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Motet BWV Anh 159
Ich Lasse Dich Nicht, Du Segnest Mich Denn
General Discussions

Discussions in the Week of January 6, 2013

Charles Francis wrote (January 6, 2013):
BWV Anh 159

This motet was introduced to me via radio long ago as an example of the "profound" style of Johann Sebastian's esteemed older relative Johann Christoph Bach. Over the decades, however, musicological fashions have
changed; the work no longer being associated with Maria Barbara's uncle, but tentatively with her husband. Allow me to add further speculation and suggest that at its genesis it was extemporised on a two manual organ along the lines of the following transcription, kept at the familiar pitch via Cornet-Ton transposition to five flats with some simpler key being a distinct possibility: BWV Anh 159 - Realizations

 

Discussions in the Week of March 13, 2016 (4th round)

William Hoffman wrote (March 13, 2016):
Motets BWV Anh. 159, Ich Lasse dich nicht, and BWV 228, Furchte dich nicht

Bach's earliest surviving motet from Weimar time could be "Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, Mein Jesu" (I will not leave you before you bless me [after Genesis 32:26b], my Jesus), BWV Anh. 159 (BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh159.htm). Scored for double chorus of two SATB as a prelude and fugue (Section I), it is believed to have been for the Funeral or later Remembrance of the Deceased Service, possibly for the Mayor of Arnstadt's wife, Margarethe Feldhaus, née Wedemann on July 3, 1713. It was initially attributed to Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) and continues also to be considered a work of Sebastian. The closing four-part chorale, “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz”(Why are you afflicted, my heart), Section II is a work of Sebastian, BWV 421, composed later in Leipzig. The anonymous 1560 canto (formerly attributed to popular poet Hans Sachs) is sing by soprano, using the third stanza, “Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist” (Since you are my God and father), by Reformation poet Erasmus Alberus (c1500-53), against the text in an ATB fugue, repeating the Genesis text from the homophonic prelude.1

Scholarship in the past 25 years suggests that Sebastian may have been involved in the motet composition in Weimar (1712-13) and later in Leipzig added the closing chorale, similar to four other Leipzig-composed multi-voice motets, BWV 226-229. A version of the Neuen Bach Ausgabe score NBA III/3 is found at http://partifi.org/YHY5P/segment/. The original source of the first two sections (prelude and fugue) is the "Alt Baschischen Arkiv," transcribed by Bach (first 14 and last 8 bars) and student copyist David Kräuter, found in the 1790 estate of Emmanuel Bach. It was published in Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe, Vol. 39, editor Franz Wüllner, Leipzig, Breitkof & Härtel, 1892, and attributed by him to Johann Christoph Bach. The appendix of the score has the four-voice chorale, "Warum betrübst du dich," BWV 421, text variant, "Dir Jesu, Gottes Sohn, sei Preis" (Dear Jesus, God's son, be praised).

Biblical Text, Chorale

The biblical text of the prelude and fugue is based upon the Book of Genesis, 32:26(b) (KJV), “And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.” Chapter 32 describes how Jacob prepares to meet Esau and the context is 32:24-28, see Chapter 32, http://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Genesis-Chapter-32/. Information on Alberus is found at “BCW Short Biography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Lib/Alberus-Erasmus.htm.

The 14-stanza, 5 line (AABCC), non-BAR hymn, “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz,” is a reflection on the Trinity 15 gospel, Matthew 6:23-34 (Sermon on the Mount, Avoid worldly cares). It is found in Das neu Leipziger Gesangbuch (NLGB) of 1682 as No. 275, an omnes tempore hymn under the thematic category "Of the Cross: Persecution and Tribulation," for Trinity Sunday 7, 9, and 15. It also is found in other hymnbooks under the categories “Wider aller Welt Sorge” (Against All the Cares of the World”) and “Vom christlichen Leben und Wandel” (About the Christian Way of Life and Its Changes”). Chorale Text and Francis Browne’s English translation (Stanza 1-9 & 11 only), and Bach’s uses are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale037-Eng3.htm. Information on the chorale melody, and Bach’s uses are found at BCW, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Warum-betrubst.htm.

