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Cantata BWV 44
Sie werden euch in den Bann tun euch
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of April 30, 2006 (2nd round)

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 30, 2006):
Week of April 30: Cantata 44

Week of April 30, 2006

Cantata 44, “Sie werden euch in den Bann tun euch”

1st performance: May 21, 1724 - Leipzig

First Annual Cantata Cycle, 1723-24 (Jahrgang I)

Previous Thursday in 1724: (Ascension Day)
Cantata BWV 37, “Wer da gläubet”
Next Sunday in 1724: (Whitsunday/Pentecost):
Cantata BWV 172: “Erschallet ihr Lieder”

John 16: 2 (Mvts. 1-2)
Martin Moller (Mvt. 4)
Paul Fleming (Mvt. 7)
Anon (Mvts. 3, 5-6)

English Translation:
Other translations:

Movements & Scoring:

Mvt. 1: Aria - Duet
“Sie werden euch in den Bann tun"
Soloists:T, B
Instruments: 2 Ob, Fg, Bc

Mvt. 2: Chorus
“Es kömmt aber die Zeit, dass, wer euch tötet”
Choir: SATB
Instruments: 2 Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Fg, Bc

Mvt. 3: Aria
“Christen müssen auf der Erden”
Soloists: A
Instruments: Ob, Fg, Bc

Mvt. 4: Chorale
“Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid”
Soloists: T
Instruments: Fg, Bc

Mvt. 5: Recitative
“Es sucht der Antichrist”
Soloists: B
Instruments: Fg, Bc

Mvt. 6: Aria
“Es ist und bleibt der Christen Trost”
Soloists: S
Instruments: 2 Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Fg, Bc

Mvt. 7: Chorale
“So sei nun, Seele, deine”
Choir: SATB
Instruments: 2 Ob, 2 Vn, Va, Fg, Bc

Liturgical Comments:

Written for the Sixth Sunday after Easter, Exaudi Sunday. The name is taken from the opening of the Latin introit, “Exaudi Domine vocem meam”. This is the final Sunday of the Easter season. Also known as the Sunday after the Ascension.

Other Cantatas written for Rogate Sunday
BWV 183 Sie werden euch in den Bann tun (Leipzig, 1725)

The orders for Mass and Vespers can be found in an appendix at the end of this posting. Extracted from Wolff.

Texts of Readings:
Epistle: 1 Peter 4: 8-11; Gospel: John 15: 26 - 16: 4

Introduction to Lutheran Church Year:

Piano Vocal Score: (free PDF download)


Music (free streaming download):

“Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid”
“In allen meinen Taten"


Previous Discussion:

Performances of Bach Cantatas:

Order of Discusssion (2006)


ORDER OF SUNDAY & HOLYDAY MASS (Amt) - 7:00 -10:00 am

1. Choir: Hymn in figural or polyphonic setting
2. Organ: Prelude introducing Introit
3. Choir: Introit Motet in figural or polyphomic setting

4. Organ: Prelude introducing Kyrie
5. Choir: Kyrie in figural setting
6. Choir: Gloria in figural setting (minister sings intonation from altar)

7. Minister & Altar Singers (lower form boys):
Salutation & Collect (Prayer of Day) sung from altar
8. Minister: Epistle sung from altar steps

9. Organ: Prelude introduing Hymn
10. Congregation: Hymn of Season (de tempore)
11. Minister & Altar Singers: Gospel with responses sung from altar steps

12. Organ: Prelude introducing cantata
13. Choir: First Cantata

14. Choir:: Credo sung in chorale setting, minister intones from altar steps
15. Organ: Prelude introducing Wir Glauben
16. Congregation: Wir Glauben All (German Credo)

17. Minister: Spoken annoucement of Sermon from altar
18. Organ: Prelude introducing hymn
19. Congregation: Hymn
20. Minister: Text of Sermon & Lord’s Prayer from pulpit
21. Minister: Sermon (8:00 a.m., 1 hour)
22. Minister: Prayers, Announcments & Benediction from pulpit

