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Cantata BWV 166
Wo gehest du hin?
Discussions - Part 1

Discussions in the Week of May 21, 2000

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 23, 2000):
Background

This is the week of cantata BWV 166, according to Jane Newble's suggestion. This is really rarely performed cantata. I do not understand why, because it has 3 attractive Arias for Bass, Tenor and Alto, one Chorale to be sung by Soprano, a concluding Chorale and only one Recitative. It is felt that all the movements were composed with high level of inspiration, especially the Aria for Tenor. This cantata has nothing to be shamed of when standing besides its more familiar sisters.

As a reference I will use W. Murray young book - 'The Cantatas of J.S. Bach - An Analytical Guide'. First, the introduction and afterwards as a preface before comparisons of the recordings of each movement.

"This interesting cantata for the fourth Sunday after Easter is presumed to have been written by Christian Weiss, Sr., about 1725. It is unusual because it has no Chorus and the 3rd number, a Chorale, is sung only by the solo Soprano voice. The final Choral, however, has a four-part choir. The Gospel is John 16: 5-15 - Jesus speaks to the disciples of His return to the Father. Verse 5 is partly quoted for the opening Aria."

Personal Viewpoint

The material to the Aria for Tenor (No.2) of BWV 166 is adapted from a Trio in G Minor for Organ (BWV 584), published by G.W. Korner in 1842 in a collection of pieces by various composers. He attributed it to Bach. It was an opportunity for me to compare some versions of this Trio that I have. It was also an opportunity to examine the relations between the source (Organ) and its adaptation (Aria for Tenor). I do not have a place to do it here, and I intend to do it in a later date. I shall send it to the Bach Cantatas List, and maybe also to the Bach Recordings List, to get some feedback from the members who have more experience in the organ field.

The Recordings

I heard only 4 recordings of BWV 166. From the modern interpreters I have heard only Koopman [4]. AFAIK, Suzuki, Jan Leusink and Herreweghe have not recorded this cantata yet. Neither was it recorded by famous heroes from the past, like Karl Richter or Günther Ramin. Helmut Barbe [1] did the only recording from the past that I have. This is an opportunity to hear and compare a recording from somebody, whose name has not been popped up in this discussion group before. See: Cantata BWV 166 - Recording.

[1] Helmut Barbe (Mid 1960’s?)
[3] Gustav Leonhardt (1987)
[2] Helmuth Rilling (1978)
[4] Ton Koopman (1998)

Review of the Recordings

Mvt. 1: Aria for Bass
"To just four words as given in the Scriptural verse, Bach interprets Jesus' gentle chiding of His disciples, because none of them had asked Him where He would be going. The step-motif in the oboe and string accompaniment implies also where our own wandering steps are leading us. "Wo gehest du hin?" (Whither goest Thou?) seems a scant text on which to compose an Aria, yet Bach brings out all the uncertainty in the question. He begins with an orchestral prelude and follows this with the entry of the questioning bass voice with its repeated of "wo" and "wohin". "

Wonderful rendering from Kunz (with Barbe) [1]. He has pleasant voice and gives sensitive interpretation. Every turn of the words "Wo gehest du hin?" is getting different treatment - consideration, questioning, wandering, sorrow, despair. Kunz is the master of the nuance. Van Egmond (with Leonhardt) [3] proved himself many times as a very satisfying Bach interpreter, but here the stiff and metronomic conducting stands on his way of more expression. Schöne (with Rilling) [2] is authoritative, but his voice lacks any flexibility. He sounds the same through all the variants of the repeating words. His interpretation is simply uninteresting. The accompaniment he gets from Rilling is too thick. Mertens (4) is one the best Bass singers of Bach cantatas today. But comparing him with some of the best Bass singers from the past does not necessarily act to his favor. Here, Kunz outdoes everything Mertens has to offer, and Mertens is doing his best in the gentle but fast accompaniment that Koopman is giving him.

Mvt. 2: Aria for Tenor
"The melody for this Aria comes from Bach's Trio in G Minor for Organ (BWV 584), which he must have composed prior to this Aria. The thought expressed is that the singer asks himself where he is going, whether he moves or stands. The step-motif is continues here. His doubts concerning his destiny are reflected in t5he wavering tone of his singing. As a believer, he wants to think about heaven and not give his heart to the world, but he still fells like a ship without a rudder."

