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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 152
Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of April 3, 2005

Thomas Shepherd wrote (April 2, 2005):
BWV 152: Introduction

The cantata for discussion this week (April 3-9) is:

Cantata BWV 152
Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn

Event in the Lutheran church calendar: Solo Cantata (for Soprano and Bass) for Sunday after Christmas
Composed: Weimar, 1714 1st performance: December 30, 1714 - Weimar

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Link to texts, commentary, vocal score, music examples, and list of known recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV152.htm

Link to previous discussions: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV152-D.htm

Streamed over the internet, it is possible to hear Leusink's version of the whole cantata [12]: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Stream/BWV152-Leusink.ram

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[This weekend the world watches and thinks of the Pope in his last hours - perhaps this cantata full of the sweet promise of paradise is as fitting a piece of Bach to prayerfully accompany his last journey]

Apart from the duet, there were very few comments about this most elegant, gentle and moving cantata in the last round of discussions. The opening Sinfonia has not been discussed neither has the lovely soprano Aria "Stein, der über alle Schätze".

Three samples of the aria can be heard for the next few weeks:

Rilling [4]: Arleen Augér is most strident and operatic: http://www.zen20101.zen.co.uk/Stuff/BWV152/Rilling%202.mp3

Suzuki [11]: Midori Suzuki is the one I would play time and again although it is perhaps one of her more lacklustre performances: http://www.zen20101.zen.co.uk/Stuff/BWV152/Suzuki%203.mp3

Leusink [12]: Ruth Holton - not always convincing intonation: http://www.zen20101.zen.co.uk/Stuff/BWV152/Leusink%202.mp3

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I hope to see many of you joining in the discussion about this aria or any other aspect of the cantata.

Doug Cowling wrote (April 2, 2005):
BWV 152: Concerto

Thomas Shepherd wrote:
< The cantata for discussion this week (April 3-9) is: Cantata BWV 152 Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn >
I'm curious about the "Concerto" title given (in the vocal score at least) to the opening two movements. Are there other cantatas where Bach uses that term?

Henri Sanguinetti wrote (April 2, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] From memory a similar title was given in BWV 18.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 2, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] As Alfred Dürr explains on pp 18-19 of his "Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Kantaten" [Bärenreiter, last corrected edition 1995]: the descriptive word for performances by the figural choir + instrumentalists during the church services in Bach's time and area of Germany were called variously: 'Motette,' 'Kirchenstück,' 'Kirchenmusik' (or even simply 'Musik,') 'Musikalische Andacht', 'Concerto', etc. and finally even 'Cantata' (Cantate or Kantate.)

In this instance, (BWV 152), the entire cantata is called 'Concerto' by Bach at the top of his autograph score of the entire cantata. Both the NBA and BWV recognize the fact that this does not refer to the 1st mvt. or even only to the 1st two mvts. so the word 'Concerto' does not appear in their representations or references to this score. The NBA has no mvt. designation at all for mvt. 1, and the BWV cautiously and tentatively assigns in parentheses the term 'Sinfonia' indicating clearly that this is not verfiably a term that Bach actually used, although it might/could have been referred to as such when he gave directions to his musicians.

Bach's use of the designation 'Cantata' is quite restricted to mainly the solo cantatas as, for instance, BWV 51 which has the autograph title beginning with "J. J. Cantata..." instead of the more common "J. J. Concerto..." or more commonly yet "J.J. Dominica..." with no designation at all. In referring to his cantatas in writing, Bach would speak only of his "Kirchenmusik" or "Hauptmusik" and not refer to them generally with the term, 'Kantate' (or 'Cantata') that became acceptable as a general reference decades after his death.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 2, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] Earlier discussion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/What-Cantata.htm

Doug Cowling wrote (April 2, 2005):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< In this instance, (BWV 152), the entire cantata is called 'Concerto' by Bach at the top of his autograph score of the entire cantata. >
Is this an equivalent to "Konzerte" which earlier composers such as Schütz and Schein used in titles like "Geistliche Konzerte" for solo and small ensembles? I didn't realize the term was still current as late as Bach.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 3, 2005):
[To Doug Cowling] Robert L. Marshall gives a possible answer to this in his definition of 'chorale monody' which is the English musicological term defining 'Geistliche Konzerte" as many of those composed by Schütz and Schein as actually being devoid of any chorale melody, the very feature which characterizes Bach's 'Concerti da Chiesa' (his sacred cantatas.) From the Grove Music Online [Oxford University Press, 2004, acc. 4/2/05]:

