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Cantata BWV 184
Erwünschtes Freudenlicht
Cantata BWV 184a
[Text Lost]
Discussions - Part 1

Discussions in the Week of August 3, 2003

Neil Halliday wrote (August 6, 2003):
This week's cantata is a light and cheerful affair, concerning itself with the image of Christ as the good shepherd, and the joy of salvation. (What variety the church-goers of Leipzig were presented with - this on one occasion, and the profundity and grief of BWV 12, for example, on another!).

The long second movement (9:23 with Leonhardt [2]) is particularly appealing; the frequent demisemiquaver runs on the violins and flutes remind me of a similar figure from Smetena's 'Moldau'.

The voices of Alexander Raymond (soprano) and Paul Esswood combine particulary well in this duet.

Leonhardt's [2] orchestral accompaniment is enjoyable throughout; my copy of Rilling [1] appears to be on a slow boat from China (to borrow someone's phrase) so I am not able to make a comparison at this stage. (I find that the L/H series is usually successful with the smaller cantata movement forms, as presented in this cantata; even the characteristic 'pointed' chorale singing is acceptable in the context of this cantata.)

Have this cantata on in your house during the day - even listening to it as background music is enjoyable.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 8, 2003):
BWV 184 - Introduction

The chosen work for this week’s discussion (August 3, 2003) is the Cantata BWV 184 for Whit Tuesday (3rd Day of Pentecost) ‘Erwünschtes Freudenlicht’ (Longed-for light of joy). The event is therefore the same as for last week’s cantata BWV 175.

According to Young, Bach composed both the libretto and the music of this cantata, which probably originated in a lost secular one from the Köthen period. Bach later used the music of the final chorus for the last chorus of his secular cantata BWV 213 “Die Wahl des Herkules” (The Choice of Hercules), in 1733. This fact is interesting, because this was the first time that Bach borrowed from one of his sacred cantatas for a secular one. It was usually the reverse procedure.

John 10: 1-11 – Christ as the good Shepherd – is the Gospel, and Acts 8: 14-17 – the Holy Spirit descends on the believers in Samaria – is the Epistle. Bach combines both scriptures in the libretto. Bach have rarely, if ever, missed the opportunity to use this pastoral, poetical and pictorial subject to set charming music.

Recordings

The details of the recordings of the cantata can be found at the following pages of the Bach Cantatas Website: Cantata BWV 184 - Recordings

This cantata has 5 complete recordings, all of which come from cantata cycles (complete or still in progress): Helmuth Rilling (1976-1977) [1], Gustav Leonhardt (1988) [2], Ton Koopman (1997) [3], Pieter Jan Leusink (2000) [4], and Masaaki Suzuki (2001) [6].

Through the page of the Music Examples from this cantata: Cantata BWV 184 - Music Examples
you can listen to the complete recording by Leonhardt [2] (at David Zale Website).

Additional Information

In the page of recordings mentioned above you can also find links to useful complementary information:
The original German text and various translations, three of which were contributed by members of the BCML: English (Francis Browne), French (Jean-Pierre Grivois), and Hebrew (Aryeh Oron).
Links to the Score in Vocal & Piano version and BGA Edition.
Links to commentaries: in English by Simon Crouch (Listener’s Guide), and in Spanish by Julio Sánchez Reyes (CantatasDeBach).

I hope to see many of you participating in the discussion. Only 19 cantatas (8 of which are sacred), including this one, remained to be discussed in the BCML!

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (August 8, 2003):
Due to coincidence, this cantata is for the same sacred occasion as the previously discussed one (BWV 175). I think it is musically superior, though neither Rilling [1] nor Leonhardt [2] do very well with it. The problem with Rilling's performance is the continuo line, which is plodding in the arias, and excessively arpeggiated in the long opening recitative. Most of the commentaries seem to highlight the soprano-alto duet, all but certainly parodied from a Cöthen secular cantata; I would prefer a faster tempo than Rilling and Leonhardt here.

Aryeh's listings of the Koopman [3] and Suzuki [6] recordings show no sign of Mertens or Kooy singing the basso part in the gavotte finale's middle section, which reduces the chorus to soprano and bass. What happens with these recordings?

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 11, 2003):
[snip] I've been enjoying this week's cantata BWV 184, one I didn't know before. Delightful little piece with all those parallel major thirds suggesting pastoral simplicity. Nice arias. The extraordinarily long recit at the beginning, with so much text to dispatch. And then, surprise of surprises, after the final chorale Bach brings in that closing gavotte from the Hercules cantata, but here praising the good shepherd instead of the temporal ruler Friedrich. How many cantatas offer such a treat of another movement after the chorale?

Over the weekend I let the disc run all the way through several times, on repeat. I have the Leusink disc [4]: cantatas BWV 36 + BWV 184 + BWV 129. Such good music, all three of those, and this weekend's listening has got me to spend more time on those others. That wonderful soprano aria in BWV 36 (track 7 on the CD), with the elegant violin-playing of John Wilson Meyer and the gorgeous tone of Ruth Holton. I had to listen to that one several extra times on its own. (Yes, she mispronounces "Majestaet", but it doesn't kill my enjoyment of the performance the way it seems to do for some people, according to the archived discussion. And it's not as far out as somebody else's Spanish in a CD I have of Mudarra songs. Do people get so upset when an actor mildly biffs a word in a movie, something a continuity editor "should have" caught? Or do minor flubs make a performance more endearing and real?) Cantata BWV 36 went through discussion before I was active here; it would be nice to have it come around for discussion again sometime. It's the usual phenomenon: buy or put on a CD to get to know one piece better, accidentally let it run too long, and end up liking a different part of the CD as much or more!

Arjen van Gijssell wrote (August 11, 2003):
[snip] [4]Brad, one question. What is wrong about Ruth Holton's "Majestät" in BWV 36. Is it the Maje-stät, instead of Majes-tät?

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 11, 2003):
[To Arjen van Gijssell] [4] Her final syllable sounds like the word "steht"...that is, it has the wrong set of consonants at the front of it. But as I said, I consider this only a minor blemish in an otherwise beautiful and engaging performance.