The Sebastian Bach authenticity of Motet BWV Anh. 159 was proposed in Daniel R. Melamed.2 It is considered but not authenticated, along with non-funeral Motets, BWV Anh. 160, "Jauchzet den Herrn, alle Welt," and Anh. 161, "Kündlich groß ist das gottselige Geheimnis," in the NBA KB III/3, "Motets, Chorale Movements and Songs of Doubtful Authenticity," of Frieder Rempp (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2002: 15-81).

Besides Bach’s settings of verses 1, 2 and 3 of “Warum betrübst” in chorale Cantata 138, same incipit, as chorale chorus arrangements (Movements 1, 3, & 6) for Trinity 15 1724, there are three four-part plain chorale settings that uses variants of the melody. The 11th Stanza closes chorus Cantata 47, “Wer sich selbst erhöhet, / der soll erniedriget warden” (Who exalts himself / Will be humbled), for Trinity 17, 1726, to a Johann Friedrich Helbig 1720 printed text. The chorale is published as Richter 333.

The plain chorale harmonizations of “Warum betrübst” and their text settings are described in Melamed’s initial article (Ibid.: 516-19). Two different versions of the BWV 421 (Richter 332) harmonization’s are transmitted in three chronological sources: 1. Johann Ludwig Dietel Collection before c.1735-36); 2. Bach’s Four-part Chorales, printed Leipzig 1787, ed. Kirnberger, Emmanuel Bach; and the Breitkopf& Härtel edition (Schicht, Leipzig, 1802). “Bach may well have added the four-part setting to his early motet to adapt it for use in Leipzig,” says Melamed (Ibid.: 517). The BWV 421 Dietel version, “Dietel 90 – closer to original)” and “Variant Breitfkopf 299 – and later variant due to changes by either Kirnberger or CPE Bach,” are found at BCW “Warum Betrubst” melody information, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/CM/Warum-betrubst.htm. The 14 stanza-text of “Warum Betrubst” has many variants in, most notably in Stanzas 13 and 14, due to typical paraphrases in successive hymnbooks in Leipzig at Bach’s time and in Hamburg in Emmanuel’s time, as Melamad has described (Ibid.: 518-19). They also appear in various printed editions and recordings and will be discussed in the next BCML Discussion posting.

The other two four-part settings of “Warum betrübst” are in A minor. Plain chorale BWV 420 (Richter 331) is possibly the closing chorale for a lost cantata (text only), BWV Anh. 209/5, "Liebster Gott, vergißt du mich (Memorial, text only), 2/6/1727, Part 2; BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWVAnh209.htm. It was performed at the funeral of Johann Christoph von Ponickau, noted Leipzig chamberlain, court counselor and appeal judge. It followed the sermon and chorus Cantata BWV 157, “Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn,” BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV157.htm. Both works may have been repeated on June 7, 1727, for the 7th Sunday after Trinity. “Liebster Gott,” BWV Anh. 209, is set to a Georg Christian Lehms 1711 text and may have originated on July 15, 1714 (Trinity 7) in Weimar but the music is lost.

“Liebster Gott,” BWV Anh. 209, has been authenticated in Klaus Hofmann's Bach Jahrbuch articles: "Bachs Kantate 'Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich de' BWV 157. Überlegungen zu Entstehung, Bestimmung und originaler Werkgestalt." BachJb 68 (1982), 51-80; and "Neue Überlegungen zu Bachs Weimarer Kantaten-Kalender. BachJb 79 (1993), 9-29.

Given the text relationship to Cantata 157, and the chorale relationship to Cantata BWV Anh. 209, “Liebster Gott, it also is possible that Bach presented the Motet “Ich lasse dich nicht” with the plain chorale setting of “Warum betrübst,” BWV 421, at the Ponickau funeral in 1727 or later at another funeral. Regarding the disappearance of the music of Cantata BWV Anh. 209, it is possible that Bach gave the original score and parts set, surviving from Weimar, to the Ponichau family, copying only the four-part chorale which often was his practice.

