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Members of the Bach Cantatas Mailing List
Part 1: Year 1999

Hello world

Kirk McElhearn wrote (November 15, 1999):
Hello charter members of this list. How many of you are there? Perhaps presentations are in order.

I am Kirk McElhearn, the list owner. I started this list because I think the cantatas are the heart of JSB's music, and feel that others and I can appreciate them better by talking about them, one by one. More about me on my web site, for those interested.

So, who has suggestions on how we should go about things here?

Pat Maimone wrote (November 16, 1999):
My name is Pat Maimone. I work at the Post Chapel at West Point, New York, where I serve as Organist and Director of Musical Activities for the faculty, staff and their families. For many years I have been listening to and often performing Bach cantatas as well as excerpts from Bach cantatas and the Passions according to Saint Matthew and Saint John. Often I program Bach's organ works and piano/harpsichord works, as well as instrumental movements on our annual celebration of Bach's birthday 21 March.

Shall we begin a discussion of the over 200 extant cantatas in numerical BWV or KK order? From BWV 1, 'Wie schön leuchtet', for example, I selected the aria "Erfüllet" for soprano solo with oboe da caccia (played on English horn) and organ continuo on the most recent Bach's Birthday celebration at the Post Chapel as well as on a January 1997 recital with an Epiphany theme for the first half of the program that I played at the Cadet Chapel, West Point, with its 4 manual, 325 rank pipe organ.

List members may wish to add a discussion of favorite recordings or performances of the cantata in question. My first hearing of KK1 was from the Telefunken LP series featuring Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Concentus Musicus Wien with the Wiener Sangerknaben and the Chorus Viennensis.

Simon Crouch wrote (November 16, 1999):
I am Simon Crouch. My interest in Bach started early, as my late father used to love the organ works and collected the old Archiv releases as they came out. One of my earliest musical memories is of singing in the ripieno chorus in the St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) - must have been seven or eight at the time. As a teenager the Grateful Dead replaced Bach and Mozart but Bach, at least, returned to favour, as I grew older and more crotchety. I must have known some of the Bach cantatas from early on but probably only a handful - my interest really took off when I could afford to collect recordings. Since then, I spend far too much of my time listening to them - and writing about them - see my web pages at: for evidence of my wasting lifestyle.

We could start at BWV 1 and work forward but that might be a little tedious for those who join mid flow and who have missed their favorite. I would go with starting up a conversation on whatever took the fancy.

Since my current project is to set up a web page on Bach books (coming soon!), what are your favorite writings about the cantatas?

Jane Newble wrote (November 17, 1999):
I am Jane Newble. Unlike Simon Crouch I am a relative late-comer to cantatas. In my teens (in Holland) I used to go to hear the St. Matthew Passion every year, and I had the Brandenburg concertos, but apart from that my love for Bach's music slumbered until nearly a year ago, when someone recommended the Andreas Scholl/Herreweghe cantata CD. When a few weeks later I was in HMV in London I heard: "Liebster Gott, wann muss ich sterben "(Herreweghe), and I was sold. Since then I have been collecting cantatas, and have spent an incredible amount of time listening to them.

I stumbled across Simon Crouch's site on cantatas early this year, and the J.S. Bach home page, and joined the recordings-list. I have not dared to count how many cantata CD's I have bought this year. Simon asked about favorite books. I borrowed a wonderful one from the library a few months ago, but I forgot to make a note of it. All I remember is that it was called something like" Church-cantatas of J.S. Bach".

As for BWV 1, the only one I have (so far) is the Rilling, and I like it.

It also sounds as if Post Chapel is a good place to be if you like Bach!

Carl Burmeister wrote (November 17, 1999):
As done in earlier intros: I am Carl Burmeister and I began my love of Bach Cantatas at an early age. I might add this was well before Period Instrument recordings were beginning to be made so I have a distinct appreciation for how far we have come.

I was and am a musician of the woodwind variety. I say "was and am" because there was a break of a few years where little music was produced. My current status as a musician is perhaps questionable but my heart is in the right place once more.

It was my love of the Baroque and Bach in particular that led me to play oboe. My favorite arias and ensemble sounds all involve the oboe d'amore.

I have a Baroque Oboe reproduction instrument by Sand Dalton and he is making a d'amore for me. It is my hope that I can find some fellow musicians to play Baroque music with. In particular I hope to find people willing to do Cantata productions with original instruments.

