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Cantata BWV 43
Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of November 28, 2010

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 28, 2010):
Introduction to BWV 43 -- Gott fahret auf mit Jauchzen

This week’s discussion continues the ongoing series of cantatas spanning from Easter to Ascension , Pentecost, and Trinity. With BWV 43, we have the third of four Ascension Day works, this one from 1726. Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV43.htm

The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham} is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. Selected recordings for the current weeks discussion are highlighted on the BCW main (home) page.

Ruth Tatlow, in the booklet notes to the Gardiner recording on DG Archiv [8], provides some unique perspective on the position of BWV 43 in relation to other works performed by Bach in that season. Note the source. I pass this along without endorsement, or checking for factual accuracy:

<Late in 1725 Bach brought to a head the conflict over his University Church fees, making an appeal to the King and Elector, Augustus II, for a just settlement. In a reply signed on Monday, 21 January 1726 in Dresden, the King demanded that with no extra duties Bach should receive in full the salary due to him -- a moral victory for the Kantor. Then, for several months after Sunday, 27 January 1726, the Leipzig congregation heard no more of Bachs compositions. Maybe as a reaction to the Kings letter, or working to rule, he decided not to compose his own cantatas. Instead, for the next 15 weeks and on seven further occasions during 1726, he performed works by his Meiningen cousin Johann Ludwig Bach. In May 1726 he broke his silence and composed Gott fahret auf mit Jauchzen BWV 43 for Ascension Day, rejecting J.L. Bach’s original version but setting his two-part text based on Psalm 47:5-6 and Mark 16: 19. By this time Bach would have been enjoying the financial and social benefits of the Kings judgement. I think a token of gratitude to his earthly monarch can be detected in this joyful setting of praises to the King of Kings.> (end quote)

Julian Mincham wrote (November 28, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] Just to alert those who have not previously been familiar with this neglected and possibly under rated work, that it is fully worth exploring. The arias are short (reminding me at least of those comprising the Magnificat) but of great quality. The first two in particular, for tenor and soprano, are real gems, joys to come across and get to know, especially if for the first time.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 28, 2010):
[To Julian Mincham] I listened to the four versions I have (Gardiner [8], Harnoncourt/Leonhardt [5], Rilling [6] and Herreweghe [7]), and was very impressed by the music, but very surprised at the weaknesses is the performances of certain of the arias. I'll perhaps post more detailed comments in a day or two.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 29, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< Just to alert those who have not previously been familiar with this neglected and possibly under rated work, that it is fully worth exploring. >
I first heard this cantata on an old mono LP as a choirboy and was blown away by the entry of the trumpet in the opening chorus -- even the horn solo at the end of Mahler's "Resurrection" can't capture the earth-abandoning liberation of Bach's trumpet.

As a teenager I bought a vocal score and was astonished to discover that the first chorus is a "hidden" fugue with the entries disguised with choral and brass shouts of praise.

As a university student. I went to the music library and spent took out the the orchestral score. It was like opening a window to a mighty rushing wind.

And now I hope to bring the experience full circle and someday hear a live performance of the cantata.

This is why Johann Sebastian Bach is my best friend. No one has been more faithful, more consoling or more encouraging in my life.

Julian Mincham wrote (November 29, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< This is why Johann Sebastian Bach is my best friend. No one has been more faithful, more consoling or more encouraging in my life. >
Well I know just what you mean---but I won't be saying this to my wife! Could be misunderstood!

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 30, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I first heard this cantata on an old mono LP as a choirboy and was blown away by the entry of the trumpet in the opening chorus -- even the horn solo at the end of Mahler's "Resurrection" can't capture the earth-abandoning liberation of Bach's trumpet. >
I came at this work fresh from last weeks discussion of Ziegler texts, and I immediately noticed and stumbeld upon Jauchzen, translated as shouting in CD booklets. BCW references to the rescue: Francis Browne [English 3] softens this to shouts of joy, but my favorite (as often) is Pamela Dellal [English 6] with jubilation. Even capturing the ja (yes!) of the German.

I caught that conection via a listen to BWV 106, behind dinner, <Ja, ja, das ist der alte bunde>. Sounds like pretty young Bach, in comparison. Also pretty oprimistic, postive Bach!

I cannot resist (have I ever?) following up on Ruth Tatlows work to rule suggestion. What if Bach snuck an original work into a string of performances of his cousins cantatas, laying a trap to respond to an accusation that he had written nothing new for lo these many weeks?

The final chorale (discussed at length, in BCW archives), perhaps lifted directly from Christoph Peter, might be the ideal bait.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (November 30, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I came at this work fresh from last weeks discussion of Ziegler texts, and I immediately noticed and stumbeld upon Jauchzen, translated as shouting in CD booklets. BCW references to the rescue: Francis Browne [English 3] softens this to shouts of joy, but my favorite (as often) is Pamela Dellal [English 6] with jubilation. Even capturing the ja (yes!) of the German. >
Jubilation was a pretty loud thing, according to the early Church Fathers, involving quite a bit of shouting, and singing "in the spirit," and speaking in tongues. Such a different idea of what eventually the word came to mean in subsequent centuries with "dignified" liturgies.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 30, 2010):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] I had in mind (perhaps Pamela Dellal did as well?) something in agreement with you, along the lines of Jubilation T. Cornpone from the show Lil Abner.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 4, 2010):
< I had in mind (perhaps Pamela Dellal did as well?) something in agreement with [KPClow], >along the lines of Jubilation T. Cornpone from the show Lil Abner. >
An organ and trumpet concert this weekend will include Jauchzen from the Xmas Oratorio (BWV 248/1), as described to me earlier today by the organist. <You mean from the Ascension Cantata [BWV 43]>, I asked?

<No, XO!>

I let it pass, until an opportunity to check the comparison. That convinces me that translating Jauchzen as a shout is worse than misleading, it is just plain wrong. Take all those those CD booklet translations of BWV 43, and trash them.

Shouts of joy is not bad. Jubilation is the most accurate English word, analogous to jauchzen, IMO.

 

BWV 43 chorale

Harry F wrote (June 7, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] Please add to http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV43-D2.htm

When I drive my car with my teenage son as passenger, he usually sits in the back seat and puts on his noise-cancelling earphones, listens to his iPod and shuts out the world. This lets me play my music on the car CD system at low volume without bothering the passenger.

So there I was, playing the "Du Lebensfürst, Herr Jesu Christ" chorale (Mvt. 11) (Rilling [6]) when I hear from the back seat "What's that?" I told him, and he said the music gave him chills, please play it again. I know my son's proclivity to "mighty" music, and the sonorous chorale got him. There are many strong chord changes in the chorale that speak to people who have been raised on symphonic rock 'n roll. Bach achieved his purpose and caused a teenager's spirit to soar in the USA, anno 2011. The wonder of it all - I have no words. But as a father, I am thankful.

 

Cantata BWV 43: 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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Last update: żOctober 2, 2011 ż10:08:26