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Cantata BWV 50
Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of September 27, 2015 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (October 1, 2015):
Michaelmas Cantatas 219 and 50, Trinity 18 Cantatas & Chorales

Trinity 18 and St. Michael’s Feast

There is no record that Bach composed a cantata for the 18th Sunday after Trinity, September 26, 1723. In all likelihood, Bach concentrated his composing on presenting a work for the important feast of St. Michael and All-Angels, Wednesday September 29. The record lacks documentation but collateral evidence shows that Bach during moveable Trinity Time in his first annual sacred service cycle focused his composition on fixed-date feasts days rather than adjacent Trinity Time Sundays.

Beginning with the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, Bach was able to present his own works for the first three cycles, through the 23rd Sunday after Trinity, with the exception of two cantatas, BWV 96 and 169, for the 18th Sunday after Trinity. Meanwhile, the record shows that on only one Sunday, the 21st Sunday after Trinity, did Bach compose a fourth work in Leipzig, Cantata BWV 188, about 1728, from the Picander printed libretto cycle. This evidence supports the contention that Bach systematically sought to present only three cycles.

Meanwhile, Bach, as did members of the Bach Family, presented significant works on the feast of St. Michael, which in Leipzig was particularly important. This celebration opened the annual Fall Fair, the most important of the three (also Winter at Epiphany and Spring, on Jubilate Sunday after Easter) in this most significant commercial city.

Bach scholars have been unable to determine which work may have been presented on the 1723 St. Michael’s Feast. The most likely candidate may be Cantata 50, “Nun is das Heil und die Kraft” (Now is the salvation and the strength, Revelation 12:10). Bach’s one-movement festive motet for double chorus and orchestra with trumpets and drums, sets the Revelation 12:7-10 text which is the appointed Epistle reading for this celebration.

Francis Browne’s just completed BCW “Note on the Text” (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV50-Eng3.htm) with his English translation is cited in full:
<<Note on the Text

About BWV 50 there are many questions, few clear answers. No autograph survives and all sources date from after 1750. The text is taken from Revelations 12: 10, part of the readings for Michaelmas (Revelations 12: 7-10). After an account of a battle between a dragon and Michael and the angels, a voice proclaims Michael's victory in the words of our text. The one surviving movement could be either the opening or concluding movement of a more extensive cantata intended for Michaelmas .If this is the case it is generally supposed to date from Bach's first year in Leipzig and would have been performed on September 29th 1723. It is the only cantata that uses a double choir. Because of this and other unusual features scholars have speculated this movement may not be by Bach or that it is a reworking of a Bach original by a later pupil or composer. John Eliot Gardiner pertinently asks: Who other than Bach amongst his German contemporaries could have come up with such an extreme compression of ideas, at the same time giving the impresssion of colossal spatial breadth and majesty.

As usual Julian Mincham gives a clear and perceptive account of the technical issues:
http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-55-bwv-50-bwv-200-bwv-1045.htm

But when he concludes his valuable discussion: We can only lament the probable loss of the remainder of a work that began so commandingly and with so much promise. I am more inclined to agree with W.G. Whittaker:

This is one of the most superb of Bach's choruses, a great masterpiece of the highest order. One is glad that it is a torso, that one may listen to it in its solitary grandeur, not preceded or followed by arias and recitatives, which could only be overshadowed by its colossal stature. (Vol 2, p167)

Except for the most fundamental of Christians the apocalyptic imagery of the biblical text probably seems remote and alien. But some of what Bach's magnificent music expresses here can perhaps be summed up in William Blake's phrase: Energy is eternal delight.

(An appropriately vigorous and joyful performance can be found at:
http://allofbach.com/en/bwv/bwv-50/ on the marvellously generous All of Bach website, for which I cannot begin to express my gratitude and appreciation)>>

Next week’s BCML Discussion is Cantata 50 while this week’s scheduled Discussion is the apocryphal Bach Cantata BWV 219, “Siehe! es hat überwunden der Löwe” (Behold! the lion has triumphed), which actually is a Telemann Michaelmas work to an Erdmann Neumeister text, TVWV 1:1328, premiered in Hamburg in 1723.

A full BCML discussion of this work (March 10, 2013) is found at http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV219-D.htm. It also includes information on Cantata 51, also appropriate for Michaelmas, as well as German biblical sources and Bach’s use of revelation texts in his cantatas. Further materials are found at BCW, Motets and Chorales for Michaelmas, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Michael.htm.

