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Bach Cantatas Website - Newsletters
Year 2011

The Bach Cantatas Website celebrates its 10th anniversary

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 3, 2011):
The Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) was launched in its current form and address on December 30, 2000.

The BCW is located at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com
Description: The Bach Cantatas Website (BCW) is a comprehensive site covering all aspects of J.S. Bach's cantatas and his other vocal works. The BCW contains discussions and detailed discographies of each cantata and other vocal works, performers and general topics. The BCW also contains texts and translations, scores, music examples, articles and interviews, and over 7,500 short biographies of performers of Bach's vocal works and players of his keyboard and lute works, as well as of poets & composers associated with Bach. There are also other relevant resources such as the Lutheran church year, database of chorale texts & melodies and their authors, detailed discographies of many Bach's instrumental works (solo keyboard, lute, Art of Fugue, Musical Offering, etc.) and piano & orchestral transcriptions and their performers, reviews and discussions of Bach's instrumental works, books and movies on Bach, terms and abbreviations, schedule of concerts of Bach's vocal works, Bach
Festivals & Cantata Series, guide to Bach tour, Bach in arts & memorabilia, thousands of links to other relevant resources. The BCW is an international collective project, being compiled from various postings about the subject, most of which have been sent to the Bach Mailing Lists.

Some statistics: by the end of 2010, the BCW contains over 23,000 pages, 68,000 photos, 3,100 music files, and 1,300 PDF files.
The BCW is definitely the most popular site dedicated to J.S. Bach and his music and amongst the most popular sites dedicated to Classical Music in general.
The BCW has each day about 12,000 visits, from about 10,000 users, who see about 40,000-50,000 pages.
The BCW is rated very high in Google and other search engines, and there are 40,000-50,000 links from other websites to the BCW (including, for example, about 2,500 links from Wikipedia).

The initial concept behind the creation of the BCW 10 year ago was the preserve the cantata discussion in the BCML. Since then, the BCW has developed to a much larger enterprise, as can be read in the description above.
During its 10 years of existence the BCW has steadily grown from 200 pages and 20 daily visits when it was launched; to 2,000 pages and 150 daily visits after a year, up to the current 23,000 pages and about 12,000 daily visits.

As the creator of the BCW, not to me to testify for the value it has to the users. I know that it is extensively used by the academic community, by performers and by classical music fans around the world. The number of visits and the feedback I am getting continuously encourage me to continue, expanding, updating and improving the BCW.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank the numerous contributors to the discussions in the Bach Mailing Lists and some other lists, whose messages are compiled into the pages of the BCW. Their names are mentioned accordingly above each quoted message. I would also like to thank the many Bach lovers around the world who have sent me material to be included in the BCW, such as articles, translation of cantata texts, recording details, biographies, photos, music examples, links to other sites, etc. Their names are mentioned accordingly in the relevant pages.

If you want to know more info about the history of the BCW, please read the pages, starting at:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Newsletter-2001.htm

If you want to know what other people think of the BCW, please read the feedback pages, starting at:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/About-2000.htm

I continue to look forward to receiving your comments (corrections, suggestions, improvements, etc.) about the BCW. The instructions how to send me comments, appear in the following page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/How.htm

I wish you all another Great and Happy Bach Year!

 

BCW: Vocal Works arranged from Bach's Works

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 18, 2011):
Following a short discussion on the BCML regarding Bach's Passion and Requiem, I have created a page dedicated to Vocal Works arranged from Bach's Works in the section of Arrangements & Transcriptions of Bach's Works on the BCW.
See: http://bach-cantatas.com/Arran/L-Vocal.htm
The page aims at listing all the vocal works by composers other than J.S. Bach himself, which are based on Bach's works (Requiems, Te Deums, Operas, Passions, etc).
The list is arranged by composer/arranger and for each work you can find: short description, source of music, text author, and link to recording page/s (if applicable).

If you know of a work missing from the list, or if you find any error, please do not hesitate to inform me.

 

BWV Recent additions to the Piano Transcriptions section

Aryeh Oron wrote (March 3, 2011):
Hi BRML/BMML members,

The section of Piano Transcriptions on the BCW contains also Bach-inspired piano works. I would like to point out some recent interesting additions.

