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Cantata BWV 143
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele [II]
Commentary

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 7, 2003):
Max Pommer

The commentary below, quoted from the liner notes to the Capriccio’s CD that includes the Rotzsch’s recording [3], was written by Max Pommer (English translation by Lionel Salter):

In many respects the cantata ‘Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele’ (BWV 143) provides food for thought. Because of its unpretentious musical structure and its preservation only in two 19th-century copies, doubts have been voiced about its authenticity, as Alfred Dürr has said. Certainly, however, it must be an early work whose origin may be dated before 1714, The scoring for three corni da caccia and timpani along with string orchestra and bassoon is strange, and unique in Bach's work. In its present form is this an arrangement of a cantata originally scored with three trumpets? It could have resulted from the decay of the art of clarino playing in the second half of the 18th century. A transposition of perhaps a whole tone lower, in this connection, is also conceivable.

Its text consists of lines of the 146th psalm and verses of the hymn "Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ" by Jacob Ebert, The concise opening chorus is composed on the beginning of the psalm. This leads to an arrangement of the first verse of the chorale for soprano, accompanied by solo violin and continuo. After a short secco recitative there follows the tenor aria "Tausendfaches UngIück", in free verse. By its text and triadic motif the splendid bass aria "Der Herr ist König" recalls the opening chorus of the cantata for the election of the new Mühlhausen town council "Gott ist mein König" (BWV 71). Even the orchestration - three horns, timpani and continuo - has its counterpart with three trumpets in one movement. The tenor aria "Jesu, Retter deiner Herde" is a movement in many layers continuo and bassoon complement one another in almost uninterrupted scale figurations that also provide material for the vocal line. Over this the violins and violas intone the chorale, whose third verse becomes a canto fermo in the final chorus above an ornate "Halleluja".

 

Cantata BWV 143: Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2

Commentaries: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal Works BWV 225-524 | Sources

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Last update: ýSeptember 12, 2008 ý00:53:57