Arjen van Gijssell wrote (August 11, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman]] [4] Thanks, I already thought so. It is wrong, but otherwise it is a good performance.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 14, 2003):
BWV 184 - Recordings & Timings

Last week I have been listening to 5 complete recordings of CanBWV 184, all of them from recorded cantata cycles (either complete or still in progress):

No

Conductor

Year

Mvt.1

Mvt. 2

Mvt. 3

Mvt. 4

Mvt. 5

Mvt. 6

TT

 

[1]

Rilling

1976-7

3:20

8:56

2:22

4:44

1:11

3:13

23:56

 

[2]

Leonhardt

1988

3:37

9:21

2:07

4:32

1:17

2:32

23:26

 

[3]

Koopman

1997

3:34

8:17

1:57

3:37

1:07

2:30

21:02

 

[4]

Leusink

2000

3:26

8:00

2:00

4:35

1:08

3:03

22:12

 

[6]

Suzuki

2001

3:24

7:03

2:05

4:08

1:10

2:34

20:26

 

The Concluding Chorus (Mvt. 6) - Background

Cantata BWV 184, performed for the first time in 1724 (it was performed again in 1731), is a parody of a lost congratulatory cantata from the Köthen period BWV 184a. Most probably, most of the six movements of Cantata BWV 184 are based on the secular source. But the last movement, which, being placed after the chorale (as mentioned by Bradley Lehman), can be considered as a bonus, did (also?) the opposite route. It found its way to the homage Cantata BWV 213, performed in 1733. I like this unique chorus. For me, this movement is the pick of the cantata. It is so refreshing hearing it after some too lengthy movements. Here is what some experts have to say about it:

Nels Anders (liner notes to Leonhardt’s recording, 1988)
The final chorus takes up dance-like air one last time: the ‘Gentle Shepherd’ gives solace in the rhythm of a gavotte.

W. Murray Young (1989)
In a dance format of a gavotte, it is one of Bach’s greatest choruses; unison flutes and strings enhance the melody exquisitely. No wonder Bach revived it later for his homage cantata to the young Crown Prince! The chorus sings the first two and the last two lines, while the soprano and the alto sing a duet in the middle pair of verses. The sound of the soprano/alto duet in the midst of this marvellous chorus is breathtaking.

Christoph Wolff (liner notes to Koopman’s recording, 1997)
The final chorus is divided into two parts, the second of which clearly shows the movement’s origin as a duet.

Oxford Composer Companion - J.S. Bach (author not mentioned, 1999)
After the chorale (Mvt. 5), open-air atmosphere is resumed in a final chorus – a gavotte in all but name – which seems to have adapted from a soprano and bass duet, and in fact alto and tenor sing only in 24 of its 94 bars (including the repeat of the A section).

Other commentators do not say anything meaningful about this chorus.

Short Review of the Recordings

Firstly, I have to say that the chorus seems to come successfully through all five renditions. First impression might lead to wrong conclusion. Therefore, I dedicated yesterday evening to listening to the final chorus, at least twice to each rendition. When I had second thought, I added it.

[1] When they are heard in a raw, one after the other, and not in the context of the full cantata, Rilling sounds somewhat heavy and lacking the lightness and the atmosphere of the spring. To its credit I have to say that his rendition is the boldest of them with strong colours. Second thought: This is indeed very legato-like rendition, with rounded lines. It has lot of warmth, love, humanity and comfort. But it sounded right, especially when you look once again at the text. The vocal soloists (Augér, etc.) are gorgeous and their voices blend marvellously together.

[2] Leonhardt’s rendition is lighter than Rilling’s but dry and lacking vividness and joy. If this is a spring, I do not see the blossom of the flowers, the green fields, the flying butterflies. Second thought: Although somewhat restrained, especially when heard after Rilling, this is a beautiful rendition, light, with lovely colours, full of delicacy and tenderness, charm and subtlety. It floats like a light wind, fluttering, sometimes touch you gently, sometimes barely felt. The instruments paint the atmosphere like aquarelle; the vocal soloists sing with sensitivity, nobody covers the others.

[3] Koopman’s rendition is lucid like clear water. It very well balanced, the playing of the instruments has a lot of charm, and the voices interlace wonderfully into the delicate texture. The choir is very cohesive and the soloists have pleasant voices.

[4] Leusink is somewhat similar to Rilling in his approach. This rendition is full of surprises and unordinary. In the comparison to Koopman, the last sound more anticipated. The boyish voice of Ruth Holton suits this chorus, especially in Leusink’s rendition, like a glove. Although apparently slower than others, this rendition flows like water. It is over, before you realised that. The main asset of this rendition is its spontaneity.

[6] Until a day before yesterday I did not have the Suzuki’s recording (included Vol. 20 of his cantata cycle) at my disposal. When I found it, the seller surprised my by informing that he also has for sale Vols. 21 & 22. I told him that I needed Vol. 20 for the weekly cantata discussion. He asked me what did I mean by that. After short explanation I showed him the Bach Cantatas Website on his computer. He told me that he visited the site dozens of times for his work, not realising that I have any connection with it. The Suzuki is worth the effort. This is a very tight rendition, very polished and well-tailored. It is full of vigour and drive; heavier and denser than the other three HIP renditions; closer to Rilling. Surprisingly, there are some moments when the soloists (even the strong soprano Nonoshita) can be barely heard. Is it a technical problem? Second thought: now I think that it was done deliberately. It is woven like a beautiful lace. Sometimes you see the threads; sometimes they are hidden.

Conclusion

All the renditions, although different from each other, are beautiful and present valid approach. Each one of them is growing on you with every repeated listening. Bach has so many faces!

Bob Henderson wrote (August 14, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks for your review of BWV 184. You are right about that final chorous! it comes as a benediction and a gift. I have the Rilling [1], the Koopman [3] and the Suzuki [6]. (If your seller has volume 22 he is a magician as it is yet to be published!) I am interested in your comment regarding the similarites between the Rilling and the Suzuki. I find Suzuki's work generally closer in spirit to the Richter's and Rilling's than other HIP (sorry Brad) ensembles. Strong colors seen through the period performance lens.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 16, 2003):
I uploaded into the Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) Music Examples (mp3 format) of the final Chorus (Mvt. 6) from the 5 complete recordings of Cantata BWV 184 (Rilling [1], Leonhardt [2], Koopman [3], Leusink [4], Suzuki [6]). You can listen to them through the page of Music Examples from this cantata: Caantata BWV 184 – Musix Examples

Couple of days ago I sent to the BCML my review of the recording of this chorus. I am curious to read your opinions.