Dmitri Shostakovich: 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87 (1959-1951)
The 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87 is a set of 24 piano pieces, one in each of the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. While the musical style and ideas are Shostakovich's own, it follows the form of J.S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, written some 200 years earlier.
Each piece is in two parts: a prelude; and a fugue woven from a musical idea taken from the prelude. The pieces vary in pace, length and complexity (for example, Fugue No. 13 in F-sharp major is in five voices, but Fugue No. 9 in E major is in only two voices). Unlike Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, in which the pieces are arranged in parallel major/minor pairs ascending the chromatic scale (C major, C minor, C sharp major, C sharp minor etc.), Shostakovich's set proceeds in relative major/minor pairs around the circle of fifths: first C major, then A minor, G major, E minor, D major, B minor, and so on, ending with D minor. (Frédéric Chopin's set of 24 Preludes, Op. 28, is organised in the same way, as are the earlier sets of preludes by Joseph Christoph Kessler and Johann Nepomuk Hummel.)
References to and quotations from Bach's cycle appear in many of the later pieces. There are also many references and musical ideas taken from Shostakovich's own work. The complete work takes about two and a half hours to play.
The complete work was written between October 10, 1950 and February 25, 1951. Once finished, Shostakovich dedicated the work to Nikolayeva, who undertook the public premiere in Leningrad on December 23, 1952. Once finished, Shostakovich dedicated the work to Tatiana Nikolayeva, who undertook the public premiere in Leningrad on December 23, 1952.
Recordings of the Complete Set:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Shostakovich-Rec1.htm
Recordings of individual Preludes & Fugues:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Shostakovich-Rec2.htm

In 1932 five composers contributed their works for the collective composition titled “Hommage à J.S. Bach”:
1. Albert Roussel: Prélude et Fugue, for piano, Op. 46
2. Alfredo Casella: Due Ricercari sul nome B-A-C-H, for piano, Op. 52:
3. Francis Poulenc: Valse-improvisation sur le nom de BACH, for piano, FP 62
4. Gian-Francesco Malipiero, Prélude à une fugue imaginaire, for piano
5. Arthur Honegger: Prélude, arioso et fughette sur le nom de BACH, for piano, H 81
Recording pages:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Roussel-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Casella-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Poulenc-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Malipiero-GF-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Honegger-Rec.htm

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Six Variations on the theme B-A-C-H, for piano, Op. 10 (1878)
Recordings: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Rimsky-Korsakov-Rec.htm

 

Organs in Places associated with Bach

Aryeh Oron wrote (March 26, 2011):
Since many of you have asked for it, I created a page in the section of Bach Tour on the BCW with a list of the organs in places associated with Bach.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Organ/index.htm
The links in the column "Organ" are to PDF files with the Organ dispositions.
Bach Reports on organs he examined are linked from the column "Bach Connection".
Photos of the organs can be found in the photo pages of each place. The places are linked from the left column.

 

Bach Festivals & Cantata Series - Update

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 10, 2011):
Over 180 Bach Festivals & Cantata Series are already presented on the BCW.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/index.htm

Recent additions:
Festival Bach de Belvès, France: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Belves.htm
Bach Festival Haifa, Israel: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-KTarbut.htm
American Bach Soloists Festival & Academy, San Francisco, CA, USA: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-ABS.htm
Bluffton University Bach Festival, OH, USA: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Bluffton.htm
Iowa Bach Festival, Iowa City, IA, USA: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Iowa.htm
Internationale Bach-Tage Zürich, Switzerland: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Zurich-Bach-Collegium.htm
Bach Music Festival of Canada, Exeter, South Huron, Ontario, Canada: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-South-Huron.htm
Festival Bach à Pâques, Saint-Maixent-l'École, Deux-Sèvres, France: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-COREAM.htm
Middlebury Bach Festival, VT, USA: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Middlebury.htm
Juneau Bach Society, AK, USA: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/Festival-Juneau.htm

All the known Bach Festivals around the world in 2011 are presented at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/Event-2011.htm

Any more additions/corrections/updates would be most welcome.

 

New article on Bach Cantatas website

John Reese wrote (May 23, 2011):
Aryeh has been kind enough to post an article I have written on the Bach Cantatas website. It introduces the concept of Composition Theory and uses it to analyze the first movement of Bach's cantata BWV 10.

The article can be found at: http://bach-cantatas.com/Articles/Comptheory[Reese].pdf

I would be interested to hear any opinions, good or bad.

