Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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 187
Es wartet alles auf dich
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of November 11, 2007

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 11, 2007):
Week of Nov 11, 2007 - Cantata BWV 187

Week of Nov 11, 2007 - Cantata BWV 187

Cantata BWV 187, ³Es wartet alles auf dich²

7th Sunday after Trinity
1st performance: August 4, 1726 - Leipzig;
2nd performance: 1735-1740 - Leipzig;
3rd performance: July 26, 1749 - Leipzig

Libretto:
Psalm 104: 27-28 (Mvt. 1);
Matthew 6: 31-32 (Mvt. 4);
Hans Vogel (Mvt. 7);
Anon (Mvts. 2-3, 5-6)
[Walther Blankenburg suggested Christoph Helm]

Texts & Translations: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV187.htm

Readings:
Epistle: Romans 6: 19-23; Gospel: Mark 8: 1-9
Gospel: Mark 8: 1-9
Texts of readings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Trinity7.htm

Other Cantatas written for Trinity 5
BWV 186 Ärgre dich, o Seele, nicht (Leipzig, 1723)
BWV 107 Was willst du dich betrüben (Leipzig, 1724)
BWV Anh 1 Geseget ist die Zuversicht (? - music lost)

Introduction to Lutheran Church Year: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/index.htm

Provenance: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV187-Ref.htm

Movements reusued in Missa Brevis in G Minor, BWV 235:
1. Es wartet alles auf dich 6. Cum sancto spiritu
3. Du Herr, du krönst allein 4. Domine Fili unigenite
4. Darum sollt ihr nicht sorgen 3. Gratias agimus tibi
5. Gott versorget alles Leben 5. Qui tollis peccata mundi and Quoniam tu solus sanctus

Movements:

Mvt. 1: Chorus
³Es wartet alles auf dich²
Instruments: 2 Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 2: Recitative - Tenor
³³Was Kreaturen hält²
Instruments: Bc

Mvt. 3: Aria - Alto
³Du Herr, du krönst allein das Jahr mit deinem Gut²
Instruments: Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 4: Aria - Bass
³Darum sollt ihr nicht sorgen noch sagen²
Instruments: 2 Vn, Bc

Mvt. 5: Aria - Soprano
³Gott versorget alles Leben²
Instruments: Ob, Bc

Mvt. 6: Recitative - Soprano
³Halt ich nur fest an ihm mit kindlichem Vertrauen²
Intrumentents: 2 Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 7: Choral
³Gott hat die Erde zugericht'²
Instruments: 2 Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Bc

Piano Vocal Score: (free PDF download): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV187.htm

Recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV187.htm#RC

Music (free streaming download): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV187-Mus.htm

Commentaries:

Crouch: http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/works/bachjs/cantatas/187.html
AMG: http://wm02.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=42:88967~T1
Emmanuel Music: http://www.emmanuelmusic.org/notes_trans/notes_cantata/bwv187.htm

Previous Discussions:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV187-D.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Guide/BWV187-Guide.htm

Jean Laaninen wrote (November 11, 2007):
[To Douglas Cowling] The inclusion of the oboe in four of the movements seemed striking to me as I listened today. In particular I appreciated the elements of the oboe in Mvt. 5, and combined with Leusink's [8] soprano to be a lovely offering. As always there is so much depth, but this particular movement for me has a positive and reflective quality that makes listening very pleasant. I also find it to be quite a contrast to the opening and closing numbers. The contrasts always provide so much enjoyment.

Neil Halliday wrote (November 14, 2007):
BWV 187 opening chorus (Mvt. 1)

Thomas Braatz has given a rather complete analysis in previous discussions, with reference to bar numbers.

I note a few more points, and reinforce some of Tom's:

There are three motifs in the ritornello that figure prominently in the choral sections:
(a). In bar 1, the motif on the 1st violins, ie, a leap of a fourth (or later, a fifth) followed by a dowmward scale;
(b). In bars 10-11, an extended 1/16th note passage consisting of 8-note 'units' that descend a step at a time (on 2nd oboe and 2nd violins);
(c). In bars 21-23, another type of extended 1/16th note passage (on 1st and 2nd violins in parallel thirds); immediately followed in bars 24-25 by a repeat of (b) (on 1st oboe and 1st violin).

