Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

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 71
Gott ist mein König
Discussions - Part 4

Continue from Part 3

Discussions in the Week of April 7, 2013

Linda Gingrich wrote (April 8, 2013):
Introduction to BWV 71

Aryeh has asked me once again to lead off the discussions of Bach's council elections cantatas, and I was glad to do so since it gives me a chance to familiarize myself with a group of new cantatas. I found the first cantata, BWV 71, *Gott is mein König*, fascinating because, as an early cantata (from his short tenure at Mühlhausen, 1707-08), it differs in several distinct ways from the cantatas I know well, the chorale cantatas.It is clearly representative of an older Baroque style; commentary on this can be found at the Bach cantatas web site,
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV71.htm, and Julian Mincham's analysis at
http://www.jsbachcantatas.com/documents/chapter-60-bwv-80.htm. What *is *it that marks this cantata as so delightfully youthful (Bach was only 22), and so different from his more mature works? I can't quite put my finger on it.

The work was commissioned for the inauguration of the new city council on February 4, 1708; the council actually published the cantata, making it one of only two published during Bach's lifetime, and the only one to survive the ravages of time. Its lavish use of four instrumental "choirs"-trumpets and drums, recorders and cello, oboes and bassoon, upper strings-sets it apart from most of his other cantatas.

After listening to two recordings, here are some observations, both from a stylistic and from a conductor's point of view that may spark some discussion.

First, as a conductor, the quicksilver tempo and meter changes present some real ensemble difficulties. Bach didn't always provide much space for a clear preparatory beat to set the new tempo and mood, so these are potential "crash and burn" places and need careful rehearsal! Also, the Harnoncourt recording [5] seems to place unnecessary stress on the first beat of the 3/4 measures, particularly in the last movement. It does indeed aid the sense of dance to differentiate between strong and weak beats, but this seems rather heavy-footed. Does anyone else hear it that way?

Does anyone else also hear a tottering old man in the triplets and sixteenth-note figures near the end of the second movement? I also find the juxtaposition of male tenor and soprano (possibly representing youth) rather poignant in a duet about old age. Did Bach do this for vocal color, or does it symbolize the passing of the older council and the beginning of the newer one?

The endings of the first and sixth movements strike me as quite curious, and surprisingly similar. The movements are celebratory, and yet the final measures seem almost an afterthought as the recorders abruptly dribble off all by themselves. Bach' purpose with these endings isn't clear to me; any thoughts regarding these unusual endings? I also hear a possible stylistic link between the long-held soprano notes in the first movement's second section, "von alters her" (from ages past) and the long-held tenor notes in the sixth movement's "ganz beständig sei vorhanden" (there remains quite constantly). The first illustrates length of time and the second the idea of constancy, and as such seem obvious bits of word painting, but is Bach perhaps painting change as an unending cycle with these links?

I welcome any and all observations and thoughts.

William Hoffman wrote (April 8, 2013):
Cantata 71: Fugitive Notes, Town Council Cantatas. Chorales

Music of praise and thanksgiving dominates Bach's cantatas for the annual installation of the Town Council, presented in Mühlhausen (1708-?1710) and in Leipzig (1723-49), where he was director of music. The seven extant "Ratswahl" cantatas Bach performed use a festive orchestra including trumpets and drums, texts usually based on Psalms of Praise, Doxology and Te Deum hymns of praise, and affirmative liturgical chorales of Martin Luther as well as Psalm and morning songs. Meanwhile, Bach's vesper musical sermons for civil authority were closely related to works for the celebratory, lesser festivals of New Year's, Michael and all Angels, John the Baptist, and the Reformation, as well as sacred weddings and the 12th Sunday after Trinity.

