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Cantata BWV 193
Es ist dir gesagt, Mench, was gut ist
Cantata BWV 193a
Zion Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr scheinenden Lichter
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of April 6, 2008

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 5, 2008):
Introduction to BWV 193 - Ihr Tore/ Pforten zu zion, iher Wohnungen, Jakobs, freuet euch!

Introduction to BWV 193 - Ihr Tore/ Pforten zu zion, iher Wohnungen, Jakobs, freuet euch! – You gates of Zion, you dwellings of Jacob, rejoice!

BWV page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV193.htm

BWV 193 Discussion page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV193-D.htm
Details of BWV 193a: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV193a.htm

The probable date for the first performance of this cantata was August 25, 1727, but it may have been performed a year or two before, or even later. The text comes from an unknown librettist, but includes a referral to Psalm 87:2 in the first movement and to Psalm 122:4 in the second, praising God as defender of the ‘Leipzig Jerusalem’. According to Dürr, who provided the prior information, the music is probably at least in part a parody of Cantata 193a (use link above to see notes). He even makes the suggestion that perhaps the origin of the cantata is even older, going back to Cöthen. No definite conclusions seem to be possible in this matter in his estimation.

It should also be mentioned that it is believed that this document survives incomplete.

With little academic information on this work available, I will summarize the text, and make some score observations, that will hopefully enable some discussion.

Mvt. 1: The work opens with a chorus, and the known parts are soprano, alto, oboe and strings I and II. Here the admonition in the transplanted German setting is for the church to open up to God, the joy of ‘our’ hearts. In the agrarian setting of Israel the imagery of a fertile pasture was a place for the ancient traditional people of God to live out their lives with many flocks of sheep (a common image used in Christianity where Christ is the sacrificial lamb), and to be aware that God’s kingdom is everlasting (New Testament imagery). The field of the church is the subtle imagery here…that it may prosper and be worthy.

Mvt. 2: The recitative (soprano voice extant) bespeaks God’s protection following on subtly in the imagery of a watchful shepherd (if one relates to the first stanza) holding to the idea that his care is ever available, and it is he who will prosper the land and its people. The question is therefore raised as to who can exalt God enough for his provision.

Mvt. 3: A prayer of thankfulness is provided in the aria (soprano, oboe, and 1st strings extant) thanking God for his fatherly disposition, which always endures. The prayer is penitential in nature, and expresses the human need for a divine father.

Mvt. 4: Next the alto provides (alto part only extant) a proclamation for the community of Leipzig – calling it ‘our Jerusalem’. The admonition is to pray for the maintenance of peace and the preservation of church and state in righteousness.

Mvt. 5: Following on, the aria (alto, oboe I extant) is a prayer asking for the Lord’s increased blessing, sustaining power for those in authority, that justice will prevail and that the community will be a refuge for the oppressed. Last, there is another word or petition asking God to send his blessing.

Here I will discuss the score available on our site (piano and text), with some contrasting comments related to the elements of full scoring (BGA) that are available, afterwards.

Mvt. 1: Chorus. The tempo in our site score is set at moderato, where a quarter note equals 80. The pick up note and first measure build up to four sets of sixteenth notes in the third, forth and fifth measures. A repeat of the opening measure again leads to the same rhythmic pattern in the right hand, under-girded by an even continuo style in the bass in eighth notes. When the four part voices enter, they enter on the theme set up at the beginning, and the pattern established from the start is repeated with text. Some variations on these basic motives continue through to the instrumental interlude, where more variations in the piano part can be heard. At letter B we have a change of patterns, with the interludes in the same general active rhythmic sixteenth note patterns. At measure 54 we have another change with a fugal style pattern beginning with the soprano voice, and finally descending to the bass…a reverse of what we often see in Bach. At measure 61 we find additional changes following a crescendo pattern an octave up and then one down. Again, the parts join together, and are followed by a longer instrumental interlude showing the addition of more voices. The texture thins a bit at letter C bringing back some previous material and adding in a few motifs in a slightly higher register. The piece concludes with sixteenth note activity right up to the end.

Mvt. 2: The recitative is laid out in something of an arrangement with no figured bass indicated, as it has already been incorporated or invented. The pace does not appear to be hurried, but moves comfortably.

Mvt. 3: The aria is listed at andante where an eighth note equals 120. Set in 3/8 time, there are many rhythmic changes in the left hand of the piano, as well as in the right hand. A cursory look at this score suggest to me that the variance of tempo is part of what is employed here to keep a forward motion working. I would be interested in what others can contribute to a discussion of the layout of these elements. The form is ABA, and this is a da capo aria.

