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Members of the BCML & BRML
Part 6: Year 2004-3

Continue from Members of the BCML - Year 2004-2

Polish list members?

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (June 3, 2004):
Peter Bright wrote:
< I received vol. 24 today (courtesy of my good friend and fellow list member Piotr) >
Czyzby ktorys z czlonkow tej listy oprocz mnie mieszka w Polsce i/lub mowi po polsku?

Could it be that someone else on this list besides me lives in Poland and/or speaks Polish?

Cara Thornton (vel/ a.k.a. 'caraboska' :) )

Piotr Jaworski wrote (June 3, 2004):
Dear Cara, Dear Peter!

Surprise, surprise ...
But I'm certainly not the only Polish speaking subscriber to this list. I'm sure that there couple of more persons - but pure lurkers-readers; I'm also a lurker these days ... on the other hand Polish lists are blossoming also on Yahoo - following our darling President Chirac advice - we keep out mouths well zipped ;-)

Pozdrowienia z Warszawy!
Na ciag dalszy po polsku zapraszam juz poza lista :-)

Joost wrote (June 3, 2004):
[To Cara Emily Thornton] Cannot remember I've ever 'seen' him on the BachCantatas list, but Piotr (from Warsaw) is a regular at the EMRecordings list and the FrenchBaroque list.

Piotr Jaworski wrote (June 3, 2004):
Joost, My Dear Friend,

It's still me :-)
You're probably right... since cantatas was not exactly "that thing" I especially admired in JSB output. And I used to be much more active on the Bach Recordings List.

But some time ago I've decided to switch my 'subscription option' into "web read only" on both lists, what was a perfect decision for my nerves as well as growing - against all odds - admiration for Bach.

I do not belong to the people with limitless tolerance or with the skin like ... rhinoceros. What I miss on those Bach lists I can easily find on those you've mentioned.

My best and see you there!

Piotr
(Warsaw)

Peter Bright wrote (June 3, 2004):
[To Joost] Piotr was an active contributor for a number of years (from around 2000 onwards) - for example, there are nearly 100 pages on the Bach-Cantatas web site containing his contributions to the Bach Cantatas and Bach Recordings lists. Along with a number of other contributors, interest in the list appears to have died away somewhat over the last year or so.

While we're on the subject of 'lost' members, are Francine, Yoel, Harry (Steinman), Michael (Grover) still around?

Ehud Shiloni wrote (June 3, 2004):
[To Piotr Jaworski] FWIW, I, personaly, do miss you on our List[s]. I'd trade most of the didactic musicology which goes around here for your type of kind and sharing posts [sigh].

Take care.

 

Introduction

Pierre wrote (June 25, 2004):
Just to introduce myself to the listmembers, my name is Pierre and I am recently new to Bach's vocal music. I actually owned a cdbox with the Passions and the B-minor mass for a long time before I started listening to it. But once I did, I was really hooked. Naturally I got interested in the cantatas as well, also as a way of not risking to 'overlisten' to the passions. I am not religious myself but find that even though one cannot disregard the religious context in which both the passions and the cantatas were composed, they contain such a wealth of musical genious and emotions that one need not listen to them in the 'religious way'. (I hope I don't upset anyone by saying so).

Actually, in relation to this and in order to gain a bit of perspective on my own way of appreciating Bach (re-interpreting the religious message into one more general or universal about the relations between people), I would like to ask the list if there are any members who have not been brought up within a Christian tradition and if so what their experience of Bach's passions/cantatas look like.

John Pike wrote (June 25, 2004):
[To Pierre] Welcome!

I am a Christian and very much enjoy Bach's religious music from that perspective but i certainly agree that this music is so wonderfully rich and profoundly moving in touching those universal human emotions that anyone of whatever creed or faith can enjoy it without limit. These qualities are nowhere more apparent than in the religious music. I like to think that Bach reached such extraordinary peaks of perfection through the divine intervention that he asked for at the beginning of all his manuscripts (JJ - "Jesu Juva" - "Help me, Jesus"), but many will disagree.

Charles Francis wrote (June 25, 2004):
[To Pierre] We have at least one Atheist and Fire Worshiper on this group, who may perhaps respond. For myself, Bach's spirituality is central to his music; by which I mean he is rooted in the Collective Unconscious rather than the personal ego. In this regard, the biographer Forkel noted Bach's exceptional modesty and tolerance.

Juozas Rimas wrote (June 25, 2004):
[To Pierre] Knowledge of religious matters bring a "theatrical dimension" to Bach's music when you listen to it, as a list member exactly pointed out. For instance, after I understood - with the help of Johan van Veen - what blood on doors meant in the BWV 4 bass aria "Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm", my musical appreciation of the aria (excellent!) did not change but I now feel more 'secure' when listening to it because I know what is being sung. If a simple love story would be told in the text of the cantata, that wouldn't change the value of music but knowing the meaning wouldn't harm by all means.

There is music where text is more important than music itself: I presume opera could be an example, although I know too little of it, or, from today's production, certain instances of rock or rap.

Bach's cantatas are arguably the best example of music being uncountably many times important than the text. For instance, one of Bach's most magnificent pieces - the first choir of the B Minor mass (BWV 232) - uses mere two words that you can safely left uncomprehended. Does the music deteriorate in any way because the text is so simple? Would it cease moving the listener so much if the two words were meaningless?

Bach speaks and shows everything he wants to through music.

 

Intro

Michelle Bisset wrote (July 23, 2004):
I am new to this group. I havw been enjoying the music of the great JS Bach for most of my life. I play the cello so the six suites are a set of works I am particularly familliar with. I enjoy listening to his music played on period instruments, anything under the direction of John Elliot Gardner, Rene Jacob, and Trevor Pinnock is always a particular delight. By the way I'm from Dublin in Ireland and I simply could never allow a day in my life to pass without listening to some music by the great man.

John Pike wrote (July 23, 2004):
[To Michelle Bisset] Welcome. it will be good to have your cello expertise on the list.

Cara Peterson wrote (July 23, 2004):
[To John Pike] Here here.

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (July 24, 2004):
[To Michelle Bisset] Welcome aboard!

< enjoy listening to his music played on period instruments, anything under the direction of John Elliot Gardner, Rene Jacob, and Trevor Pinnock is always a particular delight. >
JEG eh? I like you already!!

Michelle Bisset wrote (July 25, 2004):
Just thought I would mention that BBC Radio 4 has done some very good programes focusing on various works by out beloved master. Recently we had Steven Issalis talking about the fifth cello suit, and during last week the double violin concerto was up for discussion. I would imagine it should be possible to get a recording of the broadcasts by contacting the Beeb(thats the BBC, for members from more far flung parts).

Charles Francis wrote (July 25, 2004):
[To Michelle Bisset] For some other works of our beloved master, check out: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/discoveringmusic/audioarchive.shtml

Michelle Bisset wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Charles Francis] Thanks a lot for that link, I'll be very interested in the one dealing with the D minor Chaconne from the violin partita as I can play it on the guitar.