Plain Chorale BWV 421 (Richter 332), is the version appended to the 1802 Schicht first printed edition (see below) and reprinted in the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe, Vol. 39, editor Franz Wüllner, Leipzig, Breitkof & Härtel, 1892, with the text variant, "Dir Jesu, Gottes Sohn, sei Preis" (Dear Jesus, God's son, be praised). BWV 421 (Breitkopf 299) is a later variant to Sebastian Bach’s original with changes made by either Johann Philipp Kirnberger or C.P.E. Bach in conjunction with “Ich lasse dich nicht.”

Motet BWV Anh. 159, Movements, Scoring, Texts, Key, Meter3

1. Motet dialogue between two choruses (prelude 1 and four-voice fugue 2) [SATB/SATB, Continuo]: 4/4 prelude, “Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn” I will not let you go, until you bless me, Genesis 32:26b); second chorus repeats in response, then first chorus sings preface, “Mein Jesu (My Jesus), followed by text, “Ich lasse dich nicht, Ich lasse dich nicht”; choruses alternate phrases then portions of phrases.
2. Measure 84, Fugue (choruses combine) in alle breve 2/2, with ATBs singing “Ich lasse dich nicht,” and the sopranos singing the canto, “Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist, / dein Kind wirst du verlassen nicht.” (Since you are my God and father, / You will not abandon your child); F Major; 4/4.
3. Anhang (Appendix, 1802) (Final four-part Chorale, BWV 421), [SSAATTBB, Continuo]: Dir, Jesu, Gottes Sohn, sei Preis” (To you Jesus, God's son, be praise); F Major; 4/4 (half notes = whole notes).

Overview of ‘Ich lasse dich nicht’

An overview of the Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) motets and a description of “Ich lasse duch nicht” is provided in Karl Geiringer’s pioneering (1954) The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius. 4 Among Christoph’s surviving vocal music, including solo dialogues, lamentos, and arias, are four each five-voice (SSATB) and eight-voice (double chorus, SATBSATB) motets. The former features “Fürchte dich nicht, denn ich hab dich erlöst” (Be not afraid, for I have redeemed thee, Isaiah 43:1), the passage also used in Sebastian’s earliest surviving, designated motet, “Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir” (Be not afraid, I am with you, Isaiah, 41:10), which continues with Isaiah 43:1, and includes a different chorale setting, Paul Gerhardt’s “Warum sollt ich dich grämen (Why should I then grieve), instead of Johann Rist’s “O Jesu du, mien Helf und Ruh (O Jesus, my help and rest), which Bach uses near the end of his St. Mark Passion.

In the opening section of “Ich Lasse dich nicht,” the two choruses singing the biblical text alternate in “simple and purely harmonic style,” says Geiringer (Ibid.: 50f). “Gradually, the tension grows; instead of following each other, they overlap and finally sing together, The force of this prayer is heightened by the soprano voice “My Saviour” [Mein Jesu] which is quickly lost in the general excitement.” The second section fugue combines biblical text and chorale, “The motet reaches its culmination in what is possibly the best piece of polyphonic writing in any of Johann Christoph’s vocal compositions.” The two main subjects are strongly contrasted and skillfully developed. “The fact that this motet was for some time considered a compositions of Sebastian’s is mainly due to this powerful and highly passionate polyphonic setting. The last part of the composition again approaches the homophonic style of the beginning.” “This motet, which is also harmonically bold andnunconventional, is one of the finest works produced by the older Bach generation.”

Provenance Thomas Braatz 3/11/16) Main sources: 1. NBA KB III/3 (Bärenreiter, 2002) Motets, etc. of Doubtful Authenticity, ed. Frieder Rempp, pp. 15-33. 2. Klaus Hofmann: Johann Sebastian Bach: Die Motetten (Bärenreiter, 2003) pp. 191-207.

The occasion for which this motet was composed is unknown. Most probable would be a funeral or memorial church service. According to Peter Wollny in his article entitled “Alte Bach-Funde” [Old Bach Treasures/Discoveries] in the Bach-Jahrbuch 1998, pp. 146ff., the score could possibly have been composed for the funeral on July 3, 1713 for Margarethe Feldhaus, n é e Wedemann, the wife of the mayor of Arnstadt.