 

BCW: Discographies of Bach's Other Vocal Works

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 27, 2011):
The discography pages of Bach’s Other Vocal Works (non-Cantatas) have been revised and updated up to the most recent releases:

Motets BWV 225-230: 197 recordings
Mass in B minor BWV 232: 205 recordings
Lutheran Masses BWV 233-236: 48 recordings
Magnificat BWV 243/243a: 94+14 recordings
Matthäus-Passion BWV 244: 195 recordings
Johannes-Passion BWV 245: 180 recordings
Lukas-Passion BWV 246: 5 recordings
Markus-Passion BWV 247: 22 recordings
Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248: 171 recordings
Oster-Oratorium BWV 249: 27 recordings

All are linked from the main page of Bach’s Other Vocal Works: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/index.htm

 

BCW: Ton Koopman’s recordings of Bach Cantatas

Aryeh Oron wrote (May 30, 2011):
The pages of Ton Koopman’s Bach Cantata recordings on the BCW have recently been revised and updated. These pages include the 12 old Erato boxes, the 22 Antoine Marchand/Challenge Classics boxes, the series of Single Volume Cantatas and Box Sets. All the relevant cantata pages have been updated as well.

All are linked from the main page of Koopman’s Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works:
http://bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Koopman.htm

 

BCW: Brockes-Passion

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 2, 2011):
The text of Brockes-Passion was used by J.S. Bach in several movements of his Johannes-Passion. Originally published in 1712 this text was very popular in the first half of the 18th century and was set to music by many composers.
I have prepared a page on the BCW in which all the musical settings of Brockes-Passion are listed as well as all known performances of the various settings up to 1750.
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Other/Brockes-Passion-List.htm
The page includes links to the composer bios and to all known recordings of each musical settings.
I was greatly helped by William Hoffman, Kim Patrick Clow, Daniel R. Melamed and Johannes Pausch.

 

BCW: Discographies of Performers of Bach’s Instrumental Work

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 12, 2011):
Regarding the Instrumental Works, the BCW contains at this stage Bach discographies of 1,355 players of Bach’s Solo Keyboard Works and Lute Works:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVP/index.htm
Some recent additions to this section: Ming Aldrich-Gan, Nadine Deletaille, Steven Devine, EphenStephen, Tzvi Erez, Andy Fite, Cory Hall, Gillian Y. Hu, Peter Lawson, Mercedes Olivera, Samuel Post.
Revised & updated: Daniel Blumenthal, Peter Vinograde, Peter Watchorn.

 

BCW: Inventions & Sinfonias BWV 772-801 & Duets BWV 802-805 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 13, 2011):
The discography pages of the Inventions & Sinfonias BWV 772-801 & the Duets BWV 802-805 have been revised and updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV772-801.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV802-805.htm
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

Cantata Scores in Finale Format

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 17, 2011):
Mark Ellis has prepared a number of cantata scores in .mus format (readable by Finale). As well as providing a useful version of the score, the cantatas can be 'performed' by the computer, helping to answer questions about tempo and ornamentation, and also for conducting/choir training purposes. Mark has also prepared analytical and historical notes.

Linked from the main page of Cantata BWV 1 on the BCW:
http://bach-cantatas.com/BWV1.htm
you can find:
- Score in .mus format & in PDF format (next to sub-title Finale in the box Scoring, sub-title Finale)
- Notes in PDF format (in the box Commentary, "Ellis")
Explanation is given at the page:
http://bach-cantatas.com/Finale.htm

I hope to have more soon.

 

BCW: Left Menu

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 23, 2011):
For better navigation, I have added left menu to all the pages of the Bach Cantatas Website:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com
I hope this feature would help you find your way more easily in the over 24,000 pages and over 30 sections of the BCW.

 

BCW: Arabic Translations of the Bach Cantatas

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 27, 2011):
An important part of the BCW are the translations of Bach's vocal works into various languages such as: English, Catalan, Chinese, Dutch, French, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish. I believe that understanding the sung text is essential to intensify the enjoyment from Bach's music.
The recent addition is Arabic. The first translations by Tamer Massalha are already presented:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/IndexTexts-Ara-BWV.htm
I am still looking for translations into other languages. If you are interested to contribute please contact me.