Arjen van Gijssell wrote (August 15, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks very much for providing us with the music examples. I fully agree with your conclusion:

< "All the renditions, although different from each other, are beautiful and >present valid approach. Each one of them is growing on you with every >repeated listening. Bach has so many faces!" >
Lots of surprises to me as well! The examples show that a different treatment/approach does not necessarily mean that it is good/wrong, but different, showing other aspects layers of the music. I liked Rilling [1] for the colourfull music, and Koopman [3]/Suzuki [6] for the superb, cohesive choirs. What a joy!

Charles Francis wrote (August 16, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Four superficial performances: Susuki and [6] Leonhard [2] are particularly breathless, with Koopman [3] little better and Leusink [4] suffering as usual from his howling trebles. Another good turnout by Rilling [1], though, although its a shame he didn't do the choir OVPP. Still he has great soloists (note the complete absence of les petites voix) and the right tempo, moreover!

Philippe Bareille wrote (August 17, 2003):
I find that Suzuki performance [6], although refined and commendable, a bit dry.

Leonhardt [2] may be slightly less polished technically but all in all he is deeply satisfying to my ears. He delivers the essence of the music and the spiritual message very convincingly. Equiluz moving intensity is unsurpassed even if his voice started to show signs of strain at times. The boy soprano is touching and expressive (but no match for Wittek who sings marvellously in the preceding cantata BWV 183).

Neil Halliday wrote (August 17, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Rilling's performance [1] is both revential and spacious, with attractive playing from the flutes, but all the performances portray the light and happy sentiments of this movement, (whether religious or secular), in a most charming fashion. This is another example where HIP performances are quite suitable for this lighter, 'happy' style of composition.

In the HIP versions (middle section), we have the long-held note on "Hort" (refuge) sung vibrato-free, which I find pleasing, but Augér (with Rilling), is always attractive, and I will not complain about her vibrato here.

Notice that first time around, this long-held note (three and a half bars) is sung by the bass, but second time around, the parts are inverted and it is sung by the soprano, an interesting detail, typical of Bach.

Suzuki [6] has a harpsichord in the continuo, with the usual inaudible pitch, but harmless enough in this case; the others use organ continuo, mainly barely heard, but again not a problem. (Here we have an example of music that sounds complete without an audible/ significant figured bass realisation from a keyboard, unlike the alto aria from BWV 116, which I referred to in a previous post.)

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 17, 2003):
[To Aryeh Oron] Evidently I hear very different things in the samples than anybody who has reported so far. Here goes:

[1] Rilling's performance is heavy and slow, lacking joy and a sense of dance. It just slogs along. His singers and players hit the weak syllables and notes just as hard as the strong ones, in articulation and volume. It's boring, monotonous. In the middle section, the two soloists seem to be more focused on the production of their own thick vibrato-laden tone than on delivery of the text. (It's a pleasant enough sound but I feel it doesn't really communicate the music...singers with such a tone call too much attention to themselves.)

At least Rilling has improved his performance style since his first attempt at this movement, in the 1967 recording of the Hercules cantata (BWV 213). That one was even more deadly, in all these same ways. It's a bowl of mush.

The rest of the performances here are more to my liking:

[6] Suzuki's tempo is (to my body) perfect, projecting the two-step structure of a gavotte. There is elegant, easy flow with also the clear sense of stepping. The text is remarkably clear, with the strongest enunciation from any of the singers in these samples. The ritardando at the end of the solo section sounds graceful and natural.

[3] Koopman's singers are also clear, but the playing is less so. The principal problem is that the piece seems to be falling forward perpetually--the feeling of rushing without actually rushing (by the clock). That is, the first beat of each measure is given too much emphasis relative to the second beat (and especially the second half of the second beat)...everything just seems geared to getting to the next downbeat successfully, and soon. It's exciting but disconcerting. I also think I hear an awkward edit at the end of the solo section: the notes are all there, but the character changes too abruptly and it doesn't seem like a natural transition. The music needs to breathe more than they let it do. (In a side comparison: Koopman's performance of this movement in Hercules (BWV 213) is similar but has better poise, in a slightly slower tempo.)

[4] Leusink's players get everything right, and the tempo has a good strut to it (marginally slower than Suzuki's). But I'm not fond of the boy sopranos' sound in the chorus: it's too punched and approximate in pitch. The two vocal soloists are excellent. I especially like the sound of Marjon Strijk (soprano): like a boy's voice in timbre, but with better control and diction. All around, except for the chorus problem, I like this performance pretty well.

[2] Leonhardt's performance is the fastest of all, and (like Koopman's) seems to fall forward on itself without measurably rushing. I don't like the boy soloist's delivery in the middle section. That's my biggest complaint here. The tempo could work, but I just prefer it a bit slower. The chorus is fine. Overall the character is very good, especially from the players, but I like Suzuki and Leusink ahead of this one.


The Suzuki performance [6] is, to me, the all-around triumph here. The details are marvelous, without losing sight of the bigger picture: the text and the dance both projected so clearly, unproblematically.

For this movement I'd rank them: Suzuki [6], Leusink [4], Leonhardt [2], Koopman [3], Rilling [1]. But I think all five renditions could benefit from more spontaneity. They all seem too much produced (as a timeless recording) rather than performed. This is occasional music. It should sound like an occasion.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (August 17, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< At least Rilling
[1] has improved his performance style since his first attempt at this movement, in the 1967 recording of the Hercules cantata (BWV 213). That one was even more deadly, in all these same ways. It's a bowl of mush. >
You should hear Rilling's 1999 recording, which doesn't sound at all mushy to my ears.

< For this movement I'd rank them: Suzuki, Leusink, Leonhardt, Koopman, Rilling. But I think all five renditions could benefit from more spontaneity. They all seem too much produced (as a timeless recording) rather than performed. This is occasional music. It should sound like an occasion. >
I agree with most of your criticisms of those recordings, but this complaint doesn't seem fair. If you can't describe what "sense of occasion" means in performance, how do you expect other people to look for a nonsensical quality?

Arjen van Gijssell wrote (August 17, 2003):
Did anyone notice how bad the choir with Koopman [3] is expressing the words in BWV 184? This is a big difference with Suzuki [6]. Although I like the "sound" of both choirs, Suzuki's is my favourate for this.