In the first choral subsection, we see the (c) motif in the melismas on "Alles"

An interesting feature of the choral writing is the simultaneous setting of different phrases of the text; this is first seen in the second choral sub-section, where "Es wartet Alles" with the same motif as the 1st choral sub-section, in the tenor, is combined with "dass du Ihnen Speise gebest" set to a new 1/8th note motif in the bass (followed by A and S in similar fashion).

The third choral subsection ("Es wartet Alles") has motif (a) entering in quick succession (S,T,A,B) followed by a melisma with the (b) motif on "Alles" (soprano).

A shortened version of the opening ritornello is followed by a fugal section with a striking, powerful new subject (bass) beginning with a repeated note with the rhythm: (crotchet)-crotchet-quaver-quaver-crotchet-quaver-quaver ("Wenn du Ihnen giebest), followed immediately
by an extended 1/16th note melisma ("so sammlem sie"), not heard before.

As the tenor enters with this subject, the bass continues with a new countersubject on "wenn du deine Hand auftust", and so forth; the resulting juxtaposition of up to four different texts, as the movement progresses, is audacious.

Order of entries of subject in this central section: BTAS,(BT), SATB, SATB, (unison oboes). The final S enters a bar early, cutting in on the B entry; the continuo drops out for the following A,T entries; finally the B powerfully doubled by continuo enters a bar early, and the unison oboes enter two bars early, giving a type of stretto, to conclude this section.

The last choral section appears as a variation of material heard in the opnening choral subsections.

--------

My impressions of recordings I have heard:

Rilling's 1971 performamce [2] is expansive and grand, and most engaging.
Richter [4] has gone for brilliance and vigour, but his large forces degenerate into 'muddiness' in those 1/16th note choral passages.
Leusink [8] has a satisfactory "small-scale" performance.
Leonhardt's performance [6] should 'pack some power' (with tempo similar to Rilling), if his choir is any good (not heard in the BCW sample), and allowing for the 'pointy' HIP articulation of the instruments.

Neil Halliday wrote (November 16, 2007):
The alto aria (Mvt. 3) is somewhat unusual in that the first line of text sung by the alto differs from the melody esin the first bars of the ritornello - on 1st violins doubled by oboe; however the alto does pick up this melody in the repetition of the first line of text. The melody's syncopation at the start is charming.

Likewise in the middle section, the first run through of the text is set to a new melody, but the opening motif reappears (in a minor key) at the start of the second run through.

Rilling's [2] string orchestra (plus oboe) has a pleasing, rich sound, and Laurich has a lovely unforced, vibrato-free melisman on "krönst".
------
The bass aria (Mvt. 4) sets up a type of quasi-canonic trio with the voice, unison violins and continuo.

Rilling/Schöne [2] give an expansive, relaxed, tuneful performance; while the tempo may strike some as a little slow, I think the quick dance tempos of some performances (eg, Koopman) fail to convey the appropriate 'authoritative' stance of this 'vox Christi' movement, IMO.
------

The soprano aria (Mvt. 5) has an interesting form, which has similarities to the French overture form: common time dotted rhythm section (marked adagio), with allegro central section in 3/8 time followed by a repeat of the opening section.

The somewhat tiresome vibrato in Friesenhausen's voice (with Rilling [2]) is a spoiler; likewise Mathis with Richter [4]. Holton (Leusink [8]) is better, though near-inaudibility of some notes and some insecuruty on other notes are evident.

Jean Laaninen wrote (November 16, 2007):
[To Neil Halliday] In regard to the soprano aria (Mvt. 5) I want to raise a question that probably cannot be fully answered. Neil mentions that some notes are barely audible. Since I have been working with recording for some time this is a curiosity to me. In the mixing and mastering process one can equalize parts, or change the volume even on a single note or word if desired. One would like to think that a soprano would have all the notes in place if she could record this kind of work, so my guess is that the mixing and mastering process may have been just a little quick...a thorough job would bring everything through even if a singer was perhaps not as fully on a sound as desired. A recording and a live performance present different issues, as explained by Brad a while back in his discussion of setting up microphones for performance, or for recording for the web. I believe it would take a very elaborate system to always get everything optimally set up for more than one purpose.