>>Chorale Monody: A sacred composition based on the text of a German chorale and written in the expressive declamatory style of the early 17th-century Italian concertato madrigal and monody. The chorale monody differs from the contemporaneous chorale concerto in that it makes no obvious use, if any at all, of the traditional chorale melody. Schein and Schütz included chorale monodies in their collections of "Geistliche Konzerte.<<

It was Friedrich Blume who stated: "Schütz bildet wohl den Tiefpunkt des Interesses am Liede in der Geschichte der Kirchen-Musik" ["Schütz is probably the composer who showed the least interest {who reached the lowest point of interest} in the chorale (text and melody) in the history of {German} church music."

Neil Halliday wrote (April 3, 2005):
[To Thomas Shepherd] Bach sets out to beguile his listeners with the wistful opening bars of the instrumental adagio; he continues in this vein with an instrumental fugue which has a lively, syncopated (and tricky) triple time rhythm. What a treat it must have been, to attend church, and hear such delightful music!.

He then clothes the message of the cantata's text - basically, don't let your faith falter on the stumbling stone of reason - with two tuneful arias and a duet, interpolated with two recitatives/ariosos.

I was struck by the tuneful simplicity of this cantata which is without choral movements, not even a concluding chorale.

Regarding the soprano aria, I agree that the gentler renditions of Holton [12] and Suzuki [11] are preferable to Augér's 'operatic' approach (although I am pleased to have Rilling's recording of this cantata [4]); all the ladies are preferable to the boy in Harnoncourt's recording [6], and the instrumental accompaniment in Harnoncourt sounds disjointed. The harpsichord in Rilling jangles somewhat and contrasts with the gentle ethos established by the chamber organ, especially in Suzuki's recording.

The rest of Rilling's recording is most enjoyable; and Leusink also gives a pleasing reading of the entire cantata.

I notice that Leusink [12], Harnoncourt [6] and Rilling [4] hold the initial bass note in the first recitative as notated. This is musically satisfying, highlighting the changes in harmonies that occur over the long held bass note. Most of the first recitative is given to tuneful arioso.

Eric Bergerud wrote (April 5, 2005):
I was not very familiar with 152 and found it a most delightful work. It reminds me again how varied is Cantata World. There is a certain convenience to refer to Bach's extended instrumental/vocal works I suppose. But how much does BWV 152 have in common with, for instance, BWV 147? They both have singers, players and share a composer. That's about it. Perhaps something has been lost in simply lumping all of them under the label of "cantata" which, as Mr. Braatz has recently explained, was rarely used by Bach himself. Perhaps BWV 152 could be described as "concerto for bass and boy." In any case, I suspect most of us like the early Bach works because so many of them are of somewhat smaller scale than his more famous Leipzig compositions. BWV 152 surely falls into this category.

I only have Harnoncourt's version of this work [6]. I must say I'm very pleased with it. I am very partial to Concentus musicus and greatly enjoy Harnoncourt's direction of his players. No attempt here to hide the "original instruments." As for the singers, bass Thomas Hampson is in fine form. The Tolzer boy who sings a solo and a duet is perhaps not the best in Harnoncourt's series. But I am in a bad position to judge. It's not always clear to me when a boy is missing notes or creating an affect desired by the conductor or composer. In either case there is always a trade-off when compared to a female soprano. No boy is going to match the strength or experience of a professional adult singer. But when the boy does hit things right, I think he does often in this work, the result possess a unique clarity that seems to me exactly what Bach wanted in this type of music. If nothing else Bach did compose it for a boy and that counts for much to me.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 5, 2005):
BWV 152: bass aria (Rilling) [4]

I am enjoying the bass aria immensely, in the Rilling/Schöne recording.

This confident, tuneful aria flows gracefully under Rilling's mostly legato direction, and the 'striking chords' of the harpsichord form a pleasing contrast with the smoothly flowing vocal and instrumental lines of the other musicians.

Shöne, with an attractive, strong yet gentle voice, demonstrates wonderful breathe control with the long melisma on the (second occurence of the) word "traeget"; and the lovely wistful tunefulness of Bach's music on the last line "Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn!" (the same words as the first line), is enlivened with particularly engaging syncopation.

