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Cantata BWV 70
Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!
Cantata BWV 70a
Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!
Provenance

Thomas Braatz wrote (December 1, 2002):
BWV 70 - Provenance:

The only original source available is the original set of parts now located in the BB. It is highly probable that C.P.E. Bach inherited these parts, but all the usual proof that it was in his possession is lacking (Inventory of everything in his possession at the time of C.P.E.’ death does not list this and other cantatas for the end of the church year – BWV 60 etc.) It is very likely that C.P.E. gave them away during his lifetime. In Hauser’s thematic catalogs it appears with the note: ‘Rad.’ = Radowitz, in whose catalog it also appears. It is also found in the catalog of the Voß-Buch collection. There is no original cover. The present-day cover is dated 1819. The copyists of the parts are as follows:

Soprano – Johann Andreas Kuhnau [The vocal, trumpet and oboe parts had to be entirely redone – the original Weimar parts were no longer usable.]
Alto – Kuhnau
Tenore – Kuhnau
Basso – Kuhnau
Tromba – Kuhnau
Hautbois – Kuhnau
Violino 1 – contains mvts. 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (some of the original mvts. were still usable, but Kuhnau copied anew (Mvts. 4 & 6); J.S. Bach (Mvt. 7) and numerous markings and corrections – careful thought was given to the placement of the music on the page for easier reading (Did Bach play from this part himself as he conducted?)
Violino 1 – (contains on one sheet the original mvts. 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 with similar arrangement for easier reading) Kuhnau (Mvts. 1, 2); Copyist 1 (Mvts. 5-11)
Violino 2 – originally contained mvts. 1, 5, 8, 10, 11; later 2 (running across the bottom of the page); 7 was placed after 11; Kuhnau (Mvts. 2, 4, 6); Copyist 1 (Mvt. 7)
Violino 2 – contains mvts. 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Kuhnau (Mvts. 1 – beginning of 5); Copyist 1 (Rest of mvt. 5 to the end.)
Viola – originally contained mvts. 1, 5, 8, 10, 11. Kuhnau (Mvts. 2 & 7) Copyist 1 (Mvt. 9)
Violoncello obligato – has at the top “Dominica 26 post Trinit.” [none of the other parts has this] This part containing only mvt. 3 was copied by C. P. E. Bach and his handwriting can be dated to 1731.
Coninuo – Kuhnau (mvts. 1-9) Copyist 1 (mvts. 10, 11)
Bassono – Copyist 2 (mvts. 1-8); Copyist 3 (mvts. 9-11)
Continuo (transposed with figured bass) Copyist 4 (mvts. 1-8, 10 from ms. 26 to the end); Copyist 1 (fills in missing ms. From mvts. 3 – 4 missing ms., 9, 10 up to ms. 26)
Continuo (transposed with figured bass) – contains mvts. 1-6 only Kuhnau

There must, at one time, have been an original Weimar score (BWV 70a) which served as a source for mvts. 1, 3, 5, 8, 10, 11 of BWV 70. There must also have been a Leipzig score containing the original score of the newly added mvts. 2, 4, 5, 7, 9

The Text:

The text for BWV 70a is taken from Salomon Franck’s book of cantata texts, “Evangelische Sonn- und Festtages Andachten auf Hochfürstliche Gnädigste Verordnung zur Fürstlich Sächsischen Weimarischen Hof-Capell-Music in Geistlichen Arien erwecket von Salomon Francken, Fürstlich Sächsischen Gesamten Ober-Consistorial-Secretario in Weimar. Weimar und Jena bey Johann Felix Bielcken. 1717.” This is the text for the Weimar version (mvts. listed above) and was expanded (by whom?) for the mvts. added in the Leipzig version.

Here is a comparison of the original text for BWV 70a and the additional text (possibly by Bach himself?):
All the recitatives + the chorale (mvt. 7) are later additions that Bach undertook in Leipzig. What we have here is an amalgamation of two distinctly separate periods of composition, the Weimar and Leipzig periods, as well as two very different Sundays of the liturgical year. Because the main theme, the Day of Last Judgment, is the subject of both Sundays, the original Weimar cantata for Advent could easily be adapted for one of the final Sundays of the church year. The Franck-type cantata without recitatives and moving from one aria to another without a break, were modified according to the Neumeister-type cantata in which recitatives break up the flow of only arias.

The text of the added recitatives do not really follow any sort of logical thread or sequence. On the contrary, they jump back and forth between two thoughts: Concern about not being sufficiently prepared for the end of the world and the hope to be included among the chosen for whom the end time will be the beginning of true joy.

For mvt. 7 at the end of part 1, Bach added the final verse of the chorale, “Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele” (Freiberg, 1620). Although Franck indicated only the 1st line and a half of the final chorale (mvt. 11), it is obvious that he meant for the entire 5th vs. of the chorale, “Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht” by Christian Keymann (1658) to be sung.

Date of Composition:

The 1st version was composed in 1716 in Weimar. The 2nd, revised version of this cantata was composed for the 26th Sunday after Trinity on November 21, 1723 in Leipzig. This is the only known cantata for this Sunday of the church year. It may have been performed repeatedly with the following years being possible: 1725, 1728, 1731, 1736, 1739, 1741, 1742, 1744, 1747. Definitely documented is the performance given on November 18, 1731. At this time a new obbligato violoncello part for mvt. 3 was written out along with other changes.

The Trumpet Part(s):

Because of the layering caused by different versions, the tromba part(s) demonstrate a problematic situation that demands different instruments: mvts. 1, 2, and 10 are written for a ‘natural’ trumpet, a tromba in C. This latter instrument is also able to play the cantus firmus line in mvt. 9. These are the mvts. over which Bach had absolute control – he wrote them specifically for this instrument. Unfortunately, the chorale melodies are set and will not allow for the fact that some notes are difficult, if not impossible to play on this instrument. For this reason it is necessary to employ a tromba da tirarsi which more easily allows a tromba to play these notes, but even here there is a further difficulty: the addition of a second chorale meant that two types of tromba da tirarsi were necessary. According to the Csibas, mvt. 7 needs a tromba da tirarsi in G and mvt. 11 one in C.

 

Cantata BWV 70 & BWV 70a: Details & Complete Recordings of BWV 70 | Recordings of Individual Movements from BWV 70 | Details of BWV 70a | Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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: ýDecember 29, 2012 ý13:31:16