 

BCW: Various Suites BWV 818-824 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 1, 2011):
The discography of the various suites BWV 818-824 on the BCW has been revised & updated:
http://bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV818-824-Rec.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date and includes 50 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: Partitas BWV 825-830 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 6, 2011):
The discography pages of the Partitas BWV 825-830 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV825-830.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date. 313 different recordings are presented, both of the complete set and of individual Partitas, but not of individual mvts.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: French Overture BWV 831 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 8, 2011):
The discography pages of the French Overture BWV 831 (AKA the 7th Partita) on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV831.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 104 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: WTC 1 BWV 846-869 & WTC 2 BWV 870-893 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 10, 2011):
The discography pages of both Books of Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-893 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
WTC 1 (137 recordings): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV846-869.htm
WTC 2 (111 recordings): http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV870-893.htm
The two discographies are arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and include all known complete (or near complete) recordings of either Book.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BWV: Bach-Busoni: Piano Transcriptions & Bach-inspired Piano Works - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 13, 2011):
The discography pages of the Piano Transcriptions & Bach-inspired Piano Works by Ferruccio Busoni on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/PT-Busoni.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 249 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: Various Preludes & Fugues BWV 894-902 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 18, 2011):
The discography of various Preludes & Fugues BWV 894-902 on the BCW has been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV894-902-Rec1.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date and includes 70 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition or completion of missing details, please inform me.

 

BCW: Bach Motif - The List

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 21, 2011):
In German usage the note B flat is called B, and B natural is called H. This allows Bach's name to be expressed as a musical motif, B flat-A-C-B natural, and the composer himself used it in one of the fugue subjects of the final (unfinished) contrapunctus in his Art of Fugue BWV 1080. .The motif possibilities were earlier mentioned in Walther's Musicalisches Lexicon (1732).

Probably because of the context in which Bach used it, later composers have mostly regarded this rather intractable motif as a challenge to their contrapuntal skill. Bach's son, Johann Christian, and his pupil, J.L. Krebs, both wrote organ fugues on it, but its wider popularity follows the 19th-century Bach revival and the development of a harmonic vocabulary which could more easily accommodate its tonal ambiguities. Schumann, whose interest in letter-pitch equations is well known, wrote six fugues on B-A-C-H (Op. 60) for organ or pedal piano, and Liszt, Reger and Busoni also used the motif to raise imposing contrapuntal monuments to its originator. Other 19th-century composers who have used it include Rimsky-Korsakov and d'Indy.

The B-A-C-H motif is easily incorporated into a totally chromatic idiom and has been widely used by members and disciples of the Second Viennese School, e.g. by Schoenberg as an incidental theme in his Variations Op.31 for orchestra and Third String Quartet, by Webern as the basic set of his String Quartet, and by Humphrey Searle as a motto in his First Symphony.

With the enormous help of Evan Cortens, Arthur Ness and Thomas Braatz I have compiled a comprehensive and extensive list of Bach motif works, using all the resources at my disposal:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Arran/L-BACH.htm

The list has over 600 works, which means about 50% more than previous versions (Prinz, Robinson, OCC).

It seems that almost every significant composer (and many lesser known) since Bach, including Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann and Brahms up to Arvo Pärt and Krzysztof Penderecki has paid a tribute to Bach by incorporating the BACH motif into one or more compositions. We know that other composers have made their tribute to Bach in other ways, as Mozart's arrangements for strings of Preludes & Fugues from the WTC, Berg's usage of the chorale melody Es ist genug from Cantata BWV 60 in his Violin Concerto, or Shostakovich's 24 Preludes & Fugues Op. 87 for piano, inspired by the WTC.

While working on the list many exiting discoveries have emerged, three of which I would like to point out:

a. J.S. Bach used the BACH motif in his Cantata BWV 23, presented in the audition for the post of Thomaskantor in Leipzig. The Cantata has the BACH motif in both Mvt.1 (suggested by Prinz) and Mvt. 3 (found by Tom Braatz). This was an exciting discovery which appears to support the idea that Bach's musical signature was intentionally included in this significant milestone work as Bach prepared to shift from courtly to church/city duties.

