Cantata BWV 6Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden
Discussions - Part 5
Continue from Part 4
Discussions in the Week of March 19, 2017 (4th round)
William Hoffman wrote (March 18, 2017):
Easter Monday Cantata 6, "Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden"
Following the festive Easter Sunday extended Cantata, BWV 249, “Kommt, eilet und laufet” (Come, hasten and run, John 20:4)), Bach followed with a somber, 20-minute musical sermon on Easter Monday, BWV 6, “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend warden” (Stay with us, for evening is coming), Luke 24:29), for the observance of the prophetic disciples Walk to Emmaus. The heart of Cantata 6 is the soprano chorale trio aria (no. 3) in 4/4 allemande style using the two-stanza setting of the Melanchton/Selnecker chorale of the same incipt that cousin Johann Michael Bach (1648-94) had set as a vocal concerto found in Sebastian’s library. Repeating the incipit that Jesus stay, found in the opening chorus and repeated in the succeeding alto aria, the believer hymns, “Verleih uns, Herr, Beständigkeit” (grant us, Lord, constancy). The second half of this two-section work offers the bass recitative (no. 4) suggesting that the ensuing darkness is the result of the wayward believer. The ensuing tenor aria prays for Jesus’ light to return and shine on the Christian. The closing chorale, Stanza 2 of Martin Luther’s “Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort” (Preserve us, Lord, with your word), seeks protection by imploring, “Beweis dein Macht, Herr Jesu” (Show your might, Lord Jesus Christ).
The first three movements with their thematic unity all have dance styles. The opening chorus in sarabande-style resembles a French overture, consisting of a prelude in ¾ time and fugue in 2/2 alle breve with shortened repeat of the prelude. It is scored for pastoral woodwinds of two oboes and oboe da caccia with strings. The succeeding alto tri-partite aria, addressed to “Hochgelobter Gottessohn” (Most praiseworthy Son of God), pleads again, “Bleib, ach bleibe unser Licht” (Stay, ah stay as our light), with the pleading oboe da caccia obbligato. The soprano chorale aria is scored for the rarely-used violoncello piccolo, a symbolic instrument that is found in five of the 13 series of cantatas in spring 1725 Easter Season to 10 Johannine Gospel texts of an unknown author, possibly Bach’s pastor, Christian Weise Sr., and Leipzig poetess Mariana von Ziegler. This trio-aria later was transcribed by Bach as the Schubler Chorale No. 5, BWV 649, a series of six organ chorale trio preludes in the late 1740s. Although not built on a chorale, the opening chorus uses a variant of the text of the chorale aria (no. 3).
Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for Easter Monday, the 2nd Day of Easter in the three-day festival. The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the Acts of the Apostles, the sermon of Peter (Acts 10:34–43), and from the Gospel of Luke, the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35). An anonymous poet included as the first movement verse 29 from the gospel and as movement 3 two hymn stanzas, Philipp Melanchthon's German version "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" of Vespera iam venit, of similar content as movement 1, and its second stanza, added by Nikolaus Selnecker. The work focuses on the Johannine theme of contrast between light and dark.
Cantata 6 was premiered on Easter Monday, 2 April 1725, at the early main service of the St. Thomas Church before the sermon (not extant) on the day’s Gospel, Luke 24:13:35 (Easter Monday Walk to Emmaus), by Deacon Urban Gottfried Sieber (1669-1741), says Martin Petzoldt in his Bach Commentary, Vol. 2, Advent to Trinityfest.2 Cantata 6 was repeated at the main vesper service in the Nikolaikirche before the sermon (not extant) on the day’s Epistle, Acts 10:34-43 (Peter’s sermon on Christ), by Deacon Friedrich Werner (1659-1741). Cantata 6 was repeated on 14 April 1727, says Petzoldt (Ibid.) and “two further performances not dated, but indicated by the original sources,” says Bach Digital (Ibid.), 1736-39 and the late 1740s. The German text of Luther’s translation of the gospel and epistle published in 1545 and the English Authorised (King James) Version 1611 is found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Easter-Monday.htm. The opening introit polyphonic motet was Psalm 66, Nonne Deo (On God alone my soul waits), says Petzoldt (Ibid.: 705).
Cantata BWV 6 is the third of 10 balanced structures using Alfred Dürr’s third group of six-movement cantatas with opening biblical dictum (usually) chorus and closing plain chorale flanking aria-chorale-recitative-aria.3 These works began with Septuagesimae Sunday with Cantata 144 for Septuagesima Sunday, followed by lost Annunciation Cantata BWV Anh. 199, "Siehe, eine Jungfrau ist schwanger" (Behold, a virgin is pregnant). Then during Easter Season they are Easter Monday, BWV 6; 1st Sunday after Easter (Quasimodogeneti), BWV 42, and Easter 2 (Misericordias Domini), BWV 85; then the 4th to the 6th Sunday after Easter (Cantate, Rogate, Exaudi), BWV 166, 86, and 44); and Ascension Day, BWV 37, plus Reformation Day, BWV 43.
Cantata 6 movements, scoring, texts, key, meter (text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV6-Eng3.htm):
1. Chorus tri-partite free da-capo (French overture, prelude & fugue) with ritornelli [SATB; Oboe I/II, Oboe da caccia, Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo}: A. ¾, sinfonia (20 mm), chorus (59 mm) “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, und der Tag hat sich geneiget” (Stay with us, for evening is coming and the day draws to an end, Luke 24:29); B. 2/2 (34 mm), same text ; A’. ¾ shortened (20 mm); c minor; sarabande style.
2. Aria tripartite (ABB) with ritotnelli [Alto, Oboe da caccia, Continuo]: A. “Hochgelobter Gottessohn, / Laß es dir nicht sein entgegen, / Dass wir itzt vor deinem Thron / Eine Bitte niederlegen:” (Most praiseworthy Son of God, / Let it not be against your will / that we now before your throne / lay down a request); B. “Bleib, ach bleibe unser Licht, / Weil die Finsternis einbricht.” (Stay, ah stay as our light, / since darkness comes over us.); E-Flat Major; 3/8 passepied-menuet style.
