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Cantata BWV 214
Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of September 22, 2013

William Hoffman wrote (September 15, 2013):
Cantata 214: Intro

The second of the trio of drammi per musica, BWV 213-215 paying homage to the Saxon Court in Dresden, BWV 214, “Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!” (Sound, you drums! Ring out, you trumpets!), dramma per musica to an anonymous text, honored Maria Josepha, Queen of Poland and Electress of Saxony, wife of Augustus III and mother of Prince Friedrich Christian on her birthday, December 7, 1733. Whereas Cantata 213 celebrated the prince’s birthday three months prior on September 5, 1733, this honored the mother with a shorter birthday tribute indoors at Gottfried Zimmerman’s Coffehouse.

It is conjectured that this succession of royal visits resulted from Augustus III celebrating his ascension and strengthening ties to his Protestant subjects in Leipzig. Also, it is conjectured that Augustus wanted to hear Bach's music for the royal family, to see if he was worthy of a royal court composer title. Bach certainly was up to the task and had his opportunities to respond in kind! As for the visit of Queen Maria Josefa, she was the new electress, replacing the esteemed Christiane Eberhardine, consort of Augustus II, for whom Bach composed his Funeral Ode BWV 198 in 1727 on about a month's noticeThe three Saxon Court homage cantatas, BWV 213-215, were not repeated but their scores survive through the provenance of Carl Philipp Immanuel Bach. As was customary, the libretti of all three was published and distributed before the performance (see Thomas Braatz’ “Bach’s Text and Music Business Connections,” BCW, Yahoo Groups (Sign-in),

Other Cantata 214 pertinent information on-line, see:
Details & Discography, BCW
Text & Francis Browne English translation,
Julian Mincham Commentary,
Thomas Braatz, BCW extensive Provenance,
BCW Discussion 2 (Sept. 14, 2008):

The Queen's December 1733 visit would have required an indoor performance. Further, the three arias (the bass' trumpet aria is da capo) in BWV 214 (there were five in BWV 213!) all had a fixed strophic pattern of 6 lines each, so that Bach could get a headstart on composing the lyric music while awaiting the finished libretto. There is evidence in the surviving sources (original score and parts) to show that the work was completed the day before performance, with two original great choruses, three wonderful arias, and four musically striking recitatives!

In some respects, the Dresden Court cantatas BWV 213-215 are household works, domestic family pieces, for the son, the mother and the father, respectively, just as the Christmas Oratorio is the story of a couple with a son, and in both contexts, a story of celebration and proclamation to the world. We also could stress the shepherd element in both, charged with caring for the flock.

The Leipzig "civic calendar" at that time was set for two annual events involving traditional Dresden Court visits to Leipzig: August 3, the Nameday of August (both Augustus the Strong and his son, Frederick Augustus) and the other annual visit in early October during the Michaelmas Fair to observe the son's ascension to the Polish Throne on October 5 (1733) and his birthday, October 7 (1696).

The events leading to Bach’s creation of three original drammi per musica began with the February 15 to July 1, 1733, mourning period for Augustus II the Strong, who had died on February 1, 1733. Bach’s Kyrie-Gloria (Missa”) of the B-Minor Mass, BWV 232I may have been performed as a special tribute on April 21, at the Leipzig Service of Allegiance at the Nikolaus Church and possibly on July 27 at the Dresden Capelle when Bach sent his request to the new Elector for a royal court composer title.

Eight days later, on August 3, the designated royal nameday, Bach presented BWV Anh. 12, a virtual parody (only the recitatives were newly composed) of BWV Anh. 18, a festive, academic cantata celebrating the remodeling of the Thomas School and Bach’s residence (June 5, 1732). On September 5, 1733, he presented dramma per musica BWV 213 for the birthday of Prince Friedrich Christian (b.1722). For that special event, Bach had no more than a month's warning. We have no record of a royal visit in early October 1733. On December 8, 1733, Bach presented BWV 214 for the special birthday visit of August's consort, Electress Maria Josepha. For the celebration of August's coronation, virtual parody BWV 205a was presented on February 19, 1734.

