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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 172
Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of January 9, 2011

William Hoffman wrote (January 8, 2011):
Cantata 172: Pentecost Works & Chorales

Bach's Pentecost Festival odyssey for the birth of the Christian Church proves to be one of uniformity, complexity, diversity and practicality -- and even some repetition. While not as extensive as the three-day Christmas Festival but much more so than the three-day Easter Festival, Bach's <Pfingsten> compositions use various well-known chorales with mostly traditional trappings created in a period of more than 30 years. The libretti seem appropriate and competent to fulfill the utilitarian need for parody/recycling of pre-existing materials while Cantor Bach rushed to complete the Thomas School year.

For Pentecost Sunday, the first Day of Pentecost, or Whitsun (White Sunday for the vestment color), Bach seems to have emphasized appropriate church songs beyond serviceable texts that make perfunctory references to the New Testament Gospel and Epistle lessons with intrinsic themes of fidelity, inspiration, and commitment. The story of Pentecost and the Holy Spirit are told not in the Gospel lessons but in the Epistle lessons:
Pentecost Sunday, Acts 2:1-13 (The Coming of the Holy Spirit);
Pentecost Monday, Acts 10:44-48 (The Gentiles Receive the Holy Spirit);
Pentecost Tuesday, Acts 8:14-17 (Holy Spirit in Sumaria).

For the second and third days of the Pentecost Festival, Monday and Tuesday, Bach turned from celebratory to more intimate music while restricting his creative efforts. In the third cycle of 1726 there are no compositions documented for the entire three-day festival. Bach even rejected available cantatas of his cousin Johann Ludwig with their Rudolstadt texts that he had previously substituted systematically. He composed no new cantatas for six months, between the Second Sunday After Epiphany (January 20, BWV 13) and the First Sunday After Trinity (June 23, BWV 39), with the exception of BWV 43 for the Ascension Day Festival, with 11 movements in two parts.

Pentecost Sunday Cantatas

Bach's first composition in Leipzig in May 1723 probably was the brief, concise Pentecost Cantata 59 (Neumesiter IV libretto, 1714), May 16, 1723, at the Paulinerkirche, the Leipzig University church. It uses the Gospel dictum as the opening chorus, "He who loves me, he will my word keep," (Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten), John 14: 23-31, the Promise of the Spirit. This final Last Supper Farewell Discourse to the Disciples also is found in Bach's first Pentecost Cantata 172 (Weimar, 1714), No. 2, bass secco recitative and arioso (probably Salomo Franck libretto). The opening chorus, BWV 59/1, was recycled in 1725 for Bach's second cantata cycle to open Cantata BWV 74, that also has a parody trio aria, BWV 59/4, as the second movement changed from bass with violin to soprano with oboe da caccia and transposed from C to F Major, to a new Mariane von Ziegler libretto.

Meanwhile, Bach at Pentecost 1724 Bach probably presented two encores: Cantata 59 and a revival of his Weimar Cantata 172, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! (Ring out, ye songs, resound, ye strings). This festive work had quite an initial career, beginning in Weimar on May 20, 1714. Parts in a C-Major version, survive dating to Bach's Cöthen service, 1717-23 (Smend, <Bach in Köthen>, 1985: 219) where quite possibly Cantata 172 was Bach's Hamburg Probe, May 17, 1719 on the day before Ascension Thursday. Its other Pentecost performances in Leipzig were, May 28, 1724; May 13, 1731 in a new version, and finally its fifth documented performance was dated to 1732-35.

For Bach's third cantata cycle, Pentecost Sunday, June 9, 1726 there is no documented performance. It is possible that Bach repeated Cantata 74 from a year earlier.

For the Picander (Fourth) Cantata Cycle of texts of June 5,1729, P-38, "Rauset und brauset, ihr heftigen Winde" (Rage and roar, you violent winds), remnants of Martin Luther's chorale, "Komm heiliger Geist" (Come, Holy Spirit), Movements Nos. 2 and 7 (Stanzas 1 and 3 respectively) may survive as the second-movement plain chorale setting in the Motet BWV 226, "Der Geist hilft unser Schwacheit auf" (The Spirit upholds our weakness), presented ca. October 20, 1729. Here is a passage from Thomas Braatz' new BCW article, "Information about Bach's Motets with a Specific Examination of BWV 226," BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/MotetsHofmann.pdf. Extracted from Klaus Hofmann's Book on This Subject [p. 23]:

"Another thing worth mentioning about the chorale is that it appears not to have composed for this occasion but may have existed as a final chorale for a lost cantata, possibly from the Picander cantata cycle, and it may have originally been in a different key. In the collection of 4-part Bach chorales of 1765 and 1784 it appears in a different key and may have been transposed for use as part of the motet."

