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Part 8: Year 2006

About Myself

Santiago Cardoso wrote (January 4, 2006):
My name is Santiago Cardoso
I live in San Luis Potosi, Mexico just in the center of Mexico at the end of the Chihuahua Desert

I just love Bach and his music.

I play piano and accordion (amateur) and I have played some Bach pieces in the accordion which I find very suitable for some for his music

I am sure I will enjoy my participation in this group

I am an engineer 1976
MBA at Wharton 1978
PhD in Cultural Biology 2005

Married, a daughter and a son

My business; computer courses and hearing aid provider.
www.nuestroshijoshablaran.org.mx

Anne Taddey wrote (January 4, 2006):
[To Santiago Cardoso]
Welcome, Santiago!

I don't think I've ever heard Bach music played on an accordian. If you have a midi-file of it, please share with us. I for one am curious.

thanks and I hope you enjoy the list.

Santiago Cardoso wrote (January 4, 2006):
[To Anne Taddey] Thank you.. I do not have right now a midi-file but I will record one and I will be more than happy to share it Just give my a little time...

Anne Taddey wrote (January 4, 2006):
About myself.. Accordion MIDI

[To Santiago Cardoso] Great! Thank you.

Teddy Kaufman wrote (January 4, 2006):
Bach on an Accordion

Anne Taddey wrote:
"I don't think I've ever heard Bach music played on an accordian."
I am enclosing selected links showing that Bach is been performed quite frequently on the Accordion as well.

www.ksanti.net/free-reed/reviews/jobard.html
www.ksanti.net/free-reed/essays/bachpolka.html
www.arttowermito.or.jp/music/hussinnj.html
www.sheetmusicnow.com/title.asp?tid=59762
www.musicabona.com/catalog/RCD16222.html.en
www.accordions.com/deffnerm/ensemble/ensemble_band_orchestra_a-b_1.html
www.norteno.ca/arcana.html
www3.sympatico.ca/jpetric/
www.shuppartists.com/Shupp/Artists/Hussong.htm

 

Introduction

Chris Rowson wrote (January 11, 2006):
Hallo everybody. I would like to introduce myself, as requested when joining the group: my name is Chris Rowson and I am a working musician, originally from England but now living in Germany. I started to learn organ when I was ten, after which Bach´s music led me inexorably to the harpsichord.

After about ten years, however, I became disenchanted with the classical approach to music, and following an interregnum learned to play and sing rock music, from which I progressed through various other forms of music, ranging from Balinese gamelan to relearning Baroque music - this time, though, with a very different approach.

After moving to Germany in 1997, I found my ideal partner, the singer and flautist Cécile Blumenbär, with whom I now live and make music in Dresden. We released our first commercial CD "Songs from Vauxhall Gardens" last year, and are currently recording our next. You can find out more, if you like, at www.rare-roses.com, and hear us.

 

Introducing myself

Julian Mincham wrote (February 3, 2006):
As a musician and lover of Bach I should have explored the cantatas earlier but somehow didn't.

My particular interest came about in the mid 1990s through a chance conversation with a musician friend. We were discussing Beethoven and I expressed the view that, although I found myself listening and playing him less as I got older, nevertheless in one particular way I considered his music to be truly unique. For example, the nine symphonies are all incontrovertibly ‘Beethoven’ in style but all completely individual in character. The same is true of the five piano concerti, the sixteen string quartets and, perhaps most amazingly, each of the thirty-two piano sonatas. I did not think this could be said of any other composer and here I was particularly thinking of Haydn and Mozart, a number of whose early and middle works sounded very similar, with
movements that might be readily interchangeable.

My friend, a professional double bass player who had performed the continuo line in many of the cantatas, thought for a moment. He then said, ‘I know what you mean about Beethoven and I agree with what you say about his range of character within a distinctly personal style. However, I do not think it unique. I think that Bach achieved exactly the same thing with his even greater number of cantatas’.

At that time I was only familiar with about a dozen of them. But I realised that I would have to explore the wider canon to test my friend’s assertion. There followed a decade of listening, reading, analysis and, playing through and performing these works. The conclusion I eventually reached was that my friend's judgement was shrewd and sound. No two cantatas are alike. Each has its own character and beauty. Bach's compositional approach in seeking out the most subtle (as well as, sometimes, the most obvious) of textual images, pictures and nuances led him to compose an incredible array of different musical ideas which virtually never repeated themselves. The result is a canon of almost unique distinctiveness. One is grateful to have lived long enough to explore and enjoy them fully.

I am presently engaged in writing a students' and listener's guide to the church cantatas, concentrating now on the second Leipzig cycle.

John Pike wrote (February 3, 2006):
[To Julian Mincham] Thanks for this very interesting e mail. I agree entirely that no 2 cantatas are very alike. Even where Bach parodies his own works, or has 2 cantatas with the same name, eg "O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort", BWV 20 and BWV 60, there is still plenty of variety to be enjoyed. I never cease to be amazed by the richness of this breathtakingly wonderful canon of music.

Lew George wrote (February 4, 2006):
Uniquely Bach

"the nine symphonies are all incontrovertibly `Beethoven' in style but all completely individual in character. The same is true of the five piano concerti, the sixteen string quartets and, perhaps most amazingly, each of the thirty-two piano sonatas. I did not think this could be said of any other composer"
Welcome to this site Julian. I think the mark of all the great composers, and even many of the lesser ones, is their incontrovertibly unique style. Indeed, their very individual way of using standard western harmony and counterpoint is, to my mind, a major contribution to their 'greatness' For example, the highly individual styles of Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Sibelius, Delius, Britten, Shostakovitch, and in our own time, Philip Glass, to name just an obvious few, are all immediately recognizable, even when the piece is unfamiliar. It is the anonymous style of the lesser fry that contibutes greatly to their being less interesting, and unworthy, much of the time, for more than one, or even a partial, listening. Think of Salieri, Hummel, Telemann, Spohr, Glazunov, Bax, and in our own time (dare I say it?), John Adams. Having said that, the particular beauty and incredible level of quality in even the "lesser" cantatas of JS Bach stand as an incontrovertibly unique achievement for such a large body of compositions written for performance during the church calendar. If you wish to contact me offline, Please do.

Julian Mincham wrote (February 5, 2006):
personality and character

I have had some interesting and sometimes provocative individual responses to my recent e-mail introducing myself, for which I thank those who took the trouble to express their views.

One thought expressed was that part of what makes great composers 'great' was their ato use the essentially limited melodic and harmonic implications of the twelve semi-tone octave in order to both create and retain their individual musical identities AND and still produce an immeasurably wide range of inventive CHARACTERS.

One cannot disagree with that, but, while related, it is not quite the point I was making and which I would like to clarify. For those interested in the discussion I copy below a revised reponse I made to one subscriber. I hope this elucidates somewhat----and I would be interested in other member's views.

One might begin by looking at BWV 1 and BWV 6 from the second cycle. Written only a week apart, these cantatas are completely different judges by any standards ---- feeling, expression, musical inventiveness, structure etc. Each stands unique--and conveys quite different things to the listener (this one, at least!).This is quite startling--but what is quite amazing is that the same applies in the case of almost any two cantatas chosen at random. I do not think that this applies to all canons of musical work--even some from the greatest of composers------ who are not, of course, denigrated in any way by this observation.