As for the procedures for "unscheduled" civic visits, notice was sent out by official decree and in the newspapers between two and four weeks in advance and the royal residence was secured at Apel's baroque mansion. Bach Dokumente BD II, No. 350 lists the Leipzig newspaper account of the court name day visit by the royal couple on August 3, 1734, where at 4 p.m. "the Bachian Collegium Musicum will humbly perform a solemn music, with trumpets and timpani, at Zimmerman's garden, in front of the Grimma gate." As the end note in the NBR says (p. 164): "The identity of the work performed is not known." Later, on October 5, 1734, Cantata BWV 215, was presented as an evening serenade on the first anniversary of the Crowning of Augustus III (Friedrich Augustus) as King of Poland.

Commentary on Cantata 214 is found on pages 61-67 (and reproduced below) in Marva J. Watson, “The Historical Figures of the Birthday Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach” (Master’s Thesis), 2010; BCW Articles, ; also found on-line at BCW Articles, , scroll down to “The Historical Figures of the Birthday Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.”

Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! was performed by Bach and the student collegium musicum under Bach’s direction on December 8, 1733. Bach completed the composition the night before the performance.185 It was large for an indoor work of this kind, and is scored for tromba I, II, III, timpani, traverse flute I, II, oboe I, II, violin I, II, viola, and continuo (including violoncello and violone).186 Sadly, this inspiring composition was probably only heard once. It is also sad that no one in the royal family was in attendance, but as many aspiring composers of that time period, Bach surely had hopes that word of the composition and performance would make its way back to the Dresden court. Terry expresses certainty that at the very least the libretto was sent to Dresden.187 Bach gave Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! the operatic subtitle dramma per musica. This makes a great deal of sense when Maria Josepha’s background and fondness of Italian opera is considered. The work also follows the scheme of Bach’s other drammi per musica: alternating recitatiaria sets, sandwiched by a chorus on each end. There is no plot, it simply lauds the queen. Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! is scored for four voices representing four mythological characters: “Bellona,goddess of war (soprano); Pallas, guardian of the muses and of knowledge (alto); Irene, goddess of peace (tenor); and Fama, goddess of fame (bass).”188 Yes, oddly, two of the female goddesses have male ranges (tenor and bass), but this enabled Bach to put together a four-part chorus and gave more variety to the solos. Each goddess showers the queen with flattery and extols her greatness and as Dürr so aptly writes, “Nothing else happens.”189

The librettist is unknown or undecided. Since the libretto is initialed “J. S. B.” Forkel 190 and Spitta191 give credit to Bach for the libretto as do Whittaker192 and Young.193 Scholars now seem to refute that according to Durr “ . . . but this is contradicted by the observation that all three arias are designed according to the same verse scheme: it is most unlikely that Bach would have imposed this constraint upon himself without drawing the least consequences from it in his musical setting of the words.”194

In contrast with a libretto that goes nowhere, the music is outstanding. The music for Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! certainly is befitting a lady of royal birth and sounds like a processional written for a queen. The opening chorus is exuberant and proud reflecting Maria Josepha’s Habsburg heritage. Timpani drums sound and trumpets enter in fanfare as the opening chorus demands attention and inspires the listener. Exciting runs of thirty-second notes in the flutes and violins lend to the royal flurry of sound. Echos of Königin lebe! ((May the) Queen live!) 195 set the tone for the cantata. This chorus, reused as the first chorus of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, is absolutely exhilarating from the first note. The drums and trumpets enter in turn as dictated in the first line of the chorus. The trumpet fanfare not only suggests royalty but is “associated with heroic arias.” 196 The thrilling runs and strong repeated notes of the instruments suggest strength and majesty. Repeated jumps and leaps in the melodic line portray the joy of the celebration. 197 Each of the arias in this work has a distinct sound through use of unique instrumentation. “Blast die wohlgegriffnen Flöten” (Blow the well-bored flutes) makes use of two flutes, pizzicato bass, and soprano. The interaction between voices and instruments makes them more like partners than voice and accompaniment. This is especially notable in “Fromme Musen! Meine Glieder!” (Devout Muses! My members!) with its lovely interaction between the alto, Pallas, and the oboe d’amore. Use of a trumpet obbligato and strings along with a driving continuo part in the bass aria “Kron and Preis gekrönter Damen” (Crown and prize of crowned ladies) make it powerful and dramatic. The unusual trumpet obbligato emphasizes the royal quality of the aria. 198

