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Cantata BWV 87
Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen
Discussions - Part 3

Continue from Part 2

Discussions in the Week of November 7, 2010

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 7, 2010):
Introduction to BWV 87 -- Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen

This weeks discussion continues the ongoing series of cantatas spanning from Easter to Ascension , Pentecost, and Trinity, with BWV 87 for the Fifth Sunday after Easter (Rogate) from the second Leipzig cycle. Details of text, commentary, recordings, and previous discussion are accessible via: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV87.htm

The link to commentary by Julian [Mincham} is especially recommended as an introduction to listening. Five selected recordings for the current weeks discussion are highlighted on the BCW main (home) page.

This second of the two works for Rogate Sunday concludes the group of cantatas with emphasis on the vox Christi bass voice, leading up to Ascension Day (Thursday). As Doug Cowling noted in his summary, this emphasis will return to our discussions several weeks hence, with two cantatas for the Sunday after Ascension, actually the next Sunday after Rogate in the liturgical calendar.

Craig Smith ([Emmanuel Music] commentary link) has some concise, accurate, perhaps even inspiring closing words with regard to BWV 87:

<The harmonization of "Jesu meine Freude" is connected to the music of the opening aria. It is no accident that the bass line in many of its phrases encompasses the sixth leap that is the head theme of the first aria. This is in every way an unusual but absolutely top-drawer cantata. The combination of very short and very long sections is calculated and effective. The juxtaposition of the dense style of the opening with the arias is potent and brilliantly achieved.>

Thanks, Craig. We miss you, but your spirit lives on with so many performers who are able to add with pride to their biographies that they have performed the complete cycle of Bach sacred cantatas. I was reminded most recently by James Maddalena at the American Bach Soloists website (www.americanbach.org), and last evening by Peggy Pearson performing the Vaughn-Williams Oboe Concerto with Bostons Cantata Singers. Pamela Dellals cantata translations provide a performers perspective, and are linked via BCW [English 6].

Julian Mincham wrote (November 7, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] Just to note that the three cantatas of the second cycle which begin with a bass aria emerge within a fortnight after Bach stopped writing the chorale/fantasia works. It is notable however, how different they are in character, demonstrating again how little Bach repeated himself.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 7, 2010):
[To Julian Mincham] Yes, I agree. I have emphasized Gardiner’s [6] (and some other) references to relations among these works featuring bass aria openings, and Doug Cowling added his comment re vox Christi, with perhaps even wider significance among the cantatas. As Julian points out, we need to take these relations in the perspective of Bachs single most outstanding characteristic, as it seems to me, to make virtually every work stand out as a unique, individual creation.

Note the second bass aria, Mvt. 5, in BWV 87, for example. I do not believe we have seen that before in the works for the Sundays after Easter. This implies both the effort to avoid repetition, and a collaboration between Bach and the librettist, Marianne von Ziegler.

I see that Gardiner [6] refers to the vox Christi bass arias as arioso, while Durr simply indicates [Bass Solo]. I recall seeing a comment somewhere in recent weeks on this distinction, but I have lost track of the reference. I will try to recover it, or perhaps someone else can comment: I believe it was to the effect that the term aria might not be appropriate for vox Christi. None of these terms are original to Bach, in any event, I do not believe.

Apologies for the minor typo at the very end of my original subject line (Nmen for Namen), which I have corrected in this post. It was the very last word I typed, before hitting send, without a reread. Worse yet, rather than focussing on the task at hand, typing that German got me to thinking about Julian proofreading and correcting the German in his own texts!

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 8, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< This second of the two works for Rogate Sunday concludes the group of cantatas with emphasis on the vox Christi bass voice, leading up to Ascension Day (Thursday). >
Once again I was struck by the fact that the opening "Vox Christi" movement has several surprises. The first is the complexity of the counterpoint which remains in five authentic voices, not a common feature in movements of this kind: the viola part is no "filler" and is especially prominent given the doubling by the third oboe.

I've never heard this cantata before and was really shocked that the movement ended so abruptly. The glorious orchestral introduction leads us to expect a large-scale da capo aria. But all we have is the A section -- the middle and repetition are absent. The scriptural text I suppose prevents a multi-sectional movement, and Jesus disappears as unexpectedly as the apparitions of the post-Resurrection narratives.