Mvt. 4: A recitative by the alto has the figured bass fully developed into sustained and separate chords, with only two eighth notes present in the accompaniment. The notes are mostly eighth notes suggesting a rhythm that is quite even.

Mvt. 5: After this calm aria, the rhythmic activity picks up and a variety of eighth note rests found in the left hand of the piano accompaniment suggest a pattern of uplifting freedom to me. Scalar runs, and many thirty-second notes on alternating motives are in my opinion used to build a sense of excitement. The alto’s textual rhythms are fluid, fast and varied, imitating some of the previously employed material at the opening of this work. Without even hearing this piece played I can tell by the motion involved that it would be a treat to the ears…

The full score (BGA) does not show accompaniment in the continuo for the first recitative, so I imagine that the chords in the piano score were created on the basis of the extant soprano notes. Aria 3, the da capo aria has no scoring for continuo, but provides for oboe, violin I and II and viola, and all other factors previously presented while not identical contain some of the same motivic patterns. What is provided is definitely downscale in texture from the piano score. Again on the recitative, no continuo part is given. The final aria is scored only with alto and oboe, and some parts occur in unison, while other parts occur in contrary motion, or with elements of repetition. There is a final recitative in the score, with no notes whatsoever…a suggestion is made to repeat the opening chorus.

In preparing these discussions in advance last summer, I wrote them in no particular order, but only as I was able to obtain enough information for each to have something to offer to the web community. In some way this simple cantata without all its parts has been particularly interesting. We know that Bach arranged much of his material varying fashion, and perhaps we can hope that the arrangements that have been made from his works would have pleased him.

Your comments are most welcome.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 5, 2008):
[To Jean Laaninen] The Chapelle des Minimes performed this cantata last June (together with BWV 71). Our conductor was Jan Caals (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/Caals-Jan.htm) as excellent as usual. For the chorists, it is quite enjoyable to have a conductor who is also a singer...

The opening chorus (Mvt. 1) is a lot of fun to sing (twice, as we repeated it at the end), even though at this fast tempo, it is not that easy. Our alto soloist (Isabelle Everarts) must have been seduced by its joyous character, as she recently asked us to sing it during her wedding mass next June.

I see on my (Breitkopf) score that even for the alto voice there must have been some slightly different versions according to the chosen score, as I have corrected notes on measures 19-20 and 83-84. I remember that there were such larger differences in the bass part that I gave up noting them.

The concert notes of that day indicate that what we performed is a reconstruction of Reinhold Kubik, who has added trumpets and timpani. The whole, with the three trumpets, gives a really festive mood.

A small detail: according to our concert notes by William Hekkers, "the soprano recitative alludes to verse 4 of Psalm 121" (not 122).

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] You will notice that this is the selfsame editor of the critical edition of mahler's original version of DkL which I noted here the other day:

Does this make sense:
Reinhold Kubik, the editor or the critical edition of the original version of Mahler's Das klagende Lied, writes inter alia:
"The voice of the singing bone---the "plaintive song" of the title-- is the only genuine role in the work and, as a boy's voice, is clearly set apart from the other, narrative vocal parts.
=========
It is my understanding that before he became editor of the new Mahler critical edition, making some arbitrary and controversial decisions along the way, he was trained in earlier music.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 6, 2008):
Thérèse Hanquet wrote:
>The concert notes of that day indicate that what we performed is a reconstruction of Reinhold Kubik, who has added trumpets and timpani. The whole, with the three trumpets, gives a really festive mood.<
The situation with this cantata is a reminder of the huge loss (and not only in Bach) we confront when considering music of this era.

It's no doubt no easy task to re-compose the missing tenor, bass and continuo parts, not to mention the timpani and trumpets of this obviously fine, joyous D major chorus.

Acknowledgements to Reinhold Kubik for his attempt.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 6, 2008):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< The situation with this cantata is a reminder of the huge loss (and not only in Bach) we confront when considering music of this era. >
In the 1920's, the brilliant Renaissance scholar, Edmund Fellowes, edited the complete works of William Byrd. He raised a few eye-brows when he included his reconstruction of a six-voice motet for which only a single voice-part survived. Fifty years after his death, another manuscript was found which had a complete set of parts. Felllowes' reconstruction turned out to be very close to Byrd's original.

Levin has done much the same for the Mozart Requiem, reconstucting the unwritten "Amen" fugue at the end of the "Lacrimosa" from a sketch of the fugal subject in Mozart's hand.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 6, 2008):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< The situation with this cantata is a reminder of the huge loss (and not only in Bach) we confront when considering music of this era. >
The losses are absolutely tragic, with WW2 responsible for a large portion of the recent losses. It's quite remarkable and fortunate we have what we do.