1. The original score and/or the original set of parts. There is no information available regarding these no longer extant sources.

2. The oldest existing source is a manuscript score located presently in the BB (Staatsbibliothek Berlin) under the shelf number: Mus. ms. Bach P 4/1.

This score (not a composing score but a clean copy carefully produced with a few copy errors corrected) was a cooperative effort by two individuals: Johann Sebastian Bach and his music student, Philipp David Kräuter (1690-1741). The latter has been documented to have resided in Weimar from March 1712 to September 1713. The watermark in the paper identifies it as paper used by Bach during his Weimar period. Apparently there must have been a cover sheet or folder upon which the title and the name of the composer would have appeared, since the score in its present condition does not indicate the name of the composer. Also there is a loss of paper at the top including the two top corners where critical information might have been indicated.

J. S. Bach personally completes entirely the first accolade (ms. 1-14) and in the final accolade ms. 108-116 the tenor and bass parts and the alto part from m. 111 to the end along with the underlying text for all these parts. The rest is copied by Kräuter.

After the death of his father in 1750, C. P. E. Bach inherited this score and at some point before his death he had a copy of the score prepared by his copyist, Johann Heinrich Michel (c. 1745 – after 1804) (see item 3 below for details on this manuscript which is BB Mus. ms. Bach P 4/2).

In the listing of items in the estate of C. P. E. Bach in 1790, the original copy (BB Mus. ms. Bach P 4/1) was placed under a special category called the “Alt-Bachisches Archiv” [an archive of 20 vocal compositions by older members of the Bach family tree, primarily by Johann Christoph (1642-1703) “a profound composer” known as the “Eisenach Bach” where among other positions he held a position as organist , Johann Michael 1648-1694 “a capable, skillful composer” and Georg Christoph Bach (1642-1697)]. The next owner of this oldest manuscript source of this motet is Georg Poelchau (1773-1836), an important collector of Bach manuscripts, who at some point after acquiring it from the C. P. E. Bach estate in 1790, extracts and separates it from the remaining items in the “Alt-Bachisches Archiv” category and later, after the first printed edition of this motet appears in 1802 (see item 4 below), adds a note to this manuscript: “Mistakenly indicated in the printed edition as by J. S. Bach.” When Poelchau offers it for sale in his own catalogue, it is listed as an 8-part motet by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) and is purchased by Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832), the long-time director of the Berlin Singakademie. From Zelter it goes to the BB in 1854 along with numerous J. S. Bach’s autograph scores.

3. A copy of the score (see item 2 directly above) was prepared by Johann Heinrich Michel (c. 1745 – after 1804) under C. P. E. Bach’s direction at some point in time after inheriting item 2 from his father and before his death in 1790. Its shelf number at the BB is Mus. ms. Bach P 4/2. The avid Bach manuscript collector Georg Poelchau (1773-1836)also added to his collection this copy which he had most likely acquired at the same time as item 2. The NBA KB III/3 indicates that it was part of a folder or group of 6 motet scores ascribed to Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703). At a later point in time someone (not Michel at the time when the score had been copied) added the ascription: Johann Christoph Bach

4. The first printed version of the score was published by Breitkopf & Härtel (Leipzig, 1802). Its title is: Joh. Seb. Bach’s | Motetten | in Partitur | Vol. 1. It contains three 8-Part Motets: BWV 225, BWV 228 and BWV Anh. 159.

The editor’s name is not given anywhere but was discovered in a decade later in a source dating from 1812 to 1814. Thus it was established that the first printed edition, which now explicitly and unequivocally assigns J. S. Bach as the composer of BWV Anh. 159 was Johann Gottfried Schicht (1753-1823). Also, this motet now appears with two movements instead of the original single motet movement. The movement following the main motet movement is J. S. Bach’s own setting of a chorale, BWV 421: “Dir, Jesu, Gottes Sohn sei Preis”. In all probability it was Schicht and not J. S. Bach who added this chorale setting which had been published a quarter of a century earlier by C. P. E. Bach in the latter’s collection of his father’s 4-pt. chorale settings.