3. Chorale aria 2 stanzas [Soprano; Violoncello piccolo, Continuo]: 1. “Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ, Weil es nun Abend worden ist, / Dein göttlich Wort, das helle Licht, / Laß ja bei uns auslöschen nicht.” (Ah, stay with us, Lord Jesus Christ, / since evening has now come, / your divine word, the clear light, / do not allow to be put out amongst us.) (Vespera iam venit, translated by Philipp Melanchthon 1579); 2. “In dieser letzt'n betrübten Zeit / Verleih uns, Herr, Beständigkeit, / Dass wir dein Wort und Sakrament / Rein b'halten bis an unser End.” (In these last, troubled times / grant us, Lord, constancy / so that your word and sacrament / we may keep purely until our end.) (Nikolaus Selnecker 1572); B-Flat Major; 4/4 Allemande style.
4. Recitative secco [Bass, Continuo}: “Es hat die Dunkelheit / An vielen Orten überhand genommen. / Woher ist aber dieses kommen? / Bloß daher, weil sowohl die Kleinen als die Großen / Nicht in Gerechtigkeit / Vor dir, o Gott, gewandelt / Und wider ihre Christenpflicht gehandelt. / Drum hast du auch den Leuchter umgestoßen.”
(Darkness has / spread over many places. / How has this happened? / Simply for this reason, because both the lowly and the great / have not justly / walked before you, O God / and they have acted against their Christian duty. / Therefore you also have turned over their candlestick, Rev. 2:4); d to g minor; 4/4.
5. Aria two-part with ritornelli [Tenor; Violino I/II, Viola, Continuo]: “Jesu, lass uns auf dich sehen, / Dass wir nicht / Aufden Sündenwegen gehen.” (Jesus, let us look towards you / so that we may not / go along the way of sin.); B. “Laß das Licht / Deines Worts uns heller scheinen / Und dich jederzeit treu meinen.” (Let the light / of your word shine clearly for us / and always bring you to mind faithfully.); g minor; 4/4.
6. Chorale plain [SATB; Violino I e Oboe I/II col Soprano, Violino II e Oboe da caccia coll'Alto, Viola col Tenore, Continuo]: “Beweis dein Macht, Herr Jesu Christ, / Der du Herr aller Herren bist; / Beschirm dein arme Christenheit, / Dass sie dich lob in Ewigkeit.” (Show your might, Lord Jesus Christ, / you who are the Lord of lords; / protect your poor Christian people, / so that they may praise you for ever.) (Martin Luther 1542); g minor; 4/4
Cantata 6, St. John Passion Choruses
The similarity of the opening chorus of Cantata 6 and the closing chorus of the St. John Passion is discussed in the BCW Cantata 6 Discussion, Part 2 (March 31, 2007, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6-D2.htm).
<<Julian Mincham wrote: “The mood of the opening chorus is one of quietness and contemplation at the end of the day and the addition of three oboes to the strings creates the mood immediately.” [Douglas Cowling replies:]
The exquisite sarabande which opens this cantata has remarkable similarities to the concluding chorus of the St. John Passion, "Ruht wohl". We may well ask what this Passion-like lament is doing in the middle of the Easter celebration.
“The answer lies in the Gospel reading (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Easter-Monday.htm) in which the sorrowing disciples are on a journey from Jerusalem when they are joined by a stranger who asks them what they are talking about. They sadly recount the story of the Crucifixion. Reaching their destination, they ask the stranger to stay with them, (Bleib bei uns). When their guest breaks bread dinner, they suddenly realize that the strnager is the risen Jesus.
“Bach's opening Passion chorus is the disciples' account of Good Friday. This then pivots into the theological allegory of faith in Christ as the Light in the darkening world. I find the similarity to the end of the SJP so compelling that I'd be tempted to think that Bach intended a link between this cantata and the Passion which was performed four days earlier.”
Commentary: Walk to Emmaus. Throughout the day-long Easter Monday Walk to Emmaus, there is a sense of personal discovery, revelation, opportunity and commitment. The 20th Century Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks eloquently of this in his The Cost of Discipleship (Nachfolge, 1937; rev. & unabr. ed., New York: MacMillan 1963), of taking up the practice of unconditional, unquestioning "followship," especially in the pursuit of "costly grace" instead of "cheap grace." The biblical basis is found in Luke 14:25-34, https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2014%3A25-34 (NIV). Today, mainline Protestant churches, particularly the Methodists, have an "Upper Room" renewal movement called, "Walk to Emmaus" (http://emmaus.upperroom.org/about).
Additional Commentary by various Bach scholars and graphic Examples from the score are found in Thomas Braatz’s BCW Article, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV6-Sco.htm. The scholars are Philipp Spitta. Albert Schweitzer, Woldamar Voight, Alfred Dürr, and Nicholas Anderson.
Johannine Passion, Cantatas
While the record is still obscure, circumstantial and collateral evidence suggests that Bach conceived the idea of a Johannine mini-cycle possibly as early as Christmas 1723 during the first cycle and looking ahead to the Easter Season. A “decidedly Johannine view of the incarnation – as God’s descent in human form to save man and to bring joy through His defeat of the Devil – in clear anticipation of the message of his John Passion,” began with the three-day Christmas Festival, December 25-27, says John Eliot Gardiner.4 “In three thrilling Christmas Cantatas – BWV 63, 40, and 64 – Bach gives strong emphasis throughout to John’s description of Jesus as Christus Victor,” particularly since the third day of Christmas also is celebrated as the Feast of John the Evangelist and Gospel writer, using the alternative Johannine Gospel readings John 1:1-14, Prologue, or John 21:20 -24: Jesus on John (see BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Christmas3.htm
Bach’s grand design in the first cycle took shape as he looked forward to the completion of this cycle musically and textually with the projected Johannine Passion and the Farewell Discourses central to the Easter Season with its Gospel readings from John in Bach’s time from the 1st Sunday after Easter to the Trinity Sunday Festival, excepting Ascension Day (Mark 16:14-20).5 In 1724, Bach began the pre-Lenten “Gesima” Sundays with new chorus Cantata 144 on Septuagesima (February 6), followed by a double bill of Weimar Cantata BWV 18 and new Cantata 181 on Sexagesima, with Cantatas 22 and 23 on Quinquagesima. Then Bach during Lent completed the John Passion and probably composed lost Cantata Anh. 199 for Annunciation (March 25), with the John Passion presented on Good Friday (April 7).