Are the BGA instrumental citations from the original score/parts? Were there separate Oboe 2 and Oboe de caccia 1 parts? I wish we had Provenance pages for every cantata.

A second "dictum" movement for bass is also a novelty. Does anyone else see the G Minor ostinato figure of "Jesu Der Du Meine Seele" and "Dido's Lament" in the continuo part?

I heard a lot of "Mache dich meine Herze Rein" from the "Matthew Passion" (BWV 244) in the wonderful 12/8 tenor aria: B flat with that throbbing bass and those low-lying rising string figures.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 8, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I see that Gardiner [6] refers to the vox Christi bass arias (Mvt. 1) as arioso, while Durr simply >indicates [Bass Solo]. I recall seeing a comment somewhere in recent weeks on this distinction, but I have lost track of the reference. I will try to recover it, or perhaps someone else can comment: I believe it was to the effect that the term aria might not be appropriate for vox Christi. None of these terms are original to Bach, in any event, I do >not believe. >
From this page, which I accessed a few weeks ago: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Guide/BWV108-Guide.htm

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 16, 2001):
BWV 108, Mvt. 1 Basso Solo
Dürr tells us that whenever the bass (here as Vox Christi) sings alone the words from the Bible, Bach does not provide a caption such as 'Aria' or 'Arioso.'

More precisely, from Dürr (Cantatas text), re BWV 108:
<As in the cantata of the previous year, Bach’s setting begins with a bass solo which in form lies somewhere between aria and arioso and -- as often in solo movements on biblical words -- lacks designation.>

As a general question, to what extent do Bachs original scores contain the designation aria or arioso, whatever the text source?

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 8, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Once again I was struck by the fact that the opening "Vox Christi" movement has several surprises. The first is the complexity of the counterpoint which remains in five authentic voices, not a common feature in movements of this kind: the viola part is no "filler" and is especially prominent given the doubling by the third oboe.
I've never heard this cantata before and was really shocked that the movement ended so abruptly. The glorious orchestral introduction leads us to expect a large-scale da capo aria. But all we hais the A section -- the middle and repetition are absent. The scriptural text I suppose prevents a multi-sectional movement, and Jesus disappears as unexpectedly as the apparitions of the post-Resurrection narratives. >
While we are at it, I think it worth exploring what (and what not) the scriptural text proscribed or prevented, exactly, for Bach. As Doug describes accurately, this movement is a long way from arioso, a lot more than an enhanced recitative. More like Bach finding a new mode for special effects for the absolutely unique nature of Jesus, between Ressurection and Ascension. More to come.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 8, 2010):
BWV 108 and BWV 87 - Recordings

I thought to follow my own advice, take Julian Minchams listening guide in hand, and listen to the Richter recording of BWV 108 and BWV 87 [2], conveniently consecutive on both disc and website.

Not far in, I note that Julian emphasizes (BWV 108/2, tenor aria):

<One cannot ignore the powerful, repeated declamation: 'I believe!'>

The booklet with the Richter set [2] translates Ich glaube as I think rather than I believe.

Tenor Ernst Haefliger is expressing belief rather than thought, to my ears. With such details to ponder, I may get to Peter Schreier in BWV 87 by the end of the week? Nevertheless, a convenient point to compare different (and classic!) voices in comparable, but distinct, performance opportunities.

In BWV 108/5 Hertha Topper gets the consoling alto aria,, the penultimate movement. In the corresponding BWV 87/6, Bach (rather unusually?) shifts that consoling voice to the tenor (Peter Schreier). At the moment, I am still too conflicted between think and believe to be consoled. Schreiers voice is not to be missed. Whether that is enough to overcome the sinuous (not to say satanic) continuo line challenging the vox Christi in the preceding bass solo (BWV 87/5) is up to the listener. More to come.

Julian Mincham wrote (November 8, 2010):
[To Ed Myskowski] The issue of translation is an interesting one, fraught with problems. Both Stokes and the Dürr English edition render this as 'believe'. I have wrestled with the challenges of translation with all the cantatas, relying upon the advice of native German speaking inlaws, which led me, in the end, to rely more upon paraphrases of meaning, often related to what the music seems to tell us of the text---or, putting it a different way, the interpretation which Bach appears to have put upon the words as deduced from his musical reactions to them.

A very interesting case of quite diverse translations is discussed in the chapter of BWV 176, the last cantata of the second cycle.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 8, 2010):
BWV 87

So I'm going to try and get back into these discussions… I won't focus on the small details that many of you talk about, but rather on performance and recording.