b. Franz Schubert used the Bach motif in his last Mass in E flat major, D. 950. The chaconne-like treatment of the last mvt. Agnus Dei points to the beginning measures of his song "Der Doppelgänger" from the song cycle Die Winterreise and to the original/primeval symbol in notes B-A-C-H. It is the shape (Gestalt) of the motif that the listener recognises. This could well be what Schubert learned from his study of Bach's music. There is an extra note between the A and C in Schubert's version that could be considered an embellishment which donot destroy the motif but rather enhances it and makes it usable for the double fugue that Schubert composed in the Agnus Dei. Robert Winter wrote in the Grove: "The awesome modulations of the Sanctus and the anguished chromaticism of the Agnus Dei, based on an adaptation of the C sharp minor fugue subject from the first book of Bach's Das wohltemperirte Clavier, still retain their shock value today. In the E flat Mass Schubert had reached his full stride as a composer of large-scale sacred works." It could easily be that Schubert used the Fuga theme from BWV 849 rather than thinking only of the B-A-C-H motif, but then perhaps he also recognised how Bach could modify a subject or theme and still remain within the parameters of the Gestalt..

c. Arrigo Boito: 1888 the Italian magazine Musica Sacra, organised a composition competition for the renewal of the organ world of Italy. They chose Boito's theme, "Fede a Bach" ("Belief in Bach"), whose letters in German tone letters should be used as a fugal subject of 9 notes, which included at the end of it the BACH motif.. Marco Enrico Bossi and Guglielmo Zuelli won the 1st prize with entire fugues based upon Boito's theme. Giovanni Battista Polleri also composed a fugue using Boito's theme.

On the other hand, it is somewhat surprising not to find in the list works by such composers as Wagner, Chopin and Britten, all of whom where Bach admirers.

As comprehensive as the list is now, it still contains some possible duplications, missing details, works that do not belong here, etc. I am sure there are also many omissions. Every comment suggesting corrections to the list would be most appreciated.

 

BCW: Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue BWV 903 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 24, 2011):
The discography pages of the Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue BWV 903 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV903.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade + a page for BWV 903a version + a page for arrangements, and includes 251 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Fantasias & Fugues BWV 904-909 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 2, 2011):
The discography pages of the Fantasias & Fugues BWV 904-909 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV904-909.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 102 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Toccatas BWV 910-916 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 5, 2011):
The discography pages of the Toccatas for keyboard BWV 910-916 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV910-916.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 198 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Little Keyboard Works BWV 917-962 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 9, 2011):
The discography pages of the little works for keyboard (Fantasias, Preludes, Fugues) BWV 917-962 on the BCW have been revised & updated.
Each group has a page, within which the recordings are arranged chronologically by recording date:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV917-923-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV924-932-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV933-938-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV939-943-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV944-962-Rec.htm
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Sonatas & various movements BWV 963-970 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 22, 2011):
The discography pages of the Sonatas BWV 963-967 and of the Movements: Adagio, Andante & Presto BWV 968-970 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV963-967-Rec.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV968-970-Rec.htm
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Italian Concerto BWV 971 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 24, 2011):
The discography pages of the Italian Concerto BWV 971 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV971.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade + a page of arrangements & transcriptions, and includes 270 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Concertos for Solo Keyboard BWV 972-987 - Revised & Updated Discograpy

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 27, 2011):
The discography pages of the Concertos for Solo Keyboard BWV 972-987 on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV972-987.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 118 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Keyboard Works 989-994 (Arias & Variations, Capriccios, etc.) - Revised & Updated Discograpy

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 29, 2011):
The discography pages of the Keyboard Works BWV 989-994 (Arias & Variations, Capriccios, etc.) on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV989-994.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 118 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Keyboard Works 772-994 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 1, 2011):
I have finished revising and updating the discography pages of all J.S. Bach's Solo Keyboard Works BWV 772-994 on the BCW. All are linked from:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/index.htm
The most popular keyboard work is, not surprisingly, Goldberg Variations BWV 988 with 462 different recordings.
Almost all the artists appearing in these discography pages have Bio and Bach Recording pages on the BCW.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Lute Works 995-1000 & 1006a - Revised & Updated Discograpy

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 5, 2011):
The discography pages of the Lute Works BWV 995-1000 & 1006a on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV995-1000.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically, a page per a decade, and includes 342 recordings of these works on lute, guitar, keyboard and arrangements, but not of other works on lute or guitar.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: 8,000 Musician Bios!