I'm also curious on these notes that were barely audible to whether they were at the top of the range or the bottom of the range. I did not notice this issue when I listened, but I only listened once.

I find for myself that I have an almost ridiculous amount of power at the top on some days, and far less on the lower notes--even though we are working to improve the quality and volume on those notes now. A singer needs to be right on for a good performance or recording, but the recordist is also very responsible for the outcome. In the case of some of the older Bach recordings made many years ago the analog equipment and the technicians most likely were of the highest order most of the time.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 17, 2007):
< In regard to the soprano aria (Mvt. 5) I want to raise a question that probably cannot be fully answered. Neil mentions that some notes are barely audible. Since I have been working with recording for some time this is a curiosity to me. In the mixing and mastering process one can equalize parts, or change the volume even on a single note or word if desired. One would like to think that a soprano would have all the notes in place if she could record this kind of work, so my guess is that the mixing and mastering process may have been just a little quick...a thorough job would bring everything through even if a singer was perhaps not as fully on a sound as desired. A recording and a live performance present different issues, as explained by Brad a while back in his discussion of setting up microphones for performance, or for recording for the web. I believe it would take a very elaborate system to always get everything optimally set up for more than one purpose.
I'm also curious on these notes that were barely audible to whether they were at the top of the range or the bottom of the range. I did not notice this issue when I listened, but I only listened once. >
Part of the picture here, too: I believe some listeners just don't agree with (or fancy) the Baroque principle of "good" and "bad" notes, i.e. a strongly noticeable difference in intensity between some of the notes of a phrase. Some of us (myself included) consider a speech-like delivery to be essential to the music of this milieu, as to the natural rise and fall in intensity between strong and weak syllables, or similarly between accented and unaccented syllables of instrumental music. But some other listeners have different expectations, and (I've observed) review such performance styles as flawed.

There are also some varying expectations, as to following scores and hoping/wishing that every single note could be picked out of the texture...where Bach instead might have been writing broader effects or washes of sound, not necessarily expecting himself that every little note would have the same intensity as the others around it.

Bruce Haynes's newest book, The End of Early Music, is about these and similar issues of style, aesthetics, and performance practice. Strongly recommended. It includes dozens of web samples, too, illustrating his comparative points directly with competing recordings of music. Haynes's bibliography leads to other fine books along that line, too.

Jean Laaninen wrote (November 17, 2007):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thanks, Brad, for this informative answer. Amazon.com can order this book here in the US for a considerable savings over the UK price. I will probably look into acquiring this book in the near future, but may see if I can check it out in a library first. That's how I have purchased most of the books on music that I own--go the library or through inter-library loan and see if this is a keeper. Sounds like it might be.

Your insights on the idea of a 'sweep of music' make sense to me, especially if the notes are right on pitch...still the ambiance can vary. The speed alone however argues at times for the 'sweep' idea.

Neil Halliday wrote (November 17, 2007):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
>Neil mentions that some notes are barely audible.<
I will admit that this comment relates mostly to one phrase only - at the very start (hence my first impression). Listen to the way she begins the notes on "alles" in "Gott versorget alles Leben"; it sounds as if she has suddenly moved away from the microphone at the start of "alles".

In the first phrase of the second section "Weicht, ihr Sorgen!", the "-en" of "Sorgen" disappears, but this is obviously related to Brad's comments about the 'strong note - weak note' doctrine, a doctrine which if carried to excess is detrimental to the music, IMO.In a contest between "sweep/impression" and comprehension of the detailed form of a piece of music, I'll vote for the latter, especially in Bach.

[As far as the comparison with speech is concerned, there is a radio announcer on ABC FM who quite annoyingly changes dynamic emphasis on syllables as he speaks, rendering his speech incomprehensible at times. I expect we have all experienced this with certain speakers.]

My comment about "insecurity" in her voice also relates only to a first impression at the very start; notice the timbre on the low notes on "versorget". (This may be a subjective impression, ofcourse).