"Later during the service, at the place where Ernesti's body was interred inside the church, all the members of both choirs assembled to sing the final chorale a capella. It was the third verse of Martin Luther's" "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herr Gott":

Du heilige Brunst, süßer Trost,
nun hilff uns frölich und getrost,
in deinem Dienst beständig bleiben,
die Trübsal uns nicht abtreiben.
O Herr durch dein Krafft uns bereit,
und stärck des Fleisches Blödigkeit,
daß wir hie ritterlich ringen,
durch Tod und Leben zu dir dringen
Halleluja. Halleluja
. [p.24]

You sacred warmth, sweet consolation,
now help us always to remain joyful and comforted
in your service,
do not let sorrow drive us away!
O Lord, through your power make us ready
and strengthen the feebleness of our flesh
so that we may bravely struggle
through life and death to reach you!
Halleluja! Halleluja! [Francis Browne translation: BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale103-Eng3.htm ]


During Bach's Christological cycle of oratorios in 1734-35, it is possible that Bach presented a now-lost Pentecost Oratorio on May 29, 1735.

Not to be outdone, Bach on Pentecost Sunday, 1746 or 1747, presented the Cantata 34, "O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe" (O eternal fire, O wellspring of love), a quotation from Acts 2:3. The music is a parody of the 1726 sacred Wedding Cantata with the same incipit, BWV 34a, but with no closing chorale -- a technique which he used when recycling Cöthen serenades for Leipzig Easter and Pentecost Festivals.

Possible Pentecost Sunday Missae

Besides cantatas for Pentecost Sunday Services, Bach also presented Missae Mass movements in main service between Latin Prayer and the Words of Institution (communion):

BWV 237, Sanctus in C (with Pleni sunt coeli; no Osanna & Benedictus); 5/16/1723 (Pentecost), 5/23/1723 (Trinity Sunday), or June 23, 1723 (St. John the Baptist's Day)
Sources: (1) score, CPEB to Pölchau (BB DS P.13); (2) parts set 18, CPEB (BB SPK St.114); (3)score Copy (AMB 536-7)
BCW Discussion: Week of October 20, 2013
Literature: BGXI1 (Rust, 1862); NBA II/2 (1978, Platen/Helms), BC E10; BCW www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV233-242.htm

BWV Anh.24/III 167, Kyrie, ?5/28/1724
Sources: (1) score, CPEB to Pölchau (BB DS P.13); (2) parts set, CPEB (BB SPK St.327)
Literature: BGXI1 (Rust, 1862)
BCW Discussion: Week of August 18, 2013
BCW: Missa San Lamberti in A minor, including Kyrie arranged by J.S. Bach, BWV Anh 24 - performed by J.S. Bach in Weimar 1714-1717, and in Leipzig 1724 (?5/28, Pentecost)
www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh24.htm


Meanwhile, the coming BCW Discussion, Feb 6, 2011, will take up Cantata BWV 218, "Gott der Hoffnung erfulle euch" (God of Hope, fill us). It is Telemann Pentecost Cantata TVWV1:634, once attributed to Bach. Original composed in 1717 in Frankfurt to a Neumeister Itext, it was repeated in 1721, and 1731.

The opening chorus dictum is from Romans 15:13 and also is found in Neumeister's libretto Bach used for Cantata 59, music that may initially and partially have been composed in Weimar, for Pentecost Sunday, 5/31/1716. Interestingly, Bach omitted setting the final three movements in Neumeister's text (Dürr <Cantatas of JSB>: 350):
5. Dictum: "Gott der Hoffnung erfüllet euch" (God of Hope, fill us)
6. Aria: "Ich bin der Seligkeit gewiß" (I am knowing of blessing)
7. Chorale: "Gott Heilger Geist, du Tröster wert" (God, the holy spirit, you precious comforter), S. 3, "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" (Lead us, Lord, with Thy Word), NLGB 796.

Pentecost Festival Chorales

Coincidence or serendipity also color Bach's use of chorales for his Pentecost works. Not only does he recycle chorale music and "parody" the settings with different stanzas, but Bach also intentionally and systematically creates a panoply of Pentecost hymn uses as part of his well-ordered church music to the Glory of God.

Bach's first template for chorale use is found in his <Orgelbüchlein> (OB) chorale preludes for the church year (OB), outlines in Weimar about 1710. While Bach set all six organ chorale preludes for the Easter season (Nos. 34-39, BWV 625-30), he only set three of the nine Pentecost organ chorale preludes, with one set twice): Pentecost: (OB, 3 of 9 set, one twice: OB44, "Komm Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist," BWV 631; OB49, "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu und wend," BWV 632; OB50, "Leibster Jesu, wir sind hier, "BWV 634, and OB51 (distinctius), 633.