Thanks

Peter Smaill wrote (April 6, 2008):
The Text of this Cantata opens up an important theme in the worship in Bach's Leipzig, namely the image of Leipzig as Jerusalem.

In line also with the first known civic Cantata, BWV 71, for Mühlhausen, there is no mention of Jesus in the text, only God, and it is only a single image, that of the city of light, that can be tentatively linked to the New Testament.

We also come across the destruction of Jerusalem as a significant feature in Lutheran worship, as in the text of BWV 46 and in the reading of the Josephus account on the appropriate day, the 10th Sunday in Trinity and in Holy Week. In this context , Jerusalem serves for Luther as the "analogy of faith"; it is not so much the historic fact of its destruction that matters, but the need of the believer to hold to the belief in the Holy City; in this analogy, Jerusalem is the church.

Significantly IMO the choice of Cantata sources for the BMM includes three with Jerusalem-referentiality: BWV 46, BWV 29, and BWV 120.

The Jerusalem image, which derives from medieval ideas, is understood three ways ; allegorically (the Church), tropologically (the soul) and eschatologically (the Kingdom of Heaven) (Chafe, understanding Bach's Cantatas, ,pp 241-242. The image is referred to over a dozen times in Helene Werthemann's "Die Bedeutung der alttestamentlichen Historien in Johann Sebastian Bachs Kantaten", pioneering work on the textual hermeneutics from 1960.

One possibility is that the perfect dimensions of the Temple at Jerusalem are related to the highly structured numbers of bars in several of Bach's major works; scholarship is ongoing in this area. Quite by chance, reading of the medieval mystic Walter Hilton's account of the dimensions of the "city upon a hill" , there is reference to "six cubits , meaning the perfection of a man's work." Perhaps here is a clue to the tendency in Bach for works in groups of sixes, a question raised recently on BCML.

The tradition of considering Leipzig as Jerusalem predates Bach. Here is the encomium of Kuhnau's Treatise on Liturgical Text Settings:

"Let our Chorum Musicum sing of [God's] glory to our hearts' content amidst the ever blessed prosperity of the Leipzig Jerusalem, until the end of the world! and let us continue the glorification of your most holy name amidst the perfect choir of angels and the elect in the heavenly Jerusalem, forever and ever. Amen." Leipzig, 12 Dec. 1709.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Neil Halliday] Thanks for adding these details.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 6, 2008):
[To Peter Smaill] Thank you, Peter, for adding these details.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 6, 2008):
Peter Smaill wrote:
< The tradition of considering Leipzig as Jerusalem predates Bach. Here is the encomium of Kuhnau's Treatise on Liturgical Text Settings: >
Sidebar ... Are there any architectural features in Leipzig which were consciously modelled on the heavenly Jerusalem .. street layout ... public buildings?

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (April 6, 2008):
Peter Smaill wrote:
>> The tradition of considering Leipzig as Jerusalem predates Bach. Here is the encomium of Kuhnau's Treatise on Liturgical Text Settings: <<
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Sidebar ... Are there any architectural features in Leipzig which were consciously modelled on the heavenly Jerusalem .. street layout ... public buildings? >
I heard our local DJ play Parry's Jerusalem the other day and then just note with no soupçon of irony "it's about England" or somethinglike that. Supersessionism is the first step to bad things.

William Hoffman wrote (April 7, 2008):
Intro. to BWV 193 - Fugitive Notes

[To Jean Laaninen & Peter Smaill] William Hoffman provides these notes for Cantata BWV 193:

The librettist is probably Picander as he wrote the poetry for the congratulatory parody, Cantata 193a, presented three weeks before for the birthday of Saxon King August. Picander also is the probable lyricist for other Town Council cantatas during this time: Cantata BWV Anh. 4, 1726; Cantata BWV 120, 1728; Cantata BWV 216a, 1729 (only "secular" council work); and Cantata BWV Anh. 3, 1730. The primary biblical references in these council cantatas are to various thanksgiving Psalms.

In Leipzig, Bach probably presented his own cantatas annually on this date in August, 1723-49, traditionally on the Monday following the feast of St. Bartholomew, but the observance is not part of the church year. Bach's only other annual effort involved Passions on Good Friday, part of his contract with the Town Council.

