Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Members of the Bach Cantatas Mailing List
Part 7: Year 2005-3

Continue from Members of the BCML - Year 2005-2

New member and question [BRML]

Tom Dent wrote (March 9, 2005):
Hello to all, I am a player of the following 'instruments': piano, harpsichord, gramophone, bassoon, voice... in no particular order. I would say my real start in appreciation and performance of music came with the Inventions and Sinfonias with the WTC following in due course. Although Beethoven came a close second!

I am confused by what I see here relative to the guidelines on BCML/BRML. They state that BCML is for vocal works and BRML is for non-vocal works. But the most recent posts here have all been about vocal works (albeit not cantatas)!

It seems rather messy for there to be more than one mailing list where the Passions and performances/recordings are discussed at the same time.

At the same time I appreciate that rigid moderation to segregate vocal and non-vocal would be rather difficult to apply.

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote (March 9, 2005):
[To Tom Dent] Actually, if you want to discuss the Passions, there is a group that is devoted to that almost exclusively. I had founded it some months ago, and would gladly welcome new blood into it. Its http is: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/kpebach. It is called "Karwochesmusik und andere geistliche Stücke".

Aryeh Oron wrote (March 10, 2005):
[To Tom Dent] Welcome aboard.

The division of topics between the 3 Bach ML - BCML/BRML/BMML - as stated in the Home Page of all 3 - is a recommendation, which most members seem to respect. However, since the 3 Bach ML are not moderated (except very few members), I cannot prevent a member starting a thread, which actually belongs to another ML. You have also to remember that some topics are inter-related.

Aryeh Oron
Moderator of BCML/BRML/BMML

Sw Anandgyan wrote (March 9, 2005):
Tom Dent wrote:
< [snip] I am confused by what I see here relative to the guidelines on BCML/BRML. They state that BCML is for vocal works and BRML is for non-vocal works. But the most recent posts here have all been about vocal works (albeit not cantatas)! [snip again] >
Hi Thomas and welcome,

This made me look a the specification at their Yahoo! home pages. Now I interpret the word 'mostly' as not 'exclusively' and I'll share my mistaken take on your question.

I assumed the Bach Cantatas list was for the on-going discussion, while the Bach Recordings was for the 'rest' as in recorded oeuvres of any kind, latest CDs or out-of-print ones.

I have seen the latest Bach Cantatas by the Purcell Quartet on the Chandos label so I'll most likely post a comment on this list.

Why? Because even if it's a collection of vocal works, it's a new " record " to me.

Being wrong is an aspect of being human, no?

 

Hello! And BWV 21

Jeremy Vosburgh wrote (March 17, 2005):
My name is Jeremy Vosburgh. This is my first email to this group. I am, by no means, an expert in Bach's music, history, or even the lexicon of his day. I do, however, love his music, especially his cantatas; specifically, as a Christian, I find in his music a form and beauty that transcends the performers and points to a greater joy AND purpose than most people listening to the pop music of today could ever imagine. I am excited to join this group and ask for your patience as I have only listened to about half of Bach's cantatas thus far and may ask questions and make statements that will appear naive.

Rest of the message, see: Cantata BWV 21 - Discussions Part 4

 

Introducing Myself

Wim wrote (March 30, 2005):
I am Wim and I joined this group to learn more on Bach cantata's. I am an organ player and currently involved in a project called "Bach to the Future" where classic meets modern. This is where I need some knowledge of the cantata's.

 

