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3rd Cycle Of Bach Cantatas in Leipzig

Bach's Work Schedule for 3rd Cantata Cycle

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 11, 2007):
1. End of the von Ziegler text-based cantatas and the beginning of the 3rd annual cantata cycle

2. Complete text for the July 2nd cantata given at the end of the calendar.

3. What a few cantatas can tell us about Bach's unchanged work methods.

Calendar (including the end of the previous cantata cycle based on von Ziegler's texts)

Sunday, May 20, 1725 1st Day of Pentecost/Whitsunday:
BWV 74 "Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten" Mariane von Ziegler

Monday, May 21, 1725 2nd Day of Pentecost: BWV 68 "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" Mariane von Ziegler

Tuesday May 22, 1725 3rd Day of Pentecost: BWV 175 "Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen" Mariane von Ziegler

Sunday, May 27, 1725 Trinity Sunday: BWV 176 "Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding" Mariane von Ziegler

* End of Bach's Yearly Cycle*


Bach's 3rd Annual Cantata Cycle begins on:

Sunday, June 3, 1725 1st Sunday after Trinity

Sunday, June 10, 1725 2nd Sunday after Trinity

[June 14, 1725: Death of Salomo Franck]

Sunday, June 17, 1725 3rd Sunday after Trinity: "Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ" (per omnes versus)
Chorale text: Johann Agricola?/ Paul Speratus?

Sunday, June 24, 1725 Birth of John the Baptist Feast Day/4th Sunday after Trinity: "Gelobet sei der Herr, der Gott Israel" Erdmann Neumeister

Sunday, July 1, 1725 5th Sunday after Trinity: "Der Segen des Herrn machet reich ohne Mühe" [Concerto à 4 Voci e 4 Stromenti] Erdmann Neumeister

Monday, July 2, 1725 Mary's Annunciation/Visitation Feast Day: "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" Erdmann Neumeister

Sunday, July 8, 1725 6th Sunday after Trinity: "Wer sich rächet, an dem wird sich der Herr wieder rächen"
[Concerto à 4 Voci e 4 Stromenti] Erdmann Neumeister

Sunday, July 15, 1725 7th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, July 22, 1725 8th Sunday after Trinity

Sunday, July 29, 1725 9th Sunday after Trinity: BWV 168 "Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort" Salomo Franck
Friday, August 3, 1725 Nameday Congratulatory Cantata (Serenade) evening: BWV 205 "Drama: Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft" Picander (Henricius)

Sunday, August 5, 1725 10th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, August 12, 1725 11th Sunday after Trinity

Sunday, August 19, 1725 12th Sunday after Trinity: BWV 137 "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren" (per omnes versus) Chorale text: Joachim Neander

Sunday, August 26, 1725 13th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, September 2, 1725 14th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, September 9, 1725 15th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, September 16, 1725 16th Sunday after Trinity

Wednesday, Thursday, September 19, 20: Organ recitals at St. Sophia's Church in Dresden

Sunday, September 23, 1725 17th Sunday after Trinity
Saturday, September 29, 1725 Michaelmas
Sunday, September 30, 1725 18th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, October 2, 1725 19th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, October 9, 1725, 20th Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, October 16, 1725, 21st Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, October 23, 1725, 22nd Sunday after Trinity
Sunday, October 30, 1725, 23rd Sunday after Trinity

Monday, October 31, 1725, Reformation Day: BWV 79 "Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild" (unknown
librettist)
..

December 25, 1725, Christmas Day, BWV 110 "Unser Mund sei voll Lachens" (unknown librettist)

At this point, BWV 57, BWV 151, BWV 28, BWV 16, BWV 32, BWV 13, BWV 72 follow in close order

__________________________________________

2.

Festo Visit. Maria.
Früh zu St. Thomä, nachmittags zu St. Nicol.

Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn, und mein Geist freuet
sich GOttes meines Heylandes
.

Recit.

Elende Magd! wie ist dir doch geschehen?
Wer bin ich, daß ich Gnade find?
O! GOtt du hast mich angesehen,
Es werden drum von jetzund an,
Auch alle Kindes=Kind durch ihr Bezeigen weisen,
Daß sie mich seelig preisen.
Denn er hat große Ding an mir gethan,
Der dessen Macht in aller Welt bekannt,
Und der der Heyland wird genannt.
Wie sein Erbarmen ewig pflegt zu währen,
Das können, die ihn fürchten, schon erklären.

Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern, Abraham und seinem
Saamen ewiglich.

Chorus repetatur ab initio.

________________________________________

3.
The cantatas for July 29th (BWV 168) and August 3rd (BWV 205) show all the usual signs of autograph 'composing' scores that were composed under great pressure of time: There are more than the usual number of errors/corrections, the handwriting for the notation is slanted and "flüchtig" ("fleeting") rather than vertical and deliberately formed (a clean copy would be more like printed music). As Robert Marshall puts it (NBA KB I/19, p. 127): "Die flüchtige, korrekturenreiche Schrift der autographen Partitur läßt weiterhin vermuten, daß die Kantate kurz vor dem 29. Juli 1725, dem mutmaßlichen Erstaufführungsdatum, komponiert wurde." (" Based upon the appearance the autograph score, having a handwriting which can be described as fleeting and loaded with many corrections, one can furthermore imagine that this cantata was composed shortly before July 29, 1725, the presumed date of its first performance.") Marshall reaffirms the observation made by other Bach experts who have worked very intensively with the original materials: the great haste with which the score is composed and the copies are made point to a situation not unlike that of other composers of church music in Bach's time, one in which the deadlines for a first performance without rehearsals (or hardly any at all and then only just prior to a performance) are always imminent. Under these conditions, the sight-reading abilities of the performers would be a requirement upon which Bach would have to depend on a regular basis.

For BWV 168 there is the usual group of copyists, 6 of them: Johann Andreas Kuhnau, Christian Gottlob Meißner, Johann Heinrich Bach, and 3 unidentified copyists in addition to J.S. Bach who added the figured bass, articulation, etc. and made many corrections. Yes, and once again J.S. Bach did not finish composing the final chorale until JAK had already copied out 10 parts. It was left to CGM to add the chorale to JAK's parts while JAK was copying out the Primary Continuo part where finally the chorale also appears in JAK's handwriting. Unfortunately the parts for BWV 205 are not extant, but it is highly likely that most of the copyists for BWV 168 would also have returned for BWV 205. It is also very likely that another cantata had been quickly composed and copied out on August 4th for performance on Sunday morning, August 5, 1725. It would appear then that not much had changed from the hectic composing and performing schedule which Bach had experienced during the increased scheduled of performances for Christmas-Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost earlier that same year (1725). The impression that Bach was now taking a break from hisarduous composing schedule is very misleading. Simply because we can find no direct evidence for cantatas being performed on many Sundays during the 1st half of the 3rd cantata cycle, does not mean that anyone should assume with having any direct proof that Bach was performing many cantatas by other composers (he did that, to be sure, during 1726 with a series of 18 cantatas by Johann Ludwig Bach) or simply repeating some that he had already composed. Based upon the short insight obtained from looking at the cantatas we do have for July 29 and August 3, 1725, it becomes clear that Bach's short-term composing/copying/performing schedule was quite
evidently still in operation during the middle of a period which might appear superficially as a time when
Bach lacked inspiration and/or might have been discouraged by a number of unexpected difficulties that had arisen during the 2nd annual cycle.

