The Critical discographies of SMP, SJP & B minor Mass by Teri Noel Towe in the Bach Cantatas Website - A Major Addition(February 11, 2002)
I see myself honoured and privileged that I was allowed by Teri Noel Towe to publish his critical discographies of Saint Matthew Passion BWV 244, Saint John Passion BWV 245, and the Mass in B minor BWV 232 in the Bach Cantatas Website. These articles were originally printed by Cambridge University Press in 1991 in the book 'Choral Music On Records' edited by Alan Blyth, and are published in the Bach Cantatas Website by permission from the edition. I found the articles enlightening and erudite and, most important, they put all the HIP-mania into some proportions. A proof for the articles' esteem by the critics is that they won Teri Noel Towe an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1992.
These articles were completed late in 1989. They were left "as is", to stand or fall, on their own, as historical documents that reflects the state of affairs as Teri Noel Towe found them, just before the volcanic explosion of new allegedly "authentic" recordings -- purportedly "HIP" and employing period instruments -- that have overtaken and engulfed the listener, novice or educated, like a nuée ardente. The knowledgeable and up-to-date reader will spot the occasional "inaccuracy" that will serve as a cogent reminder that these articles are flies in amber.
The articles can be found in the following pages:
Saint Matthew Passion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SMP-TNT.htm
Saint John Passion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/SJP-TNT.htm
Mass in B minor: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/MBM-TNT.htm
No effort has been done to update the articles. No new recordings have been added in the body of the articles. But based on the discographies in the original articles and on many other sources, I have largely updated and revised the discographies of those sublime works in the Bach Cantatas Website. Some members of the BCML and BRML were very helpful in completing details of recordings. Their names are accordingly mentioned at the bottom of each relevant page. For your convenience I added links in the body of the articles from every place in which a recording is mentioned to the relevant entry in the discographies. The updated discographies can be found in the following pages of the Bach Cantatas Website:
Saint Matthew Passion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244.htm
Saint John Passion: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV245.htm
Mass in B minor: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV232.htm
(February 11, 2002):
Yesterday I wrote to you as follows regarding Warner's decision to stop the project of recording the complete Bach Cantatas by Tom Koopmam:
"The common denominator to all the members in the BCML and many additional members in the BRML is their love for the Bach Cantatas. The three already complete cantata cycles (Rilling, Harnoncourt& Leonhardt, Leusink) are not to everybody's taste, and each one of them has its own deficiencies. There is a need for more complete cantata cycles, and Koopman has done enough to prove that his renditions can in many cases be counted among the best. There are about 220 members in the BCML and this means power to influence. If the members believe that it is a real shame that Warner stops this beautiful series and would like to make the effort to send Warner a petition, it is of course so much better than nothing, and I believe it would encourage Koopman and his group."
Following your feedback I opened a special e-mail address to which you are invited to send your requests regarding the continuation of this important project:
The e-mail addess is: email@example.com
My intention is to compile all your messages and to send them both to Warner Group and Koopman Website. I hope that in that way we can be of some help in encouraging the continuation of this project.
(February 12, 2002)
I compiled the messages that have been sent so far in the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Koopman-Petition.htm
There is also a link to this page from the Home Page of the Bach Cantatas Website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
You are invited to send your opinions to the following e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bach and a Play of Passion
(February 20, 2002)
I see myself honoured and privileged that I was allowed by Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood to publish his lecture 'Bach and the Play of Passion'. This Inaugural Lecture for a Personal Chair at the Royal Academy of Music, University of London was delivered by Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood on January 17, 2002.
A quote from the background to the lecture:
"'Historically-aware' performance is a term broadly used to convey how musical works have been returned to the world of their creator, whether through scholarly source-study, attention to verifiable practices or informed speculation. Premised on a return to the past, this concept of 'historical awareness' has ignored the value of many other 20th-century performance traditions, regarding them as incompatible with today's thinking.
With the use of rare recordings of Bach's passions and cantatas made between 1949 and 1964, Prof. Freeman-Attwood argues how these seminal post-war performances must act as an interpretative conscience to challenge the homogeneity of much current characterising. The chief musical personalities in this repertoire, their artistic investment and diverse approaches unveil forgotten meanings for today's Bach performers."
The article can be found in the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Passion-JFA.htm
There is a link to this article also from the newly-formed Articles section.
There is a link to this section in the Home Page of the Bach Cantatas Website (left side): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/
I find this a fascinating and compelling article, which corresponds very much with my own view. I hope you will enjoy it too.