>I'm also curious on these notes that were barely audible to whether they were at the top of the range or the bottom of the range.<
Judging by her treatment of the first phrase as outlined above, the degree of audibilty is indepedent the pitch of the notes; the beginning notes on "alles" are in the same range as those on "Sorgen" (f and g near the bottom of the treble clef). OTOH, the disappearance of the "-en" in "Sorgen" may be pitch related (as well as being the "weak" note).

>I find for myself that I have an almost ridiculous amount of power at the top on some days, and far less on the lower notes.<
Arleen Auger had a tendency to force higher notes (eg, those immediately above the treble clef), an unfortunate tendency that is not uncommon amongst sopranos.

In conclusion, I must add that the Leusink/Holton recording [8] (cf. Rilling [2] and Richter [4]) is the one that enables me to enjoy the shape and logic of the motifs on the oboe, especially in the central section of BWV 187's soprano aria (Mvt. 5); powerful voices laden with vibrato are quite detrimental to a comprehension of the interweaving of the instrumental and vocal lines.

Jean Laaninen wrote (November 17, 2007):
[To Neil Halliday] Just finished with a voice lesson, and some practice recordings I had my teacher analyze today, she says I don't force the top notes as I have heard Auger do. Auger was my first Bach model. Although my home recording doesn't always capture what I am capable of doing, the power just comes out as I go up. In a forgiving room this is not as apparent as working with a microphone in my smaller space, and there are alternatives to balancing out such issues. One can, for example, lower the volume of the orchestral accompaniment, or raise it some for the higher notes, perhaps creating an illusion of balance. If the tempo is very fast such adaptations to solo recordings are scarcely noticable, while providing a clarity of syllables. But according to my teacher in a good live room, rather than where I home record, these variations would not be problematic as they are for recording.

I am going to look at the details of your comments and listen again, and if I think of anything that raises a question or consideration I will respond some more. If not, I will simply add these factors to my knowledge and perhaps discuss them with my teacher as we find this fascinating. Today we began to discussion what physical mechanisms control vibrato without losing vocal freedom. I'm so blessed now to have the best teacher I've ever had, and through the Bach group and my own continuing studies and helping students with writing in the past that I am able to be a model student. As old as I am, every time I have a lesson and learn more the discomforts of age escape me for a few hours. How simply grand, and I am so fortunate to be able to converse with you and the others on these very special topics. Music is healing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 18, 2007):
< Part of the picture here, too: I believe some listeners just don't agree with (or fancy) the Baroque principle of "good" and "bad" notes, i.e. a strongly noticeable difference in intensity between some of the notes of a phrase. Some of us (myself included) consider a speech-like delivery to be essential to the music of this milieu, as to the natural rise and fall in intensity between strong and weak syllables, or similarly between accented and unaccented syllables of instrumental music. But some other listeners have different expectations, and (I've observed) review such performance styles as flawed. >

Most notably, this week I read the following review (excerpts here) in the current issue of American Record Guide. The disc under review was a reissue of a Vivaldi recording from 1974.

"(...) These recordings were made when using period instruments was not the trend; that is, prepare to hear the rich, lush and wonderful sounds of modern instruments. Thunemann plays with a wonderful evenness of scale, and for Vivaldi it works marvelously since terrace dynamics are quite appropriate. He makes everything sound easy and effortless; ornamentation seems to be natural and well-conceived. And since he is usually accompanied by the best orchestras, here by I Musici, the whole performance sparkles. (...) This release is worth finding because of the wonderful performances by Thunemann and Gazzelloni, as well as to hear the advances through the technical reformatting. These are performances whose soloists are not so self-aware that they play with affectations, as many period instrument musicians do, but a simple appeal to the beauty of the music. I recommend it."

Catch the emphases there? These gentlemen play selflessly and they merely appeal to the beauty of the music, and the results merit the adjective "wonderful" three times. By contrast, period instrument musicians (according to that writer) allegedly do something less noble and less enjoyable...and with less "evenness of scale", too. Grammatical inflection of the phrasing is cast aside as mere "affectation".