I have statearlier that Koopman doesn't give much attention to text/word expression. My view encountered criticism, because people stated that Koopman is very much working from the text. True, but he doesn't ask the choir to pronounce the end "t" in Wort, which makes them singing "wor", which I believe has no meaning in German. He is not precise at all.

During holidays I listened a lot to Leusink cantatas [4] as well. Also in this examples the boy sopranos shout, and have an unclear pitch each time. It is becoming more and more disturbing, the more you listen to them. Although the tenor group (particularly the one tenor which believes he is superb) is very loud and therefore useful for me as rehearsal tape, this particularity is becoming annoying as well. Does anyone know who is this tenor guy. Might it be Knut Knoch singing along???

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 17, 2003):
Occasion

I wrote: << (...) I think all five renditions could benefit from more spontaneity. They all seem too much produced (as a timeless recording) rather than performed. This is occasional music. It should sound like an occasion. >>
And Alex reacted: < I agree with most of your criticisms of those recordings, but this complaint doesn't seem fair. If you can't describe what "sense of occasion" means in performance, how do you expect other people to look for a nonsensical quality? >
"Nonsensical quality"? "Can't" describe it?! It sounds as if you're chiding me merely because I DIDN'T explain it to your satisfaction the first time, but that doesn't mean I can't. Here's an attempt at more detail on it.

Occasion is palpable, I'd say even "obvious", at least to a person with experience in live performance and the technical production of classical recordings. In general, the more heavily edited a recording is, the more the occasion goes away. It's tricky to do just enough editing so the result is clean but still sounds real.

The crossover from "play" to "product" (too much artificiality) is not that difficult to sense. Here are the things I listen for:

- Convincing flow of time, no sudden shifts from edits. Transitions need time and breath, not measured by counting beats or milliseconds in a score. Performers and editors don't count time in the same way.

- The perspective should be like that of a stage play, not a movie. The listener keeps one seat throughout the piece, not jumping around from one viewpoint to another. When different sections of a piece have different performers, the listener's perspective must still remain constant, and offer some spatial sense where these performers really were. We shouldn't be able to pick up microphone spotlighting, either...the performance should sound convincing from a consistent point in the hall, the microphones taking the place of real ears, no fancy mix, no artificial amplification (for music written before microphones were invented, anyway).

- Details can't be too regular and predictable. We need a sense that the performers are feeling different things as they go along. Reprised material in a composition doesn't sound exactly the same at different points in a piece. (If it does, that usually betrays regeneration or other editing tricks.) Especially in A-B-A form like the piece we were talking about, the second A section should sound changed by the B that came before it in real time, real performance. It's not merely a copy of the first A.

- Attacks from different musicians shouldn't all sound exactly together, with an impossible precision. If there's no irregularity at all, the performers were either too cautious at the session (not playing/singing freely), or the editor or producer did too much cleanup in the editing. When things do not line up exactly, the music is more real: people in a room together in real time doing something cooperative, but still as individuals. Yes, there is a difference between "very well rehearsed" and "sanitized in the editing". If one person was slightly ahead or behind everybody else's attack of a note, so what? That's what happens in real life. Performers are not machines.

- Extraneous noises from the real world add to a sense of occasion: creaks, rustles, wind, traffic, bumps, insects, birds, audience noise, anything to make it seem we're not in a hermetically sealed studio.

I was thinking about some of this earlier in the week while listening to one of my favorite performers, lutenist Hopkinson Smith. It's an album of dances published by Attaingnant. His playing is lovely, but I sense there's less occasion than there was in most of Smith's earlier recordings. Less soulfulness, less improvisatory casualness. It's probably still there in his playing in the raw takes, but I suspect they've edited out too many irregularities, the ones that make him Smith and make his playing so beautiful in particular. This album just sounds like a more generically excellent lutenist, who could be anybody with decent chops and lots of time in a studio. I can sense that some of the essence of Smith is missing. I'm sorry if that sounds too nebulous and nonsensical, but it's a real perception to me.

Alex Riedlmayer wrote (August 17, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
<< I agree with most of your criticisms of those recordings, but this complaint doesn't seem fair. If you can't describe what "sense of occasion" means in performance, how do you expect other people to look for a nonsensical quality? >>
< "Nonsensical quality"? "Can't" describe it?! It sounds as if you're chiding me merely because I DIDN'T explain it to your satisfaction the first time, but that doesn't mean I can't. Here's an attempt at more detail on it. >
I was worried because so many reviewers have refused to explain what they mean by such phrases.

< - Details can't be too regular and predictable. We need a sense that the performers are feeling different things as they go along. Reprised material in a composition doesn't sound exactly the same at different points in a piece. (If it does, that usually betrays regeneration or other editing tricks.) Especially in A-B-A form like the piece we were talking about, the second A section should sound changed by the B that came before it in real time, real performance. It's not merely a copy of the first A. >
I don't like strict repetition either, although producers may be tempted when faced with a reprise with identical bars and text.

< - Extraneous noises from the real world add to a sense of occasion: creaks, rustles, wind, traffic, bumps, insects, birds, audience noise, anything to make it seem we're not in a hermetically sealed studio. >
I find such noises as the bubbling of organ hydraulics and violent coughing from the audience during quiet passages mostly irritating.

Neil Halliday wrote (August 18, 2003):
Bradley Lehman wrote: "Leonhardt's performance [2] is the fastest of all".
Brad, I believe Koopman's [3] is the fastest (2:29 c.f. 2:41 for Leonhardt [2]).

BTW, I meant to say Rilling's performance [1] was reverential, an appropriate quality for a church cantata, IMO. (apologies for the previous spelling).

Hans-Joachim Reh wrote (August 18, 2003):
This is my first contribution. So let me say that I admire your work, Aryeh, these endless hours you must have put into establishing this site. It´s fabulous.

Usually I don´t find the time to participate in the discussions, but I do read all the emails and get a lot out of it.

Today however I was able to listen to the recordings of BWV 184 you made available. (I own the RILLING-SET).

Like other members allready said, you can get something out of every recording. It´s been the first time I listened to Suzuki - really great choir.

The first time I listened to Rilling [1], I thought it was rather slow. But after listening to the other recordings and really READING THE WORDS, just the opposite thing happened: Finally here is the music that transports the meaning of it.

