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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 33
Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of January 8, 2012 (3rd round)

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 8, 2012):
Introduction to BWV 33 -- Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ

Weekly reminder:

This week we continue Trinity season cantatas with BWV 33, the second of three works for the 13th Sunday after Trinity.

Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV33.htm

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

The BWV 33 page also has convenient access to notes from the Gardiner and Koopman (notes by Christoph Wolff) CD issues, via link beneath the cover photo.

The chorale text and melody are accessible via links at the BWV 33 page. Francis Browne has recently added new commentary on the cantata texts to his interlinear translations, linked via [English-3I]. We can expect these to continue, not necessarily weekly. Douglas Cowling and William Hoffman are also posting relevant to chorales and other music for the Lutheran Church Year, accessible via LCY pages.

I do not always take the time to check all links before posting. Special thanks to the folks who provide timely corrections. I know you are listening!

Francis Browne wrote (January 9, 2012):
BWV 33 Notes on hte text

BWV 33 was written for the 13th Sunday after Trinity and was first performed on 3rd September 1724. It is therefore part of Bach's second annual Leipzig cycle of cantatas which includes many chorale cantatas. The normal practice is to include the opening and closing stanzas of a chorale unchanged but to adapt the rest of the
chorale text for recitatives and arias. The gospel for this Sunday is Luke 10: 23-37, the parable of the good samaritan and Bach's anonymous librettist has used a chorale which makes passing reference to love of neighbours but is most concerned with God's love for mankind and our response. Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ is a four stanza chorale written by Konrad Hubert and first published in 1540.

The first stanza is set without any change of text. Hubert's second stanza provides the first recitative and aria. At the beginning of the recitative Bach's librettist uses a passage from the book of Job (9:2-3) : How should a man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. He then adapts the beginning of the second stanza of the chorale.

For the first aria the librettist takes the plea in the chorale to Jesus to show to the father what he has done for men and makes the text both more personal (wie furchtsam) and more confident in the fact of Jesus' help.

The third stanza of the chorale is similarly treated. A biblical reference is added at the beginning of the recitative :Cast me not away from your presence, and take not thy holy spirit from me (Psalm 51:11) and then the
opening of the stanza is used for the rest of the recitative.

For the second aria what in the chorale is a prayer addressed to Jesus becomes in the cantata addressed to God himself. The final Trinitarian stanza of the chorale is used unchanged.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 12, 2012):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< Introduction to BWV 33 -- Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ
Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV33.htm
The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham] is especially recommended as an introduction to >listening. >
I would like to highlight this selection of Julians writing at its very best, including the usage *wrong-foot*, new to me! A concise example of musical analysis (by comparison with other cantatas) in relation to Bachs theologic context.

<Chorus/fantasia.

The text of the fantasia begins with a lamentation of 'alone-ness' on this earth. Christ is our only comforter and it is in Him that we should place our trust. There is a theme of alienation and isolation here and the unwary might be led to expect a chorus of the type which opens Cantata BWV 101; a portrait of infinite sadness and exclusion amongst the trials and tribulations of this sin-begotten world.

But we immediately discover that this is not Bach's approach! Partly arising from his unfailing optimism and natural tendency to accentuate the positive and partly because of his ability constantly to wrong-foot us in our preconceptions, this is far from our expectation. It is a movement of outstanding, almost breathless energy and force. The strings and oboes unleash a torrent of semi-quavers in a ritornello structure that pushes on regardless, through and around the choral entries. There is nothing isolationist or exclusive about this music; it sweeps us along with its infectious vigour and affirmative optimism. (We find, and may wish to compare, similar ebullient fantasias in the same key of Am in Cs 178, 26 and 111).> (end quote)

Peter Smaill wrote (January 12, 2012):
[To Ed Myskowski] In case anyone has had a rich aunt remember them in a legacy, there is a shopping opportunity on BWV 33: the score, parts and text booklet handsomely reproduced in facsimile by the Bach-Archiv Leipzig, comprehensively bringing, as it were, the physical representation of the work together. Here it is: http://www.omifacsimiles.com/brochures/bach_can33.html

 

Continue on Part 4

Cantata BWV 33: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

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