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Bach Cantatas Mailing List (BCML)
Year 2005

2nd Round of Cantata Discussions - Introduction

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 1, 2005):
The 2nd round of cantata discussions is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2005.
When we started the first round in late 1999, I had little hope that it would continue for more than a couple of weeks. Somehow we have managed to complete the 1st cycle (210 cantatas) along four full years. Nevertheless, I am quite optimistic about the upcoming second cycle for several reasons.

a. The leading of the discussions will be shared between several members and not only one, as was the case in most of the 1st round.
b. We have much more members than what we had in the 1st cycle; many of the new members are potential contributors. When it started, we had about 20 members. Recently we have exceeded the 450 mark. New members continue to join.
c. More recordings have appeared - Koopman and Suzuki have made a major progress, Leusink has competed his, Gardiner BCP first two volumes have just been released, Werner was reissued, a Canadian OVPP cycle is scheduled to start soon, and many more.
d. Two complete cantata cycles are available for listening through the Web. David Zale presents the H&L cycle at his website and the Leusink cycle is presented at the BCW. It means that every member will be able to listen to at least two recordings of the cantata under discussion.
e. I am working closely with several members to avoid flame wars. So far they are willing to co-operate with me.

Two key factors are essential to make the 2nd round successful:
a. Active contributions from many members.
b. Openness to other opinions. The BCML includes professional musicians, semi-professional and amateurs; musicologists, experts and non-experts; fans with many years of listening and fans at their early stages of acquaintance with the cantata world.

This is an immensely rich world with and endless possibilities for interpretation and enjoyment. We come from all around the world and from different cultures. We have one thing in common. Let us do our best to share our enthusiasm and knowledge with each other and learn from each other.

I hope to see many of you participating in the discussions.

I wish you all a great and happy Bach Year!


Leading the cantata discussions

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 9, 2005):
As you most probably know, this 2nd round, which stated in January 2005, we discuss the cantatas chronologically, in the order J.S. Bach initially performed them. The chronological order allows us following Bach's development as a cantata composer. The discussion can cover every aspect relating to the cantata of the week: the music, the text, the recordings, a certain movement, etc.

In the 1st round of cantata discussions (1999-2003) the discussions were usually led by me. In order to make this 2nd round of cantata discussions successful, we have agreed that this responsibility would be shared among the members. Each person, who has agreed to take responsibility, is in charge for a period of 5 to 10 weeks, as he/she wishes. At the beginning of each week, this person sends a short notice to the BCML, reminding the members of the cantata for discussion that week. He/she has the option of adding some background, personal opinion, etc.

IMO, this concept has worked fine, and the cantata discussions are live and kicking. The leaders so far were Neil Halliday, Thomas Shepherd, Peter Bright, Santu de Silva and, starting this week, Thomas Braatz. I am sincerely grateful to them all, as well as to the contributors to the discussions.

The schedule of discussion leaders is covered until July 2006. See:
Year 2005:
Year 2006:

More volunteers to lead the cantata discussions are needed. With more than 630 members of the BCML, many of them are experts in this field, I am hoping that more members would step forward and take upon themselves the responsibility of leading the cantata discussions. This is not a very difficult task and it helps putting the discussions into the right track.

Every member willing to lead the discussions for a certain period of time, please write to me, either through the BCML or off-list.


A new series for discussion?

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 14, 2005):
Indra Hughes wrote:
< Here in New Zealand we are having the Bach Cantatas played on the radio on the day for which they were written (or as close as possible thereto). Aren't we lucky! >
I am enjoying the chronological discussion of the cantatas because frankly I have not encountered many of the early works. It might be interesting one year to discuss the cantatas in groups according to their position in the church year: all the Michelmas cantatas or all Easter Day cantatas or all the Trinity 21 cantatas. It might reveal some common themes and approaches which Bach takes in these recurring cycles. The NBA groups the cantatas in this fashion.

Aryeh Oron wrote (November 21, 2005):
[To Douglas Cowling] The possibility of discussing all the cantatas composed for the same event was considered when we discussed last year the various options for the 2nd cycle of cantata discussions. The conclusion at that time was that each cantata has so much to offer, that discussing more than one cantata per week would not be feasible. So I believe that you have to wait patiently with this idea until this cycle of cantata discussions is over (end of 2008) (-:

Another thought: you are scheduled to lead the cantata discussions for 10-week period starting in February 2006. As a leader of the discussions you can bring in any topic related to the weekly cantata, including other cantatas composed for the same event.

Douglas Cowling wrote (November 21, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] And then we'll start discussing the cantatas by orchestration!



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Last update: żNovember 4, 2014 ż10:51:09