OB Chorale
42. "Komm, heiliger Geist, erfüll die Herzen deiner Glaübigen" (NLGB 390)
43. "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (NLGB 391)
44. "Komm Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist," BWV 631 (NLGB 401)
45. "Nun bitten wird das Heil'gen Geist" (NLGB 402)
46. "Spiritus sancti gratia" (NLGB 394I, 397II) or "Des Heil'gen Geistes reichte Gnad" (NLGB 396)
47. "O Heil'ger Geist, du göttlich's Feuer" (not in NLGB)
48. "O Heiliger Geist, o heilger Gott" (NLGB 408)
49. "Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu und wend," BWV 632 (NLGB 817)
50. "Leibster Jesu, wir sind hier," BWV 634 (not in NLGB)
51. "Liebster Jesu, wir sing hier" (distinctius), BWV 633 (not in NLGB)


CHORALES (+<Orgelbüchlein> [OB])

Bach composed Leipzig Pentecost Festival Cantatas with the following Pentecost Chorales:

"Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (NLGB 619)[PM/VH), 68/1 (cle. chs.) PM

"Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist" (mel, "Kommt her zu mir") <Stiller, Ascension, Dresden; E4> [PS/VH], 108/6 (E4, S.10), 74/8 P(S.2)

"Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (NLGB 391) (also, O Gottes Geist, mein Trost und Rat (Veni Sancte Spiritus), [PS/VM] [PS-T/SH]; 59/3(P)=175/7(PT), 59/5 (S.3, music ?6/6, mel. Erhalt uns)., 172/5 ob. mel. P; 226/2 (motet), P38/2, 7 (1,3) P; OB 43 not set; 651-2(GL18); 1005/1 (mel.)

Pentecost songs that are not found in cantata settings (other usages) are the following:

"Brunnquelle aller Gütter," SG 445(1,6), deest Wiemer 4 (7)
"Dir, dir Jehova, will ich singen," SG 452(1) (prayer)
+"Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend" (4 verses, NLGB 817), 332, 632 (OB49), 659(18), 709, 726, 749
+"Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" (3 verses) (no NLGB), 373, 633-34=OB50-51 (dinstinctius), 706, 730-31, 754
+"Komm Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" (NLGB 401) (Veni-creator spiritus; 6 verses), 370, 631 (OB44), 667(Leipzig 18), 218/5=TVWV1:634 P
+"Komm, heiliger Geist, erfülle die Herzen deiner Glaübigen" (NLGB 390) (vespers litany) OB 42 not set; melody only
+"Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Luther, 4 verses, NKGB 402) [PS-T/PH], 385, OB 45 not set; 197/5 wedding, 169/7 (Tr.18 1726)
+"O Heil'ger Geist, du göttlich's Feuer," OB 47 not set
+"O Heiliger Geist, o heiliger Gott" (NLGB 408), OB 48 not set
+"Spiritus sancti gratia" (NLGB 394, 397) or "Des Heiligen Geistes reichte Gnad" (NGB 396) [PS/M], 295, OB 46 (not set)

PENTECOST FESTIVAL SERVICE MUSICAL CONTEXT

It is perhaps most appropriate to begin with the Musical Context of the Pentecost Sunday services in Liepzig, as outlined by Douglas Cowling in a recent BCW Discussion and also found in <Das Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch>, Gottfried Vopelius (1682) (NLGB), with references to the <Lieber Usualus >(LU) omnibus chant book: Quilsma Publications: PDF


PENTECOST (First Day of Pentecost)

1. Introit (Antiphon): "Spiritus Domini" (Not in NLGB, Liber Usualis 878), The Spirit of the Lord" (Wisdom 1:7), Psalm 68:3 (Let the righteous be glad); Psalm reading: Ps. 68, Praise and Thanksgiving.

Spíritus Dómini
replévit órbem terrárum,
allelúia:
et hoc quod cóntinet ómnia,
sciéntiam hábet vócis,
allelúia, allelúia, allelúia.

The Spirit of the Lord
hath filled the whole world,
alleluia;
and that which containeth all things
hath knowledge of the voice,
alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

2. Motet: "Spiritus sancti gratia (NLGB 394I, 397II) illuminet sensus et corda nostra," (May the grace of the Holy Spirit illuminate our senses and our hearts) (Office Hours Ordinary). <Orgelbüchlein> (OB) organ chorale preludes, No. 46 (not set), "Spiritus sancti gratia" or "Des Heiligen Geistes reichte Gnad" (The Holy Ghost carries grace), NLGB 396; adaptation of Latin hymn, 6 stanzas, J. Herman Schein 1627.