Re the discussion, I think we are looking at slightly different aspects of a very broad issue. It is clearly true that great inventive musical minds have managed to extract an almost imaginable range of ideas, characters, feelings---call it what you will---from the relatively limited harmonic and melodic implications of the 12 note octave divisions. One only has to examine the ways in which composers have used the progession of the circle of 5ths to see this--------or, on a more limited palatte, compare Bach's and Vivaldi's constant use and application of this progression, the latter generally more given to formula than the former.

The point that I was making is that within the agreed ability to manipulate these notes in such a way as to project a highly individual personality lies a second level---i.e. to retain the personality but within that to create a range of individual and highly distinctive musical CHARACTERS. Brahm's symphonies are a good examples--each one truly'Brahms' but each one quite unique in character---but then, he only wrote 4 of them.

The point is more telling when we consider larger canons of works e.g. I strongly hold that the 32 sonatas of Beethoven are each completely unique in character. I do not find this to the same degree in the (fewer) Mozart keyboard sonatas nor the ( greater number of) Haydn sonatas. Certainly some stand out--the great Eb of the latter composer---and almost anything in a minor key by Mozart. But this is partly because he (Mozart) wrote so little set in minor keys--2 concerti, 2 symphonies, 2 sonatas etc. Mozart's and Haydn's keyboard sonatas are all different of course--but many have movements which are virtually interchangeable------and many have a similar 'feel', lacking the distinctiveness which marks them out as highly memorable; or, to rephrase, I am suggesting that they don't all have a completely individual or unique CHARACTER.

It is the sheer consistency of the inconsistency (or, perhaps better put, the range of unique movement character within the strongly established musical personality)which I find so amazing. That a composer should write between two and three hundred cantatas with so little repitition, whilst retaining fully his own musical personality and yet embuing each work with its own unique character is, to my mind, one of the greatest artistic achievements of the Western World.

(The issue of minor keys is an interesting one and probably partially related to stylistic periods--however, without having done all the sums, it is surprising (to me) just how little Mozart uses them and how much Bach does. Part of the focus of my research has been to see how Bach appropriates them in the cantata movements and how these decisions are related directly to the text).

The argument is, to a degree, subjective but then so is much of the most interesting dicussions relating to the arts. It does not make it the less fascinating.

Continue of this part of the discussion, see: Bach & Other Composers [Bach & Other Composers]

 

Bill Kerrick wrote (February 4, 2006):
[To Paul T. McCain] Hi! I'm Bill Kerrick, a retired Lutheran pastor and Bach fan. I retired early and did some music study with a Master's thesis on the hermeneutic (theological meaning) of Cantata BWV 105 -- but more about that at a later time. In regard to the Transfiguration, it did not appear in Reformation calendars on August 6. The Service Book and Hymnal of 1958 used that date -- but the Lutheran practice had been to celebrate the Transfiguration on the last Sunday after the Epiphany, which could vary according to the year. (The SBH also appointed the Transfig. propers for the 6th Sun. after the Epiph., when it appears, or as alternate readings for the Last Sun. after Epiph. if there were more than one Sun. after Epiph.) Remember that the Epiph. season is an "accordion" season like the Trin. season, depending on the date of Easter. Find the last Sun.after Epiph. in the various Bach cycles and you may find a Transfiguration cantata.

I have been following the discussions on performance practice of the various recordings with great interest. My study was narrower, basically one cantata with the hermeneutic aspect, and I am not generally familiar with many cantatas. I hope to keep on learning.

Thank you!

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 4, 2006):
Bill Kerrick wrote:
< Hi! I'm Bill Kerrick, a retired Lutheran pastor and Bach fan. I retired early and did some music study with a Master's thesis on the hermeneutic (theological meaning) of Cantata BWV 105 -- but more about that at a later time. >
Bill, I was wondering if you might have some bibliography on 18th century Lutheran calendars which Bach might have had in front of him when he planned the church year. Obviously, modern ordos and lectionaries are not much help here. I'm curious about how liturgical occurrence and transference were handled in the period. It impacts on how Bach wrote his cantatas.

For instance, when Annunciation on March 25 collided with Palm Sunday, it gave us Cantata BWV 182, "Himmelskönig Sei Willkommmen". The six parts of the Christmas Oratorio reflect a specfic year's Sundays and weekdays. Does that mean Bach never intended to perform the work again? Or would he have revised the work if in another year there was a Sunday after Christmas rather than a Sunday after New Year?

We tend to view the cantatas as free-floating concert works rather than the strictly circumscribed litrugical pieces they were for Bach.

 

Introducing myself

Jean wrote (February 9, 2006):
I am French of Bordeaux and I write a tentative English.Beg your pardon. I am a
worshipper of Bach cantatas since I heard the "Ich habe Genug" (BWV 82) by Gérard Souzay conducted by Münchinger with his Stuttgart orchestra in the beautiful Jesuit church of Notre Dame. I largely prefer concerts to records but "necessité fait Loi". Despite this revelation, my gods remained for a very long time Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Debussy.........and now Bach stays alone. As a past opera goer (I have been driven out of Opera houses by modern productions) gradually I felt the towering dramatic genius of Bach making him the greatest opera composer of the barock ( I don't like this term but there are none other) era. Whence my interest for the beginning integral of Gardiner. May I hope discussions about it.

Amitiés

 

Introducing myself

Raymond Joly wrote (January 14, 2006):
Since we are asked to introduce ourselves:
I am a Quebecker, a retired professor for French literature of the 18th century. I was trained in Germany. I love music and the German language above all. For the last two or three years I have had the privilege of collaborating on the «Projet Graupner» initiated by Geneviève Soly in Montréal (most memorable link with Bach: Graupner would have been appointed as Thomaskantor in 1723 if his employer had let him go). I am very grateful for the stupendous amount of information found on the Bach Cantatas site and will be happy to contribute any information I may gather that is relevant to the site's pursuits.

Eric Bergerud wrote (January 14, 2006):
[To Raymond Joly] Welcome to the list. From what I can see you live in a pretty good place to hear good Bach. Last night I heard a concert (Rameau and Gluck) given by Magdalena Kozena and Les Violons du Roy with Bernard Labadie. About half and half orchestral and vocal. Kozena was in fine form with a powerful, sound and lovely voice. I'm not throwing away my Cecilia Bartoli CDs quite yet but Kozena is worthy competition. She's a very striking presence. She pushes 6' and is built like a gazelle: looks like she belongs in Turin. (What happened to 180 pound sopranos?) Anyway I can see why the European heavyweight ensembles are keeping her busy. (Her Rameau arias were really great. I suppose the "reform" operas of Gluck and others are better overall operas, but the older types may well be the home to better arias. It seemed to me that Kozena had more fun playing with the ornamentation in Rameau. And Castor is an exceptional opera under any circumstance.)

Les Violons du Roy are a Quebec based chamber ensemble with about 18 players. They're one of the "cross-over" period ensembles that seem to be showing up. They use modern instruments but baroque bowing techniques and baroque "sensibility." I'm familiar with the approach when the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra does baroque work. Both groups certainly make lovely music and if Les Violons want to relocate to Berkeley I'm all for it. (Tafelmusik and the Arcadia Ensemble would still be in the general neighborhood: they must get to Montreal now and then.) That said, I still prefer the old fiddles. Modern instruments no matter how good the conductor still have a powerful brightness to them that projects to every corner of the concert hall and then some. Maybe I've been damaged by listening to too much early Harononcourt and Hogwood, but I like that reedy, delicate sound of period instrument strings. And give me those baroque bazookas when it's time for some brass. But it's a small quibble. The musicians were very impressive and having one of the world's most famous singers helping out certainly didn't detract from the experience.