The vocal parts of these arias are written in a very festive and decorative style. In “Blast die wohlgegriffnen Flöten” the soprano, Bellona, goddess of war, invites everyone to celebrate. Pallas, goddess of peace, calls on the Muses to join in the celebration in “Fromme Musen! Meine Glieder!” Fama, goddess of fame (although a bass), sings the final exciting aria “Kron and Preis gekrönter Damen.” Each of the soloists makes use of elaborate melismas and vocal leaps and jumps for joy as they praise the queen. The final chorus is introduced by vigorous trumpets as all characters recap their good wishes and praise to Queen Maria Josepha and wish her a long life. Even the recitatives in this work are musically dramatic and exciting, and like the arias, contain decorative lines and elaborate melismas. The recitatives do little to advance the plot, since there is none, and simply laud the Queen. In the first recitative, “Heute ist der Tag,” Irene, the goddess of peace, opens the celebration and rejoices that Poles, Saxons, and all have good fortune while in “Mein knallendes Metall” Bellona, the goddess of war, recalls the battle and the pleasure of Saxony’s victory. The other two recitatives by characters Pallas and Fama wish the queen well-being and commend her to heaven’s protection. These sentiments may not have caused Poles who were opposed to Saxon rule much rejoicing. Actually, Maria Josepha’s Saxon husband’s ascension to the Polish throne had prompted the onset of the War of Polish Succession. Victory was not as well wrapped up as this dramma per musica would have us to believe. Even though Augustus would eventually be victorious and maintain the throne, the war would last for almost two more years.

Bach borrowed four of the nine numbers (two arias and two choruses) of Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! for the Christmas Oratorio. Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! was performed first but as arguments between historians show, the order of performance does not necessarily indicate that it was composed first. Terry is of the opinion Bach was already in the process of composing the Christmas Oratorio and borrowed from it to write Maria’s birthday music. He bases his much of his argument on the way the music and instrumentation fit the text in each work. Terry states in comparison of sections of the two works (arias “Tönet, ihr Pauken”/”Der die ganze Welt erhält,”) “Is it possible to misread the inspiration of this masculine music? Not the lowliness of Bethlehem, but the celestial might of the Lord of heaven is Bach’s theme. How proudly it is declaimed! How brilliantly the trumpet echoes through the royal halls! Not even with her proud Habsburg traditions could Maria Josepha have inspired this virile music!”199 Terry states further that “some of the declamation in Part II is awkward in the Dramma [Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!] but natural in the C.O. [Christmas Oratorio].”200

Westrup is of the opposite opinion that Bach was indeed composing for the occasion of the birthday of a queen and that later he adapted it for the Christmas Oratorio. He states that the music was “written to order” and that “He [Bach] may or may not have had regard for the daughter of the late Emperor Joseph I, but he knew very well the sort of music that was proper for a queen’s birthday.”201 In reference to the opening chorus when used in the Christmas Oratorio, Westrup points out that use of timpani (figure 14 [not shown]) for a church cantata is a “unique occurrence in Bach’s work.”202 Young considers it the only time a sacred cantata begins in this manner.203 Westrup concludes that drums and trumpets would be more appropriate in celebrations concerning royalty; therefore, Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! was most likely composed first and borrowed from rather than the opposite. As Young points out, it was “quite appropriate for Bach to transfer this music from terrestrial to celestial royalty.”204

It is no secret that Bach borrowed extensively from his own library of music apparently without much worry about association with the original composition. If perchance the same audience had been in attendance at both the performance of Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! and the Christmas Oratorio it is doubtful they would have minded hearing this regal music for the second time even if they did recognize it! One cannot deny the combination of beauty and genius in this rich musical composition. Upon hearing Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! it is easy to agree with Durr who says of the music “Bach is here discovered in the role of one who pays a courtesy call not with a bunch of flowers but with real jewels.”205

[The commentary is proceeded with a historical section on “Maria Josepha, Archduchess of Austrian, Queen of Poland, Electress of Saxony,” pp. 55-60.]