3. Hymn de tempore: "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (Come Holy Spirit, Lord God), NLGB 391 (translation, Pentecost Sequence <Veni Sancte Spiritus> (LU 879, Pentecost Sequence; NLGB 390), 10 3-line stanzas (aab), melody from antiphon <Adesto, sancta spiritus> (Marchetto di Padua, c.1270); hymn text, Luther/Walther 1524, 3 stanzas); hymn usages: 172/5 mel., 59/3 (S.1), 59/5 (S.3)]. Also, "O Gottes Geist, mein Trost und Rat" (O God's Spirit, my trust and Support), Text 2, J. Rist 1652, 12 stanzas (not in NLGB); hymn usage, 75/7, S.9, "Nun, werter Geist, ich folg dir" (Now, honored spirit, I follow you)

Allelúia.
Véni Sáncte Spíritus,
réple tuórum córda fidélium:
et túi amóris
in éis ígnem accénde
.

Alleluia.
Come, Holy Spirit,
fill the hearts of Thy faithful:
and kindle in them the fire
of Thy love.

4. Pulpit Hymn: "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (Now we pray to the Holy Spirit) (Luther/Walter 1524, 4 stanzas (NLGB 402); hymn usage, plain chorale, BWV 385.

5. Various Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing: "Gott Vater, sende deinen Geist" (God the Father, send Thy Spirit"); P. Gerhardt 16 stanzas, 1653; melody. "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes" (Come here to me, says God's son), G. Grünwald 1530, melody anon. (NLGB 622), Trinity 1 & 26). Stiller, Ascension, Dresden; Leipzig, "Various Hymns, Pentecost Sunday & Tuesday"; hymn usages: 74/8 (S.2), Pent. Sun.; 108/6 (S.10) Easter 4.

6. Vespers Motets:

"Veni Sancte Spiritus" or "Komm, Heiliger Geist, erfüll die Herzen deiner Gläubigen" (Come, Holy Spirits, fill the hearts of your believers), Luther 1524 (NLGB 390, vespers litany) OB 42, not set

"Si qui diligit me sermonem" (Those who love me will keep my word) (John 14:23), David Peebles (d.1579?) 1530 motet (not in NLGB)

"Apparuerunt Apostolis," anonymous (reponsory, antiphon); Votive Office of the Holy Spirit (chant, mode 7): "Apparuerunt apostolis dispertitae linguae tamquam ignis, seditque supra singulos eorum Spiritus Sanctus, alleluia" (Acts 2:3 "Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them); NLGB 411; also settings of Heinrich Finck, Thomas Pöpel, Ludwig Senfl, Johann Walter, Jakob Froberger.


Specific Chorales Bach Uses in Pentecost Sunday Cantatas:

Cantata 172, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! (Ring out, ye songs, resound, ye strings) (1714)
BWV 172/5, SA aria: melody (oboe d'amore), "Komm heiliger Geist, Harre Gott" (hymn de tempore);
BWV 172/6, P. Niccolai hymn, 1599 Epiphany Song, "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (How lovely shines the morningstar) (7 stanzas); S. 4, "Von Gott kömmt mir ein Freudenschein" (From God comes to me a joy-light) (NLGB 814, Trinity 20). Hymn usages: Cantatas BWV 1/1, BWV 1/6 (Annunciation), BWV 36/4 (Advent), BWV 37/3 (Ascension), BWV 49/6 (Trinity 20), BWV 61/6 (Advent), BWV 172/6 (Ascension), BWV Anh 199/3 (Annunciation); Chorale BWV 436; Organ-chorale BWV 739.

Cantata 59, Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten I (He who loves me, he will my word keep)
[?1723/1724]
Two chorales: 59/3=175/7 (music, ET), "Komm heiliger Geist, Harre Gott" (S.1); 59/5, "Komm heiliger Geist, Harre Gott" (hymn de tempore), S.3 "Du heilige Brunst, süßer Trost" (You sacred warmth, sweet consolation) (repeats 59/3 music or =6/6 music, "Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" (Lead us, Lord, with Thy Word), NLGB 796. One of Luther's signature hymns (7 stanzas, 1542), J. Klug melody (1543), service closing hymn, Reformation. Hymn uses: OB 122 (c.1710), The Word of God and the Christian Church (not set); hymn settings: BWV 6/6, Easter 2 (S.2); Chorale Cantata 126, Sexagismae; BWV 318 plain chorale; BWV 1103, Neumeister organ chorale prelude; Anh. 50, organ chorale prelude, doubtful.