As for "modern instruments", that's what, circa 1850 as "modern" in the development of flutes, bassoons, and strings? But, let's not go into that argument. I'm sure there are plenty of potential buyers for that Vivaldi album who will enjoy it for the reasons stated. It probably is lovely, in its style, for people who prefer that. To me, the phrases "wonderful evenness of scale" and "terrace dynamics" already tell me I'd probably be bored with its directionless sameness of dynamics after two minutes, even if the surface of the sound is attractive.

John Garside wrote (November 19, 2007):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< Catch the emphases there? These gentlemen play selflessly and they merely appeal to the beauty of the music, and the results merit the adjective "wonderful" three times. By contrast, period instrument musicians (according to that writer) allegedly do something less noble and less enjoyable...and with less "evenness of scale", too. Grammatical inflection of the phrasing is cast aside as mere "affectation". >
On the subject of performances:

It was my sad experience to attend a rendering (rending) of the Messe in H mol (BWV 232) at the Kreuzkirche in Bonn last night. 18.Nov.07. There was a lot of hype about how wonderful the orchestra, choir, soloists and especially the Dirigent(in) were as well as in the accompanying programme. So we bought a couple of tickets.

It started well for the opening of the choral Kyrie and then went rapidly downhill IMHO. The pace was turgid, to say the least, I kept looking around to see if there was a coffin somewhere, and repeatedly found myself reading the programme. Not a good sign! There seemed to be no life or sparkle in the music at all. I'm used to the Kyrie and Gloria taking about 50 minutes. In this performance they took over an hour! Could someone tell me whether I'm right or wrong here please?

What I did notice a lot was what I first took to be an ostrich chick trying to fly, but no, it was the conductor attempting to do the same. I suspect she used up several thousand calories during the performance(?). No wonder she is so slender (thin?) The pace picked up a little during the duets and solos but I kept checking the programme to see if they had inserted elements of the Verdi Requiem such was the level of overblown vibrato and the grimacing and posturing of the protagonists. "Just get the notes right and pronounce the words so that all can hear" I thought was where Bach came from?

Apropos playing in tune, the first violins seemed occasionally not to know what that meant, not just the odd note but once a complete phrase, and the horn(s) seemed to delight in a stunning glissando to reach the top notes.

Was it only me who felt this? I don't know. There were a few others who, like me, got up and left before they could hear the massacre of the Symbolum nicenum, Sanctus and Ossana, Benedictus et al. As I left I took a look round at the assembled faces and didn't see one smile. But then here in Germany we take our music very seriously!

Oh well! Clock it up to experience.
Just my tuppeny'orth.

Mary Vinquist wrote (November 19, 2007):
John Garsiwrote:
<Heavy snips<
< On the subject of performances:
It was my sad experience to attend a rendering (rending) of the Messe in H mol (
BWV 232) at the Kreuzkirche in Bonn last night. 18.Nov.07. There was a lot of hype about how wonderful the orchestra, choir, soloists and especially the Dirigent(in) were as well as in the accompanying programme. So we bought a couple of tickets.
Just my tuppeny'orth. >
So who actually were the performers. The whole thing sounds dreadful.

Jean Laaninen wrote (November 19, 2007):
[To Neil Halliday] Hello again, Neil,

I am listening again to the number discussed above. I don't think the soprano is insecure, but she did indeed in my opinion clip off the 'en' in Sorgen in the instance you pointed out. Perfect, impeccable control is something to strive for, but if only a single recording were perhaps made of this cantata by the same group at the given time, perhaps there was not an opportunity to cut and paste files to fix this error...or perhaps it was not noticed. It went by so quickly for me that I didn't hear it, initially. However, when I mix and master I am very well attuned to catching those endings as I think even with the strong note/weak note idea the whole word should be present. In terms of my own questions on these matters my voice teacher has commented that the way we speak in American English is to drop our volume at the end of a phrase, and since this is the way we speak we have to be alert to the fact that vocally we cannot allow that habit to dominate lest we lose something important. The end of a phrase is also the point at which a vowel sound can waver or have pitch fluctuations such as vibrato, and this is one of the reasons singing Bach can be classified as difficult, I think. Singers have to sustain good sound against old habits.

