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Cantata BWV 201
Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde
Provenance and Description of Sources

The Autograph Score and the Original Set of Parts

At the time of the distribution of cantata materials among family members in 1750, it may not have come into CPE Bach’s possession directly. It is clear, however, that it was in his possession from some point later in his lifetime since there is evidence in the score of the handwriting of CPE Bach’s main copyist, Michel, who is described by Georg Poelchau (1773-1836) as a tenor voice soloist in Bach’s church choir in Hamburg in 1787. Yet between 1755 and 1760 another copyist (Anonymous 300) belonging the circle of copyists that CPE Bach used prepared a copy of the score which was not copied from the original score but rather from the original set of parts. Why was this copy made in this way if CPE Bach had had the score in his possession since 1750? Perhaps CPE Bach acquired the autograph score after the Anon 300 score had been completed? In any case, at the end of CPE Bach’s life both the autograph score and the set of original parts were in CPE Bach’s possession and were listed in his estate in 1790: Der Streit zwischen Phöbus und Pan. Mit Trompeten, Pauken, Flöten und Hoboen. Eigenhändige Partitur, und auch in Stimmen. Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke (1767-1822) purchased the autograph score and the original set of parts from the estate sale and it remained in his possession until the time when it was auctioned off in 1824 when it was listed in the auction catalog as 229 Bach, J. S., Der Streit zwischen Phöbus u. Pan. P u. St. The original materials for BWV 201 were then purchased by the famous Bach manuscript collector, Georg Poelchau. A catalog list of his manuscript collection dating from 1832 contains the following item: 43 Cantate: Der Streit zwischen Phöbus und Pan. Geschwinde ihr wirbelnden Winde, für 6 Singst. mit Flöten, Hoboen, Tromp. u. P. Eigenhändige Part. 13 Bg. In 1841 Poechau’s heirs sold?/bequeathed? the entire manuscript collection to the BB (Berliner Staatsbibliothek) and in 1851 this entire collection was merged with the general collection of manuscripts in the library. The score has the call number: Mus. ms. Bach P 175 and the original parts are listed as: Mus. ms. Bach St 33a.

 

Description of the Autograph Score

The paper has a light-brown tinge. In some places the ink has ‘eaten its way through’ the paper. Very frequently the ink has penetrated through to the reverse side of the page. In places some transparent paper slips have been pasted on the original paper in an attempt to restore it to its former condition.

This is a composing score that makes quite clear that parodies are not involved in any of the movements: it is definitely an original composition composed in great haste as apparent from the many corrections that the composer had to make on this his original draft and final score.

The cover for the score displays various markings and titles given by the previous owners. The title at the top of the first page of music is in J.S. Bach’s hand and reads:

J. J. Drama per la Musica. Phoebus, Pan, Mydas, Tmolus, Mercu= | rius & Momus. | di Bach.

The markings indicating the voices and instrumentation along the left side of the page are from top to bottom:

Trombe | e | Tamburi | 2 Traversieri | 2 Hautbois. | 2 Violini | Viola | Momus. | Mercurius | Tmolus | Mydas | Phoebus | Pan.

After mm 146-150 of Mvt. 1 which are on the reverse side of p. 9, Bach indicates a DC.

On the remaining third of the page there is the name of the next mvt.: Recit 1. Phoebus which is followed by the first 8 mm. of this mvt. which is completed on the front side of page 10 after which there is some space available for a preliminary sketch for about 5 mm of the bass line for Mvt. 3 with the words Volti Aria seque written above it.

Mvt. 3 begins on the back side of page 10 without any title. On page 11, Mvt. 3 ends with a DC, after which Bach writes Mercurius, but there is no title for the following Mvt. 4. At the end of this mvt. there is the title for the next Mvt. 5: Aria Phoebus with instruments indicated along the side: Travers. 1 | Hautb. 1 | Violino 1 | Violino 2 | Viola | Phoebus | Cont. This aria continues from the back of p. 11 to the front of p. 12. When page 12 is turned over to its back side, there is a crossed-out sketch of 14 mm of a cantata for Michaelmas which has the title written above it:

JJ Festo Michaelis Concerto à 4 Voci. 3 Trombe Tamburi. 2 Hautb. | 2 Violini Viola e Cont. | Basso.

In m 14 the bass begins with the single word Man which very likely connects this sketch with BWV 149 Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg. Otherwise the music does not resemble the beginning of BWV 149.