Let me get general:

Music, especially (word-based) church-music, and most all BACH must do something to your soul. If this does not happen, we had nice music, but no meaning.

The final movement of the cantata reads "Guter Hirte, Trost der Deinen, lass uns nur Dein heilig Wort".

What’s the situation? (3rd day of pentecost)! Obviously that good shepherd is going to leave his people, and his people ask him, maybe beg him, to at least leave his word (the Holy Spirit - Pentecost). That is what I call a prayer. The music Bach composed serves a purpose, it´s not just great music. He lets the choir (standing for the congregation) sing this prayer. Why did Bach add this movement? Isn´t it very unusual? What’s the meaning behind it? BACH wouldn´t be BACH if he did not have a definite intention by adding this movement.

Now - can anyone imagine dancing a prayer of this kind? I can´t. I can imagine dancing a song/prayer of praise (like "Ehre sei dir Gott gesungen", XO, or "Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied", the cantata now to be discussed. What I am trying to say is, Rilling is, IMO, the only conductor that creates this atmospehre of humble, nevertheless trustful prayer. But, hate to say it, the soloist, especially the soprano (sings great) but misses this atmnosphere of prayer, sounds more like a fight she tries to win over the bass to me.

My impressions listed:

[6] SUZUKI:
Very good sound, fabulous choir (even though the pronunciation, especially on TROST, puts a light shadow on the overall performance), excellent musicians and recording, but misses the point, he recorded a dance. However his soloists come very close.

[3] KOOPMAN
Sounds rushed to me; I never did like overemphasizing words/single notes That are important through the music itself (like HIRte or DEInen), this ruins music and brakes it into pieces, IMO of course. This is true especially in choral-like music, as in movement 6. Where is the flute? The soloists don´t seem to know what they are singing, at least not to whom they are talking to.

[2] LEONHARDT
Well balanced recording, nice flute and choir. Not as rushed and overemphesized as Koopman. The choir sounds "all the way in the back" however. The solo-soprano sounds a little insecure and misses one note.

[4] LEUSINK
I listened to this recording more often than all the other recordings. Why? I could not understand the gap between orchestra/solo and choir. The orchestra sounds really fine and starts painting this picture and atmosphere described earlier. Then comes the choir. Sorry, but to me this sounds like a march, not a prayer.

[1] RILLING
Here almost everything is in the right place: Beautiful flute, nice violin-lines and perfect sound. The choir sounds a bit overpowered and I don´t like that soprano vibrato (worse on some other cantatas). Otherwise the overall impression to me is: that’s it.

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 18, 2003):
<< Bradley Lehman wrote: "Leonhardt's performance is the fastest of all". >>
< Neil Halliday wrote: Brad, I believe Koopman's is the fastest (2:29 c.f. 2:41 for Leonhardt). >
Neil, you're right: Koopman's is marginally faster by the clock, and gets done in less time. But Leonhardt's gives a faster impression, musically: his is clearly in two beats per bar, while Koopman's is in one. That makes Koopman's sound more spacious by comparison. Try walking or dancing to both, and you'll see what I mean.

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 18, 2003):
Hans-Joachim Reh wrote:
< What’s the situation? (3rd day of pentecost)! Obviously that good shepherd is going to leave his people, and his people ask him, maybe beg him, to at least leave his word (the Holy Spirit - Pentecost). That is what I call a prayer. The music Bach composed serves a purpose, it´s not just great music.He lets the choir (standing for the congregation) sing this prayer. Why did Bach add this movement? Isn´t it very unusual? What’s the meaning behind it? BACH wouldn´t be BACH if he did not have a definite intention by adding this movement. Now - can anyone imagine dancing a prayer of this kind? I can´t. >
I can. :)

The text is:
Guter Hirte, Trost der Deinen,
Laß uns nur dein heilig Wort!
Laß dein gnädig Antlitz scheinen,
Bleibe unser Gott und Hort,
Der durch allmachtsvolle Hände
Unsern Gang zum Leben wende!

They're asking the Good Shepherd to guide them through life by his almighty hand. What's incongruous with dance here? They're affirming his care, and they're glad to be with him. How can there not be body movement in this?

My cousin has two sheep and five goats in his pasture. That makes him, in part, a shepherd. When he goes out to feed them or check on them, they come crowding around to see him. At some level, they appreciate him. (He has names for each of them, too...if we may draw a parallel with another of our recent cantatas.) Sheep and goats bopping around, glad to be in the presence of the shepherd. Why would dance-based music be in any way inappropriate here, conveying the energy of the flock?

Has anyone ever seen a reverential sheep? That's not to say that they are IRreverent, but they don't kneel and pray in humble devotion. Nor do they stand in straight lines all bleating in perfect unison, perfectly trained to get all their note attacks exactly together.

Bob Henderson wrote (August 18, 2003):
[To Bradley Lehman] Really Brad, I think your reasoning is a bit wooley here.

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 18, 2003):
[To Bob Henderson] Baaaaah! Humbaaaaaag! Baaaaaa! (Looks like you got my goat.)

Charles Francis wrote (August 18, 2003):
BWV 184 - The Good Shepherd's (Holy or Healing) Words?

Has any one noticed that Leusink's choir [4] sings 'heilsam' (healing) while Rilling [1] et al. sing 'heilig' (holy)? The BGA and the piano reduction score both use 'heilsam' while Alfred Dürr in 'Die Kantaten' indicates 'heilig'. So what's the story? What does the NBA say? Did the BGA anachronistically revise Bach's text? Did Leusink really use an old BGA edition (1891) for his cantatas?

Peter Bloemendaal wrote (August 29, 2003):
Bach composed this charming cantata for Pentecost Tuesday, 30 May 1724. His musical inspiration came from an earlier secular cantata for Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen’s birthday in 1721, of which only some instrumental parts have been preserved. Maybe it was also titled “Durchlautster Leopold” like its predecessor from 1717, BWV 173a. Who knows, the resemblance of the two secular cantatas and the later revision into sacred ones gave rise to confusion and carelessness, leading to the loss of major parts of both versions. At any rate, the score and the vocal parts of the secular version have not survived. Neither has the original score of its sacred counterpart.