23. Organ: Prelude introducing hymn
24. Congregation Hymn
25. Mnister & Altar Singers: Preface in Latin from altar
26. Choir: Sanctus in figural setting (without Osanna or Benedictus)
27. Minister: spoken Communion admoniton, Words of Institution
28. Congregation: Distribution of Communion at altar steps

29. Organ: Prelude introducting Communion Cantata
30. Choir: Second Cantata

31. Organ: Prelude introducing hymn
32. Congregation: Hymn during Communion
33. Minister & Altar Singers: Collect with responses sung from altar
34. Minister: spoken Benediction

35. Organ: Prelude introducing Hymn
36. Congregation: Hymn
36. Choir: Hymn in figural setting (festal days)


1. Organ: Prelude introducing Hymn
2. Choir: Hymn in figural setting

3. Choir: Cantata (repeated from morning)

4. Organ: Prelude introducing Hymn
5. Congregation: Hymn
6. Minister & Altar Singers: Psalm
7. Minister: Lord’s Prayer from altar steps

8. Organ: Prelude introducing hymn
9. Congregation: Hymn

10. Minister: Annoucement of Sermon from pulpit
11. Congregation: Hymn
12. Minister: Sermon from pulpit
[13. Choir: Passion or narrativer oratorio, no cantata]
14. Minister: spoken Prayers, Collect & Benediction from pulpit

15. Organ: Prelude introducing Magnificat
16. Choir: LatinMagnificat in figural setting
17. Congregation: German Magnificat Hymn (Meine Seele)

18. Minister: spoken Responsary, Collect & Benediction from altar
19. Congregation: Hymn ­ Nun Danket Alle Gott


Peter Smaill wrote (May 1, 2006):
In line with the last cycle of discussions we are looking at BWV 44, "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun", following BWV 86. For some reason we are skipping the actual Ascension Day Cantata BWV 37 for 1724, "Wer da glaubet und getauft wird," but anyone interested in the sequential elements in compositional and structure matters should definitely look back to the prior discussions on that Cantata. In particular, Thomas Braatz contributes a fascinating extension to the "hidden chorale" thesis for BWV 37/1 which one day we may look at again since additional research tends to support his view.

BWV 44 belongs to a sequence of Cantatas long suspected to have been written by Christian Weiss senior, the pastor of St Thom. This group starts with a biblical citation, followed by an aria and then early on (relative to the norm) a chorale is interposed, in this case "Ach Gott wie manches herzeleid". The exceptional feature here is that the biblical introduction is shared by a duet and then Chorus which emphasise Christ's minatory declaration, BWV 44/2 "Es kommt aber die Zeit". Nevertheless the overall structure and the didactic theology of the work links it to Cantatas for this period in 1724: BWV 144 (Septuagesima), BWV 166 (4th Sunday after Easter), BWV 86, (Rogate) and BWV 37 (Ascension) according to Duerr.

In BWV 81 we tackled the image of the storm-tossed Christian amidst the waves being steadfast; here it is the buffeting of winds on land which is the subject of BWV 44/5. The librettist uses one of the most peculiar baroque images, that of a palm-tree laden with weights, the burden being believed on callisthenic principles to cause palm trees to grow even stronger!

Dürr refers to the discussion of this emblem by A. Schöne in "Emblematik und Drama in Zeitalter der Barock". Inexplicably Lucia Haselboeck in her "Bach Textlexikon" misses out this extraordinary image. Anglicans may be interested to know that the weighted palm was an illustration associated with the martyred Charles 1, engraved in the adulatory "Eikon Basilike" which was published in many editions after his death. The significance of Charles as a figure contemplating his fate with Christian resignation was much recognised in continental Europe and the leading German baroque dramatist, Gryphius, created a drama, "Carolus Stuardus," accordingly.

The sentiments of this Cantata are rather forbidding to modern minds but we can all admire the skill with which Bach moves the mood from the poignant opening of the duet, through the vigorous tortured counterpoint of the chorus and then, doctrines and reflection spent in the Alto aria, penitential middle chorale and stern Bass recitative, we are refreshed by the final Soprano Aria based on the "Freudensonne," the sun of joy that soon laughs.

