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Cantata BWV 44
Sie werden euch in den Bann tun euch
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of December 12, 2010

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 12, 2010):
Introduction to BWV 44 --Sie werden euch in den Bann tun

This weeks discussion continues the ongoing series of cantatas spanning from Easter to Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity. With BWV 44, we reach another important liturgical detail, the period after Ascension, anticipating the appearance of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost (Whitsun). Although the reference to this date as the Sunday after Ascension is most common, Doug Cowling has pointed out that the the name for the Sunday, Exaudi, links it to the Easter season. Kuijken [11] references it as the 6th Sunday after Easter, consistent with Dougs suggestion and with the Gospel reading for the day.

Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV44.htm

The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham} is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. Full disclosure: In this instance, I have not yet taken the time to do so myself. The recommendation is based on previous weeks, and the overall quality of Julians work.

The OVPP recording by Kuijken [11] is a personal favorite, which also includes last weeks BWV 11. It is relevant to recent BCML discussions and article postings. For those interested in the topic of OVPP, these two should not be missed: the article by Thomas Braatz, re current viewpoints in the journal Early Music, and the posting by Uri Golumb of his previously published interview with Joshua Rifkin.

Ed Myskowski wrote (December 15, 2010):
Introduction to BWV 44 --Recordings

Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The OVPP recording by Kuijken [11] is a personal favorite, which also includes last weeks BWV 11. >
It becomes more so, with additional listening. The closing chorus of BWV 11 is a jump-up, followed by (on the CD) the TB duet (BWV 44/1): <They will put you out of the synagogues.>, linked to the chorus (BWV 44/2): <A time will come when he who kills you will think that he does service to God thereby.>

Tough words, and a tough transition from the Ascension Oratorio finale.

Especially relevant (to my ears) to BWV 44/2, is this passage from the general notes to the Bach Cantata Project of La Petite Bande (Kuijken):

<Many virtuosic passages in the choral sections of Bachs cantatas etc. [sic] are in my opinion also proof that this was not choral music in the modern sense -- just as a Haydn string quartet, for example, is not music for string orchestra> (end quote)
Sigiswald Kuijken, trans J & M Berridge

For many years I have enjoyed my Cantata Singers (of Boston) recording of BWV 44 [1], a local premiere recording. It remains enjoyable, but only in a nostalgic sense, compared to Kuijken [11].

William Hoffman wrote (December 25, 2010):
Cantata 44: Exaudi & Chorales

Exaudi Sunday comes from the first word of the Introit opening: "Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice (Psalm 27, A Prayer of Praise; verse 7). This Sunday, following Ascension Thursday, centers on the Disciples' waiting for the Holy Spirit to come and is a brief time of expectation. The Gospel, John 15: 26 -16: 4, has the theme "The Spirit (Helper, Comforter) will come" followed by Christ's warning that the Disciples will be expelled from the synagogues. It is the penultimate Farewell Discourse of Jesus to his Disciples (John's Gospel, Chapters 14-160. The day's Gospel reading is divided into two sections: 15:26-27, "The Witness of the Paraclete" (advocate, intercessor), and 16:1-4, Persecutions. These discourses are virtually unique to John's Gospel.

Following four substantial works composed in Leipzig for the Feast of the Ascension, Bach for Exaudi, the last or Sixth Sunday in the Easter Season in Leipzig, narrowed his emphasis to two extant, original works. Both Cantata BWV 44 for May 21, 1724, and Cantata BWV 183, for May 13, 1725, emphasize the same biblical dictum: "Sie werden euch in den Bann tun" (They will put you under the ban [from the synagogues]), John 16:2. In addition, Bach drafted an opening cantata recitative six-bar sketch for Exaudi Sunday, 1725, but replaced it when his librettist, Mariane von Zigler, set the same dictum to open Cantata BWV 183. This dictum may be considered Christ's final caution to his followers.

For Exaudi Sunday 1726 (June 2) for his third cantata cycle, Bach found no acceptable Rudolstadt text or extant Johann Ludwig Bach cantata setting. Likewise, for Exaudi Sunday 1729 (May 29) in the Picander cycle, Bach showed no apparent interest in the cantata libretto P-36, "Quäle dich nur nicht, mein Herz" (Torment thee only not, my heart), which contains no chorale setting.