Schicht’s version of this motet was followed and reproduced in an English version with no date of publication given: JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH’S Six Motetts, IN SCORE, with an adaption for the Piano forte or Organ FOR USE AT REHEARSALS. The English Version written and adapted by W. Bartholomew. …London Published by EWER & Co. Newgate St. The text underlying the vocal parts is both in German and English and a continuo part has been fully realized.

In 1853 when Breitkopf & Härtel came out with a new edition of Schicht’s first edition from 1802, BWV Anh. 159 “Ich lasse dich nicht” was dropped and replaced with BWV Anh. 162 “Lob und Ehre und Weisheit”.

5. Another later printed version of the score appeared as volume 3, no. 9 in a series prepared and edited by Johann Friedrich Naue (1787-1858) and published by Friedrich Hofmeister in Leipzig from 1821 to 1823. Naue was the Director of Music at the University of Halle. The series of scores comprised 9 sacred motets for voices only by Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) and Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694). Here BWV Anh. 159 is ascribed to Johann Christoph Bach and not to J. S. Bach.

Further Commentary: Philipp Spitta, a very influential Bach biographer; Philipp Spitta (1841-1894) Johann Sebastian Bach, in 2 volumes (Breitkopf und Härtel, Leipzig 1873–1880).

At first in his volume 1 (published in 1873) of his huge Bach biography, Spitta followed the ascription of BWV Anh. 159 to Johann Christoph Bach praising this motet as an exceptional late work by this composer. However, in volume 2 which appeared in 1880, Spitta changed his mind after having inspected carefully the original copy (item 2 above) in the BB. His conclusion was: “This is not an autograph by Johann Christoph Bach. The watermark places the score into J. S. Bach’s Weimar period with a date of approximately 1710. Although the composer’s name is not given, scholars should once again seriously study it to determine if it is not really by J. S. Bach.”

Franz Wüllner (1832–1902), German composer and conductor; BGA Bach-Gesellschaft Ausgabe (1851-1899) Breitkopf & Härtel, Leipzig; Band 39: Motetten, Choräle und Lieder; Edited by Franz Wüllner (1892). Plate B.W. XXXIX Erste Abteilung. Motetten: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 225; Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, BWV 226; Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227; Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir, BWV 228; Komm, Jesu, komm, BWV 229; Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden , BWV 230. Anhang: Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, BWV 226 (alternative version: BWV 226a); Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh.159; Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren , BWV 231. Zweite Abteilung. Chorale und Lieder: Chorale Harmonisations, BWV 253-438;

Songs and Arias , BWV 439-518.

When Wüllner prepared Vol. 39 of the BGA, he was unable to locate the key manuscript (item 2 above) at the BB. Not only was Wüllner incapacitated by this situation, he was not a Bach expert since his forte was primarily as a composer and conductor. He was completely awash in the various opinions expressed by other Bach experts. Among his statements regarding this motet are the following: “One can easily assert and prove that the style of this motet is essentially different from the other extant motets by J. S. Bach, not only because of the unusual homophonic blocks and rhythmically consistent first movement, but also due to the manner in which the choral fugue in the second part of this movement is treated and is interrupted by the homophonic blocks.” On the other hand he states: “If it is really a genuine composition by Johann Christoph, then it is certainly the most perfect one that has come down to us.” “When all is said and done, this motet certainly cannot be counted among the genuine motets by J. S. Bach.” “The editorial staff, acting upon the advice given by the board of directors of the BGA, has nevertheless insisted that this motet should be placed in the Anhang (appendix) because some eminent Bach connoisseurs like Wilhelm Rust (1822-1892), noted for his substantial contributions to the BGA, consider it to be a genuine composition by J. S. Bach.” This statement is directly contradicted in a footnote on the same page.

In 1908 Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) affirmed that the motet was by Johann Christoph Bach while asserting at the same time: “It would be a shame if this motet were no longer performed because it was not by J. S. Bach.”