One sour note. It was Sunday night, and the snow Olympics were on: but world class musicians couldn't fill half of Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley. General admission was $32 - a price I find very reasonable. And Cal Performances did very little to promote the event. I am not sure what it means, but it isn't good.

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 15, 2006):
Raymond Joly wrote:
< Since we are asked to introduce ourselves:I am a Quebecker, a retired professor for French literature of the 18th century. I was trained in Germany. I love music and the German language above all. For the last two or three years I have had the privilege of collaborating on the «Projet Graupner» initiated by Geneviève Soly in Montréal (most memorable link with Bach: Graupner would have been appointed as Thomaskantor in 1723 if his employer had let him go). >
Welcome! I'm always in the mood to hear more Graupner. Do you know the excellent Rene Gailly disc by Ivor Bettens giving us four Graupner compositions for ensembles of chalumeaux? At least five of the Amazons say it's out of print, which is a shame. Will Soly's ensemble be recording some of that chalumeau music?

Is there a good modern playing edition of his keyboard music? I haven't been able to find one yet, with a mild bit of searching. Or does Soly work from facsimiles? I want to play those partitas!

 

Introducing myself

Chris Stanley (Kensington, London, UK) wrote (January 14, 2006):
I had a traditional English cathedral chorister upbringing after winning a choral scholarship aged 8 in 1963 to Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire http://www.southwellminster.org.uk/minster/minster.htm, where I was Head Chorister in 1970. This background nurtured a liking for music of many different ages and genres including of course Bach.

Now I'm coming towards the end of a reasonably successful career as a scientist (ore mineralogy, economic geology), I'm rediscovering some of the roots of my musical interests. In particular I found the BBC Radio 3 "A Bach Christmas" at the end of last year a real inspiration especially the choice of performance for the cantatas, and then I discovered Aryeh Oron's wonderful website…………

 

Suzuki vol 30 and the Easter/Ascension Oratorios

Kevin Collins wrote (February 22, 2006):
[To Peter Bright] I will be going to Suzuki's concert tonight. It will be the first time for me to see his group live and I just can't wait!!! I have also been gobbling up his CD's recently but I read this web site before I listen to the piece.

I should take this opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Kevin Collins and I am the Director of Instrumental Music at an international School / church musician. My sudden and recent rekindled interest in the music of Bach is purely spiritual (that includes musical). The recently heard the Magnificat performed live by just a semi-pro group and I was simply brought to tears. I can't imagine what tonight will be like.

I want to thank the creators and contributors of this sight. I use it daily and this is sure to be a long-term obsession.

Thank you

 

Introducing Myself

Ed Myskowski [Salem MA, USA] wrote (February 28, 2006):
I first encountered the Bach group while looking for reviews of Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) recordings about a year ago. Many thanks to Donald Satz, hope you are still around, and all the other contributors. This winter, I am listening to several new (to me) GV additions, along with my original 1950's Glenn Gould LP. I decided to have a look at the cantatas discussions as well. Very informative, which got me into my very spotty recordings. Spotty or not, one of my LPs (BWV106/BWV 161) was unlisted. I sent the info to Aryeh, he has posted it, and I will add some relevant comments to the discussions shortly.

My familiarity with the cantatas has been long (over 30 years) but casual, through attendance at live performances by Emmanuel Music and Cantata Singers (links to both on site), weekly recordings on Sunday AM radio broadcast here in the Boston area, and my own recordings including nine of the cherished LP Brown Boxes. Now that I am an avid reader of the discussions, I thought I should join, let you know who I am, and add some information from time to time about recordings which have not been mentioned previously, especially those by the Boston groups. I do not have a complete set of recordings (no BWV 81 for the current week as yet, sorry. On the way.) I do have a broad range of performances, so I should be able to make some meaningful (or least heartfelt) comparisons from time to time.

From an outsiders point of view, I think Peter Smaill's suggestion of the double use of wellen as a pun (BWV 81/3) is the most satisfying. Perhaps it has the additional virtue of being correct. Such good will may suggest that I am seldom felsen hearted.

 

Ralph Johansen wrote (March 4, 2006):
<>
I gather it is formal etiquette to introduce myself on first appearance. I have only recently signed on to the list. I am retired and living on Mauii, half way up Haleakala volcano. I have a lifelong love of Bach's music, having been from the age of 8 a member of a boys' and mens' choir at the Church of St. John the Evangin St. Paul, where my father was the baritone soloist and the organist and director was a Canadian, George Herbert Fairclough, FAGO.

I have other than that little or no formal training, although I am a fairly competent sight reader. I have sung the B Minor Bass several times with different San Francisco groups, as well as the Magnificat, Christmas and Easter oratorios and many cantatas. I also have a quite extensive collection of Bach's works, vocal and instrumental, on LP and CD. My first exposure to critical reviews of music were the writings of Irving Kolodin, Harold Schonberg, and writers in the American Record Guide.

I thoroughly enjoy the exchanges here and Aryeh Oron's exhaustive compilations - and with this I will return to my perch and continue to read others' informed and interesting offerings.

 

Moderator and participants

Bruce Mangan [Ontario, Canada] wrote (March 19, 2006):
My name is Bruce Mangan. I am a new participant. This is my first email. I would like to pose a question to the group. I have over the last 50 years collected a bit more than 200 of the Cantatas on vinyl. They are everything from old recordings made by the elder Kleiber up through the original instrument recordings of Teldec in the 70's, plus many odd issues from around Europe. I have decided to purchase a boxed CD set of as complete a collection of the Kantatenwerk as is available. My questions are:
1. Does the collection exist?
2 If yes, who distributes it (them)?
3. What should I sample and what should I avoid?

I am an older man living in Canada where the winters provide a great deal of time to listen and perform. (I play the piano & organ. My wife plays the lute and recorder).

Suggestions and discussion would be appreciated.

Continue of this discussion, see: Recordings of Bach Cantatas - General Discussions - Year 2006 [General Topics]

 

Greetings and recording query

Subgulian wrote (March 24, 2006):
Hey there fellow Bach fans, I'm a 24 year old male from Melbourne, Australia. I service and install point of sale hardware, and in my spare time like to (attempt to) play Bach works on my six string bass guitar. I'm sure that was enthralling :)

I'm hoping somebody will be able to point me in the direction of a particular recording of Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor which I heard on the radio some time ago, and haven't really thought of chasing up until recently. I think it was transcribed for string quartet, regrettably I had to leave the car and didn't catch what the DJ had to say about it. It sounded really sweet, and I quite liked how they plucked the three quiet variations of the passacaglia, 'twas a nice touch.

Any help at all would be greatly appreciated, and while we're on the topic why not list your other favourite recordings of this great piece?

Bradley Lehman wrote (March 25, 2006):
Subulgian wrote:
< I'm hoping somebody will be able to point me in the direction of a particular recording of Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor which I heard on the radio some time ago, and haven't really thought of chasing up until recently. I think it was transcribed for string quartet, regrettably I had to leave the car and didn't catch what the DJ had to say about it. It sounded really sweet, and I quite liked how they plucked the three quiet variations of the passacaglia, 'twas a nice touch. >
Any chance it was this recent one by Fretwork, playing on viols? Amazon.com

Welcome!

