Recordings/Discussions
Background Information
Performer Bios

Poet/Composer Bios

Additional Information

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Magnificat BWV 243
Conducted by Joshua Rifkin

V-2

J.S. Bach: Magnificat BWV 243; G.M. Hoffmann: German Magnificat

 
 

Magnificat in D major BWV 243 [25:44 / 26:25 / 26:15 / 26:17]
G.M. Hoffmann: German Magnificat in A minor, BWV Anh 21 [12:47 / 13:01 / 12:57 / 12:58]

Joshua Rifkin

(No Choir - OVPP - SSATB) / The Bach Ensemble

Sopranos: Jane Bryden [also BWV Anh 21] & Julianne Baird; Counter-tenor: Jeffrey Gall; Tenor: Frank Hoffmeister; Bass: Jan Opalach

Pro Arte PAD-185
Pro Arte CDD-185
Tudor 789

Sep 27-29 1982 & Dec 22, 1982

LP / TT:
CD / TT: 38:31 / 39:26 / 39:12
CD / TT: 39:15

Recorded at American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York City, New York, USA..
See: BWV 243 Magnificat - conducted by Joshu Rifkin
Buy this album at:
Pro Arte CD (1993): Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de
Tudor CD (1996): Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.de

Magnificat in D - Help Searching for Rifkin

Stevo wrote (January 7, 2002):
Driving along in the wee hours, a wonderful recording of BWV 243 came over on the radio, and I was so stunned I had to pull over, wind the windows down and let all within earshot have a listen. Whilst I was in-line skating around the now parked car, a few other "parkers" in the beachside carpark strolled over to both have a chat and find out what I was listening to (let alone why I was skating around the car with Bach playing full blast, car doors open for full effect at 2 am!)

The DJ/presenter seemed a little unsure of what was going on with the recording; perhaps he read out the wrong sleeve-liner notes. Has anybody heard the Bach Ensemble directed by Joshua Rifkin perform the Magnificat in D, BWV243?? Only artist I can recall was Steven Rickards (?) I've got a recording directed by Herreweghe (Harmonia), and although beautiful in its own way it seems not to be as "true" to the Bach I am beginning to understand. Would love to find this troublingly enigmatic recording – all instruments were "ancient" and I risk offending those who dislike purist pedantry if I state that these are the performance "styles" I prefer. Although I've searched high and low for the particular recording as heard that magical night (how often do complete strangers wander over to ask "what's that beautiful music??" - a perfect way to introduce people to J.S., no?) , no catalogue seems to have it listed as read out by the DJ. Said DJ was "guesting" that evening and will probably not return to the station - later in his show, he made a guess that "timbre" is the "cascading sounds of an inverted arpeggio" (It's TRUE!)

If anybody can help me out, or recommend a recording better than the one I have (preferably played on ancient instruments), I'd love to hear from you.

Charles Francis wrote (January 7, 2002):
[To Stevo] I have Rifkin's performance of Bach's D major (Catholic?) Magnificat on a CD together the Deutsches Magnificat of Melchior Hoffmann. Unfortunately, this CD now appears to be out of print: Amazon.de

Certainly, its a great performance, as is most of Rifkin's Bach. A comparable version, in my opinion, is the one by Andrew Parrott, who was influenced Rifkin's thesis that Bach used only one singer per part in his choral works. I also have a third, more recent, One-Voice-Per-Part performance of Bach's D-Major Magnificat, the one conducted by Paul McCreesh - but avoid this recording. With regards to Bach's earlier 'Christmas' setting of the Magnificat in the key of E flat major, I can recommend the version directed by Simon Preston and Christopher Hogwood with the all-male Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford and the Academy of Ancient Music.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 7, 2002):
[To Charles Francis] Please tell me, when will you admit Luther never abolished the Mass, and never abolished the Vespers, so the Magnificat has a rightful place in a Lutheran Service? Please also tell me, when will you stop posting your nonsensic remarks. IIRC you are not a Christian, aren't you? Why do you claim to have intimate knowledge of both Roman Catholic and Lutheran liturgy? You obviously know nothing about it. On authority of Mr. Stauffer again?

Charles Francis wrote (January 7, 2002):
[To Sybrand Bakker] Hmm, this time you start the Ad Hominem even before my argument is presented. I guess I will christen this innovation the Pre-Emptive Ad Hominem. Alas, I do not intend to invoke the innovative scholarship of Mr. Stauffer this time.

