Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Lutheran Church Year: Main Page and Explanation | LCY - Event Table | LCY 2000-2005 | LCY 2006-2010 | LCY 2011-2015
Sundays & Holidays in the Lifetime of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of Bach’s Vocal Works
Readings from the Epistles and the Gospels for each Event | Motets & Chorales for Events in the LCY
Discussions: Events in the Lutheran Church Year: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Readings from the Bible

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas
Motets & Chorales for Feast of Visitation of Mary

 

Readings: Epistle: Isaiah 11: 1-5; Gospel: Luke 1: 39-56

Dates in the lifetime of J.S. Bach, including works composed for the event

Motets and Chorales for the Feast of Visitation of Mary

Douglas Cowling wrote (July 25, 2011):
The Musical Context of Bach's Cantatas:
Motets & Chorales for Summer Saints Days (June-August)
Cantata Required
FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (June 24) Zacharias
FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY (July 2) Magnificat

Sources:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch [NLGB] des Gottfried Vopelius
(Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection (downloadable
http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi/Chaney%20Mark%20A.pdf?osu1180461416

NOTES:

* The Feasts of the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24) and the Visitation of Mary (July 2) were both celebrated as principal festivals which could displace the Sunday observance. Both required the performance of a cantata and a concerted Latin Missa and Sanctus.


* FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY (July 2)

* NOTES [with additions]:

Hymns include the Latin Magnificat and Preface for concerted Latin Sanctus.

Motet is prescribed generally for "feasts of Mary"

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and
During Communion:

i) "Ecce tu Pulchra" (8 voices) - Borsarus ?

Text: Song of Songs 1:14
"Behold, you are beautiful, my love! behold, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are of doves."

2) HYMN OF DAY (de tempore)
"Meine Seel erhebt den Herrn" [German Magnificat], (falsobordon, NLGB No. 153).

3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:

[A] "Herr Christ der einigen Gottes Sohn" (Lord Jeus Christ, God's only Son, NLGB No. 231, Catechism Justification), Zahn melody 4297a), Elizabeth Kreutziger 5-stanza text 1524, anonymous melody 1455 [Text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale114-Eng3.htm];

[B] "Nun freut euch lieben Christen gemein" (Now rejoice, dear Christians all; NLGB No. 232, Catechism Justification), Zahn melody 4429a;

[C] <Magnificat anima mea > (secundum octo tonos), melody HDEKM I,1 499c, NLGB No. 154;

[D] Optional Hymn: "Meine Seele Gott erhebt," has a text by Christian Keimann of 9 lines of 3 stanzas of liturgical text set to the G. Vopelius melody (Zahn 1203), and listed in the <NLGB> as No. 155 for Visitation. The text is found at: http://www.lsbk.ch/religion/liturgische_texte.asp?Seite=10. Andreas Hammerschmidt Magnificat music is found at: http://www.kantoreiarchiv.de/archiv/choir_orchestra/magnificat/hammerschmidt/sab/0001.pdf; the
Recording: YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io83nEY-euY; and

[E] Responsorium, Magnificat anima mea, NLGB No. 156.

4) LATIN PREFACE FOR SANCTUS: Praefaction, <Dominus vobiscum . . . , NLGB No. 157.

 

Cantata 147: Feast of Visitation, Magnificat setting

William Hoffman wrote (December 9, 2012):
Observing Lutheran tradition, Bach presented various figural musical versions of Mary's canticle of praise and expectation, <Magnificat anima mea Dominum> (My soul doth magnify the Lord, Luke 1:46-55), in Latin for the major feast days and in vernacular German, "Meine Seele erhebt den herrn," for ordinary Sundays and Saturday and Sunday Vespers. Both types use ancient chant recitation tones and actual chant verses. Bach's only competitor in both forms was Georg Philipp Telemann. Bach's models and exemplars were Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672) in both German (SWV 426, 494) and Latin (SWV 468), in Latin including Johann Hermann Schein, Dietrich Buxtehude (attributed), Francisco Durante, and Antonio Vivaldi and in German including Bartholomäus Gesius, Michael Preaetorius, Melchior Franck, Thomas Selle, and Andreas Hammerschmidt (see below). This music is published at Hänssler Verlag.