Gardiner, Koopman and Herreweghe have no reason to fear competition however.

Alas instead of making a living with music I have had to be a computer consultant. It pays the bills rather more handsomely than my attempt at being a professional musician.

Ed Uyeki wrote (November 17, 1999):
I am interested in purchasing a CD which contains cantata BWV 156 (Ich steh' mit einem Fuß im Grabe). Does anyone know where I can acquire the CD, and what would be its title?

Vincenzo Vennarini wrote (November 17, 1999):
Hello everybody, so here it is my little description: I'm 33 years old, I'm a software engineer (computer graphics). I love, amongst baroque music, not-Hollywood cinema, computer adventure games (myst style, for those who knows...), and vanguard theatre and readings.

I think that without Bach cantatas I would not get into classical music. When I was 16, a friend of mine made a present of a Harnoncourt/Leonhardt cantata box to me. It was folder number eight, I remember well... It was my first approach to classical music, I was captured! I learned to read music on the Telefunken cantata scores, I learned German pronunciation on cantatas' text, and I learned what music is on cantatas' music. You can understand how important I think cantatas are! Now, I 'm still collecting cantatas scores, I have about 120 scores of them, but not so much time to listen to! On the typical Desert Island, cantatas would be one of the three things I would take with me!

The project to discuss cantatas by BWV is interesting (but I would prefer the chronological order, from "aus der tiefe..." - BWV 131) but I guess is too much a huge work!

Maybe it is better to go freely into them...

Joseph Guarascio wrote (November 17, 1999):
I agree with Mr. Vennarini, Perhaps it would be best to talk about whichever cantata anyone wants to talk about. We needn't discuss in BWV or chronological order. Perhaps we could start by talking about our personal favourites and see what other's reactions/opinions are.

My spiel: I am 21 years old, a senior in college. Until this year, I was double majoring in music and psychobiology. Now I have chosen to postpone the music major a year. My interest in music is grounded in my love for the music of Bach, a love affair, which began when I was 12 or so when I met Bach at the piano. My desire to know the music of Bach developed further when I discovered the genre of the fugue. I have only recently (four years ago) begun to explore the cantatas and each new encounter is extremely rewarding. And the more I listen to any thing of Bach, the more I find and the more I love.

I may not be able to contribute much to this list, and I will certainly be new to moof the cantatas mentioned, but I hope to come away with some good ideas and offer my fresh insights whenever possible. I have recordings of about 60 cantatas, most recorded by Helmuth Rilling, but have not listened to all of them.

I am particularly interested in performance practice, especially in the cantatas. When I complete my music degree, my final project will deal with the performance forces of Bach's music. My primary instrument is the organ (the pursuit of which was inspired by you know who).

So if it is agreed that we begin discussing our current favorite cantatas (and I say "current" because we all know that there is no absolute favorite, only a temporal one), let the discussion begin. I would definitely be interested in discussing BWV 131, one of my current favourites.

Armagan Ekici wrote (November 18, 1999):
My name is Armagan Ekici (pronounced: Armand Ekidji), Turkish citizen living temporarily in Amsterdam, 28 years old, working in Banking / Information Technology. I had almost a life-long interest in classical music, but I had avoided vocal music until two or three years ago because I hated (and still hate) the "Castafiore" method of singing. I was lured back by the vibrato-less singing of HIP performances and I was mostly pre-occupied with Bach's vocal music for the past two or three years, but with a body of work as vast as Bach's I am just starting.

I have been playing the classical guitar for the past 15 years. I am guilty of other sins like rock, jazz and fusion music as well as movies and books "in general".

I am looking forward to the discussions in the Cantatas list!

Henny van der Groep wrote (November 18, 1999):
Good day to you all. Glad to find you here Simon!

My name is Henny van der Groep. I love the Cantatas, especially the early ones. So I would love to discuss BWV 131. I am fond of all kinds of music from pop to classics, from jazz to traditional world music. Armagan, you're not alone! Bach is my favorite composer and I realize "Fantasia" must have had an enormous influence on young kids. I'll never forget that movie! Until 4 years ago I have collected Bach Cantatas. But due to my trip to Germany I became rather enthusiastic. I am living in the neighbourhood of Hoorn were I have my job as a music teacher. My hobbies are: reading, drawing, writing, making music and nature. And I really wished I had some more time. You can find Bach's parodies at our nature Website.


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