Regarding other movements; the tortured harmony at the end of the second recitative ("the blind leading the blind") is also noteworthy.

I do find Augér's voice to be overpowering and distracting, in her aria and the duet (after having heard Suzuki [11]).

Peter Smaill wrote (April 5, 2005):
"Tritt auf Glaubensbahn" has sat gathering dust on my shelves for some years in the Harnoncourt recording [6]. Yet I agree with Eric Bergerud that it reveals itself as a specially beautiful early work with a little application.

My failing to understand its appeal lies in the often observed strengths and weaknesses of Harnoncourt; the authentic instrumentation of the opening Concerto was in its day a real revelation; but the singing remains in the quasi-operatic netherworld of the growly basso profondo, clashing horribly with the piping boy treble who simply cannot impart the warmth of tone to allow the "stein" of the key aria to balance the instrumentation.

The Leusink rendering [12] kindly offered in the introduction to BWV 152 revealed the aria in its full glory, echoing as it does one of the most telling images of the Bible:

(Prayer book translation )

"The same stone which the builders refused: is become the headstone in the corner.
This is the Lord's doing:and it is marvellous in our eyes.
This is the day which the Lord hath made: we will rejoice and be glad in it"

1 Corinthians 3 also expresses the sentiment of Christ, the sure foundation stone; and leads to the expression ( i Cor i.19), also in this text:

"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."

Bach weaves into the concept of the path of faith the walking bass which is to recur frequently throughout the cantatas wherever confidence in salvation, and the pilgrimage thereto, is to be depicted. The sostenuto soprano note on "stein" in the aria, "stein der ueber alle Schatze" illustrates the immoveability of the headstone against the other oscillating instrumental parts. Whittaker points out the obbligati instruments moving in sixths in strangely exotic harmonies, " a manifestly Oriental touch, achieved by the simplest means" (cf BWV 64, Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen).

It is the Leusink rendering [12] which for me has unlocked the mystical quality of this great aria, which the perfunctory Harnoncourt notes (another weakness of his set) simply calls "striking". This cantata, with its unique and beautiful instrumentation, fine text and and unusual duet casting, deserves to be better known. The absence of choral input, while lessening the initial impact compared to other early masterpieces, enhances the intimate and spiritual qualities of the work.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 5, 2005):
I've been looking at the scores available for download from: http://www.mymp3sonline.net/bach_cantatas/mp3.asp: BGA for the full score, and Kalmus (?) on the vocal score. Both give this cantata in the basic key of E minor, rather than G minor. To follow along with the recordings I have to transpose everything up a minor third, mentally....

A remark from Bruce Haynes's article, "Bach's Cantatas: The Woodwind Perspective" (1986): >>BWV 152. Original woodwind key: G minor. In E minor (as in BG), many notes are out of the range of both the early and modern oboes. This cantata was printed in G minor by Breitkopf in 1949 (ed. Neumann). The soprano is high but singable in G minor; playing at A=392 would make this part easier.<<

The 1998 edition of BWV has the incipits printed based on G minor, Kammerton, plus a remark about E minor being Chorton in this instance.

Turning to the three recorded examples graciously provided by Thomas Shepherd last week, it's the soprano aria in Bb major (or G major in those two scores). Obviously all three of the ensembles are reading from parts notated in Bb, not G. And all three of them use different pitch standards. Rilling's [4]: A=440. Leusink's [12]: A=415. Suzuki's [11]: A=392.

Neil Halliday remarked about the weird stuff at the "blind leading the blind" section at the end of the second recitative. Yes, a nifty spot. Referring for the moment to the E minor version of the scores: Bach cadences into E minor at "ergruenden". Then he makes a feint as if we're heading back to A minor next (as we had just heard in the preceding bars), but it slides into F# minor instead. Then, two successive diminished 7ths slip us into an authentic cadence a semitone higher, into G major! (And then the next aria sticks us right back into E minor again....)

Has the old Leonhardt recording of BWV 18 and BWV 152 [3] ever made it to CD? My LP of it is getting crackly, and the cover has all but disintegrated. Theirs uses G minor parts at A=440. Indeed the piece sounds a bit too high for Agnes Giebel's voice. Jacques Villisech's singing in his recitatives seems too metrically square, to me; other than that I like this pquite a bit. Excellent phrasing throughout this cantata, by Bylsma and Leonhardt. From the documentation with the album, it looks as if Jürgens conducted only BWV 18 (side A of the album), and then BWV 152 is Leonhardt leading from the organ.