Steven Bornfeld wrote (March 25, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] I feel an attack of VAS coming on.

Subgulian wrote (March 24, 2006):
[To Bradley Lehman] Somebody has already privately brought that CD to my attention, but thankyou anyway Brad. Yes, it could very well be it, and I'm in the process of acquiring it.

 

new article on the Art of Fugue

Ewald Demeyere wrote (April 15, 2006):
I'm new to this list and would like to present myself a little bit. I'm 31 years old, I'm professor of harpsichord and musical theory at the conservatory of Antwerp (B). I also wanted to inform you that an article of mine about the Art of Fugue has been put on this site: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/AOF-Demeyere.htm. In this text I examined the upper layer of Bach's counterpoint, a field within analysis which - I find - is quite neglected in our days. In doing this study I was bewildered to see how freely Bach treated the 'old rules'.

Looking forward to reactions!

 

New Member (a wannabe Bagelntreter)

Richard L. Danley wrote (April 19, 2006):
I wouldn't dream of trying to describe myself! (tho there's a couple of my websites listed at the end which may be of help)

Here, however, is a journal entry (actually it is of article length) which I recently posted on my deviantART site which discusses the SMP: http://startyger.deviantart.com/journal/8475770/

To the point of Bach Cantatas, however:
There are some...ah...obscure questions of which I am trying to obtain answers. I'm still searching the previous posts here, so if I'm asking a question already answered, forgive me. But, for example, here is a query I posted on Google's Bach bb to which I received no response:

I have a pretty good idea of how organs work--certainly the concepts, anyway. I've gathered, however, that the air can be supplied by various methods of pumping a bellows. It appears that on smaller organs, actual treading was not necessary. Someone could just continually press a lever up and down. However, on larger instruments, the Paulinerkirche, for example...

There is a drawing made in 1361 of bellows treading on the organ in Halberstadt which depicts a set of 20 bellows operated by 10 treaders. The treaders would apparently use footholds built into each bellows and then march up and down in place gripping a bar with their hands to give extra leverage and power.

But, this drawing is three and a half centuries before Bach, yet bellows treading was still essential in his day. Had it improved since the Halberstadt drawing? E. Power Biggs in his liner notes to "Bach on the Pedal Harpsichord" says "...since the necessity of paying a man to pump the organ bellows in cold churches made extensive practice in church a luxury."

'A' man? or, 'men'? I found one website which referred to having 'a' choirboy do the job. It would seem that someone of greater mass than a choirboy would be required, certainly for larger instruments; and probably more than just one.

I've seen some pictures which make it appear that someone (or more than one), rather than walking in place, might have a 'circuit' of several bellows to walk across. In other words, by the time the treader completed a circuit, the first bellows would have 're-inflated' and be ready for the treader's circuit to start again.

Bellows treading has always come across as this thankless, labor intensive job. But, I am interested in knowing how labor intensive it was in Bach's day.

(As something of a sidebar, I noticed this article in the London Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2091756.html which details the problems organ builders are running into as a result of lead/tin restrictions imposed by the EU)

________________

Well, this is the type of subject I'm looking for help with. If anyone can answer or direct me to a site, I would be most appreciative (or if questions of this type should be posted on one of the other Bach sites, let me know also)

And, as threatened..er, promised, here are a couple of websites I've put up online:
http://www.interacs.com/canyonrick/ (tho not completely out of date, I've not done anything on it for years)
and
http://www.thestartyger.com/ (2 very long pieces of fiction, I've written)

Well, thanks;
and I lforward to reading all the posts on all the subjects contained here.

Bradley Lehman wrote (April 19, 2006):
Treading

< I have a pretty good idea of how organs work--certainly the concepts, anyway. I've gathered, however, that the air can be supplied by various methods of pumping a bellows. It appears that on smaller organs, actual treading was not necessary. Someone could just continually press a lever up and down. However, on larger instruments, the Paulinerkirche, for example...
There is a drawing made in 1361 of bellows treading on the organ in Halberstadt which depicts a set of 20 bellows operated by 10 treaders. The treaders would apparently use footholds built into each bellows and then march up and down in place gripping a bar with their hands to give extra leverage and power.
But, this drawing is three and a half centuries before Bach, yet bellows treading was still essential in his day. Had it improved since the Halberstadt drawing? E. Power Biggs in his liner notes to "Bach on the Pedal Harpsichord" says "...since the necessity of paying a man to pump the organ bellows in cold churches made extensive practice in church a luxury." >
I haven't seen that drawing, but I've done this treading myself while somebody else played. I've also played a concert as organist where somebody else pumped for me, that way, instead of using the modernized electric blower. Details below.

It's supplying air to replenish the bellows, but the air pressure that actually plays the pipes is on the reservoir of air that's already in there. That's kept steady (or mostly steady) by a load of weight on top of the bellows, creating the proper pressure inside to make the pipes speak reliably and in tune.

It's the same basic principle as with bagpipes. On bagpipes the tube that's in the player's mouth is merely replenishing the bag, not articulating the notes. The pressurized air to play the notes comes from arm pressure on the bag. Let up the arm pressure at the end of the piece, and the last note falls off quickly in pitch.

< 'A' man? or, 'men'? I found one website which referred to having 'a' choirboy do the job. It would seem that someone of greater mass than a choirboy would be required, certainly for larger instruments; and probably more than just one.
I've seen some pictures which make it appear that someone (or more than one), rather than walking in place, might have a 'circuit' of several bellows to walk across. In other words, by the time the treader completed a circuit, the first bellows would have 're-inflated' and be ready for the treader's circuit to start again. >
Possibly. The several I've worked with were only medium-sized organs and had only one set of bellows. Step or climb onto the thing (holding onto the bar above), ride it down, and the other lever goes back up meanwhile. Step onto the other one, ride that one down; etc. With long enough levers here, there doesn't need to be much weight to make them go down.

Here's a photo of the 1802 instrument where I played the concert and made a recording. Small enough organ that its bellows are supplied with just this hand lever, instead of having to step on it.
http://www.davidtannenberg.com/Tannenberg%20Photo%20Folder/Madison%20-%20bellows.jpg
http://www.davidtannenberg.com/Tannenberg%20Madison.htm
That hand-pumped bellows made the whole balcony creak a bit all the way through the concert, which was sort of charming: as if the building was alive and breathing.

The step-levers of the University of Michigan's organ: bottom two photos on this page:
http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hellmank/Musicol605/BAM.htm
That one has a knob at the console that the organist can pull, ringing a tiny "calcant" bell down where the pumper is, to signal that it's time to start pumping.

Rick Canyon wrote (April 21, 2006):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< I haven't seen that drawing, but I've done this treading myself while somebody else played. I've also played a concert as organist where somebody else pumped for me, that way, instead of using the modernized electric blower. Details below.
It's supplying air to replenish the bellows, but the air pressure that actually plays the pipes is on the reservoir of air that's already in there. That's kept steady (or mostly steady) by a load of weight on top of the bellows, creating the proper pressure inside to make the pipes speak reliably and in tune. >
Here is a description of the organ bellows from St. Wenzel's in aumberg, which Bach, himself apparently played and tested (this was also the church to whom he recommended Altnikol as organist):

"The reproduction of the entire bellows system, including a bellows house of exquisite workmanship, was based on ongoing investigations into the archaeology of construction, giving the reconstruction a high degree of authenticity. The stack of seven diagonal bellows provides the organ with sufficient wind for every occasion. The ad lib and purely mechanical operation of the bellows - simple enough for two bellows-treaders to master - gives the sound a peculiarly expressive quality."