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 8, 2011):
The BCW contains short biographies of performers of Bach's vocal works and his keyboard & lute works:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Bio/index.htm
as well as of poets & composers associated with Bach:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/index.htm
This collection of musician bios has just crossed the number 8,000. I believe this is one of the biggest collections of its kind over the web.
If youwant to contribute a missing bio, or if you have any correction/addition, please contact me.

 

BCW: Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales for Events in the Lutheran Church

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 11, 2011):
Based on the important contributions of Douglas Cowling and William Hoffman I have created pages in the LCY section on the BCW dedicated to Musical Context of Bach Cantatas: Motets & Chorales (M&C) for Events in the Lutheran Church Year (LCY).
Each Event in the LCY will have a M&C page discussing the Motets & Chorales associated with this Event.
This material has been presented so far in various pages of the BCW. I thought it would be more convenient for members of the BCML and visitors of the BCW to have it all in one stop shop in connection with the LCY pages.

So far I have created pages for Trinity Sunday to Trinity 8 containing the material of Doug and Will. All are linked from the table: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Table.htm
Each M&C page is also linked from the corresponding LCY page.
See for example: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/M&C-Trinity8.htm
Linked from: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/LCY/8.So.n.Trin..htm
In due time I intend adding links to these pages from more pages on the BCW.

The M&C page of the 8th Sunday after Trinity has now links from the three Bach Cantatas composed for this Event, including this week's Cantata BWV 45.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV45.htm [Event]

I hope you would find this addition useful.

 

BCW: The most recorded Bach Cantata

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 15, 2011):
The most recorded Bach Cantata is definitly Ich habe genug BWV 82 with 89 recordings. The cantata is usually sung by bass or baritone, but there are also versions for soprano, alto and tenor. The discography pages of this cantatas have been revised and updated. It is arranged chronologically, a page per a decade; the first recording was done in 1948 by Hans Hotter and the most recent by Andreas Scholl is from 2010.
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV82.htm
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Bach Today - a new portrait of J.S. Bach

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 18, 2011):
Riccardo Piagentini from Italy contributed a portrait he made "Bach Today", a digital recreation of how Bach would be today: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/Art-1906.htm
Linked from the page of Bach Portraits on the BCW:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Memo/R-Paint.htm

 

BCW: Sets of 24 Preludes & Fugues

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 22, 2011):
J.S. Bach’s Well-tempered Clavier in all of the 24 major and minor keys (WTC; popularly known as the ‘48’) was clearly modelled on Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer's Ariadne musica, a set of 20 short preludes and fugues in a chromatic key order ascending from C to B. Bach adopted an identical overall plan, adding the 5 keys missing from J.C.F. Fischer's set. Numerous thematic correspondences further attest to the importance of the older composer's example. Ariadne first appeared in 1702, but it seems likely that Bach knew it only from the 1715 reissue: preliminary work on Part 1 of the '48' was probably carried out during the period 1715-1720. J.S. Bach's two books of preludes and fugues - the WTC were completed in 1722 and 1744 respectively. J.S. Bach.

After J.S. Bach's death in 1750 the '48' continued to be studied by keyboard and composition students, particularly in central Germany. The partly subliminal influence of the work on J.S. Bach's sons should not be underestimated. But the decisive moment in its posthumous history arrived when Mozart was introduced to it by Baron van Swieten in 1782. Thereafter it influenced the contrapuntal writing of countless composers and it has formed a fundamental part of the training of virtually every musician in keyboard playing, composition, analysis, and general musicianship.

Many composers have written a set of preludes & fugues in most or all of the 24 major and minor keys. The use of this format is generally inspired by J.S. Bach’s WTC.

I have created a page on the BCW listing all known compositions of complete sets of preludes & fugues, most of them are naturally for keyboard instrument:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Arran/L-WTC.htm

Over 30 composes are listed, the most prolific of them is Niels Viggo Bentzon (1919-2000), who wrote 14 sets of P&F during a period of four decades.
For the sake of completeness, the page also contains all known complete sets of preludes (or other works) without fugues.
At the bottom of this page you will find links to pages in the Bach in Arts section of the BCW, presenting works of art inspired by the WTC.

If you are aware of a set missing from the list or have any other correction/suggestion, please inform me.

