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Cantata BWV 51
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!

1. The Autograph Score

Located at the BB (Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, Berlin) Signatur (call- or shelfmark): Mus. ms. Bach P 104)

This score was most likely inherited at the division of the estate in 1750 by CPE Bach. The listing of CPE Bach’s estate in 1790 has the entry: “On the 15th Sunday after Trinity: Jauchzet Gott in allen etc. With Trumpets and timpani. Score and Parts.” Later this manuscript belonged to the library of the Berlin Singakademie. In 1855 it was acquired by the BB.

The manuscript consists of 4 (folio) sheets enclosed in a brown cardboard folder. On the front of the folder there are marks of identification including a label. There is a white star in the upper left corner to identify it as an autograph manuscript and below it is the BWV number. The label bears the name of the cantata. On the back (Einbandrücken) of the folder is a yellow label containing the shelf-mark information. Originally the 4 large sheets (35.5 x 22 cm original size with uncut tops and sides) were unbound in the original folder (the latter is located inside the newer folder), but now they are all bound together. The watermark is MA (Weiß 122 in NBA IX/1) which Alfred Dürr (Zur Chronologie der Leipziger Vokalwerke J. S Bachs, 2nd ed., Kassel, 1976) has established was found in Bach’s autograph manuscripts from Oct. 17, 1727 to Feb. 12, 1731.

The cover page of the original folder has the same watermark although more difficult to recognize as the back side of the folder has been reinforced by pasting it with paper (Stabilisierungspapier) to make it stronger. Using an x-ray procedure, it has been possible to view the side of the folder which would otherwise not be viewable. What it shows is presumably a sketch of Carl Friedrich Zelter’s apartment. More important is Bach’s autograph title on the front of the cover:

Dominica 15 post Trinitatis | et | In ogni Tempo. | Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. | à | Soprano solo | 1 Tromba | 2 Violini | Viola | e | Continuo | di | Joh: Seb: Bach.

Next to the word Tromba CPE Bach, as a later addition, wrote: 2 Trombe | e | Tamb.

In the upper left corner there is a ‘N’-shaped marking in pencil, underneath which is the currently valid manuscript call-number and to the right the number assigned by the Berlin Singakademie. In the middle of the page are two letters written in pencil: ‘C. C.’ and off to one side and slightly higher is the auction bid assigned by Siegfried Wilhelm Dehn “78” with a raised “D” following the number. At the lower left is the designation “No 49”, next to which is written with a defective pen “Carl”. This is probably to indicate that the score was to go to CPE Bach.

On the back of the original folder containing the original set of parts for BWV 39 there appear the words “Carl u Christel” referring most likely to CPE Bach and Johann Christian Bach. A suspicion is aroused here that this marking indicated how the J. S. Bach’s scores and parts were to be distributed among his sons. Remarkably the word “Carl” was written by an unidentified individual, but certain characteristics point to Anna Magdalena Bach as the author of “u Christel”. BWV 39, composed for the 1st Sunday after Trinity, represents for Bach the beginning of a new annual, liturgical cycle. He official assumed his position in Leipzig on that Sunday. It would appear that “Carl u Christel” written on the folder of this cantata could signify how one of the piles, each pile including an annual cycle of cantatas beginning with the 1st Sunday after Trinity, would be distributed. Unfortunately any clues that could confirm that this naming procedure was also used for the other cantata cycles have not survived for comparison. The folder for the 1st Sunday after Trinity of Cycle I was probably already lost during Bach’s lifetime. The 2nd annual cycle does not have any names indicated on the corresponding folder. This, however, may be due to the fact that Wilhelm Friedemann and Anna Magdalena were personally present at the time of the distribution of the manuscripts. The pattern that Dürr sees in the distribution of cycles would infer that it was CPE’s turn to receive the original parts for Cycle II, but that he was given the scores instead, hence the clear marking on BWV 39 (Cycle III) of “Carl” (the first mentioned receives the scores) and possibly Anna Magdalena’s addition of “Christel” indicating that JC Bach should receive the parts for this cycle.

What do we know about the “Christel” connection? This nickname for Johann Christian appears on some of Bach’s organ works, for instance, on the title page of the autograph manuscript of the Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544. Another important factor is that Johann Christian went to live with his brother CPE after Bach’s death in 1750. He lived with his half-brother in Berlin for five years. Alfred Dürr, et al, surmise that this indication, “Carl u Christel” was a marking that instructed that the entire 3rd annual cycle with BWV 39 on top of the pile should be divided between CPE Bach and Johann Christian with CPE Bach getting the scores and JC Bach the original parts. The experts have not yet been able to determine with any certainty how the sets of original parts were transmitted, but a large number of these sets seems to have come to the BB via the Voß Collection.

