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Recordings & Discussions of Cantatas: Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Cantatas BWV Anh | Order of Discussion

Cantata BWV 67
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ
Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Discussions in the Week of April 2, 2006

Doug Cowling wrote (April 2, 2006):
Week of April 2, 2006 - Cantata 67

Week of April 2, 2006

Cantata 67: Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ

1st performance: April 16, 1724 - Leipzig

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

Previous Sunday in 1724 (Easter Day)
BWV 31, “Der Himmel lacht” & BWV 4. “Christ Lag in Todesbanden
Previous Tuesday (3rd Day after Easter):
BWV 134, “Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß
Next Sunday (Misericordias Domini):
BWV 104, “Du Hirte Israel

Libretto:
(Mvt. 1); 2 Timothy 2: 8
(Mvt. 4); Nikolaus Herman
(Mvt. 7); Jakob Ebert
(Mvts. 2, 3, 5, 6); Anon (Perhaps Salomo Franck)
(Mvt. 6) John 20: 19

Text:
See http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~wfb/cantatas/67.html
Translations:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67.htm

Movements & Scoring:

Mvt. 1: Chorus
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ
Choir: SATB
Instruments: Flt, 2 Oda, Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 2: Aria
Mein Jesus ist erstanden
Soloists: Tenor
Instruments: Oda, Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 3: Recitative
Mein Jesu, heißest du des Todes Gift
Soloists: Alto
Instruments: Bc

Mvt. 4: Chorale
Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag
Choir: SATB
Instruments: Cdt, Flt, 2 Oda, Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 5: Recitative
Doch scheinet fast
Soloists: Alto
Instruments: Bc

Mvt. 6: Aria & Chorus
Friede sei mit euch!
Soloists: Bass
Choir: SATB
Instruments: Flt, 2 Oda, Vn, Va, Bc

Mvt. 7: Chorale
Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ
Choir: SATB
Instruments: Cdt, Flt, 2 Oda, Vn, Va, Bc

Liturgical Comments:

Written for the First Sunday after Easter. The name “Quasimodogeniti
Sunday comes from the opening words of the Latin introit, “Quasi modo geniti infantes” (Trivia: Victor Hugo’s hunchback bell-ringer of Notre Dame was given the name, Quasimodo, because he was found as an abandoned infant on that Sunday)

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

Other Cantatas written for Quasimodogeniti Sunday:
BWV 42 Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats (Leipzig, 1725)

Texts of Readings:
Readings: Epistle: 1 John 5: 4-10; Gospel: John 20: 19-31
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Quasimodogeniti.htm

Introduction to Lutheran Church Year:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/index.htm

Piano Vocal Score: (free PDF download)
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67.htm

Recordings:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67.htm#RC

Music (free streaming download):
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Mus/BWV67-Mus.htm

Chorales:
Du Friedefurst (Mvt 7)
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Du-Friedefurst.htm
Erscheinen Ist (Mvt 4)
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Erschienen-ist-der-herrlich-Tag.htm

Commentaries:
See: http://www.classical.net/music/comp.lst/works/bachjs/cantatas/067.html
See: http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=42:65224~T1

Previous Discussion:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV67-D.htm

Performances of Bach Cantatas:
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/Concert-2006.htm

Appendix:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ORDER OF AFTERNOON VESPERS ­ 1:30 pm

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

3. Choir: Cantata (repeated from morning)

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Smaill wrote (April 2, 2006):
Two very open questions regarding this Cantata, "Halt in Gedaechtnis Jesum Christ," observed by all commentators as particularly effective in its dramatic construction. Firstly, who wrote the libretto?

And, the second, possibly an underexploited line of enquiry, is there some evidence that the compositional methods of in BWV 67 (and indeed last week's BWV 134) relate to the style, techniques and theology of the SJP, performed for the first time on 7 April 1724?

As regards BWV 134," Ein Herz, das seinen jesum lebend weiss", for 11 April 1724, Bach 's librettist (as discussed) employs on a small scale a palindromic or chiastic structure, as is majestically revealed in the SJP where the focus is the Chorale, "Durch dein Gefaegnis."