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 11, 2007):
Correction:

There is an omission in the cantata text.

End of Recit.:

"Wie sein Erbarmen ewig pflegt zu währen,
Das können, die ihn fürchten, schon erklären.

Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern, Abraham und seinem
Saamen ewiglich.

Chorus repetatur ab initio
."

Insert "ARIA" before the section beginning: "Wie er geredet hat...."

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 12, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< For BWV 168 there is the usual group of copyists, 6 of them: Johann Andreas Kuhnau, Christian Gottlob Meißner, Johann Heinrich Bach, and 3 unidentified copyists in addition to J. S. Bach who added the figured bass, articulation, etc. and made many corrections. >
In truth, I have never been very clear on this hypothetical scenario. There are six copyists, all working simultaneously from a hastily written and corrected composers score? Was Bach adding and correcting as the copyists worked?

< Yes, and once again J.S. Bach did not finish composing the final chorale until JAK had already copied out 10 parts. >
The evidence for this precise chronology is?

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 12, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>In truth, I have never been very clear on this hypothetical scenario. There are six copyists, all working simultaneously from a hastily written and corrected composers score?<<
No, the main task to begin with was given to Johann Andreas Kuhnau, who copied out the basic set of parts from the autograph score, the ink of which was barely dry and as in this common scenario, the last mvt. (4-pt chorale) was still missing (not yet composed by Bach while JAK had already been copying most of the other parts from what was available to him in the score. By the time JAK had completed about 10 different parts sans final chorale, Bach finished the composition of the chorale and probably handed that final sheet to JAK who then could add it to the end of the Primary Continuo part. JAK, probably leaving the session at this point (he had copied out the larger portion of all the parts), now gives the score to Meißner who then adds the final chorale to each of the unfinished parts. JAK then gives the entirely completed Primary Continuo part to Copyist 2 who copies it as is: this is the doublet of the Primary Continuo part. At some point J. S. Bach adds the figures to JAK's Primary Continuo part. Johann Heinrich Bach, copies and transposes from the Primary Continuo part to complete the transposed (and possibly figured by him) continuo part. Copyist 3 then makes a copy of this transposed continuo part but no figures are added.

[so that I do not have to rewrite the scenario above again:] I just discovered that the 1st and 2nd violin parts copied by JAK and missing the last mvt., were copied by Copyist 1 and are missing the last mvt. as well. This means that Copyist 1 began creating the violin doublets immediately after JAK had finished copying them and before Meißner could add the final mvt. to JAK's copy. Thus Copyist 1 enters the copy session before JAK completes the final part that he copied: the Primary Continuo part. Meißner adds the final chorale to both violin doublets.

>>Was Bach adding and correcting as the copyists worked?<<
That would be an entirely reasonable assumption. The NBA KB lists all of the corrections and additions that Bach made to the parts after he had finished composing the final chorale near the middle of this copy session.

>>The evidence for this precise chronology is?<<
There are precisely 11 parts to which Meißner had to add the final chorale which had not yet been completely composed by Bach while JAK was copying out these 9 of these parts (not the 2 violin doublets which were copied by Copyist 1).

John Reese wrote (July 13, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Correction:
There is an omission in the cantata text.
End of Recit.:
"Wie sein Erbarmen ewig pflegt zu währen,
Das können, die ihn fürchten, schon erklären.
Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern, Abraham und seinem
Saamen ewiglich.
Chorus repetatur ab initio
."
Insert "ARIA" before the section beginning: "Wie er geredet hat...." >
I have written a reconstruction of this cantata, and my source has quite a bit more text. In all, there are four recitatives and three arias.

Do you happen to know what is meant by "Chorus repetatur ab initio"? Does this refer to the opening or closing chorus? Or does it mean the closing chorus is a reprise of the opening chorus, with different text (as in the Magnificat in D (BWV 243))?

My interpretation was that it was a reprise of the opening chorus with the same text. My approach in the reconstruction was to mimic the opening chorus precisely except for the closing ritornello, which was dropped (as per Bach's custom on closing choruses).

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 13, 2007):
John Reese wrote:
>>I have written a reconstruction of this cantata, and my source has quite a bit more text. In all, there are four recitatives and three arias.<<
Based upon the extreme and unnatural brevity of the text for "Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn" presented as a facsimile on p. 180 of NBA KB I/17.2, I think that the NBA KB editors have omitted a substantial portion (I estimate 2 pages of text from the cantata booklet) of this cantata. This omission is not immediately apparent from viewing the facsimiles that they present since the page numbers of the original booklet given at the top are always "0". The continuation indicator at the bottom of the page where the first and only recitative ends simply states "ARIA", which would mean that an aria (or as it appears in the NBA KB, possibly only a portion of an aria - Arias and Choruses are always given in bold-face type in Bach's cantata booklets) would follow, but the final text at the top of the next page (in the facsimile series concludes with "Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern, Abaraham und seinem Saamen ewiglich", a portion (not the conclusion!) of the Magnificat after which the entire 1st mvt. chorus would be repeated.

>>Do you happen to know what is meant by "Chorus repetatur ab initio"? Does this refer to the opening or closing chorus? Or does it mean the closing chorus is a reprise of the opening chorus, with different text (as in the Magnificat in D)? My interpretation was that it was a reprise of the opening chorus with the same text. My approach in the reconstruction was to mimic the opening chorus precisely except for the closing ritornello, which was dropped (as per Bach's custom on closing choruses).<<
I think that, as you suggest, the phrase: "Chorus repetatur ab initio" means that the entire 1st chorus is repeated.

The text that I had given as the only Aria is a section of the Magnificat which may have been treated as a direct quotation of the Magnificat melody sung by 1) a single voice with obbligato instrument(s) or 2) a duet with one voice, probably the soprano singing the Magnificat melody (like a chorale) and a 2nd voice creating embellishments around this.

In essence, what I gave as an aria text may have been the final ain this cantata (designated as an "ARIA") but based upon what sounds like a chorale melody with one voice (or the only vocal part) singing the Magnificat Tone or a Duet (marked only as "ARIA" as BWV 163/5) where one voice (or possibly a trumpet or the violins [at least 4 of these] playing the Magnificat Tone in unison against the embellishment of the voice part). There is a very remote possibility that final text in question may have been treated as a 4-pt chorale (see BWV 324, a 4-pt setting very likely from a missing cantata like this one).