The record of Town Council music is complex and fragmented. Much of it presented in Leipzig was recycled with new text underlay for related events, especially Reformation and sacred weddings, and even secular celebrations, as well as the <Mass in B Minor>. Other sacred cantatas, either undesignated chorale cantatas or for "anytime" main services, may have been performed at annual council installation during significant gaps in Bach`s final two decades of the 1730s and 1740s. Along the way, he probably received special remuneration from his "vexing" employer, gained community recognition with further commissions, and achieved recognition from the wider Germanic world in Saxony and Prussia.

Mühlhausen Beginnings

Contrasting music of joy and sadness, dancing and mourning dominated Bach's calling to create "well-regulated church music to the glory of God," beginning in Mühlhausen with old-style vocal concerti and motets. His earliest works show the contrast in affect as well as his abiding interest in Lutheran chorales, cultivated in his earliest organ music. It began on Easter Sunday 1707 with his probe piece, probably chorale Cantata BWV 4, "Christ lag in Todesbanden" (Christ lies is death's bondage) and flourished until his resignation letter to the Church of St. Blasius, June 25, 1708, that included his stated calling. In 15 months, Bach fashioned cohesive, memorable vocal works that explored both mourning in Cantatas 131, "Aus der tiefe" (Out of the depths, the <de profundis>) and 106, "Gottes Zeit ist is die allerbeste Zeit" (God's time is the very-best time) and celebration in the Town Council Cantata BWV 71, "Gott is mein König" (God is my king), and the wedding works, the Hochzeits Quodlibet, BWV 524, and Cantata BWV 196, "Der Herr denket an uns und segnet uns" (The Lord thinks of us and blesses us).

The key event was the installation of the Mühlhausen Town Council on Saturday, February 4, 1708, two days after the Marian Feast of the Purification and the eve of Septuagesimae Sunday. The title page of the printed music says (translation): "Congratulatory Church Motet as given when the Solemn Divine Service in the Principal Church B.M.V. (St. Mary's) with God's blessing the Council was changed . . . and the Government of the Imperial Free City of Mühlhausen was joyously entrusted to the fatherly care of the new council" (<New Bach Reader (NBR): A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents>; New York: Norton & Company, 1998, p. 27).

The music at the ceremonial service was repeated the next day in the Vesper service at St. Blasius, says Christoph Wolf in <Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician>: New York: Norton & Company, 2000, pp. 109ff). It "impressed the Mühlhausen authorities so deeply that even after he had moved away, they invited Bach to provide the cantatas for the two subsequent years, 1709 and 1710, and brought him back from Weimar to perform them," says Wolf (Ibid.: 111). The information is based on subsequent entries in the town treasure register for payments to Bach and to the local printer.

A description of the full ceremonies and service is found John Eliot Gardiner's Bach 2000 Pilgrimage notes:

"Bach was writing for a lavish political celebration in which civic Mühlhausen, proud of its independence, put its best foot forward. On the morning of 4 February 1708 the big church beof the Marienkirche tolled from 7am to 8am. Two brass bands heralded the official process of forty-two councilmen and six burgomasters from the town hall to the church, the outgoing officials leading the way followed by their newly- elected successors, with civil servants bringing up the rear. Within the church, after the initial hymns, came first the sermon and then the centrepiece, Bach's motet, intended to greet the new council. Its text contained a topical reference to the age of at least one of the burgomasters (an octogenarian), a prayer for the good governance of the town, passing allusions to the War of the Spanish Succession and a tribute to the Emperor Joseph I, all intermingled with Biblical citations. After the blessing and final hymn the newly-elected councillors aligned themselves in front of the church porch `under the open skies'; here they took their oaths, which were read to them by the Syndicus standing in the doorway. Thereafter the procession regrouped with a new councilnow at its head and wended its way back to a splendid feast in the Town Hall." [BCW, Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV71.htm,
Recording No. 13, scroll down to http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Pic-Rec-BIG/Gardiner-P03c[sdg141_gb].pdf,
Cantatas for the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, Blasiuskirche, Mühlhausen]

Some additional notes: The procession from the town hall to the official city-church (stadtkirche) probably involved the Stadtpfeifer or city wind bands playing entradas and other ceremonial music. The actual installation service included congregational chorales, probably of praise and thanksgiving, such as Luther's German <Te Deum>, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praised thee) and Graumann's "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herrn" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord), as well as related chorales possibly found below under "Town Council Cantata Chorales." Of special note are the writings in the Cantata 71 BCW Discussions, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV71-D.htm, of Thomas Braatz in Part 2, and Aryeh Oron in Part 3.

