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Cantata BWV 48
Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of October 4, 2015 (4th round)

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 14, 2015):
Cantata BWV 48 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography pages of Cantata BWV 48 "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird micherlösen" (Miserable man that I am) for the 19th Sunday after Trinity on the BCW have been revised and updated.
The cantata is scored for alto & tenor soloists; 4-part chorus; and orchestra of trumpet, 2 oboes, 2 violins, viola & continuo. See:
Complete Recordings (10): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV48.htm
Recordings of Individual Movements (6): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV48-2.htm
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options to recordings directly from the discography pages, just below the recording details.

I also put at the BCW Home Page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
2 audios and 2 videos of the cantata. A short description below the audio/video image is linked to the full details at the discography pages.

I believe this is the most comprehensive discography of this cantata. If you are aware of a recording of BWV 48 missing from these pages, or want to correct/add details of a recording already presented on the BCW, please do not hesitate to inform me.

William Hoffman wrote (October 18, 2015):
Cantata BWV 48, “Ich elender Mensch” Intro., Trinity 19 Chorales

As Bach moved into the final third of Trinity Time in his first cycle of service cantatas in the fall of 1723, he pursued another distinct cantata movement form. In Cantata 48, “Ich elender Mensch” (Miserable man that I am, Romans 7:24), for the 19th Sunday after Trinity he created a hybrid chorale cantata structure with a chorale melody on trumpet and two oboes in the opening biblical dictum chorus, and set the third movement as a plain chorale, while ending with the usual plain chorale. In between he composed two recitatives and two arias for alto and tenor.1 The chorus and two arias are set in triple time, opening with a lament in g minor in the style of a slow minuet in ¾ time. The three chorale settings are score for full orchestra with trumpet and oboes, perhaps to more fully engage the congregation. The insertion of a plain chorale in the middle of a cantata became the other distinct form for some 12 more cantatas in the first cycle totaling about 60.

Bach retained the remainder of a symmetrical, mirror form for many of his first cycle, usually opening with a chorus and closing with a plain chorale while internally alternating recitatives and arias. At the same time, while he continued to experiment with various compositional techniques, Bach also sought thematic unity through a general pattern beginning with later Trinity Time typical themes of sorrow and death and moving towards the affirmative. It was similar to Luther’s initial teaching of the harsh Old Testament law finally overcome with the positive New Testament teachings of Jesus.

Cantata 48 was performed at the early main service at the St. Thomas Church before the sermon (not extant) of Pastor Christian Weise (1671-1736), says Martin Petzoldt in Bach Commentary, Vol. 1, Trinity Time Sundays.2

The full text dictum for this 15-minute hybrid chorale Cantata 48 is: “Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen vom Leibe dieses Todes? (Miserable man that I am, who will free me from the body of this death?) for the austere 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 3, 1723.

The Trinity Time Christian teachings become increasingly austere and severe, as observed by John Eliot Gardner, in his recording notes to his Bach Cantata Pilgrimage 2000.3 “Now that we are approaching the end of the Trinity season, the thematic emphasis is on the thorny and intractable issues of belief and doubt. With autumn giving way to winter the character of the appointed texts for each Sunday becomes steadily grimmer, underlining the rejection of the world by the faithful and the prospect of eventual union with God – or the horror of exclusion. From week to week this dichotomy appears to grow harsher.”

Cantata 48 begins with the chorus singing a New Testament dictum, Roman’s 7:24, with the trumpet and two oboes playing the chorale melody, “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut” (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Highest Good).

The dictum is “the apostle Paul’s cry of anguish in which he bewails the spiritual death that results from the flesh’s inclination to sin,” observes Stephen A. Crist in his Cantata 48 essay in Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach.4

“To the imploring questions of the Pauline text,” says Gardiner, “Bach offers his listeners the solace of the melody of Johann Hermann’s hymn,” “Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir” (Lord Jesus Christ, I cry to you). “Paul’s agonizing words are set against the trumpet and oboes sounding the melody, “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut” (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Highest Good, NLGB No. 341, Death & Dying)). The melody is harmonized in the closing chorale, No. 7, using Stanza 12, “HJC, einiger Trost,” (LJC, Sole Comfort). The complete 12-stanza text and Francis Browne’s English translation are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale041-Eng3.htm.