In a previous Cantata BWV 193 discussion, Peter Bloemendaal probably hits the nail on the head when he says that Bach wrote these cantatas because he needed the extra money, had time to compose these festive authority works, and could impress official Leipzig. Peter regrets that Bach wrote only eight cantatas for this occasion! (I count BWV 71, BWV 119, BWV 193, BWV 120, BWV 29; and BWV Anh. 3, BWV Anh. 4, and BWV Anh.193.) Two others did double duty: BWV 69a and BWV 137 for the 12th Sunday after Trinity are found in Cantata Cycles 1 and 2. All these festive cantatas are top-drawer, including the parodies BWV 120 and BWV 29.

The source of Cantatas BWV 193/a in all liklihood is a Cöthen celebratory secular cantata for Prince Leopold, possibly presented New Year's Day 1721 with text by Christian Friedrich Hunold (Menantes), who collaborated with Bach from his Halle University post as poet and rhetorician on annual presentations. The source is Friedrich Smend's "Bach in Köthen" (1951, updated and translated in 1985 by Stephen Daw and John Page). Chapter 7 is devoted to two parodies, Cantatas BWV 190 and BWV 193/a (pp.69-73). Menantes authored Cöthen Cantatas BWV 66a, BWV 134a, and Cantatas BWV Anh. 5-7; and possibly BWV 173a, BWV 184a and BWV 194a, which Bach also parodied in Leipzig as sacred cantatas. Smend cites strong stylistic evidence in Cantata BWV 193: festive chorus, extensive oboe work in both arias, use of minuet in 3/8 in the soprano aria, later parodied in Cantata BC G49/1, and the Menantes-style Fame-Fortune Duet in BWV 193a/5 (not found in Cantata BWV 193).

A reconstruction of Cantata BWV 193 is entirely justified, while I realize there is still prejudice from some quarters against both reconstructions and parodies.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To William Hoffman] Thank you William, for you excellent additions to this week's cantata.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 7, 2008):
BWV 193 - two questions

I have two small questions on BWV 193 that maybe someone of this list can answer:

1) Tore/Pforten: in the opening chorus, the text of the online score for this cantata (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV193-V&P.pdf) starts with "Ihr Pforten zu Zion", while the text of the Breitkopf score (Nr 7193) starts with "Ihr Tore zu Zion" - why this difference? Apparently the rest of the text is the same except for this part of sentence which is repeated numerous times throughout the chorus.

2) Who wrote the tenor and bass parts of the opening chorus of the online score? They are apparently the same as in the Breitkopf score, which differs from the Kubik reconstruction.

Thanks in advance for your lights on this!

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] The translations available on links from our site use the two terms side by side (gate (or portal) and doors). They appear to have the same general meaning, but I do not know the why of the matter except to speculate that perhaps this was an editorial change at some point along the way. Pforten offers more drama to my mind.

On the second question I have no idea, other than to suggest this probably came through the efforts of the publisher. Someone who knows more about score history in Bach might be able to shed some light on this topic.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Jean Laaninen] I wondered whether this is frequent (to have different texts for a given cantata)?

I have only sung in about two dozens of cantatas up to now, but the only other time where I have encountered this is with another profane cantata, precisely the one which we will discuss next week, BWV 198. There the differences of texts between the online score and the score that we were supposed to use were so important that I could not use the online score, although the music was the same.

I even asked Aryeh about that, and he suggested me to come back with the question when the cantata would be discussed...

Well Jean, you already know my question in advance then!

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] Although I am not an authority on scores, I will refer to two experiences on this list that somewhat inform me.

First, Ed spoke in the case of one cantata (BWV 84 or BWV 82, I think) of having 18 different scores for a single cantata. So from that I draw the idea that there are more available scores than would be known to the average Bach fan. The second comment I can make is that to date - now several years on list, I have not seen much difference in text at all, but the translations can vary considerably based on the translator, and whether he or she translates by word order - the most reliable to me in my view as a singer, or whether he or she translates according to a perception of language idiom (academic, past or contemporary). Some might even go back to the poetry of a librettist and suggest a change in words for a given printing. This last sort of thing happens from time to time with given texts that are in the public domain, as new arrangements are created.

But, if one finds the texts for the day closely connected to the cantata for the day, the interpretation may vary. I find variance between Dürr and Unger, for example in my use of these two references so far, and I believe the interpretation there could be one of scholarly interpretation in comparison to stricter adherence to association with given Biblical texts for a day.