The text of this cantata (the portions not directly quoted from the Magnificat) are by Erdmann Neumeister. Is this the text which you are using? Does your first recitative have the same text as the one I listed?

John Reese wrote (July 14, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< The text of this cantata (the portions not directly quoted from the Magnificat) are by Erdmann Neumeister. Is this the text which you are using? Does your first recitative have the same text as the one I listed? >
Here is the full text, from Z. Phillip Ambrose's website. It is missing a recitative (# 6):

Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn

Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn, und mein Geist freuet sich Gottes meines Heylandes.

[2.] Recit. Elende Magd! wie ist dir doch geschehen? Wer bin ich, daß ich Gnade find? O! Gott du hast mich angesehen, Es werden drum von jetzund an, Auch alle Kindes-Kind durch ihr Bezeigen weisen, Daß sie mich seelig preisen. Denn er hat große Ding an mir gethan, Der dessen Macht in aller Welt bekannt, Und der der Heyland wird genannt. Wie sein Erbarmen ewig pflegt zu währen, Das können, die ihn fürchten, schon erklären.

[3.] Aria Heilig, Heilig, heist sein Nahme, Der mein Elend angesehn, Wie er mir zu Hülffe kame. Muste meine Noth vergehn. Allmacht hat mich hoch erhoben, Güt und Mitleid mich versöhnt, Jauchtzt ihr Himmel und erthönt. Ewig bist du Gott zu loben.

[4.] Recit. Mit seinem Arm, übt er gewalt'ge Streiche, Und die in ihres Hertzens Sinn, (Ob sie sich gleich von außen dafür scheuen,) Hoffartig sind, die weiß er zu zerstreuen: Er stößet die gewaltig leben Vom Stuhl dahin, Und kan die Niedrigen dagegen hoch erheben.

[5.] Aria Sein Arm zerstreut und übt Gewalt, Zerbricht den Bogen und die Pfeile, Hoffärtigs Hertz erschrecke bald, Erwarte nicht der Donner-Keile, Nur die zu seinen Füßen liegen, Benetzet mit der Thränen-Lauf, Die werden ewig mit ihm siegen, Er hilffet den Elenden auf.

[7.] Aria Ich leide Durst; es hungert meine Seele, Nichts ist allhier, so mein Verlangen stillt, Und solte gleich kein weltlich Gut mir fehlen, Mein Mangel doch aus Unvergnügen qvilt (sic). Nur deine Güte, Stillt mein Gemüthe, Kein nichtigs Guth der Seelen Hunger speist, Nur dein Erbarmen, Schafft Rath mir Armen, Gott Zebaoth ersättge meinen Geist.

[8.] Recit. Es fällt ihm ein; Er dencket der Barmhertzigkeit, Der Beystand ist dem Diener schon bereit, Israel soll geholffen seyn.

[9. Dictum] Wie er geredet hat unsern Vätern, Abraham und seinem Saamen ewiglich.

Chorus repetatur ab initio.

The English translation of the missing text is:

If hungry thou, come then forth!
Here is Israel's keeper,
Who gives him fill of ev'ry blessing
And empty leaves the rich.

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 14, 2007):
John Reese wrote:
>>Here is the full text, from Z. Phillip Ambrose's website. It is missing a recitative (# 6):<<
Thanks. I wonder why the recitative is missing when the complete text for this cantata booklet must be available somewhere. Did Ambrose get this from another incomplete facsimile?

In any case, this is then the almost complete Erdmann Neumeister text which Bach very probably set to music and performed on Monday, July 2, 1725.

Interesting: the chorus sings the dictum (which could still be a 4-pt setting of the Magnificat tone) at the end followed by a repetition of the first choral music. As festive music, Bach must have used wind instruments which were missing in the Sunday cantatas which stand in close proximity.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 14, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>In truth, I have never been very clear on this hypothetical scenario. There are six copyists, all working simultaneously from a hastily written and corrected composers score?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< No, the main task to begin with was given to Johann Andreas Kuhnau, who copied out the basic set of parts from the autograph score, the ink of which was barely dry >
Thank you for the detailed response. I maintain an open mind on the composition scenarios, based on interpretation of the proposed copyists. I hope you would agree, identifying various copyists based on handwriting (note shape?) is highly subjective, despite the scholarly support

It does not add to the credibility of the scenario to interject colorful opinions such as 'the ink of which was barely dry'. How could there be anything in the surviving documents to support this?

Most of us on BCML, I think, distinguish between historical fiction and scholarship. Some of us enjoy both. But the language of one is distinct from the other. Mixing data and opinion drifts into the realm of fiction.

Why not let the proposed data, interpretation of the handwriting style of parts, stand on its own? It is already controversial, and gains nothing by being conflated with an unsupported opinion. Indeed, a bit of credibility is lost.

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 14, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I maintain an open mind on the composition scenarios, based on interpretation of the proposed copyists.<<
As all BCML members should so that they may come to their own tentative conclusions based on reasonable and up-to-date research regarding this matter.

EM: >>I hope you would agree, identifying various copyists based on handwriting (note shape?) is highly subjective, despite the scholarly support.<<
No, I disagree. Handwriting experts along with the editors of the NBA KBs have now been able to distinguish much more clearly between the various handwriting types. This was not the case more than 50 years ago when Bach experts were still claiming that Anna Magdalena Bach copied out a large portion of Bach's cantata parts. With the help of an expert handwriting specialist/analyst, Yoshitake Kobayashi, who has concentrated on Bach's handwriting and can distinguish various writing styles that Bach used throughout his life and Alfred Dürr's work in distinguishing between the various copyists that Bach employed, it has been possible to remove the 'highly subjective identification' that characterized the type of information available before c. 1950.

EM: >>It does not add to the credibility of the scenario to interject colorful opinions such as 'the ink of which was barely dry'. How could there be anything in the surviving documents to support this?<<
These opinions which you mislabel as 'colorful opinions' interjected in my commentary are based upon the research of Alfred Dürr and others who have examined these cantata scores and parts very carefully. In case you have missed it in my previous postings, here is what Alfred Dürr states about Bach's composing and copying procedures:

[Alfred Dürr "Bachs Werk vom Einfall bis zur Drucklegung" Wiesbaden, 1989, p. 14]

"Der ganze Vorgang der Herstellung des Aufführungsmaterials ist in Leipzig genau geregelt; denn jede Minute ist kostbar: Bach gibt die tintenfrische Partitur einem (vermutlich hierfür eigens bezahlten) Thomaner, der einen einfachen Stimmensatz herausschreibt. Ist dies geschehen, so schreiben einige jüngere und im Kopieren noch nicht so sattelfeste Thomaner anhand der vorhandenen ausgezogenen Stimmen die benötigten Dubletten für Violine I, II, Continuo und Orgel, manchmal auch Ripienstimmen für die Sänger. Bach beteiligt sich zuweilen am Ausschreiben; danach revidiert er das Stimmenmaterial, wobei er Fehler korrigiert (viele bleiben allerdings stehen), Vortragszeichen einträgt (sie fehlen in der Partitur meistens noch), die Orgelstimme beund häufig auch musikalische Verbesserungen in die Stimmen hineinkorrigiert, die er nur selten rückwirkend auch in der Partitur nachzutragen sich die Mühe macht."