Christ “is the ultimate figure of divine authority, hence the canonic treatment of the chorale,” in the opening two-part chorus in g minor, ¾ time, says Richard D. P. Jones in The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach, Volume II. 5

The unknown librettist wrote the texts for Cantata 48 Movements 2, and 4-6). The full Cantata 48 text and Francis Browne English translation is found at BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV48-Eng3.htm. Cantata 48 uses three chorales with popular texts score for tutti ensemble: an opening dictum chorus with instrumental chorale and two four-part chorales. In Movement No. 1, a chorale melody chorus with biblical dictum, trumpet and oboe play the chorale melody, Bartholomäus Ringwaldt’s 1588 penitential chorale text and associated melody, “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut (NLGB <omnes tempore> No. 181), as found in the Dresden Gesangbuch. BCW melody and text details are found at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Herr-Jesu-Christ-du-hochstes.htm.

Chorale Ach Gott und Herr’

Another chorale is harmonized in Movement No. 3, the Martin Rutilius 1604 (or Johann Major 1613) hymn, “Ach Gott und Herr” (Ah God and Lord, NLGB No. 180, Catechism confession chorale), using Stanza 4, “Solls ja so sein” (Shall It Yea Then Be), set in Bb Major to the 1625 Dresden melody of an anonymous composer when the final four verses were added to the original six (See the full text with Francis Browne’s English translation, in BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale043-Eng3.htm.

Bach also harmonizes this hymn in the plain chorale BWV 255 in C Major that is found in the Hänssler CD complete Bach edition, chorales, Volume 85 under “Justification & Penance.” The hymn tune also is set as miscellaneous chorale prelude BWV 714 in B minor/Major in alle breve 2/2 time. The hymn is listed as No. 84 in the <Orgelbüchlein> chorale preludes for Catechism confession but not set by Bach. Two miscellaneous chorale settings, BWV 692 and 693 are now attributed to Bach’s Weimar relative and associate, Johann Gottfried Wather (See, Chorale Melodies used in Bach’s Vocal Works, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Ach-Gott-und-Herr.htm).

Around 1713, when Bach began his Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) collection of chorale preludes for church services, he listed “Ach Gott und Herr,” as No. 71 in the <omne tempore> Catechism section, under the heading “Confession, Penitence and Justif.” He did not set the hymn then as part of the collection and likewise the other hymns found in Cantatas BWV 48 and 5: “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut,” OB No. 72; “Wo soll ich fliehen hin?,” OB No 74. He also did not set “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir,” OB No. 67.

Alto, Tenor Recits & Arias

Interestingly, Bach returns to using two soloists only, alto and tenor singing pairs of recitatives-arias, as he had done two weeks previous in festive chorus Cantata 148, “Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens” (Bring to the Lord the glory of his name, Psalm 29:2) for the 17th Sunday. The other four movements in Cantata 48, key and meter, are:

2. Recitative extended [Alto, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: “O Schmerz, o Elend, so mich trifft / Indem der Sünden Gift / Bei mir in Brust und Adern wütet” (O pain, O misery, that that strikes me, / while the poison of sin / rages in my breast and veins); Eb-Bb, 4/4.
4. Aria in two parts [Alto, Oboe solo, Continuo]: “Ach, lege das Sodom der sündlichen Glieder, / Wofern es dein Wille, zerstöret darnieder!” (Ah, may Sodom with its sinful members, /so far as it is your will, lie levelled and destroyed!); Eb, 3/8 passepied-menuett style.
5. Recitative secco [Tenor, Continuo]: “Hier aber tut des Heilands Hand / Auch unter denen Toten Wunder” (But here the Saviour's hand / does wonders even among the dead); Bb, 4/4.
6. Aria free da-capo [Tenor; Violino I e Oboe all' unisono, Violino II, Viola, Continuo]: “Vergibt mir Jesus meine Sünden, / So wird mir Leib und Seele gesund” (If Jesus forgives me my sins, / then my body and soul will become healthy); g minor ¾.