The SJP has also been analysed in terms of gematria by William H Scheide and others. BWV 134 would also be an interesting subject for this controversial approach but in passing it is noteworthy that the second tenor recitative consists of fourteen lines, the number associated with the number of movemenin Bach's first cantatas at Leipzig, BWV 75 and BWV 76, and in gematria terms the number for BACH, revealed by Smend to be the number of notes in the two canonic parts in the Haussman portrait (he also spotted that there are fourteen buttons on the jacket in this famous representation of the composer!).

With BWV 67 the connectivity is perhaps so obvious that it is not much analysed; in BWV 67/6 for Quasimodogeniti, 16 April 1724, there is the exquisite alternation of a Bass voice (representing Christ) and a turba-like orchestral and choral activity, as it were depicting the crowd transformed into the believing multitude after the agonies of doubt and despair.

These techniques rarely appear in the Cantatas but the proximity to the SJP with its turba passages and Bass representation suggests that Bach and his librettist wished to extend the dramatic personification of Christ into the post Passion narratives following Easter. (The nearest comparator to BWV 66 is the "tumult" image in BWV 27 of 1726, "Wer weisse wie nahe mir mein Ende," but there it is the believer who imparts the peaceful response, not Jesus.)

As to poetic structure, BWV 67 is, like BWV 134, of unusual structure and both conform to the "Christus Victor" conception of the Passion. The extreme simplicity of the final chorale, creating a devotional response to the highly-wrought musical drama of the dialogue BWV 67/6, is a masterstroke by Bach, as is the devotional impact of "Ach Herr, lass dein' leib engelein" of the SJP (BWV 245).

The older recordings (e.g. Ansermet) IMO, with their slower tempi at the end, are much more successful in creating this numinous response than the clipped and relatively speeded-up more recent offerings (especially Leusink). Suzuki represents a middle way but the effect needed is that the congregation (for whom the choir is proxy) are felt to respond to the exhortation, "Friede sei mit Euch!" with a quiet but fervent asseveration of the injunction, the recognition of Christ as true Man and true God being the most central doctrine of the Christians.

Who wrote the exceptionally effective libretto ("One of his greatest and most original cantatas"(Duerr)?

Dürr: No suggestion
Whittaker: Christian Weiss, Sr. (?)
Boyd (Nicholas Anderson): perhaps Salomo Franck
Unger: perhaps Salomon (sic) Franck
Daw: supposed to be by Christian Weiss (due to structure-but BWV 67/6 has to be classified as an aria to be so!)

The jury is out!

The question leads also to consideration of who helped Bach in the assembly, adaptation and integration of the Brockes and Postel texts for the SJP (BWV 245). Was the creator of the vivid tensions in the structure of BWV 67 also the editor of the SJP (BWV 245) text, "Here he must have had the assistance of some one with a sensitive poetic faculty..."(Schweitzer)?

Julian Mincham wrote (April 2, 2006):
Peter Smaill writes:
< Who wrote the exceptionally effective libretto ("One of his greatest and most original cantatas"(Dürr)? >
Wolff also writes that the author is 'unknown'. I guess that with all this scholars not being able to crack it, we shall never know; but some of the theories are tantalising.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 2, 2006):
Peter Smaill wrote:
>>Who wrote the exceptionally effective libretto ("One of his greatest and most original cantatas"(Dürr)?
Dürr: No suggestion
Whittaker: Christian Weiss, Senr. (?)
Boyd (Nicholas Anderson): perhaps
Salomo Franck
Unger: perhaps
Salomon (sic) Franck
Daw: supposed to be by Christian Weiss (due to structure-but BWV 67/6 has to be classified as an aria to be so!)<<

Here are a few others to add to the list:

Philipp Spitta (1873-1880s) : "it is reminiscent of Franck's manner, and if Picander worte, it is better than anything else that he had written"

BWV Verzeichnis (1998) Unknown librettist (Dürr is one of the most important editors of this volume)

NBA KB I/11.1 (1989) p. 41 "librettist is not identified" The text exists in the form of one of Bach's text booklets (1724) which were printed for use by the congregation, but no author is mentioned". Reinmar Emans is the editor of the KB. He continues: "The following poets have been considered as possibilities:

Christian Weiß, Sr. (in Werner Neumann's "Handbuch der Kantaten Joh. Seb. Bachs" Leipzig, 1967; in the 4th edition of Werner Neumann's "Sämtliche von Johann Sebastian Bach vertonte Texte", Leipzig, 1974, this
conjecture no longer appears;