Hearing Krebs (with Barbe) [1], one could think that Young's words above describe exactly what Krebs is doing. You may very well think so, because Barbe's recording was done before Young wrote his book, and at that time this was the only available recording of BWV 166. Krebs touches so deeply your heart, that I cannot imagine anybody does it more convincingly. This can be a model for good Bach singing - sensitivity to the words and sensitivity to the music. Equiluz (with Leonhardt) [3] has a lot of credibility as a Bach Tenor singer. But his abilities almost do not find expression here. The reason is the stiff conducting that stops the flow of the music. When he is trying to sing 'Denn ich gehe oder stehe' (For whether I depart or stay), the accompaniment holds him, as if saying to him 'Stay, stay'. Only when the Aria almost comes to an end, and Equiluz is left alone, he expresses very convincingly the despair of the situation. Baldin (with Rilling) [2] has a very unique timbre of voice, tremendous flexibility and a lot of expressive powers. However, he uses these qualities to over interpretation. Instead of let the music speaking for itself and flowing with it, he compels his approach on the Aria and consequently causes inconvenient feeling. His accompaniment is very very heavy. Pregardien (with Koopman) [4] does not need to improve anything regarding his beauty of voice or ability of expression. What he needed here was more space to express himself and more time to think about his interpretation. Comparison of his performance to that of Krebs puts Pregardien in the shade. However, the accompaniment Pregardien gets from Koopman is very clear, precise and lovely.

Mvt. 3: Chorale for Soprano
"This magnificent number, based on stanza three of B. Ringealdt's "Herr Jesu Christ, ich weiss gat wohl" (Lord Jesus Christ, I know Quite Well) (1582), has the effect of a personal prayer. The string accompaniment lends an emotionally mystical background to her appeal to Christ for spiritual guidance. This Chorale setting is a masterpiece, superior to any of Bach's Chorale compositions thus far in his cantatas. It would be difficult for any listener to be unmoved by it."

There are some potential different solutions to performing the Soprano part of this Chorale - solo woman, solo boy, boys choir, women choir, combined choir, etc. Barbe, Rilling and Koopman use the Chorus Sopranos, and Leonhardt - a boy Soprano. For me, Barbe's solution (1) achieves the best results. The female voices sound hear like a choir of angels. His Sopranos sound very young. Rilling's Sopranos [2] sound very mature in comparison. Koopman's Sopranos (4) do not caress their part but almost shouting it. The boy Leonhardt [3] uses here is insecure and in the upper register he sounds shrill. The optimal solution seems to be using Choir of boys Sopranos. Leonhardt had this option to his disposal, but he had other preference. The accompaniment in Barbe's rendering is the best balanced with the voices. Regarding the other accompaniments of this Chorale - Rilling continues to be heavy, Leonhardt continues his stiffness, and Koopman continues to be pleasant.

Mvt. 4: Recitative for Bass
"His secco declamation is very picturesque, as he denounces the transitory joys of the world: they are like rainwater, which vanishes or colors that fade. Many people prize worldly fortune but do not realize that it will disappear when their last hour strikes unexpectedly. This idea leads into the next number."

Mvt. 5: Aria for Alto
"This has a dance-like rhythm, which may symbolize the carefree laughter of those who enjoy their good fortune. The swinging tune, played by all the instruments, gives this impression. Long runs on the verb "lacht" (laughs) in coloratura trills show Bach's ability to paint in sound an idea that even one word evokes. In the last half of the Aria, the concept that all happiness can change suddenly from morning smiles to evening sorrows does not alter the gay rhythm of the first part. Instead of the gloomy warning indicated in the text, Bach continues to paint the joy-motif. It almost seems as though he were obsessed with the verb "lacht" and wished to carry it on to the end of the Aria, ignoring the meaning of the text he was setting."

Wolf-Matthaus (with Barbe) (1) has small, pleasant, tender and sensitive voice. She lacks something in intensity, but her singing is compensated by the considered accompaniment, which follows her in every turn and carries on the flow of the Aria. You do not feel that you miss something. Esswood (with Leonhardt) [3] makes the best out of his task, despite the insensitive accompaniment. Helen Watts (with Rilling) [2] is a very capable Bach Alto singer, and she has proved it numerous times in Rilling's cycle, as well as in her participation in many other recordings of Bach's vocal works. However, the tempo Rilling supplies to her accompaniment in this Aria does not leave her any room for expression. The rhythm is so fast, that most of the potential of this Aria is getting lost - no laugh, no joy, no sorrow. Landauer (with Koopman) (4) has very special, almost feminine voice. But he uses the same approach to every phrase he sings. His laugh is gentle but convincing, a humble laugh. This is the only movement of this cantata, where somebody is doing better than Barbe's forces do. But this conclusion relates only to the expression of the Alto singer, and not to any other aspect of the performance.