Cantata 74, Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten II (He who loves me, he will my word keep), (1725)
Chorale: 74/8, "Gott Vater, sende deiner Geist" (God the Father, send Thy Spirit"); P. Gerhardt 16 stanzas, 1653; S.2, "Kein Menschenkind hier auf der Erd" (No human being here on earth); melody "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes" (Come here to me, says God's son).

Cantata BWV 218, "Gott der Hoffnung erfulle euch" (1717), Georg Philippe Telemann, TVWV1:634 (1717, 1721, 1731)
Chorale: 218/5, "Komm Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist" (Come, Creator God, Holy Spirit); BWV 370, 631(a)=OB 44, 667(a); Luther 1524, 7 stanzas; melody J. Klug 1535; <Veni-creator spiritus>, from H. Marus, 9 c. chant, 6 verses


PENTECOST MONDAY (Whit Monday, Second Day of Pentecost)
Gospel: John 3: 16-21, God so loved the world; Epistle: Acts 10:42-48 (Holy Spirit's Descent)

Musical Context (Cowling):

Introit: "Cibavit eos" (Liber Usualis 758, 790; not in NLGB) -- Psalm 81:16 - "Cibávit éos ex ádipe fruménti, allelúia: et de pétra, mélle saturávit éos, allelúia, allelúia, alleluia" [He fed them with the fat of wheat (alleluia); and filled them with honey out of the rock (alleluia, alleluia, alleluia)]; orig. Introit, Feast of Corpus Christi (Thursday or Sunday After Trinity Sunday)

Motet: "Spiritus sancti gratia," "Des Heiligen Geistes reichte Gnad" (NLGB 396)
Hymn de Tempore: "Komm Heiliger Geist, Harre Gott"
Pulpit Hymn: "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist"
Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing:
"Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (God so loved the world), S. Liscow hymn 1685 (68/1) (NLGB 619)

Pentecost Monday cantatas use the following chorales:

Cantata 173, "Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut" (1724 ?); no chorale
=173a, "Durchlauchtster Leopold," Birthday (1717-1722 ?)

Cantata 68, "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (1725)
Chorale: Chorus 68/1, "Also hat Gott . . . "

1726: no text (??repeat 173)

174, "Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte" (1729)
No. 5, chorale "Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, o Herr" (From my heart I hold you dear, O Lord), M. Schalling 1569, 3 stanzas; melody, anonymous 1577 (NLGB 836, St. Michael); BWV 149/1 (S.3), Michael; 19/5, Michael, tenor aria, melody only; 245/40 (S.2).

PENTECOST TUESDAY (Whit Tuesday, Third Day of Pentecost) Theme: Good Shepherd
Gospel: John 10: 1-10, Parable of Sheep; Epistle: Acts 8:14-17 (Holy Spirit in Sumaria)

Musical Context:

Introit: "Accipite Jucunditatem" (LU 762): "Accipite jucunditatem glorie vestre, attendite popule meus, legem meam" (Give ear, O my people, to my teaching), Vespers Introit, Thursday After Pentecost (IV. Ezra 2:36, Psalm 77,1).

Motet: "Spiritus sancti gratia," "Des Heiligen Geistes reichte Gnad" (NLGB 396)
Hymn de Tempore: "Komm Heiliger Geist, Harre Gott"
Pulpit Hymn: "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist"
Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing:
"Gott Vater, Sende deiner Geist"

Pentecost Tuesday cantatas use the following chorales:

184, "Erwünschtes Freudenlicht" (1724)
Chorale: 184/5, "O Herre Gott, dein Götthlich Wort"

175, "Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen" (1725)
Chorale: 175/7=59/3, "Komm heilger Geist" (melody) (NLGB 386)

1729: P-40, "Du, o schones Weltgebaude" (NLGB 980)


Details of Pentecost Tuesday chorales used in cantatas:

1724: 184/5, "O Herre Gott, dein Götthlich Wort" (O Lord God, Thy Godly Word), NLGB 802; S.8, "Herr, ich hoff je, du werdest die" (Lord, I hope that you will); A. Wildenfels 8 stanzas, 1526; melody, 15th c. folksong, Weiß mir ein Blümlein blaue" (I know about a little, blue flower); also BWV 757, 1117 (Neumesier Chorale), and OB No. 60, last <de tempore listing> for Reformation
1725: 175/7, "O Gottes Geist, mein Trost und Rat," S.9, "Nun, werter Geist, ich folg dir" (Now, honored spirit, I follow you); melody "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (NLGB 391)
1729: P-40/5, "Du, o schones Weltgebaude" (O Beautiful Abode of Earth), J. Franck 1649, 8 stanzas; melody J. Crüger (NLGB 980); S. 8, "Komm, o Tod, du Schlafes Bruder" (Come, O death, you brother of sleep), ?=BWV 301; same stanza, 56/5, Tr.19 (1726).