Christian Weise and/or J. S. Bach in Wolfgang Schmieder's BWV, Leipzig 1950

Mariane von Ziegler in Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini's "Sudi sui testi delle cantate sacre di J. S. Bach" Padua, 1956, pp. 115ff. (This was based upon some textual correspondences in the group of cantatas BWV 67, BWV 166, BWV 86, BWV 37 and BWV 44." [End of KB]

Konrad Küster "Bach Handbuch" 1999, pp. 230-231: No reference whatsoever to the librettist whether unknown or conjectured

Christoph Wolff/Ton Koopman "Die Welt der Bach Kantaten" 1999 No information about the possible author or that the author is unknown.<<

Doug Cowling wrote (April 2, 2006):
Week of April 3, 2006 - Cantata 67 - Cont'd

Week of April 3, 2006 - Cantata 67

The Bass Aria & Chorus, "Friede Sei" was reused by Bach as the Gloria of Missa Brevis in A Major, BWV 234

1st performance: 1738 ? - Leipzig;
2nd performance: 1743-1746 - Leipzig;
3rd performance: 1748-1749 - Leipzig

Soloists: Soprano, Alto, Bass; 4-part Chorus (SATB)

Orchestra: 2 flutes, 2 violins, viola, continuo

See: Live Streaming: http://www.baroquecds.com/musamples.html

Other cantatas used in the mass: BWV 79, BWV 136, BWV 179

Peter Smaill wrote (April 2, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thank you for enlarging the group of suspects for the accolade of having structured the text of one of the very best Cantatas drama-wise, the post-Easter BWV 67 "Halt in Gedaechtnis Jesum Christ" which, drawing on St John's Gospel, could be in my view be by the equally unknown hand who assisted with the text of SJP.

Interestingly Spitta speculates (in a sceptical manner) that it could be an early collaboration with Picander; and Stephen Daw, in his "Bach: The Choral Works" of 1981 even says that Picander was responsible for the SJP (BWV 245) libretto. I can find no other support for this view, as distinct from the Picander-SMP connection and the association with the text of the St Mark Passion..

According to Konrad Kuester (in Boyd), the first setting by Bach of a Picander/Henrici text is BWV 148, "Bringet dem Herrn ehre seines nahmens "; but it is questionable as to whether the performance date is 19 September 1723 or 25 September 1725. Picander was, however, in Leipzig throughout Bach's time there; "his relations with Bach were perhaps only casual at first" (KK).

Marianne von Ziegler seems even more unlikely, since she is very particularly associated with the series of later Cantatas composed between 22 April and 27 May 1725, "thus succeeding, after a gap of weeks, the series of chorale cantatas which was inaugurated in June 1724 and came to an end (for no known reason) around Easter 1725." (KK).

Wolff, however, does put forward a reason; and introduces another name to the field of identifiable poets writing for and with Bach in 1724. "The way in which the [chorale Cantata] project began and strongly ended suggests that Bach's anonymous librettist was a close collaborator who reside in Leipzig. According to the most likely among various hypotheses, the author of the chorale cantata texts was Andreas Stuebel, conrector emeritus of the St Thomas school.......Stuebel's death on January 27 1725, after only three days of illness and after he had received the printer texts of the booklet of cantatas to be performed from Septuagesimae Sunday to Annunciation would explain the abrupt ending of the chorale cantata cycle with "Wie schön leuchtet die
Morgenstern
", BWV 1.

If Wolff's hypothesis is true then it would be odd to have begun to work with either Picander or von Ziegler in BWV 67, then to have dropped either of them when the new church year proper opened for 1724/5, and picked up again with either post the untimely demise of Andreas Stuebel. Not impossible - but odd in view of the serial, rather than parallel, relationship of Bach to the librettists. He seems to have worked as a rule with one librettist at any time, not chopping and changing.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 3, 2006):
BWV 67: some recordings

I have listened to Richter (1958, BCW sample) [4], Werner (1960) [6], Ansermet (1969, Decca LP) [7], Richter (1974) [8], Rilling (1978) [10], Suzuki (2002) [15].

1st movement.