Now the E flat major version of the Magnificat was written for Christmas 1723 (a Protestent work) and contains Christmas laudes (several interpolated Christmas texts). Wolff places Bach's second version to between 1732 and 1735, at which time Bach undertook major updates of the earlier work, transposed it to D major and removed the Christmas laudes to make it liturgically suitable for any time of year. As far as I recall, the rationale for the new version has been explained in terms of the obsolescent nature of the trumpets needed to perform in E fat major, the transposition to a more trumpet-friendly key (D major) and the generalisation of the work so that it doesn't have to be performed at Christmas. Certain issues do, however, come to mind. First, valveless metal instruments would not deteriorate so easlily over a ten year period, so why were they apparently no longer available to Bach? Secondly, if D major is the more optimum key for musical performance, then why choose E flat major in the first place? Is this perhaps a Kammerton/Tief Kammerton issue? The removal of the Christmass laudes to allow the work to be played at any time of year is also puzzling for me. I imagine that Bach's d major Magnificat, like carols, would develop an association with Christmas for the Leipzig congregation and the work might therefore sound strange if used at a different time of year.

Wolff, speculates that it would have been logical for Bach to revise his Magnificat, his only large-scale piece of Latin church music, in conjuction with the Kyrie-Gloria Mass project (BWV 232) in 1733. He even speculates that the D major Magnificat was first performed at the Vespers service of July 2, the Marian feast of the Visitation, but there is no evidence to suggest this (see my remark above). Indeed he goes so far as to date the revision in his chronology to 1733. Now Paul McCresh notes that the work was composed after 1732 (no justification given) and that Bach's revision has been written out in a particularly neat hand, suggesting [to McCreesh] that he may have intended it as a calling card for potential employment in Dresden, as with the first two movements of the work we now know as the B Minor Mass. Needless to say, the Dresden court was Roman Catholic. In my opinion, the suggestion of McCreesh is consistent with the facts available to us and indeed sits better with the facts than alternative hypotheses. Now let's try to avoid getting into our usual discussion as to whether jars that contain honey are honey jars (my view) or are jam jars that happen to contain honey (your view). From my perspective any work intended for use in a Catholic liturgy is Catholic (and I don't care for one moment that jam jars have the same form as honey jars!!!).

Tom Hens wrote (January 7, 2002):
Stevo wrote:
< The DJ/presenter seemed a little unsure of what was going on with the recording; perhaps he read out the wrong sleeve-liner notes. Has anybody heard the Bach Ensemble directed by Joshua Rifkin perform the Magnificat in D, BWV243?? >
Yes. I have it on a Pro Arte CD, no. CDD-185 (released in 1985). Besides The Bach Ensemble and Joshua Rifkin the performers are Jane Bryden and Julianne Baird, soprano,Jeffrey Gall, alto, Frank Hoffmeister, tenor, and Jan Opalach, bass. It is coupled with a German Magnificat by Melchior Hoffmann (a composer who was good enough to have some of his work erroneously attributed to J.S. Bach for quite some time). This was recorded in 1983, very soon after Rifkin's first groundbreaking one-voice-per-part recording of the B Minor Mass. I have no idea whether this recording is still currently available.

Michael wrote (January 7, 2002)
Stevo wrote:
< [snip] Would love to find this troublingly enigmatic recording – all instruments were "ancient" and I risk offending those who dislike purist pedantry if I state that these are the performance "styles" I prefer. [snip] >
First of all, if the performance was expressive, it was not pedantic. Secondly, no-one should be offended by your preferences.

I don't have the recording, but I doubt it would be hard to find. The first place I'd check would be Amazon.com.

Stevo wrote (January 8, 2002):
Thanks to all, your suggestions are most appreciated.

 

Magnificats BWV 243 & BWV 243a: Details
Recordings: 1900-1949 | 1950-1959 | 1960-1969 | 1970-1979 | 1980-1989 | 1990-1999 | 2000-2009 | 2010-2019 | BWV 243a | Individual Movements
General Discussions:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Systematic Discussions: BWV 243 | BWV 243a
Individual Recordings:
BWV 243 - E. Haïm | BWV 243 - N. Harnoncourt | BWV 243a - T. Hengelbrock | BWV 243 - P. McCreesh | BWV 243 - J. Rifkin | BWV 243 - H. Rilling | BWV 243 - R. Shaw | BWV 243 - M. Suzuki | BWV 243a - P. Herreweghe

Joshua Rifkin: Short Biography | The Bach Ensemble | Recordings of Vocal Works | General Discussions
Individual Recordings:
Three Weimar Cantatas - J. Rifkin | BWV 232 - J. Rifkin | BWV 243 - J. Rifkin
Book:
Bach's Choral Ideal [by J. Rifkin] | Article: The Passion according to Saint Matthew BWV 244 [By J. Rifkin]

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

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



 

Back to the Top


Last update: ýNovember 20, 2008 ý08:50:48