Council Conflict, Easter Season Plans Changed
During the Lenten period 1724, Bach ran afoul of his employer, the Leipzig Town Council. Initially, he had the text of his John Passion printed with the location listed as the St. Thomas Church, despite being informed of the tradition of alternating the annual Passion performance with the Nikolaicirche. On Monday, April 3, the council forced Bach to relocate the performance and reprint the Passion libretto book (Bach Dokument BD II, no. 179).
It also is possible that the council pietist faction also complained about the nature of his church texts and Bach began to solicit alternate Easter Season texts. It appears that Bach initially, commissioned the unknown librettist (?Christian Weise Sr.) for chorus works for Easter Monday to the 6th Sunday after Easter, excepting Easter Sunday and the 3rd Sunday after Easter (Exaudi) when he reperformed Weimar Cantatas 31 and 12, respectively. At the same time, Bach seems to have commissioned Leipzig poet Mariane von Ziegler to write the cantata librettos for the 10 days of the 4th Sunday after Easter to Trinity Sunday, as a Johannine mini-cycle.
Due to unexpected, changing circumstances, Bach was forced to improvise his original Easter Season plans. The printed text book for Easter Sunday to the 2nd Sunday after Easter shows that Bach presented Cantata 31 on Easter Sunday, April 9, but substituted parodied Cöthen Cantatas 66 and 134 for Easter Monday and Tuesday, respectively, and Cantata 67, for the 1st Sunday after Easter and Cantata 104 for the 2nd Sunday after Easter.
Then, Bach proceeded for the 4th to the 6th Sundays after Easter (Cantate, Rogate, Exaudi) with new, planned chorus Cantatas 166, 86, and 44 and for Ascension Day, BWV 37. For Pentecost Sunday Bach reperformed Weimar Cantata 172, presented Cantata 59, and for Trinity Sunday, Weimar Cantata 165 and parodied Cöthen Cantata 194, as well as Cöthen parodied Cantatas 173 and 184 for Pentecost Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
The next year, Spring 1725, Bach presented his Easter Oratorio, BWV 249, and followed with his delayed chorus Cantata BWV 6 and a lost cantata for Easter Monday and Tuesday, respectively, observes Eric Chafe in “The Post-Easter cantatas of 1724 and 1725.” 6 These were followed by previously-planned Cantata 42 and 85 for the next two Sundays after Easter, respectively then the 10 Ziegler Cantata(85, 103, 108, 87, 128, 183, 74, 68, 175, and 176).
Cantata 6 Context
“On Easter Monday, April 2, 1725, Bach's string of 40 consecutive chorale cantatas in his second Leipzig cycle, beginning with the First Sunday After Trinity 1724, comes to an end with Cantata BWV 6, “Bleib bei uns, es will Abend warden” (Abide with us, for it will evening become; source, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6-D4.htm. <<He reverts to the first cycle form for that period with a new work that has a text firmly grounded in the day's Gospel and the accompanying sermon to be preached. Each of the six movements of Cantata BWV 6 contains integrated textual and musical elements appropriate to the long journey to Emmaus, Luke 24: 29, the biblical dictum. This cantata structure has <formal elements> with< clearly tangible characteristics relating to their content,> says Alfred Dürr, <Cantatas of JSB> (p.27). With the refrain of <bleib> (abide) in the first three movements, Bach takes the listener through a collective journey of the believers.
Following the beautiful, reflective opening free da-capo chorus, the two intimate trio arias take up the theme of abiding and being sustained by Christ's light in the world while the two chorales express more general sentiments. The two arias lead to a didactic, cautionary bass recitative where darkness intrudes and the listener is cautioned in the amended last line not to extinguish the light by overturning the lampstands (candles), a reference of Revelation 2:5, followed by an affirmative tenor aria. Cantata BWV 6 is divided into two equal sections, each closing with chorales, while the work probably was performed complete, before the sermon.
The key motivation to return to the established cantata form could have been the sermon's preacher, Bach's friend, colleague, and collaborator, Pastor Christian Weiss (Weise) the Elder, the Pastor at Bach's church of St. Thomas. Dürr, citing Rudolf Wustmann, suggests that theologian Weiss wrote the texts for the biblical dictum six-movement cantatas, including BWV 6. He points out that Weiss was a learned scholar at the Leipzig University and that the Weiss and Bach were close friends. Dürr relates that Weiss, who had lost his voice in 1718, was able to resume full-time preaching at Easter 1724, and possibly began a church- year cycle of sermons, based on the Gospels. Weiss could have added an emblematic element, or theme from the appointed service readings or he could have incorporated the appointed service chorale into the sermon for a chorale-sermon cycle, either technique "to counter the threat of monotony," says Dürr (pp. 29f).
Thus Weiss, engaged in full-time preaching again, may have delivered a cycle of sermons ending on Easter Sunday 1725. Meanwhile, simultaneously, he may have assisted in the Bach's cantata texts for most of an entire year. This would have entailed the Easter season ending of the first cantata cycle with its musical sermons, and the immediately succeeding second cycle of 40 chorale cantata texts with their paraphrases of the internal stanzas. Dürr cautions that a style-critical study of the linguistic and theological elements in the cantata libretti is needed in order to attempt to ascertain the identity of the librettist(s) (pp. 26f).7
As part of a well-ordered church music, Bach may have sought diversity in his cantata texts for Easter Monday, while he continued to use chorale cantata elements such as chorus fantasia and chorale aria in his church pieces during the Easter season. The first cycle Cantata BWV 66, a parody, has a dialogue or discourse form with celebratory music. Second cycle Cantata BWV 6 is a moving, reflective, collective work of the Christian community. The third Bach cantata for this Sunday, BWV Anh. 190, <Ich bin ein Pilgrim auf die Welt> (I am a pilgrim in the world), planned for April 18, 1729, was never finished and has a surviving Picander libretto of personal intensity and world-weariness (See Z. Philipp Ambrose English translation, http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/VI.html.
All that survives of this intimate solo cantata is the closing five measures of the B da-capo section, in D major, ¾ time, of the fourth movement, the bass aria with basso continuo, “ If I cannot have my Jesus.” It is found in the original score of Cantata BWV 120a, "Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge," a parody for a 1729 wedding, in the space at the end of the fourth movement, an orchestral sinfonia from Cantata BWV 29, opening Part 2, after the wedding. The closing chorale of Cantata BWV Anh. 190, "Heut triumphieret Gottes Sohn, in C-E Major, probably exists as BWV 342, says Dürr (p. 281). Meanwhile, both extant Easter Monday Cantatas, BWV 66 and 6, were sufficient as Bach repeated BWV 66 at least twice and BWV 6 at least once, although changes in the instruments suggest additional reperformances.