The Richter 1 [4] is the slowest of this group, and though cleanly played, sounds slightly laboured. All of the other recordings listed above, except Richter 2 [8], adopt the same (more or less) moderate tempo (about 3.20); Richter 2 is the fastest at 2.58. This last is indeed an exhilarating performance, with good instrumental playing, but the choir is too large. Excellent instrumental sound but choirs that are too large can also noted of Werner [6] and Ansermet [7]. Rilling [10] and Suzuki [15] have the appropriately sized choirs, and for this reason give perhaps the most satisfactory performances, but I found all of these recordings to be enjoyable after studying the score and learning certain aspects of it that are at first difficult to hear in the recordings. For example, Richter 2 has the clearest presentation of the initial long quaver run on the oboes, but I can imagine this part after learning it by heart in those recordings where it is weak. The horn in Suzuki's recording has the peculiar aspect of sounding clear as a bell in the lower register, but is weak in the range above the stave, so we miss the excitement of the horn run at the end (or trumpet, in other recordings), present in the modern instrument recordings. For these reasons I am currently leaning toward Rilling as my preferred recording.

Leonhardt's performance [9] of the tenor aria is especially articulate, however I find all the performances are satisfying.

The recitatives in Ansermet [7] are particularly attractive, because we have a real church organ employing a beautiful, unobtrusive stop including tastefully resonant pedal. It's nice to get away from the usual bare, sometimes coarse continuo strings (whether played long or short); this Decca recording seems to have captured a truly live organ sound stage, rare in recordings, and light years from that horrible little instrument often used in Rilling's recordings [10] (I wish Rilling had gone the whole hog with modern instruments and used a piano in his seccos). The alto is a youthful Helen Watts sounding much more attractive than the norm a decade later in Rilling's recordings.

Ansermet's chorales [7] also get my vote, and Peter (I think) has already commented on the lovely, quiet, devotional atmosphere with which Ansermet endows the last one (the large choir is now simply beautiful in the simple four part harmony). This devotional effect is remarkably similar to Kuijken's lovely OVPP recording of BWV 56's final chorale (IMO), commented on some time ago. Amazing!

Ansermet [7] is also as good as any in the large scale "Peace be with you" movement, with youthful bass vocalist Tom Krause suitably authoritative as the voice of Jesus. The double bass pizzicato in the continuo, in the solo sections, is a charming touch.

Neil Halliday wrote (April 4, 2006):
Layout of BWV 67/1

Following the discussion on palindromes, I have drawn up this schematic description of the sectional arrangement of BWV 67/1.

A. Ritornello

B. Chordal section, consisting of:
1. choir
2. short ritornello
3. choir
4. short ritornello

C. Double fugue (choir, or soloists, with continuo only), leading straight into (without a break, be alert; in Rilling it's easy - it's the spot where the soloists are ousted by the choir):

A. Choir and orchestra (same instrumental layout as the opening ritornello, different key, plus (of course) independent new choral writing).

B. Chordal section, consisting of (note the changed order from B above):
1. short ritornello.
2. choir.
3. short ritonello
4. choir

C. Slightly expanded double fugue (choir and orchestra)

A. As above, return to key of opening ritornello.

If we consider B+C as a unit (eg, B as a prelude to C), we have:

A, B+C, A, B+C, A.

representing the sectional layout of the movement.

---------

The highest note in the movement, f#2, played by unison flute and violin 1 concurrently in the bar with the highest notes of the trumpet run (1st and 3rd 'A' sections) occurs in a bar containing the name Jesum Christ in the 3rd A section. I suppose Bach was aware of this musical exultation of Jesus' name.

Julian Mincham wrote (April 4, 2006):
Neil Halliday writes:
< Following the discussion on palindromes, I have drawn up this schematic description of the sectional arrangement of BWV 67/1. >
Interesting. So often Bach produces movements of precise symmetry occuring on different levels (leaving aside the notions of palindrome or chiasm.) I think I mentioned in an earlier posting Brandenburg 6 (3) and the E major keyboard concerto (1) where a massive A section commenced and ended with the main ritornello theme, and returned unchanged after the B section. This was a large scale structure which Bach obviously felt was particularly successful as he used it in various choral movements in the cantatas as well.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 8, 2006):
BWV 67

For BWV 67, the listening details provided on BCW, and comparisons of performances from earlier discussion, are already very thorough. In order to stay in the habit of writing weekly, I will make a few comments which may be new, and which may help others at my level of expertise: enjoying an existing, modest collection, and making decisions on adding to it.