Bach composed two Latin settings of the <Magnificat> in Eb Major, BWV 243a for Christmas 1723, using German hymn interpolations found in his Leipzig predecessor Johann Kuhnau's "Magnificat in C." Some 10 years later, Bach deleted the hymns for a new version in E-Flat Major, BWV 243, for presentation during the three Marian Feasts (Purification, February 2; Annunciation, March 25, and Visitation, July 2), as well as the major feast days of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. No performances of his <Magnificat>, BWV 243, for these feasts have been documented. Other festive Latin settings have been linked to Bach or were composed by his sons and the music can be heard below.

Bach composed a German Magnificat chorale Cantata BWV 10, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" (My Soul magnifies the Lord), for Purification, 1724, based on Martin Luther's vernacular translation hymn with adaptation of the medieval plainchant. Three other German Magnificat paraphrase cantatas have been linked to Bach. A setting possibly by Johann Mattheson, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn," libretto by Erdmann Neumeister, was performed in Leipzig on July 2, 1725, based on a surviving libretto book. It possibly was lead by Georg Balthasar Schott, music director of the progressive Leipzig New Church and Kuhnau's successor. Bach also was listed as the composer of two other German paraphrase cantatas now attributed to Georg Melchior Hoffmann (Telemann successor as music director at the Leipzig Neue Kirche, 1704-15). These two with unknown librettists and no known Leipzig performance dates are: tenor solo Cantata BWV 189, "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" (My soul extols and praises) with three repeat ABA arias, and BWV Anh. 21, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn," known as the "Little German Magnificat.

VISITATION/MAGNIFCAT READINGS
"Mariä Heimsuchung" (Feast of Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth); Readings: Epistle: Isaiah 11:1-5 (A rod shall come out of Jesse); Gospel: Luke 1: 39-56 (Mary's <Magnificat> canticle); BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Read/Visitation.htm

Visitation Motets & Chorales

Date: Jul 25, 2011 6:33 PM
Douglas Cowling
The Musical Context of Bach's Cantatas:
Motets & Chorales for Summer Saints Days (June-August)
Cantata Required
FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST (June 24) Zacharias
FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY (July 2) Magnificat

Sources:

* BACH'S HYMN BOOK:
Jürgen Grimm, "Das neu [?] Leipziger Gesangbuch [NLGB] des Gottfried Vopelius
(Leipzig 1682)",
Berlin: Merseburger, 1969.
ML 3168 G75

* BACH'S MOTET COLLECTION:
Otto Riemer, "Erhard Bodenschatz und sein Florilegium Portense"
Schünigen: Kaminsky,1927
ML 410 B67R4

Dissertation on Bodenschatz Collection (downloadable NOTES:
http://etd.ohiolink.edu/view.cgi/Chaney%20Mark%20A.pdf?osu1180461416

* The Feasts of the Birth of John the Baptist (June 24) and the Visitation of Mary (July 2) were both celebrated as principal festivals which could displace the Sunday observance. Both required the performance of a cantata and a concerted Latin Missa and Sanctus.


* FEAST OF THE VISITATION OF MARY (July 2)

* NOTES [with additions]:

Hymns include the Latin Magnificat and Preface for concerted Latin Sanctus.

Motet is prescribed generally for "feasts of Mary"

1) MOTETS for Introit, Before Sermon at mass and vespers for Choir II, and
During Communion:

i) "Ecce tu Pulchra" (8 voices) - Borsarus ?

Text: Song of Songs 1:14
"Behold, you are beautiful, my love! behold, you are beautiful!
Your eyes are of doves."

2) HYMN OF DA(de tempore)
"Meine Seel erhebt den Herrn" [German Magnificat], (falsobordon, NLGB No. 153).

3) CHORALES for Pulpit and Communion Hymns:

[A] "Herr Christ der einigen Gottes Sohn" (Lord Jeus Christ, God's only Son, NLGB No. 231, Catechism Justification), Zahn melody 4297a), Elizabeth Kreutziger 5-stanza text 1524, anonymous melody 1455 [Text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale114-Eng3.htm];

[B] "Nun freut euch lieben Christen gemein" (Now rejoice, dear Christians all; NLGB No. 232, Catechism Justification), Zahn melody 4429a;

[C] <Magnificat anima mea > (secundum octo tonos), melody HDEKM I,1 499c, NLGB No. 154;

[D] Optional Hymn: "Meine Seele Gott erhebt," has a text by Christian Keimann of 9 lines of 3 stanzas of liturgical text set to the G. Vopelius melody (Zahn 1203), and listed in the <NLGB> as No. 155 for Visitation. The text is found at: http://www.lsbk.ch/religion/liturgische_texte.asp?Seite=10. Andreas Hammerschmidt Magnificat music is found at: http://www.kantoreiarchiv.de/archiv/choir_orchestra/magnificat/hammerschmidt/sab/0001.pdf; the
Recording: YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io83nEY-euY; and

[E] Responsorium, Magnificat anima mea, NLGB No. 156.