I currently have 3 recordings of BWV 87: Harnoncourt [3], Rilling [4] and Gardiner [6]. (I have Leusink [5], but it's in a box in my basement; maybe I'll get it out later today).

Based on first listens, here's what I think:

Harnoncourt [3] is a bit flat, and doesn't impress me a lot. Part of this is the recording, which really pales in comparison with more modern sets. Listening to the aria, Vergib, o Vater, unsre Schuld (Mvt. 3), and hearing the reverb on Paul Esswood's voice - most likely not artificial, but poor miking - and the poor balance between his voice and the instruments, is far from enjoyable. Compared to Gardiner's recording [6] of that movement, the "tart" sound of the instruments is, perhaps, "authentic," but not agreeable. I do very much like Kurt Equiluz' singing of Ich will leiden, ich will schweigen, though, again, the recording has him sounding out of place.

Rilling [4] is all right, but I'm not really a fan of the singers. Baldin, in particular, in the aria (Mvt. 6) sounds very forced and uncomfortable. One note about the Rilling recording of the aria, Vergib, o Vater, unsre Schuld: there's a recording technique that I really don't like in many of his recordings, where instruments are sequestered to individual stereo tracks. The music sounds false like this, because even if instruments are on one side in a performance, you'll still hear them on the other. In Rilling's recordings, this often sounds contrived (like those old Beatles stereo mixes, with voice on one track and instruments on the other.) This is especially noticeable in the long aria for alto. It disturbs me. In addition, the tempo of that aria is very slow - compared to the other recordings, at least - and it sort of plods. I'm not overwhelmed by Julia Hamari's voice, and she's often hidden in the mix, with the instruments being far too prominent, especially those on the right track.

Gardiner [6] radiates joy from the very first notes. Bass Stephen Loges is very good, and counter-tenor Robin Tyson is excellent. The aria, Vergib, o Vater, unsre Schuld, is one of my favorites, and Tyson sings this nearly faultlessly (within the limits of live performance), and the instrumental accompaniment - the way it sounds distant - is excellent. As often, Gardiner's [6] balance among the different members of his ensemble is ideal. The aria by tenor Steve Davisilim is excellent, again with nearly perfect instrumental backing.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 8, 2010):
Julian Mincham wrote:
< The booklet with the Richter set [2] translates Ich glaube as I think rather than I believe. >
English has the same gradation of use. We say, "I believe he'll be back around 2 pm", as often as we say, "I think he'll be back around 2 pm".

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 10, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< English has the same gradation of use. We say, "I believe he'll be back around 2 pm", as often as we say, "I think he'll be back around 2 pm". >
An interesting detail. Most translations use believe, but I also noticed one which chooses I trust. Perhaps the best expression of the sense, in English, is I have faith, despite the lack of parallel grammar? Dare I say, <Keep the Faith!>?

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 10, 2010):
Kirk McElhearn wrote:
< So I'm going to try and get back into these discussions… I won't focus on the small details >that many of you talk about, but rather on performance and recording. >
Nice to see you back. If I read the archives correctly, Kirk was the actual founder of BCW, succeeded early on by Aryeh Oron as administrator, and moderator of discussions.

KM:
< I currently have 3 recordings of BWV 87: Harnoncourt [3], Rilling [4] and Gardiner [6]. (I have Leusink [5], >but it's in a box in my basement; maybe I'll get it out later today). >
EM:
Updated comments re Leusink [5] would be especially welcome. The Brilliant Classics Bach Edition remains far and away the least expensive way to a complete set of the cantatas, let alone the instrumental music as well. There are many negative comments in the BCW archives. I have from time to suggested that they are in fact overly negative, or at least unbalanced to the negative side. Although I do not often go to it as first choice for a cantata recording, I still consider it good value, $100 well spent. If it has found its way to yur basement, perhaps you feel differently?

KM
< Gardiner [6] radiates joy from the very first notes. >
EM:
I hope to get to comparisons with both Koopman [7] and Suzuk[8], which should also tie in with the ongoing parallel discussion re altos (Bogna Bartosz with Koopman) and counter-tenors (Bobin Blaze with Suzuki).