 

BCW: Guide to Bach Tour

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 25, 2011):
The guide to Bach Tour contains information about every place associated with J.S. Bach, 50 in total. For each place: Description & history, Bach connection, Relevant events in the life of Bach, Performance dates of Bach’s works, Features of interest, Information & links, Photos, Maps; Recommended routes.
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Tour/index.htm
If you have any addition/correction/suggestion, please inform me.

 

Article: Bach and the "Snake-Fire-Sprayers" - Fire-Fighting Regulations and Equipment During Bach's Time in Leipzig

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 28, 2011):
Thomas Braatz contributed another article to the BCW:
"Bach and the "Snake-Fire-Sprayers" - Fire-Fighting Regulations and Equipment During Bach's Time in Leipzig"
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/LeipzigFeuerwehr.pdf
Linked from: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/index.htm

Thomas Braatz wrote:
The article I have written may raise quite a few eyebrows because it seems extremely remote from the type of subject matter usually discussed on these mailing lists or presented elsewhere on the BCW. Personally, I have never truly enjoyed the numerous fanciful biographies or films presenting episodes from Bach's life because I always ask myself: "How much of this is really imaginary and bears little or no relation to what Bach's experiences may have been like?" With the translation of this document from 1691, a tiny window may have been opened, as unimportant as this may seem in the life of this important composer. There is even less relevancy here to Bach's music, in fact, none at all as far as I can determine. Having warned potential readers about its content and its lack of relevancy to Bach's life and music, I will leave the decision about its value to those readers who nevertheless persist in reading the translation and commentary I have provided.

 

BCW: Bach Cantata Discussion pages revised

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 6, 2011):
The BCML was founded by Kirk McElhearn at the end of 1999. I and a few others joined and soon after the cantata discussions began. I started to write weekly reviews of cantata recordings and other members contributed as well. In April 2000 Armagan Ekici wrote to the BCML: "Let's get on with real business: I wish that Aryeh's reviews of cantata recordings --most passionate and informed analysis I have ever seen, professional or amateur-- get published in an organized way rather than disappearing into the ether. Would Aryeh be interested in such a project? .Any ideas on cross-referencing, indexing these etc.?" Other members also encouraged me to begin such an project.

In mid 2000 I started to compile the cantatas di, which were firstly hosted in Simon Crouch website. At that stage the website was called "Bach Cantatas Recording Reviews and Mailing List Archive". Only later, a short while after the website had moved to its current location, the name was changed to the shorter and more familiar "Bach Cantatas Website".

Over the years the discussions in the BCML have been edited and complied by me with simple guideline: a page (or two) per cantata in which the discussions are arranged chronologically. I have not imagined that after 10 years we shall be in the 3rd round of cantata discussions. Neither did I have in mind that many pages would become so big up to being very inconvenient to read. During this period the BCW has developed into something much bigger than only cantata discussions and it is now the prime web source for info about J.S. Bach and his music, used by scholars, musicians, students, music lovers, etc. from all around the world. The BCW is the most visited Bach website and one of the top 5 in the area of classical music.

So, after over 10 years, I thought that time has come to re-consider the construction of the cantata discussion pages in order to make them more accessible, usable and readable. I re-arranged the pages and split them into smaller units keeping the chronological order and using two simple guidelines:
A. Each round of cantata discussion is located in a separate page.
B. Big pages were split into two, sometime more pages.
The result is that a cantata, which has been discussed in all three rounds, has now at least three pages.

The cantatas discussion pages can be accessed via several routes:
A. The Index pages: where the link to each page (3rd column) is placed near the date in which the discussion began (4th column).
See, for example: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexBWV.htm
B. The Cantata pages: where near the link to each page (below content, right side) you can see in brackets the discussion round number (I have yet to complete some).
See, for example, this week cantata: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV168.htm
C. Search utility: the term you are looking for is easier to find because the pages are now shorter.
D. Inter-links between the discussion pages and links from other pages.
See, for example the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV168-D2.htm
where the 1st line below the header and the line before last connect the page to the former and next discussion pages respectively.

In rough estimation the BCW now contains over 600 cantata discussion pages, which is the equivalent of about 50 mid-sized books. That means that the Bach Cantatas belong to a few groups of musical works about which you can find over the web a great deal of material based on systematic and organised discussions. Adding to the discussion pages other cantata resources on the BCW as Discography pages, Commentary pages (include links to Mincham ,Crouch, etc.), Provenance pages, Scores, Music Examples, LCY pages, Readings pages, Texts & Translations pages and much more, and I wonder if they can still be considered as unjustly neglected?