 

Introducing Myself

Charlie Richards wrote (July 26, 2004):
H! My name is Charlie Richards, and I just joined the group today. As suggested by the first e-mail I've received from the moderator, inviting me to introduce myself, I have decided to do just that.

I'm 37 years old, and currently working for the Virgin Entertainment Group, as curator for the classical department at our Sunset Blvd. location in Los Angeles, California. I have been working for Virgin since 1993.

I have always had a great love for baroque music, particularly that of Bach and Händel, and am quite familiar with all of the "major" Bach works, including many of the cantatas. But this year I have decided to embark on a musical journey through the entire cycle of Bach cantatas, listening to and studying them in numerical BWV order, and using the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt recording as my basis, supplementing it with vol.5 of the Teldec "Bach 2000" edition for the secular cantatas.

I have been wanting to do this for a long time, and am extremely excited now that I've begun. I'm also especially pleased to have found this group and the Bach Cantatas website. Although I'm not new to the works of Bach, I will be listening to the majority of these cantatas for the first time, and am already deriving invaluable insights from those who have posted discussions on the website. I want to learn as much as I can about these magnificent pieces, which is why I have decided to dedicate a year to this initial study. I also hope to be sharing some of my own observations with other members.

Thank you for allowing me to become part of your community.

Cara Peterson wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Charlie Richards] Welcome!

Paul Farseth wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Charlie Richards] Welcome to the group, Charlie.

John Pike wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Charlie Richards] Welcome. I am doing exactly the same thing as you with the cantatas, with the same recordings, except that i don't have the time to study them properly as I go along. I have got to Vol. 9, but have been distracted along the way by many other recordings. I found the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt set to be of variable quality and have been diverted to some recordings by Herreweghe which i can strongly recommend. Make sure you have a big pocket on this list because the temptation to go and buy more and more is very considerable!

Juozas Rimas wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Charlie Richards] I hope this cycle through the cantatas will not be your last one, because the Teldec cycle, IMHO, presents Bach's music to be less appealing than it really is.

Shaky boy sopranos and altos, shaky ubiquitous Esswood, average choirs, average oboes and other instruments. You will encounter examples of good to great singing, eg Equiluz (if you like explicitly emotional singers and evangelists, because to me, after listening to more of Prédgardien and Schreier, Equiluz now seems over-emotional and jerky), van Egmond, Niemsgern.

Except for these singers, I'm in doubt with regards to what one can find in this cycle to be better than in any other cycle. For instance, the choirs and instrumentalists of Herreweghe, Gardiner and many other cantata recorders (except for Leusink) are better, they often create the impression of being in another "league".

John Pike wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Juozas Rimas] I agree. Go for Gardiner and Herreweghe any day. Suzuki is also supposed to be good but I don't have any of those recordings....yet!

Gabriel Jackson wrote (July 26, 2004):
John Pike wrote:
"Suzuki is also supposed to be good but I don't have any of those recordings....yet!"
They're rather bland, in my view - a bit too 'reverential-sounding'.....

Charlie Richards wrote (July 26, 2004):
[To Juozas Rimas] I agree also that the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt cycle is uneven, and don't worry, I also own several volumes of the Koopman, Herreweghe, Richter, Gardiner and Rilling cycles as well. However, the Teldec cycle is the only complete version that I own (none of the others, to my knowledge, are complete except Rilling) and I just can't afford to invest in yet another complete cycle at this time. And yes, I prefer adult, female sopranos to boys (although the latter is more "authentic") -- I was particularly put off by the boy soloist in BWV 10 which I just listened to last night, and this did hinder some of my enjoyment of that cantata, but I want to stick with the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt and not jump from cycle to cycle. But thanks for the warning!

P.S. Has anyone here ever heard the Collegium Aureum recording of the Christmas Oratorio (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)? Horrible boy soloists on that one, if I remember correctly.

Another question - what method was used by the compilers of the BWV catalog in numbering the cantatas? They're certainly not in chronological order, and they don't even appear to be in order as per the church year. Perhaps this is a naïve question, that may have already been answered on this list before, but I was curious.

Uri Golomb wrote (July 27, 2004):
Charlie Richards wrote:
< what method was used by the compilers of the BWV catalog in numbering the cantatas? They're certainly not in chronological order, and they don't even appear to be in order as per the church year. Perhaps this is a naïve question, that may have already been answered on this list before, but I was curious. >
AS far as I'm aware (and if anyone here knows differently, I'd welcome the correction), the BWV order of the sacred cantatas simply reflects the order in which the cantatas were published in the 19th century by the Bach Gesellschaft -- which is a rather arbitrary way of arranging things. The order certainly has nothing to do with Bach. (I suppose the BG's own order might reflect, among other things, the order in which they succeeded in obtaining manuscripts and authenticating them -- though some of their authentications have since been questioned; hence the omission of several cantats from current complete cycles).

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: BWV Numbering System - Part 2 [General Topics]

Johan van Veen wrote (July 27, 2004):
Charlie Richards wrote:
< P.S. Has anyone here ever heard the Collegium Aureum recording of the Christmas Oratorio (Deutsche >Harmonia Mundi)? Horrible boy soloists on that one, if I remember correctly. >
I can't tell whether you remember correctly, of course, but I have that recording, and for me it is the most satisfying I have heard. My main complaint is the orchestra - the Collegium aureum has never been my cup of tea. But the Tölzer Knabenchor is brilliant in that recording, the soprano, Hans Buchhierl, does a fine job, and the boy alto, Andreas Stein, is one of the best I have ever heard. The soprano is definitely better than that in Harnoncourt's recording, and I prefer Andreas Stein to Paul Esswood in this particular case.

Johan van Veen wrote (July 27, 2004):
"Suzuki is also supposed to be good but I don't have any of those recordings....yet!"
Gabriel Jackson wrote: < They're rather bland, in my view - a bit too reverential-sounding'..... >
I agree. It is all a little too neat, and hides the sharp edges Bach's music contains.

Charles Francis wrote (July 27, 2004):
Johan van Veen wrote:
< I agree. It is all a little too neat, and hides the sharp edges Bach's music contains. >
Wasn't the attitude to authority figures in Bach's day typically reverential? I think, for example, of his dedication text for the Musical Offering. Wouldn't the typical Leipzig believer expect God to be treated reverentially?

Gabriel Jackson wrote (July 27, 2004):
Charles Francis wrote:
"Wouldn't the typical Leipzig believer expect God to be treated reverentially?"
Maybe so, but Bach cantatas (which are, I suggested, treated over-reverentially by Suzuki) are not God!

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Masaaki Suzuki & Bach Collegium Japan - General Discussions - Part 3 [Performers]

Charles Francis wrote (July 27, 2004):
[To Gabriel Jackson] Then I misunderstood the point: your opinion is not that the subject matter is treated over-reverentially (ponderous tempi etc.), but ratherthat Bach's score is taken too seriously, i.e., your complaint is that Suzuki is performing Bach's notes as written without taking liberties.