Let me introduce myself

Alain Bruguières wrote (April 9, 2005):
I've only just arrived on the list, and I understand that I'm supposed to introduce myself, and tell you how I came to love Bach's cantatas. My name is Alain Bruguieres. By trade, I'm a mathematician. I'm a frenchman, and I live in Montpellier, in the south of France. In my late teens, I was an utter anglophile (I feel much better now.) As a side-effect, I was a great fan of the Beatles and Händel's oratorios (Messiah, Israel in Egypt). After some time, I grew somewhat weary of Händel. Too much of it at one time. It occurred to me that JS Bach was a contemporary, so probably his vocal music was similar, so I had a try. I bought a tape recording of the Mass in B minor (BWV 232). I was litterally thunderstruck by the first chords. That was it. I completely forgot about Händel (and the Beatles). No time left for that. Curiously, for a few years I left aside Bach's Cantatas. I was all for so-called 'theoretical works'. And of course the Well Tempered Clavier. In the vocal works, I favoured large choirs. Then I took to organ chorals, and finally I came to the cantatas. At first, mostly the large choral fantasia, but more and more, it's the intimate cantatas that I favour. I'm very fond of BWV 82, BWV 58, BWV 54, BWV 49... I'm even growing fond of recitatives, which I found a bore a few years ago! Some are quite striking, as the one in Wachet! Betet! Betet! Wachet! right after the aria 'Hebt euer Haupt empor' (which, by the way, I found very convenient to soothe my son when he had colic pains - I used to dance with him in my arms, singing that aria).

When I was an anglophile, my english was reasonably good; since then it has deteriorated so please forgive my mistakes. Besides, I love music, but I'm not a musician.

Well, I think that should be enough to begin with!

Kirk McElhearn wrote (April 9, 2005):
Alain Bruguières wrote:
< I've only just arrived on the list, and I understand that I'm supposed to introduce myself, and tell you how I came to love Bach's cantatas. My name is Alain Bruguieres. By trade, I'm a mathematician. I'm a frenchman, and I live in Montpellier, in the south of France. >
Hi, we don't have many members in France... Welcome, "neighbor".

Leonardo Been wrote (April 9, 2005):
[To Alain Bruguières] Very nice introduction.

Merci beaucoup,

 

Introducing Myself

Kokoro wrote (June 14, 2005):
BachCantatasHello everyone, thanks for allowing me to introduce myself here. Me, a Chinese young man, ran into Bach's music 4 or 5 years ago when I found it likely arising the true music sense deep in my heart. From then on I knew that Bach's music would accompany me for all my life. Later I gradually realized the beauty lying in Bach's vocal music, making me deeply be fond of the Cantatas.

My listening experience of the Cantatas is simple and short. It all started from a very old secondhand tape which contained BWV 140 & BWV 63. I surprisingly found every note in BWV 140 is so paradisal. Since then I started to collect the Cantatas. As a poor student I can't afford many CDs, so I just concentrate on listening. Every new cantata can give me a different taste. The inspiration springing out from them fulfills me. Bach is so amazing.

Sorry my English expression is awful. In a word, although my understanding of Bach Cantatas is very little, I'm glad to be a BCML member to learn more about Bach and his Cantatas, and share the happiness which Bach gives us.

Leonardo Been wrote (June 14, 2005):
[To Kokoro] Thank you for your nice introduction, Kokoro.

WXY wrote (June 15, 2005):
[To Kokoro] Nice to see another Chinese people on board! I'm sure you will learn a lot from the mail list. Happy reading and contributing!

 

New member looking for some help

Gerry wrote (June 16, 2005):
...locating instrumental parts for the Cantatas. Does anyone out there know of one particular website that offers free downloadable pdf. parts and scores for all or most of the them?

thanksin advance...

gerry in cincinnati ohio

Hendryk Oesterlin wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Gerry] I forget to mention some good scores in Capella *.cap format: http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de/

Gerry wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Hendryk Oesterlin] thanks so much Hendrik; I will try both these sites again in a few days when they may be up and running.

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Gerry] Not free, but low cost: for a clean and reliable recent edition of the performance parts, it's always worth a look at Carus-Verlag to see if they've got to a particular cantata yet: http://www.carus-verlag.com/

And many/most of those are readily available in the US by mail order from: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (June 16, 2005):
The sites Hendrik mentions, to the best of my knowledge, have only full scores - not performance materials (except maybe vocal scores). I suppose in principle one could paste-up from the full score, but that is tedious, and it won't work for the organ part, because normally the continuo part is not realized in the score (which is fine if your organist realizes BC at sight, and not so fine if he/she doesn't) Then again, there's always Finale for that problem, if you have the time - indeed, that might even be faster than pasting-up for the other parts too. But still not ideal. I too have my antennae trained on the further progress of this discussion, as the only way I have found so far to get actual ready-made parts is not at all free, especially if the item has to be express shipped from abroad...