4) LATIN PREFACE FOR SANCTUS: Praefaction, <Dominus vobiscum . . . , NLGB No. 157.


Works Bach Performed on the Feast of the Visitation

+Chorus Cantata BWV 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) (1723, Friday); repeats 1730 (Trinity 4) and 1735-40;

+Chorale BWV 10, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" (1724, Fourth Sunday after Trinity), repeat 1740-47;

+Anonymous Cantata, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn (My soul magnifies the Lord) (1725, Monday);

+ Johann Ludwig Bach Cantata JLB-13, "Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen Judah" (As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah) (1726, Tuesday);

+<Magnificat> in D Major, BWV 243, ?July 2, 1733, no documentation of succeeding performance at Visitation;

+Two Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel cantatas from different church cycles, performed in 1736 and possibly 1737; and

+Antonio Caldara's <Magnificat> in D Major (Bach added two parts for violins in Movement No. 3, <Suscepit Israel puerum suum> (He protects Israel, his servant), BWV 1082, performed about 1739-42.

[BCW, "Dates in Bach's Lifetime, "Mariä Heimsuchung" (Feast of Visitation of Mary), http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/Maria-Heimsuchung.htm


+Cantata 147, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Bach's first Visitation Cantata BWV 147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) was presented on Friday, July 2, a month after he began his Leipzig tenure. He spent considerable effort composing three elaborate accompanied recitatives between the existing arias in the original Cantata BWV 147a, composed for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 20, 1716, a service with no music in Leipzig. Besides continuing to please his listeners with two-part music on the highest level, Bach sought to complement varied madrigalian musical styles and instrumental accompaniment with striking music set to texts that related to the Gospel text of Mary's canticle of praise (Luke 1:42-52) as well as pertinent references to Psalms 50 and 139 and Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Consequently, Bach failed to provide music for the succeeding Sixth Sunday after Trinity (July 4) and ceased to present music before and after the service sermon, either two-part or two different cantatas. Still Cantata 147 elkicited at least two repeat performances in 1730 (Trinity 4), 1735-40. To hear the music listen to Harnoncourt YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9EA6416434CC7FED

Bach's chosen chorale to close both parts of Cantata 147 set to the same music is "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne" (Jesus, delight of my soul), author Martin Jahn (1661), and melody Werde munter, mein Gemüthe (Be alert , my soul, Zahn melody 6551), composer Johann Schop (1642), a hymn "seeking the protection of the Almighty."

The 19-stanza Jesus Hymn, "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," was a category of more recent, pietistic chorales not found in the NLGB. In Cantata BWV 147, Bach set Stanzas 6 and 16 to an elaborated chorale chorus with instrumental gigue-style interludes to close Part 1 (Movement No. 6) and Part 2 (Movement No. 10):

6 Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.
Jesum hab ich, der mich liebet
Und sich mir zu eigen gibet;
Ach drum laß ich Jesum nicht,
Wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.

Happy am I, to have my Jesus,
oh how firmly I hold on to him
so that he may refresh my heart
when I am sick and sorrowful.
I have Jesus, who loves me
and gives himself to me.
Ah therefore I shall not abandon Jesus
even if my heart breaks.

16 Jesum nur will ich lieb haben,
denn er übertrifft das Gold,
und all' andre teure Gaben,
so kann mir der Sünden Sold
an der Seele gar nicht schaden,
weil sie von der Sünd entladen.
Wenn er gleich den Leib zernicht',
laß ich meinen Jesum nicht.