Terms & Abbreviations
(March 28, 2002)
I updated the Technical & Musical Terms & Abbreviations Section of the Bach Cantatas Website with all the Abbreviations & Acronyms, which popped up in the last discussions in the BCML & the BRML. I also expanded this section and added many more Terms, Abbreviations and Acronyms. See the following pages:
Terms & Abbreviations with Bach connection: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/index.htm
General Abbreviations: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/Terms-2.htm
Voices & Instruments: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/Terms-3.htm
Musical Terms: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/Terms-4.htm
Acronyms of Performrs: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/Terms-5.htm
Of course, if is there any technical or musical term, which you do not understand, do not hesitate foe a second and send a question to either the BCML or the BRML. As Francine wisely said: "There's no such thing as a 'stupid' question!!! (I used to be a teacher, and questions show curiosity, not stupidity.)". On the other hand, if you are familiar with a term or an , which seems to you relevant, and you do not find it in the above pages, please send the term and its explanation to one of the Bach lists. I shall it to the Bach Cantatas Website in due time.
Announcement – Scores of the Sacred Cantatas
(April 25, 2002)
Couple of days ago I received a message from Yu Chao, Tianjin, P.R. China, saying that he compiled all the scores of Bach's Cantatas and put them on his Website http://www.bh2000.net/score/.
These are neither the BG nor the NBA editions (for explanation of BG and NBA, see: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Term/index.htm ), but the Breitkopf & Härtel piano reduction of the orchestral parts with full vocal parts. Nevertheless, I believe that it is better to have them available on-line than nothing at all. Reviews of this edition can be read in the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Books/CD-CompleteCantatas.htm
For your convenience, I added links to the entries of each cantata in Yu’s Website ‘Free Sheet-music Library’. See the following pages of the Bach Cantatas Website:
Cantatas BWV 1-50: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/index.htm
Cantatas BWV 51-100: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/IndexScores2.htm
Cantatas BWV 101-150: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/IndexScores3.htm
Cantatas BWV 151-199: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/IndexScores4.htm
All the files are derived from public domain music in editions that are in the public domain. So you may freely copy, print, distribute the files. To view or print the PDF (Adobe Portable Document Format) files, please use Adobe Acrobat Reader or Ghostscript. Note: DON'T download more than one file at the same time. DON'T use any multi-thread user agent such as FlashGet, NetAnts.
The pages of the links include also links to ‘Examples from the Score’, which were contributed by Thomas Braatz.
Yu also wrote that his Webserver doesn't have a fast connection to Internet. Therefore he gave me the option of mirroring his pages in the Bach Cantatas Website. I shall consider doing so, if I have enough requests. These are big files, and for this matter I shall need much more space on the server than what I have at the moment (and the Bach Cantatas Website is already quite a large Website!).
Announcement – References
(June 12, 2002)
Following requests from list members and others who wrote to me directly and encouraged by David O. Berger of Concordia Seminary Library [St. Louis, MO], I decided to add to the Bach Cantatas Website pages, which will include references to all the authorised editions of Bach’s Vocal Works (BGA, NBA, BC, etc.). They are now available for you to use whenever you have the need for quick and easy reference.
See the following pages of the Bach Cantatas Website:
Cantatas BWV 1-50: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/index.htm
Cantatas BWV 51-100: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef2.htm
Cantatas BWV 101-150: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef3.htm
Cantatas BWV 151-200: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef4.htm
Cantatas BWV 201-224: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef5.htm
Other Vocal Works BWV 224-249, etc.: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef6.htm
Chorales BWV 250-300: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef8.htm
Chorales BWV 301-350: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef9.htm
Chorales BWV 351-400: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef10.htm
Chorales BWV 401-438: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef11.htm
Sacred Songs BWV 439-507: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef12.htm
Anna Magdalena Notenbüchlein, etc BWV 508-524: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef13.htm
Vocal Works Anhang: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef7.htm
There is also a link to the first page of the references (which include list of all the other pages) from the Home Page of the Bach Cantatas Website [lower left side]: http://www.bach-cantatas.com
Of course, if you any ideas for additions and/or improvements or if you find any mistake, do not hesitate to write to me right away, either through the BCML/BRML or to my private e-mail.
Bach Cantatas Website - Links Section expanded
(July 2, 2002)
The Links Section of the Bach Cantatas Website has been largely expanded. My goal is to make it one of the most comprehensive collection of links to J.S. Bach-related sites over the web, as a service to the growing international community of J.S. Bach’s music lovers. Some other sites have aimed at that goal: Bach Central Station, J.S. Bach Home Page, Bach-Portal, Bach Startpagina, etc. Not to under-evaluate the enormous contribution of some of those sites and others to the distribution of Bach’s message, I have found in my continuos research for more Bach’s material, that most of them are not comprehensive enough or not updated.