Coming this week: A summary of the cantatas (some lost) that Bach composed for the Saxon Court in Dresden.

185. Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach, The Learned Musician, 363.
186. Johann Sebastian Bach, Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! in Neue Ausgabe Samtlicher Werke, Series I, Band 36 (Kassel: Barenreiter, 1963).
187. Terry, “The ‘Christmas Oratorio’: Orignial or Borrowed? I,” The Musical Times, 888
188. Durr, 830.
189. Ibid.
190. Johann Nikolaus Forkel, Johann Sebastian Bach, His Life, Art, and Work, trans. uncertain (London: Constable and Company Ltd., 1920), 44.
191. Philip Spitta, Johann Sebastian Bach, His Work and Influence on the Music of Germany, 1685-1750, Vols. 2 & 3, trans., Clara Bell and J.A. Fuller-Maitland, (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1951), 574, 630.
192. Whittaker, 640.
193. Young, 263.
194. Durr, 830.
195. Whittaker, 644.
196. Westrup, 54.
197. James Day, The Literary Background to Bach’s Cantatas (London: Dobson Books Ltd., 1961), 81.
198. All titles in this paragraph from translation in Durr, 827-828.
199. Whittaker, 651.
200. Ibid.
201. Westrup, 44.
202. Westrup, 23.
203. Young, 278.
204. Young, 278.
205. Durr, 830.

William Hoffman wrote (September 19, 2013):
Cantata 214: Saxon Court Music

Bach’s serenades and drammi per musica for the Saxon Court at Dresden constitute his most significant and influential profane compositions during his Leipzig tenure as music director and church cantor from 1723 to his death in 1750. The list of music for the Dresden court includes extant cantatas in the current BCW weekly discussion (BWV 206, 213, 214, 215) as well as parodied cantatas originating from other occasions (BWV 193a, 205a, 207a, 208a) and text-only surviving cantatas classified as BWV Anh. (Anhang) or Appendix 9, 11, 12, 13. Two possible works for which no text or music exists are: BWV deest (BD 350), no title, ?08/24/34, and Bach Compendium BC G25 (BWV 1 Forward 11/4), title unknown, 10/07/39.

As was customary, the libretti were published and distributed before the performance (see Thomas Braatz’ “Bach’s Text and Music Business Connections,” BCW, and through . Braatz summarizes “references detailing Bach’s business with books and texts as extracted from the Bach-Dokumente II (Bärenreiter, 1969) [henceforth referred to simply as BD II]”


*05/12/27 Anh. 9, Entfernet euch, ihr heitern Sterne; August II Birthday, Haupt
BD II, 219 Leipzig, May 12, 1727. Birthday Cantata BWV Anh.9 Title page and libretto printed by Immanuel Tietze (this is the year that Tietze will die). and ?BWV 225, motet “Singet dem Herrn”

*08/03/27 193a Ihr Hauser des Himmels, August II Nameday, Picander
BD II, 221 Congratulatory Cantata BWV 193a Leipzig, August 3, 1727. Title page and libretto [No printer indicated!]

*08/03/32 Anh. 11, Es lebe der König, August II Nameday (no visit), Picander
BD II, 313 Leipzig, July 30, 1732. Name Day Cantata BWV Anh. 11. The printing bill is issued by Breitkopf to Bach for a Drama: 1 sheet divided into 4, 300 printed, 12 on medium paper including the fee for censorship : 2 Taler 10 Groschen. [The footnote indicates that this is the first completely independent order that Bach placed with Breitkopf.]

*08/03/33 Anh. 12, Frohes Volk, vergnügte Sachsen, August III nameday, Picander
BD II, 333,334 Leipzig, August 2, 1733. Libretto for a Name Day cantata BWV Anh. 12. Breitkopf: 1 large sheet, 50 RPr. 150 DrPr including the censorship fee: 2 Taler Bach finally paid this bill on October 3, 1733.