Wolfgang Schmieder (1901-1990), who established the BWV [Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis] catalogue system for J. S. Bach’s compositions in 1950, placed this motet into Anhang II „Zweifelhafte Werke” [Doubtful Compositions] where it remained in his second edition (1990) despite new research by Daniel R. Melamed (1960-) had presented in his article “The Authorship of the Motet Ich lasse dich nicht (BWV Anh. 159)” in the Journal of the American Musicological Society 41 (1988), pp. 491-526. There Melamed maintains that the motet is by none other than J. S. Bach because of his direct involvement in the score (see above item 2). Klaus Hofmann in the book cited above as a key source presents a number of speculations that can be considered in the absence of hard evidence. The results are ambiguous; however, the NBA still considers the motet worthy of further study as it has not excluded it entirely from the NBA as being inauthentic.>>

Motet BWV 228, `Fürchte dich nicht,' & Chorale5

Melamed's original article also placed the funeral Motet, "Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir" (Do not fear, I am with you), BWV 228 earlier in Weimar time. He cites its same structural plan of the polyphonic, eight-part opening chorus (Isaiah 41:10 and 43/1 and chorale setting of two stanzas of Paul Gerhardt's 1653, "Warum sollt ich mich den grämen?" (Why should I grieve?). It "may not be quite as old as" BWV 159 (Ibid: 521), that closes with a plain chorale, BWV 421, amended to BWV Anh. 159/1. It may have been presented in Leipzig for Stadthaputmann Parkbusch's nwife on February 4, 1726. Motet BWV 228 text and Francis Browne's English translation are found at BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWV228-Eng3.htm.

Bach used two stanzas of the chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich den grämen?," in his Motet BWV 228, "Furchte dich nicht" (Do not fear),: Movement No. 2, Chorus SATB (Do not fear) with soprano chorale, V. 11 and 12, "Herr, mein Hirt, Brunn aller Freuden!" (Lord, my Shepherd, source of all joys!), and "Du bist mein, weil ich dich fasse" (You are mine, since I seize you).

The chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is not found in the <Neu Leipziger Gesangbuch> of 1682, since it was too recent, but was popular in Bach's time as an <omnes tempore> hymn under the heading, "Trust in God, Cross, and Consolation." Bach's harmonization, BWV 422, four-pachorale in C/G Major, ?c.1730, is found in the Hänssler complete Bach edition (No. 85), A Book of Chorale settings: "Trust in God, Cross, and Consolation," No. 16, CD 92.085 (1999).

The chorale also is designated in the Picander cycle for the First Sunday after Trinity, June 19, in Cantata text P42, "Welt, der Purpur stinkt mich an" (World, thy purple robe stinks on me); No. 5, closing chorale, Stanza 10, "Was sind dieses Lebens Güter?" (What are these life's goods?);

The best source for Gerhardt and this chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is <Paul Gerhardt, The Singer of Comfort, Hope, and Peace in Christ: His Life and Summaries of Seventeen of His Hymns>, The article, http://www.evangelischeandacht.org/Gerhardt-Book.pdf, observers that: "Paul Gerhardt based this hymn of joy on Psalm 73 [Truly, God is good to Israel], especially verses 23-26. `Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.'"

Bach set the associated Ebeling/Vetterer melody of "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," to another Gerhardt text, "Frölich soll mein Herze springen diese Zeit" (Joyfully shall my heart soaring up this time, 1656), as four-part chorale in the <Christmas Oratorio? (Part 3, Adoration of the Shepherds), "Ich will dich mit Fleiß bewahren" (I will firmly cherish three), BWV 248/33 (248III/10), "Und die Hirten kehrten wieder um" (And the shepherds went back again), December 27, 1734.

The chorale, "Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen?," is found in two recent American Lutheran hymnbooks: the 1941 Missouri Synod <Lutheran Hymnal> (St. Louis: Concordia), No. 523, "Why Should Cross and Trial Grieve Me" (S. 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10-12, John Kelly translation 1867) under the heading "Cross and Comfort," and restored in the current <Evangelical Lutheran Worship> hymnbook (Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), No. 273, "All My Heart Again Rejoices" (Catherine Winkworth 19th century alternate translation), in the Christmas section.