During the next two weeks BCML Discussions, other materials will be cited involving Bach’s other works for Michaelmas as well as the Bach Family involvement in this feast day and more information on the 18th Sunday after Trinity.

18th Sunday After Trinity

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity, the theme of “Love of God (“Gottlieb,” “Amadeus”) and Neighbor” and two early Lutheran hymns dominate Bach’s two sole, extant, affirmative musical sermons: Chorale Cantata BWV 96, “Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn” (Lord Christ, God’s Only Son) and alto solo Cantata BWV 169, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God shall alone my heart have). Both hymns are found in the Reformation’s first Song Book of Johann Walther, 1524: first is the Kreutizger original 1524 Advent chorale for Cantata 96 and the Luther Pentecost hymn and (later) general Gradual Song, “Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist” (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit).

In both highly-appealing Cantatas 96 and 169, Bach uses well-known chorales, dance styles, and special instrumentation with certain literary techniques and musical devices (allusion, motto, parody) to covey a more gentle pietist portrayal of the Gospel teaching in his musical sermons. Yet the musical results are quite contrasting: Cantata 96 is a congregational celebration with a chorale chorus and arias for tenor and bass while Cantata 196 uses one intimate alto voice in proclamation and reflection, preceded by an extensive, introductory orchestral sinfonia with lilting organ obbligato.

Both chorales, with Latin and German folk origins, were mainstays in 20th Century Lutheran Hymn Books. “Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn” is known as “The Only Son From Heaven,” No. 86 for Epiphany, with resemblance to the Christmas Hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” and “Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist,” bases on the Latin Hymn, <Veni, Sancte Spiritus>, is known as “To God the Holy Spirit Let Us Pray,” No. 317, with the theme of Christian Hope in the Lutheran Book of Worship (Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1978.

The 18th Sunday after Trinity is the final Sunday of the six affirmative paired teachings of miracles and parables in the Trinity Time mini-cycle emphasizing the “Works of Faith and Love,” that is, the meaning of being a Christian, says Paul Zeller Strodach, <The Church Year> (United Lutheran Publication House, Philadelphia PA, 1924: 216). This Sunday’s Gospel (Matthew 22:34-46) is the affirmation of the Great Commandment to love God and its Christian corollary, also to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. It ends the six-Sunday cycle in the third quaof Trinity Time, leading to the final quarterly cycle of the Church Year with its last things (eschatology) couched in symbols of the annual Coming and Sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

There is no cantata performance documented for the 18th Sunday After Trinity in the first cycle that fell on September 26, 1723. This was three days prior to the Feast of St. Michael on September 29, and the beginning of the three-week Leipzig Fall Fair, also when no work is documented. This is the only time when Bach failed to produce cantatas since he began his first Leipzig cycle on the First Sunday after Trinity, May 30, 1723, when the annual term of the Thomas School began. It is possible Bach did present the extant, festive motet Cantata BWV 50, “Nun ist has Heil” (Now Is the Salvation), that is best suited for this important civic/church feast. Complicating matters, Bach had no Weimar cantatas available for repreformance since he had been unable to produce monthly Sunday cantatas because of closed mourning periods during Trinity Time 1714 and 1715. In addition, Bach was unable to present cantatas in Weimar on feast days.

Other Trinity 18 Opportunities

For the 18th Sunday after Trinity in 1725, which fell on September 30, one day after the Feast of St. Michael, Bach probably presented no cantatas. This was typical during Trinity Time 1725 when he probably presented only a handful of works for special events or to fill gaps in the previous two completed cantata cycles. No cantata is documented for the earlier feast day although Bach had available works from the two previous cycles as well as motet Cantata BWV 50, and works of Telemann that he had used at the beginning of Trinity Time in June 1725. In all likelihood, Bach had taken a break from weekly cantata composition, turning instead to the publication of keyboard Partitas for sale at the fair, the revisions of some of his organ chorale preludes, some occasional secular cantatas on commission, and the search for texts/music for his third cycle. This began on the first Sunday in Advent, Sunday, December 2, 1725, probably with the parodied Cantata BWV 36(d), “Schwingt freudig euch empor” (Swing Joyfully Into the Air).