The site from which this quote is taken also includes a picture of the (reconstructed) bellows: http://www.euleorgelbau.de/rnaumen.htm

Here is another quote relating to the Gloger organ in Konigsberg, Norway, which also includes the bell device you mentioned:

"The finished instrument had 42 voices distributed over three manuals and pedals. The Organ was equipped with six large bellows. Via a separate register bell, the organist passed a message to the calcants (bellow treaders) to tell them when they should begin treading. This arrangement is also used today in some concerts."

Site URL: http://www.glogerfestspillene.no/orgel/gloger.php?spraak=engelsk

Here is another quote from (I believe) Sir John Stainer:

"The awkward pause which must have taken place when the weight of the treaders had emptied the bellows, and before it was refilled, can be imagined. The diagonal bellows and their treaders remained in existence quite up to the end of the 18th century. The organ in the comparatively modern cathedral of St. Paul's, London, was blown after this fashion. It possessed four such bellows, each measuring 8 ft. by 4 ft. But other large organs had as many as eight, ten, twelve, and even fourteen. The bellows-treader used to walk leisurely along, and throw his weight upon them in rotation. To this day some Continental organs are blown by the weight of the blower's body, although the bellows themselves are of a modern form of construction."

(from this site: http://www.oldandsold.com/articles22/music-bible-7.shtml )

Thanks for the help. I'm just trying to get a handle on the difficulties Bach had on playing the organ. Since he apparently was forced to use students as instrumentalists, would he have then also used them on the bellows?

Chris Rowson wrote (April 21, 2006):
Rick Canyon wrote:
< Thanks for the help. I'm just trying to get a handle on the difficulties Bach had on playing the organ. Since he apparently was forced to use students as instrumentalists, would he have then also used them on the bellows? >
If he was still in office, I would get the train over there and happily tread the bellows for the privilege of hearing him play. I imagine there would be plenty of others there to take a turn.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (April 22, 2006):
[To Chris Rowson] But trains did not exist in Bach's time and you would not be treading bellows ---you would instead be changing stops for him.

 

Introducing Myself

Sandy Vaughan wrote (April 25, 2006):
Hi. I'm new to this list, and as recommended here's an email to introduce myself. I live in Cambridge in the UK and at this moment I'm mostly writing up my PhD (in medihistory). I've joined the list having enjoyed the material presented on the excellent bach-cantatas.com website.

I came to Bach's music having been inspired to listen to the cantatas by a radio piece about John Eliot Gardiner's 'pilgrimage' in 2000. Since then, my love for this music has grown at an alarming rate. I'm afraid I bring no special musical expertise, but I am an enthusiastic amateur listener, always wanting to learn more about this marvellous music.

Looking forward to following the discussions.

 

Bach The Musical Pedagogue

Robert Newman wrote (May 4, 2006):
This is my first post here. I've been working on a study of the background history to the last years of the so-called 'Holy Roman Empire' from a musical perspective. (This for around 8 years or so, off and on).

I would like to ask this forum -

1. What is the earliest known reference to the missing cycle (and more) of church cantatas known to have been written by J.S. Bach ?

2. What impact if any Bach had on musical theorists of Catholic Italy and those such as Valloti and Abbe George Vogler ? (If anything, the evidence seems to indicate a certain amount of hostility towards Bach from Catholic Europe. Is this a fair statement ?

3. Whether the treatise of Kirnberger was known outside of Germany during the 18th century ?

and lastly

4. Whether any reference is known to JS Bach from Italy during his lifetime for any matter related to him or his music and, if so, where such references can be found.

Many thanks for any help you can offer to these questions.

 

Introducing myself

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (May 25, 2006):
I discovered the site (and subsequently the BCML) through the web site of the Chapelle des Minimes (Brussels): http://www.minimes.be/indexE.htm
I joined the Chapelle des Minimes last December.

I have always loved singing, I have been in several choirs, and four years ago (I was 48...) I started taking my first individual singing courses. I first heard Bach cantatas some 30 years ago, and I would never have dreamed that one day I could take part in some of them!

We perform one or two cantatas per month, it is much work, but we enjoy it, and the public seems pleased too. Last sunday we performed BWV 147 ("Herz und Mund und That und Leben"), and now we are preparing motet BWV 225 ("Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied") for the concert of October. It will be a challenge as we are not that many singers...

I will maybe ask questions about BWV 225, but not tonight...
Greetings from Brussels

Ricky Davis wrote (May 26, 2006):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] My name is Ricky Davis and I live in Sydney Australia. I was delighted to read your email, as I find myself in a similar situation to you. I also have always loved singing and three years ago became a member of the Sydneian Bach Choir here in Sydney, where we perform a programme of three cantatas, eight times per year on Sunday afternoons. I am also a similar age to you and it has been a dream for me to be part of such a wonderful programme of music. This choir also performs major Choral works of JS Bach as part of a bi-annual Bach Festival that the School (Sydney Grammar School) conduct in June/July. We are essentially about a 40-50 voice choir made up of people between the ages of 18-60, who have an interest in JS Bach and are conducted by the Head of the Music Department Mr. Christopher Shepard. I would love to hear more about your choir and wish you every success with your music.

Thérèse Hanquet wrote (May 27, 2006):
Chapelle des Minimes

[To Ricky Davis] Thanks for your message.

It is quite wonderful to be able through Internet to get in contact with someone on the other side of the earth who lives the same kind of experience.

Here you have a few details about the Chapelle des Minimes: http://www.minimes.be/history.htm

We are about thirty singers, and somewhat older in average than in your choir, probably because there are some singers that were there from the start, i.e. 25 years ago!

We also sing on Sundays! but in the morning (rehearsals start at 9 AM...).

We have three conductors, that conduct the concerts each on turn. We do not depend on any organisation, although we are now hosted for our rehearsals in the music school where I learn singing.

We do not sing exclusively Bach cantatas, but also cantatas and motets by composers of its family or colleagues or predecessors. Here you have our programme for 2005-2006: http://www.minimes.be/Saison_2005-2006.jpg
Our artistic director, Julius Stenzel, has found some marvellous pieces of music that are rarely singed. I particularly appreciated the motet by Tobias Michael ("Unsre Trübsal, die zeitlich und leichte ist") that we sung in Februay. I could not find a CD version of it, so if someone knows of one....

Next year we will have a special programme for the 25th bithday of the Chapelle des Minimes, with notably the Christmas oratorio (or at least a large part of it), Also we will have more Bach cantatas and less motets than this year.
I will keep you informed!

Ricky Davis wrote (May 29, 2006):
[To Thérèse Hanquet] Thank you for your lovely reply. I agree, it is quite amazing to have found someone else on the other side of the world doing similar projects and enjoying it as much as we do. I enjoyed reading about your choir and the information that you gave me about your website and programme. You may like to log onto our website which is: www.sydneianbachchoir.org

Here you will find our concert programme for this year as well as our history, which is very young in comparison to your own. You will also find some wonderful programme notes which you can access from the concerts that we have given, along with some information about our musicians, soloists and of course our Conductor. You will see that we have a beautiful Mander Organ in our performance space, so we are very fortunate to have a delightful venue to perform in. I hope you enjoy reading it. We also just performed the Christmas Oratorio last year, as part of our Bach Festival. We did Parts I, II, III and VI. It was a wonderful experience, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon.