Only Jesus I shall hold dear,
since he surpasses gold
and all other precious gifts,
therefore the wages of sin
do no harm to my soul
since it is free from sin.
If he destroys the body,
I shall not abandon my Jesus
[Text and English translation Francis Browne, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale023-Eng3.htm]

Bach's other uses of the Jahn Jesus Hymn text, "Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne," are Stanza 2, "Jesu, mein Hort und Erretter," (Jesus, my refuge and deliverer) as a plain chorale (Movement 3) in A Major in solo Cantata BWV 154, Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren" (My loving Jesus is lost), for the First Sunday after Epiphany (January 9, 1724), and an undesignated stanza harmonized as a plain chorale (Movement 8) in F Major in chorus Cantata BWV 146, "Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal in das Reich Gottes eingehen" (We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God), for the Third Sunday after Easter (probably May 12, 1726).

The hymn "Werde Munter, mein Gemuthe" is found in the NLGB as No. 208 under the listing of Morning and Evening Songs (Zahn melody 6551a), set to the Johann Rist 1642 12-stanza text of the same name. Bach set the melody c.1700 as an organ chorale prelude in the Neumeister Collection, BWV 1118 in G Major, related to Martin Luther's "Evening Blessing." About 1714 in Weimar Bach listed "Werde munter, mein Gemuthe" in the planned Orgelbüchlein organ chorale prelude collection as No. 150 under the heading "Evening" but did not set it, perhaps content with the Neumeister setting. Later, Bach harmonized the Schop melody as plain chorales BWV 359 in A Major and 360 in B-Flat Major, perhaps in Leipzig as alternate settings for the plain chorales, respectively, in Cantatas BWV 154 and tenor solo Cantata BWV 55, "Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht" (I, a poor man, slave to sin), Movement 5 ("Bin ich gleich," see next paragraph) for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity (November 17, 1726).

During his Leipzig tenure, Bach also used the melody, "Werde munter, mein Gemuthe," for plain chorale settings of Passion music: No. 40, to the Johann Rist text of the same title, Stanza 5, "Bin ich gleich von dir gewichen" (If I have ever abandoned you), after Peter weeps bitterly, and in the Sebastian Bach Chorale Book c.1740, SBCB No. 58, "Der am Kreuz ist mein Liebe" (There on the Cross is my love), Worship song, five stanzas, author unknown (1712), based on 1 Corinthians 8:3: "But if any man love God, the same is known of him"; text, http://www.christliche-gedichte.de/?pg=11088. Chorale melody: BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Werde-munter.htm.

Today, the hymn is called "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and also is known as "Come with Us, O Blessed Jesus" for Christmas and Communion.


+Cantata 10, German Magnificat

Bach's Chorale Cantata BWV 10, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" (My soul magnifies the Lord) was composed for Visitation (July 2) 1724, that serendipitously fell on the Fourth Sunday after Trinity in the new Second Cycle of original music set to hymn melodies and mostly paraphrased text stanzas. Although Bach the composer had learned to pace himself, the task of setting new music to original texts paraphrases of hymn stanzas was daunting. There were no more double servings after the First Sunday after Trinity (Cantata BWV 20, "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort). In the early Trinity <omnes tempore> Time Sundays of Gospel lessons on Lutheran teachings, the resulting chorale cantatas tended to suffer both musically and literarily, particularly without the familiar chorales of the great <de tempore> feasts of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost. For the first two months of Trinity Time, Bach relied on a text-writing "group , possibly by various authors and of inferior poetic quality," says Artur Hirsch in his BACH 1980 publication article on "Texts by Bach" (p. 19).

Fortunately, with the celebratory Feasts of John and Baptist and especially the Visitation interspersed at this time in the Church Year, Bach was able to produce a superior chorale cantata based on Luther's popular German <Magnificat> hymn of Mary's Canticle of Praise that had been widely and successfully interpreted by other cantata text writers, including works that Bach knew and whose texts served as appropriate models for his word-smith renderers. Particularly striking is John Elliot Gardner's commentary on Cantata BWV 10:
"Less flamboyantly scored and less overtly theatrical [than the Christmas Latin <Magnificat>, BWV 243a], the cantata yields nothing to the canticle in terms of canny musical craftsmanship and word painting. Bach's challenge here is to find a workable synthesis between the modal character of the <tonus peregrinus> [congregational chant] and the festive mood of the text, and what that suggests to him in choral and instrumental ebullience" [Cantata 10 Details, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV10.htm, scroll down to "Recordings, No. 12, Liner Notes"]. "He thought sufficiently highly of it to repeat it at least once during the 1740s. It was intended for the liturgy of the Vesper service in Leipzig . . . ." Recording: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBmQajBY2w8; Text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV10-Eng3.htm.