In the case of this week's cantata, barring any other possibilities, the version of the scripture used, be it King James for the Psalms, some later translation, or someone translating from Hebrew or Latin, could inform the choice between the words tore and pforten mentioned before--though this really only is an example of the kind of thinking that might exist. It can be helpful to remember, too, that while scriptural texts may influence word choices, the context of Christianity in Bach's time and setting could have contributed to textual anomalies that take some research. One can get deeply into exegetical reasons--but I doubt in this w's instance there is a profound reason--I see it as more of a case of synonyms. I am open to correction on this point if anyone has a better idea.

Another route to understanding might be to try a search of the lines...any of the lines, to see if they turn up in other works--showing where they might have been extracted from, and gaining some clarity thereby. This might be a lengthy academic process, or if one studies hymnology/poetry to any extent a bit easier.

But if a text is substantially different one might be led to wonder if the words are taken from a text that is no longer extant. Another possibility is that the words were manipulated for a special occasion later than J. S. Bach's life time, and that the copy available to a given publisher might have been the more recent text. I suppose it is even within the realm of possibility that a publisher might not have cared for the text and thought he or someone else could have done better, and proceeded to make changes.

During our discussion with Bruce Simonson we had evidence of scores with some different dynamic markings that we also attributed to different printings. So there could be a wealth of reasons, like some of those just mentioned that contributed to the differences you have observed. I cannot, however give you a precise answer as to how often such changes occur, but I have an idea that Julian, with his wealth of knowledge on the cantatas might be able to shed some light on the issue. Brad may have something to add, too.

I hope this is helpful.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Jean Laaninen] Thanks Jean.

Yes, for BWV 193, the translation issue seems plausible as the original source (the Psalm) is Hebrew. And as you say there is not much difference in meaning (nor in the way of singing them).

We do not have enough recordings available to really assess which version is preferred!

For BWV 198, the large differences are more mysterious.

But, surely "Lass, Fürstin" is more often used than "Lass, Höchster"...

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 7, 2008):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
>First, Ed spoke in the case of one cantata (BWV 84 or BWV 82, I think) of having 18 different scores for a single cantata.<
A quick clarification: for BWV 82, I noted that I have 18 recorded performances (of the even much greater number available), but not from different scores.

Perhaps someone can update the scholarship, but Whittaker provides a concise explanation of the text differences for BWV 193:

<The unknown librettist wrote <Thoren> (gates) and not <Pforten>; Bach altered the word to <Thore> in the soprano part, and someone else substituted <Pforten>, although the initial word is unaltered in the alto line. The work is known to us by a few parts only.>

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] This seems to me to be a question of practical use. BWV 198 was originally written as a memorial to Electoress Christiane Eberhandine--and I will be getting into those details next week. Most likely, the use that ensued to adapt to other settings chose the wording, Lord God, over Princess. The BGA scoring uses Lord God. This may have been an editorial preference of the publisher.

I think it just depends on which story one is telling. This coming cantata is a very complex work, and when I submit my introduction I will be quoting one source fairly completely--but I don't want to give this all away right now. He offers an explanation I cannot exceed, and then I only add a few paragraphs. ...coming soon.

I hope this answer helps.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Ed Myskowski] Thanks, Ed. Memory is a great thing when it works. And thanks for the details from Whittaker. The more detail you submit from this source the more I decide that one of these days I will have to get a copy.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Ed Myskowski] Thanks Ed for the clear explanation.

It would be funny to have a performance where the soprani would sing "Pforten" and the alti "Tore"... as the word fall almost always together for those two voices (except on measures 19 and 83).

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Ed Myskowski] I responded, but maybe it didn't go through. Thanks Ed, for the clarification. Memory is a wonderful thing when it works. I continue to be impressed with Whitaker and will have to get a copy one of these days.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 8, 2008):
Correction to my previous post on 198 earlier today

I stated:
This seems to me to be a question of practical use. BWV 198 was originally written as a memorial to Electoress Christiane Eberhandine- -and I will be getting into those details next week. Most likely, the use that ensued to adapt to other settings chose the wording, Lord God, over Princess. The BGA scoring uses Lord God. This may have been an editorial preference of the publisher.

"I think it just depends on which story one is telling."

--this sentence above which I included before makes no sense to me now. The correct interpretation should be that princess and 'highest' probably equate. Normally Hochster (with the umlat) refers to God, but the literal translation is 'highest.'

This queen was so highly thought of, that addressing her with the term 'highest' may have seemed appropriate to some editors.

I think 'princess' is however, a better term.