Biblical References, Readings

Biblical references in Cantata 48 are: Movement No. 1, dictum, Romans 7:24; No. 4. Jesus “works wonders among the dead” (Ps. 88:10) and “shows His power in the weak” (2 Corinthians 12:9); No. 2, Gospel, alto recitative, corrupt old body; No. 4, alto aria, two-part with ritornello, the soul shall be spared (passepied-menuett style); No. 5, tenor recitative, the healing power of Jesus (Psalm 88:10 and 2 Corinthians 12:9); and No. 6, tenor aria ”Vergibt mir Jesus, meine Sünden “ (Forgive me, O Jesus, my sins).

The Readings for the 19th Sunday after Trinity are: Epistle: Ephesians 4:22-28 (Put on the new man), and Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8 (Miracle of The sick of the palsy healed). The German text is that of Luther’s translation published in 1545, the English is the Authorised (King James) Version 1611. The full lectionary text is found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Trinity19.htm.

The Introit Psalm is Psalm 139, Domine, probasti (O Lord, thou hast searched me), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 533). He describes Psalm 139 as a “Prayer for the right death manner.” Its 24 lines originated with the Clementine Vulgate (texts, Wikipedia http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Psalm_139.

Trinity 19 Cantatas 48, 5, 1266

While the appointed New Testament lessons for the final quarter of Trinity Time are increasingly grim and harsh, Bach met the challenge in his cantata musical sermons, beginning with the initial 19th Sunday after Trinity 1723 chorus Cantata BWV 48, “Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erosen?” (I, wretched mortal, who shall deliver me?), followed by the 1724 chorale Cantata BWV 5, “Wo sol lich fliehen hin? (Where shall I fly to?), and the 1726 bass solo Cantata BWV 56, Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen” (I will the cross-staff gladly carry).

Bach employed various techniques and devices to engage the listener in all three works: a general shift from the problem to the solution (negative to positive) in the text and musical setting, the use of well-known chorales with mostly selective Catechism confessional stanzas to confront the listener with the Living Word of God, graphic and descriptive poetic texts, various biblical quotations and illusions, and the use of dance style and other musical techniques. Bach also uses elements of tonal unity and allegory in all three cantatas, with flat, descending keys established in g minor in the opening dicta, moving to Bb and Eb Major in the initial recitatives and all the arias, and returning to c and g minor in the closing recitatives and chorales.

The final quarter of the Trinity Time mini-cycles on the meaning of being a Christian emphasizes the “last things” (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, says Paul Zeller Strodach in The Church Year.7 The final cycle theme is the “Completion of the Kingdom of Righteousness” involving fulfillment and rewards. This Cycle of Last Things closes a complete year of instruction and emphasizes the promise/warnings of eternal life.

The Thematic Patterns in the Trinity Time Gospels, involving paired parables or miracle with teachings concludes with the lectionary paired healing miracle in the Trinity 18 Gospel, leading to the next Sunday’s Trinity 19 Gospel teaching parable of the marriage feast. This is supported with the positive advice found in this Sunday’s Epistle: Ephesians 4:22-28, the Old and New Man. Here is the contrast of the old man of the flesh and the new man of righteousness. The final paired gospel teaching and miracle is: * Trinity 18: Matthew 22: 34-46 - Teaching: The great commandment. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. * Trinity 19 Gospel : Matthew 9: 1-8 ­ Miracle of palsied man. And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.

The Epistle, Ephesians 4:22-28, stresses, “Put on the new man” (KJV): Reject the old man of corrupt deceitful lust, renew the spirit of the mind, embrace the new man, like God, “created in righteousness and true holiness.” Bear no false witness (8th Commandment), “for we are members one of another. [26] Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: [27] Neither give place to the devil. [28] Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

Bach’s Cycle 1 Cantata Structures

In the first Leipzig cycle Bach had established a clear pattern of musical structure, beginning in the first seven Sundays of Trinity Time with compound cantatas in two parts, performed before and after the sermon, with the first part usually in typical mirror form For the next seven Sundays, Bach utilized the typical six-movement mirror form, probably using the same still-unknown librettist. For the succeeding five weeks, Bach turned increasingly to experimenting with affirmative, often multiple chorales, possibly as a contrast to some of the austere Old Testament biblical dicta found in many opening choruses.