Bach's Setting of German Magnificat

There are at least five settings extant of Bach's use of the text and/or melody of "Meine Seel' erhebt den Herren" (NLGB 153, Visitation,). Luther's nine stanzas & Lesser Doxology (1532, Vespers), uses a melody chant adaptation. Bach listed it in the Orgelbüchlein (OB 56, Visitation) but not set. A two line setting (melody and basso continuo) is found in the c.1740 <Sebastian Bach Choralbuch> as SBCB2 for Advent.
A. Schubler organ chorale, BWV 648a=10/5, see C below)
B. Miscellaneous organ chorale prelude, BWV 733;
C. Chorale Cantata BWV 10 (Purification 1724): Mvt. 1, chorale chorus (S.1), Mvt. 5, AT duet (S.8)=BWV 648 (Schubler), Mvt. 7, plain chorale (S. 10-11);
D. Plain Chorale, BWV 324;
E. Untexted chorale melody (tp.), BWV 243a/10 (Christmas 1723).


+Anonymous Cantata "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" (1725, Monday).

No Bach cantatas were performed between the Second and Ninth Sundays after Trinity in 1725. During the entire Trinity Time 1725 Bach produced virtually no new works, prior to the beginning of the Third Cantata Cycle on Advent Sunday, December 2. Both the Feast of Visitation and John the Baptist occurred during early Trinity Time, the former on Monday (July 2) following the Fifth Sunday after Trinity, and the latter on the Fourth Sunday after Trinity (June 24). A church libretto book exists for the period of the Third through Sixth Sundays after Trinity. The text for the German Magnificat, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn," like most other settings, begins with Mary's dictum but then paraphrases the rest of her canticle for the arias and recitatives. In most cases, including Bach's Chorale Cantata BWV 10, the librettist-paraphraser is unknown. Bach's colleague, Georg Philipp Telemann produced both types of <Magnificat>, Latin and German, and the latter TVWV 9:18, has a similar text but it is not identical. Before the composer of another, similar German Magnificat was identified as Georg Melchior Hoffman, it was originally attributed possibly to Bach, and catalogued as BWV Anh. 21. Then it was attributed to Telemann and published as his work in the Hänssler Verlag edition, HE 10.139.


A recent study shows that the anonymous 1725 Leipzig text is identical to a the text setting of work of Johann Mattheson, "performed during Christmas in Hamburg." The study is "DID BACH PERFORM SACRED MUSIC BY JOHANN MATTHESON IN LEIPZIG?," Steffen Voss on Bach and Mattheson, American Bach Society, Bach Notes No. 3 (Spring 2005),http://www.americanbachsociety.org/bachnotes.htm. Details of the music is found at http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=523158. The movements are:
[1. Dictum] [Chorus], Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn (This my spirit exalts the Lord)
[2.] Recit., Elende Magd! wie ist dir doch geschehen? (O wretched maid! How did it happen to thee?)
[3.] Aria, Heilig, Heilig, heist sein Nahme (Holy, holy is his name called)
[4.] Recit., Mit seinem Arm, übt er gewalt'ge Streiche (For with his arm the strokes he deals are mighty)
[5.] Aria, Sein Arm zerstreut und übt Gewalt (His arm doth loose and wield great might)
[6.] Recit., Wer hungrig ist, komme her! (If hungry thou, come then forth!)
[7.] Aria, Ich leide Durst; es hungert meine Seele (I suffer thirst and hungry is my spirit)
[8.] Recit., Es fällt ihm ein (It comes to him)
[9. Dictum] [Chorus], Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern (As he hath spoken to our forefathers)
(Let the chorus be repeated from the beginning.)
[Z. Philip Ambrose English translation and notes: http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/, Texts for Lost Works, Lost works with preserved printed texts (without number in Schmieder or Neumann), --- Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn.]