More to come.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 8, 2008):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>Perhaps someone can update the scholarship, but Whittaker provides a concise explanation of the text differences for BWV 193:
<The unknown librettist wrote <Thoren> (gates) and not <Pforten>; Bach altered the word to <Thore> in the soprano part, and someone else substituted <Pforten>, although the initial word is unaltered in the alto line. The work is known to us by a few parts only.>
Whittaker is 'on the ball' as always; the OCC (1998) comments: <"The manuscript parts for BWV 193 show numerous corrections including a copyist's substitution in the soprano part of the word "Pforten" ('portals') for the original "Thoren" ('gates') - hence the identification of the work as 'Ihr Pforten zu Zion' in older publications">.

-----

The OCC surmises that there may be other parts missing; the opening chorus may well have had parts for flutes and a third oboe as well. Listening to Rilling's recording (following Kubik's reconstruction) I perceive a certain sparseness in texture for example in bars 4 and 5 where Kubik has added the trumpets and timpani (those listeners with the BGA on CD-ROM will find the score of the extant parts in vol. 41; the cantata is named 'Ihr Pforten zu Zion' and is not numbered).

I particularly like the attractive, lyrical first aria (though not Rilling's 'sempre staccato' continuo); in the middle section the syllables of the text are set in a somewhat syncopated fashion, contrasting nicely with a more straightforward setting of the syllables in the second run-through of the text (in this middle section).

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Neil Halliday] Thanks for adding these observations Neil.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 8, 2008):
Ihr Tore zu Zion BWV 193 NBA KB 32.1 pp. 112-133

Summary of Some Main Points under Discussion:

1. "Ihr Häuser des Himmels" (BWV 193a)
a. Music (BWV 193, mvts. 1, 3, 5 are parodies of mvts. 1, 7, 9 from BWV 193a) very likely composed during the Coethen Period and text possibly an original by Christian Friedrich Hunold and modified by Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander) for the performance of this cantata on August 3, 1727.

2. "Ihr Thoren zu Zion" (BWV 193)
a. Just prior to the 1st performance on August 25, 1727, Johann Heinrich Bach (1707-1783), J.S. Bach’s nephew whose father was Bach’s brother, Johann Christoph (1671-1721) and who copied parts for J.S. Bach from 1724-1727, cincorrectly(?) from the no longer extant score (possibly the same or only score: BWV 193a with modifications for BWV 193’s new text added for the parodied mvts.) onto the Canto (Soprano) and Alto parts the word “Thoren”. J.S. Bach, during his customary revision of copied parts, then corrected in both the Soprano and Alto parts wherever the word “Thoren” appeared to read “Thore” by writing an “e” over the “-en” or simply crossing out the “-n” ending that Johann Heinrich had written. From this evidence the NBA editors have assumed that Bach intended to have “Thore” performed. Subsequently, but at a later point in time, Johann Heinrich Bach changed “Thore(n)” to read “Pforten” by writing this word over the word “Thore(n) without crossing it out, but this was done only in the soprano part, not the alto part. There is no evidence of any repeat performance of this cantata during Bach’s lifetime. [For this incomplete set of parts, 5 copyists were involved in copying these 9 parts – an indication that these parts were completed under pressure of time shortly before the performance.]

3. "Ihr Pforten zu Zion"
a. Georg Poelchau (1773-1836) acquired the 9 original parts (Canto, Alto, Hautbois 1.ma and 2.da, Violino 1 & Doublet,Violino 2 and Doublet, and Viola) for his collection of Bach manuscripts. The “Collection Poelchau” was probably acquired by the BB (Staatsbibliothek Berlin) in 1841 when Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn (1799-1858), in his catalogue of Bach’s works, refers to this cantata as: “Ihr Pforten zu Zion, ihr Wohnungen Jacobs. Ddur. | 2 Singst. Cant. Alt. | Violino I. II. doppelt | Viola. | Hautb. III (crossed out) I. II. | 14 Bll.” Dehn adds “C. P.” in pencil to the soprano part which lies on top of the set while Albert Kopfermann (1846-1914), in ink, writes out the title “Ihr Pforten zu Zion”. When the BG 41 volume containing this cantata was published by Alfred Dörffel (1821-1905) in April, 1894, the editor chose the title Ihr Pforten zu Zion” as the title for this cantata. Reinhold Kubik published “Ergänzende Rekonstruktion des Fragments”, Hänssler-Verlag, Neuhausen-Stuttgart in 1984. The NBA I/32.1 was published in 1992 with the title “Ihr Tore zu Zion” based upon Bach’s original intention as determined by a close examination of the Soprano and Alto parts. [“Tore” is the modern German equivalent to the older, antiquated form "Thore"]

4. "das mißverständliche Textwort. "Thore(n)" (‘the word which can cause misunderstanding’) is how the NBA explains the wavering choices that have caused some confusion here. In German, “Tor” can have two genders: neuter and masculine. As a neuter noun it can mean “gate” as in “city gate”, or “archway” or even “door” as in “Garagentor” (“das Tor”, plural: “die Tore”); but as a masculine noun it means “fool”, the equivalent to the German word “Narr”: “der Tor”, in the plural form: “die Toren”. Although “der Tor” is considered somewhat antiquated in modern German, it was used widely with this meaning before, during, and after Bach’s time.