For what it's worth

 

600 Members!

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 16, 2005):
Today the 600th member joined the BCML.

When it all started, about 5 1/2 years ago, there were about 20 members; after a year we had about 120, after two years more than 200, after three years about 300, and after four years 400. The number of actual contributors to the discussions is much smaller, but this is only natural.

I warmly welcome all the new members who have joined the BCML recently. May I ask the new members to introduce themselves to the other members of the list?

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.

Members who joined the BCML in previous years used to write such an introduction. See links to these pages at the lower right side of the page:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/index.htm

Some of the members in the BCML have personal websites. Some of these websites are dedicated to Bach, others are not. There is a page in the BCW dedicated to these labours of love: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Members.htm
If I have personal Website not listed there, please let me know.

All members, both new and veteran, contributors and lurkers alike, are invited to add their personal profile to the Member Profiles page:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Members-Profiles.htm
The needed details are: photo (jpg/jpeg format, 180x235 pixels), name, occupation, city/country, when you joined the Bach List, personal website (if you have any). If you do not want your photo to appear, it is also acceptable. Simply write 'No photo'. Please send the details and the photo to my personal e-mail address: oron-a@inter.net.il and not to the Bach Lists.

Anthony Olszowy wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Aryeh Oron] Congratulations to Aryeh especially. I am always awe-struck by his dedication to the maintenance and supervision of this web site. Such publicly spirited individuals are rare indeed, and should always be commended. We all owe a debt of gratitude to him and to the other members who make this a truly valuable international resource.

Kirk McElhearn wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Anthony Olszowy] Agreed...

Aryeh, I won't say what you expect me to say, but you know what I'd like to say... :-)

John Pike wrote (June 17, 2005):
[To Anthony Olszowy] Here, here!

 

Koopman's CDs on Amazon.com

Dima Vinokurov wrote (June 19, 2005):
Hi everyone!

I am a new member in Bach Cantatas group. I started reading your posts about cantatas about 5 years ago, though I actualy joined only a week ago. I'd like to tell you that I enjoy it very much and realy appreciate all of you for sharing your knowledge with us. <>

 

By way of introduction, ... and Koopman for a steal

Alan Sorensen wrote (June 24, 2005):
Greetings. By way of introduction, I'm for these purposes going by alanbwv (Alan's actually my name). I live in Philadelphia, USA, and have been reading your engaging and stimulating posts for a while now, particularly admiring Aryeh's heroic contributions to the cause. Finally, yesterday, I mustered the will to join. No musicologist, and, indeed, barely able to articulate my still-developing critical tastes, I fear I can contribute little to the discussions. But I certainly love Bach's cantatas. I'm collecting Suzuki, but also have a fair amount of Rilling and Koopman, along with some Harnoncourt/Leonhardt, some Richter, most of Herreweghe, and a sampling of assorted Gardiner, Thomas, Junghänel, Parrott, Biondi, Forster, Fasolis, Jacobs, Labadie, Huggett, etc.

One impetus for my joining yesterday was the thought that I might for once have something useful to say. I don't know if this is an accepted or desired form of contribution or not, but, in case others are interested and unaware, I wanted to share my discovery that a number of Koopman's Bach cantatas are available at a considerable discount on US Amazon right now. Specifically Volumes 1, 2, 3, 6, 13, 14, and 17 -- box sets that each contain 3 discs -- are selling, brand new, (on average) for less than $14. (They can be bought for even less from Amazon-approved merchants on the site.) I know opinion is mixed on Koopman, but still ... In any case, thank you for this list and for this superb website. It means a lot to me, as I know it does to others. Best wishes.