Alto Solo Cantata 169

For the next 18th Sunday after Trinity, October 20, 1726, near the end of the third cycle, Bach used previous material now found in the Clavier Concerto BWV 1053 for Cantata BWV 169, “Gott soll allein mein Herze haben” (God shall alone my heart have). It is the second of six cantatas for solo voice, four of which use existing instrumental concerto music, for the shortened final quarter of Trinity Time. While the lack of choral writing (except for closing chorales), the reuse of music, and the perfunctory, cut-and-paste libretti all suggest Bach’s flagging interest in periodic composition, his actual adaptation and response to the motto-like text from the opening statement shows considerable invention as well as transformation resulting in a greatly-engaging and –pleasing work about the love of God and neighbor. See John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach 2000 Cantata Pilgrimage notes for Trinity 18, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV169.htm, Recordings No. 20.

Chorale “Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist”

Cantata 169 closes with an emphasis on the Second Commandment to love one’s neighbor, as found in the third verse of Luther’s 1524 “Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist” (Now Let Us Pray to the Holy Spirit): “Du süße Liebe, schenk uns deine Gunst” (You sweet love, grant us your favour). Luther’s four-stanza Gradual Song between the Epistle and Gospel lessons in the main service is found as a designated <de tempore> Pentecost Hymn in the NLGB No. 130. For further information, see Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun_bitten_wir_den_Heiligen_Geist

Other Bach Trinity 18 Opportunities

+For the 18th Sunday after Trinity on October 5, 1727, there was no performance during the mourning period of Sept. 7, 1727, to Jan. 8, 1728, for deceased Saxon Queen Christiane Eberhardine.

+On October 9, 1735, Bach probably performed a Stözel two-part cantata as part of the cycle “Saitenspiele des Hertzens” (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified.

+About Sept. 30, 1736, Bach may have performed Stözel’s two-part cantata “Der Herr hat mir eine gelehrte Zunge gegeben” (The Lord Has Given Me a Learned Tongue) from the cantata cycle “Das Namenbuch Christi,” (Book of Names of Christ), Schmolck text, No. 59. No musical source with chorales is extant.

Cantatas BWV 96 and 169 for the 18th Sunday After Trinity are positive contrast to the “Lutheran theological themes in this tail end to the liturgical year [that] frequently deal with Armageddon, with the Second Coming or with the promised ‘abomination of desolation’,” says Gardiner. “So far it has eluded scholars whether Bach actively sought out cantata librettos that he deemed suited to solo vocal treatment for the six cantatas for solo voice he composed in the run-up to Advent 1726, and to what extent he might have intervened in their construction, or whether their texts were clerically imposed on him and, with their emphasis on individual piety, left him no option but to treat them as solo works.”

Further information on Motets and Chorales for the 18th Sunday After Trinity is found at BCW, Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for 18th Sunday after Trinity

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 6, 2015):
Cantata BWV 50 - Revised & updated Discography

The discography page of Cantata BWV 50 "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft" (Now is the salvation and the strength) for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels on the BCW has been revised and updated.
The work, which is actually a chorus movement from a lost cantata, is scored for 8-part chorus and orchestra of 3 trumpets, timpani, 3 oboes, 2 violins, viola & continuo
Many recordings have been added since the previous revision, and the discography now includes exactly 50 recordings! See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV50.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 50 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.

You can also read on the BCW the recent discussion of the cantata in the BCML (4th round):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV50-D4.htm

William Hoffman wrote (October 7, 2015):
Cantatas BWV 219, 50: Three Generations of Bach Family Michaelmas

Bach, as did members of the Bach Family, presented significant works on the feast of St. Michael, which in Leipzig was particularly important. This celebration opened the annual Fall Fair, the most important of the three (also Winter at Epiphany and Spring, on Jubilate Sunday after Easter) in this most significant commercial city.

The impetus for all Bach's Michaelfest music was steeped in German musical tradition that used biblical texts set as motets and imaginative poetic paraphrase through Lutheran hymns. Following cousin Christoph's musical lead, Sebastian Bach's synthesis of Michaelfest original poetry produced four cantatas, BWV 130, 19, 149, and 50. Subsequently, sons Johann Christoph Friedrich and Carl Philipp Emanuel would produce more Michaelfest music in the late 18th century gallant style.