"It is also possible that Bach used another type of orchestral accompaniment with strings only, as a set of parts for the motet `Fürchte dich nicht' reveals. These parts were prepared by someone in the circle of C. P. E. Bach's acquaintances in Berlin around 1760." (Information about Bach's Motets with a Specific Examination of BWV 226 / Extracted from Klaus Hofmann's Book on This Subject / Summaries and Translations by Thomas Braatz © 2010; BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Articles/MotetsHofmann.pdf

FOOTNOTES

1 Motet BWV Anh. 159 BCW Details and revised and updated Discography, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh159.htm.
2 Melamed article, "The Authorship of the Motet,<Ich lasse dicht nicht>," <Journal of the American Musicological Society, 1988: 491-526. It is part of Melamed's book, <JSB and the German Motet> (Cambridge MA Univ. Press, 1995).
3 German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWVAnh159-Eng3.htm.
4 Geiringer, The Bach Family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius, “The Music of Johann Christoph” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1954: 50f).
5 Motet BWV 228, original source: Cantata 118 BCML Discussion Part 3, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/BWV118-D3.htm.

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To Come: Connections involving chorale and biblical setting in Cantatas 106 and 131 and Motets BWV 228 and Anh. 159; and text variants and paraphrases involving chorale “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz” in Motet BWV Anh. 159, Ich lasse dich nicht.

Peter Smaill wrote (March 13, 2016):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Bach's earliest surviving motet from Weimar time could be "Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, Mein Jesu" (I will not leave you before you bless me [after Genesis 32:26b], my Jesus), BWV Anh. 159 (BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/BWVAnh159.htm). Scored for double chorus of two SATB as a prelude and fugue (Section I), it is believed to have been for the Funeral or later Remembrance of the Deceased Service, possibly for the Mayor of Arnstadt's wife, Margarethe Feldhaus, née Wedemann on July 3, 1713. It was initially attributed to Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) and continues also to be considered a work of Sebastian. >
The view of Peter Wollny : "It has only in the last few years that it has been established that this work is in reality from the pen of the young Johann Sebastian Bach himself...the choice of the key of F minor, the rocking, almost dance-like rhythm and the clearly more modern cut of the melodic writing, which culminates in an expressive Neapolitan g flat '' in the first soprano, unmistakably signal the start of a new era."

This sounds unequivocal; but also there is the touching evidence of the closeness of the Bach family to the Wedemanns. The daughter of the burgomaster, Barbara Regina, was buried on 7 July 1686, aged just 23. The Arnstadt Kapellmeister, Adam Drese, composed a delightful strophic song, " Nun ist alles ueberwunden" , with a pun on her name :" Ob des lebens Feldhaus bricht", tr. , "If the earthly house has been broken". We now have two examples of Bach setting name puns- an acrostic in BWV 150 and BWV 1127, a double acrostic.

Bach's first wife Barbara was the daughter of Catherina Wedemann; the pastor, Stauber, who married as officiant the Bach cousins, then himself married Regina Wedemann on 5 June 1708.

So the Bach-Wedemann connection is very close indeed, and as the Drese part song found its way into the Alt Bachische Archiv (the only non-Bach there I think ) there is a further connection.

Bach's setting of "Jesu, meines herzens Freud" (264 in Reimenschneider), a chorale tune by Drese, is so fine that some special affinity with the old Arnstadt Kapellmeister is an interesting hypothesis...

I little doubt that the funeral motet is, therefore, by Johann Sebastian.

William Hoffman wrote (March 13, 2016):
[To Peter Smaill] Thank you Peter for these key quotes. What is your source? Is it http://bachnetwork.co.uk/ub10/ub10-paczkowski.pdf - Peter Wollny, ..... School in Leipzig, the item 'Neun Motetten' might be expected to refer to motets ... Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn [BWV Anh. 159].