Church Year Calendar
During this Easter season, only the three feast days of Easter and Pentecost, Sunday to Tuesday, and the Ascension Day Feast are considered part of the de tempore (Proper, Feast Time) portion of the church year.8 The six Sundays after Easter, Quasimodogeniti to Exudi, are part of the feastless period, known as omnes tempore (Ordinary, Feastless Time), which involves the Sundays after Epiphany, the so-called three “gesima” Sunsdays, and all the Sundays after Trinity, called Sundays after Pentecost in today’s lectionary. Also part of de tempore feast days are the 1st Sunday in Advent and the period of Christmas to the Epiphany Feast (six services observed in Bach’s Christmas Oratorio), plus the three Marian feasts of Purification, Annunciation and Visitation, as well as John the Baptist, Michael and All-Angels, and Reformation. The separate Fasting Period services are the 2nd to 4th Sundays in Advent and the five Sundays in Lent plus Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.
Bach presented the following works on Easter Monday:
4/10/1724 (1) 66 Erf reut euch, ihr Herzen, chorus/parody
4/2/1725 (2) 6 Bleib bei uns, es will Abend warden
4/22/1726(3) [JLB10] Es ist aus der Angst und Gericht, by J.L. Bach
4/18/1729 (Anh.190, P.29) Ich bin ein Pilgrim auf die Welt fragments survive
3/26/1731 (66) Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, repeat
4/11/1735 (66) Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, repeat
4/2/1736, G.H. Stölzel, Ob ich schon wandert' im finstern Tal (Mus. A 15:146)+ Wandele vor mir, und sei fromm, Mus. A (15:147)
c1736-39 (6) Bleib bei uns, es will Abend werden repeat
1 Cantata 6 BCW Details & Discography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6.htm. Score Vocal & Piano, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/BWV006-V&P.pdf, Score BGA http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BGA/BWV006-BGA.pdf. References: BGA I (Cantatas 1-10, Maurice Hauptmann, 1851), NBA KBI/10 (Easter Monday, Alfred Dürr, 1955: 33), Bach Compendium BC A 57, Zwang K 116.
2 Petzoldt, Bach Kommentar: Theologisch Musikwissenschaftlicke Kommentierung der Geistlichen Vokalwerke Johann Sebastan Bachs; Vol. 2, Die Geistlichen Kantaten vom 1. Advent bis zum Trinitatisfest; Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2007: 726).
3 Alfred Dürr, Cantatas of J. S. Bach, revised and translated by Richard D. P. Jones (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005: 27f).
4 Gardiner, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven (New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2013: 308).
5 While today’s three-year Lection uses the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, John’s gospel is still used exclusively instead on the Sundays after Easter, the 2nd and the 3rd to the 6th Sundays after Easter aswell as Pentecost Sunday.
6 Chafe, J. S. Bach’s Johannine Theology: The St. John Passion and the Cantatas for Spring 1725 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014: 41-52).
7 The most extensive study of Bach’s librettists, especially in the chorale cantata cycle, is Harald Strech’s Die Verskunst in den poetischen Texten zu den Kantaten J. S. Bachs (Hamburg: Wagner, 1971 [Hochschulschrift] (Hamburger Beiträge zur Musikwissenschaft). Also, see Thomas Braatz’s BCW 2007 Article, “The Rise and Fall of the Stübel Theory,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Stubel-Theory.htm.
8 See Martin Petzoldt, “Liturgie und Musik in den Leipziger Hauptkirchen,” in Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten, Vol. 3 (Stuttgart Metzler: 1998: 69-93), translated by Thomas Braatz, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Leipzig-Churches-Petzold.pdf (11f).
To Come: Cantata 6 John Eliot Gardiner and Masaaki Suzuki/Klaus Hofmann commentary, the chorales and sources, Johannine theology, Johann Michael Bach’s setting of “Ach bleib bei uns,” and Cantata 6 Provenance.
William Hoffman wrote (March 21, 2017):
Cantata 6, "Bleib bei uns," Fugitive Notes
Bach’s Easter Monday chorus Cantata BWV 6, “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend warden” (Stay with us, for evening is coming), Gospel, Luke 24:29) followed the second cycle pattern of Johanine-influenced musical sermons that began with the Good Friday performance of the St. John Passion, BWV 245, followed by the Sunday Easter Oratorio, BWV 249. The Easter Monday Cantata 6 reverted to the chorus cantata form of opening biblical dictum with two chorale settings in the middle and the closing, two arias and a recitative. Of particular distinction are the opening chorus, similar in form and mood to the John Passion closing chorus, “Ruht wohl, ihr heilgen Gebeine” (Rest well, ye holy limbs), followed by the theologically thematic alto personal prayer urging the Savior to remain and the soprano chorale aria asking for his spiritual light in the troubling darkness to secure the symbolic remnant Eucharist. The serene mood is amplified with the use of the violoncello piccolo with its theological implications and in the chorale aria and the pastoral alto aria with the oboe da caccia.
Bach’s use of the Melanchthon/Selnecker chorale, “Sch bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ” (h, abide with us, Lord Jesus Christ, compliments the violoncello piccolo and the same text was the basis for Bach cousin Johann Michael Bach’s sacred concerto found in Sebastian’s collection of the Bach Family Archives.
Gardiner: SJP, Cantata 6 Choruses Comparison
The similarities between Bach’s Cantata 6 opening chorus and the closing chorus of his St. John Passion, presented three days prior, begins his 2007 Cantata 6 opening chorus liner notes in his 2000 Bach Cantata Pilgrimage recording on Soli Deo Gloria.1 <<You sense that Bach had the final chorus of his St John Passion [Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine], if not on his writing desk, then still ringing in his ears when he sat down to compose his ‘Emmaus’ cantata, a new work for Easter Monday 1725. The opening chorus of BWV 6 “Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend warden” shares both the sarabande-like gestures of ‘Ruht wohl’ and its key of C minor, with its characteristic sweet-sad sonority. But where the Passion epilogue is elegiac and consolatory, the ‘Emmaus’ cantata, tinged with the sadness of bereavement, opens with tender pleadings which become ever more gestural and urgent for enlightenment in a darkening world from which Jesus’ presence has been removed. It manages to be both narrative (evoking the grieving disciples’ journey to Emmaus as darkness falls) and universal at the same time (the basic fear of being left alone in the dark, literally and metaphorically). If the overall mood and pattern is one of descent, Bach, as one might expect, introduces a counter-balance, subtly weaving in a theological message to the faithful – to hold on to the Word and sacrament, those mainstays of Christian life in the world after Jesus’ physical departure. He finds a way of musically ‘painting’ these two ideas: by juxtaposing the curve of descent (via downward modulatory sequences) with the injunction to remain steadfast (by threading 25 Gs then 35 B flats played in unison by violins and violas through the surrounding dissonance). This is linked to the reiterated pleas to Christ to remain, intoned nine times during the ensuing choral fugue.