Alan Melvin wrote (July 27, 2004):
Juozas Rimas wrote:
< I hope this cycle through the cantatas will not be your last one, because the Teldec cycle, IMHO, presents Bach's music to be less appealing than it really is. Shaky boy sopranos and altos, shaky ubiquitous Esswood, average choirs, average oboes and other instruments. >
Years ago I listened to as many Bach cantatas as I could find on CD or vinyl at the public library, and decided which works were worth obtaining based on that. I subsequently discovered that any judgements of the works based on listening to Harnoncourt (on Teldec?) were useless. While listening, you may get a vague sense that something is wrong, but you presume it is just a bland composition- until you compare to ANY other performance. After comparing to, say, Karl Richter (Münchener Bach Choir and Orchestra), you feel as if you are hearing a totally different composer. To judge a Bach cantata based on hearing Harnoncourt is like judging it based on an entirely different work (by, say, Händel). I would have taken the old ballpeen to the Harnoncourt CDs if they hadn't been public property.

P.S. - My other peeve about Harnoncourt recordings is the use of Miss Piggy for the alto solos. I'm never sure when it is her and when it's Esswood...

Riccardo Nughes wrote (July 27, 2004):
<< P.S. Has anyone here ever heard the Collegium Aureum recording of the Christmas Oratorio (Deutsche Harmonia Mundi)? Horrible boy soloists on that one, if I remember correctly. >>
Johan van Veen wrote:
< I can't tell whether you remember correctly, of course, but I have that recording, and for me it is the most satisfying I have heard. >
I agree with Johan ; recently I've been able to get this OOP set and it became my favourite Christmas Oratorio.

Charlie Richards wrote (July 28, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] I hope I didn't step on anyone's toes with my comments on this recording of the Christmas Oratorio. To be perfectly honest, I haven't listened to this recording in over a decade, and when I DID hear it, it was in an environment not conducive to careful listening (I was working at Tower Records at the time and heard it at work). Perhaps I should try to obtain a copy of it and give it a second chance!

Juozas Rimas wrote (July 28, 2004):
Alan Melvin wrote:
< obtaining based on that. I subsequently discovered that any judgements of the works based on listening to Harnoncourt (on Teldec?) were useless. While listening, you may get a vague sense that something is wrong, but you presume it is just a bland composition- until you compare to ANY other performance. After comparing to, say, Karl Richter (Muenchener Bach Choir and Orchestra), you feel as if you are hearing a totally different composer. To judge a Bach cantata based on hearing Harnoncourt is like judging it based on an entirely different work (by, say, Händel). >
Yes, I learnt not to dismiss any of Bach's work after getting acquainted with one rendition, especially a mediocre one.

Frankly, I think only performers themselves can "touch" the real beauty of music: we listeners must rely on them. Only keyboardists know all nooks in some WTC fugue and we can only listen to many recordings, and hope that performers will open up something new for us we couldn't hear when another musician was playing. And with cantatas, you must be a conductor or at least a choir/orchestra member to get direct contact to the true content of the music. I bet if I were a conductor, I'd find lots of interesting in those cantatas by Bach that I now find bland as a listener.

Dale Gedcke wrote (July 28, 2004):
Juozas Rimas wrote:
"Frankly, I think only performers themselves can "touch" the real beauty of music: we listeners must rely on them. Only keyboardists know all nooks in some WTC fugue and we can only listen to many recordings, and hope that performers will open up something new for us we couldn't hear when another musician was playing. And with cantatas, you must be a conductor or at least a choir/orchestra member to get direct contact to the true content of the music. I bet if I were a conductor, I'd find lots of interesting in those cantatas by Bach that I now find bland as a listener."

MY COMMENTS:

I thoroughly enjoy listening to live performances and CDs of great music, such as Bach composed. But, I have found that I enjoy it even more when I sit in the middle of an orchestra and help to play it myself. I discover much more about the nuances of the music in the latter role, especially during the rehearsals. Also the feeling of being surrounded by the music is more exhilarating.

However, I must admit, sitting in the audience gives one more flexibility in determining what aspect of the performance to focus on.

I haven't personally experienced conducting. But, I would speculate that the conductor fits half way between the two extremes I described above.

 

Introducing Myself

Fábio Araujo Martins wrote (July 28, 2004):
My name is Fábio, I live in Brazil, I'm 25 years old. I found this list accidentally, I was looking for the score of the cantata Himmelskönig, sei willkpmmen BWV 182, the first part, that sonata for flute and strings, and i enter in the page of Bach Cantantas, wich i subscribe immediately in this listt, cause I, well, I have ai feel cantantas and i enjoy very much this kind of liturgical (Sacred) music.

John Pike wrote (July 28, 2004):
[To Fábio Martins] Welcome!

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 28, 2004):
[To Fábio Martins] I am glad that you have found us. Welcome aboard!

Please feel free to ask any question or suggest any topic for discussion, which are associated with Bach Cantatas & Bach's other vocal works.

BTW, you are not the only member of the BCML from Brazil. Many of the Bach Cantatas have been translated into Portuguese by Rodrigo Maffei Libonati, a member of the BCML. I hope you will find these translations useful. See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexTexts-Por-BWV.htm

 

Introducing Myself

Arthur Swanson wrote (August 9, 2004):
My name is Arthur Swanson. I have no formal training in music, but have been interested in music since I was very young. I grew up in a university town and my first experience of a live performance of Bach was that of the b minor mass, conducted by Karel Husa, a Czech emigre. (Those of you interested in modern music may wish to check out his compositions--they are well worth becoming acquainted with.) Later I heard a performance of the SMP directed by a local musicologist, Donald Grout. My interests in music broadened when I attended college, especially in more modern repertory. I only recently got a CD player, so nearly all of my library is vinyl--some quite old. (I even have a recording of the cello suites played by Gaspar Cassado, who was Pablo Casals' teacher!)

My cantata recordings are the first 15 volumes of the Telefunken Harnoncourt/Leonhardt, and many of the Vanguard BG (mostly Prohaska), Westminster (Scherchen) and MHS releases.--I expect to be mostly "listening in" & asking questions--I hope to learn a lot from the rest of you.--I would like to suggest that American members check out <PricedRightMusic.com>--It is a good source for highly discounted CDs--I got a boxed set of the SMP, SJP, Markus P ("parodic"
reconstruction, & the SLP (BWV 246) on the Brilliant label, #99369, a 9-CD set, for
$35 or $40, I think. Another site, <EdwardRHamilton.com>, from which PricedRight was spun off recently, is a great sorce for books--I have gotten some very good buys on music-related books there.--I would like to thank Aryeh for his patience in helping me get set up on these MLs--I was so unfamiliar w/ the procedure. (Let me know if anyone would like more details on the above-cited set of the Passions .) --Enough for now--A

Anne DeBlois wrote (August 9, 2004):
My name is Anne DeBlois. I live in Quebec City, Canada. I have started viola lessons 2 years ago, and am now a member of my music school's string orc. For the Easter Holiday, we played Bach's BWV 4 Cantata (I played the Viola I part) along with his 2nd Orchestral Suite, and it was a great concert. I fell in love with Bach's music. This concert was my very first one as a musician, but as a member of my local orchestra's choir, I performed several choral works such as Mahler's 2nd and 3rd Symphonies, Beethoven's 9th, Carmina burana and various Requiem's.