Bach was laying the groundwork for the unique second cycle of chorale cantatas. Many of the opening choruses were set as preludes and fugues, similar to his organ works both chorale-based or without chorales. For Trinity 15 and 16, Bach composed proto chorale cantatas, BWV 138, “Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz,” and BWV 95, “Christus, der ist meins Leben.” They involve opening chorale choruses plus internal chorale settings, including Bach’s first troped hymn melody set against another voice in Cantata 95, a form he would exploit in the second cycle as well as in his St. John and St. Matthew Passions. The chorale-finales of 138 and 109, “Ich glaube, lieber Herr, hilf meinem Umglauben” (I believe, dear lord, help my unbelief, Mark 9:24),8 were “particularly extensive and broadly conceived,” observes Richard D. P. Jones in his summary of Bach’s development of the chorale cantata in The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach, Volume II: Ibid.: 125f).

“The later cantatas of Cycle 1 often contain two or three different chorale (Cantata 95 even contains four),” says Jones. These often involve various types of troped conjunctions of chorale and recitative in Cycle 1 with the chorale played by instr, solo voice or chorus, and with the recitative sung by one or more voices. In contrast, “the inner portions often tend to be secular-influenced madrigalian texts,” says Jones (Ibid.: 128), involving arias, ariosi, and recitatives, usually with one aria often set in dance style.

Meanwhile, Bach often recycled materials from Weimar in the first cycle, having some 22 Sunday works on hand. He either expanded them into two-part cantatas with added recitatives (BWV 147, 186, 70) or retained the single-part works, often for solo voices, appropriate for the same Sunday. To these he added a new, second, mostly solo cantata for a double bill (BWV 185+24, 199+17918+181, Anh. 199-182, 172-159, 165+194).

Cantata Structures & Chorale Choices

While the librettists for the three cantatas cannot be identified, the structures are representative of each of the respective cycles -- chorus cantata, chorale cantata, and solo cantata. A cursory glance at the quite distinctive yet varied literary styles and biblical emphases in each cantata may suggest perfunctory textual devices. In the context of Bach’s time and accepted practice, however, each work has a unique character in which music and text fit seamlessly and probably were widely accepted as musical sermons. The firm hand and compelling mind of their creator achieve quite distinctive works beyond their immediate and lasting appeal. The general direction of the three cantatas, BWV 48, 5, and 56, is toward the positive, as well as within each work, from the penitence of the corrupt sinner to the solace of the seeker to the quest for new life.

In his cantatas for later Trinity Time, Bach increasingly turned to other established hymn books to find newer chorales like those of Paul Stockman “and above all also hymns materials not liturgically established,” says Günther Stiller’s JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig.9 Stiller suggests that Bach often must have lacked suitable stanzas for his cantatas “and therefore naturally had to be free to choose other hymns in each case and also to combine corresponding stanzas meaningfully. But also in such cases Bach strove to put the traditional hymnal materials to use as much as possible, and in this effort various collections of hymns must have inspired him to find the right stanzas.” Stiller then cites the use of the Wagner hymnbook for chorales Bach used in the cantatas for the previous 18th Sunday after Trinity.

Bach was able to include these hymns in the varied and unusual text sources and references in the libretti written for him that became Cantatas BWV 48, 5, and 56 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Of particular note is Bach’s use of the Dresdner Gesangbuch of 1725/36 for the Johann Heermann chorales harmonized in Cantatas 48 and 5, according to Stiller (Ibid.: 246) and conductor Gardiner (<Ibid.>). The Dresden hymnbook specified for this Sunday the congregational singing of “Hymns Concerning Repentance and Confession.” Chorale Cantata BWV 5 is based on the repentance hymn “Wo soll ich fliehen hin?” (Where shall I flee hence) with its associated melody, “Auf meinen lieben Gott” (Of my loving God).

New chorale sources were lacking in the Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch of 1682 that lists only one “new” chorale, ”Aus tiefer Not laßt uns Gott,” to be sung on the 19th Sunday after Trinity. Instead, the NLGB favors previous omne tempore Trinity Time themes and Psalm hymns to be sung at service: “Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ” (I Call to Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, No. 235, Christian Life & Hope), “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir” (Out of the Depths I Cry to Thee, No. 270, Luther’s setting of Psalm 130, <de profundis>), “Nun lob mein Seel den Herrn” (Now Praise My Soul the Lord, No. 261, Psalm 103, Bless the Lord, O My Soul), and “O Herre Gott begnade mich” (O Lord God, Have Mercy on Me, No. 257, Psalm 51, Have Mercy on Me).