Mvt. 6: Chorale
"This first verse of Countess Ämilie von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt 's hymn restores the serious theme of keeping in mind one's death and to prepare for it: "Wer weiss, wie nahe, men Ende, / Hin geht die Zwit, her kommt der Tod, " (Who knows how near my end (is)? / Away goes time, hither comes death.)"

Barbe's choir (1) is a model for singing a Chorale - clear, warm, simple, sincere and unpretending. Rilling's choir [2] is too big and their singing is somewhat muddy. Leonhardt's choir [3] is shouting and not really singing. This is not of their best moments (well almost a moment, it lasts 52 seconds). Koopman choir (4) sings simply and beautifully.

Conclusion

I would like you to notice that each recording of this BWV 166 is faster than its predecessors are. IMHO, the gradual tendency to velocity causes the cantata to lose most of its soul. As I have said in the opening paragraph, I do not know Helmut Barbe [1] from any other cantatas' records. I do not know why he chose these 2 specific cantatas (BWV 166 & BWV 13) for his only record of Bach cantatas. But I am glad that he did, because he worked on his mission to perfection. This is natural, simple and straightforward performance. And I believe that this is the right approach with every bach cantata. Over sophistication may corrupt the hidden beauties of the cantata. Nothing in the other renderings of BWV 166 comes even close to Barbe's achievement in this cantata. Two of the others (Rilling [2] and Leonhardt [3]) sound so uninspired, tired and distorted in relation to him. These performances cannot claim to be included in the high picks of each cycle. And, as we can hear from Barbe's recording, this cantata has much to offer, it includes highly inspired movements and a lot of potential for high level performance. Barbe's recording belongs to that league. Leonhardt and Rilling's recordings do not. And Koopman [4] is almost there. I hope that Suzuki, Jan Leusink, and maybe Herreweghe, will come even closer to Barbe's achievement. It is quite a challenging task, because every time I hear Barbe's recording, it seems to be improving, and the difference between him and the other seems to be growing. And the wonderful, memorable and touching Aria for Tenor in Helmut Krebs singing - I cannot take it out of my head!

And as always, I would like to hear other opinions, regarding the above mentioned performances, or other recordings.

Marie Jensen wrote (May 23, 2000):
When I saw that Jane's schedule included BWV 166, I thought: I don't have it. I have never heard it. Is it one of those I shall save for my old age?

[4] But then Koopman came to town and his CD's on discount. So now I have BWV 166 and the tenor Aria on my mind, as if it was latest HIT! The pop groups nowadays produce a new hit every second month or so, not to be forgotten, and yet they soon are. Bach produced a new one every week AND THEY LAST! (Anyway in the minds of the members of this little group)

The Arias of BWV 166 are so catchy. I wonder why the cantata is so unknown.

As many of the "between Easter and Whit" cantatas it has no opening choir, but starts quoting Jesus and the gospel of St. John.

But to turn to the Koopman (Landauer, Pregardien, Mertens) (Erato Vol. 9) version [4]:

"Ich will an den Himmel denken" the tenor Aria - my new Bach hit: When Bach thinks of Heaven, it is with joy and often incense light elegance. (Try, for example, to compare with "Ihr Gedanken und Ihr Sinnen" from BWV 110). Pregardien is great here. Until Sunday morning I had nothing to compare my new acquaintance with. Then the radio played a concert version with Capella Savaria, IMHO a second-rate ensemble. They had a slower pace, which gave the same Aria a more dreaming and lyric character, which I also like. Wish they at least could have performed it faultless.

Back to Koopman [4]:
Though my knowledge of English and German certainly could be much better, I have to admit that I'm not satisfied with the translation of BWV166 into English. The English version is reproduced so that meter and rhymes are the same as the original, instead of concentrating on translating the exact meaning. That meter and rhymes fit, is only needed if the cantata is supposed to be performed in a new language (and please don't!). Bach's word painting fits the text exactly. In the Chorale for soprano the soul is compared with a bird lying in its nest ready to fly to Heaven when time comes. In the English version this beautiful image is gone. Sad, because just there the music flaps its wings and flies up.