The main points here are [the context here is the production of church cantatas]:

1. Bach followed a tight schedule ("every minute was precious") which necessitated an orderly procedure that had to be maintained in preparing the performing parts.

2. Bach first handed his score ("the ink was hardly dry") to a Thomaner, who was probably paid out of Bach's pocket and who copied out the basic set of parts [btw, this task normally fell to Johann Andreas Kuhnau].

3. Next some younger Thomaner, not yet as adept at copying out parts, copied out the usual doublets for the violin 1, 2, continuo and organ parts, sometimes also the ripieno vocal parts.

4. Sometimes Bach himself helped out with copying a part or portion thereof.

5. Then Bach would check over each part, making corrections as necessary but many errors were not caught and were left uncorrected.

6. Bach would add the articulation [phrasing, dynamics, embellishments, etc.] which usually was not indicated in the score.

7. Bach would add the figured bass to the organ part.

8. Often Bach would make musical improvements in the parts, improvements he would not bother [btw, or did not have time for] to correct in his score.

EM: >>Most of us on BCML, I think, distinguish between historical fiction and scholarship. Some of us enjoy both. But the language of one is distinct from the other. Mixing data and opinion drifts into the realm of fiction.<<
You are obviously speaking for yourself in this matter without having sufficiently studied the material that is available on the research that has been conducted. The data on Bach's handwriting and the handwriting of his copyists is there and the expert opinions on what the data means is one that needs to be considered seriously without falling back upon the outdated notions/opinions of Bach experts before 1950. The choice lies with any BCML member to make a reasonable decision about this matter.

EM: >>Why not let the proposed data, interpretation of the handwriting style of parts, stand on its own? It is already controversial, and gains nothing by being conflated with an unsupported opinion. Indeed, a bit of credibility is lost.<<
Until the time comes, and it will come at some point in the future, when all of the autograph scores and original parts have been digitized and become available for very close inspection (being able to zoom in on important details) on the internet, it would make more sense to rely upon some trusted expert opinion, as such experts will have already spent a good portion of their lifetimes closely examining and pondering what they have discovered while studying these scores and parts. At such a point of time in the future, we will be able to make a more reliable determination on our own whether any credibility on the part of these experts has been lost or not. This would be a more judicious course of action to follow rather than prematurely elevating oneself to the level of an expert who can reliably determine what is fact or fiction without having obtained sufficient experience in these matters.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 15, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< [Alfred Dürr "Bachs Werk vom Einfall bis zur Drucklegung" Wiesbaden, 1989, p. 14]
"Der ganze Vorgang der Herstellung des Aufführungsmaterials ist in
Leipzig genau geregelt; denn jede Minute ist kostbar: Bach gibt die tintenfrische Partitur einem (vermutlich hierfür eigens bezahlten) Thomaner, der einen einfachen Stimmensatz herausschreibt. Ist dies geschehen, so schreiben einige jüngere und im Kopieren noch nicht so sattelfeste Thomaner anhand der vorhandenen ausgezogenen Stimmen die benötigten Dubletten für Violine I, II, Continuo und Orgel, manchmal auch Ripienstimmen für die Sänger. Bach beteiligt sich zuweilen am Ausschreiben; danach revidiert er das Stimmenmaterial, wobei er Fehler korrigiert (viele bleiben allerdings stehen), Vortragszeichen einträgt (sie fehlen in der Partitur meistens noch), die Orgelstimme beziffert und häufig auch musikalische Verbesserungen in die Stimmen hineinkorrigiert, die er nur selten rückwirkend auch in der Partitur nachzutragen sich die Mühe macht."
The main points here are [the context here is the production of church cantatas]:
1. Bach followed a tight schedule ("every minute was precious") which necessitated an orderly procedure that had to be maintained in preparing the performing parts.
2. Bach first handed his score ("the ink was hardly dry") to a Thomaner, who was probably paid out of Bach's pocket and who copied out the basic set of parts [btw, this task normally fell to
Johann Andreas Kuhnau]. >
Could you point out which phrase, from Dürr, you have translated as 'the ink was barely dry'? My post was not necessarily to disagree with the overall scenario, but only this embellishment, which I suggested was invented by you.

Alain Bruguieres wrote (July 15, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski]
I can't speak German, but my guess would be 'tintenfrische'...

< Could you point out which phrase, from Dürr, you have translated as 'the ink was barely dry'? My post was not necessarily to disagree with the overall scenario, but only this embellishment, which I suggested was invented by you. >

Thanks to all for the improvement in climate and the interesting and courteous discussions.

Richard Mix wrote (July 16, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I maintain an open mind on the composition scenarios, based on interpretation of the proposed copyists.<<
And Thomas Braatz replied:
< As all BCML members should so that they may come to their own tentative conclusions based on reasonable and up-to-date research regarding this matter. >
Surely it is sufficiently clear that BCML members are expected to entertain unreasonable research as well! ;-)

I shared Ed's confusion about who was responsible for the frische Tinte, and am glad the atribution is set straight, not that it particularly bolsters Dürr's case either. Perhaps he didnt think that in context it would be taken literally.

I cant help smiling at the cut-off date of 1950 for "up to date". If we now judge so harshly a dark age (also before Rifkin, Parrott & Butt!), how confident can we be in Kobayshi's judgments before they have stood another 50 years?

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 16, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>I shared Ed's confusion about who was responsible for the frische Tinte, and am glad the atribution is set straight, not that it particularly bolsters Dürr's case either. Perhaps he didnt think that in context it would be taken literally.<<
Or very likely Dürr did expect it to be taken literally because he saw and understood the evidence presented by the sequence of copying; for instance, that the belated entry of the final chorale (a fairly common occurrence in the copying out of parts) by a different individual or even Bach meant that Bach was still composing the final chorale while the main copyist was copying out what was available. Bach then handed the freshly inked copy to another copyist who then entered the results on each of the unfinished parts. The fact that Bach's cantata scores give clear evidence of being composed in a hurry also serves to bolster Dürr's observation that the 'frische Tinte' is to be taken literally.

RM: >>I cant help smiling at the cut-off date of 1950 for "up to date". If we now judge so harshly a dark age (also before Rifkin, Parrott & Butt!), how confident can we be in Kobayshi's judgments before they have stood another 50 years?<<
As already indicated, in perhaps less than 50 years (10?, 20?) every individual who cares to will be able to examine very closely every scrap of evidence involving the autograph scores and parts. I think we will discover and confirm (if we can even bring ourselves up to the necessary level of expertise in handwriting analysis to offer a sound judgment) that certain experts like Kobayashi and Dürr will continue to be recognized as thorough, conscientious, responsible, conservative, and not indulging in fanciful interpretations. One indication of this is how the basic analysis of who copied which parts (or portions thereof) has provided a solid foundation upon which others have been able to build: they have subsequently discovered the exact identification of many of the copyists which Dürr could only designate as Main Copyist 1, 2, or 3 or Anonymous 1a, 1b, 1c, etc.