The new hymn, “Aus tiefer Not laßt uns Gott,” NLGB No. 179, “From the Holy Catechism” (A Song of the Bohemian Brothers), has a text that “is different and the melody may be as well” from Luther’s “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir” (BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Aus-tiefer-Not.htm, citing a Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau chorale prelude). Both are hymns of “Confession, Penitence & Justification.” Although Bach did not set “Aus tiefer Not laßt uns Gott,” he did set in Cantata BWV 48 the next two penitential hymns in the NLGB, “Ach Gott und Herr,” No. 180, and “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut,” No. 181, as well as No. 182, “Wo soll ich fliehen hin?,” as Chorale Cantata BWV 5.

Trinity 19 Cantata Characteristics

Cantata BWV 5 “In its exegetical unfolding (it) corresponds to the pattern of [Cantata 48] ‘Ich elender Mensch’, establishing a correlation between the palsied man and the sin-burdened soul in its first three movements, and describing the extension of Christ’s forgiveness to believers in the last four numbers,” says Gardiner. Both cantatas follow the traditional Lutheran pattern of problem turning to solution in virtually the same seven-movement form: opening chorus and closing chorale with alternating pairs of recitatives and arias. While Cantata 48 inserts an additional four-part chorale as the third movement, Cantata 5 instead has an additional (soprano) recitative (Movement No. 6) and restates the chorale melody in the oboe in the alto recitative (Movement No. 3).

In contrast, the two Cantatas, BWV 5 and 48, have different musical treatment of the texts and the different thematic emphasis of the two chorales, the penitential “Wo soll ich fliehen hin?” and the comforting solace of melody “Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir,” says Gardiner (Ibid.).

Bach literally takes a third tack in his bass solo Cantata BWV 56 in the third cycle for the same Sunday gospel musical sermon: “Bach takes his lead from the first verse of the Gospel for the day [Matthew 9:1], ‘And he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city.’ Following a medieval tradition, Bach treats the course of human life allegorically as a sea voyage, a nautical Pilgrim’s Progress,” says Gardiner. “No stranger himself to life’s tribulations, Bach has left us several memorable evocations of adversity, yet none more poignant than this cantata.”

Chorus Cantata 48

Cantata 48 uses three chorales: an opening dictum chorus with instrumental chorale and two four-part chorales. In Movement No. 1, a chorale chorus, trumpet and oboe play the chorale melody, Bartholomäus Ringwaldt’s 1588 penitential chorale text and associated melody, “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut” (Lord Jesus Christ, Thou Highest Good, NLGB <omnes tempore> No. 181). The melody is harmonized in the closing chorale, No. 7, set to the anonymous 1620, “Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir” (LJC, I Cry to Thee, NLGB No. 341, Death & Dying), using Stanza 12, “HJC, einiger Trost,” (LJC, Sole Comfort). The complete 12-stanza text and Francis Browne’s English translation are found at BCW, Chorale: Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir - Text & Translation.

For details of Bach’s use of the hymn, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity9.htm, Solo Cantata 168

Another chorale is harmonized in Movement No. 3, the Martin Rutilius 1604 (or Johann Major 1613) hymn, “Ach Gott und Herr” (Ah God and Lord, NLGB No. 180, Catechsim confession chorale), using Stanza 4, “Solls ja so sein” (Shall It Yea Then Be), set in Bb Major to the 1625 Leipzig melody of an anonymous composer when the final four verses were added to the original six (See the full text with Francis Browne’s English translation, in BCW, Chorale: Ach Gott und Herr - Text & Translation. Bach also harmonizes this hymn in the plain chorale BWV 255 in C Major that is found in the Hänssler CD complete Bach edition, chorales, Volume 85 under “Justification & Penence.” The hymn tune also is set as chorale prelude BWV 714 in B minor/Major in alle breve 2/2 time. The hymis listed as No. 84 in the< Orgelbüchlein> chorale preludes for Catechism confession but not set by Bach. Two miscellaneous chorale settings, BWV 692 and 693 are now attributed to Bach’s Weimar relative and associate, Johann Gottfried Wather (See, Chorale Melodies used in Bach’s Vocal Works, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Ach-Gott-und-Herr.htm).