Although this is a huge amount of material and many aspects of the Bach Cantatas have already been discussed, the good thing is that their world is so rich and open to many views that there is still a lot to explore, reveal and discuss. When you prepare yourself for the weekly cantata discussion, you can now find easily what has already been said in former discussions, refer to it, respond to it, develop it or suggest your own perceptions, opinions, views, etc.

 

Recent findings of performance dates of several cantatas by a Russiian expert

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 7, 2011):
I received the message below from Peter Meshcherinov, who had translated for the BCW all Bach's sacred cantatas into Russian.
The list was prepared by Professor of Tatiana Shabalina from the St.-Petersburg Conservatory, a well-known Russian Bach expert, and includes her recent findings regarding the exact performance dates of .several cantatas.

****************
1) BWV 34. 1st performance: on June, 1, 1727 (the work is not a parody BWV 34a as it was considered; dating BWV 34a too varies).
2) BWV 129. 1st performance: on June, 8, 1727.
3) BWV 173. 1st performance: on May, 29, 1724 or June 2, 1727 (though most probably the 1st performance took place in 1727; it is possible to leave for a while "double" dating with the union "or").
4) BWV 184. Repeated performance: on June, 3, 1727
5) BWV 199. The Köthen-version (1720’s) was written with soloist violin.
6) BWV Anh. 4. 1st performance: on August, 27, 1725, on re-elections of city council of Leipzig.
7) BWV 200 is an arrangements of the Aria «Dein Kreuz, o Bräutgam meiner Seelen» from the Passion-oratorio «Ein Lämmlein geht und trägt die Schuld» by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749).
***
Here are links to works by Professor Shabalina:
Schabalina T. »Texte zur Music« in Sankt Petersburg. Neue Quellen zur Leipziger Musikgeschichte sowie zur Kompositions- und Aufführungstätigkeit Johann Sebastian Bachs // Bach-Jahrbuch 2008. S. 33–98.
Schabalina T. »Texte zur Music« in Sankt Petersburg — Weitere Funde // Bach-Jahrbuch 2009. S. 11–48.
Schabalina T. Neue Erkenntnisse zur Entstehungsgeschichte der Kantaten BWV 34 und 34a // Bach-Jahrbuch 2010. S. 95–109.
Here the Internet-link (the sixth from above) to her article in English:
http://www.bachnetwork.co.uk/ub4-2009.html
****************

The relevant cantata pages and LCY pages have already been updated accordingly.

 

BCW: Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 - Over 200 recordings!

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 10, 2011):
The discography of Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 on the BCW contains now 201 complete (or near complete) recordings. The discography presents every known recording of this masterpiece, both official/commercial and unofficial, from David McKinley Williams c1930:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec1.htm
to 3 new recordings from April 2011:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWV244-Rec9.htm
If you are aware of a recording missing from the discography, please inform me.

 

BCW: Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080 - Revised & Updated Discography

Aryeh Oron wrote (October 24, 2011):
The discography pages of Die Kunst der Fuge BWV 1080 (The Art of Fugue) on the BCW have been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV1080.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date, a page per a decade, and includes 212 different recordings.
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Musical Offering BWV 1079 - Revised & Updated Discographies

Aryeh Oron wrote (November 8, 2011):
The discography of the Musical Offering BWV 1079 on the BCW has been revised & updated:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/NVD/BWV1079.htm
The discography is arranged chronologically by recording date and includes 73 complete recordings in 9 pages + a page each for recordings of Trio Sonata (19), Ricercars (49), Ricercar arranged by Webern (16) and Canons (3).
If you have any correction, addition, etc., please inform me.

 

BCW: Bach Festivals & Cantata Series

Aryeh Oron wrote (November 30, 2011):
Over 190 Bach Festivals & Cantata Series are presented on the BCW.
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Festival/index.htm
I have just added the known dates of Bach Festivals around the world in 2012:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Concerts/Event-2012.htm
Festivals, which have not yet published their dates for 2012, are listed at the bottom of the page.
Any additions/corrections/updates would be most welcome.

 

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Last update: ýDecember 28, 2011 ý13:28:38