There is often so much instrumentation that if the whole word is not present I have to agree there is something of a defect. I did note the spots where you mentioned that the pitch range might not have been a factor. The word 'alles' of course is easier in some ways than 'versorget' because it begins on a vowel, but a singer does well to be aware of such issues to improve. This connects to the reason I chose Julianne Baird as my best example, because she is consistent throughout her performances, and she never misses a syllable. Not only that, to the extent that a singer can, she brings expression to the text in my view, with just the right inflection.

Thanks again for you comments.

John Garside wrote (November 21, 2007):
Week of Nov 11, 2007 - Cantata BWV 187 ... (OT)

Mary Vinquist wrote:
< So who actually were the performers. The whole thing sounds dreadful. >
Well, it wasn't my intention to lambaste the performers, rather more query the conductor's (conductress? Dirigentin?) pacing of the work. Out of interest they were a local Bonn (amateur) choir probably from the Kreuzkirche and an orchestra from Cologne.

So steamed up was I, when I returned, that I threw the tickets and programmes away! The thought went through my head that I could have bought two of Suzuki's wonderful Cantata CDs for the price of the two tickets we bought.

However in the General Anzeiger (spelling) the following day was a crit. which, at first reading, seemed to be full of praise, singling out the violins and horn player and soloists. It was only after getting to the last paragraph which, loosely translated, said that Bach wouldn't have recognised it that I re-read the article! Reading between the lines I think it rather backed up my opinion but could have been read in a very positive way too. Clever! Apparently the audience that stayed enjoyed it very much. "After a brief stunned silence ... rapturous applause ... etc."

My thoughts today ran as follows: As a conductor, do you bow slavishly to modern preferences by playing Bach as if he was a composer from a later period, or do you try to play with what we believe today to be the pace that Baroque music was played and risk alienating many members of that audience who like their music with saccharin?

In a similar vein I've pretty well stopped going to the Bonn opera because, it seems, all their productions, with a few notable exceptions, try to use clever interpretations of scenery and costume often totally out of keeping with the music or period. Is it just too expensive to stage opera today using costume in keeping with the period?

Sorry this is very off-topic. But I'd be interested in the opinions and thoughts of the music professionals who inhabit this forum.

 

BWV 187 (Trinity 7)

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 7, 2008):
For Sunday, July 6, 2008 (Trinity 7), Brian McCreath chose BWV 187, in the Koopman recording [10], for the weekly WGBH (Boston FM or www.wgbh.org) Bach cantata broadcast. Almost as cherished as our (USA) freedom, on this Independence Day weekend.

Brian is always concise regarding the texts, his comments were especially relevant to some of our discussions. He noted the parallel of the Gospel text (Mark 8: 1-9, the feeding of the four thousand) with the abundance of the Earth.

Next week (Trinity 8) will be BWV 45, in the version by Publick Musick, on a Musica Omnia CD, recently (within the past six months) brought to our attention by Brad Lehman.

My personal choice is to just buy and enjoy the CD. For those who do not have that option, the radio/webcast is an opportunity to hear what folks outside the major label spotlight are doing. As I have noted from time to time, there is a particular communal enjoyment in listening to a broadcast, even if the CD is available on the shelf (or in the pile).

Special note, Brian McCreath clearly (IMO) makes an effort to sample and fairly present the spectrum of available recordings.

 

BWV 187 -- Provenance

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 6, 2011):
Using BWV 187 as the currrent example under discussion, note the up-to-date provenance information, including the attribution to Trinity 7, in Bach’s hand on both wrapper and score: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV187-Ref.htm

Bruce Simonson wrote (May 6, 2011):
BWV 187 -- Provenance & just who was that anonymous author in 1726?

[To Ed Myskowski] Thank you Ed, for bringing this to our attention. Reading through it, and especially the reference to additional works by the librettist, really makes me wonder who this person was:

From the above URL:

--<URL>--

BWV 187 - Provenance: ...