Around 1713, when Bach began his Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) collection of chorale preludes for church services, he listed “Ach Gott und Herr,” as No. 71 in the <omne tempore> Catechism section, under the heading “Confession, Penitence and Justification.” He did not set the hymn then as part of the collection and likewise the other hymns found in Cantatas BWV 48 and 5: “Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut,” OB No. 72; “Wo soll ich fliehen hin?,” OB No 74. He also did not set “Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir,” OB No. 67.

Biblical references in Cantata 48 are: Movement No. 1, dictum, Romans 7:24; No. 4. Jesus “works wonders among the dead” (Ps. 88:10) and “shows His power in the weak” (2 Corinthians 12:9); No. 2, Gospel, alto recitative, corrupt old body; No. 4, alto aria, two-part with ritornello, the soul shall be spared (passapied-menuet style); No. 5, tenor recitative, the healing power of Jesus (Psalm 88:10 and 2 Corinthians 12:9); and No. 6, tenor aria ”Vergibt mir Jesus, meine Sünden “ (Forgive me, O Jesus, my sins).

Cantata 48 Structure

In its form, Cantata BWV 48 is the first cantata in Alfred Dürr’s second group of Cycle 1 works that has a structure of biblical words, recitative, chorale, aria, recitative aria, and closing chorale.10 This group involves five other, later cantatas with double plain chorales in one part: BWV 40 and 76 for Christmas 2 and 3), BWV 135 for the Sunday after New Year, BWV 65 for the Feast of Epiphany, and BWV 67 for the First Sunday after Easter.

Dürr classifies two other types of cantatas structures Bach composed for the 1723-24 first Leipzig cycle: first group of nine cantatas with biblical words, alternating recitatives and arias, and closing chorale for the services for Trinity 8-14 and 21-22, the First Sunday after Easter involving Cantatas BWV 136, 105, 46, 179, 69, 77, 25, 109, 80 and 104;

The third group of 10 cantatas in the <de tempore> section of the first cycle (biblical words, aria, chorale (sic?), recitative, aria, and chorale) were composed for Septuagesima Sunday, Feast of the Purification, Easter Monday to the Sunday after Ascension (except Easter Tuesday and Easter Sunday 2) and Reformation Day.

Thus, Dürr categorizes by cantata structures 25 of the some 58 cantatas presented in the first cycle. The remainder have other structural forms, notably in early Trinity Time are two-part cantatas and shorter cantatas that are part of a double cantata service (before and after the sermon), as well as hybrid works and expansions of some 20 cantatas original composed in Weimar and presented throughout the first cycle.

Chorale Cantata 5

In the Chorale Cantata BWV 5, “Wo soll ich fliehen hin? (Where shall I fly to?), the Johann Heermann 1630 text is set to the J. H. Schein 1627 associated melody “Auf meinen lieben Gott” (Of my loving God, NLGB No. 99, Persecution, Tribulation& Challenge). It was introduced on October 15, 1724 and used the melody the opening fantasia chorus, the alto recitative (No. 4) and the closing chorale (No. 7), S.11, “Führ auch mein Herz und Sinn” (Lead then my heart and mind). The text also has free paraphrases of two succeeding stanzas in the three recitatives and two arias. For the cantata text with Francis Browne’s English translation in interlinear format, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV5-Eng3.htm.

For the Francis Browne translation of the original 12-stanza hymn, from which Cantata BWV 5 paraphrases Stanzas 2-5 and 6-11, see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale021-Eng3.htm

Chorale Cantata BWV 5 was reperformed between 1732 and the beginning of 1735, according to source-critical evidence, most likely on the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 24, 1734, possibly as part of performance of the entire second cycle.