Like BWV 175 (“Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen”) for the same day a year later, text and music of “Erwünschtes Freudenlicht” bear upon the gospel reading for the day, proclaiming Jesus as the good shepherd and the rightful owner of his flock. The suitable pastoral atmosphere permeates the entire work. In particular the opening movements 1 and 2 and the final chorale are especially dedicated to the good shepherd, whose guidance and self-sacrificing love will protect and bless his sheep through life and death.

It is not difficult to notice the similarities between the worldly “shepherd” , Prince Leopold, the keeper of the peace in his kingdom, and the divine shepherd, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the King of Heaven.

Characteristic of Bach’s Cöthen period is the importance of duet singing (movements 2 and 6) and the dance-like nature of much of the music. The start with a recitative instead of a chorus, the length of the ritornellos and the extended da capo form of the soprano-alto duet are also typical for many of Bach’s works from his time as the Prince’s Kapellmeister. One can easily imagine that the original duet was intended to be danced upon at the Royal Court in front of the prince andhis consort. I would not be surprised to hear historic evidence that his Highness had asked for an encore during the festivities and joined in the dance with his distinguished birthday guests. For there is no doubt in my mind that this elegant movement is the highlight of this cantata and I can but hardly stop listening to it. We praise ourselves lucky to be able to replay the music time and again on our modern sound equipment, but these royals in those days just needed to snap their fingers to have the music replayed to their hearts’ delight … live!

The end of the cantata also betrays its secular, courtly origin. No final chorale, but a chorus containing a duet, again bucolic in tone. To make up for the deficiency, Bach changed the penultimate recitative into a simple chorale in the sacred work, based on the eighth stanza of Anarg von Wildenfels’s hymn “O Herre Gott, dein göttlich Wort” (1526).

The opening recitative “Erwünschtes Freudenlicht” starts with a simple, cheerful rhythmic motive in the two flutes, frequently reappearing throughout the movement in many minor variations, sometimes imitated in the basso continuo. Some call it a symbol for the flickering flames of a kindling fire, in the original cantata referring to the new year in the life of his Royal Highness, in the sacred variant exalted to the Holy Spirit’s flames of divine inspiration. Moreover, the accompagnato figure is played on the flute, the instrument traditionally attributed to the shepherd, which makes it very much the shepherd’s theme. It clearly determines the first movement. You can hear the shepherd continually signalling to his sheep that he will provide peace and harmony, thus emphasizing the words sung by the tenor. Then the flutes remain silent during the arioso “Drum folgen wir mit Freuden bis ins Grab”, in which the singer is meaningfully accompanied by the deeper, heavier sounds of the cello and the double bass. It is as if Bach is telling us: “You have heard the shepherd call out to you so many times. He wants you to respond. So, now it is your turn. Show me your true intention. Let me hear that you will follow me everywhere I go!” And the responses of the flock are heartfelt and unequivocal: “Therefore we will follow you joyfully, even into the grave.” Then the shepherd’s theme reappears and we are being called upon once more to hasten to Jesus and stand before him, enlightened.

The duet aria for soprano and alto begins with a wonderfully flowing instrumental introduction by the entire orchestra including the two flutes. They create a scene of happy pastoral tranquillity. The aria consists in only two statements: “Give yourself to Jesus out of gratitude for his blessings” and “Despise the seductive temptations of the world so that your satisfaction may be complete”. Both admonitions begin in homophonic unity of the two voices. They are repeated several times, alternated at intervals by the recurring instrumental theme. Gradually, Bach allows the singers some polyphonic variations, still very much in harmony with each other and the accompanying orchestra. The da capo section ends in an incitement to show Jesus our gratitude, crowned with a final encore of the beautiful orchestral theme. Again Bach shows himself a master in driving a short message firmly home by a combination of appealing, elegant instrumental playing, elaborate and striking word painting and seemingly endless repetitions. Where we can easily imagine the courtiers dancing to the music in 1717, it is just as easy to picture in our minds the Lutheran congregation of 1721 stealthily tapping their fingers on their thighs and moving their toes inside their boots on the infectious rhythm of this charming music.

The following tenor secco recitative assures us, the chosen, that our happiness finds its foundation in Jesus’ victory over death and devils. The arioso ending on “complete heavenly bliss” points forward to the adjoining aria by the same soloist.

“Happiness and blessing will crown those who dedicate themselves to Jesus”. As so often in Bach’s cantatas we hear that that true faith and belief is based on a relationship. Jesus has chosen us. Therefore we must choose Jesus. Then He will bring about the Golden Age. I agree with Dürr that the aria is rather colourless compared to the preceding duet. Yet, with its nice obbligato violin solo, it fits in smoothly into the peaceful atmosphere of the entire cantata.

The insertion of the chorale “Herr, ich hoff je …” for the original recitative is clearly intended to strengthen the sacred character of the cantata. By recomposing the 8th stanza of a well-known church hymn , Bach built in a prayer to the Lord never to forsake those who put their faith in Him.

In its instrumentation with two flutes, the final chorus points back to the opening movements. The choir open with a prayer to the good shepherd not to withdraw his Word. The power of the Word! It is both “heilig” and “heilsam”, “holy” and “wholesome”, depending on the Bach edition. The soprano-bass duet is a plea to Jesus to let his countenance shine upon us and remain our Lord Protector throughout our lives. Like the earlier duet aria, this movement also has a dance-like character, here a cheerful gavotte, finally closing the circle on the shepherd’s wholesome word.

[4] As for the only recording I possess, the one conducted by Pieter-Jan Leusink, I must say I quite enjoyed it. The orchestra and the soloists give a convincing rendering. Knut Schoch is satisfying in both recitatives and his aria. Ruth Holton and Sytse Buwalda are an excellent match in their duet. The choir demonstrate their usual joy and enthusiasm, combined with skilful singing and it is a pleasure to hear Marjon Strijk and her husband together in perfect harmony in the concluding chorus. A lovely cantata, a fine performance.

I also listened to the music examples of this last movement as presented to us by Aryeh on the Bach Cantatas Website.