Before that, and before I forget to mention it, I think it worth noting that BWV 87 is the last work in the liturgical calendar, before the Ascension. However, the Gospel for the day, Easter 5, (John 16:23-30) is not the last words of Jesus. The words are in fact Jesus speaking before the Crucifixion, at the Last Supper, projecting his coming death and Resurrection, not yet an accomplished fact. Only the Gospel (John 20:19-31, doubting Thomas) for Easter 1 is actually post-Resurrection, despite the four subsequent post-Easter vox Christi cantatas,

For the actual final words preceding Ascension, in Scripture, see John 21:12 and following, beginning <Come and have breakfast.> Has anyone set that text and/or scene?

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 10, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
<< So I'm going to try and get back into these discussions… I won't focus on the small details >that many of you talk about, but rather on performance and recording. >>
< Nice to see you back. If I read the archives correctly, Kirk was the actual founder of BCW, succeeded ealy on by Aryeh Oron as administrator, and moderator of discussions. >
Yes, that's sort of what happened...

KM:
<< I currently have 3 recordings of BWV 87: Harnoncourt [3], Rilling [4] and Gardiner [6]. (I have Leusink [5], but it's in a box in my basement; maybe I'll get it out later today). >>
EM
< Updated comments re Leusink [5] would be especially welcome. The Brilliant Classics Bach Edition remains far and away the least expensive way to a complete set of the cantatas, let alone the instrumental music as well. There are many negative comments in the BCW archives. I have from time to suggested that they are in fact overly negative, or at least unbalanced to the negative side. Although I do not often go to it as first choice for a cantata recording, I still consider it good value, $100 well spent. If it has found its way to yur basement, perhaps you feel differently? >
I felt the cantatas were too uneven. It is still a good value, but now that the Hänssler set has been re-released at a near bargain price (ok, it's still about $300), that makes it excellent competition.

To be honest, though, I subscribed to the Gardiner series, and hearing those recordings [6] made me pay less attention to others.

KM:
<< Gardiner [6] radiates joy from the very first notes. >>
EM:
< I hope to get to comparisons with both Koopman [7] and Suzuki [8], which should also tie in with the ongoing parallel discussion re altos (Bogna Bartosz with Koopman) and counter-tenors (Bobin Blaze with Suzuki).>
I very much like Robin Blaze. I'd like to get the Suzuki set [8] (what's available), and may buy the four boxes that Bis released. The problem is that the subsequent volumes won't be released in the same boxes, so I'd have to buy the individual volumes.

Neil Halliday wrote (November 11, 2010):
Kirk McElhearn wrote:
>I very much like Robin Blaze. I'd like to get the Suzuki set [8] (what's available),<
Blaze, with Suzuki [8], gives a heart-felt account of the alto aria (Mvt. 3) in BWV 87, aided by Suzuki's slowest (after Richter [2]) tempo at around 10 mins. Gardiner's 7.15 reading [6] sounds matter of fact by comparison.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 12, 2010):
Neil Halliday wrote:
< Blaze, with Suzuki [8], gives a heart-felt account of the alto aria (Mvt. 3) in BWV 87, aided by Suzuki's slowest (after Richter [2]) tempo at around 10 mins. Gardiner's 7.15 reading [6] sounds matter of fact by comparison. >
I find Bogna Bartosz with Koopman [7] equally accurate and pleasing, compared with Robin Blaze. I wonder if the tempo difference (8 vs. 10 minutes) contributes to the feeling, i.e., slower equals more heart-felt? I was groping for a word to describe Robin Tyson in comparison: matter-of-fact fits the bill. Nothing to complain about, exactly, but not quite up to the others. I wonder if the less slow tempo contributes to that feeeling, also? Certainly, at this pace, no one sounds quick!

For my ears, the argument is settled: counter or mezzo (call them what you will), it is not a matter of male or female, but of individual performance, and of personal taste. In this instance, a tie for first, with Tyson a very respectable third.

For overall performance, I would give Gardiner [6] a slight edge. It is difficult not to be influenced by the whole idea of the pilgrimage, and concert performance recording. I find no flaws with Suzuki [8], but the slower tempos in both arias perhaps wear thin on repeated listening? In fact, I find Koopman’s [7] intermediate tempos the best choice, but some characteristic details likely to become annoying for repeated listening. Is that a lute I hear behind Bogna Bartosz?