Neil Mason wrote (July 17, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< As already indicated, in perhaps less than 50 years (10?, 20?) every individual who cares to will be able to examine very closely every scrap of evidence involving the autograph scores and original parts. >
Do you really think you would be able to tell whether the ink had been wet or not from a digital reproduction made nearly 300 years later?

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 17, 2007):
Neil Mason wrote:
>>Do you really think you would be able to tell whether the ink had been wet or not from a digital reproduction made nearly 300 years later?<<
No, but much of the other evidence may still be there for observation and confirmation. Here are some possibilities:

1). As Bach continued composing moving from the penultimate mvt. to the final 4-pt. chorale, it may be possible to detect from the fact that ink quality does not change that Bach has moved directly on from one mvt. to another without a pause. The quality of the quill's nib (its thickness among other things) and the ever-changing quality of the ink would give confirmation that Bach did not pause between the completion of one movement and the beginning of the last mvt.

2) The fact that JAK omitted the final chorale in every part he copied except the Primary Continuo part and the fact that Meißner had to insert the missing chorale in each of JAK's other parts make it appear quite obvious that Bach handed the 'tintenfrische' last page with the chorale to JAK so that he could copy directly from it and create a complete continuo part.

We will not be able to reconstruct the conditions that existed when this transfer from Bach to JAK occurred, but the scenario that Dürr has described is the most reasonable assumption that can be made about a very freshly composed 4-pt. chorale and the immediate use to which it was put by JAK when he began copying it at the end of the Primary Continuo part.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 17, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
<< As already indicated, in perhaps less than 50 years (10?, 20?) every individual who cares to will be able to examine very closely every scrap of evidence involving the autograph scores and original parts. >>
Neil Mason wrote:
< Do you really think you would be able to tell whether the ink had been wet or not from a digital reproduction made nearly 300 years later? >
Thank you for noticing, and returning to my original point.

I also note with pleasure the 'generosity of spirit' in your posts. Perhaps it will be contagious?

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 17, 2007):
Neil Mason wrote:
>>Do you really think you would be able to tell whether the ink had been wet or not from a digital reproduction made nearly 300 years later?<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< No, but much of the other evidence may still be there for observation and confirmation. Here are some possibilities:
it may be possible to detect from the fact that ink quality does not change that Bach has moved directly on from one mvt. to another without a pause. [...]
the ever-changing quality of the ink would give confirmation that Bach did not pause between the completion of one movement and the beginning of the last mvt. >
Additional comment would be superfluous, unless 'ever-changing' is a typo for 'never-changing'. In either case, Neil's comment is to the point.

Alain Bruguieres wrote (July 17, 2007):
[To Ed Myskowski]:I perceive an upward leap in the level of 'generosity of spirit' on the list during the last few days. Agreed, we could hardly have stepped down. Still I'm very grateful for that, I've already said so but I don't mind repeating it.

As far as 'fresk ink' is concerned, I fail to see any difficulty. When you write with pen and ink, you must allow sufficient time for the ink to dry before you handle the document again. So, when Dürr refers to tintenfrische scores, I naturally assume that those scores have been handled before the ink was entirely dry, and that leaves some objective clues (eg blurred shapes, streaks of ink) as anyone who has ever written with pen and ink can experience. If not, why bother to allow for drying time?

Now of course it may be that 'tintenfrische' is just a manner of speaking. But that would be a bit surprising from one so meticulously precise as Dürr.

Richard Mix wrote (July 18, 2007):
[To Thomas Braatz] We all understand how a sequence of events can be infered, but without a smoking gun like ink fingerprints demonstrably belonging to a copyist (and demonstrably the same ink at that!), we are in the dark about the interval between any two steps and whether signs of haste are due to rehearsal or performace deadlines, as far as I can see.

As one with a strong empirical prejudice who considers the burden of proof to be on your side, I try not to read much into Bach's habit of writing movements in decreasing order of difficulty; clearly one can justify the concluding choral on other grounds than practicality. But your previous remark (re BWV 158, isnt it?) is intriguing:

I just discovered that the 1st and 2nd violin parts copied by JAK and missing the last mvt., were copied by Copyist 1 and are missing the last mvt. as well. ... Meißner add[ed] the final chorale to both violin doublets.

This is suggestive of a scenario where Kuhnau prepares a set of parts from which rehearsal parts are copied before the chorale is needed for the actual service.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 18, 2007):
Alain Bruguières wrote:
< As far as 'fresk ink' is concerned, I fail to see any difficulty. When you write with pen and ink, you must allow sufficient time for the ink to dry before you handle the document again. So, when Dürr refers to tintenfrische scores, I naturally assume that those scores have been handled before the ink was entirely dry, and that leaves some objective clues (eg blurred shapes, streaks of ink) as anyone who has ever written with pen and ink can experience. If not, why bother to allow for drying time? >
I would be interested to hear whether your assumption re Dürr's inspection of the scores can be confirmed. If so, 'barely dry' would be better stated as 'not even dry'.

I would also point out the distinction between two statements:

(1) The score was smudged by handling (or haste) before it was even dry.

(2) The score was passed directly to the copyist before it was even dry.

And if your assumption is incorrect, re smudging, then Neil's statement stands:
<< Do you really think you would be able to tell whether the ink had been wet or not from a digital reproduction made nearly 300 years later? >>

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 19, 2007):
Richard Mix wrote:
>>We all understand how a sequence of events can be inferred, but without a smoking gun like ink fingerprints demonstrably belonging to a copyist (and demonstrably the same ink at that!), we are in the dark about the interval between any two steps and whether signs of haste are due to rehearsal or performance deadlines, as far as I can see.<<
Those who are trying desperately to find reasons to doubt Dürr's scenario for very fast preparation of Bach's music, tracing the events from choice of text, printing of text, composition of the score, copying out of the parts, rehearsals, if any at all, and actual first performance, should consider the following evidence:

BWV 214 "Tönet ihr Pauken! Erschallet Trompeten!"

[The following information is based upon NBA KB I/36, pp. 81-119]

Record of Bach's payment on Decemb4, 1733 to the publisher, Breitkopf, for printing the text sheets for this cantata, sheets which give the date of the first performance of this work: December 8, 1733.

At the end of the autograph score Bach has written:
"Fine | DSGl. | 1733 | d. 7 Dec."

from which we know that Bach finished composing the final chorus (not a 4-pt. chorale setting) on the day just before the performance giving his copyists just enough time to finish their various copying tasks.