Possible scenario: Johann Heinrich took his uncle’s score which had undergone serious revision with the crossing out of an original text and the replacement of it with a new one. It may have been rather difficult at times to decipher his uncle’s intentions or perhaps he, as a cocky 20-year-old, simply wanted to have some fun by easily transforming the exalted and pompous-sounding conceit “You, gates of Zion = You city gates of Leipzig” to “You stupid fools of Zion = You stupid city councilors of Leipzig” by only adding a single letter “-n” to “Thore” thereby causing this potentially embarrassing analogy which would have caused serious difficulties for his uncle if this “-n” ending were sung and heard by the audience. J.S. Bach immediately caught this error and corrected it 18 times in the Soprano and Alto parts that his nephew had copied. Subsequently Johann Heinrich, it appears, changed Bach’s corrections of “Thore” for “Thoren” by replacing this word which could possibly be misunderstood into “Pforten”. Did this happen before or after the original performance? There is no way to tell. Why did he only complete the Soprano part and leave the Alto part (and possibly the other vocal parts as well) untouched? This is a mystery that may never be solved.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thanks to Thomas for these additions.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 8, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
< A reconstruction of Cantata BWV 193 is entirely justified, while I realize there is still prejudice from some quarters against both reconstructions and parodies. >
Has Ton Koopman's reconstruction been published anywhere as score/parts, or has it remained only in manuscript since his 1999 recording [2]?

Reinhold Kubik's is available here: Carus-Verlag

Chris Rowson wrote (April 9, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron & Thomas Braatz] But this old material repeats the unfounded assertion that the use of 5 copyists indicates that the parts were completed under pressure of time shortly before the performance.

Even if it is accepted that they were completed under pressue of time (which can itself be questioned), there is no reason to assume that the deadline was the time of performance.

The "possible scenario" of Johann Heinrich insulting the burgers is also perhaps less likely than that there was uncertainty over the plural of "Thor" at that date and place, particularly in the context of the "Pforten" variant. The "Th" orthography was also to fall away later.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (April 7, 2008):
[To Aryeh Oron & Thomas Braatz] Thanks Aryeh, and thanks to Thomas for providing this material.
This gives interesting matter to think about (notably about the process of (re)writing the scores).
The topic of Bach's corrections in scores must be quite interesting to explore.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 9, 2008):
Chris Rowson wrote:
< But this old material repeats the unfounded assertion that the use of 5 copyists indicates that the parts were completed under pressure of time shortly before the performance.
Even if it is accepted that they were completed under pressue of time (which can itself be questioned), there is no reason to assume that the deadline was the time of performance. >
Well said, Chris. I found that part of it implausible, too, as drawing too many conclusions from unstated premises instead of from evidence. It's indisputable that five different copyists wrote out the extant parts of the music. That says to me that Bach somehow had at least five different people available and able to do it, and that he sometime assigned them that work, and that they did it. That's all. It says nothing one way or another about it being any kind of rush job as a collaborative project. It also says nothing one way or another about it being right up against performance time.

I like the idea that there might never have been a full score of this piece in any "final" format. Except for the recitatives (and one of those three is lost completely, today), the music is all recycled from another piece simply by changing the words. No full score is necessary for that; just make some new parts, or alter some existing parts, or give the musicians some spoken instructions at rehearsals. The only thing we do have is what got written down and not subsequently lost: nine of the performing parts (written out by five different people) for the new version. We don't know who wrote out the other lost parts, or what changes there may have been within them byBach or anybody else.

I was looking at the rather ghostly presentation of the piece in the Bach-Gesellschaft: blank staves for the parts that have been lost. As a continuo player myself, I think it would be rather enjoyable sometime (like solving a Sudoku puzzle or whatever) to compose all of a missing continuo part, with or without any other wind parts or any tenor/bass parts for the first movement. That of course is what both Koopman and Kubik have done already, but it would be a good exercise for any student to have another go at: working out the process of inferences about missing material, and composing something stylistically appropriate. This task would certainly be easier than bigger projects such as Anthony Payne's reconstruction of Elgar's third symphony (from sketches), or Semyon Bogatyryev's fashioning of a Tchaikovsky seventh symphony from the also-scrapped third piano concerto.