Following his chorale cantata setting of the Luther canticle of praise, "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir" (Lord God, we all praisyou), BWV 130, for the Feast of Michael and All Angels in 1724, Bach in 1726 turned to the battle dictum, "Es erhub sich ein Streit" (There was a war) beginning the biblical Epistle reading from Revelation 12:7-12, for his next (third) cycle Cantata BWV 19, presented in 1726. Building on popular German tradition, Bach began utilizing various related themes melding praise and thanksgiving with the heavenly victory of the angelic forces over Satan and the forces of evil, thereby redeeming mankind. Collaborating with the poet Picander in Cantata 19 and the next Cantata, BWV 149, "Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg" (Songs are sung with joy of victory), in 1728, Bach sought texts set to similar uplifting music. In addition, Bach probably composed the eight-voice motet, Cantata 50, "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft" (Now is salvation and strength).

Bach had begun in 1723 possibly with musical underpinnings of the Epistle (Revelation 12:7-12) describing the Angels' metaphoric victory over evil in heaven and the canticle of Praise to God. These were found in Johann Christoph Bach's 40-year-old motet style "Es erhub sich ein Streit" (Rev. 12:7-11) as well as Verse 10b alone in Cantata 50, "Nun ist das Heil.” In 1724, Sebastian presented chorale Cantata 130 that makes general references to the biblical lesson of the day as a tribute to the angels' protection of mankind. In 1726, Bach returned to and built on the dictum to open Cantata 19, based on the Epistle battle in Heaven that begins with a militant chorus fantasia using only Verse 7. He then presented music with the sentiments of joy found previously in the chorale, "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir," celebrating and affirming divine intervention, protection, and salvation for mankind.

Festive, intricate, militant - sometimes bellicose -- music for the Feast of Michael and All Angels came to dominate the Michael Festival works of German baroque composers, including the Bach Family, as contrasted to the chorale-based music of the Lutheran Reformers focusing on the hymn of praise, "Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir," also based on the Epistle for that feast day. For basic information on the Michaelmas Feast, see Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michaelmas.

Conductor John Eliot Gardiner describes in detail the significance of angels for Bach as well as the Archangel Michael's triumph in his notes to the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage 2000 recordings of the four cantatas for the Feast of St. Michael (See BCW, Cantata 130 Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV130.htm, scroll down to Recording No. 11 http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P07c[sdg124_gb].pdf, scroll down to "Cantatas for the Feast of St Michael and All Angels"].)

The Feast of Michael and All-Angels became the Lutheran Reformation core expression of religious struggle and freedom as found in the Revelation motets and poetic chorales. Poetically from Renaissance theologian Philipp Melanchthon in 1539 to Enlightened poet Johann Gottfried Herder in 1770, musically from Heinrich Schütz and the Praetorius brothers on the cusp of the Baroque era. The final three generations of the Bach Family contributed sacred concertos/cantatas for Michaelmas with Sebastian Bach influenced by the monumental works of his cousin Johann Christoph (1642-1703) and the work of his second-youngest son, Johann Christoph Friedrich (1732-95), who in turn was influenced by his father. Further, J.C.F and his older brother Carl Philipp Emanuel (1714-88) produced a pasticcio that reflects Enlightenment stylistic transition and interpretation of the meaning of the angelic heavenly victory of the Blood of the Lamb.

Christoph Bach's Michaelmas Cantata

Sebastian's angelic interest probably had been cultivated at the annual Bach Family gatherings in Eisenach or nearby Arnstadt or Erfurt, where his second cousin, Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703), was the church organist. Johann Christoph's best-known composition is his cantata setting of all but the final verse (12) of the St. Michael's Epistle (Rev. 12:7-12), "Es erhub sich ein Streit im Himmel" (There was a war in heaven). Sebastian performed this festive, militant, 22-voice motet at least once in Leipzig, preserving the only surviving copy, and he "may have been inspired by it to write his Cantatas No. 19 ("Es erhub sich ein Streit"), and No. 50 ("Nun ist dal Heil")," says Karl Geiringer in "The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius" (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954: 57).

Geiringer’s companion, Music of the Bach Family: An Anthology (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 1955: 30), contains the first publication of the full score, originally composed about 1680. Geiringer also suggests that Sebastian "may have learned the rudiments of organ playing from J. Christoph before he left Eisenach at the age of 10" (Anthlogy, Ibid.: 29), when his father, Johann Ambrosius, died. In all likelihood, Ambrosius as an Eisenach Stadtpfeifer knew well the trumpet parts in first cousin Christoph's Michael cantata.