Only 6 parts have survived: SATB, Viola and Violono. There were 3 copyists involved in writing out these parts. From other sets of original parts for cantatas, we know that usually other copyists beyond only 3 would concern themselves with the various continuo parts. This means that it is very likely that the full complement of copyists was greater than the number reflected by the still existing parts.

Evidence regarding the limited time frame within which a typical cantor in Saxony during Bach's time would have to compose and prepare for performance at least one or more cantatas a week, has already been given here. Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758), during the liturgical year from 1722-1723, composed a double cycle, two cantatas each Sunday along with all the Feast Days and in addition a well-orchestrated Passion and 3 serenades for royal birthdays. These were solo cantatas as well as those for choir. They included chorale cantatas as well as those based upon the scripture readings.

As far as the speed and large quantity of composition is concerned, we have reports like that of a wealthy aristocrat, Chrales De Brosses, who, for example notes that "I have heard him [Antonio Vivaldi] undertake to compose a concerto with all its parts more quickly than a copyist could copy it." (Charles de Brosses, "Lettres familières sur l'Italie" ed. Yvone Bezard, Paris, 1931 as cited in Marc Pincherle's "Vivaldi:Genius of the Baroque" Norton, 1957, p. 51).

The ability to compose very quickly under pressure of time is a common occurrence with Baroque composers, even those of note. There is no reason to think that Bach was exception to this observation, particularly since we have evidence to confirm this.

RM: >>As one with a strong empirical prejudice who considers the burden of proof to be on your side, I try not to read much into Bach's habit of writing movements in decreasing order of difficulty; clearly one can justify the concluding choral on other grounds than practicality.<<
1. Although Bach's church cantatas more frequently than not end with a chorale, there are some situations where the final mvt. is not a chorale.

2. Earlier this year, we have observed a situation where Bach had not yet finished the penultimate mvt. (an Aria -Duetto, I believe) as well as the final chorale when JAK began copying out the parts from the mvts. which had been completed up to that point. Under such circumstances and the one cited regarding BWV 214 above, the argument of 'decreasing order of difficulty' becomes untenable for a reasonable assessment of the situation.

RM: >>This is suggestive of a scenario where Kuhnau prepares a set of parts from which rehearsal parts are copied before the chorale is needed for the actual service.<<
It is truly remarkable that not a single copy of such putative and highly unlikely 'rehearsal parts' has survived. This implies that it is highly unlikely that such rehearsal parts were ever prepared for use in rehearsals.

Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I would be interested to hear whether your assumption re Dürr's inspection of the scores can be confirmed. If so, 'barely dry' would be better stated as 'not even dry'.<<
This appears to be another one of Myskowski's misguided and misleading attempts to rule on matters of precise language with which he often struggles in order to make things clear to his own mind. Does anyone remember how he tried to rule out "tentative conclusions" as language that no reputable researcher or scientist would use?

Many BCML members are also eager to hear whether Myskowki's assumption that Christoph Wolff still stands behind his outdated information regarding BWV 80 in its various incarnations is correct. There has been ample time to contact Wolff by e-mail or even personally when Wolff is in the Boston area. Why is this information promised by Myskowski and so easy to attain (a simple e-mail had been suggested by another member of the group) many months ago not forthcoming? Another question: Will the result of this potential investigation by Myskowski, whichever way it happens to turn out, be quite similar to his other great momentary concern regarding Bach's music: whether the ink on Bach's scores is to be considered 'barely dry' or 'not even dry' and, concomitantly, what the consequences of such a momentous determination might be for understanding Bach's method of composing, preparing, and performing his music during the church services for which this music was intended?

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 19, 2007):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I would be interested to hear whether your assumption re Dürr's inspection of the scores can be confirmed. If so, 'barely dry' would be better stated as 'not even dry'.<<
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< This appears to be another one of Myskowski's misguided and misleading attempts to rule on matters of precise language with which he often struggles in order to make things clear to his own mind. >
I never struggle with precise language. It is the imprecise sort which causes me problems. In the context of the present discussion, it does indeed matter if the evidence is of smudging (wet ink) or not.

< Many BCML members are also eager to hear whether Myskowki's assumption >
Not an assumption. It is based on published statements.

< that Christoph Wolff still stands behind his outdated information >
That is an assumption

< regarding BWV 80 in its various incarnations is correct. There has been ample time to contact Wolff by e-mail or even personally when Wolff is in the Boston area. Why is this information promised by Myskowski and so easy to attain (a simple e-mail had been suggested by another member of the group) many months ago not forthcoming? >
I earlier took great exception to being told by Braatz how to conduct my communications with Wolff, or anyone else, for that matter. I continue to do so.

For the record, here is a summary of my attempted communications with Prof. Wolff, copied with minor revision from an off-list post to another interested BCML member:

<I have long had it on my agenda to contact Wolff re the earlier BWV 80 discussions. I sent him a couple eMails without response at that time, so I planned to let it slide for a while. He was scheduled to be the speaker at a March [2007] concert where I expected to be able to sneak in come unrelated questions, or at least make an appointment for a future meeting. Then Braatz got involved and started telling me how I should handle the communications with Wolff, and I really lost interest in doing anything before March.

Unfortunately, Wolff had to abandon the March commitment, apparently traveling in Europe, so I am back to square one. Not forgotten, but difficult to make it a high priority.>

< Another question: Will the result of this potential investigation by Myskowski, whichever way it happens to turn out, be quite similar to his other great momentary concern regarding Bach's music: whether the ink on Bach's scores is to be considered 'barely dry' or 'not even dry' and, concomitantly, what the consequences of such a momentous determination might be for understanding B's method of composing, preparing, and performing his music during the church services for which this music was intended? >
You truly are a piece of work. It is difficult to see any potential similarity between Wolff's opinion on the incarnations of BWV 80, nor its relevance, to a discussion of Dürr's interpretation of ink condition. That momentous determination ('the ink was barely dry') and its consequences were first raised by you, then subsequently questioned by me and others.

Thomas Braatz wrote (July 20, 2007):
Ed Myskowski had remarked: >>I would be interested to hear whether your assumption re Dürr's inspection of the scores can be confirmed. If so, 'barely dry' would be better stated as 'not even dry'.<<
To which Thomas Braatz had responded:
>>This appears to be another one of Myskowski's misguided and misleading attempts to rule on matters of precise language with which he often struggles in order to make things clear to his own mind.<<
Ed Myskowski then stated:
>>I never struggle with precise language. It is the imprecise sort which causes me problems.<<
Perhaps then you should be among the peer groups of scientific journals that edit the research articles of scientists who use such terms as 'tentative conclusion' which you abhor because you are absolutely certain about what precise language should be used.