The allusions to the Antichrist produce a suspicion that the librettist had experienced the aftermath of the Thirty Years' War. The appropriate final chorale, "O welt ich muss dich lassen" is focussed on the doctrine of
resignation:"Es gehe, wie es gehe" (Be it as it may),and seals the message of this Cantata, in which texts and music are intimately interrelated.

Neil Halliday wrote (May 2, 2006):
The opening duet moves straight into the following SATB chorus without a break, and this section is quite dramatic, with rests in the vocal lines, and "forte" markings in the instrumental parts, after "dass" and "wird meinem" (in "that, who kills you, will think, he does God's service"). The chromaticism on `toetet" is very effective, especially in the stretto-like section (in the order SATB) towards the end.

Richter [2] has the opening duet sung by the tenor and bass sections of the choir.

The alto aria - a trio for alto voice, oboe, and continuo - is lovely and imbued with a mood of sadness.

The tenor chorale is austere on paper, with just a continuo and tenor line. Richter [2] imbues the movement with great spiritual beauty, by means of a subtle and expressive organ realisation on a `cathedral' organ and continuo strings, and use of the entire tenor section of the choir (as does Koopman [7], but this latter has a `chamber' realisation of the continuo that, like Rilling's [5], is not particularly attractive to my ears). Indeed the Richter is an attractive example, I suppose, of the `beautification' of a Bach score.

The bass recitative has some effective, chromatic harmonies, best captured by playing the piano score, shown at the BCW, on a piano. [Some personal observations: Harnoncourt [3] has some dramatic organ chords, but mostly has the short, ineffective accompaniment. Richter's organist [2] holds back on the possibilities, but DFD's singing expresses the text in fine manner. Rilling's cello [5] drones on too much, Leusink [8] has a dull `bass only' - no treble clef - sound, etc.]

The soprano aria is most attractive. Notice how the vocal line seems to begin in triple time, reverting back to the common time of the aria on the long melisma on "watches"; and this melisma really drives home the fact of God's watching over his church. In the middle section, set in the relative minor, we have some marvellous tone painting on the words "for even when the weather (ie, storm clouds) tower", with the instrumental parts towering up; followed by the release of the words "after the trouble-storm, the joy-sun soon laughs", with charming little melismas on "laughs".

The finale choral has Bach's typically fine 4-part harmonisation.

I enjoy the Richter [2], Rilling [5], and Harnoncourt [3] recordings, in that order, and Leusink [8] also has a strong recording. The web samples of other recordings reveal some fine performances.

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 6, 2006):
< Cantata BWV 44:
Christ warns the disciples of the dangers of ostracism or death at the hands of persecuting enemies convinced of their own righteousness. This harsh vision finds a dramatic musical shape, the violent chorus entrance breaking the relentless progress of the opening duet.
The lyric for the Bass Recitative echoes this self righteousness: The Antichrist ... probably imagines that in doing so his deed must be pleasing to God. >

This weekend I've enjoyed doing what I'd like to do more often (whenever time allows), which is to study the weekly assigned cantata. This is especially worthwhile when it's one I didn't know yet: like this one, BWV 44.

My usual procedure, followed here:

- Download the voice and piano score from the BCW; print it out for play-through.
- Get out the full score also.
- Tune one of my harpsichords the way I believe Bach's rehearsal Cammerton harpsichord was tuned (to match the effects available on the transposing Chorton organ when he wrote the piece). (**)
- Play through the whole cantata noting the overall shape of things, and the most obviously dramatic melodic/harmonic events.
- Listen through at least two recordings.
- Play through the cantata again.
- Note how well the composition brings out the text and its themes: matching the meaning in the text to the melodic and harmonic strokes that bring it out with intensity and immediacy.

(**) G-D-A-E-B-F# 1/6 comma; F#-C#-G#-D# pure; Eb-Bb-F-C 1/12 comma.

This cantata is especially powerful in its use of the darkest and most troubled keys, until it gets to the gavotte-like aria (penultimate) and the final chorale. It finally lightens up does the turn of the text. And I won't go blow by blow through the piece pointing out all the marvelous moments in the harmony (some straightforward, others intensely chromatic), because they really must be heard for oneself, following a similar procedure....