 

Introducing Myself

Eli Gottlieb wrote (June 1, 2006):
I am a new member and was invited by the moderator to tell the group how I became interested in Bach's music, and in particular, his cantatas. First of all, I'm not a professional musician or scholar; just someone who loves the greatest music ever written.

Some of you might remember DeKoven. He had a radio program from, I believe, the fifties until his death in 1984. His main focus was on baroque and rococo music and he frequently began his one hour long weekly programs with sections of a Bach cantata, which he considered to be the ultimate. I was fortunate enough to have taped many of his programs, over 200 of them, over the years and listen to them often. Prior to becoming addicted to DeKoven's program, I always loved classical music and it was THE major interest in my life. However, I always leaned strongly towards the Baroque, but never really paid much attention to vocal music.

DeKoven really inspired me to seek out and listen to more and more vocal music, and in particular, Bach cantatas and, sorry, Handel operas and oratorios as well.

Now I want to become more familiar with Bach cantatas, and hope to increase my collection and awareness of them, for I'm certain that there are many I haven't even heard yet. For me there's nothing more stirring and thrilling than a Bach cantata with trumpets and chorus.

Thank you for giving me the privelege of belonging to the Bach Cantatas group.

Yoël L. Arbeitman wrote (June 2, 2006):
Eli Gottlieb wrote:
< just someone who loves the greatest music ever written. Some of you might remember DeKoven. He had a radio program from, I believe, the fifties until his death in 1984. >
Dekoven was one wild guy. They don't make them like that any more. I listened to his programs foreveand almost went to the memorial service at Fordham University in the Bronx. I was alas not able to make it due to a medical problem at the time.

For some time after his death a small New Jersey Christian station kept on broadcasting his tapes and finally the family felt that all the tapes should be given to a Colorado (IIRC) University for restoration.

To think what we have available today vs. what little DeKoven used to wax OTW and OTU and OTG about.

Dekoven had been part of a Paris Circle in the 1930s as I recall and he insisted always on not having a first name.

He also responded to all notes on his form postcard about the corners (all four corners) of which he would write his personal comments. I still preserve some few of those postcards but they are not easy to read.

He certainly was wild and eccentric and inspiring and he introduced many of us to all kinds of Baroque composers of whom we never would have otherwise been aware. His Barocco Society, his favorite personal charity was one of those things that one will remember forever.

Eric Bergerud wrote (June 2, 2006):
OT: Dekoven

[To Yoël L. Arbeitman] I can't say that I have ever heard of DeKoven. Likewise no radio program hosts really come to mind at all in the classical genre. I like the idea of a Bach DJ being described as a "wild guy." When I listen in the Twin Cities the justly respected Minnesota Public Radio does classical 24/7 - not as much choral baroque a I'd like, but instrumental music obviously is the big draw in the field. But I've sometimes wondered whether the "greying" of the classical music audience might not be part of a self-fulfilling prophesy. The program hosts in Minnesota are obviously very well informed, but they come across as someone's favorite aunt or uncle. (Ditto in San Francisco where the only classical station is one of the "light" types: well informed aunts with lots of commercials.) I think it has something to do with classical music being viewed as "soothing" which, by and large, it is most definitely not. I'm not saying that classical music needs a Howard Stern or that orchestra members dress in jeans. (Although jeans make a lot more sense than tails IMHO.) However, there may well be a place for a civilized version of the English nut on American Idol: someone not afraid to kick up a little dust. Or engage in some interesting topics: they certainly exist in the cantata world. Bob Dylan's doing a weekly show for satellite radio now that I hear is actually pretty good. Maybe someone ought to send him a copy of BWV 106. Say it's Bach's version of Knocking on Heaven's Door. Couldn't hurt.

Neil Halliday wrote (June 2, 2006):
Eli Gottlieb wrote:
>"For me there's nothing more stirring and thrilling than a Bach cantata with trumpets and chorus"<.
An example of which is the opening chorus of BWV 19, on the same Rilling CD as the cantata under discussion this week, BWV 20.

Music does not get much more dynamic than this.

 

Introduction to group

Aaron Sheehan wrote (June 3, 2006):
I guess when you join the group your supposed to introduce yourself. So here it goes.

My name is Aaron Sheehan and I am a tenor that lives and teaches in Boston and sings mainly early music. I fell in love with Bach's vocal music when I was in college, the first piece I performed in was the St. John's passion (BWV 245). Amazing music, and probably still my favorite. I am quickly working my way through the repertoire and loving it all. I am joining the group mainly just to see the discussions, maybe join in, and offer my opinions when I see fit. I have enjoyed everything i have seen so far.

Hope everyone is well

 

Introducing Myself

Jean Laaninen wrote (June 4, 2006):
The Bach Cantatas became a great favorite of mine about ten years ago when at fifty-two I once again returned to school to continue music studies I had not had the opportunity to finish pursuing three decades earlier. When I actually discovered that there was more to Bach than I'd known in my lifetime, I spent a good share of a summer listening to over one third of the Rilling recordings. The ones available to me then were the old vinyl copies.

As a lover of Bach since early childhood, and now recently retired, I am currently in the process of working on creating a website that will hopefully be online by the end of 2007. This will be the fifth website I have constructed, and entirely different from the personal arts oriented sites I've done in the past. Right now I do not have an active website, as my energies are going toward creating the new one. But the new site will eventually include Bach Cantata material.

Inspirational ministry and personal resources will be the guiding principle for a site that will contain music, original poetry and photography. This will be non-profit site for free use, and will include my own vocal recordings of the Bach soprano cantatas that I will be recording this fall and later on. Having completed fourteen years of voice study spread out over a lifetime I am ready to create my version of these glorious pieces.

Bach in my life is what I call a Lutheran-birthright. My mother was an excellent pianist and my father-still living, is a 97 year old Lutheran pastor. Thanks to them and the church I sang and played Bach from my early days. I sometimes think Bach is next to Scripture.

Both my husband and I spent some years in Lutheran ministry, and when I was young the circumstances of leading small congregations and organists who needed foot surgery or moved away meant that I ended up being called upon to play, and sometimes take over at the bench. This went on for a period of seven and a half years, and my piano training and very limited organ technique made me the only available candidate to serve for services in those locations. So Bach was of course at that time very central to our music ministry in the rural areas of Upper Michigan, and required much practice.

My academic studies are in Sociology, Theology and Music. My best course for relating to the Bach Cantatas Group is Baroque Music Theory taken a few years ago at Arizona State University, Tempe. When I took the course I learned to appreciate time spent reading critical studies and academic journals on the work of J. S. Bach and personally own some of these texts. Because of the direction the music of Bach took in my early life, the pragmatic considerations of the music as ministry preceded following every possible purist academic directive. I simply didn't and don't know everything, but Bach belongs to me as a kind of birth right. My personal view is that the music must speak the message, but where extensive academic work improves conveying the message then it has great value for me. So really, both elements matter in so far as it is possible for me to continue to read, study and learn.

I am well connected with ASU, and in the future hope to also host some aspiring young artists including MP3 files of their work online when my website is established. I have been involved in support to the music community at ASU for the past eight years.

So, I will share from this wealth and my past history when I complete my site. And if I have anything worthy to offer related to the cantata discussions it will come out of the context of my studying and experience, and learning from all of you..I am sure what I learn will enhance this current project.