"The large St. Mary's church with its several galleries and lofts had long invited poly-choral music, "says Wolf (Ibid.: 110). Cantata 71 is an exemplar of the polychoral tradition of the Gabriellis and Monteverdi, with separate ensembles of singers and instruments and directly influenced by Dietrich Buxtehude's Abendmusik of Advent 1705 that Bach witnessed in Lübeck, also an "Imperial Free City." Among the specific polychoral features of Cantata 71 are the juxtapositions of styles and small ensembles in the middle movements as well as the uses of chant-style introductions, extended held notes, and closing instrumental melodic echo effects.

Cantata 71 is a model for Bach's future Leipzig Town Council cantatas, involving Old Testament biblical texts with chorales and Bach's largest orchestra of three trumpets and drums, strings, lower winds, and recorders with cello, variously accompanying solo vocal quartet and chorus. The biblical and chorale text of Cantata BWV 71, as well as the additional poetic lines, may have been chosen and written by Georg Christian Eilmar, St. Mary's archdeacon and close Bach friend who commissioned Cantata 131.

The varied movements, as Wolf points out (Ibid.: 111) with texts (see Francis Browne BCW English translation, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV71-Eng3.htm) are:

1, Opening tutti chorus with vocal quartet, "God is my King" (Psalm 74:4);
2, Tenor aria, "I am now eighty years old" (2 Samuel 19:37), with interpolated soprano chorale melody, "If in this world I should/ live my life longer," S.2 of "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, Thou righteous God);
3, Choral fugue, "May your old age be as your youth" (Deuteronomy 33:25, Exodus 21:22);
4, Bass arioso chaconne with brass, "Day and night are yours" (Psalm 74:16-17);
5, French-style choral song, alto and winds, "Through mighty strength/you maintain our boundaries" (original poetry);
6, Chorus, winds and strings, "You will not give to the enemy the soul of your turtledove. (Psalm 74:19); and
7. Closing tutti chorus: The new government/ in every way/ crown with blessing (original poetry).


Lost Mühlhausen Town Council Cantatas

The evidence of the 1709 and 1710 performances is sparse. The lost "Second Mühlhausen Town Council Cantata" of 1709 is designated BWV Anh. 192 (Christine Frode, Ratswahlkataten I, Bärenreiter, Kassel; NBA KB I/32.1: 86). "The first performance of the work took place on Monday, February 4, in the St. Mary's Church, the second on Sunday, February 10 in the Divine Blasius Church instead; for the change of the Town Council." On February 20, the payment was made to Bach and on March 12 for the printing of the lost council piece and the printing of the lost congratulatory poem (text; Ibid.: 87).

The 1710 Mühlhausen Town Council Installation service took place on Tuesday, February 4, and the St. Blasius vespers on Sunday, February 9. Since Sebastian has been succeeded by his cousin, Johann Friedrich Bach (1682-1730), the exact composer could not be determined and no BWV Anh. assigned.

"(T)he works for 1709-10 have not survived (in 1710 only the cantata text was printed)," says Wolf in his note in the NBR (Ibid.: 54). "Although the 1710 payment does not specify `Bach from Weimar,' it matches the 1709 payment (to `Bach from Weimar') exactly, including travel expenses." The printed cantata texts for 1709 and 1710 also are not extant.