I hope I'll play or sing other Bach works in the future. I think that's enough for now. Have a nice week,

Anne DeBlois, soprano et Webmestre
Le Choeur de l'Orchestre symphonique de Quebec
Visitez notre site: http://pages.infinit.net/chosq

L'Orchestre symphonique de Quebec: http://www.osq.org

Ecrivez-moi a annedeblois@videotron.ca
Visitez mon site a http://www.annedeblois.com/
MSN Messenger: msinnov@hotmail.com

Chopin wrote (August 9, 2004):
[To Anne DeBlois] I enjoy being a listener in this group - have been learning lots.

I also live in Canada (Ottawa) and was pleasantly surprised to hear that your school has a string orchestra - not a common thing, as far as I know.

Chopin: http://www.musiciansconnected.com

Santu De Silva wrote (August 9, 2004):
Welcome to our new members!

Joe Tüba wrote (August 9, 2004):
I'm a tuba player living in Brooklyn, NY and have a BA in music from Queens College, CUNY. I stumbled into the cantatas and orotorios (orotoria?) mostly at school, but have never really taken the time to pursue them. Their time is really long since due, hence my presence on this list. I found the bach-cantata website yesterday morning when I woke up with the 'Ich harre des Herrn' chorus stuck in my head and I couldn't remember which canata it was from ('Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir', BWV 131, thank you very much). Anyway, this site looks like a really fantastic resource, and I look forward to picking it clean over the next few months, as well as the ongoing discussion on this list.
Thanks,

John Reese wrote (August 10, 2004):
[To Anne DeBlois] Whoa! A chorister isn't a musician?!?

John Reese wrote (August 10, 2004):
[To Joe Tüba] The proper term is "Oreo". :-)

Anne DeBlois wrote (August 10, 2004):
[To John Reese] I am sorry I should have said "This concert was my very first one as a viola player..." instead of "musician"

:(

Anne DeBlois wrote (August 10, 2004):
[To Chopin] In Québec City, we have a Conservatory of music, which has its own ensembles (string orchestras, symphony, etc.), we have a university (www.ulaval.ca) that has its own faculty orchestra, and we have several music schools -- I think mine is the only one with its own string orchestra, but I may be wrong...

Also, the string orchestra is rather new, we completed our 3rd season in June.

David Zale wrote (August 10, 2004):
[To Joe Tüba] You and I share a bit of common ground. I attended Queens College in 1978-80 as a Cellist though I also played Tuba. My Dad played Tuba and was a charter member of the Eastman Wind Ensemble under Fennel and played in the Rochester Phil. He later played in the Navy Band in DC. I too am a lover of Bachs choral music.

Welcome to the group.

John Reese wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To Anne DeBlois] That's better....

Beethoven's 9th and Carmina Burana are particularly challenging for vocalists. (They're what I call "screamers".) I don't think either composer really understood the limitations of the human voice that well.

Anne DeBlois wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To John Reese] John, btw I am a Soprano, and I performed the 2 "screamers" so I cannot agree more with you !!

Dorian Gray wrote (August 11, 2004):
As for Orff, I can't say...Beethoven always knew the performers' limitations-he just didn't care. When a violinist once complained that a particular late quartet part was too hard, he replied in no uncertain terms. The upshot is that he knew he was writing music for posterity, and also wanted to challenge his contemporaries to reach higher. 'Why should I consider the complaints of a fiddle player when the Divine is speaking to me!' I'm paraphrasing to the best that my memery serves...can someone find the exact quotation?

Jason Marmaras wrote (August 11, 2004):
A warm welcome to all the new members!

Jason
(student in Greece)

John Pike wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To John Reese] But Beethoven's 9th is great fun to sing. I have done so myself several times.

John Pike wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To Dorian Gray] I agree. And Beethoven's late quartets are not the hardest music technically to perform by a long way. Much of their difficulty lies in the emotional depth and in giving a musically satisfying performance. As a keen amateur I would be confident of getting through them all with reasonable technical accuracy with some practice, but there are plenty of things I would not dream of trying....Pagannini caprices, last movement of the Brahms concerto and quite a lot of the Sibelius concerto come promptly to mind.

Chopin wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To Dorian Gray] Here is the quote you were referring to:

"Does he believe that I think of a wretched fiddle when the spirit speaks to me?" - Beethoven

(To his friend, the admirable violinist Schuppanzigh, when the latter complained of the difficulty of a passage in one of his works.)

Anne DeBlois wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To John Reese] Oh! yes, it is great to sing the 9th. I can sing it without problem, by the way, but I am aware of the difficulty for some sopranos. But Beethoven's 9th is great fun to sing. I have done so myself several times.

Arthur Swanson wrote (August 11, 2004):
Speaking of the Paganini Caprices, a close friend of mine played them for his senior recital. All of them. One right after another. Needless to say, he is not burdened with any feelings of inferiority.--Arthur

Dorian Gray wrote (August 11, 2004):
All very true- It seems silly to complain about most of Beethoven's music being technically awkward at this point in history when it comes to the violin, but I can still sympathize with the sopranos about having to sustain such a tessitura for so long! That will always be taxing, the human voice being what it is does have limitations-thus this passage in the 9th must be about 'reaching for the stars' -and so it is, the lofty Sternenzelt!

About Beethoven's fiddle parts- I would have no quibble with the fact that I have a much easier time playing quartet excerpts than certain romantic concertos alone in my practice room, but I have always been more intimidated by the prospect of performing ANY Beethoven quartet with the group, than performing any concerto with an orchestra. The former requires an aural and technical grasp of the music which borders on obsession, whereas the latter simply requires your naked abilities and a conductor and group who are willing merely to follow your lead. Even so, I have performed only a handful of concertos with a group at this point, but I can surely tell you that, so far, Beethoven's fiddle concerto has been the hardest to pull off! The stars are so far away, and my arms are so short...

Ludwig wrote (August 11, 2004):
[To Chopin] Now Schuppanzigh is a pig and arse. He is always complaining about one thing or another which makes him just fine for my jokes.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (August 31, 2004):
Anne DeBlois wrote:
< John, btw I am a Soprano, and I performed the 2 "screamers" so I cannot agree more with you !! >
I know, I'm two weeks or more behind the times here (was in the States for health reasons recently, now I'm back home but still recovering from jetlag - argh!). I've done Carmina Burana (in high school no less, with that quintet at the end 'mysteriously omitted' - supposedly because we lacked the personnel for the solo parts. Why do I have the feeling it isn't an accident that the lyrics to said quintet concern orgies and... practices that yours truly would consider as crossing theline dividing passion from violence?). Beethoven's 9th is the only one of his symphonies I haven't played, though I'd like to someday. But I have to say that the Bruckner Te Deum is what gave me nodes that kept me out of commission singing wise for quite some time (I was 19 at the time). Gorgeous piece though...