The details of working out this future site site, and covering all the aspects of using 100% public domain free to record materials has consumed a great deal of time recently, and I am now close to having all the answers needed on the Bach material. I am very concerned about respecting the work and rights of others. The Kalmus orchestral editions of the Bach Cantatas that I am going to record first have been cleared in writing from the publisher for public domain recording and audio streaming.

Other material on the site will include hymn arrangements that I am going to be creating shortly. Thanks to some family members I have some very old hymnals thatI have been able to verify are 100% public domain material, and I am looking forward to working on that project soon. Generally, I have learned, material that is in the public domain can be used for many purposes, but that if the material is under copyright because of the edition source, recording may require a mechanical license. As a retiree, I want to avoid those costs and I am working very hard to make sure that all the scores I use are free and clear of any hindering legalities.

Related to other materials on my future site, the foundation I received from the Baroque Music Theory course music cleared up my music theory frustrations and issues and I will hopefully also be writing some worthwhile contemporary ballades related to Christian living. I have the ideas for this work germinating in the back of my mind. Interestingly, it was Baroque music theory and the analysis of some Bach Cantatas that liberated my flute playing, and from that path I then played in a contemporary church praise band in Arizona for several years, having a marvelous time improvising and harmonizing with players a decade or more younger than me, and in a jazz fashion.

I am looking forward to reading all the emails that people post, and feel very fortunate to have found this group of people to enrich my mind and my future projects.

 

Allow me to introduce myself

Harry W. Crosby wrote (June 16, 2006):
I grew up in the 30s and 40s in a non-musical home, no instruments, no singing, no disk player, no interest on the part of my parents. In 1940 I met, through my parents social connections with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a prudently emigrated son of a family of Dutch diamond merchants, an oceanographer trained in Berlin named Lodewyk Lek. In 1941 when I was fifteen, I spent the summer in his home and immediately was overwhelmed by his huge --- for those days --- collection of 78 rpm recordings, all classical and mostly Romantic. It was perhaps my first real epiphany of any sort. I became an avid collector (so far as limited finances permitted) and built early hi-fi equipment (any one remember HeathKits?)

But the really great revelation came in 1958 when I was struck down by serious hepatitis, could not function as a chemistry teacher in high school, and was able for three months only to lie about, too weak for much of anything. But I had just bought recordings of Bach cantatas, a new genre for me, some by Fritz Werner, some by Mogens Woldike, and I was transfixed, my life changed, and I converted -- not to church or Lutheranism, but to Bach. I heard within music thoughts, non-verbal philosophy, passion, sorrow, joy, exaltation, that I had never imagined.

Ever since, I have collected largely 18th century music (fits nicely with my occupation as historian of Spanish California) and yet Bach makes up 40% of my collection --- throw in his sons and it's over 50%. [Some other favorites of mine, lesser of course but still great listening, are Corrette, Antonio Soler, Giovanni Benedetto Platti, Benedetto Marcello, Conti, Vanhal, Rejcha.] I have a group of friends interested in music, about a dozen on average, for whom I concoct little recorded musicales on Sunday afternoons every four or five months.

All in all, I have about 160 Bach CDs, mostly cantatas, but all the other choral works, most of the chamber music that gets called "concertos, and huge favorites of mine, the sonatas and partitas for solo violin, and the sonatas in which gamba and violin are joined by harpsihord -- I am, alas, not fan of Bach on the modern piano [but when my wife listens to her Maria Joao Pires disk of Bach, I am almost converted . . . .]

I just discovered the world created by Aryeh Oron, and I am totally amazed by it. Through this site I have learned of and acquired recordings I did not know existed. Pardon me for going on so long, but I am very grateful to be taken into your company.

Stephen Benson wrote (June 16, 2006):
Harry W. Crosby wrote:
< I am, alas, not fan of Bach on the modern piano [but when my wife listens to her Maria Joao Pires disk of Bach, I am almost converted . . . .] >
Your wife has good taste. For what it's worth, at least, it agrees with mine. Pires's First Partita, along with Dinu Lipatti's, are at the top of my "desert island" list of Bach piano recordings.I thoroughly enjoyed your "introduction". What a wonderful testimonial to early 18th-century music in general, and the music of Bach in particular! (And, yes, I remember HeathKits.)

 

Introducing myself

Chris O'Loughin wrote (July 26, 2006):
I understand from the introductory e-mail that new people to the mailing list are invited to introduce themselves and say "hello". well - I recently got hold of the Brilliant label complete Bach Edition on the grounds that I was very unlikely to own the cantatas any other way and due to the limited documentation naturally turned to the web for more info and found the Bach Cantata website. So now, armed with the music, the mailing list and a paperback copy of Dürr's The Cantatas of JS Bach (how fortunate was that timing) I feel more equipped to approach the cantatas seriously. I'm only a little musical, certainly not at all professionally (actually a doctor in Cambridge, UK) but am looking forward to some listening structured around the liturgical year !

Incidentally if anyone else has these CDs (ie the 160-CD set) and is interested then I've got an excel file with the contents listed by BWV number and volume/CD in the collection (making it considerably easier to find the cantata I want) which I'm happy to e-mail. The only problem is I converted the BWV list into excel from someone's work on the internet, have now lost the link and aren't able to acknowledge them.

Looking forward to the mailings,

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 27, 2006):
[To Chris O'Loughin] Welcome aboard.

You wrote:
"Incidentally if anyone else has these CDs (i.e. the 160 CD set) and is interested then I've got an excel file with the contents listed by BWV number and volume/CD in the collection (making it considerably easier to find the cantata I want) which I'm happy to e-mail."
In the following pages of the BCW (listed by BWV Number):
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Recordings-Table.htm
you can easily find not only in which volume of Leusink's cantata cycle each cantata is located, but also cross-reference to other complete or partial cantata cycles, such as: H&L, Rilling, Koopman, Suzuki, Gardiner, etc. The cantata pages also include references (and gradually also links) to the albums in which the cantata is included.

 

Greetings and proposal

Carlitos Q. wrote (July 31, 2006):
Hello everybody! it's good being able to speak all of you. i've been following the discussions on the web site about a year, and now idecided to Join this group for real. I'm Studying to become a music teacher next year, in chile Southamerica. i'm also a Bach lover (obviusly) and a continuo student by myself (with 2 books the only one i've been able to get here, teh end of the world) i'm really honored to share with people who have proved to know a lot about this subject!

The proposal i want to extend is to form another group about Basso continuo, in order to discuss the subject without disturb the cantatas discussion. What do you think about that? anyone interested? please let me know!

Bradley Lehman wrote (July 31, 2006):
< The proposal i want to extend is to form another group about Basso continuo, in order to discuss the subject without disturb the cantatas discussion. What do you think about that? anyone interested? Please let me know! >
Welcome, Carlitos!

If possible, as background to any serious discussion about this, I recommend that you get especially the old (1966) edition of The Bach Reader with its section "BACH ON THOROUGH-BASS REALIZATION" starting at page 389; and CPE Bach's Versuch.

The standard English translation of that one is Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments, tr. William Mitchell, published 1949 by Norton.

In original German, several facsimile editions are available; the one I have is the 1992 Breitkopf printing #BV 179, from the original 1753 and 1762 editions and with commentary by Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht. http://tinyurl.com/ncc4q
A clear and well-bound facsimile costing only 15 Euros.