Alan Sorensen wrote (June 24, 2005):
More Introducing Myself

Hello. Please forgive the sins of a newcomer. I omitted two items from the last (my 1st) message. One: my name: Alan Sorensen. I don't mind going by it. Two: answering the question how I became interested in Bach cantatas. Pretty much backwards. I had listened to a lot of other classical music, including some Bach, before acquiring any cantatas. Then on Berkshire I came across a collection of 4 CDs by Rilling -- as I recall (I'm not at home) all of them related to something like devotion, death, and serenity or such. (It includes a Fischer-Dieskau BWV 82.) From then on, I was hooked. And one thing that really helped was reading all about the cantatas and various renditions of them -- not to mention disputes about such topics as how long bass notes in the continuo should be played! -- on this website. Now I listen to Bach every day, and I'm pretty sure it's for life. Thanks.

Leonardo Been wrote (June 26, 2005):
[To Alan Sorensen]You are contributing your feelings - which is probably the most valuable of all.

 

Introduction

Lew George wrote (July 2, 2005):
Greetings, I am an amateur 'cellist, and have struggled with the Bach 'cello suites for at least as long as Casals did before he performed them publicly. Alas, I am still not ready to play them even to my family! Not even one movement. The cantatas were for many years works I wanted to hear. Harnoncourt provided the opportunity, but I couldn't afford them until they were released on CD in the mid 90's. I have been playing them since. Bach 2000 in Melbourne provided the next inspiration, with live performances of a good many under Herreweghe, Suzuki (including a marvellous performance of St Matthew (BWV 244) with combined BCJ and Collegium Vocale orchestras and chorus under Herreweghe - does anyone have a copy broadcast I could buy/borrow?), Cantus Köln and Australian baroque musicians. Inspired by this I started collecting the Suzuki set, which I find complements Harnoncourt well, and has excellent notes, not least on musicological matters. I took up the piano last year and am studying Myra Hess's Jesu Joy. This movement is wonderful to hear in its original context of cantata BWV 147 (where most performances are faster than Hess, and closer to Gieseking), but Leon Fleisher's performance is the most moving I have heard (of many). No doubt his recovery to two hands after so many years has a lot to do with this. It seems to me to be a statement of profound gratitude that he was spared the years to play normally again. I look forward to following the discussions on this forum, and to participating from time to time. Thanks for admitting me.

John Pike wrote (July 6, 2005):
[To Lew George] Welcome! Nice to have another australian on board. Your fellow countryman, Neil, is a regular contributor to this list.

Lew George wrote (July 10, 2005):
[To John Pike] Thanks for your greeting, and for telling me about Neil. I will look out for him. I am surprised there are three Australians. Only one of my musical friends has a passion for Bach, which I am sure is a reflection of the paucity of live performances of high quality in this country. Perhaps Angela Hewitt's appearances and CDs with the ACO isl providing the catalyst that Bach 2000 failed to provide in Melbourne. Oleg Caetani is doing cantata BWV 207 with the Melb Symph in November, and Sydney is doing a cantata series, so there is hope for us yet. By the way, I apologise for not signing my name on my introduction.

Neil Halliday wrote (July 10, 2005):
Lew George wrote:
"Oleg Caetani is doing cantata BWV 207 with the Melb Symph in November, and Sydney is doing a cantata series, so there is hope for us yet."
I think I read that Caetani, who has been named chief conductor and artistic director of the MSO, has expressed a desire to reclaim the baroque for modern orchestras. Sounds sensible to me. The SSO did an exhilarating Brandenburg 3 last year. I will listen out for BWV 207.

Regarding the Sydney cantata series, I have experienced alternately enthusiastic and dismayed responses while listening to these period instrument performances with choir (on ABC radio in Adelaide).

Some of these HIP movements seem scrappy and ineffectual, while other times they are delightful, even strong (though I recall the trumpets in BWV 34 hitting a goodly number of wrong notes).

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 10, 2005):
[To Lew George & Neil Halliday]
Welcome aboard, Lew!

You can find a Schedule of Concerts of Bach's Vocal Works in Australia in the following page of the BCW:
Year 2005: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/Concert-2005-Australia.htm
(For 2006 I have not found any concerts yet).