For the second cantata cycle in 1725, Bach originally may have considered composing chorale cantatas for the Pentecost Festival. Likely candidates may have been Martin Luther's popular settings:
1. Pentecost Sunday (de tempore): "Komm, Heiliger Geist, Herre Gott" (3 verses, NLGB 391), BCW:
www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale103-Eng3.htm
2. Pentecost Monday: "Komm Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist (6 verses), melody "Also hat Gott" (NLGB 401), www.flickr.com/photos/51243943@N00/4626665843/
3. Pentecost Tuesday: "Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (4 verses, NKGB 402)

"Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist" (EKG 124)

Ein Lobgesang von dem heiligen Geiste

1. Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist
Um den rechten Glauben allermeist,
Daß er uns behüte an unserm Ende,
Wenn wir heimfahren aus diesem Elende.
Kyrioleis.

2. Du wertes Licht, gib uns deinen Schein,
Lehr uns Jesum Christ kennen allein,
Daß wir an ihm bleiben, dem treuen Heiland,
Der uns bracht hat zum rechten Vaterland.
Kyrioleis.

3. Du süße Lieb, schenk uns deine Gunst,
Laß uns empfinden der Liebe Brunst,
Daß wir uns von Herzen einander lieben
Und im Friede auf einem Sinn blieben.
Kyrioleis.

4. Du höchster Tröster in aller Not,
Hilf, daß wir nicht fürchten Schand noch Tod,
Daß in uns die Sinnen nicht verzagen,
Wenn der Feind wird das Leben verklagen.
Kyrioleis.

Johann Walthersches Gesangbüchlein, 1524

We now implore God the Holy Ghost
For the true faith, which we need the most,
That in our last moments He may befriend us
And, as homeward we journey, attend us.
Lord, have mercy!

Shine in our hearts, O most precious Light,
That we Jesus Christ may know aright,
Clinging to our Savior, whose blood hath bought us,
Who again to our homeland hath brought us.
Lord, have mercy!

Thou sacred Love, grace on us bestow,
Set our hearts with heav'nly fire aglow
That with hearts united we love each other,
Of one mind, in peace with every brother.
Lord, have mercy!

Thou highest Comfort in every need,
Grant that neither shame nor death we heed,
That e'en then our courage may never fail us
When the foe shall accuse and assail us.
Lord, have mercy! http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/n/i/wnihghos.htm

Instead, the chorales used in cantatas for the 1725 Pentecost Festival (Ziegler libretti) are:

Pentecost Sunday: Cantata 74, "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten II" (He who loves me, he will my word keep), (1725); Chorale: 74/8, "Gott Vater, sende deiner Geist"; melody "Kommt her zu mir, spricht Gottes" (NLGB 622)

Pentecost Monday: Cantata 68, "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" (1725); Chorale: Chorus 68/1, "Also hat Gott . . . " (NLGB 619)

Pentecost Tuesday: BWV 175, "Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen" (1725); Chorale: 175/7=59/3, "Komm heilger Geist" (melody) (NLGB 386)


Omnes tempore chorales used in Pentecost Festival are the following:

"Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort" (Lead us, Lord, with Thy Word), NLGB 796; 59/3=?6/6
"Herzlich lieb hab' ich dich, o Herr" (From my heart I hoyou dear, O Lord), NLGB 836; 174/5
"O Herre Gott, dein Götthlich Wort" (O Lord God, Thy Godly Word), NLGB 802; 184/5
"Du, o schones Weltgebaude" (O Beautiful Abode of Earth), NKGB 980; Picander 40/5

Chorales in <Neu Leiziger Gesangbuch> that Bach apparently did not set:
406. "Heiliger Geist du Troster mein"
407. "Ein Täublein klein hat keine Gall"
416. "Gott der Vater wohn uns bei"

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 8, 2011):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's Pentecost Festival odyssey for the birth of the Christian Church proves to be one of uniformity, complexity, diversity and practicality -- and even some repetition.
Possible Pentecost Sunday Missae
Besides cantatas for Pentecost Sunday Services, Bach also presented Missae Mass movements in main service between Latin Prayer and the Words of Institution (communion): >
This outline of the Pentecost music is very helpful in visualizing Bach's working calendar. It sent me back to Stiller from whom we are able to further extrapolate how Bach ranked various festivals and how that impacted on his compositional method especially in the cantatas. It would appear that there were four classifications that dictated which music was required.