Revelation Text

The full text of the Christoph Bach cantata is the Epistle, Revelation (Offenbarung) 12:7-12, of the war in heaven (narrative), 7-10a, and the canticle of praise, 10b-12, in the King James Version translation. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10a And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, 10b. Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (King James Version, 1611):

Details of Christoph’s Sacred Concerto

Scoring: SATBB chorus concertante, SATBB chorus ripieno; 2 violins, 4 violas, 4 trumpets, timpani, continuo (bassoon and organ). Manuscript score, Petrucci download, http://petrucci.mus.auth.gr/imglnks/usimg/5/5a/IMSLP117948-PMLP239099-JCBach_EsErhubSichEinStreit.pdf; published scores, Carus-Verlag (http://www.carus-verlag.com/30567) and Hänssler No. 49.

Movements:
Part 1
1. Sonata (2 violins, 2 violas, continuo)
2. Solo (2 basses, continuo): 7. es erhub sich ein Streit im Himmel . . . (add trumpets and timpani) Und der Drache stritt und seine Engel (6 measure instrumental interlude)
3. Choruses, tutti orchestra: 7. es erhub sich ein Streit im Himmel . . . .
Part 2
1. Concertante (SATBB), strings, continuo: 8. auch ward ihre St&#1492;tte nicht mehr funden im Himmel.
2. Solo (2 basses, continuo): 9 Und es ward ausgeworfen der große Drache, die alte Schlange, die da heißt der Teufel und Satanas,
3. Tutti ensemble: der die ganze Welt verführt, und ward geworfen auf die Erde, und seine Engel wurden auch dahin geworfen.
Part 3
1. Sinfonia (tutti ensemble)
2. Solo (B, continuo): 10a Und ich hörte eine große Stimme, die sprach im Himmel:
3. Tutti ensemble: 10b Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft und das Reich unsers Gottes geworden und die Macht seines Christus worden.
4. Concertante (SATBB), strings, continuo: (text altered): "weil der Verkläger unserer Brüder verworfen ist, der sie verklagte Tag und Nacht vor Gott" becomes "weil der verworfen ist, der sie verglaget Tag und Nacht für Spott."
5.Tutti ensemble: Und sie haben ihn überwunden (trumpets tacet, antiphonal choruses), durch des Lammes Blut und durch das Wort ihres Zeugnisses
6. Concertante (SATBB), strings, continuo: und haben ihr Leben nicht geliebt bis an den Tod.
7. Tutti ensemble (antiphonal choruses): Rev. 12:12 Darum freuet euch, ihr Himmel und die darin wohnen (omit remainder)

References: Altbachisches Archiv (ABA), http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altbachisches_Archiv (Max Schneider ed.; Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig 1935, 1966). Recordings: 1. Cantus Cölln, 2. Rosenmüller Ensemble, 3. Musica Antiqua Köln:1. Recording information, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/AltBachische-CantusColln.htm; 2. Recording information: http://www.christophorus-records.de/v2.php?p=0&do=detail&c=16297#; 3. Recording: YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j7UkErBOxQ (Goebel, Musica Antiqua Köln).

Christoph Fredrich’s Cantata

Johann Christoph Friedrich, the "Bückeburg Bach," Sebastian’s second youngest child and a prolific composer in the gallant style, like Christoph also set the Revelation text (12:7-12) for both the battle and the song of salvation, unlike his father, Sebastian, who used only the dictum (Rev. 12:7), "Es erhub sich ein Streit" (And there was war in heaven), in Cantata BWV 19, setting Picander's paraphrased description of the battle. Friedrich's work, "Michaels Sieg: Der Streit des Guten und Bösen in der Welt," BR F 4, Wf XIV/5 [II/8] (Michael's victory: the struggle between good and evil in the world), uses a text of the Bückeburg (later Weimar) Court poet Johann Gottfried Herder (1744-1803), Herder's text includes original poetry as well as the biblical verses alternating with the melody of the Lutheran call-to-battle hymn, "Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (A mighty fortress is our God), in a rondo-like construction in three parts involving the battle plan, battle, and victory.

This information is found in Geiringer's "The Bach Family” (Ibid: 401). The opening battle is a chorus, "Wie wird uns werden?" (What will become of us?). The following victory song is set in the three remaining movements, an accompagnato recitative and coloratura aria in the Italian style and the closing chorus, "Nun ist da Heil," which includes the melody of “A mighty fortress.” The work was presented in Hamburg in 1771, probably on St. Michael's Day. Geiringer offers a comparison of the melody “Nun ist das Heil” in the Sebastian and Christoph Friedrich choruses. While both are composed in ¾ time beginning with repeated notes, Sebastian’s setting shows the “inadequacy of the later version,” says Geiringer.