The collision of these two ideas, lending poignancy to this opening chorus, suggested to me an affinity with Caravaggio’s Supper at Emmaus (his first version, dated 1601, https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/michelangelo-merisi-da-caravaggio-the-supper-at-emmaus). Beyond the obvious parallel of contrasted planes of light and darkness is the further dichotomy, between serenity on the one hand (Christ in the act of blessing the meal, affirming his identity and presence, seems to stretch forward his hand of comfort beyond the canvas towards the viewer) and urgency on the other, the impulsive theatrical gestures of the two disciples painted from real life directly onto canvas. This is religious drama presented as contemporary quotidian life, rather as though Bach were seeking to capture, both here and in the next two movements, the disciples’ despondency in the Saxon twilight he observed outside his study window. The other, entirely personal, memory I have of this fine cantata came flooding back to me tinged with fear: the terror of having been set an impossible assignment by my octogenarian teacher Nadia Boulanger to prepare and conduct this work with the rag, tag and bobtail of conservatory students at Fontainebleu on a hot August afternoon in 1968, and the blessed relief of realising that she had slept through the entire performance.
As we filed out of the Georgenkirche at the end of the mass on Easter morning, the pastor invited a few of us to visit what remains today of the old Dominican monastery and of Bach’s former school. We walked with him past the old town wall to the cemetery known as the Gottesacker. Somewhere here are the unmarked graves of Bach’s parents. Graham Greene once wrote: ‘There is always a moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in’ - and here it was, for Bach, in 1694. Tragedy struck when he was in his tenth year: within a matter of months he lost first his mother and then his father. With the death of both parents, the family home in Eisenach was broken up. No trace of it exists today, and the Bachhaus visited by countless pilgrims is, sadly, a fake. Johann Sebastian was taken in by his much older brother, Johann Christian, in Ohrdruf, thirty miles to the south east. The door to the future had been rudely thrown open.>>
© John Eliot Gardiner 2007 / From a journal written in the course of the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage
Conventional Cantata 6, Easter Monday Gospel
The end of Bach’s chorale cantata cycle and the return to conventional-type cantatas begins Klaus Hofmann’s 2007 discussion of Cantata 6 on the Masaaki Suzuki BIS recording of the complete cantatas.2 << Bach’s cantata Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, like the other three cantatas on this CD (BWV 42, 103, 108), comes from the final weeks of Bach’s second year of duty in Leipzig. During this year he had been busy with a chorale cantata cycle that was planned to span the entire church year. These cantatas did not have a direct association with the gospel passage for the days in question, but used specific hymns as their starting point. Probably for extra-musical reasons – the non-availability of the librettist – this series of cantatas broke off a week before Easter 1725. On Easter Sunday Bach performed his Easter Oratorio, BWV249, and may also have repeated his very early chorale cantata Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV4. On Easter Monday, it was the turn of the present cantata, and with it Bach returned to the conventional type of cantata, the content of which is related to the gospel passage for the day in question.
The gospel reading for Easter Monday, Luke 24: 13-35, describes a popular theme that is often featured in pictorial art as well. It is the story of the two disciples who, a few days after Jesus’ death, are on the road to Emmaus, filled with sadness about recent events. They fall into conversation with a stranger who explains to them what has happened according to the words of the prophets. Pressured to stay – ‘Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend wer den’ (‘Abide with us; for it is toward evening’) – he enters their house and, when he breaks bread, is recognized by them as the resurrected Christ. Bach’s unknown librettist makes direct use of a specific line of verse, ‘Bleib bei uns…’ (‘Abide with us …’), and places it at the beginning of the cantata, where – assuming a modified and more generalized meaning – it is understood as a prayer for Jesus’ presence and support at a time when the faithful find themselves increasingly surrounded by darkness – or, in other words, by the sinfulness of the world and by the disregard of God’s word.
Perhaps conscious of the fact that, after the premature end of the chorale cantata project, this work marked the beginning of a new series of cantatas, Bach composed an introductory chorus that is freely associated with French overture form. A frame of two essentially homophonic passages surrounds a fugal central section at a rapid tempo. In all three sections the plea ‘Bleib bei uns…’ (‘Abide with us …’) is the central focus. The opening section combines a certain solemnity of expression with gestures of fervent prayer. In the central section Bach skilfully develops two fugue themes simultaneously on the words ‘denn es will Abend werden’ (‘for it is toward evening’) and ‘und der Tag hat sich geneiget’ (‘and the day is far spent’). These are joined by a third motif, the appeal ‘Bleib bei uns…’ (which, with its long notes and steadily maintained pitch, is a musical portrayal of ‘abiding’)‚ which gradually comes to permeate the texture and ultimately, in a choral unison over four octaves, lends unmistakable emphasis to the plea.
The aria ‘Hochgelobter Gottessohn’ (‘Highly praised Son of God’) features the alto and the oboe da caccia (alto oboe) concertante. Bach does not miss the opportunity to illustrate the word ‘hoch’ (‘highly’) at the beginning with a rising melody, the word ‘bleibe’ (‘remain’) with longer notes, and ‘Finsternis’ (‘darkness’) with a low pitch and modulations which, as it were, stray from the true path. The following movement [no. 3] is based on the first two strophes of the hymn Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ (Oh remain with us, Lord Jesus Christ: the first strophe after a Latin poem  by Philipp Melanchthon, the second by Nikolaus Selnecker [before 1572]). The hymn melody is given to the soprano, and is joined by a very concertante solo part for violoncello piccolo, thematically wholly independent. More than twenty years later, Bach used an organ transcription of the cantata movement in the so-called Schübler Chorales, BWV649. Like this movement and the preceding alto aria [no. 2], the tenor aria [no. 5] ‘Jesu, lass uns auf dich sehen’ (‘Jesus, let us look upon You’) also has a strongly instrumental character. Right at the outset a striking concertante idea from the first violin emerges from and subsequently dominates the string texture. The vocal line takes up this idea, varies it and continues it independently; only in the second part of the aria, where the text mentions the light of the Word of God shining more brightly, does it correspond with the more lively character of the strings. As usual, the cantata ends with a simple chorale setting, in this case the second strophe of Luther’s hymn Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort (Maintain us, Lord, within thy word, 1543).