This Chorale is simply so moving. Whave the joyful, allegro, flying strings combined with the heavenly sounding sopranos, which at the same time express their strong faith in the steady Chorale rhythm. (Verharren fest). I'm sure sopranos are used, because they are closest to Heaven.

The cantata clearly makes a distinction between the joys of Heaven and Earth. From the Bass recitativo (Vox Christi) the mood changes, talking about the earthly pleasures so quickly fading and vanishing.

In the alto Aria beautifully sung by Landauer, "Das Geluecke lacht", the earthly one. Though the music laughs and in the end of the phrase a virtuoso coloratura is performed, joy has already culminated (like watching a ball in slow motion at the top of its parabola through the air) The harmonies are not heavenly. The sky is no longer quite so blue. Try, for example, to compare with BWV 51 "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" where joy takes off without risking being shot down when it pleases destiny and nothing prevents its free ascension, or with the hearty joy in the opening choir of BWV 110. In BWV 166 it is like the joy stops at a level and can't fly higher. It also comes from the way the phrases are constructed: slow steady notes (Man nehme sich in Acht!) balanced with the quickly flying ones (wenn das Gelucke lacht) The more I listen to this Aria, the more I realize what a genius Bach is! It really takes a master to express this. In the hands of a mediocre composer these words so easily could have ended as another "twelve one the dozen" laughs in Italian opera style.

The textbook talks about chaff on "Man nehme sich in Acht". I understand the symbol, but again, this is not an exact translation, and gone is the balance mentioned above.

"Wer weiss, wie nahe mir mein Ende" always make me tremble. Also this time with a new hit on my mind.

Ryan Michero wrote (May 23, 2000):
[To Marie Jensen] EXACTLY! You've hit on a big pet peeve of mine regarding the translations of the German texts in the Koopman (4) AND Harnoncourt/Leonhardt [3] sets (they use the same translations, which Warner music apparently has the rights to). In my opinion, the English texts should be literal translations of the German--and that's all! No changing of words or meanings or symbols just to fit the meter or make a rhyme. I mean, we can read and hear the German texts with rhyme and meter intact and sounding much more natural--why should a translator try in vain to do this in English? It would be different if the text was SUNG in English, but neither Koopman nor H&L do this.

Here is another reason to collect Suzuki's cantata series--their notes offer clear, faithful, literal translations of the German text into English. Really, the quality of the liner notes should not be ignored when judging the merits of a recording.

You give a perfect example of the kinds of distortions this kind of translation causes. I remember another cantata ("Schauet doch"?) (BWV 46) from Suzuki's Vol.11 where the word "Küchlein" ("little chicks") (in the Aria for Alto - No. 5) was translated correctly in the Suzuki notes and ignored in the Koopman/H&L notes. And Bach uses two soprano recorders to score this aria, representing the chicks! I would've never caught this brilliant pictorial image were it not for the Suzuki translations.

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 27, 2000):
The problem of translation of Bach cantatas' texts from German into English has a very long history, since the second half of the 19th century. In general, I agree that it is much more important to understand the meaning of the words through good literal translation, rather than have a singable translation, which will miss the point. Because I do not read German, I try to understand the meaning of the original text through as many English translations I can put my hands on. As I have shown in the review of BWV 12, no translation into English is perfect. Lately I found a new book named 'J.S. Bach - The Complete Cantatas - in German-English translation' by Richard Stokes. The translations are literal in good simple Modern English and they are very readable. I took for example the Aria for Alto (No.5) from BWV 46, which Ryan mentioned.

Original German text:
"Er sammelt sie als seine Schafe,
Als sene Küchlein liebreich ein"

Koopman/L&H cycles translation:
"He gathers us as does a shepherd,
To keep and ever safe defend"

Rilling cycle translation (by Z. Philip Ambrose):
"He gathers them as his own sheep now,
As his own chicks, so dear, to him"

Suzuki cycle translation:
"He gathers all his sheep,
As well as his little chicks"

Richard Stokes translation:
"He gathers them together most lovingly,
As his own sheep and chickens"

Conclusion? I agree with Ryan that the Koopman/L&H translation misses a point here. However, I cannot say that Suzuki cycle translation is always my preferred one. Even here, Rilling cycle translation seems to me a little bit better. And I remember cases in the past where the Koopman/L&H translation seemed to me the best. Like in the comparisons of the recordings, there is not a definite translation, which is always the best regarding the true meaning of the original German text.