If I have missed any concert, please inform me OFF-LIST according to the instructions at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/index.htm

 

Introducing myself. Moises Chavez

Moises Chavez wrote (October 19, 2005):
I am Moises from Venezuela. I am 21 years old.I study viola da gamba and architecture. I am very interested in Early music (renaissance, baroque and latin american baroque must of all). I follow with interest all the early musical productions in the entire world.

The music of J.S. Bach is very profound and full of meanings. It doesnt show everything to the obvious ears. So, it must be understood and analized for feeking it completely.

I think one of the singers that has understood and expressed a 'real' Bach, is the german countertenor Andreas Scholl. His voice isnt only the expression of a good countertenor, but the expression of a man that look with deep and care eyes.

I am interested in sharing thoughts and music of Bach and baroque in general. Everyone who is interested, please write.

 

Feeling I get from listening to Bach's cantatas

Tristan Jones wrote (October 22, 2005):
When I listen to Bach's cantata's, the religious theme ones in particular. There is something sublime in them; I experience some deep spiritual feeling with the divine. I experience the same kind of feelings with other religious works of his like St Matthew (BWV 244) and St John Passion (BWV 245).

 

Introducing Myself / BWV 50

Nils Lid Hjort wrote (November 17, 2005):
I'm new here, and now respond to the official instructions, even to the point of Capitalising "Myself" in the subject line. I'm an occasionally eager amateur musician (playing the piano & a couple of other instruments less well, and singing in various choirs) who finds the Bach Cantatas wonderfully interesting (i) since they happen to be wonderfully interesting but also (ii) since they are somehow "non-mainstream", even in well-educated musical circles. "Everyone" knows the Branderburgers and the Suites and the Wohltemperierte and the Matthäus (BWV 244) und Johannes (BWV 245) and some of the chamber music, but I'd venture that far too few of the Cantatas have reached common music-educated consciousness. (But you may disagree, and we might speculate that "the Cantatas are coming", becoming gradually better known to a broader public, decade by decade.)

In my free time I'm a professor at the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oslo, specialising in mathematical statistics and probability theory.

Then a question re BWV 50: I've not had time to scrutinise all of the 15,828 contributions since December 2000, but I've been browsing the past couple of hundred messages -- and must describe myself as "moderately shocked" by the claim that BWV 50 (Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft und das Reich und die Macht) is not by Bach. How firm is this claim?

There's a reference to an article by Rifkin in Bach Jahrbuch 2000, that I cannot access, so I haven't seen his arguments. Can someone give a brief outline of his reasons why BWV 50 cannot have been composed by Bach? And have there been counter-claims and counter-arguments, in BJ or elsewhere, scholarly of musical, saying that Yes!, it must be by Bach? And has Rifkin (or others) put up an Alternative Candidate (who should, if found to be the Real Composer, be admired for this splendid piece)? Do nine of ten Bach Cantata scholars still believe that Heil Kraft Reich Macht is Bach?

Alain Bruguires wrote (November 18, 2005):
[To Nils Lid Hjort] Welcome to the list! I agree that the Cantatas are not well-known. Often, discovering the Cantatas comes as a revelation. Most people seem to consider vaguely that there are so many of them that probably, apart from the two or three everybody's heard about (BWV 140, BWV 147 ?) they must be substandard Bach. When I try to convey my enthusiasm, I very often hear remarks such as 'come on, old fellow, surely at least some of them aren't as good as all that'.

I must be considered a Bach Ayatollah, I'm afraid! At lunch today a colleague of mine suggested that mathematicians are all obsessive (by the way, I'm a mathematician, too!). Can one assimilate an excessive taste for Bach Cantatas to a form of obsession?

John Pike wrote (November 18, 2005):
[To Nils Lid Hjort & Alain Bruguieres] Indeed. Welcome to the list, Nils!

I think one can easily assimilate an excessive taste for Bach Canatatas to a form of obsession. I have listened to all of them at least twice and I know several of them almostby heart. I have three "complete" sets....Rilling, Harnoncourt/Leonhardt, Leusink and am building up 3 more...Gardiner, Suzuki and Herreweghe (probably not intended to be complete). I think the last 3 are particularly fine recordings. I agree with John Eliot Gardiner that the music in them is of an unbelievably consistently high quality....I cannot think of a weak one in the entire set and some are truly divine....very far indeed from being "sub-standard". I think they just don't get heard so much because there are so many of them and people tend to perform the very best ones so often at the expense of the lesser known (but very fine) ones.