In 1725, the 19th Sunday after Trinity occurred on October 7 during Bach’s third Trinity Time in Leipzig when he composed only a handful of new cantatas. The most recent composition was BWV 164, “Ihr, die ihr euch von Cristo nennet” (possibly begun in Weimar in 1715), introduced on August 26, 1725. There is no record that Bach composed a new cantata for the Feast of St. Michael on Friday, September 29, beginning the Leipzig Fall Fair. Bach’s only other new composition was chorus Cantata BWV 79, “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild” (God the Lord Is Son and Shield) for the Feast of the Reformation, on Wednesday, October 31, 1725, which is part of Bach’s third Leipzig cycle.

Solo Cantata 56

Bass Solo Cantata BWV 56 “Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen” (I will the cross-staff gladly carry) was first performed on October 27, 1726 (Cycle 3) and is based on a libretto for this Sunday in Erdmann Neumeister first cantata cycle 1700/04. The closing chorale, No. 5, Johann Franck 8-stanza 1653, “Du, O schones Weltgebäude” (Thou, O Beautiful Adobe of Earth), uses Stanza 6, “Komm, O Tod, du Schlafes Bruder” (Come thou, O death, Sleeps Brother). Johann Crüger’s associated 1649 melody is not used elsewhere in Bach’s cantatas but is harmonized in plain chorale BWV 301 in D minor (NLGB No. 385, Death& Dying), listed under Christian Life & Hope in the Hänssler Complete Bach Edition of chorales, Vol. 83.

The closing Stanza 8 of “Du, O schones Weltgebäude,” ?“Doch weil ich die Friedensauen” (Yet Will I the Peace Meadows) is listed as the final chorale, Movement No. 5, in the Picander 1728 complete cantata cycle text, P-40, “Ich klopf an deine Gnadentüre (I pulsate at Thy Grace). Seven stanzas in German are found at http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=11867

Other Bach Trinity 19 Opportunities

+For the 19th Sunday after Trinity on October 12, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.

+For the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 3, 1728, the Picander printed annual church cantata cycle, lists P-63, “Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken” (God, Thou Judge, of Thoughts), closing (Movement No. 5) with the Paul Gerhardt 1656 chorale, “Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?” (Why should I myself then grieve?), S. 6, “Satan, Welt, und ihre Rotten” (Satan, World, and your kind). Associated melody adapted by Leipzig poet Daniel Vetterer 1713, from J. G. Ebeling 1666).

+A tantalizing fragment of a cantata inscribed in Bach’s hand for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, presumably for October 23, 1729, is listed as BWV Anhang (Appendix) Anh. 2, no title, involving the opening sinfonia of six measures in Bb Major in 6/8 time, scored for SATB, violin concertante, strings and basso continuo. It is found on the backside of the manuscript score of Bach’s Motet BWV 226, “Der Geist hilf unsre Schwacheit auf” (The Spirit hold up our Infirmity), for a funeral on October 24, 1729. Dürr cites this “[Untexted Fragment] BWV Anh, I 2 BC A147” with the extant music in his The Cantatas of JSB (Ibid.: 584f). The music, like the opening fantasia chorus of chorale Cantata 5 has dance character.

“It is questionable whether this sketch may be linked with Picander’s text for this Sunday from his cycle of 1728-29,” Dürr says. Further, the harmonization of chorale, BWV 422, “Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?,” is in the unrelated key of C/G Major. Dürr assumes that Bach began the cantata composition (in October 1729) but ceased and began composing the motet for the coming funeral. At this time, Bach had ceased regular service composition, having assumed the directorship of the secular Leipzig Collegium musicum in the late spring of 1729 when he composed his last sacred CantataBWV 174, “Ich liebe den Hochsten von ganzem Gemute,” for Pentecost Monday, June 6, 1729, using a Picander 1728 printed text.

+On the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 16, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle “Saitenspiele testeddes Hertzens” (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About October 7, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel’s two-part cantata, “Ich bin ein Gast Gewesen” (I am surely a guest) from the cantata cycle “Das Namenbuch Christi,” (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 62. No musical source with the presumed chorales is extant.