Mvt. 5 ends on the back side of p. 14 with a DC marking. Mvt. 6 has no title. After the end of Mvt. 6, the title Aria for Mvt. 7 appears. In mm. 126-128 in the bass part, Bach spaces out the words of the text before coming up with the melody:

At the end of the latter there is a DC followed by Mercurius on the front of p. 16. Mvt. 8 begins and ends here with the designation of Aria. | Oboe d’Amore for Mvt. 9 which begins on the next page, page 9, where once again Oboe d’Amore Solo appears. Mvt. 9 ends on the back of p. 17 after which the word Pan appears. Mvt. 10 begins without a title on p. 18 and ends with Aria for Mvt. 11 which begins on the same page. At the end of Mvt. 11 on the back side of p. 19, the title Momus announces the beginning of Mvt. 12 on the front of p. 20. There the next aria, Mvt. 13, has the title Aria | Mercurius with 2 Travers. indicated on the left side. At the end of Mvt. 13 on the front side of p 22, there is a DC, followed immediately by Recitat. | Momus to mark the beginning of mvt.14 which continues until the back side of p. 22 where the word Chorus appears along with the orchestration marked along the left side of the page: 1 Trom. | 2 & 3 Tr. | Tymp. | 2 Trav. | 2 Hautb. | Violino 1 | Violino 2 | Viola | Cont. Mvt. 15 reaches its conclusion on the front side of p. 26 with a DC followed by Fine.

Mvt. 1 alone has 152 instances of correction by Bach. The other mvts. are quite similar in the amount of corrections that Bach made. Mvt. 4, Mvt. 5, Mvt. 7, Mvt. 9, Mvt. 11, Mvt. 13, Mvt. 14, Mvt. 15 show additions (articulation) by CPE Bach’s copyist Michel.

 

The Original Set of Parts

The title page on the cover in which the parts are found has, among other notations by various owners, a title written by CPE Bach: Der Streit zwischen Pho und Pan | Drama per Musica | a | 6 Voci | 3 Trombe | Tamburi | 2 Trav. | 2 Hautb. | 2 Viol. | Viola | e | Cont. | di | J. S. Bach.

The parts are as follows:

1. Momus. Soprano (4 pages = one large sheet)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 3, 6, 12, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for the remaining mvts.
Primary copyist is Johann Ludwig Krebs (1713-1780), a Thomaner who would have been 16 years old in 1729.
A part of the soprano recitative (Mvt. 2, the final 3 mm) had been overlooked and were added by CPE Bach.

2. Soprano (1 page written on both sides and found inside #1 above)
Contains mvts. 1 and 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

3. Mercurius. Alto (4 pages = one large sheet)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 4, 8, 12, 13, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

4. Mercurius. Alto (1 page written on both sides and found inside #3 above)
Contains mvts. 1 and 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist #3

5. Tmolus. Tenore 1 (one large sheet + one page = 5 pages filled with music and 6th with only empty staves)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 8, 9, 12, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

6. Mydas. Tenore 2 (4 pages = one large sheet)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 10, 11, 12, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

7. Phoebus. Basso 1 (4 pages = one large sheet)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

8. Pan. Basso 2 (one large sheet + one page = 5 pages filled with music and 6th with only empty staves)
Contains mvts. (or parts thereof) 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

9. Clarino. 1 (1 side of a page with the reverse containing empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1 & 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

10. Clarino. 2 (1 side of a page with the reverse containing empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1 & 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

11. Clarino. 3 (1 side of a page with the reverse containing empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1 & 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

12. Tamburi (1 side of a page with the reverse containing empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1 & 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

13. Traversiere. 1. (2 large sheets placed within each other; 5 pages have music written on them while pages 1, 2, and 8 have empty staves. Page 1 has as a title Traversiere. 1. Pages 1, 2 and 8 have empty staves.)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 13, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

14. Traversiere. 2. (4 pages = one large sheet)
Contains mvts. 1, 13, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

15. Hautbois. 1. (2 large sheets placed one after the other; 8 pages have music written on them)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 7, 9,15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

16. Hautbois. 2. (1 large sheet with 3 pages have music written on them and the 4th with empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

17. Violino. 1. (2 large sheets placed one after the other; 7 pages have music written on them, the last has only empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

18. Violino. 1. (Doublet) (2 large sheets placed one after the other; 7 pages have music written on them, the last has only empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: #4