Johan van Veen’s biography from the CPO liner notes of J.C.F. Bach’s sonatas and trios is found at http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Jan08/Bach_7770872.htm. A more detailed biography from the Bach-Archiv Leipzig is found at http://www.bach-leipzig.de/en/bach-archive/johann-christoph-friedrich-bach.

Christoph Friedrich and his much older brother, Emmanuel, collaborated in 1785 in Hamburg on another Michael's Day "Michaelis-Cantata," SW XIV/6 [II/9], a pasticcio, also involving a probable Herder text, with father Sebastian's closing five-part chorus, Sicut locust est fugue, from the Magnificat, BWV 243, in a German contrafaction. Emmanuel contributed the basso continuo accompaniment and the first 15-measures of his four-voice German Sanctus setting, "Heilig" (Holy, German), Wq. 218 (H 827), introducing the fugue. Friedrich contributed three numbers from "Michaels Sieg" and three newly-composed movements, the work ending with the chorus "Heilig" and the Sicut locust est fugue.

Earlier, Emanuel has compose and first performed his “Helig” in “an arrangement of his father’s cantata Es erhub sich ein Streit (BWV 19) as the Michelmas Quartlalstück for 1776” (Paul Corneilson, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach: The Complete Works (2005-) (Los Altos CA: Packard Humanities Council), http://cpebach.org/pdfs/introductions/V-FS-Heilig-Intro.pdf. The double-choir “Heilig,” says Corneilson, “was incorporated into several other works for Hamburg including three other Quartlalstücke: Wenn Christus seine Kirche schützt [protects], based on the cantata Michaels Sieg (WF XIV/5) by Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, in 1778 . . . . ”

Emanuel spoke of his father's performance of Christoph Bach's cantata in a letter dated Sept. 20, 1775, to Johann Nicolaus Forkel, Bach's first biographer (1802), Emanuel says: "This composition in 22 parts is a masterpiece. My blessed father performed it once in a church in Leipzig and everybody was surprised by the effect it made. I have not enough singers here [in Hamburg], or else I would produce it sometime" (quoted in Geiringer, Ibid.: 57).

In Emanuel's estate catalog of 1790 were found listings (Page 82) of the parts set of Friedrich's "Michaels Sieg" cantata, the parts set of the pasticcio "Michaelis-Cantata" with Emanuel's "Heilig" in a manuscript bearing the initials of its two authors (JCFB and CPEB). The catalog lists the Altbachisches Archiv collection parts sets beginning (Page 84), Emmanuel inherited from Sebastian, along with the 22-part Christoph Bach "Es erhub sich ein Streit." Also found in Emanuel's estate catalog as well was Emmanuel's own copy of the score and parts set of Christoph Bach's "Es erhub sich ein Streit," "in the hand of his [Emanuel's] principal Berlin copyist, doubtless for a performance there, though the occasion is unknown," says Daniel Melamed, <J. S. Bach and the German motet> (Cambridge University Press, 1995: 166ff).

The 1750 estate division of Sebastian’s Michaelmas cantatas shows that two of the four works, BWV 50, “Nun ist das Heil,” and BWV 149 (Picander text, ?Fredemann inheritance) survive in score copies after 1750 while chorale Cantata 130 went to Friedemann (score) and Anna Magdalena parts and Cantata 19 score to Friedemann and parts to Emanuel.

Postscript. Information on Michaelmas music from the Reformation to Bach’s works as well as the liturgy and contemporary chorales is found at BCW “Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for Feast of St. Michael and All Angels,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Michael.htm. Information related to Michael and All-Angels, including historical chorales and Reformation celebrations with Michaelmas music and the influence of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” are found in the BCML Discussion of Cantata 50, Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV50-D3.htm.

Peter Smaill wrote (October 7, 2015):
[To William Hoffman] It is perhaps significant in the context of this discussion that the last Cantata of the Christmas Oratorio is considered by Martin Geck to be originally a Cantata for the Feast of St Michael; the opening chorus text gives the game away, with its battle and talons and victory calls.

As St Michael was considered a special protector of the Virgin Mary there is a case for the bass aria, " Starker Herr" in the first Cantata, with its declaratory trumpet, also acting as a representation of this Saint.

 

Cantata BWV 50: Details & Complete Recordings
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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Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 06:07