EM: >>In the context of the present discussion, it does indeed matter if the evidence is of smudging (wet ink) or not.<<
Do you believe that by determining whether JAK began copying from Bach's original score manuscript one minute or 10 or even 20 minutes after Bach had completed composing the mvt. will make any difference in establishing a reasonable time sequence for Bach's schedule in composing, getting the copies made from his score and performing his music only a day or two after he had begun composing the music? Since we do not have any direct video of any of Bach's copy sessions, it makes more sense to take into account all the other information which we do have rather than pursuing a 'red herring' [OED: to attempt to divert attention from the real question] in order to draw the reader's attention to insignificant details such as the degree of freshness of the ink as if this type of argumentation would foster a better understanding of the process that Bach may really have followed as determined by other evidence which is available.

TB had written: >>Many BCML members are also eager to hear whether Myskowki's assumption..<<
EM: >>Not an assumption. It is based on published statements.<<
Yes, Wolff's outdated information which he needs to correct but has not yet done so, as it appears.

TB had written: >>that Christoph Wolff still stands behind his outdated information<<
EM: >>That is an assumption<<
Just because a Bach expert publishes an opinion/speculation/theory etc. at one point in time (remember Hans-Joachim Schulze with his Andreas Stübel hypothesis which was dropped by Schulze and Martin Geck soon after Schulze had published it) does not mean that he will adhere to and support a such a theory in the future, even when a few other experts still continue to mention it in their writings. It is only a matter of time that others will follow or simply no longer mention the hypothesis as being a viable one.

The fact that Wolff has not responded to your e-mails may be due to a number of reasons, one of which might be that he has already moved on from a single point about a single cantata which he no longer wishes to confirm. Imagine if Wolff receives many such e-mails from all over the world on such issues concerning the history and available evidence about a single cantata or on the Stübel hypothesis, would he then take the time to answer each of the questions covering a wide range of subjects relating to Bach as raised by a large number of non-experts/amateurs?

TB had written: >>...regarding BWV 80 in its various incarnations is correct. There has been ample time to contact Wolff by e-mail or even personally when Wolff is in the Boston area. Why is this information promised by Myskowski and so easy to attain (a simple e-mail had been suggested by another member of the group) many months ago not forthcoming?<<
EM: >>I earlier took great exception to being told by Braatz how to conduct my communications with Wolff, or anyone else, for that matter. I continue to do so.<<
It is difficult to see how a BCML member can take great exception regarding a legitimate request for non-peronal information confirming or denying what the NBA KBs have presented.

EM: >>For the record, here is a summary of my attempted communications with Prof. Wolff, copied with minor revision from an off-list post to another interested BCML member:
EM: quoting EM to another unidentified list member:
>>I have long had it on my agenda to contact Wolff re the earlier BWV 80 discussions. I sent him a couple eMails without response at that time, so I planned to let it slide for a while. He was scheduled to be the speaker at a March [2007] concert where I expected to be able to sneak in come unrelated questions, or at least make an appointment for a future meeting. Then Braatz got involved and started telling me how I should handle the communications with Wolff, and I really lost interest in doing anything before March. Unfortunately, Wolff had to abandon the March commitment, apparently traveling in Europe, so I am back to square one. Not forgotten, but difficult to make it a high priority.<<
Imagine how Wolff might react in a public forum to a surprise question 'sneaked' (or is it AE: 'snuck'?) into a question and answer period, a question as detailed and specific as the one regarding BWV 80. What are the chances that this issue which Myskowski has raised will be resolved directly at such a concert-discussion?

TB had written: >>Another question: Will the result of this potential investigation by Myskowski, whichever way it happens to turn out, be quite similar to his other great momentary concern regarding Bach's music: whether the ink on Bach's scores is to be considered 'barely dry' or 'not even dry' and, concomitantly, what the consequences of such a momentous determination might be for understanding Bach's method of composing, preparing, and performing his music during the church services for which this music was intended?<<
EM: >>You truly are a piece of work. It is difficult to see any potential similarity between Wolff's opinion on the incarnations of BWV 80, nor its relevance, to a discussion of Dürr's interpretation of ink condition. That momentous determination ('the ink was barely dry') and its consequences were first raised by you, then subsequently questioned by me and others.<<
Both situations (Myskowski confronting Wolff on BWV 80 and Myskowski's attempt to declare Dürr's 'tintenfrische' description of Bach's manuscripts being handed to his copyists as unscientific and lacking the necessary clarity of language demanded by the true science of musicology) betray Myskowski's greater interest in creating 'red herrings' than actually attempting to understand and confirm a reasonable and more reliable explanation, as hypothetical as some aspects of this may still appear to be at the present time. Over the past months, much material has been presented regarding Bach's procedures, methods, and time frame as wellas the normal schedule concerning the production and performance of his church cantatas. It appears from Dürr's outline of the sequence that Bach followed that Bach's cantatas were created and performed within a very limited time frame. The issue that still remains to be explained and verified is the one concerning rehearsal time. Dürr carefully avoids raising this issue because of the lack of any clear evidence supporting rehearsals. One thing, however, is clear: to apply empirical arguments and force our present-day notions about composing, preparing performance materials, rehearsing, all leading up to the first performance of a composition by an ensemble of musicians as it would happen today would contradict the findings issuing from careful research conducted by reputable Bach experts. Our own current habits should not outweigh the historical evidence, if we truly wish to gain a better understanding of the conditions under which Bach composed and performed his cantatas.

Ed Myskowski wrote (July 20, 2007):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Ed Myskowski had remarked: >>I would be interested to hear whether your assumption re Dürr's inspection of the scores can be confirmed. If so, 'barely dry' would be better stated as 'not even dry'.<<
To which Thomas Braatz had responded:
>>This appears to be another one of Myskowski's misguided and misleading attempts to rule on matters of precise language with which he often struggles in order to make things clear to his own mind.<<
Ed Myskowski then stated:
>>I never struggle with precise language. It is the imprecise sort which causes me problems.<<
< Perhaps then you should be among the peer groups of scientific journals that edit the research articles of scientists who use such terms as 'tentative conclusion' which you abhor because you are absolutely certain about what precise language should be used. >
It is unfortunate that you misunderstand what is meant by 'peer review' It is also unfortunate that you continue to embarrass yourself in public with rude insults, in violation of BCML guidelines. I am not 'absolutely certain' about anything. That is why I like to maintain an open mind and discuss things. Never too late to give it a try..

My problem with 'tentative conclusion' was not so much that 'preliminary conclusion' is preferable, but that what you labeled 'conclusion' was in fact 'speculation'. Perhaps you recall?

< EM:>>In the context of the present discussion, it does indeed matter if the evidence is of smudging (wet ink) or not.<<
< Do you believe that by determining whether JAK began copying from Bach's original score manuscript one minute or 10 or even 20 minutes after Bach had completed composing the mvt. will make any difference in establishing a reasonable time sequence for Bach's schedule in composing, getting the copies made from his score and performing his music only a day or two after he had begun composing the music? Since we do not have any direct video of any of Bach's copy sessions, it makes more sense to take into account all the other information which we do have rather than pursuing a 'red herring' [OED: to attempt to divert attention from the real question] in order to draw the reader's attention to insignificant details such as the degree of freshness of the ink as if this type of argumentation would foster a better understanding of the process that Bach may really have followed as determined by other evidence which is available. >
You originally wrote 'the ink barely dry', and I questioned it. I do like the reference to 'red herring'. Nobody does it more than you.