I have the two Richter versions, BWV 67 [4] and [8]. The major differences are the soloists, and the quicker tempos in the second version: 2:58 vs. 3:45 for the opening chorus, and 5:12 vs. 6:11 for Bass/Chor Aria (BWV 67/6). The net result is that the second version is almost two minutes faster, but the relative proportions between the beginning and the concluding portions of the cantata are maintained. I agree with all of Aryeh's comments from 2001 regarding the chorus, t, and bass performances. I would only add what a pleasure it is to be able to compare performances by Peter Pears and Peter Schreier. Whichever one you are listening to at the moment is the one you prefer, perhaps a slight edge to Screier for richness of tone.

Aryeh referred to the distinction in the chorus as contemplative versus sweeping, I think that is a fair characterization for the overall effect of the performances as well. When I was younger I might have had a preference for the quicker tempos, now perhaps a slight (emphasis, slight) preference for the slower, contemplative effect. This probably says more about me, and aging, than about the recordings. IMO, you won't go wrong with either one, or both. If you prefer HIP or authentic, the quicker tempos are probably not enough, and you should look elsewhere. You already knew that.

Commentary and musical examples provided by Thomas Braatz in 2001 are not to be missed! I especially appreciate his explanation of the dual meanings for halt (hold, or stop), the very first word of text we hear, which Thomas suggests as an example of Bach's genius. I though to avoid further use of that word (genius), as controversial, but that seems pointless. Better that we use it with the proviso:

John Pike wrote (January 18, 2005):
[To John Reese] Someone once defined genius as 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. I like that. It means none of us are let off the hook. We should all keep trying.........shame about that 10% inspiration though.

The dual meanings of halt also are consistent with the previous discussion by Peter Smaill and Thomas Braatz (BWV 81) of intentional dual meanings (punning) for wellen in that cantata. An appealing interpretation on first sight, and one which I like better the more I think about it.

The instrumentation of BWV 67 is novel, and one more example of Bach's energy in extending his expressive resources (not to say genius, one more time). We have had extended recent discussions re transverse flute. I believe the corna (or tromba?) da tirarsi (substituted by trumpet in both Richter) was the first use, and the oboe d'amore was new to Leipzig with Bach in 1723. The Richter booklet notes are a bit fuzzy on oboe d'amore in BWV 67, both versions. Any clarifications would be welcome.

We have also had a lot of recent discussion re symmetry. I don't want to push the point too far, but I think the architecture of BWV 67 can easily be heard as an arch form with two part opening section (chorus and tenor aria) balanced by two part closing section (bass/chor and chorale), with a three part central section, itself symmetrical (recit - chorale - recit). Indra Hughes recommended an article by Robin A Leaver from Cambridge Companion to Bach, which discusses symmetry. Although Leaver deals with specific larger works, and does not mention BWV 67 directly, I believe the arch form suggestion is consistent with his analysis. To minimize controversy, I will avoid the word Leaver uses to describe this symmetry (but it starts with chi).

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 24, 2001)
Mvts. 3, 4, 5 Recitatives (Alto) with Chorale in the middle Under Richter's direction [8] Reynolds exhibits a very good expressive quality throughout. Richter even abandons his usual long fermati to give us an exhilarating chorale with a distinctive trumpet sound audible above the chorus.

The chorale is not quite as bright, the trumpet not quite as audible, in the earlier [4] version. It feels a bit slower, although the timings are almost identical. On the other hand, the alto in [4], Lilian Benningsen, is at least the equal of Anna Reynolds. I am not a German speaker, but her enunciation sounds perfect. Both Reynolds and Benningsen are superb, it is not in my nature to try to judge one better than the other. Despite all the other great singers on these two recordings, the alto recits framing the chorale are highlights in their own right, because of the outstanding voices.