At least, the English readers have some options to choose from. We, the Hebrew readers, have none!

BTW, what will be about the poor BWV 166? Are Marie and I the only ones in the group, who have listened to this sublime cantata (with more than a single hit in it)?

Marie Jensen wrote (May 27, 2000):
< Cantata translations - At least, the English readers have some options to choose from. We, the Hebrew readers, have none! >
You can't avoid it. You have to learn some German to listen to a Bach cantata with full profit. Grammatically German is much more complicated than English, but so long you only have to understand the meaning and not express yourself it is not so difficult. Both languages are members of the Germanic family of languages. I must however admit, that my mother tongue Danish is a member too, and that gives me an advantage.

If this discussion had been going on in German, I would never have contributed, though I would understand most of it. I learned German in school for 3 years, many many years ago, but that is enough to understand most of the meaning of the cantata texts. And while reading them I learn more, the same way as writing to this list I learn more and more English.

Understanding texts while listening without reading a translation at the same time gives me concentration and energy to flow and be caught immediately, when Bach begins his word painting. Off course there often are details I have check with the textbook or even have to look on the English texts or use a dictionary, but not knowing one word while listening would be awful. Perhaps that's why I'm not caught by Bach's Italian cantatas BWV 203 and BWV 209. I have learned a little Latin. Without that the b-minor Mass would not be the same.

(Translation of BWV 46) The Stokes and Ambrose translations of BWV 46 are IMO best. They catch all the words, while Suzuki's translator forgets "liebreich".

The worst Bach translation I have ever heard, was the Coffee cantata sung in Swedish!!!. After five seconds I turned off the radio (sorry Patrik!).

PS Like Aryeh I would also like to hear other opinions about BWV166. But I think I have found out, why so few members write in: If you write to the Recordings List you often do it because you are excited about a BWV after own choice. Here a certain cantata is discussed a certain week! From outside that looks much more demanding, but fellow list members give it a try! It is Bach we write about! That fact should immediately make every one excited! Please forget, that Aryeh probably already have written it all... Following your own heads you will soon experience, he hasn't! Cantata worlds are endless! This cold and rainy afternoon (at least here) what would bbetter than to wrap yourself in blankets and listen to Bach?

Matthew Westphal wrote (May 28, 2000):
Marie Jensen wrote:
< PS Like Aryeh I would also like to hear other opinions about BWV166. But I think I have found out, why so few members write in: If you write to the Recordings List you often do it because you are excited about a BWV after own choice. Here a certain cantata is discussed a certain week! From outside that look much more demanding, but fellow list members give it a try! It is Bach we write about! That fact should immediately make every one excited! >
I for one would love to be able to write something about BWV 166. But I don't have any of the recordings. I'll just have to be content with the comments Aryeh and Marie provide.

Ryan Michero wrote (May 28, 2000):
Sorry for the late response to this thread. It has been a very busy week for me.

At first, I thought the question that opens this cantata was a very apt title for the work--for all the wrong reasons. After I first heard it, I couldn't really figure out how all of the movements tied in together. A question asked by Jesus, followed by a seemingly indirect reply, followed by a chorale expressing love for Jesus and the wish to go to heaven. Then a recitative warning about the fleeting pleasures of the world, followed by a musically delightful alto aria with an admonitory text, concluded by another chorale, fearful and wishing for a "gentle death". Huh? I thought the themes of the different movements seemed to be unrelated, and I was confused that the text sometimes contradicted the music. Bach, where goest thou?