Short term (?) shopping opportunities are never to be overlooked, in my world. The Suzuki 10 CD boxes are a welcome opportunity for those who have not already bought too many as they were released.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 12, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< For the actual final words preceding Ascension, in Scripture, see John 21:12 and following, beginning <Come and have breakfast.> Has anyone set that text and/or scene? >
Several weeks ago, shortly after the Easter cantata discussions, I mentioned in passing that I was looking forward to the liturgical connections for this especially mystical period between Easter and Ascension. Little did I know that there is little scriptural documentation of this period. Little did I know that Aryeh would shortly after invite me to write weekly introductions.

As we approach the Ascension celebration (in our discussion cycle), a few thoughts, a quick review. Corrections warmly invited:

(1) Easter Tuesday. The Gospel: Luke 24:36-47, Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem (Durr description). It is not represented in Bachs cantata librettos.

(2) Easter 1 (Quasimodogeniti). The Gospel: John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to the disciples; doubting Thomas (Durr description). It is not represented in Bachs cantata librettos.

At this point I realize that it is more than an evening post to BCML to reconcile this material. Fast forward to:

(3) John 21:14 [breakfast]: <This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he [sic, NRV] was raised from the dead.>

I am disappointed that Bach did not have the opportunity to make more of these forty days (and three (!) appearances) of Jesus, between Resurrection and Ascension. OTOH, perhaps a yet unexplored opportunity for a Christian musician and a clever librettist?

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 12, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< I am disappointed that Bach did not have the opportunity to make more of these forty days (and >three (!) appearances) of Jesus, between Resurrection and Ascension. OTOH, perhaps a yet >unexplored opportunity for a Christian musician and a clever librettist? >
Lest I forget, the two vox Christi arias BWV 87, Mvt. 1 and Mvt. 5, do make a nice fading away (or up), moving from complexity to simplicity of structure, as the final quotations by Bach of the words of Jesus, before Ascension.

In another recent lesson, we have heard:

(1) When will you stop speaking to us in parables?

(2) Now I speadirectly.

A prelude to: <Come and have breakfast.>?

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 12, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< (2) Easter 1 (Quasimodogeniti). The Gospel: John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to the disciples; doubting Thomas (Durr description). It is not represented in Bachs cantata librettos. >
I'm not sure I understand your point. The gospel passage is used in both BWV 42 and BWV 67.

Bach rarely strays outside the appointed texts of the church calendar. The season of the Sundays after Easter was set off by the exclusive use of the Gospel of John, so Bach is unlikely to have uses the apparition narratives of the synoptic gospels.

Actually, Bach studiously avoided dramatizing the Resurrection, even in the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249).

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 12, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
<<(2) Easter 1 (Quasimodogeniti). The Gospel: John 20:19-31, Jesus appears to the disciples; doubting Thomas (Durr description). It is not represented in Bachs cantata librettos. >>
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I'm not sure I understand your point. The gospel passage is used in both BWV 42 and BWV 67. >
I was hoping for a bit more action in the cantata texts, and wrote my overview from the perspective of the finale: <Come and have breakfast>. Thanks for the correction, I overlooked the personal appearance of Jesus in BWV 67/1, the prelude to the better known doubting Thomas incident.

< Bach rarely strays outside the appointed texts of the church calendar. The season of the Sundays after Easter was set off by the exclusive use of the Gospel of John, so Bach is unlikely to have used the apparition narratives of the synoptic gospels. >
I see that now. I had forgotten (or never paid that much attention in my youth) to the gospel texts. I was somehow hoping for more. Not in the music, so much, as in the opportunity for excitement, the apparitions. Three times in forty days?

The point is well taken, Bach sticks to the appointed texts. It is those texts which leave me feeling let down.

< Actually, Bach studiously avoided dramatizing the Resurrection, even in the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249). >
Does that not miss the fundamental point of the story? I will temper my expectations as we come to discuss the Ascension, without witness (?), indeed, with only the most cursory closing nods from the Evangelists (from a quick reread).

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 12, 2010):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
< The point is well taken, Bach sticks to the appointed texts. It is those texts which leave me feeling let down. >
I think that the two Passions have left modern sensibilities with the notion that Bach is essentially a dramatic composer and leaves us puzzling why the cantatas are not more like the Passions. The Christmas Oratorio only approaches drama in the Herod scenes of Part VI, the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) is like listening to four people in a bar talking about a play they've just seen, and the narrative of the Ascension Oratorio is minimal. The cantatas which approach the theatrical -- e.g. "Wachet Auf" -- are few in number. Faced with a dramatic narrative, Bach always chooses the reflective theatre of ideas.