 

New (?) Member introduction

Jonathan Howard wrote (August 15, 2004):
I just read the rules of BRML, I forgot to introduce myself!

My name is Jonathan Howard; I was born on the 16th of May 1990, and back in 1992 my father introduced me to Baroque music (Pachelbel's Canon in D Minor). Later on (by the age of 3) I memorized the famous Minuettes (in the Anna Magdalena Booklet). When I was 5 I went to a music academy, studied 4 years of Music Theory (alongside 2 years of playing a Recorder, hated it). By the age of 9-10 I started listening to Händel and Vivaldi (rather than the 19th Century stuff taught in the musical school. I started to drift to Baroque.

Following the 2 facts that:

A: My father played Bach CDs all too often.
B: My brother played Bach (on a Synthisizer or however it's not spellt) every time possible.

I became a Bach addict.

When I was 11 or so I already remembered every note of BWV 1066-1068. The Brandenburg was listend to very often, so were some of the Cantatas. Organwerke was something I always listened to, rather than my father. And the Harpsichored works I was only introduced to later (even though we had those discs at home). Last summer I bought a better version of BWV 1066-1069, (finally I heard the 4th suite! The disc we had was packed on some back shelf I never saw...) And I decided that I must get my hands on whatever Vocal Works I have missed. The Mass in B Minor (BWV 232), The Passion (Matthäus (BWV 244) only, for now) and some Cantatas I listened to immediatly (I was 13 at the time or so).

So now I know a bit of every Genre, and hopefully I'll enrich my knowledge (as I already have ;)) here by learning first, teaching next.

As for other composers, I do not neglect them. Yet, even though I like Beethoven's 6th Symphony and the 3rd movement of Mozart's 40th, even though Peer Gynt and Judas Maccabaeus are compositions I heard - none compare to the greatst of all, and richest of all: Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

Mozart, and Murky bass

Twoshed 2000 wrote (September 9, 2004):
[snip] PS I am a pianist from Germany/UK, have recorded among other things all Mozart and Schubert sonatas (incl. all of Schuberts 400 dances), all of Ravel's works, some Schumann, soon Weber and Bax to follow. In process is the Wohltemperierte klavier by Bach, and I teach as well at the Hochschule fuer Musik "Hanns Eisler" in Berlin, where I hold the piano chair.

Apart from my musical fancies I am a bookworm,special interest (apart from delectable things like Jean Paul and Arno Schmidt ) in Golden Age mystery novels.I live in Germany and UK.

I want to explore the cantatas more, as I feel I am an ignoramus in that field.

 

New Member: Dan F. (yahoo nickname: baroquevisions)

Dan F. wrote (October 6, 2004):
Hello my fellows of the enlightened ear!

I am proud to join the humble ranks of this prestigious assembly. I am a college student who has discovered that music is the portal between the physical and spiritual realms and Bach (the vehicle) is between this obscure center. I probably don't have much of an expertise on his cantatas, or his life in general compared to others here, but I do know how important he is for both the past, present and future.

I joined this group for three reasons:

1) Because I believe that music is not a defined statement, luxury or label but an idea that is an absolute truth and is the only thing that can escape the human condition through total abstraction. Two completely different people can compare a painting they saw with words but music has a much more limited language to use in that sense. (I would like a future debate on the relationship between music and a deaf from birth person).

2) Because the baroque philosophies of harmony, melody and invention transcend any language, actions or motivations I have ever encountered. I believe they are a set of relics, the final descendants of a lost art whos spirit of creation we can not approach with pure originality.

3) Because I want to understand the environment that supported the creation of such music

I hope to learn alot and contribute to the learning of others.

 

Bach on Guitar

Kevin Zabbo wrote (October 15, 2004):
Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm 39 years old and a father and daddy to two wonderful children, both of whom have already a keen love for music. I'm working on the creation of a fretted electric cello, hopefully created by the time my son is old enough to realize that if he learned to play it, could be the next Jimi Hendrix.

I have heard the most fantastic version of Tocatta & Fugue in Dm by the California Guitar Trio and King Crimson.

Three guitars, one is an acoustic bass and one is a steel stringed guitar. They play it at the right speed with no effects and one take live. It's fantastic. I'm not that good on guitar to be able to rearrange such a piece. Has anyone else heard this? What album is it on?

ps. Check out my store:
You can get a lot of things here. I love the coffee!
https://www.ezinfocenter.com/8813281/showIndex.vstore
Kevin's Veriuni Store Home

(I add this to all of my emails. It's at the end so you don't have to scroll past it to read the good stuff. It's also never the subject.)

 

Appreciating Mozart

Marsha Epstein wrote (October 22, 2004):
I have been "lurking" for several months and this is my first contribution to this list. I admit that I am no professional -- rather someone who simply loves music and opera. I have had little musical training, to my regret, and to make up for a little of that I have been watching Professor Robert Greenberg's lectures (San Francisco Conservatory of Music) via the Teaching Company. To quote Greenberg: "There is no one better than Mozart." Perhaps this is not the thing to say on a Bach forum, but for fair-minded lovers of music, it is important not to dismiss a composer of Mozart's caliber out of hand, with intimations that anyone who knows a little music theory can easily emulate Mozart's achievements. I have found that the more I understand what a composer is trying to do the more I enjoy and appreciate his work. It's a matter of caring enough to study the composer's compositions and technique. The more understanding, the greater the enjoyment of the music.

 

Introducing myself

Julie Hauptman [Houston, Texas] wrote (November 5, 2004):
I am a classical pianist and teacher, who recently discovered that my father, Michael Hauptmann, (who I haven't seen since I was 5, in 1960, and who has passed away) was a conductor. In the early 1950's, he conducted a Bach Society recording of the Easter Cantata, BWV 158, with the Bach Cantata Circle of New York's chamber orchestra and chorus. I am looking for a decent copy of this recording, and any information about it. I would also be interested in knowing of any other record of his musical activities.

Thank you,

 

Order of Discussion in the BCML for 2005

Neil Mason wrote (November 15, 2004):
This is my first posting to this list.
[snip]
I would also like to take this chance to introduce myself. I am a singing teacher, tenor soloist and choral conductor living in Brisbane, Australia. I am the Musical Director of the Bach Society of Queensland, a post I have held off and on since 1987. In 1987 I knew virtually nothing about Bach (believe it or not!) but over that time have conducted a number of his works, including last month the first Australian performance of BWV 214. So in some respects I am somewhat of a pioneer!

It has been a great boon in recent years to have vocal scores available on CD Sheet Music. Full scores and orchestral parts do not seem to be so readily available, but perhaps I am mistaken and would love to hethat I am wrong!

I must admit that I have been a "lurker" on this list for quite some time before posting, because of what I perceive to be an argumentativeness in some posters, or in other words a lack of generosity of spirit. So I would like to say to posters generally that the constitution or emotional make-up of some people is not as robust as others. Mine is not particularly delicate but I will not continue to post if I receive "ad hominem" attacks like several others do.

