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Part 14: Year 2012

BWV 27: Introducing myself

Martibn Ruiz wrote (April 1, 2012):
Although Iīve been a member of the BCML since years ago, this is the first time I write, so I am going to introduce myself briefly. I am 44, spanish, architect and no professional musician at all, only an inconditional lover of Bachīs music. This love began more than twenty years ago thanks to an ex-girlfriend, pianist, who introduced me in classical music. After that, I myself got deeply into other styles and musicians and so I discovered Bach. It was bit by bit as I knew more of him and his music, and began to purchase cdīs. My first contact with his cantatas was about 16 years ago, when Ton Koopman began recording his complete series but my knowlege of them was always very superficial until one day (about seven years ago), visiting a web site about Bach, I was linked to the BCW. It was like having been walking during years through the dessert and suddenly find the paradise full of manah: your comments, reviews, articles, translations, recommendations,... were like sweet fruits to eat, fresh water to drink, beautiful bird chants to hear. And thanks to all of you, my knowledge of all concerning Bach grew up; thanks to all of you I knew more and more about cantatas, I began to analyze their texts, their meanings, their context in which were written, ...; thanks to all of you I knew about musicologists and their opinions; thanks to all of you... so many things thanks to all of you.... that I only have words of thanks for all of you.

As IMHO the four cantatas for Sunday 16th after Trinity form one of the most beautiful and consistent group in the whole Bachīs production, it was my intention to begin writing three weeks ago, when BCW discussed about BWV 161, then the following week with BWV 95, and then again last week with BWV 8, but always lack of time prevented me from doing it.

But this week, I havenīt been able to miss the opportunity (who knows how near is to me my end...) of writing something about this BWV 27, although not my favourite one among the four cantatas for this Sunday (in fact, my predilect one, in all of Bachīs cantatas, is BWV 95). Three facts have made me decide to write:

1) The enormous beauty of the first movement, so brilliant that IMHO the rest of the cantata becomes a bit darkened (something similar happens to me with the magnificient opening choral of BWV3 "Ach Gott wie manches Herzeleid"). Superb the Gardiner version, especially when the tenor ends with the words "drum bet ich alle Zeit:" and the chorus re-enters in ecstasy with "Mein Gott,...".

2) On september 21, 2002, Aryeh Oron wrote: "The text of this cantata appears to have been written, or compiled, by Bach himself". This theory could be corroborated by the own words of Anna Magdalena Bach (in her "little chronicle") when, thinking about Bachīs yearning for death, she wrote: "In one of his cantatas he wrote these words from Neumeister: Willkomenn will ich sagen" (I am translating from my spanish copy so I donīt know the exact words in the english translation of this book). But itīs very eloquent the phrase "he wrote these Neumeisterīs words" because it seems to state clear that Bach was the one who wrote the text, maybe commpiling, or just adding sometimes, the words from other poet.

3) As I havenīt seen anything written on the subject in the discussions of this cantata, nor in any book of any musicologist, the question is: am I the only one who have noticed that the main theme of the alto aria (mov. 3) is the same as one of the most popular themes of Vivaldiīs 1st movement of Op.8 nº 1 "The Spring"? The entry of the alto, the eight notes for the words "Willkomenn will ich sagen" are exactly the same as those in Vivaldiīs work (only in Bach a semitone lower), with the only exception that the last note in Vivaldi is a crotchet and in Bach is varied to the form quaver-quaver rest (also is different the slurs between the notes). I donīt usually believe in just coincidences so, as Vivaldiīs Op. 8 was first published in Amsterdam in December 1725, it is obvious that Bach knew those works by the time he composed this BWV 27 and, as a tribute to the italian composer (one more), he decided to resort to this beautiful and, at least now well-known, melody (I donīt know if it was so popular already in Bach times). I enclose a link to visit Vivaldiīs full score.

In Vivaldi, this eight-note theme is presented in the last beat of measure 7 and the first two beats of measure 8 (both violino principale and violino I; the theme also occurs in violino II but with different notes), and in Bachīs aria the same theme is presented in the same beats of measures 16 and 17.

The sequence of notes in Vivaldi is: E-B-A-G sharp-A-B-C sharp-B. And in Bach is: E flat-B flat-A flat-G-A flat-B flat-C-B flat. Could someone tell me the letters, in german notation, corresponding to the 8 notes in both composers?

Thanks and regards to all the members.


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Last update: ýApril 21, 2013 ý01:44:53