*09/05/33 213, Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen, Prince Friedrich Christian Birthday/Picander
BD II, 336 Leipzig, September 3, 1733. Birthday Cantata BWV 213. Libretto printed by Breitkopf: 1 large sheet 50 RPr. 150 Dr. Pr including censorship fee: 2 Taler Received payment of 4 Reichsthaler from Bach to cover the former bill as well.

*12/08/33, 214, Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!, Electress Maria Josepha Birthday/anon.
BD II, 343/344 Leipzig, December 4, 1733. Birthday Cantata BWV 214. Libretto and title page printed by Breitkopf and charged to Bach as a Drama in Folio 1 large sheet 150 RPr. 3 [groß ] significant/severe censorships. 2 Taler [Footnote: according the autograph date of the score, the composition was completed only on the day before the performance date.]

*02/19/34, 205a, Blast, Lärmen, ihr Feinde, August III coronation/?Picander parody
BD II, 345, 347, 348 Leipzig, January 16, 1734. Printing of libretto and title page of a dedicatory coronation cantata BWV 205a Drama per Musica. Bach’s bill from Breitkopf: printed in quarter-page format, 100 copies, 50 RPr. Censorship fee included. 1 Taler 20 Groschen. Because the exact date could not be determined in advance, the title page simply left a space for the day and stated as follows: Leipzig, January 1734.

*?08/24/34, deest, no title, homage cantata, August III Nameday, ?parody
[BD II, No. 350 lists the Leipzig newspaper account of the court name day visit by the royal couple on August 3, 1734, where at 4 p.m. "the Bachian Collegium Musicum will humbly perform a solemn music, with trumpets and timpani, at Zimmerman's garden, in front of the Grimma gate." As the end note in the NBR says (p. 164): "The identity of the work performed is not known."

*10/05/34, 215, Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, August III election anniversary, Clauder
BD II,351 Leipzig, October 5, 1734. Dedicatory [Homage] Cantata BWV 215. Libretto and title page printed by Johann Christian Langenheim (1691-1766) the official printer for the University of Leipzig. This was a performance on behalf of all students studying at the University of Leipzig. 700 copies were printed. [Gottfried Reiche died shortly after his performance at this event.]

*08/03/?35, 207a, Auf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten, August III Nameday, ?Picander parody
BD 367, 368 Leipzig, August 2, 1735. Libretti for a Name Day cantata performed on August 3, 1735 and a Rathswahlkantate (both undetermined). Breitkopf demands from Bach for a cantata using 150 printing pages divided into 4 parts including censorship fee (1 Taler 16 Groschen) and for the Rathswahlcantata text 1/4 printed sheet (8 Groschen)

*10/07/36, 206, Schleicht, spielende Wellen, und murmelt gelinde!, August III Birthday, ?Picander
BD II, 385, 386 Leipzig, beginning of October 1736. Libretto for a birthday cantata. Breitkopf bills Bach for a Drama 50 Med. Schrpr. 150 R Pr. including censorship 3 Taler. Performance takes place on October 7, 1736.

*04/28/38, Anh. 13, Wilkommen! Ihr Herrschenden Götter, royal household visit homage/Gottsched
BD II, 424 Leipzig, April 27, 1738. Homage Cantata BWV Anh 13. Libretto and title page printed by Breitkopf and paid for by the University of Leipzig 300 Kirchberger Median 6 Taler 12 Groschen, 300 fein Register 3 Taler ; 3 sheets of Atlas (Silkpaper) 1 Taler 12; For censorship 8 Groschen and for wasted paper and labor 6 Taler Total 17 Taler 8 Groschen.

*10/07/39, BC G25, title unknown, August III birthday cantata, existence uncertain

*08/03/40, 206 repeat, Schleicht, spielende Wellen, August III Nameday/slight text change

*0/03/42, 208a, Was mir behagt (Verlockender), August III NamedayBD II, 480 Leipzig, August 3, 1740. Name Day Cantata BWV 208a. A handwritten title page intended for the printer. No printed copy, if there ever was one, has survived nor is there a printer’s record of a bill. However, the newspaper does report an outdoor concert of such a cantata by Bach’s Collegium Musicum in Zimmermann’s Garden on that date.