+1726 J. L. Bach Visitation Cantata

J. L. Bach Cantata "Der Herr wird ein Neues im Lande erschaffen Judah" (As yet they shall use this speech in the land of Judah [Jeremiah 31:22, KJV]), JLB-13, was perfromed at Visitation 1726 (Tuesday). It probably was composed in 1715 and its Rudolstadt text republished in 1726. Details are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Bach-JL-JLB13.htm:
1. Chorus (tutti), The Lord will create a new land;
2. Recitative (bass), Has God not all good made?;
3. Aria (bass, vns., bn.), Even Children from the debt to travel;
4. Aria (S, str.), My soul magnifies the Lord (Lk. 1:47-48);
5. Aria (TB, tutti orch.), Blessed is the body that Jesus had;
6. Ritornello (strings);
7. Recitative (TBA), Must all the world the Mother blessed be praised;
8. Chorus (SATB, strings), Scorn not the price, then I in poverty thee prepare;
9. Chorale (tutti), Now praise, my soul, the Lord (Nun lob mein Seele, den Herren)

It is a striking work, especially the florid da-capo soprano aria, "Meine Seele erhebt den Herran" on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMZMDOVS7I8; Hermann Max, Rheinische Kantorei / Das Kleine Konzert; Soprano: Mária Zádori; Tenor: Wilfried Jochens; Alto: Kai Wessel; Bass: StephanSchreckenberger; Capriccio 67131, 1993/1994 CD / TT: 66:31 [with JLB-14, Missa brevis, "Allein Gott in der Hoh sei Her," BWV Anh. 166; JLB-14, "Die Weisheit kommt nicht in eine boshafte Seele" (Easter 4); JLB-7, "Ich will meinen Geist in euch geben" (Trinity 6)]. The music is probably published by Hänssler Verlag.

+1729 Picander cycle Visitation text P-48, "Meine Seele Erhebt den Herrn," closes with Movement 6, a chorale, "Nun danket alle Gott" (Now than we all our God), Stanza 1=?BWV 386. There is no documentation that any music was set to this libretto.

+Bach probably performed two Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel cantatas cycles in the second half of the 1730s. On Visitation, July 2, 1736, Bach probably performed a Stölzel two-part cantata that is not extant, as part of the cycle "Saitenspiele testeddes Hertzens" (Music Playing of the Heart), text by Benjamin Schmolck, with two chorale settings not identified. Later, On July 2, perhaps 1737, Bach also may have performed a Stölzel two-part cantata, "Groß sind die Werke des Herren" (Great are the works of the Lord, Psalm 111:2), with Part 2 beginning, "Ich freue mich in den Herrn" (I delight greatly in the Lord, Isaiah 61:10) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of Names of Christ), using a Schmolck text. No musical source with the presumed chorales is extant.


Two Vocal Works Once Attributed to Bach

Two pleasant, lightweight German Magnificat cantatas initially were attributed to Bach and have been recorded, although neither has been documented to have been performed by Bach:

+Little German Magnificat in A minor, BWV Anh. 21, is scored for soprano, flute and strings. BCW, German text and Francis Browne English translation, http://wwhgugfgfgw.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWVAnh21-Eng3.htm with vespers Lesser Doxology (Movements 9-10).

1. Aria, Meine Seel erhebt den Herren (My soul praises the Lord)
2. Recit., Denn er hat seine elende Magd angesehn (For he has looked upon his poor handmaiden)
3. Aria, Und seine Barmherzigkeit währet immer für und für (And his mercy lasts for ever and ever)
4. Aria, Er ubet Gewalt mit seinem Arm (He shows might with his arm)
5. Aria, Er stosst die Gewaltigen (He casts down the mighty from their seats)
6. Recit., Die Hungrigen fullt er mit Gutern (The hungry he fills with good things)
7. Aria, Er denket der Barmherzigkeit (He remembers his mercy)
8. Recit., Wie er geredet hat zu unsern Vatern (As he has said to our fathers)
9. Aria, Lob und Preis sei Gott dem Vater und dem Sohn (Glory and praise to God the Father and to the Son)
10. Aria, Wie es war im Anfang, jetzt und immerdar (As it was in the beginning, now and always)

[Details: Kleine Magnificat in a-Moll BWV Anh 21; http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh21.htm];
BCW General Discussion, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh21-Gen.htm.