Provenance

There is no evidence that any of the three Cantatas BWV 48, 5, and 56 for the 19th Sunday after Trinity was repeated in the first 50 years after Bach’s death by sons Friedemann and Emanuel. There is also is no evidence that Emanuel received any manuscripts for Trinity Time in Cycle 1 after Cantata 169 for the 18th Sunday after Trinity. In the third cycle, Emanuel received virtually all the scores and Fridemann the parts. Still there is confusion about the Provenance of Cantatas 48 and 169, as found in Thomas Braatz’s BCW study, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/BWV48-Ref.htm

FOOTNOTES

1 Cantata 48 BCW Details and latest Discography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV48.htm. Score Vocal & Piano [1.21 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV048-V&P.pdf, Score BGA [1.91 MB], http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV048-BGA.pdf. References: BGA: X (Cantatas 41-50, Rust 1860), NBA KB I/24 (Trinity 19 cantatas, Matthias Wendt, 1991), Bach Compemdium BC A 144, Zwang: K 46.

2 Petzoldt, Bach Kommentar: Die geistlichen Kantaten des 1. Bis 27. Trinitas-Sontagges, Vol. 1; Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs, Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2004: 538).
3 Gardiner notes: BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV48.htm, Recordings No. 6, or http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P10c[sdg110_gb].pdf.
4 Crist, OCC: JSB , ed. Malcolm Boyd (Oxford University Press: New York, 1999: 227).
5 Jones, Creative Development of JSB, Vol. II, 1717-1750. “Music to Delight the Spirit” (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013: 125f).
Late Trinity Time: Harsh Texts, Moving Music6
6
Original BCW Source: “Musical Context: Chorales and Motets for the 19th Sunday after Trinity,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity19.htm.
7Strodach, The Church Year: Studies in the Introits, Collects, Epistles, and Gospels (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 239).
8 Cantata 109 will be the BCML Weekly Discussion for October 18.
9 Stiller’s JSB and Liturgical Life in Leipzig (St. Louis: Concordia 1984: 248f). 10 Dürr The Cantatas of JSB (London: Oxford University Press, 2005: 27.

William Hoffman wrote (May 18, 2012):
Cantata Types (Dürr: Cantatas of JSB: 27)

The third group of 10 cantatas in the <de tempore> section of the first cycle (biblical words, aria, chorale (sic?), recitative, aria, and chorale) were composed for Septuagesima Sunday (144), Feast of the Purification (83), Easter Monday (66, 67, 166, 86, 37, 44) to the Sunday after Ascension (except Easter Tuesday and Easter Sunday 2) and Reformation Day (80b).

Picander Cantata, BWV Anh. 2

For the 19th Sunday after Trinity, October 3, 1728, the Picander printed annual church cantata cycle, lists P-63, “Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken” (God, Thou Judge, of Thoughts), closing (Movement No. 6) with the Paul Gerhardt 1656 chorale, “Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?” (Why should I myself then grieve?), S. 6, “Satan, Welt, und ihre Rotten” (Satan, World, and your kind). Associated melody adapted by Leipzig poet Daniel Vetterer 1713, from J. G. Ebeling 1666).

The Picander movement texts for P-63 are printed in Martin Petzoldt’s Bach Commentary, Vol. 1, Trinity Time: 559-650: 1. Sinfonia, 2. Aria da capo “Gott, du Richter, der Gedanken,” 3. Recit. “See rotten sich zusammen wider mich,” 4. Aria da capo “Will ich doch gar nerge leiden,” 5.Recit. “Da will ich meinenFeiden sagen”,” 6. Chorale “Satan, Welt, und ihre Rotten.”

A tantalizing fragment of a cantata inscribed in Bach’s hand for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, presumably for October 23, 1729, is listed as BWV Anhang (Appendix) Anh. 2, no title, involving the opening sinfonia of six measures in Bb Major in 6/8 time, scored for SATB, violin concertante, strings and basso continuo. It is found on the backside of the manuscript score of Bach’s Motet BWV 226, “Der Geist hilf unsre Schwacheit auf” (The Spirit hold up our Infirmity), for the funeral of Thomas superintendent J. H. Ernesti on October 24, 1729. Dürr cites this “[Untexted Fragment] BWV Anh, I 2 BC A147” with the extant music in his The Cantatas of JSB (Ibid.: 584f). The music, like the opening fantasia chorus of chorale Cantata 5 has dance character.

 

Cantata BWV 48: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements
Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


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
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