Bach also initially may have composed an opening chorale chorus and succeeding bass chorale aria for Exaudi Sunday 1725, "In allen meinen taten" (In all my doings), perhaps using instrumental music originally composed in Köthen. Bach added the music of movements 3-5 and No. 8 to this per omnes versus chorale cantata and quite possibly performed this version with closing chorale BWV 392 on Exaudi Sunday (May 5, 1731) as part of an Easter Season celebration that began with the <St. Mark Passion> on Good Friday, March 23. Eventually, Bach completed the nine-movement pure-hymn cantata, BWV 97 in 1734, with no service designation on the score, with its parts set dated 1735. Cantata BWV 97 could have been performed on the Sixth Sunday After Easter, Exaudi Sunday (May 22, 1735) in between the Ascension Oratorio and the lost Pentecost Oratorio See BCW Cantata BWV 97 Discussion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV97-D2.htm

Bach initially used the closing stanza, "So sei nun, Seele, deine" (So be now, soul, thine) of Paul Flemming's 1642 nine-verse chorale, "In allen meinen taten," set to Paul Gerhardt's 1648 Passion melody, "O Welt, ich muss dich lassen" (O world, I must leave thee) as the closing plain chorale setting of Cantata 44 for his first Leipzig cycle, Exaudi Sunday, May 21, 1724. Bach again set the same stanza and text to close solo Cantata 13, "Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen" (My sighs, my tears), for the Second Sunday After Epiphany, 1724.

Bach also set the same Flemming texts and Gerhardt melody of this hymn of submission and humility as the opening chorale chorus and closing plain chorale in per omnes versus chorale Cantata BWV 97. The entire Flemming text set to the Johannes Quirsfeld 1679 melody found in the 1682 Vopelius Leipzig Songbook is harmonized in Bach's free-standing four-part chorale, BWV 367 in C Major. While this setting also is used to open Leipzig wedding services, Bach only set the other three prescribed wedding chorales as BWV 250-252, for the beginning, after the wedding vows, and after the benediction.

Cantata 44, possible to a text of Christian Weiss Sr., also has a tenor chorale aria, No. 4, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" (Ah God, how many a heart-sorrow), Stanza 1 of Martin Moller's 1587 18-stanza chorale text, set to the Seth Calvesius 1694 melody, "O [Herr] Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (Lord Jesu Christ, my life's light), based on the melody "Rex Christe factor omnium," a chant of praise and affirmation. Moller's text is a free paraphrase of Bernard of Clairvaulx's 12th century "Jesu dulcis memoria, some 42-53 verses, for the Office (vespers or lauds) of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Sunday After New Year, or January 2/3.

Bach set the same first stanza of the Moller text as the opening chorale bass-soprano duet of Dialogue Cantata BWV 58, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid II," for the Sunday after New Year, 1727, as well as the last three stanzas as a plain chorale to close Cantata BWV 153, "Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind," also for the Sunday After New Year, 1724. Bach is also used an abridged 12-stanza version of the entire Moller text for Chorale Cantata 3, "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid I," for the Second Sunday After Epiphany, 1725.

While the Moller text is most appropriate for the Sunday After New Year, it also is used for other services as an omnes tempore hymn under the related themes of "Cross, Persecution and Tribulation," "Cross and Solicitude," and "Patience and Hope in the Cross," says Günther Stiller, <JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig> (pp. 237, 249). Thus Bach, possibly in conjunction with his St. Thomas Pastor Christian in Easter with the approach of the omnes tempore Trinity season half-church-year services.

For Cantata BWV 183 for Exaudi Sunday 1725, Bach closes with the plain chorale, "Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren" (Move into thy gates), Paul Gerhardt's 1653 12-stanza text set to the Paul Figulus 1580 New Year' melody, "Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen" (Help me God's goodness praise). Bach sets Gerhardt's fifth stanza, "Du bist ein Geist, der lehret" (You are the spirit that teaches). "Zeuch ein zu deinen Toren" is a Pentecost hymn that is one of four assigned to Exaudi Sunday in the Leipzig hymn books of Bach's time, says Stiller (p. 241).

Sunday After Ascension Musical Context (Douglas Cowling, BCW):
Introit: "Exaudi Domine" (LU854)
Motet: "Deus Adjutor Fortis"
"Exaudiet Te Dominus"
Hymn de Tempore: "Nun Freut Euch, Gottes Kinder"
Pulpit Hymn: "Christ fuhr gen Himmel"
Hymns for Chancel, Communion & Closing:
"Zeuch ein zu Thoren"

Thus, it appears that Bach had no chorale in mind to set as a chorale cantata for Exaudi Sunday.

Bach uses two distinct cantata forms for his two extant Exaudi Sunday Cantatas BWV 44 and BWV 183. Cantata BWV 44 has the first cycle third form of six-seven movements with two plain chorales, beginning with an opening dictum followed by an aria and a chorale, as designated by Alfred Dürr (<Cantatas of JSB>: 27). Cantata BWV 183 reflects the Ziegler unique hybrid cantata form, beginning with the biblical dictum as recitative followed by aria, recitative and aria, closing with plain chorale.

Douglas Cowling wrote (December 25, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Sunday After Ascension
Introit: "Exaudi Domine" (LU854)
Motet: " "Exaudiat Te Dominus" >

Although Bach's motet collection appears only to have contained polyphonic "stile antico" motets by French composers, the text was used in several large scale grand motets in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here's Campra's
setting of the text in a superb performance by William Christie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b02WtXB_Xxk

Is there any evidence of Bach knowing this kind of repertoire? He certainly knew the orchestral and keyboard music.

 

Cantata BWV 44: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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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