[Music of the following information is taken from the BCW Article, “Bach’s Dramatic Music: Serenades, Drammi per Musica, Oratorios,” (]

First Saxon Court Cantata in 1727

Bach’s first extant work for the Saxon Court at Dresden is Cantata BWV Anh. 9, “Entfernet Euch, ihr heitern Sterne” (Disperse yourselves, ye stars serenely), dramma per musica with published text of Christian Friedrich Haupt. It is an evening serenade commissioned by Leipzig University students for the birthday of Augustus II, “The Strong”; May 12, 1727. This celebratory, regal, occasional music is lost except for three possible subsequent parodies appropriately used in the 1730 as music composed for the Saxon court. They may be the eight-part chorus that would open Cantata 215 (classified as a dramma per musica and a serenade) for the birthday visit of his son, Augustus III, on October 5, 1734; and as many as three movements in the B-Minor Mass, BWV 232: No. 2, Christe eleison love duet; No. 8; No. 12, alto aria “Qui sedes” in the Kyrie-Gloria composed in 1733 for the court as Bach sought the title of court composer; and the “Osanna” (Cantata 215/1) in the Mass Sanctus section completed in the late 1740s.

The libretto has four mythological characters, Philuris (?soprano), Apollo (?alto), Mars (?tenor), and Harmonia (?bass), singing the praises of the Saxon Elector-Prince/Polish King. There are 14 movements: tutti opening da-capo and closing choruses, six recitatives, five arias (three da-capo), and an arioso. Philuris and Apollo sing the initial seven solos with Mars and Harmonia joining. Details of Anh. 9 are found at BCW, including the German text at; Z. Philip Ambrose’s English translation and notes,; and a Recording!! (with BWV 214), (1985, Reconstruction by Dr. Klaus Höfner).

It is possible that Cantata BWV Anh. 9 was part of a sacred-profane double bill for the Augustus II birthday visit on Monday, May 12, 1727. Before the evening’s festivities, a Service of Allegiance possibly was held at the Nikolaus Church, and may have began with Bach’s joyous eight-voice motet, “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied” (Sing unto the Lord a new song, Psalm 149:1), which originally may have been presented on New Year’s Day, 1727.

Cantata BWV Anh. 9 contains one parodied chorus and two possible parodied arias. It opens with an opening aria tutti (dictum) parodied in BWV 215/1, “Preise deine Glücke” (10/5/34); and Osanna, B-Minor Mass, BWV 232/21 (1748-8/49). Other arias and closing chorus may have been parodied in two cantatas, existence uncertain, BWV deest, ?08/24/34, August III Nameday, and BC G25, 10/07/39, August III birthday. Two movements, both arias, may have provided materials/influences for the Kyrie-Gloria B-Minor Mass (?4/21/33 and/or ?7/27/33): No. 8, soprano-alto duet, “Seid zu tausendmal wilkommen,” for the Christe eleison Neopolitan-style love duet (BWV 232/2) and No. 12, bass aria, “Soll des Landes Segen wachsen,” for the Gloria “Qui sedes ad dextram patris” alto gigue-style aria.

“Bach used such [love duets] in both sacred and secular works,” says George B Staufer in <Bach: The Mass in B Minor, the Great Catholic Mass> (New Haven CN, Yale Univ. Press, 2003: 57f). Stauffer cites Christoph Wolff (Der Stile Antico: 412), “pointing to the similarities between the ‘Christe’ and the duet, “Ich bin deine/Du bist meine” from the Hercules Cantata,” BWV 213 of September 1733. Stauffer notes that the Johann Hugh von Wilderer “Mass in g minor” that Bach copied c.1730 also involves a love duet in a similar style.

[Stauffer’s information on Dresden connections in Mass movements will be considered in the BCW “Masses” discussions the weeks of October 13 and 20, as well as materials on the Peranda Missa in A and Kyrie in C. It is fitting that the “Massesd” discussion follow the current weekly discussions of the seven cantatas in “Festive Music for the Electoral House of Saxony.”]