Another couple of listens supplemented by a few lines from Albert Schweitzer helped me understand BWV 166 much better. As many of you know, Schweitzer devotes much of his discussion of Bach's cantatas into the analysis of musical figures used to represent certain ideas. Some of this strikes me as well-informed conjecture, but some of it is very convincing. He says that the disjointed, staccato orchestral lines of the first movement represent Jesus' light steps after the resurrection. He asks as He leaves His followers, "Now that I am leaving, will you follow me on the path to heaven or will you succumb to the fleeting pleasures of this world?" Schweitzer says the tenor aria is built on a step motif, as if the tenor is proceeding on with his life, looking for the right path, hoping he follows the path to heaven. The canonic imitation in the obbligato instruments reinforces this idea of following--the first instrument representing Jesus and the second the soul, or the first representing the soul/mind and the second the body. The wonderful chorale, assured in its unisono strings, supports the idea that the path of heaven is the correct path. The bass recitative warns of the transitory pleasures of the earth. In the context of the recitative, the gorgeous, operatic alto aria seems to represent the pleasures of this world. They are inviting, but beware when fortune laughs! The final chorale, meditating on death, again illustrates the uncertainty of the believers and the hopes that they follow the right path and are allowed into heaven.

So there is no transfiguration here, no apotheosis. There is just uncertainty, fear, and warning, yet also hope and assurance that the way of Jesus is the right way. This is quite an appropriate subject for a cantata after Easter--the believers, separated from

Jesus, must now decide what to do with their lives without him. They hope to follow His path in His absence and in the face of beckoning worldly pleasures.

I have two recordings of this cantata:

[3] This is not one of Leonhardt's finer recordings. In fact, every movement leaves something to be desired. Van Egmond sounds somewhat uninterested in the bass aria, and Leonhardt's accompaniment should be more light-footed. I like Leonhardt's reconstruction of the tenor aria, with an oboe and violin playing the obbligato lines. However, the tempo seems too slow to be "walking", and Equiluz sings with a very tragic voice a text that emphasizes uncertainty over sadness. In the next soprano chorale setting, the boy soprano seems stretched to his limits, is insecure in his intonation, and seems too young to express the meaning of the text. The bass Arioso goes alright, but Esswood sings the alto aria way too straight, with none of the devilish mischievousness in his voice implied by the text and music. Overall, this is not a satisfying recording.

(4) Koopman's performance is overall much better than Leonhardt's, even if some of his tempi seem a bit fast. Koopman's accompaniment in the opening aria is irresistibly light-footed, but Mertens is not in his highest form. He makes little attempt to vary the tone color in his voice or inject much expression into his singing. Compare with his wonderfully dramatic singing in the bass recitative here--it sounds like a different singer! Pregardien's singing in the tenor aria is great--musical, beautiful, and expressing just the right amounts of uncertainty and pain. Koopman reconstructed the tenor aria's missing obbligato part himself, substituting an oboe da caccia in place of the more accepted violin. This solution makes sense from the point of view of an organist used to hearing this music on pipes, but I'm not sure how historically justified it is. At any rate, it is musically satisfying and sounds lovely. The concerto-like chorale setting sounds wonderful here, though I might prefer a solo soprano to soprano chorus here. As I said before, the bass recitative is tautly dramatic.

But the real treasure of this cantata performance IMHO is the great alto aria sung by Landauer. I agree with Marie and Aryeh that Landauer is a remarkable singer, combining a boy-alto-like tone with the impeccable technique and warmth of Robin Blaze. He makes the most of his virtuoso laughing aria, seeming to have a lot of fun singing it. I'm not sure how historically justified his elaborate ornamentation in the da capo repeat is, but it is very impressive and makes sense in this context. A lovely chorale tops off a fine performance.

In the light of our recent discussion of English translations of Bach's cantata texts, I would like to mention a great online resource for all of us. Aryeh's comparison of different translations of BWV 46, No. 5 was very instructive. I agree with Marie that Ambrose's translation is probably the best for making sense of the German text. Luckily for those of us without Rilling's cantata set, Prof. Ambrose has made all of his superb translations of Bach's vocal music available online: http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/

Here is a quote from his site:
"Some of my translations originally appeared in The Texts to Johann Sebastian Bach's Church Cantatas (Hänssler-Verlag: Neuhausen-Stuttgart, 1984). To these are added now the remaining works. The translations are unrhymed but follow the meter and word-division of the originals exactly so that they match their musical placement. While this means that they could be sung, they are not meant primarily for singing but as an aid to performers and listeners for interpreting the original texts."

This is exactly what I want out of an English translation. I am guilty of forgetting about this site while discussing cantata texts in the past, but I will be sure to visit it with every new cantata discussion now. He does not include the German texts, but this is hardly a problem as these are readily available in every cantata set. I urge everyone to check his site out.

 

Continue on Part 2

Cantata BWV 166: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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