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (November 15, 2004):
Neil Mason wrote:
< This is my first posting to this list. >
Welcome!

< It has been a great boon in recent years to have vocal scores available on CD Sheet Music. Full scores and orchestral parts do not seem to be so readily available, but perhaps I am mistaken and would love to hear that I am wrong! >
When I first signed up for this list, there was a site that had the full scores of the BGA edition for all the cantatas available free of charge for downloading. However, subsequently there were some legal problems, some German guy came along claiming he had copyright in the *.pdf files (which he was selling in CD format on his web site) - which is absurd because the BGA is over 100 years old and is therefore public domain! But until the matter was straightened out, they had to remove the full scores from that other site. It seems the matter has been taken care of and almost all of the full scores are back on line. (And now that I have my nice new 80G hard drive, maybe I should simply download them all while I can, just in case???) However, I should observe that all parts are notated in the original clefs - so, sopranos be prepared to read soprano clef, altos be prepared to read alto clef, tenors be prepared to read tenor clef!!! Here is the link to that site: http://www.mymp3sonline.net/bach_cantatas/mp3.asp

You can also get vocal scores and listen to decent HIP recordings of each cantata (in some cases there is even more than one to choose from) at this URL.

 

Intro and Question

Jacki Barineau wrote (November 15, 2004):
Hi, Everyone... I just joined this group and have been a lover of Bach's music since I was in college 22 years ago! I hope this is the right place and question to ask (I'm noticing some disagreements already!) - but I'm really trying to find hopefully the sheet music or a recording of a song we did in college by Bach called "Honor and Glory". Can anyone tell me where to find this? Or at least what the "official" title is - is it from a cantata, and if so, what is the name of the work..? It was a vocal piece.

Thanks so much!

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Jacki Barineau] My guess is the boisterous fugal ending "Lob und Ehre und Preis und Gewalt...", last movement of cantata BWV 21 ("Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis"). Starts off with the bass in a rising C-major arpeggio.... Text from the book of Revelation. This one: http://www.carus-verlag.com/index.php3?BLink=KKWerk&WerkID=3481

Doug Cowling wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Bradley Lehman] The first half of the chorus begins with "Das Lamm". It is fascinating to compare Bach's movement with Händel's setting of the same text in "Worthy Is the Lamb". Interestingly both use the same structure of Adagio "prelude" followed by Allegro fugue.


Thomas Braatz wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Jacki Barineau] This seems to be a Bach arrangement by Walter Ehret, published in New York by Plymouth Music Co. It is scored by Ehret for 2 sopranos, A, T. B. which might lead toward such works as the Magnificat or the B-minor Mass or possibly a motet. Looking at the text given by Ehret, it appears none of the usual possibilities from this list seem to fit because of the unusual number of Hallelujahs involved:

>>Honor and glory be to God in the highest,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, sing praises to
His name!Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!<<

The Hallelujahs occur in BWV 4, 29, 35, 41, 43, 143, 145, 225, 226 and in some assorted chorales BWV 266, 277, 278, 342, 445, 482, 492.

I am unable to find a good match using these parameters.

John Pike wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Jacki Barineau] I wonder if you are thinking of the hymn tune "All glory, laud and honour to Thee redeemer King". The original is a chorale from the St John Passion (BWV 245). I have an idea the same chorale is used in Cantata BWV 95 but need to check this.

Thomas Gebhardt wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Jacki Barineau] "Honor and Glory"...

This could also be a (non-Bach) version with free text underlay of "Sicut locutus est" from the Bach Magnificat, as this piece is widely spread in Germany as "Ehre und Preis..." which would probably also fit a English version as "Honor and Glory". I don't know if this English version exists but I could point you to the German (in many German choir books)... Just listen to the first few bars of the "Sicut locutus" and probably you will instantly know if that is what you're looking for...

Hope his helps,

Doug Cowling wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To John Pike] The old Church Anthem collection, beloved of Anglican choirs, has a pastiche BAch anthem of three sections with two chorale harmonizations flanking a triple time setting from one of the cantatas.

Thomas Gebhardt wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Thomas Braatz] I hadn't read Thomas Braatz' message before (all his postings to the group are frequently swallowed by my spam filter), but now I'm sure that it is the said reworking (new text) of "Sicut locutus" as this English text corresponds with the German version which I had in mind.The numerous "Hallelujahs" are set in place of "Abraham et semini eius" (="Halleluja, halleluja").

If you don't find sheet music it wouldn't be to complicated to underlay the text...

I'm sure now that this is the answer to the (original) question.

Jacki Barineau wrote (November 16, 2004):
Wow, thanks so much, everyone, for being so kind and helpful with this! I have located a midi file of the song I'm looking for - it was on a Baroque web site and they called it "Honor and Glory" by Bach under their "Liturgical" section. It was "public domain" (the midi file) so I have put it on my own midi page so you guys could hear the one I'm talking about! It's at: http://www.ourlittleplace.com/midi.html

Look under "Classical/Baroque Songs" and you'll see "Honor and Glory". A direct link (if you prefer) is: http://www.ourlittleplace.com/honorglory.mid

I'm also putting a graphic snapshot of the first system with the lyrics we remember entered. It is at: http://www.ourlittleplace.com/Honor.jpg

My friend (who sang this in the choir with me) can remember that it begins "Honor and glo--ry- be- to God- in the high---est" - and also remembers the "sing praises to His name" and the "Hallelujahs" - so I think that Thomas was correct when he said:
"This seems to be a Bach arrangement by Walter Ehret, published in New York by Plymouth Music Co. It is scored by Ehret for 2 sopranos, A, T. B. which might lead toward such works as the Magnificat or the B-minor Mass or possibly a motet. Looking at the text given by Ehret, it appears none of the usual possibilities from this list seem to fit because of the unusual number of Hallelujahs involved:
Honor and glory be to God in the highest,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, sing praises to
His name!Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!"

It is in D major, so the "B-minor Mass" is a definite possibility. I think that having the midi file, if we could just find the rest of the lyrics we'd be good to go! Though finding the sheet music would still be best - I was even looking at our local library's web site to see if they might have it, but not knowing the title of the collection/work it is a part of, I'm having trouble even doing a prsearch!

Thanks again for all your help with this!

Thomas Gebhardt wrote (November 16, 2004):
[To Jacki Barineau] It's not from the B minor mass (BWV 232).

It IS the "Sicut locutus" from Bach's Magnificat in D major (BWV 243) (or E flat major as well... read on that elsewhere...) with different words (not by Bach) .... it's simply underlayed by someone to this beautiful fugal piece from the Magnificat.

There is no "rest of the lyrics": it's just that and it can be easily underlayed to the original "Sicut locutus est".

Be aware that neither the English "Honor and Glory" (of couse!) nor the German "Ehre und Preis" has been written or set originally by Bach.

Nevertheless it's quite common over here in church choirs as "Bach's Ehre und Preis"...

Thomas (Gebhardt ... just to avoid confusion...)