Now to return to BWV 51 with its indication “Carl”

The autograph title at the top of the first page of the score reads:

J. J. Cantata. Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen à Soprano solo. 1 Tromba 2 Violini Viola | e Cont. di Bach

On the left side from the top staff down, the following instruments are identified for the beginning of Mvt. 1: Tromba | Violino 1 |Violino 2 | Viola | Soprano | Continuo

Mvt. 1 appears on 5 pages from 1r (front side of first page) to the top of 3v (back side of third page) where mm 65-67 appear and under the continuo part a Sub signo. Right after this Bach writes Recit to indicate the beginning of the 2nd mvt. This mvt. is completed at the top of pg. 4r. After this the first 18 mm of the next mvt. marked Aria appear. The aria is completed on 4v after which Dal | Signo | da Capo is written. Mvt. 4 begins with only 2 Violini indicated. At the bottom of this page a correction for mm 32-33 of the 3rd mvt. appears. Mvt. 4 begins on 4v and continues to 8v. At the very end Bach writes: Fine | SDG.

It is not certain whether Bach’s score constitutes the first writing down of the music in this composition. There appear to be various levels of composition involved here, beginning with the 1st mvt. which is more like a clean copy that might indicate that Bach was working from a previously composed source. Robert Marshall in vol. 1 p. 19 of his The Compositional Process of J. S. Bach. A Study of the Autograph Scores of the Vocal Works (Princeton Studies in Music 4, 2 . Princeton 1972 (Manuscript) classifies this as a “revision copy”. There are fewer errors that Bach needed to correct than in the following mvts. Mvt. 2 and Mvt. 3 begin to show an increasing number of mistakes, but it is still conceivably possible that Bach might still be working from another source. Only Mvt. 4 is clearly a composing score, indicating that it was being freshly composed at the time when the score was written down.


2. The Original Set of Parts

This set came into CPE Bach’s possession as indicated in his estate (1790) where it is listed for sale along with the autograph score.

There are 10 original parts and 2 parts which were added later by WF Bach probably during his father’s lifetime. The latter two parts have a different watermark: HALLE, an indication also where the cantata was most likely performed with this expanded version. The two parts in question are Tromba II and Tympani.

The primary set of 10 parts was copied by mainly by Johann Ludwig Krebs with Bach himself copying completely the Soprano Solo part. Krebs copied the following: Tromba, Violino. 1.& 2., Viola, Continuo. Four anonymous copyists (identified as Va, Vb, Vc, and Vd) copied the doublets and the additional two continuo parts. In this they were assisted by Krebs and Bach later added the figures for the figured bass on the transposed continuo part.

CPE Bach added the title for the folder containing the parts and made changes to incorporate the expanded version by WF Bach.

The NBA KB also lists additional sources, all of them copies either of the original score or the parts. Two of these copies originated in the 2nd half of the 18th century, another two are from the 1st half of the 19th century and one from the 2nd half.


3. Possible Performances under Bach’s Direction and Authorship of the Text

(See watermark information above). Since the liturgical description by Bach is given as the 15th Sunday after Trinity, only September 17, 1730 can be possible as the date for the first performance (Dürr). Although there are no records that there were repeat performances of this cantata, the fact that Bach provided variants of the text would indicate that he may have used the alternate text as a means to distinguish between the 15th Sunday after Trinity and the “In ogni Tempo”. The librettist is unknown but the text of Mvt. 4 is based upon Johann Gramann’s chorale text (Königsberg, 1548); specifically, it is an additional verse that was added later to this chorale text to which the Alleluja was appended.


4. Critical Edition and Other Publications

Wilhelm Rust prepared the BG 12,2 edition which is dated: “Berlin, im Juli 1863”.

In 1936 Arnold Schering, basing his version mainly on the BG, published this cantata as a pocket score in the Eulenburg series. This was the edition used by Paul Horn for his Hänssler edition that came out in August 1962.

The NBA I/22 contains the score for this cantata (1987) with the KB by Matthias Wendt following a year later (published by Bärenreiter in 1988). The latter contains the parts added by WF Bach.


Based upon NBA KB I/22 pp. 66-101 and NBA KB I/15 pp. 196, 205-206
Contributed by Thomas Braatz (July 26, 2008)

Cantata BWV 51: Details
1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | Recordings of Individual Movements
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7 | Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10
The Need for Bach: A discussion of his life, Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen, BWV 51 and Ich habe genung, BWV 82 [S. Burton]

References: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-300 | Chorales BWV 301-350 | Chorales BWV 351-400 | Chorales BWV 401-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Vocal Works BWV Anh
BGA | NBA | BC: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | Sources
Discussions of BWV Numbering System: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3


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Last update: Thursday, June 01, 2017 11:29