Time to go out and hear Suzuki's recording of BWV 50...I don't really care who wrote it...it's a great piece whatever.

 

Introducing Myself

Anne Taddey wrote (December 15, 2005):
My name is Anne. I first became acquainted with Johann Sebastian Bach's music as a 7 year-old, singing in my church's junior choir. The music director gave us "Wir Eilen" and "Sheep May Safely Graze", and on the cover of both editions were these big black letters, "B" "A" "C" and "H"-I remember thinking the publishers had misspelled the word "back". Are both those pieces from cantatas?

I have to admit I always thought cantatas were boring until this past fall when the choir I am in performed 2 of them: Cantata BWV 1 "Wie schon leuchtet der Morgenstern" and Cantata BWV 61 "Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland". Now I am learning the soprano aria from BWV 1.

I soon started learning his Inventions on the piano where I got more familiar with his music. My father loved organ music and played Bach on the stereo at home. Bach was an influence on some of my compositions in high school theory class. As a teenager I was a visitor to St. Thomas Kirche in Leipzig with my family on a vacation and about 10 years later I visited again with my college choir who happened to be on tour in Europe. I still remember our choir stood in a circle in the front of the church around where his grave marker lay on the floor, and sang "Tristis Es Anima" by Johann Kuhnau. (We didn't have any Bach in our repertoire that year!) My church choir usually performs a Bach motet during the summer, "Jesu Meine Freunde" being the one we've done the most.

My favorite of all his compositions is probably the Magnificat (BWV 243) although I like some of the music he composed for strings also. Being a singer I am fascinated at how Bach made the music in the Magnificat match what the words are saying. It's quite evident in each one of the parts of the Magnificat.

I actually have a technical question on the soprano aria "Erfullet mich mit deiner himmlische gottliche Flamen" (sorry if that's misspelled, I'm going by memory) about the placement of the syllables (sung in German). If anyone out there can help me out I have a lesson on Saturday and I want to present reasoning for doing it the way it's written; my voice teacher told me last time to change it so the "let" syllable of erfullet is on the 5th note instead of the 3rd, and wants me to change the placement of the syllables throughout the piece to fit that pattern, but singing I tried it that way and I like the way the music is originally written better. I don't think she is a Bach scholar, so it would help if I had some good reasons for wanting to do it differently than she wants.

I'm enjoying the list. Thank you.

John Pike wrote (December 15, 2005):
Anne Taddey wrote:
< My name is Anne. I first became acquainted with Johann Sebastian Bach's music as a 7 year-old, singing in my church's junior choir. The music director gave us "Wir Eilen" and "Sheep May Safely Graze", and on the cover of both editions were these big black letters, "B" "A" "C" and "H"-I remember thinking the publishers had misspelled the word "back". Are both those pieces from cantatas? >
Welcome, and correct. Both these pieces are from wonderful cantatas.

"Wir eilen" is a duet (nr.2) from sacred cantata 78 (BWV 78) "Jesu, der du meine Seele", and "sheep may safely graze" or "Schafe können sicher weiden" is nr.9 from secular cantata 208 (BWV 208), "Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd", sometimes known as the Hunt cantata.

Thomas Braatz wrote (December 15, 2005):
Anne Taddey wrote:
>>Now I am learning the soprano aria from BWV 1....I actually have a technical question on the soprano aria "Erfullet mich mit deiner himmlische gottliche Flamen"...about the placement of the syllables (sung in German). If anyone out there can help me out I have a lesson on Saturday and I want to present reasoning for doing it the way it's written; my voice teacher told me last time to change it so the "let" syllable of erfullet is on the 5th note instead of the 3rd, and wants me to change the placement of the syllables throughout the piece to fit that pattern, but singing I tried it that way and I like the way the music is originally written better. I don't think she is a Bach scholar, so it would help if I had some good reasons for wanting to do it differently than she wants.<<
Reasons for keeping the text placement as it is:

1. Although there is no autograph score of BWV 1/3 to compare with, the vocal part, copied by one of Bach's most reliable copyists, Johann Andreas Kuhnau, clearly shows no displacement of the words to fit your voice teacher's recommendations. Nor have the NBA editors seen any reasons for departing from Bach's indications.