Jacki Barineau wrote (November 17, 2004):
[To Thomas Gebhardt] Thanks so much, Thomas! You are right - this is it! I have found the notation for "Sicut locutus" and am trying to remember/figure out where the lyrics all fit with the English words... I know this is not the "recording" list(!) - but do you happen to know if there is a recording of this version?

Thanks again, everyone, for helping me track this down! Now I hope to be able to get more involved in your "normal discussions" of these great works :)

 

New member - about myself

Mlespaul wrote (November 17, 2004):
Thank you for the opportunity to share in these discussions. I was introduced to Bach's body of work through my first hearing of BWV 244 about 10 years ago. By the time "Wir setzen uns mit Tränen nieder” had finished, every hair on the back of my neck was standing up along with goosebumps, and I remember being transfixed by the whole experience. I have heard both Rilling's and Scherchen's versions and have not been able to sample any others as of yet. I have also begun my journey into the b minor mass (BWV 232) and am discovering new things all the time within it as well.

Looking forward to listening in to you all.

John Pike wrote (November 17, 2004):
[To Mlespaul] Welcome. Your first experience of the SMP (BWV 244) is one I certainly identify with. There was a time, when I was about 15, that I would listen to it almost non-stop at home when I should have been preparing for exams undisturbed!

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (November 17, 2004):
Mlespaul wrote:
< I have heard both Rilling's and Scherchen's versions [of the MP] and have not been able to sample any others as of yet. >
What an unusual combination of the only recordings of the MP (BWV 244) to have heard. Scherchen's is my favorite non-HIP performance. I fear that it is not that easily available.

 

Introducing myself - Marco Polo

Marco Polo wrote (November 23, 2004):
< Each new member is invited to send to the BCML a message titled 'Introducing Myself', in which he/she will tell the group something about his/her background and how he/she got acquainted with Bach's music, especially the Bach Cantatas. >
When I was a teenager I heard Händel's Dixit Dominus in a concert and I was moved like never before with music. I bought a recording of it - Gardiner + Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra - and I must have listened to it almost three hundred times since. To this day the Dixit Dominus remains my absolute favourite.

I later joined an amateur choir (as a baritone) and sang Bach's Mass in B minor (BWV 232). This is how I got acquainted with Bach's vocal works. Singing it was fun but definitely not easy as I have absolutely no musical background whatsoever and cannot read a score. I had to sing the whole thing from memory. I later left the choir as I did not like the atmosphere within the group.

As for the cantatas, I discovered them little by little, by myself, as I tried to know more about Bach's vocal music.

I am still discovering them, and I still know zilch about music theory. Vocal music, especially baroque, simply 'talks' to me.

That's about it. Thanks for reading. Hope this wasn't too boring.

[In case anybody cares, I am a 43yo European male living in Bangkok, Thailand.]

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (November 23, 2004):
[To Marco Polo] Welcome! No, your tale of singing the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) from memory is not boring - it is astounding!

John Pike wrote (November 23, 2004):
[To Marco Polo] Welcome!

 

BWV 54 and introducing myself

Iman de Zwarte wrote (November 24, 2004):
Well, I don't want to disturb many interesting discussions, but Aryeh invited me to introduce myself and announce an arrangement of cantata BWV 54 "Widerstehe doch der Sünde".

My name is Iman de Zwarte. I'm a dutch organist and churchmusician living in Norway. Since I'm living in the "district" I don't have all kind of musicians around me. That's the reason why I arranged cantata BWV 54 for treble-recorder and organ, the way we (my wife and I) played it together with a mezzo-sopran, working for the Norwegian Opera in Oslo but living in our neigbourhood (about 50 km. east of Bergen).

They who are interested are invited to take a look at the arrangement at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/IndexScores2.htm

John Pike wrote (November 24, 2004):
[To Iman de Zwarte] Welcome! John

Neil Halliday wrote (November 25, 2004):
[To Iman de Zwarte] That looks like a very nice arrangement of this beautiful music. I notice that the opening bars have the same 'blissful/pastoral' harmony as the opening bars of BWV 127/1, that was discussed recently (in F major, with that lovely, crunchy F, G, (B flat), E, dischord in there (an F ninth of some type)?

(But unlike BWV 54, BWV 127/1 soon launches into some quite disturbing harmony).

 

Introducing myself

Derek Chester wrote (December 5, 2004):
I'm Derek Chester, a 23 tenor getting my MM in early vocal music performance, chamber music and song at Yale University. I am absolutly in love with Bach's music, particulary the Mass in B minor (BWV 232) which I recently performed as a chorister in Carnegie Hall (Pro Chorus workshop with Peter Schreier). I first came across Bach as a child and wore out a tape of the Magnificat in D (BWV 243) that I stole from my older brother. The first cantata I sang was Christ Lag (BWV 4) first as a chorister and later as a soloist (one a part). As a senior in undergrad, I jumped on the Ich habe genug (BWV 82a) bandwagon as a tenor (now seeing that lately everyone of every voice part is recording this!). I'm currently studying two cantatas as a soloist, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV 106) and Ich armer mensch (BWV 55), and preparing my first role as evangalist in St. Johns passion (BWV 245) with the Yale Schola Cantorum and Collegium players in 2006. I'm performing BWV 106 with 3 other singers one on a part for a MM conducting recital, and the solo cantata BWV 55 for my first year recital.

If anyone has any interesting factiods on Ich armer mensch BWV 55 besides the usual obvious blurb, please share with me as I hope to use this group as a resource to make my performance more informed.

I've a yahoo group and briefcase with sound files of my singing. I've posted an older recital of Ich habe genug, some Ravel and Vaughan Williams, and some newer files including some Monteverdi Selva morale e spirituale stuff and some Elizabethan lute songs.

Please enjoy!

www.groups.yahoo.com/groups/derekchester
http://f2.pg.briefcase.yahoo.com/derek_t_chester@sbcglobal.net

Cheers!
Derek Chester, tenor

Aryeh Oron wrote (December 5, 2004):
[To Derek Chester] Welcome aboard!

It would be interesting to read your perception of the mentioned cantatas as a singer when they are discussed in the forthcoming cycle of cantata discussions.

Arjen van Gijssel wrote (December 5, 2004):
[To Derek Chester] Just to congratulate you with your beautiful voice. I listened to Schlummert and are impressed by the higher range of your voice. You have natural "upper tones".

I remember how I first sang the MBM and SJP. I can imagine how you feel performing it. Now I've performed it many times, but still there's the magic.

Derek Chester wrote (December 6, 2004):
[To Arjen van Gijssel] Thanks for the kind words! It's been over a year since that recording. I hope to sing it again soon as my voice has changed so much under a new teacher here at Yale. It is just so singable and Bach's setting of the text is gorgious. What is your opinion on tenors performing this cantata? I have some bass friends who do not aprove!

Neil Halliday wrote (December 6, 2004):
[To Derek Chester] That's very attractive singing in 'Schlummert ein', reminding me of Ian Bostridge in the same aria. Thanks for the examples of your fine voice.