Most of that CPE Bach book, German only, is also available as text on this web site: http://www.koelnklavier.de/quellen/versuch/_start.html

=====

My own practical opinions and references about this topic continue to be updated at the web page: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/recits.htm

Would your discussion group be for people who actually play continuo? That's the type I would be interested in. In the BachCantatas discussions and its web archive, it's sometimes difficult to sort out who actually knows what they're doing from practical experience improvising continuo in Bach's music...vs merely speculating from looking things up in books. That can get very frustrating, the way those discussions go....

=====

Many used copies of the Bach Reader and the English version of the _Essay_ are available at low cost from here: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&y=0&kn=bach+reader+mendel&x=0

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?sts=t&y=0&kn=mitchell+bach+essay&x=0

Chris Rowson wrote (July 31, 2006):
[To Carlitos Q.] Hallo Carlitos! Yes, I´m also interested. I frequently play harpsichord and sometimes organ continuo.

I hope we get other continuo players in the group too, beyond just us keyboard players :-)

Carlitos Q. wrote (July 31, 2006):
The idea of this new group is to share experiencies, dobts and being able to support each other and the less advanced ones can grow into this subject.

can't wait to hear ideas and replys.

William Rowland (Ludwig) wrote (July 31, 2006):
[To Carlitos Q.] As for as continuo; there is probally not a finer book on this subject than Arnold's Art of accompaniment from a thorough-bass, a two volume book set that is still or was published by Dover Publications in 1965.

Raymond Joly wrote (August 1, 2006):
Fine books on continuo playing [was: Greetings and proposal]

[To Ludwig] Mr. Rowland's opinion is shared by George J. Buelow (THOROUGH-BASS ACCOMPANIMENT ACCORDING TO JOHANN DAVID HEINICHEN, Un. of Nebraska Press, 1998 -- first published 1966), which does not prevent him from thrashing Arnold severely on a lot of important accounts. But a great book once is a great book ever, even if you have to rewrite large parts of it.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 1, 2006):
[To Carlitos Q.] Welcome aboard!

You wrote:
"The proposal i want to extend is to form another group about Basso continuo, in order to discuss the subject without disturb the cantatas discussion. What do you think about that? anyone interested? please let me know!"
Based on past experience, this will not work. Please take into account the following points:
a. There are more than 20 Bach ML, most of them are actually non-active.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Links/Links-Mailing.htm
b. If you look at the Index of General Topics at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/index.htm, you will be able to see hundreds of different topics relating to Bach. Shall we open a separate ML for each one of them.?
c. Many topics in the BCML are inter-related. What shall we do if the topic of Continuo evolves from a cantata discussion? Shall we move the discussion to the Continuo ML? Not very practical.
d. There is already Bach Musicology Mailing List (BMML), which I created about two years ago in order to discuss more musicological issues (such as Continuo). Most of its 133 members are also members of the BCML. Somehow, they prefer to discuss such issues here.

I hope to see you participating in the cantata discussions.

 

New Member [BRML]

Josh Clasins wrote (August 24, 2006):
My name is Josh I live in Florida and began listening to Bach about a year ago. His music has become very dear to me therefore I wished to speak about it with other Bach enthusiasts. First and foremost I will say that Glenn Gould introduced me to the world of Bach and I think very highly Gould as a person and as an artist. Gould seems to be quite controversial so I look foward to any discussion regarding his Bach interpretations. It is a pleasure be involved with such an online group and I hope to learn much.

 

New Member [BRML]

Stephen Marshall wrote (August 24, 2006):
I am a new member of this group. I am a 53 year old attorney and have loved Bach all my life. My parents played only classical music in our home when I was growing up. I developed an early affinity for JSB. Like Josh, who wrote earlier today, I learned to love Bach's keyboard works after discovering Glenn Gould's recordings in our local library when I was a teenager.

For a while, I studied the piano and learned some pieces from the WTC, but I really haven't practiced for many years now. I have learned music vicariously through my wife and children. She is a fine musician with a degree in piano from the University of Utah. I became interested in her when I first met her and she said she was studying the Goldbergs. That was 29 years ago. Since then we have had a bunch of children, all of whom are very musical and all of whom play much Bach. Our children include three pianists, four violinists, and two cellists. They perform Bach's keyboard works, violin sonatas and partitas, and the cello suites, concertos, and many chamber works. Every year on March 21 we celebrate Bach's birthday. We bake a cake, sing to him (sometimes we attempt to sing in contrapuntal fashion, but without much success really), and tell favorite Bach stories. And listen to his music. Last March we listened to the B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) (not the whole thing) and told the story of Bach's visit with Frederick the Great.

I strictly an amateur, but I love Bach's music very much. The hope of meeting him one day is one of the reasons for believing in an afterlife.

John Pike wrote (August 24, 2006):
[To Stephen Marshall] Welcome, and amen to all that! I just hope that, if I meet him, he doesn't describe me as a Zippel Geige spieler!

Julian Mincham wrote (August 24, 2006):
Stephen Marshall wrote
< We bake a cake, sing to him (sometimes we attempt to sing in contrapuntal fashion, but without much success really), and tell favorite Bach stories. And listen to his music. Last March we listened to the B-Minor Mass (BWV 232) (not the whole thing) and told the story of Bach's visit with Frederick the Great.
I strictly an amateur, but I love Bach's music very much. The hope of meeting him one day is one of the reasons for believing in an afterlife. >
Welcome! Loved your email! Sounds as if you have a Bachian household in microcosm.Long may it last.

I too would like to meet JSB in the afterlife more than any other composer, although if really convinced about it, I would be doing more work on my poor German as preparation.Still, if he is there I'll bet he has got the angels, choirs and orchestras extremely well organised for regular services.

Now that would be worth seeing--and even worth behaving oneself in this life for the prime purpose of being admitted into Heaven!

 

Member Profiles

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 3, 2006):
The BCW includes a page of profiles of members & contributors.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Members-Profiles.htm

Last time there was a major update of this page was in 2004, when the Bach Mailing Lists have about half members of what we have now. Many of the current contributors were not even members two years ago. Therefore, I thought it might be the right time to update this page in order to connect faces to names and to improve the communication.

All members, both new and veteran, contributors and lurkers alike, are invited to add their personal profile to the Member Profiles page. The needed details are: photo (jpg format, 180x235 pixels), name, occupation, town/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.

I hope to see many member profiles in my inbox.

 

SMP-Dramtization

Christoph Bohm wrote (September 4, 2006):
I have been subscribed to this list for quite a while now and I am greatly thankful for the wealth of information that can be found by reading your highly interesting discussion of the cantatas.
<>

 

Introducing myself

Bernard Nys wrote (September 23, 2006):
I'm not really a new member, but my e-mail adress changed, so I lost contact. The most important thing about myself is that I became christian on January 7, 2000, during a performance of the Hohe Messe (BWV 232) (at the end, Agnus Dei) in the Antwerp Cathedral, quite suddenly, without any particular reason. Soli Deo Gloria, as Bach would say. As I had been an unbeliever for 40 years, I decided to study theology at the Catholic University of Louvain and I got my second academic diploma (when I was young I studied Roman Philology, French, Spanish, Latin) in 2005. I don't know anything about making music, about music history,... My appreciation of Bach's music is strongly related to his and my faith. That's the only topic where I can be of some help.

 

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