Possible `Lost' Music

In the summer of 1708 Bach moved to the Court at Weimar where he was the concertmaster and organist. While observing the development of the Neumeister modern-type cantata, Bach initially composed no old-style vocal music. Still, besides the Mühlhausen written records, three pieces of music have surfaced that may be linked to the lost Mulhausen Town Council cantatas:

1. "Meine Seele soll Gott loben" "My soul shall God Praise), BWV 223, involves two fragments from a cantata thought to have been composed in Mühlhausen c.1707 and reported by Philipp Spitta (JSB I:343f, 1873). It opens with a soprano-bass duet in F Major and closes with a fugue in B-Flat Major, "Alles was Odem hat, lobe den Herrn" (All that has breath, praise the Lord, Psalm 150:6) that Spitta compared in subject and style to Cantata 71. For details see BCW Cantata 223 Discussion, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV223-D.htm,
especially Thomas Braatz' scholarly contributions.

[The Psalm 150 phrase is set to music in festive Bach Cantata BWV 190(a), "Singet dem Herr nein Neues Lied" (Sing to the Lord a new song; New Years 1724 and Augsburg Confession 1730), opening chorus with Luther's Te Deum, and in the Motet BWV 225, same title, Psalm 149), in the closing double chorus, as well as chorale Cantata 137, "Lobe den Herrn (Praise to the Lord, Trinity 12 and ?Town Council), closing chorale (S.5) that also closes Cantata BWV 120a, "Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge" (Wedding, c.1729) ]

2. Early (1712-14) Weimar Cantata BWV 21, "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," closes with an old organ-style prelude and fugue tutti chorus, "The lamb which slaughtered us" (Revelation 5:12), which may have been composed originally for a Mühlhausen Town Council cantata. Cantata 21 may have been performed in a partial parody for the festive Bicentennial Reformation Jubilee in 1717 in Halle.

3. Cantata 143, "Lobet den Herrn, meine Seele II" (Praise the Lord, my soul, Psalm 103:2) has the same incipit at Bach Cantata BWV 69(a) that was performed at Leipzig Town Council installations, but has no source-critical compositional history and is still a questionable Bach work. It surviin a copy after Bach's death but contains musical and textual elements, especially the interpolated chorale, "Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ" (Thou Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus Christ), that date to c.1710 and are appropriate for both Town Council installation and the New Year's Festival. For details, see the BCW Discussion Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV143-D3.htm.

Town Council Music

The following is chronological list of music Bach could have presented, beginning with the <Bach Compendium> catalog (BC) number.

Other Cantatas - List by Group and BC Number - Work Group B
BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef-BC-B.htm
References, BCW: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef-BC.htm
B 1 = extant sacred work for special occasion
[B 2] = music lost
[deest] = existence indeterminate
[G 7] = secular cantata
(B 6) = repeat
= no BC number
]A.193[ = Anh., application uncertain
? = possible
?? = speculation

BC BWV BGA NBA-KB Year Title / Comments /Town Council Election

B 1 71 XVIII I/32.1 2/4/1708 Gott ist mein König {April 7}

[B 2] Anh. 192 I/31.1:85f 2/4/1709 2nd cantata for Mühlhäusen Town Council

[deest] I/31.1:87f 2/4/1710 ?3rd cantata (digression) for Mühlhäusen Town Council

[B 3] 119 XXIV I/32.1 8/30/1723 Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn {April 14}

[??69a or xxx xxx 8/28/24 (Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I)
[BWV 137 (Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König)

[B 4a] Anh 4 xxx xxx 8/27/25 Wünschet Jerusalem Glück (music lost) &#8594; B 29

B 5 193 XLI I/32.1 8/26/1726 Ihr Tore zu Zion(incl.)&#8594; G 15 {April 21}

[??BWV 69a xxx xxx 8/25/1727 (Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele I)
[or BWV137 ("Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König)

B 6 120 XXIV I/32.2 8/30/1728 Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille &#8594; B15,28 {April 28}

[G 47] (216a) xxx xxx ?8/29/1729 Erwählte Pleißenstadt: Apollo et Mercurius
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV216a.htm
[B 7] Anh 3 xxx xxx 8/28/1730 1730 Gott, gieb Dein Gerichte dem Könige (music lost)