2. As it appears in the NBA score, the '-let' of "Erfüllet" is a written-out embellishment, a trill. Bach took the extra time and effort to write out meticulously what he wanted to hear and he also wanted to prevent musicians (singers, in this instance) from taking liberties with his compositions, liberties which would not be according to what Bach deemed good taste in music.

3. Vocalists who sing Bach are often surprised by the frequency with which Bach has singers sing a number of notes (even complete coloraturas) on a short e or I vowel (like on the "-let" of "erfüllet" or the '-tig-' of "kräftigsten" or the "-stig-" of "brünstigsten". Even the a-umlaut in "kräftigsten" is sung over 5 notes in this aria. Imagine a tenor singing 15 to 20 notes on the short a-umlaut as in "kräft--"! This occurs more often than not in Bach's sacred music. In the past, Bach vocalists have struggled with these texts, even rewriting entire lines to make them, in their estimation, more singable. [Remember, when singing the short a-umlaut of "kräft--", it must sound like the English 'e' in 'get', but extended in length/duration without beginning to sound like the English 'a' in 'abc'. Do some vocal exercises using English 'get' where the same word is stretched out over many notes.] Techniques for distorting vowels when singing (to make them easier to sing and so as to avoid singing a number of notes on a short 'i' or 'e' or 'ä' abound, but a Bach singer must seriously question the validity of these techniques when singing Bach's sacred music.

4. Tell your voice teacher that Bach was himself a good vocalist and knew directly from experience what the vocal capabilites of his singers were and what would sound best with the text as he set it musically for voices to sing.

Anne Taddey wrote (December 165, 2005):
[To John Pike] Thank you very much. That's right, there are sacred and secular cantatas...I forgot that.

Anne Taddey wrote (December 19, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thank you for you opinion, Thomas. After studying the music and practicing it, I am going with the adjusted placement of the syllables. I don't believe Bach would be that upset with the variation- he himself was a master of them, and he might even approve the industriousness of effort to make it more singable. Not saying Bach was not knowledgable in what is and isn't singable, but this mimodification definitely makes it flow better.

Thomas Braatz wrote (December 19, 2005):
Anne Taddey wrote:
>>After studying the music and practicing it, I am going with the adjusted placement of the syllables. I don't believe Bach would be that upset with the variation- he himself was a master of them, and he might even approve the industriousness of effort to make it more singable. Not saying Bach was not knowledgable in what is and isn't singable, but this mild modification definitely makes it flow better.<<
It is not a 'mild modification' and you might also change the text (using words which are easier to sing) while you are at it. All this has been done before and will probably continue to be done until people realize that Bach was the best arbiter of good taste in regard to the manner in which he set his music.

From Johann Abraham Birnbaum's (1702-1748) defense of Bach regarding the accusations brought against J. S. Bach by Johann Adolph Scheibe (1708-1776) (Bach-Dokumente II, Item 441):

"Er [Bach] setzt der Natur derselben [Instrumente und Singstimmen] allemal gemäß. Zuweilen aber giebt er nur den Instrumentalisten und Sängern Gelegenheit, sich etwas mehr, als gewöhnlich, anzugreifen, um etwas heraus zu bringen, welches sie anfänglich für unmöglich halten, weil sie es nicht versucht haben. Es ist aber solches deswegen der Natur verschiedener Singestimmen, oder eines und des andern Instruments nicht zuwider. Die Erfahrung hat gelehret: daß das Unmöglichscheinende möglich worden, wenn Fleiß, Geschicklichkeit und Uebung alle Schwierigkeiten glücklich überwunden haben. Ja dieses ist sehr oft ein sicheres Mittel gewesen, beydes, Sänger und Instrumentalisten geschickter und vollkommener zu machen."

