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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 179
Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of November 13, 2011

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 13, 2011):
Introduction to BWV 179 -- Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei

Weekly reminder:

This week we continue Trinity season cantatas with BWV 179, the second of three works for the 11th Sunday after Trinity.

Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV179.htm

The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to listening.

The BWV 179 page also has convenient access to notes from the Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff) CD issue [5], via link beneath the cover photo.

The Gardiner CD [8] needs special mention. The works for Trinity 11 are one of four actual pilgrimage recordings which were released by DG Archiv, rather than on Gardiner’s own SDG label. The others are for Trinity 9, Epiphany 3, and the Purification. Notes by Gardiner are not included, so there is no BCW link this week.

The chorale text and melody are also accessible via links at the BWV 179 page. Francis Browne is adding new commentary on the cantata texts to his interlinear translations, linked via [English-3].

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 14, 2011):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. >
As always, the best introduction to the cantata around (even more detailed than Dürr.)

A couple of observations from the commentary ...

Julian points out that the fugue in the opening chorus unexpectedly begins with the subject in the bass and then immediately in inversion for the answer in the tenor - a musical symbol of sound teaching and its perversion. I wonder if the choice of the old-fashioned motet style is also meant to symbolize the ancient teaching of the church. Bach seems to suggest that in the Magnificat when "Sicut locutus est ad patres nostros" (As spoke to our forefathers) is similarily set in the motet-style of Bach's musical "forefathers."

The concluding chorale has a great deal of contrapuntal complexity, but it's not in the bass line; it's in the alto and tenor who seem to have succumbed to sin and false teaching. In the opening bar, the tenors have an expressive portamento rising sixth which is very passionate. This becomes a more insistent rising seventh in the last line.

The altos have a stumbling, angular line with syncopations for the opening -- the consequence of sin and false teaching? (Echoed in the third line by the tenors). The final phrase has a rising chromatic line with an anguished
dropping diminished fifth -- a veritable diabolus in musica.

The soprano and bass lines have the stability and solidity of sound teaching.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 14, 2011):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
<< The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. >>
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< As always, the best introduction to the cantata around (even more detailed than Dürr.) >
See also recent communications from Will Hoffman and Francis Browne re the Trinity 11 works, and relations between BWV 179 and BWV 199, from last week.

Thanks to Doug, who provided the impetus for the structure of our current discussion cycle, related to the liturgical calendar.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 17, 2011):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< The Gardiner CD needs special mention. The works for Trinity 11 are one of four actual pilgrimage recordings which were released by DG Archiv, rather than on Gardiners own SDG label. >
The three cantatas for Trinity 11 (BWV 179, BWV 199, and BWV 113, the same as the DG Archiv CD [8]) are those included on the DVD [9] produced by BBC, documenting the pilgrimage performances. In addition to the Trinity 11 concert, there are interviews with Gardiner and snips of other performances, for a total of just over two hours. Originally released in 2001, and reissued in 2009, this DVD has been available for some time, but it is new to me, and highly recommended.

There are review comments posted in the BCW archives and on amazon.com. for those interested. A few of the amazon.com reviewers question the selectrion of works for release, despite explanation by Gardiner [9] of the liturgical orientation of the pilgrimage concerts. Also, do not be deterred by comments to the effect that soprano Magdalena Kozema is lacking in expresssion, and/or articulation, and/or accurate German pronunciation. Everyone is entitled to their own sensitivities and opinions, but I believe most would agree with the alternate view, oft expressed, that her perfomance of BWV 199 is among the finest. In particular, I do not understand comments regarding lack of visible expression on the DVD. Unfair, to put it mildly.

The 2001 DVD release [9] reportedly contained a 30 page booklet. I opted for the 2009 reissue, which it turns out has no such booklet, and has totally inadequate documentation of performers. Unless the DVD itself has some technical improvements I am unaware of, I would make the effort to seek out the original release, if I had it to do over again.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 18, 2011):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< The three cantatas for Trinity 11 (BWV 179, BWV 199, and BWV 113, the same as the DG Archiv CD) are those included on the DVD produced by BBC, documenting the pilgrimage performances. >
Worthy of additional mention is the attention focused on Marcel Ponseele on this DVD [9]. If you enjoy him on recordings, you will cherish the opportunity to see the video documentation. Playing instruments he makes himself, I believe.

 

Cantata BWV 179: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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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Last update: żNovember 27, 2011 ż07:36:42