William H. Scheide was the first to point out that there is a series of 7 texts by the same anonymous librettist, texts, which were used by Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach for his cantatas. These are cantatas, with which Bach, it appears, was acquainted. J.S. Bach used exactly the same texts for the following cantatas:

BWV 43 (Ascension)
BWV 39 (1st Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 88 (5th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 187 (7th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 45 (8th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 102 (10th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 17 (14th Sunday after Trinity)

Of these seven, six cantatas have exactly the same, uniform structure:

Old Testament quotation - Recitative - Aria - New Testament quotation - Aria - Recitative - Chorale.

--</URL>--

These are all first (and only) performances of many of Bach's bipartite cantatas, in his annus mirabilis of 1726. It would have been nice to have an apartment in Leipzig during that summer, for sure.

Bruce Simonson wrote (May 7, 2011):
Bruce Simonson wrote:
< William H. Scheide was the first to point out that there is a series of 7 texts by the same anonymous librettist, texts, which were used by Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach for his cantatas. >
Anyone know much about Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach, and when this cousin used these texts?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (May 7, 2011):
Bruce Simonson wrote:
<< William H. Scheide was the first to point out that there is a series of 7 texts by the same anonymous librettist, texts, which were used by Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach for his cantatas. >>
< Anyone know much about Bach's cousin,
Johann Ludwig Bach, and when this cousin used these texts? >
There's a lot of information about him on the website that's meant to compliment this list's discussions. http://www.bach-cantatas.com/

TONS of information.

It's one of the best resources you can find anywhere, hands down.

Bruce Simonson wrote (May 7, 2011):
To my question about certain cantatas which are said to use the same texts found in Bach's cantatas from 1726:
<< Anyone know much about Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach, and when this cousin used these texts? >>
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< There's a lot of information about him on the website that's meant to compliment this list's discussions. >
Thanks Kim, I hadn't realized the additional resources on the bach-cantatas.com are as strong as they are for other composers.

Still, looking there, and elsewhere on the net, I don't find any direct corroboration for this, from the Provenance section for BWV 187:

< William H. Scheide was the first to point out that there is a series of 7 texts by the same anonymous librettist, texts, which were used by Bach's cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach for his cantatas. These are cantatas, with which Bach, it appears, was acquainted. J.S. Bach used exactly the same texts for the following cantatas:
BWV 43 (Ascension)
BWV 39 (1st Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 88 (5th Sunday after Trinity.)
BWV 187 (
7th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 45 (8th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 102 (10th Sunday after Trinity)
BWV 17 (14th Sunday after Trinity) >
I'd sure like to be able verify that JSB and JLB both wrote cantatas on these texts, and who wrote his compositions first. Also, it would be interesting to know how much they knew about each other's compositions for these particular texts.

And what-the-hay, was there a plan to do this, that both were in on?

William Hoffman wrote (May 7, 2011):
[To Bruce Simonson] Go to BCW Discussion, BWV 15: Discussions in the Week of June 20, 2010. I put together a lot of information, especially about the development of the cantata and the connections between Sebastian and Ludwig.

Bruce Simonson wrote (May 7, 2011):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Go to BCW Discussion, BWV 15: Discussions in the Week of June 20, 2010. I put together a lot of information, especially about the development of the cantata and the connections between Sebastian and Ludwig. >
Thank you for the reference. Fascinating read, Will.

Have I understood this correctly? Prince Ernst Ludwig authored the libretti to BWV 17, BWV 39, BWV 43, BWV 45, BWV 88, BWV 102 and 187?

From your posting in June, 2010, I get:

--< URL: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV15-D.htm >--

Like Sebastian for a time at the courts of Weimar and Köthen, Ludwig flourished under the patronage of Meiningen Prince Ernst Ludwig (1672-1724). The prince was an accomplished musician, poet and sermon-writer who published the first edition of the so-called Rudolstadt Text Book of devotional church lyrics in 1704. With their madrigalian verses paraphrasing biblical texts set to recitatives and arias, the Prince's complete church year cycle of 71 Sunday and feast-day services "anticipated the so-called reform cantatas of Erdmann Neumeister," written a few years later, and is the beginning of the new type of cantata (OCC:JSB, 159), taking pride of precedence.