Ed Myskowski wrote (November 12, 2010):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I think that the two Passions have left modern sensibilities with the notion that Bach is essentially a dramatic composer and leaves us puzzling why the cantatas are not more like the Passions. >
The discussion of the post-Easter cantatas has accomplished exactly what we intended by orienting to the liturgical calendar, at least for me. I am realizing a lot about inter-relations among the cantatas, within and between the two Leipzig cycles. Pardon my melodrama re expectations of more action from the resurrected Jesus. Personally, I am satisfied with <Come and have breakfast>. I just wish someone else had paid more attention, somewhere along the line, to that particular line.

< The Christmas Oratorio only approaches drama in the Herod scenes of Part VI, the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) is like listening to four people in a bar talking about a play they've just seen, and the narrative of the Ascension Oratorio is minimal. The cantatas which approach the theatrical -- e.g. "Wachet Auf" -- are few in number. Faced with a dramatic narrative, Bach always chooses the reflective theatre of ideas. >
Next thing you know, we will be stuck with: Four Characters (budget cut from six) in Search of an Author, or No Exit? OVPP.

William Hoffman wrote (November 22, 2010):
Cantata 87: Ziegler & Bach

Bach's third venture into the Easter Season second cantata cycle closing of Mariane von Ziegler texts, Cantata 87, "Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinen Namen" (Hitherto have ye asked for nothing in my name), for Rogate Sunday (5th After Easter), is the most expansive (seven movements), personal, and developed of these stimulating and productive collaborations.

This cantata continues Bach's renewed emphasis on Dürr's Cantata Group 1 form of alternating recitatives and arias with a closing chorale, found in all nine Ziegler texts, and having no double chorales.

The Ziegler literary trademarks are even more pronounced: Gospel sermon quotations in the vox Christi ariosi, concise yet didactic texts, and selective allusions to Lutheran teachings and chorale images.

Bach builds on the basic Ziegler initial template, particularly with the instrumental ensemble addition of a pair of oboes da caccia and expanded basso continuo in Ziegler's first da-capo aria (No. 3, alto, "Forgive, O Father, our trespasses), based on the Sunday's use of musical settings of the Lord's Prayer, as well as in the three quotations from John's Gospel:

(1) Opening bass vox Christi arioso dictum, "Hitherto have ye asked for nothing in my name" (Gospel, 16:24);

(2) The penultimate line in the alto da-capo aria No. 3, B section, "Ah, speak no more in proverbs" (Gospel 16:25, "but tell of the father);

(3) And the other bass Christi dictum, No. 5 (John 16:33), the comforting, "Be of good cheer: I have overcome the world," following the opening, "In the world you will have tribulation."

Most interesting, this is the first Ziegler text that begins in a dictum of caution; then turns to the Great Awakening warnings in the ensuing alto recitative, No. 2, beginning, "O words that fill our spirit and soul with fear," and the ensuing alto aria (No. 3), "Forgive, O Father, our tresspasses." The tenor recitative, No. 4, continues with, "Though our guilt even rises up to heaven" and closes with the arioso, "therefore, seek to comfort me."

To this point, Bach's treatment has been in the minor key, primarily D Minor. Now, reflecting Ziegler's text, Bach composes a beautiful, comforting bi-partite tenor aria, No. 6, in Bb Major, a siciliano in 12/8, Bach's first dance-like setting of a Ziegler text.

Bach closes with the harmonized chorale in c minor, to the J. J. Müller text, Must I be downcast," Stanza 9 of "Blessed is the Soul," in Bach's setting to his only departure to the Franck chorale text while retaining the melody, "Jesu, meine Freude (Joy)."

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 22, 2010):
William Hoffman wrote:
< The Ziegler literary trademarks are even more pronounced: Gospel sermon quotations in the vox Christi ariosi, concise yet didactic texts, and selective allusions to Lutheran teachings and chorale images. >
Should we be crediting Ziegler with the creation of this literary genre of the the "Vox Christi" Easter cantata?

Evan Cortens wrote (November 22, 2010):
[To Douglas Cowling] It is worth reading the work of Mark Peters on this question, as he devotes an entire chapter to it in his book: http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/170057801

 

Cantata BWV 87: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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

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