The surviving text of BWV Anh. 9, long associated with Bach, is documented at “BD II, 219 Leipzig, May 12, 1727. Birthday Cantata BWV Anh.9 Title page and libretto printed by Immanuel Tietze (this is the year that Tietze will die),” Braatz’ Bach Text (SEE ABOVE).

While little is known of the actual work, Anh. 9, the text and presumed surviving music suggest Bach relished the opportunity as Leipzig music director. As an evening serenade the music probably was presented outdoors at Zimmermann’s Gardens adjacent to the Coffeehouse next to the main Grimma Gate or the Royal Residence at the Apel baroque mansion. Bach had sufficient time, having completed composing weekly sacred cantatas in the third annual cycle during Lent season to prepare the original version of the dramatic St. Matthew Passion, BWV 245, on Good Friday, April 11, 1727. No Easter Season 1727 presentations are found, thus Bach instead had a month to compose this, his most ambitious profane music.

It is assumed that Leipzig University students commissioned BWV Anh. 9 as part of a tradition, and had designed the librettist, C. F. Haupt, probably connected to Leipzig University. Bach was in good standing, having established close ties to Leipzig University when the became Leizig music director in May 1723, initially through the St. Paul University Church where the students made up the resident Collegium musicum instrumental ensemble. Besides music for the major feasts days, beginning with Pentecost, Bach probably had presented five profane cantatas for university-related special events: BWV Anh. 195, Anh. 20, Anh. 15, 205, and 207 for three faculty members, Duke Friedrich II of the Saschen-Gotha duchy, and a graduation ceremony.

After his initial work for the Dresden elector, BWV Anh. 9, in May 1727, Bach honored Augustus the Strong with name-day Cantata BWV 193a, that he recycled three weeks later as a Town Council cantata. BWV 193a, “Ihr Häuser des Himmels, ihr Scheinenden Lichter” (Ye Shining Heaven, Ye Shining Lights), was presented on August 3, 1727. It is a dramma per musica, text by Picander; for the name day of Augustus II, probably parodied from a Köthen serenade; characters: Providence, Fame Welfare, and Pity; original Köthen materials (chorus, two arias) parodied in the August 25, 1727, Town Council Cantata, BWV 193, “Ihr Töre (Pforten) zu Zion” (Ye Gates [Portals] of Zion). No text or parts survive from Köthen and its origin is unknown. Extensive details of Cantatas BWV 193(a) are found in past BCW Discussions, especially Part 3,

Of the 11 Bach Leipzig compositions for various occasions that are considered serenades, BWV Anh. 9 is one of four commissions from Leipzig University students. The others are BWV Anh. 195 for the Rivinius installation (June 9, 1723), BWV 215 for the 1734 coronation of Augustus III, and BWV Anh. 13 for the royal pair’s visit on May 5, 1737. Cantata BWV Anh. 195 will be part of the BCW Discussion of “Festive Music for the Leipzig University Celebrations” and other academic-related events such as the Thomas School during the weeks of October 17 and November 3. Serenade BWV 215 and other Leipzig serenades surviving only with text will be part of next week’s BCW continuing Discussion of “Festive Music for the Electoral House of Saxony,” beginning September 22.

Three Leipzig birthday serenades pay homage to Saxon court adviser and leading Bach Leipzig patron Count von Flemming (BWV 249b, BWV 210a, and BWV Anh. 10). Flemming is referred to in Cantata BWV Anh. 9 as the court’s “most trusted” who had been present at this “mighty feast one year ago,” for Augustus’ birthday visit in May 1726. Here is the initial text:

5. Recit. (Apollo)
This mighty feast one year ago
To thy most trusted Flemming's highest pleasure,
When once the day already was consumed,
Let not the daylight from our vision wander.

The three parody cantatas for Count von Flemming are:

*BWV 249b, August 25, 1726; Die Feier des Genius: “Verjaget, zerstreuet, zerrüttet, ihr Sterne“ (The Celebration of Genius: Drive away, Scatter, you stars); dramma per musica, text Picander; congratulatory serenade for Count von Flemming; music lost, survives as parody in BWV 249; characters: Genius, Mercurius, Melpomene, Minerva.