I building the Links Section I set to myself only one rule: not to judge. I mean that the Links Section includes now every Bach-related site I could find, whatever its merits are. This is not a collection of ‘The best Bach Sites’ or ‘The Bach Sites I like’, etc.
Due to the enormous number of Bach-related sites I have found, they were divided into sections, each one in a separate page. In some cases you can find sub-sections within a page.
These are the main sections:
Sites about Bach Cantatas & Other J.S. Bach’s Sites
- J.S. Bach’s Cantatas – General
- Commentary on Individual Cantatas
- J.S. Bach's Other Vocal Works
- J.S. Bach’s Non-Vocal Works
- General Sites about J.S. Bach & his Music
- Articles about J.S. Bach, his Religion & his Music
- Books about J.S. Bach
- J.S. Bach-related Portals, WebRings & Links Pages
- J.S. Bach & Bach-related Mailing Lists
Sites with Reviews of Recordings
- Individual Recordings of Bach Cantatas
- Individual Recordings of Bach's Other Vocal Works
- Collections of Recording Reviews
Sites of Performers of J.S. Bach’s Vocal Works
- Choral Groups & Instrumental Ensembles
- Bach Festivals, Organizations & Societies
- Collections of Biographies of Singers & Conductors
- Short Biographies
Sites of Record Labels
General Classical Music Sites
Sites of Members of the Bach Cantatas Mailing List
The main page of the Links is located in the following address:
There is also a link to the this page from the Home Page of the Bach Cantatas Website [lower right side]: http://www.bach-cantatas.com
With your help the Links Section can be even more comprehensive and more complete. Therefore, if you are aware of any Bach-related site not listed in the Links Section, please inform me. Of course, if you any ideas for additions and/or improvements or if you find any mistake, do not hesitate to write to me right away, either through the BCML/BRML or to my private e-mail.
Intreview with the Baritone Barry McDaniel
(July 6, 2002)
In the last couof months I was given the honour and the opportunity to make an interview with the baritone Barry McDaniel. Barry is an American-born, who spent most of his musical career in Germany, being a member of several important opera companies. His longest and last engagement was with the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (1962-1999). During the 1960's and 1970 's he sang and also recorded a lot of Bach, specialising in the role of Christ in the Matthäus-Passion. Barry McDaniel's Short Biography can be found at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/McDaniel-Barry.htm
I have never met Barry personally and the interview actually took place by exchanging e-mails. I found him a very warm and sincere person, with sense of humour, who knows how to tell a story. For me the interview was a fascinating experience through which I was able to learn many 'behind the screen' revelations. I have also learnt to understand more deeply the view of a performer on the subjects that are being discussed in the various Classical music mailing lists of which I am a member. Naturally, a major part of the interview was dedicated to Bach: how did Barry approach his parts, his acquaintance with renowned Bach singers and conductors, his view of HIP, etc.
Due to its length the interview is divided into four parts:
Part 1 - Beginnings, early stages: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Barry-Interview-A.htm
Part 2 - Bach: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Barry-Interview-B.htm
Part 3 - Musical career: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Barry-Interview-C.htm
Part 4 - Various matter: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Barry-Interview-D.htm
I hope you will find the interview as fascinating as it was for me.
Hebrew Translations of Bach Cantatas
(August 3, 2002)
I have just finished translating to Hebrew the texts of all the cantatas which have already been discussed in the BCML so far, as well as most of Bach’s other vocal works. I intend to translate the rest at a pace of one per week, for the weekly cantata discussions, until the first round of cantata discussions is over at the end of 2003.
This has been a huge project, and AFAIK, nobody has tried to accomplish such a project so far. I have translated about 120 cantatas by myself, and for the rest (about 20) I used translations from various programme notes.
A whole world has been opened to me during the translating process, a world of almost three centuries ago. I have learnt to understand better what were the daily life of the people in Bach’s life-time, what were their wishes, their hopes, their dreams. As a result, I believe that I understand Bach’s vision as a religious man and as an artist much better: what were his beliefs, how did he approach a given text, why did he choose a certain structure for each cantata, what did he want to achieve in the musical means he used, etc. All these conclusions may form a basis for a more comprehensive research, which I hope that to be able to accomplish some day.
You can find the translations in the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexTexts.htm
I can only recommend to every member of the BCML trying his (or her) hand in translating some cantatas to his own language. As is commonly known, learning through doing is much more effective than through reading. In any case, translations to common languages, such as French, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, etc., are desperately needed. I shall be happy to host in the Bach Cantatas Website translation of any Bach Cantata to any language.