© Klaus Hofmann 2007
Violoncello Piccolo, Relatives
Maasaki Suzuki’s “Production Notes” explains his Cantata 6 recording use of the so-called violoncello da spalla, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Suzuki-C39c%5BBIS-SACD1641%5D.pdf, scroll down to Page 8, production notes).3 << Production Notes: The violoncello piccolo in BWV 6. The part for the violoncello piccolo called for in the third movement of BWV 6 has previously been played on a five-string cello, but on this occasion we are using a instrument known as the violoncello da spalla (in a reconstruction by Dmitry Badiarov), which merits a short explanation. (For further details, see Dmitry Badiarov ‘The violoncello, viola da spalla and viola pomposa in theory and practice’, in Galpin Society Journal No. 60, 2007, p. 121ff.).FN
The following three points form the basis for our decision to use this instrument:
1) During the 17th and 18th centuries, the instrument known as the violoncello appeared in a variety of sizes and was by no means invariably played in a manner positioned between the performer’s legs. Many sources tell us that it was sometimes played resting on the shoulder or laterally in front of the player’s chest (see the above mentioned article.)
2) There are at least five documents that bear witness to J. S. Bach having invented, or at least, having been familiar with an instrument known as the viola pomposa (Bach Dokumente III/731, 820, 856, 939 and 948). This instrument had the same range as the cello but was equipped with a fifth string. It was supposedly played in a manner suspended in front of the chest.
3) The eight cantatas that J. S. Bach composed and first performed between October 1724 and May 1725 (BWV 180, 115, 41, 6, 85, 183, 68 and 175) along with the cantata BWV 49 of November 1726 all call for the use of a violoncello piccolo. These parts do not constitute elements of the continuo and they are all obbligato parts featured in arias, with a pitch range extending from low C to the C three octaves higher. In the case of BWV 41 and BWV6, the original (?) parts for this instrument were written into the first violin parts, indicating that they were probably performed by the first violinist. The important point to note here is that there are no markings in the continuo parts, which would have been performed by the cello, in the movements in which the violoncello piccolo is called for. There is therefore nothing to suggest that the violoncello piccolo was played by the cellist. On the contrary, it seems likely that the cellist would have been required to perform the normal continuo parts in these movements.
Leaving aside the question of whether J. S. Bach was indeed the inventor of this instrument, it is not hard to imagine that the viola pomposa that he referred to would have had the same shape and would have been played in the same way as the violoncello da spalla. Moreover, we have been able, through actual performance, to confirm that the violoncello da spalla is ideally suited in terms of both range and function to taking the violoncello piccolo parts that appear in the nine previously mentioned cantatas. In light of the third point made above, I have already in the past felt that it was unreasonable to expect the cellist to swap instruments to a violoncello piccolo. Any doubts that I had previously had about this matter have now been dispelled. We have therefore decided to have the violoncello piccolo part played by the violoncello da spalla for the first time in this cantata series. I might also mention that the same instrument will be used in our recordings of the cantatas BWV 68, 85, 175 and 183.
© Masaaki Suzuki 2007>>
Violoncello Piccolo: Theology in Bach Cantatas
The designated violoncello piccolo as a solo instrument appears in Bach cantatas for “the time periods that lead tothe endings of the first two “halves” of the liturgical year [Easter de tempore and Trinity Time omnes tempore), says Chafe (Ibid.: 490). “Their placement suggests some connection to the eschatological [last times] character” where at Easter the “theme arises within the context of Jesus’s departure and the shift from the anticipation of his return [second coming] as a future event to emphasis on the coming of the Holy Spirit” at Pentecost, with “a considerable element of theological consistency in their texts,” says Chafe. These arias represent “the mystery of the integration of God and man in Jesus and the equally mystical relationship of Jesus and the believer,” says Chafe (Ibid.: 491), involving Pentecost and the Holy Spirit as well as the Eucharist (communion).
Jesus’ appearance involves three concepts, says Chafe: the resurrected figure “whom the disciples (= the church) urge to remain with them (Cantata 6),” as the “good shepherd” and “protector his flock (Cantats 85, 183, and 175),” and as God, present through the “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit.” In contrast to the “loud” instruments represented in the trumpets in the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249, is the “soft” and unique violoncello piccolo in the next day’s Cantata 6, observes Chafe (Ibid.: 492). It “marks a shift of perspective from the light and triumph of the resurrection to the darkness and anxiety of the world,” “expanding its meaning gradually” in the first half, the first three movements of Cantata 6: the sarabande-style opening chorus biblical motto (Luke 24:29) similar to the closing chorus, “Ruht wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine,” in the Good Friday St. John Passion, and a “basic prayer for Jesus to remain through the coming darkness”; the alto aria (no. 2) that “makes a personal plea for Jesus to remain the ‘light’ of the faithful, accompanied with another “soft,” instrument, the pastoral oboe da caccia; and the soprano chorale setting (no. 3) with the violoncello piccolo that “characterizes the world as a place of darkness and tribulation” “in which God’s word provides the only light,” says Chafe (Ibid.: 493). The two solo instruments “suggest the comfort of Jesus’s presence (through word and sacrement) in a world of increasing darkness.”
Chorale “Ach bleib bei uns”
The two-stanza setting of the chorale “Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ” (Ah, abide with us, Lord Jesus Christ, Luke 24:29) is actually two chorales: the first is Philipp Melanchthon's 1575 German version of the Latin antiphon Vespera iam venit, and the second is Nikolaus Selnecker’s stanza 1572 setting of Stanza 2, “In dieser letzt'n betrübten Zeit / Verleih uns, Herr, Beständigkeit” (In these last, troubled times / grant us, Lord, constancy), following his text of the Melanchton 1497-1561) translation. Both stanzas are found in Bach’s Das neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682, as No. 303 under the omnes tempore category of “The Word of God and the Christian Church.” The first stanza first appeared as a broadsheet in 1579, with Nicolaus Herman’s “Danket dem Herrn.” The nine-stanza hymn (see http://www.musicanet.org/robokopp/hymn/lordjcwi.htm) was first published in Selnecker’s Geistliche Psalmen (Nürnberg, 1611). Selnecker, a favorite pupil of Melanchton, biography is found at BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Selnecker.htm. The Gardiner recording of the two-stanza chorale setting is found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myi2tFIJy8c.