< TB had written:>>Many BCML members are also eager to hear whether Myskowki's assumption..<<
EM:>>Not an assumption. It is based on published statements.<<
Yes,
Wolff's outdated information which he needs to correct but has not yet done so, as it appears.
TB had written:>>that
Christoph Wolff still stands behind his outdated information<<
EM:>>That is an assumption<<
Just because a Bach expert publishes an opinion/speculation/theory etc. at one point in time (remember Hans-Joachim Schulze with his Andreas Stübel hypothesis which was dropped by Schulze and Martin Geck soon after Schulze had published it) does not mean that he will adhere to and support a such a theory in the future, even when a few other experts still continue to mention it in their writings. It is only a matter of time that others will follow or simply no longer mention the hypothesis as being a viable one.
The fact that
Wolff has not responded to your e-mails may be due to a number of reasons, one of which might be that he has already moved on from a single point about a single cantata which he no longer wishes to confirm. Imagine if Wolff receives many such e-mails from all over the world on such issues concerning the history and available evidence about a single cantata or on the Stübel hypothesis, would he then take the time to answer each of the questions covering a wide range of subjects relating to Bach as raised by a large number of non-experts/amateurs? >
I don't know. Why don't you just send him an eMail yourself. I have already tried. I have my own opinions about why he would not bother to respond.

The innocent looking word 'imagine', leads to the implication that lack of response from Wolff suggests that he has changed his mind, in the mind of Braatz.

Although Stübel is out of context here ('red herring'?), I note with some satisfaction that he is correctly labeled 'hypothesis' rather than 'theory'.

< TB had written:>>...regarding BWV 80 in its various incarnations is correct. There has been ample time to contact Wolff by e-mail or even personally when Wolff is in the Boston area. Why is this information promised by Myskowski and so easy to attain (a simple e-mail had been suggested by another member of the group) many months ago not forthcoming?<<
EM:>>I earlier took great exception to being told by Braatz how to conduct my communications with
Wolff, or anyone else, for that matter. I continue to do so.<<
It is difficult to see how a BCML member can take great exception regarding a legitimate request for non-peronal information confirming or denying what the NBA KBs have presented. >
I took exception to your telling me what to do, in direct violation of BCML guidelines. Quite frankly, I don't understand the rest of your response, at all. Sadly, that is not unusual.

< EM:>>For the record, here is a summary of my attempted communications with Prof. Wolff, copied with minor revision from an off-list post to another interested BCML member:
EM: quoting EM to another unidentified list member:
>>I have long had it on my agenda to contact
Wolff re the earlier BWV 80 discussions. I sent him a couple eMails without response at that time, so I planned to let it slide for a while. He was scheduled to be the speaker at a March [2007] concert where I expected to be able to sneak in come unrelated questions, or at least make an appointment for a future meeting. Then Braatz got involved and started telling me how I should handle the communications with Wolff, and I really lost interest in doing anything before March. Unfortunately, Wolff had to abandon the March commitment, apparently traveling in Europe, so I am back to square one. Not forgotten, but difficult to make it a high priority.<<
Imagine how
Wolff might react in a public forum to a surprise question 'sneaked' (or is it AE: 'snuck'?) into a question and answer period, a question as detailed and specific as the one regarding BWV 80.What are the chances that this issue which Myskowski has raised will be resolved directly at such a concert-discussiion? >
I prefer 'sneaked', if only not to be confused with other words which rhyme with 'snuck', 'truck' for example.

< TB had written:>>Another question: Will the result of this potential investigation by Myskowski, whichever way it happens to turn out, be quite similar to his other great momentary concern regarding Bach's music: whether the ink on Bach's scores is to be considered 'barely dry' or 'not even dry' and, concomitantly, what the consequences of such a momentous determination might be for understanding Bach's method of composing, preparing, and performing his music during the church services for which this music was intended?<<
EM:>>You truly are a piece of work. It is difficult to see any potential similarity between
Wolff's opinion on the incarnations of BWV 80, nor its relevance, to a discussion of Dürr's interpretation of ink condition. That momentous determination ('the ink was barely dry') and its consequences were first raised by you, then subsequently questioned by me and others.<<
Both situations (Myskowski confronting
Wolff on BWV 80 >
Confronting? I have yet to make contact!

< and Myskowski's attempt to declare Dürr's 'tintenfrische' description of Bach's manuscripts being handed to his copyists as unscientific and lacking the necessary clarity of language demanded by the true science of musicology) betray Myskowski's greater interest in creating 'red herrings' than actually attempting to understand and confirm a reasonable and more reliable explanation, as hypothetical as some aspects of this may still appear to be at the present time. >
I only questioned your 'translation': 'the ink barely dry'. The sentence/paragraph is typically rambling, and barely comprehensible. Somehow, I expect that I could find insult, if looking for such were in my nature.

< Over the past months, much material has been presented regarding Bach's procedures, methods, and time frame as well as the normal schedule concerning the production and performance of his church cantatas. It appears from Dürr's outline of the sequence that Bach followed that Bach's cantatas were created and performed within a very limited time frame. The issue that still remains to be explained and verified is the one concerning rehearsal time. Dürr carefully avoids raising this issue because of the lack of any clear evidence supporting rehearsals. >
Or denying rehearsals! Dürr is respectful of the lack of evidence.

< One thing, however, is clear: to apply empirical arguments and force our present-day notions about composing, preparing performance materials, rehearsing, all leading up to the first performance of a composition by an ensemble of musicians as it would happen today would contradict the findings issuing from careful research conducted by reputable Bach experts. Our own current habits should not outweigh the historical evidence, >
See above, lack of clear evidence.

< if we truly wish to gain a better understanding of the conditions under which Bach composed and performed his cantatas.>
My open mind, and generosity of spirit remain intact, <>

Julian Mincham wrote (July 31, 2007):
The third cycle

A little conundrum upon which to puzzle.

Bach obviously wanted to begin his cycles (dated from when he arrived at Leipzig not from the begiining of the ecclesiatical year) with a bang. e.g. BWV 75 and BWV 76 from the first cycle in 1723 and BWV 20 from the second (not to mention the three which followed it all with the chorale melody in different voices)

So why did he begin the third cycle so modestly with BWV 168? True its a great first aria but the rest of the cantata rather lacks inspiration and there is no chorus but for the chorale. Why not begin with a work with a much grander chorus such as BWV 137 or BWV 79 or BWV 110. Is there an obvious reason for this ?

(Also what happened to the works for 10th and 11th Sundays after Trinity which would have fallen between BWV 168 and BWV 137?)

 

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Last update: July 5, 2010 12:29:31