Is it authentic Bach, is it HIP, operatic altos singing these recits? Wasn't Bach's innovation with the cantata structure with recit to introduce operatic techniques into church music? And wasn't he getting into trouble with the authorities for his efforts? Same as it ever was. I want to stay out of the fray. All I can tell you is, these ladies
can sing! I am happy to have both discs for that reason alone.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 8, 2006):
BWV 67 (oboe d'amore)

Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>...the oboe d'amore was new to Leipzig with Bach in 1723. The Richter booklet notes are a bit fuzzy on
oboe d'amore in BWV 67, both versions. Any clarifications would be welcome.<<

There should be no 'fuzziness' about Bach's intention to use the oboe d'amore in BWV 67 since both the autograph score and the original parts specifically call for this instrument (in this instance there are two parts).

Ulrich Prinz ("J.S.Bach's Instrumentarium", Stuttgart, 2005) confirms what has been known about this instrument:

1. Johann Gottfried Walther's definition and description of this instrument, which, according to Walther, appeared circa 1720 is the first/earliest documentation that has been discovered thus far. Walther states: "It is the same as an ordinary oboe except that it has a closed bell ("zugemachte Stürtze') at the bottom end which has a 'thick-mouthed' opening the size of a finger. Its range is from a to a2, but sometimes even to a B-flat2 or a b2."

2. Heinrich Christoph Koch, in his "Musikalisches Lexikon" Offenbach, 1802, states that the instrument has fallen into disuse because it is more difficult to play in tune than a regular oboe.

3. The earliest documented use of this instrument by any composer seems to point to Johann Johann Christoph Graupner's bass-solo cantata "Wie wunderbar ist Gottes Güt" first performed on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, 1717, but the designation given is simply "Hautbois"; however the range of the instrument points clearly to that of an oboe d'amore.

4. Other composers (other than Bach) who made use of this instrument are J.F. Fasch, J. G. Graun, C.H. Graun, J.D. Heinichen, J. G. Janitsch, A. Lotti and J. H. Roman. With these composers, it was used both as an obbligato/solo as well as a chamber-music instrument where it played the 'fill-in' parts.

5. Bach did not always mark the use of this instrument clearly, but often simply used the designation 'Solo' to call for it, particularly in movements of a 'Trio' nature:
BWV 94/7; BWV 100/5, BWV 110/4; BWV 112/2; BWV 116/2; BWV 121/2; BWV 144/5; BWV 197a/6; BWV 201/9; BWV 243/3; BWV 248/47.

6. Until now no evidence has been uncovered to show that Bach used the oboe d'amore before 1723. The first time Bach calls for this instrument is indicated in the parts which he wrote out himself for his audition cantata, BWV 23 performed on February 7, 1723. After that he used it in BWV 75 on May 30, 1723 for his official first performance as music director in Leipzig, and it also appeared a week later in BWV 76. His latest use of this instrument is documented in the existing version of BWV 195 and the 'Symbolum Nicenum" of the Mass in B minor BWV 232.

7. Until recently it was thought that Georg Friedrich Telemann was the firto use the oboe d'amore in his opera "Sieg der Schönheit", Hamburg, 1722), but now evidence has come to light that Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (Capellmeister at the Gotha court) used this instrument in at least 36 sacred cantatas which he composed for the church year 1720/1721. He used it in a solo capacity as well as in doubling or having it play along with the regular oboes or in alternation with them. Based upon this information, Hans-Joachim Schulze has come to the conclusion that the Court at Gera (or Schleiz, if you will) was one of the first to make consistent use of the oboe d'amore.

8. With no other instrument did Bach use such a great variation of clefs and keys in his notation of it. Sometimes it appeared in "Klangnotation" (the notes given just as they normally sound), but at other times it was notated in a different key.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 9, 2006):
BWV 67 (Corno da tirarsi)

Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>The instrumentation of BWV 67 is novel, and one more example of Bach's energy in extending his expressive resources (not to say genius, one more time). We have had extended recent discussions re transverse flute. I believe the corna (or tromba?) da tirarsi (substituted by trumpet in both Richter) was the first use...<<
Ulrich Prinz ("Johann Sebastian Bach's Instrumentarium" Stuttgart, 2005) calls the Corno da tirarsi "...möglichweise ein mißglücktes Experiment seiner beiden ersten Leipziger Amstsjahre..." ("possibly an unsuccessful experiment of his [Bach's] first two years in his official capacity in Leipzig"). The Csibas ("Die Blechblasinstrumente in J. S. Bachs Werken" Merseburger, 1994, p. 51ff) describe it as having the same length and playable range as a Tromba da tirarsi which had been around for a much longer time. They think that it was a very tightly curled Corno da caccia in C with a longer adjustable extension behind the mouthpiece. No Corno da tirarsi exists for direct inspection and measurement, but it would appear that the extension would have been 20 cm long. Assumptions have to be made about the possibility of a cynlindrical or straignt bore. In order to play all the notes which Bach demands, it would be necessary to choose the base tone/note/key so that the extension can be pulled out as far as possible.