B 8 29 V/1 I/32.2 8/27/1731 Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir {May 5}

[8/25/1732, 8/31/1733, 8/30/1734 no evidence of Town Council performance]

(B6) (120) xxx xxx 8/29/35 (Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille)

[8/27/1736, 8/26/1737, 8/25/1738 no evidence of Town Council performance]

(B8) (29) xxx xxx 8/31/39 (Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir)

[B 9]Anh. 193 xxx xxx 8/29/40 Herrscher des Himmels, König der Ehren (music preserved only in the prototype of G 1)
[B 4b] Anh 4 xxx xxx 8/28/41 (Wünschet Jerusalem Glück; later version, music lost)

(B6) (120) xxx xxx 8/27/42 (Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille)

&#8594; ]A 193 1045[ XXI/1 I/34 1742-46 Sinfonia in D (?entrada music); BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV1045.htm

[8/26/43, 8/41/44, 8/30 45, 8/29/46, 8/28/47, 8/26/48 no evidence of Town Council performance]

B 10 69 XVI I/32.2 1747-49 Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele II &#8594; A 123 (BCW Discussion &#8594; 11/27/11 with BWV 69a)
(B8) (29) xxx xxx 8/25/49 (Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir)


Town Council Cantata Chorales:

BWV 71/2, tenor aria with interpolated chorale (soprano, S.2), Heerman 1630, "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, Thou righteous God); melody anonymous c.1670; NLGB No. 198, Morning Song; S.2, (Soll ich auf dieser Welt,/ Mein Leben höher bringen (If in this world I should/ live my life longer).

BWV 119/9, plain chorale, Luther 1529, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we thank you, German Te Deum; S4, "Hilf deinen Volk" (Help Thy people); NLGB No. 167, Apostles' Feast.

BWV Anh. 4/6, plain chorale; Luther, "Verlieh uns Frieden, gnädiglich" (Grant us peace, in Your mercy; Da pacem Domine), 1529; NLGB No. 306/1, Word of God & Christian Church; music lost, may be BWV 126/6 (Sexagesima) or BWV BWV 42/7 (Easter 1), both in aeloian mode.

BWV 193, no chorale.

BWV 120/6, plain chorale, Luther; "Herr Gott, dich loben wir " (S.1).

BWV Anh. 3/3 &5; two recitatives with interpolated chorale, Paul Gerhardt text, "Wach auf, mein Herz, und singe" (Wake up, my heart, and sing), NLGB No. 196, Morning Song; melody, Selnecker, "Nun laßt uns Gott dem Herren" (Now let us God the Lord), (NLGB No. 222, Communion).

BWV 29/6, plain chorale, Graumann "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herrn" (Now praise, my soul, the Lord), NLGB No. 261 (Psalm 103, Christian Life & Conduct).

Cantata 69/6, plain chorale, Luther 1524, "Es woll' uns Gott genädig sein" (May God be gracious to us, Psalm 67); melody, Matthias Greiter; NLGB No. 258, Christian Life & Conduct (Psalms), benediction (blessing).

Possible Trinity 12 Cantatas performed for Town Council (1724/1727):

BWV 69a/6, plain; Rodigast, "Was Gott tut" (What God does)

BWV 137, chorale cantata, Neander 1680, "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren" (Praise the Lord, the mighty king of honour).

Paul Beckman wrote (April 9, 2013):
[To Linda Gingrich] Re Harnoncourt's recording [5]: This pounding of the first beat appears to be a common feature of his approach. I have noticed it in numerous of his interpretations, especially in the Christmas Oratorio (listen to the opening chorus, with the tympani's strong emphasis). It can certainly be rather annoying, although he seems to have lightened up a bit in later years.