“Ach bleib bei uns,” is set to the melody (Zahn 439), “Danket dem Herrn heut’ und allzeit” (Thank the Lord today and always), NLGB No. 221 (Easter) from the Geistliche Lieder, Leipzig, 1589, and also with the alternative texts, “Herr Gott, erhalt uns für und für,” “Wir danken dir, O frommer Gott,” and “Hinunter ist der Sonnenschein.” A “four-part setting is found in Seth Calvisius’ Hymni sacri Latini et germanici (Erfurt, 1594). No doubt it is by him,” says Charles S. Terry.4
It is possible that Bach had little interest in setting “Ach blieb bei uns” as a chorale cantata since its four-line nine-stanza text has little to do with the Easter season, being more appropriate for Reformation Day or as an Evening Song or for the Word of God or the Christian Church, The chorale is one of three used on Easter Monday in Leipzig, says Günther Stiller.5 The other two, although not used by Bach on that date but elsewhere in the Easter season, are “Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag” (NLGB No. 103; BWV 145/5, 67/4) and “Wenn Mein Stündlien vorhanden ist” (NLGB No. 330; 31/9, 95/7 and 247/41). Bach’s sources for the hymn “Ach bleib bei uns” could have been the authorized Dresdener Geangbuch, 1725/1736 (No. 407), or Mühlhausen (1712) for Sexagesima Sunday or Easter Monday.
Bach thought so highly of this chorale aria, “Ach blieb bei uns,” BWV 6/3, that he included it in his published Schübler Chorale collection of 1748 of organ trios mostly arranged from chorale cantata arias with instrumental obbligato. The other adapted arias are BWV 140/4, BWV 93/4, BWV 10/5, BWV 137/2, and BWV 646 from a lost cantata to the hymn text “Wo soll lich fliehen hin” to the melody, “Auf einen lieben Gott.”
Bach's four-part free-standing setting of “Ach blieb bei uns,” BWV 253 in A Major, may have been composed to close a projected chorale cantata for Easter Monday 1725. It is more likely, however, given its key incongruity with the BWV 6/3 chorale aria in Bb Major, that it was used to close the lost Cantata BWV Anh. 4, "Wünschet Jerusalem Glück," Picander text, for the Augsburg Confession 200th Anniversary in 1730. A two-part setting of the melody and basso continuo is found in Robin A. Leaver’s “Bach’s Chorale-Buch?.”6
“Erhalt uns Herr, bei deinen Wort.”
Like “Ach blieb bei uns,” the Cantata 6 closing plain chorale setting, “Erhalt uns Herr bei deinem Wort,” appears in the NLGB under the category “Word of God and the Christian Church,” as No. 305. Cantata 6/6 is the second stanza, “Beweis dein Macht, Herr Jesu Christ” (Show your might, Lord Jesus Christ). The seven-stanza text authors are Martin Luther (1542) (Stanzas 1-3, 6-7), and Justus Jonas (1546) (Stanzas 4-5), with Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale142-Eng3.htm. Bach used Stanzas 1, 3, 6 and 7 unaltered in the chorale Cantata 126 for Sexagesima Sunday 1725. The chorale melody of the same incipit is by Johann Walter (1543), melody and text information at BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Erhalt-uns-Herr.htm; Cantata 126, see BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV126-D4.htm.
Johann Michael Bach Work
It is more than mere coincidence that cousin Johann Michael’s Bach’s vocal concerto with the same two-stanza chorale text as BWV 6/3, “Ach blieb bei uns,” is found in Sebastian’s Altbachisches Archiv, old Bach Family archives. Here, Michael Bach sets each line of the hymn separately, as in a 16th century motet, “exploring the pictorial possibilities of every phrase, and paying special attentions to dynamic shading,” observes Karl Geiringer.7 The work opens with an instrumental sonata and at the text reference to Dein göttlich Wort, das helle Licht” (your divine word, the clear light), the violin soars to the heights,” Geiringer points out. He concludes: “this cantata gives us a good example of the high standard of his technical skill, proving that he was fully conversant with both German polyphony and the Italian stile concertato.”
Scored for SATB; 2 violins, 3 violas, bc (bassoon), this undesignated, undated sacred concerto,8 lasting about the same time, five m, as the Sebastian chorale aria, it uses the same text but without the original melody, Herman’s “Danket dem Herrn,” instead uses the popular melody known as “Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott” (Lord Jesus Christ, true man and God), to the Paul Eber (another Melanchthon pupil) 1566 text, known as the melody “Befiehl du deine Wege,” commend thy ways) by Hans Leo Hassler (1601) and best known as the Passion Chorale, O sacred head now wounded.”
Bach’s set “Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott,” the Martin Luther dialect, as chorale Cantata BWV 126, for Quinquagesima Estomihi Sunday, 11 February 1725, one week after chorale Cantata BWV 126, “Erhalt uns Herr bein deinem Wort,” amd less than two months before the performances of the successive St. John Passion, Easter Oratorio, and Cantata 6 for Easter Monday.
Manuscript Score, Parts Set Sources
The manuscript sources, based on the 1956 NBA KB Critical Commentary of Alfred Dürr, are examined in Thomas Braatz’s commentary, << BWV 6 The Copy Session (http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6-D2.htm), April 1, 2007. Original Documents Extant: A. The Autograph Score. A smaller title page written and inserted later by CPE Bach reads: Feria 1 Paschatos | Bleib bey uns, denn es will Abend werden | a | 4 Voci | 2 Hautb. e Hautb. da Caccia | 2 Viol. | Viola | Violonc. piccolo | e | Continuo | di | J. S. Bach. The autograph title at the top of the 1st page of the score reads: J. J. Feria 2 Paschatos Xsti. Concerto [Source, Bach Digital, https://www.bach-digital.de/receive/BachDigitalSource_source_00000871].