1) THREE-DAY FESTIVALS:
Christmas, Easter & Pentecost

On the eve of the festival all the bells of the city were rung at 1:30 pm and Vespers was solemnly sung. Was a cantata and concerted Magnificat required? The location of services appears to have been:

Vespers of Eve - St. Nikolai
Mass of 1st Day - St. Thomas
Vespers of 1st day - St.Nikolai
Mass of 2nd Day - St. Nikolai
Vespers of 2nd Day - St. Thomas
Mass of Third Day - St. Thomas
Vespers of Third Day - St. Nikolai

These Three-Day festivals were marked by several musical and liturgical requirements:

a) Concerted setting of Latin Missa (Kyrie & Gloria)
b) Cantata
c) Concerted or chant setting of Latin Credo (?)
d) Latin Preface before Sanctus
e) Concerted setting of Latin Sanctus
f) Concerted setting of Latin Magnificat at Vespers

Note: Although the cantata was required on all Three Days, it's not clear from Stiller whether the Latin Missa, Credo, Sanctus and Magnificat were prescribed for the 2nd and 3rd days of the festival. If the Christmas Oratorio is any indication, the music continued the festival ethos throughout the other days.

2) PRINCIPAL FESTIVALS:
10 festivals: New Year's Day (Circumcision), Epiphany, Ascension and Trinity Sunday in the temporal cycle, and St. Michael, St. John the Baptist, Reformation, and three Marian feasts, Annunciation, Visitation and
Purification.

Mass: St. Thomas
Vespers: St. Nikolai
(There may be a more complicated pattern)

Ringing of city bells and solemn Vespers on eve of festival
a) Concerted setting of Latin Missa (Kyrie & Gloria)
b) Cantata
c) Concerted or chant setting of Latin Credo (?)
d) Latin Preface before Sanctus
e) Concerted setting of Latin Sanctus
f) Concerted setting of Latin Magnificat at Vespers

3) SUNDAYS:
Sundays after Epiphany, Easter and Trinity

Alternating Sundays:
Mass: St.Thomas
Vespers: St.Nikolai

a) Latin polyphonic or plainsong setting of Missa (Kyrie & Gloria)
B) Cantata
d) Chant setting of Latin Credo or chorale setting (?)
d) Latin Preface before Sanctus
e) Polyphonic setting of Latin Sanctus
f) Polyphonic setting of Latin Magnificat at Vespers

4) "HALF-HOLIDAYS":
Nine Feasts of the Apostles: e.g. St. Andrew (Nov 30), St. Simon & Jude (Oct 28), St. James (July 25), Matthias (Feb 24)

Bells were rung at 6:30 pm on the eve (indicating that there was not a Solemn Vespers). Mass and Vespers were sung but there does not appear to have been a cantata or missa required. Latin polyphonic motets and missae may have been sung.

COMMENT: Well-regulated indeed! It is interesting to place Bach's vocal works in this system and see how it affects aspects such as scoring: the Three-Day festivals almost always employ large orchestras with brass.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 9, 2011):
Introduction to BWV BWV 172 -- Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!

This weeks discussion continues the ongoing series of cantatas spanning from Easter to Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity. With BWV 172, we have the first of a large group of works for the three-day Whitsun (Pentecost) festival which will be the focus of the weekly discussions for the next couple of months. I think it is appropriate to link this festival back to Easter, and the Resurrection, although I will not continue to do so in coming weeks. Note that as Ascension is 40 days after Easter, so Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, hence the penta (5) reference in the name of the day.

Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV172.htm

The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham} is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. Note that Julian has organized his essays around the two complete Leipzig cycles (Jahrgang I and II). BWV 172 is properly included in the first cycle, even though it is adapted from an earlier Weimar work. Chronologic presentations which place BWV 172 as a relatively early work, including the previous (second) BCML five-year discussion (2004-08) are of course also proper. On reflection, I think that Julians organization best represents Bachs approach to his own work, not a trivial detail.

Over previous weeks, I have been citing comments from Gardiners own notes to the pilgrimage CDs, without realizing that those notes are readily available on-line. I believe I encountered a link directly from BCW in the past few days, but I am unable to recover it at the moment. The notes are also accessible with a bit of clever clicking from the Monteverdi website: www.solideogloria.co.uk

Go to recordings, click on the cover photo of the volume you want, then click on the pdf icon of your preferred language. French readers will be especially happy, as only English and German are included in the CD hard copy.

There you will find the following, in the midst of 14 interesting pages which relate to our discussions for the coming weeks (Cantatas for Whit Sunday and Whit Monday, SDG 121, pilgrimage CD Vol. 26):

<Im finding through this year-long exploration of [Bachs] cantatas in their seasonal context that [he] often brings to the surface pre-Christian aspects and forgotten connections which mirror the turning of the agricultural year. Now at the approach to midsummer he comes up with music of analloyed optimism and exuberance [...]