The comment on recorders "dribbling off" at the end of certain phrases is reminiscent of the same effect in BWV 106 ("Actus Tragicus"). It has the feel of a kind of meditative alone-ness in the face of inevitable passing of time and life. What we find at the end is our face-to-face encounter with God and eternity.

Or maybe something else that, as usual, only Bach really knew.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 9, 2013):
Cantata 71: A missing Sinfonia?

William Hoffman wrote:
< Some additional notes: The procession from the town hall to the official city-church (stadtkirche) probably involved the Stadtpfeifer or city wind bands playing entradas and other ceremonial music. >
The ex abrupto opening of the cantata leads to speculation that the work was preceded by an instrumental sinfonia comparable to the intradas in 17th century polychoral pieces. Is there any repertoire out there which would serve as an overture to the cantata? Have any recordings added a sinfonia?

Tim Barndt wrote (April 9, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling, regarding a missing Sinfonia] I use BWV1066 mvt #1 in my playlist to fill the spot of what seems a missing sinfonia.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 9, 2013):
Paul Beckman wrote:
< The comment on recorders "dribbling off" at the end of certain phrases is reminiscent of the same effect in BWV 106 ("Actus Tragicus"). It has the feel of a kind of meditative alone-ness in the face of inevitable passing of time and life. What we find at the end is our face-to-face encounter with God and eternity. >
In some interpretations of BWV 106, I find the two note rising recorder figure at the very end to be an Ascension to Heaven, rather than a dribbling-off. I think that is consistent with your point.

Linda Gingrich wrote (April 9, 2013):
[To Ed Myskowski] The comment on recorders "dribbling off" at the end of certain phrases is >reminiscent of the same effect in BWV 106 ("Actus Tragicus"). It has the >feel of a kind of meditative alone-ness in the face of inevitable passing >of time and life. What we find at the end is our face-to-face encounter >with God and eternity.

In some interpretations of BWV 106, I find the two note rising recorder figure at the very end to be an Ascension to Heaven, rather than a dribbling-off. I think that is consistent with your point.

I probably should have used a more felicitous phrase than "dribbling off." Although I must confess it made me smile a little when I first heard this effect at the end of the movements. It certainly caught me by surprise.

William Hoffman wrote (April 9, 2013):
Tin Barndt wrote, regarding a missing Sinfonia:
< I use BWV1066 mvt #1 in my playlist to fill thspot of what seems a missing sinfonia. >
That makes sense, since Bach also used the openings of Orchestral Suites 3 and 4 (BWV 1068, 1069) as joyous openings with chorus, respectively to Cantatas BWV 110, "Unser Mund sei voll Lachens" (Christmas Day, 1725), and possible BWV 197a, "Ehre sei Giott in der Hoehe (Christmas day c.1728). Bach orchestrated the Preludio of solo Violin Sontata BWV 1006 to open the 1731 Town Council Cantata BWV 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott" (repeated 1739, 1749), and could have reused it to open repeat performances (1735, 1742) of Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, Man lobet dich in der Stille." Bach also composed short sinfonias in Mühlhausen for wedding Cantatas 196, Der Herr denket an uns," and 150, "Nach dir Herr, verlanget mich." My choice to open Cantata 71 would be the five-minute sinfonia/entrada, BWV 1045, that probably originated in Weimar as the opening of a violin concerto.

P.S. Of the Second Muelhausen Town Council Cantata, BWV Anh. 192, "it is impossible to ascertain whether the music might have been transferred to a work for a different occasion (the New Year's Day Cantata BWV 143 comes to mind, for example), or whether it is entirely lost," says Alfred Duerr, Cantata of JSB (Oxford Univ. Press, 2005: 722).

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 9, 2013):
Linda Gingrich wrote:
< I probably should have used a more felicitous phrase than "dribbling off." Although I must confess it made me smile a little when I first heard this >effect at the end of the movements. It certainly caught me by surprise. >
I'm wondering if this scoring makes more sense in a large reverberent building where the final chord would still be lingering as the recorders played their coda.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 9, 2013):
[To Douglas Cowling] The pup-pup at the end for me punctuates the pomposity of the work in a delightful and cheeky way ....there followed (I think Konrad Kuster, "Die Junge Bach", is the source) a procession to a slap-up where an enormous Muhlhausen pie, specially baked, was consumed.