Suffice it to say that Bach obviously knew very well what he was doing when he wrote this marvelous cantata. The sounds of the G minor, C minor, F minor, A-flat major, B-flat major, and E-flat major through this piece fit the text's progression beautifully, with such strong effects. The piece would lose quite a bit if transposed, or if washed out to a characterless tuning. The troubled/difficult sound of all those flats is obviously an integral part of the piece: the persecution at the hands of self-righteous enemies, the violent strokes of that recitative about the Antichrist, &c, &c.

Bravo to Bach on this one; and I want to hear the piece several more times this weekend yet, while it's still fresin the mind.

Robert Newman wrote (May 6, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman]

How inspiring to read your post about what is really inspiration itself ! These cantatas are treasures beyond price aren't they ? This one, 44, is a marvel too.

Thanks for the great pleasure of your letter.

Robert Newman wrote (May 10, 2006):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< This cantata is especially powerful in its use of the darkest and most troubled keys, until it gets to the gavotte-like aria (penultimate) and the final chorale. >
Thanks for this and associated useful comments. You (and others) may be interested to know that WHRB, Cambriddge MA (streamed at is playing complete Mozart from May 8 to May 18. Harpsichordist Igor Kipnis began his career, in part, doing a similar (but much less complete) program in the early 1960's.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 22, 2006):
BWV 44 and following

I have recently received the Suzuki CD [10] which contains the cantatas for the four weeks beginning with BWV 44. I had previously attempted to post some comments re the John Harbison/Cantata singers version of BWV 44 [1] which may have been lost. I will try to find computer time to post a comparison of Suzuki and Harbison soon. Quick word: both excellent, and a nice way to compare and contrast thirty years of progress in superb interpretations.

Ed Myskowski wrote (May 26, 2006):
BWV 44

I am repeating the comments in the following paragraphs in the hope that they were omitted from the archives due to oversight or technical problems. Since posting them several weeks ago, I have added the Suzuki CD [10] to my collection, and expect to post some brief comments on all four of the cantatas contained. The review of the CD in the Suzuki link is accurate - I am not sure what self-recommending means, but the performances are unlikely to disappoint any but the most felsen herzen (stony hearted) adherents of extreme performance practices of one sort or another.

I have the original Cantata Singers recording [1], the first for this cantata, in the Advent LP and CD reissue formats, as well as the Richter CD [2]. The Advent CD reissue is equal or superior to the LP in all respects, and is still available.

The LP liner notes [1] contain a comment by conductor and commentator John Harbison, which got edited out for the CD booklet, and which is worth preserving:

Christ warns the disciples of the dangers of ostracism or death at the hands of persecuting enemies convinced of their own righteousness. This harsh vision finds a dramatic musical shape, the violent chorus entrance breaking the relentless progress of the opening duet.

The lyric for the Bass Recitative echoes this self righteousness: The Antichrist ... probably imagines that in doing so his deed must be pleasing to God.

I find the Harbison duet [1] followed by large chorus entry powerful, and superior to the Richter use of Tenor and Bass chorus sections for the duet, as previously noted by Neil. In fact in my version of the Richter CD [2] there is an audible splice between duet and chorus.

There is no doubt that the Richter arias [2] have unsurpassed soloists (Mathis, Reynolds, and Fischer-Dieskau) which make this the preferred recording. However, the Harbison [1] has virtues of its own, beyond the greatly superior opening duet, which make it an interesting addition to a collection. Beyond its historical interest as the first recording, it also represents recording technology and venue intended to recreate a performance in church. At this it succeeds, and makes a well balanced, cohesive performance for a continuous listen. Obviously, the large chorus will not be to everyone's taste, even for an alternate recording. The LP noles also document that only two microphones were used in the recording, a fact omitted from the CD booklet. I expect this contributes to the overall effective ambience of church listening reproduced through home speakers, with perhaps some loss of presence for the soloists.

With that qualification in mind, I find the alto aria by D'Anna Fortunato [1] to be virtually the equal of Anna Reynolds. It is worth having both recordings for this comparison alone.

Thanks to Peter Smaill for notes on the text, I will try to add some comments re the palm tree imagery when I am again able to write from home, at greater depth.


Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 44: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
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