I think it's interesting that these two cantatas--BWV 18 and BWV 152--both don't have any violins.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 5, 2005):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>I think it's interesting that these two cantatas--BWV 18 and BWV 152--both don't have any violins.<<
If the above statement does not only refer to a recording but to Bach's cantata output, then the complete list would include:

BWV 18, BWV 106 (Actus tragicus), BWV 152 and possibly BWV 203 (Amore traditore - authenticity not fully established.)

John Pike wrote (April 6, 2005):
BWV 152 "Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn"

Cantata for the Sunday after Christmas.
First performed December 30th 1714.

I agree with several others who have commented that the highlight of this piece is the soprano aria, no. 4 "Stein, der ueber alle Schätze", which is very beautiful and charming.

I found Brad's comments above most interesting.

I have listened to Rilling [4] and Harnoncourt [6].

I found the sound of Rilling's [4] instrumental group and singers pleasing enough and I shared Neil's views on the soprano, but I found a lack of interest in the articulation and phrasing at times.

The opening "Sinfonia" in Harnoncourt's recording [6] has some very pleasing phrasing and articulation and dynamic variation. Towards the end, I thought the sound in the strings was a bit rough. I enjoyed both the bass (Thomas Hampson) and the boy soprano, Christoph Wegmann, of the Tölzer Knabenchor. I know I have been critical of some of Harnoncourt's boy sopranos in the past, but on this occasion I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there were a few minor problems in intonation and straining of the voice in the higher registers, but I felt this was more than compensated for by some very nice phrasing and dynamics and I found his voice much of the time to be very beautiful. The general style of singing in both main arias was ideally suited to this intimate chamber work, and overall I found it a most enjoyable performance, which captured well the general feel of the music.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 9, 2005):
Neil Halliday wrote:
>>Bach sets out to beguile his listeners with the wistful opening bars of the instrumental adagio; he continues in this vein with an instrumental fugue which has a lively, syncopated (and tricky) triple time rhythm. What a treat it must have been, to attend church, and hear such delightful music!.<<

<Trahe.jpg>

I have been trying to make some sense out of the faster, fugal section of BWV 152/1, with its syncopated figures possibly relating somehow symbolically to the central themes which Bach chooses to illustrate musically based on Franck's text. I think I may have found a possible connection with the help of Lucia Haselböck's Bach text reference book "Bach: Textlexikon" [Bärenreiter, 2004.] Haselböck presents a copper-engraving illustration from a book that was published a decade after Bach's death ["Pia desideria" by Antonius Nicolaus Rhem {Bamberg, 1760}] with the caption "Zeüch mich dir nach, so laufen wir im Geruch deiner Salben. Hohelied Sol.1." ["Pull me after you, for then we will be running bathed in the aroma of your salves/ointment." [Vulgate Version: "trahe me post te"] [New Living Testament: Song of Solomon 1:1 "This is Solomon's song of songs, more wonderful than any other. Young Woman: "Kiss me again and again, for your love is sweeter than wine. How fragrant your cologne, and how pleasing your name! No wonder all the young women love you! Take me with you. Come, let's run! Bring me into your bedroom, O my king."]

The illustration depicts an angelic figure (with wings and halo) running while holding a large flaming torch in its left hand and a rope in its right. Behind this figure is a smaller figure holding onto the other end of the rope, half being dragged on its knees but possibly attempting to stand up to catch the aroma which appears as smoke coming from the torch. Imagine yourself being dragged while holding onto a rope, but somehow you have trouble running fast enough - this causes an irregular rhythm with one of your feet being dragged (some notes hold unexpectedly for two beats instead of the regular one beat causing syncopation.) It is almost like operating a scooter with one foot placed on the scooter while the other does the pushing off, except that in this instance one foot is being dragged on the ground because you are being pulled too fast or you resist the pulling in the first place.)