+The German Magnificat is paraphrased in the tenor solo Cantata BWV 189, "Meine Seele rühmt und preist" (My soul magnifies and praises), also probably Georg Melchior Hoffmann, The text author is unknown while the music for flute, oboe and basso continuo is quite engaging. Details, BWV http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV189.htm;

1. Aria (T), Meine Seele rühmt und preist (This my soul extols with praise) (da capo)
2. Recit. (T), Denn seh ich mich und auch mein Leben an (When I behold myself and how I live)
3. Aria (T), Gott hat sich hoch gesetzet (God sitteth high above us) (dal segno)
4. Recit. (T), O was für große Dinge (Behold, what might wonders)
5. Aria (T), Deine Güte, dein Erbarmen (All thy kindness, all thy mercy) (da capo)
[German text and Z. Philip Ambrose English Translation, http://www.uvm.edu/~classics/faculty/bach/B (BWV189.htm]


Latin <Magnificat> Music

Bach's removal of the Christmas chorale interpolations in the original <Magnificat> in E-Flat of 1723 enabled him belatedly to furnish Latin music appropriate for major and so-called Marian feasts throughout the Leipzig church year, filling another large niche in his well-order church music to the glory of God. The new version in D Major also enabled Bach to provide music well-suited "Latin figural music" "for the court of Dresden," says Christoph Wolff in his recording notes for the Hänssler Bach Edition CD, Volume 73.

<Magnificat in D Major, BWV 243, movements and text incipits are:
1. Chorus [S, S, A, T, B], Magnificat anima mea Dominum (My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord)
2. Aria [Soprano II], Et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo (and my spirit has exulted in God my saviour)
3. Aria [Soprano I], Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae (because he has regarded the lowly state of his slavegirl)
4. Chorus [S, S, A, T, B], Omnes generationes (every generation)
5. Aria [Bass], Quia fecit mihi magna qui potens est, et sanctum nomen eius (because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name)
6. Aria (Duet) [Alto, Tenor], Et misericordia a progenie in progenies timentibus eum (and his mercy [continues ] from generation to generation for those who fear him)
7. Chorus [S, S, A, T, B], Fecit potentiam in brachio suo, dispersit superbos mente cordis sui (He has made known the power of his arm, scattered those who are arrogant in the thoughts of their heart)
8. Aria [Tenor], Deposuit potentes de sede et exaltavit humiles (He has put down the mighty from their seats [of power] and raised up those who are lowly)
9. Aria [Alto], Esurientes implevit bonis et divites dimisit inanes (The hungry he has filled with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty)
10. Aria (Terzetto) [Sopranos I and II, Alto], Suscepit Israel puerum suum recordatus misericordiae suaem (He has taken under his protection Israel his boy, and remembered his mercy]
11. Chorus [S, S, A, T, B], Sicut locutus est ad Patres nostros (in accordance with what he said to our fathers)
12. Chorus [S, S, A, T, B], Gloria Patri, gloria Filio (Glory to the Father, glory to the Son)


Other <Magnificats> Linked to Bach

At least three other extant Magnificats, attributed to or performed by Bach, are concise Catholic works with festive scoring for brass and strings:

1. <Magnificat> in D major, ZWV 108, of Jan Dismas Zelenka, may have been performed by Bach about 1729-1735. Details with 11 recordings, BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Zelenka-Magnificat-ZWV108.htm. Recording: YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NasTSPV2VWs

2. BWV 1082, <Suscepit Israel> in Caldara's <Magnificat)>. CPEB Estate Catalog 1790, More church music inherited from his father is found on Page 88: Caldara's <Magnificat> in score, Lotti [see above], his arrangement, around 1740, of Caldara's Magnificat in C Major, in which he augmented the four-part chorus of the "Suscepit Israel" with two obbigato instruments, much in the manner of the violin lines in the "Credo" [BWV 232II] (the instrumental lines are unlabeled in the "Suscepit" score, but they seem to be for violins).
Details & Recordings (3): BCW: www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV1082.htm.
<Suscepit Israel puerum suum> (He protects Israel, his servant), BWV 1082
Composed: Leipzig, 1740-1742. After Magnificat in C major by Antonio Caldara.
1st performance: 1739-1742 - Leipzig
J.S. Bach copied and performed A. Caldara's Magnificat in C major, adding parts for 2 violins in stile antico to the verse <Suscepit Israel puerum suum> (59 measures).
Scoring: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; Accompaniment: 2 violins, basso continuo
<Magnificat>:
Mvt. 1: Grave - Allegro
Mvt.2: Deposuit potentes: An
Mvt. 3: Suscepit Israel: Alla breve
Mvt. 4: Sicut erat
Catalog: Bach Compendium BC - E15, first published: Wiesbaden, 1968
Provenance: Estate, CPEB; later collection, Georg Pölchau
Recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=372uLl4Y-eM