There are only 3 compositions by Bach that call for this instrument and only one of them calls directly and only for a 'Corno da tirarsi': BWV 162/1 and 6 (a Weimar composition from 1715 and for reusing this cantata in Leipzig, Bach used the reverse of the part to transpose it to the new notation).

The other two are BWV 46/1,3,6 and BWV 67/1,4,7 and they have the following designation: 'Tromba o Corno da tirarsi' (which, of course, means that the Tromba da tirarsi could/would be preferred because it was more easily playable.

Of the 8 mvts. listed above, 4 of them are used to double the vocal part and add color, it is also used to support the viola part in another. Any solo-type use in the other mvts. is very modest and undemanding.

The first mvt. of BWV 67 is written for a Corno da tirarsi in A (i.e. the Corno da tirarsi in C is tuned down to A using an additional 'elbow' between the mouthpiece and the extension.)

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 9, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>The Richter booklet notes are a bit fuzzy on oboe d'amore in BWV 67.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< There should be no ‘fuzziness’ about Bach’s intention to use the oboe d’amore in BWV 67 since both the autograph score and the original parts specifically call for this instrument (in this instance there are two parts). >
Thanks as always for the detailed information. I was not very clear, there is no fuzziness about Bach's intention, only about Richter's execution. I did not read the notes carefully enough for the earlier version, BWV 67 [4], where the personnel for the entire CD indicate soloist: Edgar Shann, oboe d'amore (BWV 108 and BWV 127). However, BWV 67 does indicate oboe d'amore I/II, unnamed players.

The later version, BWV 67 [8] is more complicated, perhaps a typographical error. A single oboe is indicated. However, other cantatas in the same set, for example, BWV 104, indicate oboe d'amore I/II.

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 9, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>The later version, BWV 67 [8] is more complicated, perhaps a typographical error.<<
Is this supposed to read BWV 67/8 (the conventional way of indicating the cantata followed by the mvt. number)? In this case there is no mvt. 8, so what does the '8' stand for? Mvt. 6 perhaps?

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 10, 2006):
< 5. Bach did not always mark the use of this instrument clearly, but often simply used the designation 'Solo' to call for it, particularly in movements of a 'Trio' nature:
BWV 94/7; BWV 100/5, BWV 110/4; BWV 112/2; BWV 116/2; BWV 121/2; BWV 144/5; BWV 197a/6; BWV 201/9; BWV 243/3; BWV 248/47. >
Bruce Haynes's 1986 article "Questions of Tonality in Bach's Cantatas: The Woodwind Perspective"
http://www.qub.ac.uk/music-cgi/bach2.pl?22=11689 offers on page 53:

"One other question of tonality concerns pieces with 'hidden' oboe d'amore parts. Bach was not always careful to specify this instrument when he intended it to be used. There are a number of 'oboe' parts in sharp keys that go below the range of the hautbois ordinaire, indicating that the parts were meant for the oboe d'amore. Bach's oboists, handy on a variety of different instruments, would have automatically understood this without special instructions. Pieces with hidden oboe d'amore parts are to be found in Cantatas BWV 17, BWV 29, BWV 45, BWV 94, BWV 169, BWV 193, BWV 214, and BWV 215. In addition, some pieces in the second oboe part to the St John Passion (BWV 245) are more convenient on oboe d'amore, though not all of these are indicated."