Speaking of tenors, today I have discovered another very attractive voice, namely one Kurt Huber, singing in the beautiful tenor aria 'Verbirgt mein Hirte' from BWV 104, under Werner's direction (1966).

What a treasure-trove the cantatas are!

 

Introducing myself

Paul T. McCain (boc 1580) wrote (December 30, 2004):
I'm new here. I'm a Lutheran pastor and have been a huge fan of J. S. Bach for a very long time. This summer I was able to visit Leipzig and take in all the Bach sites, etc.

I'm wondering if anyone here could tell me where and how to obtain a really high quality portrait of Bach? I've searched high and low and can only come up with poor posters, etc. etc.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

George LeFurjah [VA., USA] wrote (December 31, 2004):
I was enraptured over 40 years ago by the organ music of Bach. Since then I have collected recordings of organ, lute, cello, violin, keyboard (piano, harpsichord, and clavichord) et al, on ancient and modern instruments, as well as cantatas and oratorios. I began singing in a local chorus several years ago which greatly increased my interest in the cantatas and oratorios. I was introduced to the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) while at college studying Bach and it had (and does at every listening) the same effect on me as the organ music. I felt that I was receiving a direct communication from the Almighty. Most of Bach's music has this effect on me - but now that I have actually performed it as a chorister the vocal works are more powerful than ever.

I discovered this email group by googling for "Bach tourism". I previously read Jan Koster's account of his tour of 10 years ago, wanted to plan a similar tour myself, and wondered what was the current state of these towns and villages. I was rewarded both by updates on the tourism, and knowledge of the existence of this group.

I have only recently become aware of the Rifkin hypothesis and read several postings regarding this. To me, it is not the instrument, the arrangement, the size of the chorus, or any of these subtleties argued by the scholars. It is simply the music. I agree with one poster who enjoys the new OVPP performances but hopes the full chorus performances do not fade away. After all, with my lack of solo talent I would never have had the opportunity to perform this music that thrills my soul.


David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (December 31, 2004):
[To Paul (boc 1580)] One way might be to contact the Thomaskirche zu Leipzig. I believe they have a copy of the Hausmann portrait (the only authentic portrait out there, with Bach holding a copy of BWV 1076 [?] in his hand). There are also posters, etc., of the portrait on any vendor site.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (December 31, 2004):
George LeFurjah wrote: < BTW a local group, the Washington Bach Consort does performances with large chorus and OVPP, and I enjoy both immensely.>
How big?

Also, have you heard any recordings of the Thomanerchor Leipzig?

Doug Cowling wrote (December 31, 2004):
Bach Beer Glass

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: < One way might be to contact the Thomaskirche zu Leipzig. I believe they have a copy of the Hausmann portrait (the only authentic portrait out there, with Bach holding a copy of BWV 1076 [?] in his hand). There are also posters, etc., of the portrait on any vendor site. >
The only domestic artifact which survives from the Bach household is an ornamented beer glass. Has anyone ever seen reproductions offered for sale?

George LeFurjah wrote (December 31, 2004):
David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote: concerning WBC >How big?
The S.M. Passion I saw had 5 soloists and perhaps 40 in the chorus, orchestra, plus a local girls choir to replace a boys choir. Not 100's... See www.bachconsort.org for more information on this group.

>Also, have you heard any recordings of the Thomanerchor Leipzig? >
No.

Eric Bergerud wrote (December 31, 2004):
Thomanerchor

Unless I am bungling the search mechanism on both Archiv and Amazon, it's no easy matter to find recordings done by the Thomanerchor Leipzig. There are none listed on Archiv and only three on Amazon (all used). I stumbled on one at a local used CD shop with the Thomanerchor doing some cantatas with the Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum. It's a nice performance - a good sized choir with, you bet, lots of boys singing. Rather odd that there aren't more. Perhaps European Bach fans are more fortunate.

Also a little odd that there aren't more portraits of Bach. I guess it's testimony to the very limited prestige held by musicians in that era. And things didn't get better for a while. We have, as I understand it, only a handful of Mozart or Haydn portraits. (Maybe Händel was better memorialized - he had royal patronage of a sort after all.) Beethoven was a different story. Beethoven apparently a very striking physical presence, something I've never heard noted about either Bach or Mozart. Also he was more famous in his lifetime than any musician had been previously. A generation the problem went away with the advent of photography. (A J.S. Bach beer mug?

Now that's an idea that I like. If there aren't reproductions being made, maybe I could interest the list into a little venture. How could one enjoy a cantata without sipping on a Miller Lite? Course in Bach's life he would have tippled some local Saxon brew. I don't think I've ever had any. In my Germany days I was - shock - stuck in Berlin, the only area, East or West, that had very poor beer. Seems that the old Junkers associated beer swilling with dissolute Bavarians so they stuck to their mind-bending corn schnapps. The rich ones like Bismarck had private booze merchants bringing in the best from far and wide. Bismarck was fond of a concoction called a "Black Velvet" made with champagne and Guinness Stout mixed half/half. Actually very good. Leipzig isn't that far from either Munich or Prague: bet Bach did pretty well.)

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Thomaskantors - General Discussions Part 2 [Performers]

John Pike wrote (December 31, 2004):
[To Eric Bergerud] Yes. It is probably difficult to get hold of good quality prints of Bach. The famous portrait of Bach by Haussmann is, I think, in Princeton University Library. Maybe they produce a print. I think the portrait belongs to William H Scheide, who is a member of the American Bach Society. There are about 6 or 7 portraits of Bach but it is highly likely that one of these is not of Bach at all. There is a useful website on the subject, "The face of Bach", by Teri Noel Towe, a member of this group: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/thefaceofbach/

For tAmerican Bach Society, visit: http://www.americanbachsociety.org/

Russell Telfer wrote (December 31, 2004):
I introduced myself a few months ago, but did not mention "my" website, that is the website I run for the Dorset Bach Cantata Club which was founded in 1955. It is: http://uk.geocities.com/dbcclub

I didn't mention it at first because it needed a lot of work done on it, and it is still far from perfect.

However it does set out what the society does and when it does it, that is, three weekends a year devoted to the study of specified cantatas. Our current studies are focused on Cantatas 103, 11, 30 and 99.

This is at Sturminster Newton in north Dorset, and the next dates are 12th-13th February. Paul Steinitz was one of our patrons and conductors.

Needless to say, any member of BCML or the other websites would be welcome: to observe, to sing or to play, although the club rules should be followed i.e. instrumentalists should not turn up unanounced and expect to play.

If anyone is interested, I'll be happy to give more details.

Aryeh Oron wrote (December 31, 2004):
Website of Members

Russell Telfer wrote:
< I introduced myself a few months ago, but did not mention "my" website, that is the website I run for the Dorset Bach Cantata Club which was
founded in 1955. It is: http://uk.geocities.com/dbcclub >
Hi Russell, Welcome New Members,

The Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) includes a page with links to websites of
members of the BCML/BRML.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Members.htm
If any member has a website not listed in this page, please write to me off-list.

Happy New Year!

 

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Last update: ýMarch 13, 2010 ý10:24:30