19. Violino. 2. (2 large sheets placed within each other; 6 pages have music written on them; the 1st and 2nd pages have empty staves; the title Violino. 2. appears on p. 1. The notation begins on p. 3.)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

20. Violino. 2. (Doublet) (2 large sheets placed within each other; 6 pages have music written on them; the 1st and 2nd pages have empty staves; the title Violino. 2. appears on p. 1. The notation begins on p. 3.)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 7, 11, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: #5

21. Viola (One large sheet with music on the first 3 pages and the 4th having only empty staves)
Contains mvts. 1, 5, 14, 15 with Tacet markings for all the other mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs

22. Continuo (figured) (3 large sheets placed one after the other; 12 pages with music written on them)
Contains all 15 mvts.
Copyist: J.L. Krebs The figures added are mainly in J.S. Bach’s handwriting

23. Continuo. (figured) (3 large sheets placed one after the other; 11 pages with music written on them)
Contains all 15 mvts.
Copyist: #6 did pages 1-5
Copyist: #7 did pages 6-8
Copyist: J.S. Bach did pages 9-11 and added most of the figures throughout the previous pages

24. Continuo. (not figured) (3 large sheets placed one after the other; 12 pages with music written on them)
Contains all 15 mvts.
Copyist: # 8

J.S. Bach’s contribution in the preparation of these materials is considerable. He added titles like Soprano after Momus, or solo after Aria. He added tempo indications: Vivace e allegro or directions like col sourdini. Many trills, appoggiaturas, dynamic, phrase, and staccato markings were added by him personally.

Remarkable is the preparation of three continuo parts, two of which were figured primarily by Bach himself. There is no transposed continuo part.

 

Text

The libretto for this cantata was prepared by Christian Friedrich Henrici (1700-1764), known under his pen name Picander. The text first appeared in print in his collection called Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte, Part III, Leipzig, 1732, pp. 501-506. It appeared again in the 4th edition of his poetry in 1748. Since the printed text appeared after Bach’s composition and performance of the music using this text, it is likely that Bach worked from a manuscript copy and that some variants between Bach’s text and the text printed later would occur. These are, however, rather negligible.

 

Dating

Based upon the careful examination of the watermarks and the handwriting styles contained in both the score and the set of parts, it has been possible to place an earlier date on the composition and performance of this cantata. In 1856 Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn (1799-1858) connected the date with the Biedermann-Affair (1749-1750) making this one of Bach’s last cantata compositions. At the time of the publication of this cantata in the BGA, Wilhelm Rust (1822-1892) moved the date to ‘shortly before 1732’. Philipp Spitta (1841-1894), in his monumental biography (Volume II, pp. 473, 801) based his preferred date as being 1731, the year in which Picander ‘undoubtedly’ first conceived and wrote down the poetry which Bach then set tmusic.

Modern research has been able to place the date of composition earlier yet into a time frame when Bach took up his activities with the Telemann Collegium musicum which is documented to have begun in early spring of 1729. Supporting evidence is found in the type of paper which Bach used only between 1729 and 1731, in the rare copyist (#4 – known as Anonymous Vd who fulfilled the same function in copying the Violino 1 doublet as he did in BWV 192), and in the early form of handwriting revealed by Johann Ludwig Krebs who as a student helped Bach from 1726 to 1737.

It is possible that this cantata could have been used to open in a very festive manner the new season of the Collegium musicum under Bach’s direction or that it might have been composed for performance during the Leipzig Fair (the sketch of a Michaelmas cantata providing a connection with this event).

The materials for this performance (score and original set of parts) give the clear impression that everything was completed in one go.

It is highly unlikely that Bach would have personally conducted the final performance in the last year or so of his life, although such a performance is verified by some text changes made to the soprano part. His ill health would most likely have prevented this (Harrer’s audition before the City Council on June 8, 1749, a good year before Bach’s death, gives clear evidence of Bach’s failing health). It is possible that university students may have worked toward having this cantata performed once again in his honor without involving him in this matter. Seven years earlier Bach had used Pan’s aria Zu Tanze, zu Sprunge in his Peasant Cantata (BWV 212) with a different text Dein Wachstum sei feste without detracting from the integrity of the original cantata conception.

 

Based upon NBA KB I/40 pp. 96-164
Contributed by Thomas Braatz (June 30, 2008)

Cantata BWV 201: Details & Complete Recordings | Recordings of Individual Movements | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Discussions of BWV Numbering System: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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Last update: ýOctober 3, 2011 ý14:53:24