*BWV 210a, “O angenehme Melodei” (O pleasing melody), soprano solo homage serenade (three versions); originally composed as a homage to the Duke of Saxe-Weißenfels, January 12, 1729; for the birthday of Count von Flemming, August 25, 1729-30; and repeats for von Flemming and unknown patrons (through text revisions) between 1735-1740; and finally, parodied as the extant secular wedding cantata, BWV 210, “O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit” (O glorious day, longed-for time), 1738-41 (no librettist identified for any version). Wedding Cantata BWV 210 will be the BCW Discussion Week of Nov 24, 2013, along with other Leipzig profane wedding works where the music is lost or surviving in parody or printed texts.

*BWV Anh. 10, “So kämpfet nur, ihr muntern Töne“ (So battle now, ye courageous sounds); text by Picander, serenade for the birthday of Count von Flemming, August 25, 1731; opening chorus parodied to open Part 6 of Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248; closing chorus parody of Cantata BWV 201, closing chorus, and parodied likewise in Cantata BWV Anh. 19, Thomas School welcome, 1734.

Bach’s initial contact with Count von Flemming came in 1717 during his initial visit to Dresden. Bach’s friend, court musician Johann David Heinichen arranged for a contest between Bach and French composer/organist Louis Marchand at Flemming’s residence. Flemming was a “leading minister of state,” says Christoph Wolf in <JSB: The Learned Musician (New York: W>W. Norton & Co., 2000: 180f). Fleming “served from 1724 to 1740 as Governor of Leipzig and became one of Bach’s most supportive aristocratic patrons there,” Wolff says.

Flemming represented the Dresden Court at resided at the Pleisenburg mansion, not far from the St. Thomas Church (Wolff, Ibid.: 319), and was one of Bach’s “staunchest patrons.”

Serendipitously, Bach’s initial drammi per musica, Cantatas BWV 205 and 207, composed in 1725 and 1726, survive and were recycled as part of a profane repertory for occasions honoring Augustus’ son, Augustus III: the son’s coronation on February 19, 1734, and his birthday, probably August 3, 1736. Cantata 207(a) will be discussed in the week of September 29 while Cantata 205(a) will be discussed October 27 at past of the Festive Music for the Leipzig University celebrations that also includes Funeral Ode, BWV 198 (BCW Discussion, November 3).


Next week Cantata BWV 215, other Leipzig serenades, lost Dresden Court drammi per musica, and more Saxon Court History.

William Hoffman wrote (September 8, 2013):
The opening chorus of Cantata BWV Anh. 9, “Entfernet Euch, ihr heitern Sterne” (Disperse yourselves, ye stars serenely), has been confirmed as one of four parodies found in the B-Minor Mass. It is the “Et resurrexit tertia die” (And on the third He arose again) five-part festive chorus (SSATB) with three trumpets and timpani found as No. 18 in the <Credo> (I believe) movement, BWV 232II, near the end of the Jesus Christ, Redeemer section. This contrafaction from German to Latin is accepted in George B. Stauffer’s <Bach: The Mass in B Minor, The Great Catholic Mass (New Haven CN: Yale Univ. Press, 2003: 48).

At the same time, Stauffer (Ibid.) accepts the soprano-tenor duet “Ich will (du sollt) rühmen” (I will/you will rest), from the other 1727 Saxon Court drammi per musica celebration for Augustus the Strong, BWV 193a, “Ihr Hauser des Himmels (Ye houses of heaven), BWV 193a as parodied in the <Domine Deus> (O Lord, God)section of the <Gloria> movement, BWV 232/9, of the B-Minor Mass.

Cantata BWV Anh. 9 for the birthday of Augustus was “performed outdoors in front of the Leipzig Town Hall on March 12, 1727 (Ibid: 128), with Bach leading “over forty musicians” (Ibid.: 213). The opening chorus contains another element popular at the Dresden Court: dance idiom, suggesting a Rejouissance similar to the one found in the Suite No. 4 in D Major, BWV 1069, or a minuet with “gallant figurations” (Ibid.: 239).


Cantata BWV 214: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Main Page | 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
Discussions of General Topics: Cantatas & Other Vocal Works | Performance Practice | Radio, Concerts, Festivals, Recordings


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Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 07:32