In the absence of an autograph score we chose to adopt the version [of BWV 172] in D major used for the first of the three Leipzig performances on May 26, 1724.> (end quote)

In his on-line notes, but not with the CD, Gardiner also indicates that this is different from the previous release on DG Archiv, perhaps as an explanation for the concluding repeat of the opening chorus on the SDG pilgrimage release, omitted from the earlier DG release.

See also ongoing posts from Will Hoffman and Doug Cowling (including one overlapping, re BWV 172) for relevant details.

In the face of current assassination events in the USA, Bachs optimism is especially welcome.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 13, 2011):
BWV 172 – recordings

For those who follow the details of BCML discussions (and controversy), it is worth noting that the Purcell Quartet recording of BWV 172, from Vol. 3 of their series of early Bach cantatas [19], uses Bach/Lehman tuning. As described in the booklet notes: <modified sixth comma based on Bachs 1722 title page of [WTC] (Lehman, published 2005)> (end quote)

You are free to disagree with both OVPP performance practice and/or Bach/Lehman tuning, but if you would like the opportunity to hear what you disagreee with, and tell us about it, this is it. There are a many opportunitites for comparison with earlier (more conventional?) recordings available.

To my modern ear, Purcell 4 [19] is superb. No surprise there. For those who wish to test the precision of their ears, you can hear the Purcell Qin Vol. 1 of their series, recorded in 2004: <temperament, sixth comma mean tone>, prior to Brad Lehmans 2005 publication.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 15, 2011):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< In his on-line notes, but not with the CD, Gardiner also indicates that this is different from the previous release on DG Archiv, perhaps as an explanation for the concluding repeat of the opening chorus on the SDG pilgrimage release, omitted from the earlier DG release. >
Conversations with myself.

I have been listening to a couple LPs from the 1960s, Ziegler [1] and Achenbach [2], which found their way to my accumulation via BCML communications at Xmas season, a few years back. I am pretty certain that Harry is indifferent to on-list acknowledgement of the fun I had receiving these for respectful

Aryeh noted in the first round of discussions that he came to know this work from the Ziegler LP [1]. It is perhaps slightly preferable to Achenbach [2], but both are now in the category of historic performances:

(1) The opening chorus is exceedingly slow. It is difficult for me to think of it as dignified, but I suppose that argument can still be made.

(2) The low note (C or D) concluding the bass rec. (Mvt. 2), is sung an octave up.

(3) Vibrato in the sop/alto duet (Mvt. 5) is distracting. I normally do not find this as objectionable as some others do, in a solo aria, but out of phase in a duet, it really does grate on the ears.

It is enjoyable to compare the two available OVPP recordings, Rifkin [10] and Purcell Quartet [19], with each other, and with the 1960s LPs. I am taking the trouble to write because the BCW archived comments on Rifkin are especially unfavorable, and I think misleading. The linked Classics Online review faults the soloists, with the exception of the tenor. The BCML comments instead fault the recording ambience and/or engineering, while noting that the soloists are acceptable, and the bass notable. Both suggest that the recording is to be avoided, except for Rifkin die-hards. The linked review also suggests that the fact that the performance was in the can for five years, recorded in 1996 with CD release in 2001, somehow reflects negatively on performance quality. Did it get stale?

If you do not care for OVPP, you will not care for the Rifkin [10]. If you have not heard OVPP, you owe it to yourself to give a listen. This particular CD by Rifkin remains readily available and not too expensive, not a bad place to start. I find bass Michael Schopper especially outstanding: he nails the low note to conclude the Mvt. 2 rec. loud and clear, best of the recordings I have heard. I will leave it to the perfect-pitch correspondents to comment on his accuracy. Schopper also recorded this work in 1972 (with Grischkat [4] (sp?)), on my list of obscure recordings to look for. The CD booklet includes a photo of the reording session, which was a reproduction of a concert performance.

It is difficult to find any fault with the Purcell Quartet [19]. The soloists are well known for Bach performance: Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Charles Daniels, and Peter Harvey. I do not know af any announced plans for ongoing releases, but this is their third CD of Bach cantatas, all new to me this week. I do find the opening chorus of BWV 172 a bit quick compared to Rifkin [10], but either of them may sound disrespectful from a 1960s perspective. As to a 1720s perspective, I am working at my crystal ball.

All four of these recordings repeat the opening chorus as finale, and use oboe obbligato in the Mvt 5 duet. No crystal ball needed there, plenty of evidence for some of the modifications Bach made for various performances over the years.

 

Cantata BWV 172: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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Last update: żOctober 3, 2011 ż13:42:56