B. The Original Set of Parts. Six copyists were involved in creating the parts based upon the autograph score. In this early edition of the NBA KBs, the 6 copyists used are still listed anonymously. Copyist 1 was later definitely identified as Johann Andreas Kuhnau, Bach's main Leipzig copyist, who in other sources was also referred to as Anonymous III. [Later research identifies them as: Kuhnau, Johann Andreas (1703-after 1745) = Hauptkopist A (Dürr Chr); Anon. IIh; Bach, Johann Heinrich (1707–1783); Anon. IId; Meißner, Christian Gottlob (1707–1760); Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685–1750); and Bach, Anna Magdalena (1701–1760); source: Bach Digital, https://www.bach-digital.de/receive/BachDigitalSource_source_00002311.
Here are the parts: 1. Soprano: Anon 1; 2. Alto: Anon 1; 3. Tenore: Anon 1; 4. Basso: Anon 1; 5. Hautbois 1.: Anon 1; 6. Hautbois 2.: Anon 1; 7. Hautbois da Caccia: Anon 1; 8. Violino 1mo: Anon 1; 9. Violino 1mo (Doublet): Anon 2 (Mvt. 1 to m 112); Anon 3; 10. Violino 2do: Anon 1; 11. Violino 2do (Doublet): Anon 2 (Mvt. 1 to m 125); Anon 3; 12. Viola: Anon 1; 12a. Violoncello piccolo: Mvt. 3 (on reverse side: Mvt. 2 for Viola): Anon 4; 13. Cembalo: Anon 1; 14: Continuo (not figured): Anon 5; 15: Continuo (transposed down 1 whole tone/step, figured): Anon 6.
The Sequence of the Copy Procedure: The autograph score had been completed entirely before the copy process was begun. See note to BWV 1 regarding the tempus clausum which released Bach from composing and performing a new cantata every week during the period when this cantata was presumably composed. JAK (Anon 1) copies from the score the main set of parts, but not the violin doublets and the additional continuo parts. Anon 2 begins each of the violin doublets and Anon 3 completes these parts. Using the already completed Primary Continuo part (Cembalo) which had been corrected by J. S. Bach, Anon 5 copies the untransposed, unfigured Continuo part after which Anon 6 creates the transposed Continuo part. The figures in this part are not autograph. The inserted Violoncello piccolo part was added later; however, it is not possible to ascertain whether it was still created during Bach's lifetime or inserted after his death. All the parts give evidence of Bach's careful revision with corrections and additions. The insert (12a) is an exception with only the Viola (Mvt. 2) part having autograph corrections and additions.>>
Cantata 6 Score, Parts Set Provenance
The 1750 estate division of the original score and parts sets shows that Cantata BWV 6 was part of the third cycle distribution between Emmanuel and Friedemann/Johann Christian, with Emmanuel receiving the score and Friedemann the parts set. The third cycle distribution pattern shows that Emmanuel generally received the scores as well as both the scores and part sets for the first 12 Sundays after Trinity. Friedemann received the parts sets for the Easter Season and Later Trinity Time, while Christian may have received the parts sets for the Christmas Season. In 1750, Christian (b.1735) began living with Emmanuel in Berlin but apparently left the parts sets with Emmanuel when he moved to Italy in 1754. While the scores and Trinity 1-12 parts sets were found in the estate of Emmanuel in 1790, the Christmas parts sets were not listed in Emmanuel’s estate catalog but apparently went to Emmanuel’s circle of Hamburg sources and then to Berlin sources. Cantata 6 Score D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 44; Provenance: J. S. Bach - C. P. E. Bach - G. Poelchau (1805) - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1841). Cantata 6 Parts Set, D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 44, J. S. Bach - W. F. Bach - Voß-Buch - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1851); Doublets: J. S. Bach - C. P. E. Bach - G. Poelchau (1805) - BB (now Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, Preußischer Kulturbesitz) (1841).
1 Gardiner Cantata 6 notes, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P22c[sdg128_gb].pdf; BCW Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Gardiner-Rec4.htm#P22; music, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Myi2tFIJy8c.
2 Hofmann/Suzuki notes, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Suzuki-C36c[BIS-SACD1611].pdf; BCW Recording details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Suzuki-Rec2.htm#C36.
3 See Eric Chafe, “Instrumental Characteristics” (Chapter 11), in J. S. Bach’s Johannine Theology: The St. John Passion and the Cantatas for Spring 1725 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), Footnote 7: 487, for various sources on violoncello piccolo, viola pomposa, etc., as well as Thomas Braatz’s BCW Article, “Violoncello Piccolo in Bach's Vocal Works,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Violoncello-Piccolo.htm.
4 Charles S. Terry, Bach’s Chorals. Part I: 2 The Hymns and Hymn Melodies of the Cantatas and Motetts (Cambridge University Press, 1915-1921); 3 vols. Vol. 2. March 21, 2017, http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/2056.
5 Günther Stiller. Johann Sebastian Bach and Liturgical Life in Leipzig, Ed. Robin A. Leaver (Concordia Publishing: St. Louis, 1985: 240). The original source of the material on the chorale Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ,” is found in the BCW, “Motets and Chorales for Easter,” http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Easter.htm.
6 Robin A. Leaver “The Significance of a Manuscript in the Sidney Library,” in Bach and the Organ, Bach Perspectives 10 (American Bach Society), ed. Matthew Dirst (Urbana, University of Illinois Press, 2016, 35).
Aryeh Oron wrote (July 30, 2017):
Cantata BWV 6 - Revised & updated Discography
Cantata BWV 6 "Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden" (Stay with us, for evening is coming) was composed by J.S. Bach in Leipzig for Easter Monday [2nd day of Easter] of 1729. The cantata was performed again in Leipzig on the same event between 1735 and 1740. The cantata is scored for soprano, alto, tenor & bass soloists; 4-part Chorus; and orchestra of 2 oboes, oboe da caccia, violoncello piccolo, 2 violins, viola & continuo.
The discography pages of BWV 6 on the BCW have been revised and updated. See:
Complete Recordings (30): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6.htm
Recordings of Individual Movements (16): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV6-2.htm
The revised discography includes many listening/watching options as part of the recording details. When you click a link to video/audio, a new window will open above the discography page and the video/audio will start to play.
I also put at the BCW Home Page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
2 audios & 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 6 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/BWV6-D5.htm