Johann Ludwig's predecessor, noted opera composer Georg Caspar Schürmann (1672/3-1751), immediately set six of the Prince's texts while his younger assistant, Ludwig Bach, began to set these texts also as sacred concerti, perhaps with the assistance of Rudolstadt Court cantor-clergyman Christoph Helm (c.1670-1748). Other text book printings were done in 1713, 1719, and 1726 (the volume which survives) from which Bach set texts to seven cantatas for his third cycle (BWV 17, BWV 39, BWV 43, BWV 45, BWV 88, BWV 102 and BWV 187). At least 33 cantatas to the Rudolstadt text are extant: 20 from JLB, seven from Sebastian, and six from Schürmann.

--< /URL >--

Peter Smaill wrote (May 7, 2011):
BWV 187 -- anonymous author in 1726

[To Bruce Simonson] The texts of the Cantatas which derive from the court of Saxe-Meiningen are a subject in their own right.

(BWV 17, BWV 39, BWV 43, BWV 45, BWV 88, BWV 102, BWV 187)

Two schools of thought exist: they were by Helm (d.1748); or perhaps by the Prince Ernst Ludwig himself.

Poetically the longer line lengths are dissimilar to the rest of J S Bach's cantata texts, being (I recall) alexandrines. However in the course of my efforts to analyse all the Bach texts theologically they are also odd in that Lutheran doctrines of justification by faith alone and the Anselmian substitution take back seat to expressions of salvation through good conduct (semi-pelagianism, normally the creed of English gentry). There are touches of nature imagery in both sets, a sort of pantheism . All of this smacks of the tastes of a great landowner appealing to his servants in the chapel.

BWV 187 is a case in point : "Behold the mountains and the torrent......fatness and blessing.....God has created the earth; cattle and grass, hill and vale" : all rather pantheist and a brief doxological mention of Jesus only, even though the relevant Gospel (Mark 8: 1-9) is the feeding of the four thousand by Him.

However this train of thought is not really supported by Johann Ludwig's own works for Saxe-Meiningen and/or Johann Ludwig's texts set for that place. which are generally orthodox. But unusual otherwise; the terrific funeral work for double choir undoubtedly set in words by the Prince himself, http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/feb/13/bach-trauermusik-review: has the sentiment that, like bullocks (yup those cattle again) awaiting slaughter, Christians should have their ears pierced!

The Trauerwith its constant allusions to the vision of Jerusalem and fabulous trumpet alternations with the final chorales is a delight for anyone interested in this accomplished cousin and contemporary.

Bruce Simonson wrote (May 8, 2011):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< The texts of the Cantatas which derive from the court of Saxe-Meiningen are a subject in their own right.
(
BWV 17, BWV 39,43, BWV 45, BWV 88, BWV 102, BWV 187) >
Thank you, Peter. Very interesting topic, indeed.

Reading through your posting, and related items I found on the website, and a few other references on the net, the JLB and JSB cantatas with shared libretti must be really something.

Is it safe to assume:

a) that JLB wrote his cantatas before JSB?
b) that JSB was familiar with JLB's cantatas based on these texts?

If these assumptions are valid, then, has the study been done that compares the corresponding cantatas, and, in particular, if JLB's influenced JSB's? Seems like a very interesting topic, given that JSB was at top form in 1726 when he composed his versions. It's compare and contrast time.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 8, 2011):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< However in the course of my efforts to analyse all the Bach texts theologically they are also odd in that Lutheran doctrines of justification by faith alone and the Anselmian substitution take back seat to expressions of salvation through good conduct >
I hope I made it clear in previous posts, that I found this point striking in the text for BWV 39, compared to the previous two works for Trinity 1: BWV 75 and BWV 20.

Jaroslav Pelikan, Bach Among the Theologians, p. 57, in the chapter titled <Pietism, Piety, and Devotion in Bachs Cantatas>:

<All the attempts by Orthodox Lutheran confessionalists, in his time or in ours, to lay claim to Bach as a member of their theological party will shatter on the texts of the cantatas and the Passions, many (though by no means all) of which are permeated by the spirit of Pietism.> (end quote)

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 187: 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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ıSeptember 7, 2011 ı09:36:34