Haselböck adds to the caption already provided by the illustrator a quote from BWV 152/6 where the soul states: "Ach, ziehe mich, Liebster, so folg ich dir nach." Haselböck explains that this 'pulling' is a symbol for the Christian followers. Sulamith, in the Song of Solomon, praises her friend's love and she pleads with him that he should 'drag'/'pull' her along with him and in this manner run until they both reach his (bed)room(s). This love of a bride for her beloved is transformed accordingly to request of a believer to Christ: "Pull/Drag/Draw me after you." In Bach's cantata texts this can be formulated as a symbol: "das Seil der Liebe" ["the rope of love."]

The believer who is prepared to follow Christ is 'pulled'/'dragged'/'drawn' along "die rechte Bahn" ["the correct path"]= 'die Glaubensbahn' which leads to eternal life. The first condition for the 'pulling' power of Christ lies in disdaining the way of all flesh. In BWV 22/2 we find "Mein, Jesu, ziehe mich, so werd ich laufen" ["My Jesus, pull me, then I will walk/run."] The duet between Jesus and the soul also touches upon renouncing worldly things and carrying the cross (troubles and humiliation) upon which the crown of joy will be granted: BWV 152/6 "Seele: "Komm, lehre mich, Heiland, die Erde verschmähen," / Jesus: "Komm, Seele, durch Leiden zur Freude zu gehen." / Seele: "Ach, ziehe mich, Liebster, so folg ich dir nach" / Jesus: "Dir schenk ich die Krone nach Trübsal und Schmach." ["Come, teach me, savior, to disdain the earth" "Come, soul, go through suffering to joy" "O, pull me, dearest, then I will follow after you" "I will give you the crown after trouble and humiliation." ]

In BWV 49/6 a similar image is presented: "Dich hab ich je und je geliebet/ und darum zieh ich dich zu mir. / Ich komme bald, / ich stehe vor der Tür, / mach auf, mein Aufenthalt" ["I have loved you from time immemorial / and for that reason I pull you after me. / I will come soon, / I am standing in front of the door, / open up, my comfort and joy!"]

There is a real problem that presents itself here to a translator of the text which Bach set to music: many of the stronger associations of this key German word "nachziehen/nachzeuchen" are lost when, for instance, Pamela Dellal, in one of the translations listed on Aryeh's site, translates "Ach, ziehe mich, Liebster, so folg ich dir nach!" as "Ah, lead me, beloved, I will follow You!" In a case such as this, the Baroque image has been 'watered down' and gives only a bland representation of the original text which inspired Bach. What is lost here is the partial unwillingness or incapability of the one being drawn to keep up with the leader at all times.

Some lexical matters:

'nachziehen' ('nachzeuchen') = to pull behind, to follow as if being pulled, follow after, to make someone follow - the Christian follower may at times follow unconsciously or have the feeling of being pulled in a certain direction while pursuing a goal, or at other times simply be pulled in this direction unwi.

a related, but imperfect synonym of 'nachziehen' is 'nachgehen' pursue (as a goal or profession) - the Christian follwer may have a goal in mind

'nachziehen' = 'zum Nachfolger heranbilden,' 'erziehen' = to prepare, raise up, educate someone to become your successor - Christ prepares his followers by educating them so that they will be able to follow him completely.

Aryeh has included an example of the fugal theme from mvt. 1 of this cantata at the bottom of this week's discussion (see below):

<BWV152-M1s.jpg>

and a picture of the engraving discussed above is also included here (see at the beginning of this message).

Neil Halliday wrote (April 11, 2005):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
<"I have been trying to make some sense out of the faster, fugal section of BWV 152/1, with its syncopated figures...... The illustration depicts an angelic figure (with wings and halo) running while holding a large flaming torch in its left hand and a rope in its right. Behind this figure is a smaller figure holding onto the other end of the rope, half being dragged on its knees.">
I think this is a marvelous image - of the soul stumbling as it is being drawn along - for explaining and making sense of the engaging syncopation in 152/1. Thanks for sharing it with the list.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 20, 2005):
BWV 152 bass aria, cf. BWV 72 soprano aria

Those who enjoyed the bass aria in BWV 152, discussed recently, might be interested to note some similarities to the soprano aria in BWV 72.

I felt that the music accompanying the text - at the second "Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn" (in BWV 152) - reminded me of another aria; this turns out to be the soprano aria in BWV 72, specifically at the words "Obleich dein Herze liegt in viel Bekuemmernissen".

In both arias, these sentences are repeated at least twice, over a 'cycle of fifth's'; other similarities between the arias are evident.

