüchlein Collection, BWV 599-644
PC = Plain Chorale, BWV 250-438, etc., c.1730
SBCB = Sebastian Bach's Chorale Buch c.1740
SC = Schubler Chorales, 645-50 1746
SG = Schmelli Gesangbuch 1735
18 = Great 18 (Leipzig) Organ Chorale Collection, BWV 651-668

CH = Communion (& vespers) hymn
GH - Gradual Hymn (between Epistle & Gospel), Hymn de tempore
PH = Pulpit Hymn before sermon

CC = Chorale Cantata, (CC) = Chorale Chorus
EC == Elaborated Chorale setting
Emans = NBA KB IV/10 (2007)
NLGB = Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> 1682 (Gottfried Vopelius)
Z = Johannes Zahn Melody Catalogue

William Hoffman wrote (May 24, 2013):
[Continue of previous message]
To get George Stauffer's article, go to BCW, then scroll down to
Good luck. Yahoo group doesn;t always engage, if so, go to BCW Home Page and proceed.

William Hoffman wrote (May 25, 2013):
Bach's earliest music of death was his first music composed, three early vocal concerto-style memorial works of choruses and arias based mostly on biblical texts, with four voices and a small instrumental ensemble. They are Cantatas BWV 150, "Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich" (After Thee, Lord, long I), possibly for a penitential service, probably composed in Arnstadt (1704-1707) [BCW Discussion June 9, 2013]; Cantata BWV 131 "Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir" (Out of the depths I call to Thee), the <de profundis> (Psalm 130), possibly presented in July of 1707 at St. Blasius Church for victims of a disastrous fire in Mulhausen on May 30 [BCW Discussion, June 16, 2013]; and Cantata BWV 106, "Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (God's Time is the best time [eternity]), Mühlhausen, possibly August 14, 1707 for Bach uncle Tobias Lämmerhirt, or June 3, 1708 for Dorothea Susanne Eilmar Tilesius [BCW Discussion, May 19, 2013].

Both Muhlhausen Cantatatas, BWV 131 and 106, exhibit traits found later in Bach's Passions: appropriate chorales (first use in Bach vocal music) mingled with arias, quotations from Gospel Passions, and <scenas> comprising ensembles, arias, and ariosi. Cantatas 131 and 106 use multiple chorale melodies and texts, as well as appropriate Psalm passages. They are set in the old continuous madrigalian style, which connects through-composed movements. This open form is modeled after Dietrich Buxtehude's sacred vocal concertos using Psalm settings and Lutheran chorale quotations. Short, continuous movements in varying forms include an opening sinfonia or ritornello, polyphonic and homophonic choruses and brief arias with engaging melodies. The texts of Bach's cantatas BWV 131 and 106 were traditionally used in Lenten and Passiontide services.

A miniature Passion setting, BWV 106, subtitled "Actus tragicus" (Tragic Action), is Bach's first extant venture into Passion treatment and uses three chorales. The first two movements are an orchestral sinfonia and a commentary scena of two ensembles, two ariosi, and an aria, set to texts from Acts 127:28, Psalm 90:12, Isaiah 38:1, Ecclesiastes 14:18, and Revelation 22:20. This last soprano arioso with orchestra, "Yea, come Lord Jesus," includes the soprano recorder playing the melody to the chorale, "Ich hab mein Sach Gott heimgestellt" (All care for me I leave to God).

The focal point of BWV 106 is its third movement, a narrative scena from Luke 23:46 and 23:43. It has an alto aria, "In deine Hände befehl' ich meinen Geist" (Into thy hands I commit my spirit; also found in Psalm 31:6), and a bass aria, "Heute wirst du mit mir im Paradies sein" (Today thou shalt be with me in Paradise), the latter accompanied by the alto and viola in Luther's <Nunc dimittis> chorale, "Mit Fried und Freud" (With Peace and Joy). The passages from Luke are two of the three quotations from Luke that are found in the "summa" or "harmony" Passion text, "The Seven Last Words of Christ From the Cross." This is the only extant treatment of the Luke Passion story by Bach.

The cantata closes with an ensemble prelude and fugue chorale, "Glorie, Lob, Ehr, und Herrlichkeit" (Glory, Praise, Honor and Majesty), final Stanza 7 of the Reusner/Calvisius hymn setting of Penitential Psalm 31 "In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr" (In Thee have I trusted, Lord). For Cantata 106 details, including the chorale information, see BCW, English translation, FrBrowne.

Music from another Bach cantata, BWV 21, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis in meinem Herzen" (I had much affliction in my heart, Psalm 94:19) may have originated at the Muhlhausen for the memorial service on June 3, 1708, for Dorothea Susanne Eilmar Tilesius. She was the daughter of Georg Christian Eilmar, pastor of the Marienkirche and Bach's mentor and possible librettist of Cantata BWV 71, "Gott is mein König" (God in my Kiong, Psalm 74:12), Town Council installation, February 4, 1708. Cantata 21 has three choruses in old style set to Psalm passages: No. 2, dictum, two-part fugue; No. 6, prelude and fugue, "Was betrübst du dich, meine Seele" (Why are you distressed, my soul, Psalm 42:12); and No. 9, motet chorus, "Sei nun wieder zufrieden, meine Seele, denn der Herr tut dir Guts" (Be satisfied again now, my soul, for the Lord does good to you, Psalm 116/7) with tenor singing Stanza 2 and soprano Stanza 5 of Georg Neumark's (1657) "Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten" (Whoever lets only the dear God reign, NLGB No. 303, Cross, Persecution & Tribulation).

The closing prelude and fugue chorus of Cantata 21, No. 11, "Das Lamm, das erwürget ist, ist würdig zu nehmen" (The lamb that was slain is worthy to receive, Rev. 5:12-13), may have originated in the 1709 Mulhausen Town Council Cantata BWV Anh. 192. Cantata 21 originated in Weimar c.1712, prior to Bach composing music beginning in 1714 for monthly Sunday services. It is a transitional cantata between the earlier Buxtehude-style vocal concerto and the modern so-called "Neumeister" Italian style with original poetry. Other transitional Weimar cantatas may have been BWV 143, 18, 63(a).

The extended, two-part sacred funeral cantata for Weimar Prince Johann Ernst was presented on Thursday, April 2, 1716, titled "Was ist, das wir Leben nennen?" (What is this that we call life?) BC B-19, with a surviving text possible by Salomo Franck. No music is extant but the work contained 22 movements. It may have been the work of court composer Johann Samuel Drese. These movements involved three choruses, four chorales, six recitatives, two ariosi, and seven arias. The chorales (with Bach's harmonization) are Michael Franck's "Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig" (Ah, how fleeting, ah how transitory), cf. plain chorale (A minor/Major), BWV 26/2 (Trinity 24, 1724); Knoll's Passion chorale "Herzlich tut mich verlangen" (Heartily doth await me), cf. plain chorale in D Major, BWV 271=247/58 (Mark Passion, 1731); and Stanzas 1 and 3 of Vulpius' "Christus, der ist mein Leben" (Christ, You are my life), cf. plain chorales BWV 281-2 (F, G Major).


Continue on Part 8

Cantata BWV 106: Details
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