My ranking:

1. Suzuki [6]: a bit fast, but perfect playing and choral singing.

2. Leusink [4]: relaxed swinging dance rhythm; great singing by Marjon Strijk.

3. Rilling [1]: convincing, but too legato. I miss the dance impetus.

4. Koopman [3]: skilful, but tempo much too fast. The soloists rush to the finish.

5. Leonhardt [2]: beneath his potential level. Also too fast.

 

Revision of BWV 184(a)

Continue of discussion from: Cantata BWV 134 - Discussions

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 30, 2006):
< TM I am not disputing that fact that BWV 134 and BWV BWV 184 were done under extreme pressure and that Bach's subsequent substantial revisions of them indicate that he was very much dissatisfied with the original revisions. >
Wait; what "fact" is this about BWV 184 and its predecessor, BWV 184a? And what indication of any kind exists that Bach was dissatisfied with the 1724 version of BWV 184, due only (or mainly) to any haste at the time, when he got around to revising it in 1731? What if he had entirely other reasons to make a revision--either or both times--having nothing to do with haste/pressure?

As for 184a, its complete scoring isn't known; or even its sung text. All that exists of it anymore is a small subset of instrumental parts.

As for revisions: I remember revising a composition of mine once during a concert tour, performing it daily. We were going to play the piece whether revised or not, that evening, and haste/pressure had nothing to do with it whatsoever; I just felt that day that I could improve some of the ideas in the work, from experience that had already been gained by performing it half a dozen times. Having half an hour free, I reworked some of the sections and played through it once or twice to teach my fingers the new notes; ready for concert. My colleague and I were improvising substantial parts of the concert anyway, so what's afew more notes here and there, inserting some new ideas that might be played if they seem right when it comes to the performance moment?

Still now, when needing something for church or whatever, I'll flip through old files and pick out some old piece of mine and see if I have any new ideas that would improve it. No "definitive" version of these pieces exists. The music is different every time I revisit it, because I'm a different person each time, and so is the performance situation. Instrumentation, tuning, length of time the piece should last, whatever. I played a solo concert in October where I didn't finish writing some of the brand new pieces' details until the practice session on the afternoon of the gig; but I had planned to play something reasonable on the broad outline of my sketches, whatever I felt up to add to them that day. I deliberately waited to finish the compositions until I was in the actual venue, listening to what the instrument in that space would be giving me back, as inspiration for part of the music. This, let me emphasize, is NOT a pressure/stressful situation, and it doesn't have to become one; nor does it imply any dissatisfaction with earlier performances of the "same" piece, if any. It is simply doing the job of an experienced church musician, with ordinary flexibility.

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 30, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Wait; what "fact" is this about BWV 184 and its predecessor, BWV 184a? And what indication of any kind exists that Bach was dissatisfied with the 1724 version of BWV 184, due only (or mainly) to any haste at the time, when he got around to revising it in 1731? What if he had entirely other reasons to make a revision--either or both times--having nothing to do with haste/pressure?<<
It was obviously another one of a few instances where extreme haste and the pressure of time may have caused Bach to fall back upon a secular cantata from Köthen (where almost all the instrumental parts could be reused and only the text needed to be partially rewritten to fit the new sacred context). Had he had more time at his disposal, he might have created a parody which would not need as much substantial improvement for a later repeat performance. As it is, the initial results of the 1st performance of the parody in 1724 could hardly have satisfied Bach for any length of time. As Alfred Dürr puts it in his book "Bachs Werk vom Einfall bis zur Drucklegung", Breitkopf & Härtel, 1989, pp. 21-22, in which he refers to BWV 184 as follows:

"Mit ihrer Verbesserung des Urbildes auf dem Wege über eine noch nicht optimale Zwischenfassung steht Kantate 36 nicht allein. Zu nennen wären z.B. noch das Oster-Oratorium oder die Kantate 134 "EinHerz, das seinen Jesum leben weiß". Ja, es steht sogar zu vermuten, daß uns in einigen Fällen nur eine Fassung erhalten ist, wo einstmals zwei existiert haben. Als Beispiel wäre Kantate 184 "Erwünschtes Freudenlicht" zu nennen. Sie ist die Parodie einer Köthener Glückwunschkantate unbekannten Textes -- eine Parodie, die mit Hilfe der Köthener Instrumentalstimmen am 3. Pfingsttag des Jahres 1724 aufgeführt worden ist. Eine Wiederaufführung ist uns für 1731 belegt; und da die recht oberflächliche Parodiefassung von 1724 den Komponisten schwerlich auf die Dauer befriedigen konnte, möchte ich --vorsichtig gesagt -- die Möglichkeit andeuten, daß uns eine verbesserte Fassung der Kantate, bestimmt zur Aufführung von 1731, verloren gegangen sein könnte. Es würde sich dann um einen Parallelfall zur Osterkantate BWV 134 handeln, an deren reicher überlieferten Quellen sich eine ähnliche Weiterentwicklung gut ablesen läßt."

("BWV 36 is not the only cantata in which Bach improved the original version by having created an interim version which was not yet optimal in quality. Worth mentioning here would be, for example, the Easter Oratorio or Cantata 134 "Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß". Beyond this, we can even suspect that in a few cases we have only one version where they may have been two. Take for an example Cantata 184 "Erwünschtes Freudenlicht". It is the parody of a congratulatory cantata composed in Köthen to a text by an unknown librettist - a parody which was performed on the 3rd Feast Day of Pentecost in 1724 with the help of instrumental parts [already used once in Köthen]. A repeat performance is documented in 1731, and since the rather superficial parody version [the 1st one in 1724] could hardly have satisfied the composer for very long, I would like to indicate/suggest [choosing my words very carefully] the possibility that an improved version of the cantata [between the 1st version in 1724 and certainly by the time of the documented one in 1731] may have been lost. This, then, would parallel the situation with the Easter Cantata BWV 134, where a similar ongoing development can be observed based upon the greater richness of source materials [that are available for inspection].")

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 30, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] OK, thanks.

But I remain unconvinced. How are you--or Dürr!--so sure that Bach was allegedly dissatisfied with an allegedly hasty reworking of a secular piece into a sacred one? Bach didn't express any dissatisfaction with, for example, the Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) that reuses secular stuff wholesale. He didn't express any dissatisfaction with these others, either; it's only a guess.

I suspect there are at least two holdovers of 19th century hero-mythology that are still in play here: (1) the notion that it's somehow less than optimal to rework a secular piece into a sacred one (that is, parodies being somehow inherently of less valuable than fresh work), and (2) the notion that Bach was somehow so badly strapped for time that he could do no better (in some situations) than reuse old stuff as a last-minute solution...and implying some necessary fall-off of quality. So, he rose to the impossible occasion and supplied music anyway...well, that's a romantic notion, not necessarily saying anything one way or the other about what actually happened.