Interview with the Boy Alto & Bass Panito Iconomou
(October 21, 2002)
At last you have the promised interview with the Boy Alto and Bass Panajotis (Panito) Iconomou. You can read the first part of it at the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Panito-Interview-A.htm
The second part, which includes many questions of the members, will come soon (so I hope). If you have more questions, please send them to me through, either the
Mailing List or my personal e-mail address.
Bach Cantatas Website - Cantata Discographies
(November 13, 2002)
I have just finished compiling complete discographies of the Bach Cantatas. It means that for each cantata, whether it has been already discussed in the BCML or has yet to be discussed, there is a dedicated page in the Bach Cantatas Website. The page includes both complete recordings of the cantata and recordings of individual movements from it. In some cases, where the cantata has many recordings, they were split into some pages. For each recording you have not only the usual details (conductor, choral and instrumental groups, vocal soloists, label, month/year of recording and TT), but also the title of the album on which the recording of the cantata appears. I also added a small picture of each album. In that way you can get immediately answer to a question like: on which album of Suzuki this cantata appears. Each participant in the recordings is linked to his biography at the Bach Cantatas Website. The bio includes list of all his recordings of Bach’s vocal works. The cantatas in that list are linked to their respective pages, etc. If the performer’s name is not linked, it means that his biography is missing.
The list of complete recordings for each cantata is complete to the best of my knowledge. I have still some extra work to do regarding recordings of individual movements from cantatas such as BWV 21, BWV 29, BWV 140, BWV 156, BWV 208, BWV 21, etc.
I am extremely grateful for many Bach fans from all over the world, who sent me information about recordings in their disposal. I mentioned the names of the contributors at the bottom of the relevant pages. I would like especially to mention Roland Wörner, who helped me a lot in compiling the discography of Fritz Werner.
If you aware of a recording I have missed, or if you have any corrections and/or additions to the data, please send me a message, either through the BCML or to my e-mail address.
Interview with the Boy Alto & Bass Panito Iconomou - Part 2
(November 15, 2002)
The long awaited second part of the interview with the Boy Alto and Bass Panajotis
(Panito) Iconomou is available at last for you to read and enjoy.
You can find it at the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website:
The first part, for those of you who have missed my previous announcement, is at:
The second part includes many questions of the members of the BCML, BRML and Bach_Cantatas Mailing List. I found Panito’s answers to the various questions fascinating, as they illuminate the background and reveal many unknown details in the process of recording the Harnoncourt & Leonhardt Cantata Cycle. And it comes from a man who was there, at the heart of the matters, being himself one of the gems of this cycle.
If you have more questions to Panito, please send them to me through, either the
Mailing List or my personal e-mail address.
Article about Günther Ramin
(November 16, 2002)
Günther Ramin, the Thomaskantor from 1940 to 1956, was a pioneer in performing and recording Bach Cantatas in the modern era. Between 1947 and 1956 he recorded about 30 of them. Ramin also recorded Bach’s other major vocal works, such as Matthäus-Passion BWV 244, Johannes-Passion BWV 245, B minor Mass BWV 232 and the first half of Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248. Michael Meacock contributed an article about Ramin, origpublished in the magazine ‘International Classical Record Collector’. The article summarises aptly and instructively Ramin’s activity, and also includes review of some the recordings.
You can find the article at the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website:
There is a link to the article from the Index to Articles:
Quoted from the article:
“Günther Ramin is both a musical and historical legend in Germany today. His tenure as Cantor of Bach's "old church", St Thomas' Leipzig, spanned one of the most difficult periods in Germany's recent history, to which Ramin responded with musicianship, enthusiasm, conviction, loyalty and persistence… Ramin brings a particularly strong spiritual insight to his interpretations, stressing the text and bringing out significant phrases. Indeed without such spiritual insight Bach's music becomes empty and meaningless.”
Although, I also enjoy modern interpretations of the Bach Cantatas, I concur with the appreciation of Ramin’s renditions, as presented in the article by Michael Meacock. I hope you will find the article benefitical and enjoyable as I did.
Printable Index of Bach Cantatas
(December 20, 2002)
Santu De Silva (known also as Archimedes) prepared a nice Index of the Bach Cantatas in printable (pdf) format.
The printable Index is organized:
- by BWV Number
- in Alphabetical Order
- according to the Church Year
You can find the Printable Index at the following page of the Bach Cantatas Website: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/PrintableIndex.pdf
There is a link to this page from: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexBWV.htm