["Bach, in every case, keeps the {distinctive} nature of each instrument and voice in mind when he composes for them. Occasionally he will, however, give the instrumentalists and singers an opportunity to reach/attempt something even higher/more difficult {using their hands and voices} than usual in order to produce/bring out something which they initially had considered to be impossible {to play and sing}, because they had never tried it {in a certain way}. It will turn out that such a seeming impossibility is not really contrary to the nature of various voices or of this or that instrument. Experience will then have made clear that that which had seemed impossible was now possible when industry/great effort, dexterity/deftness, and {much} practice will have overcome successfully all the difficulties involved. To be sure, this has often been a certain way to make singers and instrumentalists become more proficient and achieve greater perfection."]

John Reese wrote (December 20, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] Respectfully, I think Anne has the right to choose how she will perform something without being browbeaten about it. Whether or not Bach is the best arbiter of good taste, the performer is the final arbiter about how it will be performed.

Anne Taddey wrote (December 21, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] I don't want to argue. I think it's best if we drop this topic. Thank you,

 

New Blood

Craig wrote (December 15, 2005):
I am so upset with Gardiner! Not long ago budget consideration led me to scale back on hobbies, no more scuba breaks etc. Then, in a moment of weakness, I decided to treat myself to "Essential Bach", a Gardiner sampler. Now I am not new to Bach and owned most of the non-choral works but Gardiner opened my eyes (and my wallet) to the joys of Bach's cantatas. Now Superlatives are dangerous when discussing any art as all opinions are subjective but somehow when it comes to Bach it's the superlatives that spring to my lips. So now, a few months later, I own the complete set of Rilling and Leusink, about half of the Teldec series seven Suzuki volumes and the odd Gardiner volumes (not enough yet). So far I have not ventured into Herreweghe's field but I know that the grass looks green so they have all been ordered for January delivery.

Finding this website was another (and much cheaper) blessing. I have felt like Bach's choral music had been kept a sad secret and knowing that it is enjoyed and discussed by others has relieved a lot of the weight to evangelise. Talking about evangelising, as a lurker I have been a little taken aback by the discussion of religion instead of Bach, have a wondered into a minefield?

So okay I am new here please excuse me if I offer a brief introduction. I am Craig Burrows (41) from the UK but living in the Philippines for the last 23 years running a few charities. I am not a music professional or a Bach connoisseur, I guess the best description would be "fan" but I intensely dislike the term. I have worked in the realm of music as a drummer and producer but only for folk, rock, jazz and pop when I had my own (very small) record label. The nearest I came to classical was producing an orchestral medley of folk songs which was one of my studio highlights. However I have a good set of ears (despite the tinnitus) and know what I like.

I am pleased to be here as a humble student, although I may prove an opinionated one. Thank you for this site and your collective knowledge, I will gladly sit at your feet and occasionally butt in.

Dare I finish with Seasons Greetings? Whatever season you may choose to be enjoying I hope at least you are enjoying the festive Cantata's of Bach.

 

Members of BCML, BRML & BMML: Year 1999 | Year 2000 | Year 2001 | Year 2002 | Year 2003 | Year 2004 | Year 2005 | Year 2006 | Year 2007 | Year 2008 | Year 2009 | Year 2010 | My First Cantata
BCML:
Year 2003 | Year 2004 | Year 2005 | Year 2006 | Year 2007 | Year 2008 | Year 2009
Profiles of Members & Contributors:
Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Page 4 | Links to Sites of Members | Guidelines for Discussions

Introduction | Cantatas | Other Vocal | Instrumental | Performers | General Topics | Articles | Books | Movies | New
Biographies | Texts & Translations | Scores | References | Commentaries | Music | Concerts | Festivals | Tour | Art & Memorabilia
Chorale Texts | Chorale Melodies | Lutheran Church Year | Readings | Poets & Composers | Arrangements & Transcriptions
Search Website | Search Works/Movements | Terms & Abbreviations | Copyright | How to contribute | Sitemap | Links



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýMarch 13, 2010 ý10:24:31