What if Bach occasionally reused his music because he wanted to make more use of his previously good ideas? And, how would such a situation make the resulting reworked music any less valuable, in kind? It's a great way to keep alive some occasional music (specific to some unrepeatable event like somebody's wedding or funeral) that otherwise would have had exactly one performance, ever, before probably winding up in some dustbin or as jam-pot covers.

Julian Mincham wrote (March 30, 2006):
Bradley Lehman writes:
< What if Bach occasionally reused his music because he wanted to make more use of his previously good ideas? >
I suspect that this is precisely the reason. And for the record I was not suggesting that revisions are inferior to the originals. I was merely observing that there were several different levels of revision and approach which Bach employed at different times and that it MIGHT be inferred from the degree of work involved that he was more pressed at certain times than at others.

And, how would such a situation make the resulting reworked music any less valuable, in kind? It doesn't. I have already pointed out the pains he took to rewrite idiomatically for different instruments. It occasionally, however, leads to a situation where the arrangement may be thought less effective than the original e.g.How many people feel that the slow movement of the double violin concerto arranged for keyboards is more (or even as) effective than the original.

A further observation is that whilst Bach frequently rearrangsecular pieces for further secular function and secular pieces for ecclesiastical function, how often did he arrange music originally composed for religious purpose for ecclesiastical usage?

Are list members aware of such examples proven to be the case?(A difficult one because one is always seeing unsupported claims that so and so MAY have come from a lost work--always a good letout.) Nevertheless I think that the trend is pretty well established--sec to sec, sec to ecclesiastical---but seldom vice versa.

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 30, 2006):
< I have already pointed out the pains he took to rewrite idiomatically for different instruments. It occasionally, however, leads to a situation where the arrangement may be thought less effective than the original e.g.How many people feel that the slow movement of the double violin concerto arranged for keyboards is more (or even as) effective than the original. >
Good point, good example.

< A further observation is that whilst Bach frequently rearranged secular pieces for further secular function and secular pieces for ecclesiastical function, how often did he arrange music originally composed for religious purpose for ecclesiastical usage? [Do you mean "secular usage" here at the end?]
Are list members aware of such examples proven to be the case?(A difficult one because one is always seeing unsupported claims that so and so MAY have come from a lost work--always a good letout.) Nevertheless I think that the trend is pretty well established--sec to sec, sec to ecclesiastical---but seldom vice versa. >
A classic example, not proven, is that some possibly fictitious Coethen concerto existed with the soloist being perhaps an oboe or violin...and that Bach then reused all of this into the cantatas #49 and 169 at Leipzig, in 1726...and that it finally got collected late 1730s into the E major harpsichord concerto we now know as BWV 1053.

In this one, Bach definitely did later make secular use (1053 concerto) of music that had already been part of church services, in cantatas. The question--and it's really only a technicality--is whether this music existed at all before the cantata use, putting it safely back into the secular category where it eventually ended up, having only briefly been put to sacred use in between.

Similarly, movements from the cantatas BWV 146 (1726? or not later than 1728) and BWV 188 (1728) later got reused as the D minor harpsichord concerto BWV 1052. That one, too, goes back to some fictitious lost violin concerto putatively written before the cantata use. But again, there was definitely secular use of the music after it had already served in cantatas.

Were these movements originally composed for religious purpose? Why does it matter, one way or the other, since they're obviously well-composed music that can serve as either sacred or secular?

Then we have the whole wide-open question of solo organ/harpsichord pieces. Maybe Bach wrote them for church, and/or played them for church, whether they have obvious religious content or not. Examples: the big preludes and fugues for organ; the toccatas BWV 910-916 that can be played equally well on organ or harpsichord; the prelude and fugue 894. 894 is from the 17teens, and it works fine on either organ or harpsichord (I play it on both, like the toccatas, and the fantasias 904+906+917+918+922). 894 definitely turned up later in a secular context, reworked as the concerto for harpsichord/violin/flute 1044 (1727 or later). If 894 was ever used by Bach in a church service, at any time before 1727, wouldn't that make this another instance of sacred use followed by secular? Or is a composition "once secular, always secular" (which I suspect is yet another romanticized 19th century notion about Bach!) even if it gets used in church?

Julian Mincham wrote (March 30, 2006):
Bradley Lehman writes:
< A further observation is that whilst Bach frequently rearranged secular pieces for further secular function and secular pieces for ecclesiastical function, how often did he arrange music originally composed for religious purpose for ecclesiastical usage? [Do you mean "secular usage" here at the end?] >
Sorry, yes mea culpa---thanks for the correction.

Julian Mincham wrote (March 30, 2006):
Bradley Lehman writes:
< Were these movements originally composed for religious purpose? Why does it matter, one way or the other, since they're obviously well-composed music that can serve as either sacred or secular? >
True; in the sense of appreciating the music it matters not a jot. But if it were the case that the traffic was all one way (i.e. that he seemed more willng to sanctify the non spiritual than vice versa) this might indicate something about JSB's attitude to religion and life--though possibly not about his music since clearly he made every effort to produce the best possible music whatever its purpose. What he wrote principally for teaching purposes only, for example, remains supreme stuff!!

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Secular Cantatas - General Discussions Part 2 [General Topics]

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 30, 2006):
<< Were these movements originally composed for religious purpose? Why does it matter, one way or the other, since they're obviously well-composed music that can serve as either sacred or secular? >>
< True; in the sense of appreciating the music it matters not a jot. But if it were the case that the traffic was all one way (i.e. that he seemed more willng to sanctify the non spiritual than vice versa) this might indicate something about JSB's attitude to religion and life--though possibly not about his music since clearly he made every effort to produce the best possible music whatever its purpose. What he wrote principally for teaching purposes only, for example, remains supreme stuff!! >
Orgelbüchlein being a good example: church tunes and directly useful music in church, but primarily it's didactic stuff (and therefore secular purpose)...to inspire both the student's playing technique and ability to go compose/improvise his own.

 

Continue on Part 2

Cantatas BWV 184 & BWV 184a: Complete Recordings of BWV 184 | Recordings of Individual Movements from BWV 184 | Details of BWV 184a | 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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