Bring on a historically-informed performance accordingly!

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 9, 2013):
William Hoffman wrote, regarding a missing Sinfonia:
< Bach orchestrated the Preludio of solo Violin Sontata BWV 1006 to open the 1731 Town Council Cantata BWV 29, "Wir danken dir, Gott" (repeated 1739, 1749), and could have reused it to open repeat performances (1735, 1742) of Cantata BWV 120, "Gott, Man lobet dich in der Stille." >
Given the self-consciously "old-fashioned" antiphonal layout of Cantata BWV 71, wouldn't it be more likely that Bach was following an older model in which the instrumentalists may have had a "traditional" intrada which they played - a kind of a civic anthem - to which Bach cleverly married the ex abrupto opening of his cantata? He then modernized this tradition in Cantata 29 by writing an electrifying concerto movement for organ which is filled with fanfares.

Many years ago, the Tallis Choir of Toronto performed the Credo of the Mass in B Minor as a stand-alone work. We prefaced it with the Cantata 29 Sinfonia which made a dazzling concert introduction.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (April 9, 2013):
[Regarding a missing Sinfonia] If there was any marching from one place to another place, the leader of the trumpet ensemble would have likely composed such a piece, or used a stock one. Since the cantata was published (the only one btw), it seems very unlikely Bach had composed an opening movement that went missing later. BUT, if one were to be reconstructed, I suppose you could tie it directly into Bach's music by using the opening rhythmic pattern from the cantata's movement, which has a really strong beat to it. Recent concert performances of Handel's Royal Fireworks have treated the section between the first part of the ouverture and the fugato section as an opportunity for the timpani to have a solo; and typically these solos are based on traditional drumming patterns from the period based on thematic content from the music itself.

It'd be a fun exercise to compose such a piece for this specific Bach cantata.

Douglas Cowling wrote (April 10, 2013):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote, regarding a missing Sinfonia
< If there was any marching from one place to another place, the leader of the trumpet ensemble would have likely composed such a piece, or used a stock one. >
I would suggest the opening Sinfonia to Johann Christoph Bach's cantata,"Es erhub Sich Ein Streit"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j7UkErBOxQ

There is much enthusiastic whomping of timpani and blowing of fanfares in this cantata which is similarly laid out for polychoral "choirs". You can see a page of the score at:
http://www.stretta-music.com/images/8/6/5/232568-02_zoom.jpg

Scoring is: 4 Trumpets, Kettledrums, 3 Violins, 3 Violas, Basso continuo.

I think it has many similarities to Cantata 71 both in form and in particular effects. The second movement reminds me of the opening of the Monteverdi "Vespers".

Linda Gingrich wrote (April 10, 2013):
[To Peter Smaill] Ah yes, let's not treat Bach's music too reverently! He did like his beer, I understand.

Ed Myskowski wrote (April 10, 2013):
[To Linda Gingrich] What is a slap-up?

William Hoffman wrote (April 10, 2013):
[To Linda Gingrich] And his wine, tobacco, and coffee, HIP.

Peter Smaill wrote (April 10, 2013):
OT: Thuringian Pie Feast

[To Ed Myskowski] "Slap-up".....in common parlance hereabouts, but thanks to Ed I now discover it is in fact a British-ism. I certainly did not mean that Bavarian lederhosen dance performance thingy... not as far as I know a Thuringian habit,

"(Cookery) (prenominal) Brit informal (esp of meals) lavish; excellent; first-class. slap′-up` adj. Brit. Informal. excellent; first-rate. [1820–30]. Thesaurus Legend: ..."

 

Cantata BWV 71: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

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

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: żApril 25, 2013 ż13:47:04