3. Magnificat in C major BWV Anh 30 / Anh III 167 is probably by Antonio Lotti but there is no documentation of a Bach performance. Source information is found at NBA KB II/9, Latin Church Music, editor Kirsten Beisswenger, 2009. Scoring is eight voices (SSAATTBB), 3 trumpets, timpani, strings and basso continuo. Details are at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh30.htm:
1. Magnificat anima (Chorus)
2. Quia respexit (Alto 1, Tenor 1)
3. Quia fecit (Soprano 1, Bass 1)
4. Et Misericordia (Chorus)
5. Fecit potentiam (Alto 2, Tenor 2)
6. Deposuit (Chorus)
7. Sicut locutus est (Soli, Chorus)
Recording: http://www.arkivmusic.com/classical/album.jsp?album_id=709036, scroll down to Sound Samples.

Three of Bach's sons performed music composed for the Feast of the Visitation:

1. Oldest son Friedemann did a partial parody of the opening chorus, "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (Herz und Mund kan sich nun laben), Cantata BWV 147a/1, as the third and concluding movement of a pasticcio Catechism Sermon Cantata, Fk. 77, performed in Halle in 1752 (David Schulenberg, <Music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach> New York: University of Rochester Press, 2010: 204). Friedemann apparently copied his father's music from the original version of Cantata 147, composed in Weimar in 1716 for the Fourth Sunday in Advent, since the scoring omits the two oboes added in Leipzig for Visitation 1723 (music printed in NBA KB I/28.2, Kantaten zu Marienfest II, e. Ute Wolf, 1995: 110ff).

Friedemann also parodied the opening alto aria (slumber song) of Cantata BWV 170, "Vergnugte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust" (Wie ruhig ist doch meine Seele), originally composed in 1726 for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity. Friedemann composed the music for the second (middle movement) as a recitative. Philipp Spitta suggested the three-movement "transformation" "may have been performed [by Bach] in 1742, when the Visitation (July 2) followed immediately upon the Sixth Sunday after Trinity (July 1)" [<JSB: II:454, Dover, 1979].

2. Youngest son Johann Christian Bach's <Magnificat> 4 in C major, CW E22, dates to 1760 when he was an organist in Milan composing music for Catholic services following his conversion. His work is published as Hänssler Verlag 38.101 (no date) and is catalogued as T 207/3, the last of three Magnificats in C Major. A YouTube recording is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tnp1TWO0p-0.

3. Second-oldest son Carl Philipp Emmanuel conducted in a benefit Lenten concert in late March 1786 in Hamburg his arrangement of the <Credo> from his father's <Mass in B Minor>, and three of his own works after intermission: a symphony, a <Magnificat> and the famous setting of <Heilig> (Sanctus). He also possessed both versions of Sebastian's <Magnficat," BWV 243(a).
C.P.E. Bach Magnificat in D Major, Wq 215 (1786); Hänssler Verlag HE 33.215]
1. Magnificat
2. Quia respexit
3. Quia fecit
4. Et misericordia eius
5. Fecit potentiam
6. Deposuit potentes
7. Suscepit Israel
8. Gloria
9. Sicut erat
Recording: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pl0U5-DFbZs

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (December 9, 2012):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach also may have performed a Stölzel two-part cantata, "Groß sind die > Werke des Herren" (Great are the works of the Lord, Psalm 111:2), with Part 2 beginning, "Ich freue mich in den Herrn" (I delight greatly in the Lord, > Isaiah 61:10) from the cantata cycle "Das Namenbuch Christi," (Book of > Names of Christ), using a Schmolck text. No musical source with the > presumed chorales is extant. >
The music DOES in fact survive, I'm quite thrilled say.

 

Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Table of Motets & Chorales for Events in the Lutheran Church Year

Lutheran Church Year: Main Page and Explanation | LCY - Event Table | LCY 2000-2005 | LCY 2006-2010 | LCY 2011-2015
Sundays & Holidays in the Lifetime of J.S. Bach | Performance Dates of Bach’s Vocal Works
Readings from the Epistles and the Gospels for each Event | Motets & Chorales for Events in the LCY
Discussions: Events in the Lutheran Church Year: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Readings from the Bible

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: ęDecember 31, 2012 ę07:29:16