< The “possible scenario” of Johann Heinrich insulting the burgers is also perhaps less likely than that there was uncertainty over the plural of “Thor” at that date and place, particularly in the context of the “Pforten” variant. The “Th” orthography was also to fall away later. >
Yup, I found that part amusing but unlikely, too. Why must Johann Heinrich Bach be assigned the shaky motive of being a "cocky 20-year-old" interested in messing up his uncle's work for some private joke? Why assume that he had any destructive intentions at all? Why couldn't the choice of word have been either a simple misunderstanding, or a changed decision sometime between rehearsal(s) and performance(s), or by decree by some official (of the town council?) other than Bach? There were plenty of people who had some stake in the dedication service.

Looking at the BWV (1998) entry of this piece, I notice that they adopted the NBA's title "Ihr Tore zu Zion" for the listing, yet in the incipits an inch below that they still used the Bach-Gesellschaft's reading of the sung text, "Ihr Pforten zu Zion". The BWV was of course originally a deluxe index of the Bach-Gesellschaft, and has metamorphosed over the years (under later editorship other than Schmieder) to become an index to both the BG and NBA.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 10, 2008):
84/1 and 193/3 (soprano arias)

The instrumental forces for these soprano arias are the same, as are the the key signatures (E minor); and the first five descending notes are the same - BWV 84/1 has the dotted rhythm and BWV 193/3 (Mvt. 3) has a more scale-like descent of the five notes. [B,G, and E fall on the beat in Mvt. 3/1, in 3/4 time; B,A and F# on the beat in BWV 193/3, in 3/8 time]. With this in mind these attractive arias are easy to recall.

Jean Laaninen wrote (April 8, 2008):
[To Neil Halliday] I just pulled out both of my copies of these two scores to take a look, and sure enough, they have the same opening. I'm glad you recognized this and pointed out these comparable elements. To be honest I haven't developed a system for making associations between the cantatas in terms of the score, but this is a beginning--a good place to start.

I'd be interested in hearing how you and some of the others on the list build these identifying points if you have a particular method for observation. Or, perhaps something simply seems familiar. I remember - maybe it was you, who said he normally plays the online scores on the piano. Is that part of your method of detection?

Neil Halliday wrote (April 10, 2008):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
>perhaps something simply seems familiar>
Hi Jean, yes that's about it; and obviously playing at least the ritornello themes (in the case of these particular arias, the oboe part) on the piano (or available keyboard), helps in the learning, recalling, and consequent recognition of any similarities.

William Hoffman wrote (April 10, 2008):
[To Bradley Lehman] Although Koopman has done several cantata reconstructions in his on-going effort to record all of Bach's extant vocal music, which I personally applaud, I find no record that any have been published. His most notable -- and controversial -- effort was the St. Mark Passion in 1999. For that, he had the parts printed privately and kept them under lock and key. While he has been criticized for his BWV 247 "realization" on various stylistic grounds, including faulty text parody, I assume his reluctance to publish is that he doesn't want to further offend the Bach musicological purists who insist that no one should "play" Bach, although we have many fine reconstructions of instrumental concertos

As to the Cantata BWV 193 missing movement, No. 6. Recitative, Koopman's (Bass): "Nun, Herr, so weihe selbst das Regiment," I have not heard his setting but I assume the text is taken completely from Cantata BWV 120, Recitative, No. 5, same incipit. Koopman's version runs 46 seconds, while Rilling's is 53 seconds. The original is for tenor in D, which is the same key in many civic cantatas with trumpets. I would assume the music is the same. Incidentally, the first line (incipit) of the recitative BWV 120/5 is found in a repeat performance of the civic Cantata BWV Anh. 4a, 8/28/1741, followed by a parody of the remaining text to fit that particular occasion (only Picander's parody text exists, NBA 1/32.1).

In particular, I would like to see publication of Koopman's reconstructions of Cantata BWV 120a/1-4, and Cantata BWV 192 lost horn & tenor parts in movements 1 and 3 (Cantatas recording, Vol. 20), as well as Cantatas BWV 190 and BWV 197a/1-3. Others with reconstructions involve the late Diethard Hellmann and G. A. Theil, as well as restorations of Weimar cantatas expanded/revised for Leipzig, i.e. Cantata BWV 70a, BWV 80a, BWV 147a, etc.

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantatas BWV 193 & BWV 193a: Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 193 | Recordings of Individual Movements from BWV 193 | Details of BWV 193a | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Last update: ýApril 25, 2013 ý21:40:12