Thomas Braatz wrote (April 11, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>Bruce Haynes's 1986 article "Questions of Tonality in Bach's Cantatas: The Woodwind Perspective"
http://www.qub.ac.uk/music-cgi/bach2.pl?22=11689 offers on page 53:
"One other question of tonality concerns pieces with 'hidden' oboe d'amore parts. Bach was not always careful to specify this instrument when he intended it to be used. There are a number of 'oboe' parts in sharp keys that go below the range of the hautbois ordinaire, indicating that the parts were meant for the oboe d'amore. Bach's oboists, handy on a variety of different instruments, would have automatically understood this without special instructions. Pieces with hidden oboe d'amore parts are to be found in Cantatas
BWV 17, BWV 29, BWV 45, BWV 94, BWV 169, BWV 193, BWV 214, and BWV 215.<<
Ulrich Prinz ("Johann Sebastian Bach's Instrumentarium", Stuttgart, 2005, pp. 353-359, has some of these listed as probabfor oboe d'amore, but not BWV 29 which has oboes playing with ranges of c1-c3 and c1-a2. Why would Haynes have listed these as 'automatically understood'?

BWV 94 Bach, in the autograph score wrote "Aria Soprano è Hautb d'Amore" for mvt. 7. For mvt. 1 he wrote "I H. è Viol." & "2 H. è Viol." where there is nothing in the range of these to call for an oboe d'amore. Only mvt. 3 needs to be decided on the basis of range that two oboi d'amore are called for. As Haynes explains, the players would automatically know which instrument to use based upon the range required. There is nothing 'hidden' about these parts except that Bach and his copyists, in order to save time, simply felt no need to mark them specifically for what appeared to be obvious to all concerned.

BWV 215 does not have any 'hidden' parts either, and for some of the other instances that Haynes mentions, no separate oboi d'amore parts exist. They are simply copied on the same part as the regular oboe parts. When one mvt. is clearly marked 'oboe d'amore' and the one that follows directly below is not marked at all, there is nothing 'hidden' about such a part where the same player glances at the range of the next piece he needs to play and surmises that he will continue playing the oboe d'amore, particularly if the following is an aria or recitative.

In some instances, the NBA editors have 'read Bach's intentions' by examining the ranges that oboes play and have assigned reasonably and accordingly the oboe d'amore as required. The NBA KB will then note that Bach or his copyist 'forgot' to designate which instrument should be used and will then explain how the range of the instrument decides which instrument to assign to an 'unmarked' part.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 11, 2006):
[Continue of his previous message
That article by Haynes is offered for the benefit of people who are willing to go look it up, or for those who might be interested in those compositions, or the oboe, or the oboe d'amore.

Earlier discussions of same, where it similarly got nitpicked unread:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Oboe.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Oboe-2.htm

Ludwig wrote (April 11, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] Thanks ---it is a travesty not to use the Oboe d'more when it is called for. There is no real substitute for it.

I do not understand what supports Haynes thesis. Could you please englighten us as the range of the d'more is almost the same as the Oboe and the English Horn.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 11, 2006):
I have a remaining question, which I will restate:

The booklet with the boxed set including Richter's second recording, BWV 67 [8], indicates only a single part: Manfred Clement, Oboe. Could this be a typographic/editing error, or did Richter change the instrumentation for the second recording?

Other cantatas in the same set, for example, BWV 104, indicate oboe d'amore I/II, as does the earlier recording, BWV 67 [4].

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 11, 2006):
http://www.qub.ac.uk/music-cgi/bach2.pl?22=11689
< I do not understand what supports Haynes thesis. Could you please englighten us as the range of the d'more is almost the same as the Oboe and the English Horn. >
There is considerably too much to go into here; read the article....

See also the links I gave to earlier discussion. Differing pitch levels at the venues; Baroque woodwinds and their fingerings (and best scales); tessitura; tone colors; insensitivity of modern editions to practical considerations of Baroque woodwinds; more.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 12, 2006):
Brad Lehman wrote:
< Earlier discussions of same, where it similarly got nitpicked unread:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Oboe.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Oboe-2.htm >

I looked. I found "an ill wind that nobody blows good" credited to Victor Borge. Didn't sound exactly right. So I Googled, and found:

Dave Wild (aka David Wild, aka David A. Wild), born in New York City shortly after its purchase by the Dutch [...]
During our 15 years in Ann Arbor, that remarkable town west of Detroit
[...]
I also play piano and occasionally soprano saxophone (best characterized by borrowing Ogden Nash's description of the oboe, as "an ill wind that nobody blows good")

Seems like Ogden Nash wrote it and Victor Borge put it on the map? The world doesn't need more oboe, it needs more d'amore. Or more English Horn.

 

Continue on Part 3

Cantata BWV 67: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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