 

About cantata BWV 152

Hola Leofloten wrote (June 11, 2005):
my group have a problem whit the performance of the cantata 152, which we plays that with flute, but the score indicate a "flauto"; the problem is the range of the recorder (flauto in bach works), because the lowest note is a D4, and the higest note is a E6, more long that the range of the recorder (c4-d6).in the version of the Concentus musicus wien, harnoncourt use a recorder, but i don“t understand how played the cantata. Could you help me to resolv tis problem?

Hola

Mi conjunto tiene un problema con la interpretacion de la cantata 152, la cual la tocamos con flauta traversa, pero en la partitura esta la indicacion de "flauto"; el problema es la extension de la flauta de pico, (flauto en las obras de bach), por que la nota mas baja es un Re4, y la mas alta es um Mi6, mas larga que la extension de la flauta de pico(Do4-Re6)en la version del concentus musicus de viena, harnoncourt usa una flauta de pico, pero no entiendo como toco esa cantata.Pueden ayudarme a solucionar este problema?

Thomas Braatz wrote (June 11, 2005):
[To Hola Leofloten] Here is some important information about BWV 152 "Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn" which may be of some help:

Bach composed it for performance at the Weimar Court Sunday Service held on the Sunday after Christmas on December 30, 1714. It exists only in an autograph clean copy of the score (original composing score and original parts are not extant.) The specific scoring with recorder 'Flauto,' oboe, viola d'amore and viola da gamba makes the notation on the score appear rather unusual in that two separate pitches of instruments are represented: recorder, oboe and viola d'amore appear in 'Kammerton' ["chamber pitch"] while organ, viola da gamba and vocal parts are notated in 'Chorton' [literally 'choir tone' pitch. As a result, Bach notates the first group in a 'Kammerton' G minor and the second group a minor third lower in 'Chorton' E minor. The key signature for the first group has a single '#,' but the second, as a relic of the old modal system, has a single 'b' [flat] as in 'Doric' mode notation rather than two 'b's'. The recorder ['Flauto'] part, according to what was customary for this point in Bach's career shows a 'French' treble clef with 'G' on the lowest line; the viola d'amore changes between soprano, alto and treble clefs while the viola da gamba switches between bass and tenor clefs. This Bach score is truly a historic document because of its strange appearance which, however, has caused numerous problems in preparing this score for a modern-day performance.

This cantata appeared in print for the first time in the BGA 32 in 1886 with Ernst Naumann, editor. He decided that, because the soprano part would be too high for that voice, that all the parts should appear in E minor. [It is very possible that Breitkopf & Härtel followed the notation of the BGA in its own performance editions of this cantata.] In 1950 it appeared in a different printed version, as part of the publications issued by the 'Neue Bachgesellschaft' (Jg. XLVIII/L,1), with Werner Neumann as editor. Neumann recognized that version printed in the BGA edition 'literally made impossible any performance true to Bach's original intentions' because, in the E-minor version, both the recorder as well as the oboe parts exceeded the low range allotted to these instruments. Neumann pleaded for a performance in G-minor which would not only correct the situation with the wind instruments used, but also place the vocal bass part in a more favorable range. Neumann admitted that his proposal of transposing everything to the higher 'Chorton' was an unavoidalbe compromise unless, of course, the cantata could once again be performed with a high 'Chorton' organ (at 'Chorton' pitch) and the string instruments also tuned higher to this pitch. "But who would seriously recommend doing this?" Neumann asked in 1949 (in his foreword to the above edition.)

The NBA editors emphasize that the times have changed and for that reason the NBA offers the following: The modern NBA edition has printed two different versions, one in the original notation and another in modern, present-day notation in the key of 'Kammerton' G-minor.

It appears from the original question that one of the earlier editions may have been used. In the 'Kammerton' G-minor version, the 'Flauto' does not exceed the lower range.

If it is impossible to procure the G-minor version, perhaps it would be necessary to consider "Oktavknickung" ["jump to the higher octave at a feasible point before the notes below the range of the instrument appear in the part" , of course, then it will be necessary to find another location to return back to the notes as they appear on the page.] This would be the last desparate measure to take, a measure which even Bach occasionally made use of in transpositions or in reorchestrating his scores with instruments not having the same ranges as the original.

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 152: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

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