I wonder if anyone has translated Wollny's two Bach Jahrbuch articles: “Alte Bach-Funde” (Old Bach Treasures/Discoveries) in the Bach-Jahrbuch 1998, pp. 146ff and “Tennstedt, Leipzig, Naumburg, Halle – Neuerkenntnisse zur Bach-Überlieferung in Mitteldeutschland,” Bach-Jahrbuch 2002, pp. 36–47. This latter may be much the same as his English liner notes in "Das Alt-Bachische Archiv, Konrad Junghänel 2002, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/CantusColln.htm#V3.

William Hoffman wrote (March 16, 2016):
Motets BWV Anh. 159, and BWV 228, Commentary, Texts

Following his use of biblical quotations and chorales together in his two early (c.1708) Mühlhausen memorial Cantatas, BWV 106, Gottes Zeit is die allerbeste Zeit (God’s Time is the best time), and BWV 131, “Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir” (Out of the depths I cry, Lord, to you, De profundis), Sebastian Bach in Weimar probably turned to composing funerary motets with these same two ingredients that are typical of the German tradition and particularly practiced by Bach Family members. The two motets identified in recent years are eight-voice, double chorus settings (SSAATTBB) with appropriate chorales: "Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn, Mein Jesu" (I will not leave you before you bleme [after Genesis 32:26b], my Jesus), BWV Anh. 159 (Bach Compendium BC C-9), with the 1560 hymn, “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz,” dating to 1712-13, and Motet "Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir" (Do not fear, I am with you, Isaiah 41:10), BWV 228, with Paul Gerhardt's 1653, "Warum sollt ich mich den grämen?," dating about 1715.

While Motet BWV 228 was originally recognized as a Bach composition dating to Leipzig, Motet BWV Anh. 159, “Ich Lasse dich nicht,” was originally attributed to Bach’s grand-uncle, Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703). Motet BWV Anh. 159 is dated to 1712-13 on the basis of the fair copy score and “a number of stylistic features”: “the simple handling of the text, the traditional treatment of the double chorus, which is limited to repetitions, and the noticeable insistence on the word ‘ich’,” “which recurs in a similar manner at the beginning of the Weimar cantata No. 21, ‘Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis’,” says Dr. Andreas Bomba in the Bach Motets, Rilling 1999 liner notes, Hänssler, Vol. 69: 40, BCW Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Rilling-Rec7.htm#V2.

“This motet [BWV Anh. 159] is not devoid of striking features, however; the combination of Old Testament text and the central figure of the New Testament (‘mein Jesu’), and the unusual harmony in the final chorale are just two examples,” says Bomba. Its eight-part opening chorus of biblical chorus homophonic prelude and succeeding text repetition fugue (ATB) with soprano canto (Stanza 3), “Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist, / dein Kind wirst du verlassen nicht” (Since you are my God and father, / You will not abandon your child).

The disposition of double chorus with chorale likewise in Motet "Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin bei dir," BWV 228, also “suggests a possible dating in the Weimar period,” says Bomba (Ibid.) “Nevertheless, the treatment of the text, its expressive idiom, and the interplay of these elements underline a progress. Besides setting each line of text one after another, Bach began to use double chorus to create dialogue. Bach also interweaves chorus motives in the lower parts of the chorale, he observes. Meanwhile, Bach’s use of vocal chorales, previously influenced by organ preludes, progresses compositionally with the integration of text and music in Motet BWV 228. This followed the initial chorale tropes in Cantatas 106 and 131 as well as chorale Cantata BWV 4, “Christ lag in Todesbanden” (Christ lies in death’s bondage,” with its chorale choruses and arias.

In “Ich lasse dich nicht” the “musical style of this motet is very different from the motets of Johann Christoph Bach”: there is no Lutheran chorale included in the dialogue between the two choirs,” says Jerome Lejeune in the liner notes to the Vox Luminis Ricercar (details, Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/J-S-Bach-J-C-J-M-Motetten/dp/B00W9ZD1M8). In the opening homophonic prelude, there is a pronounced difference in musical character between the two themes: highly syllabic in “Ich lase dich nicht,” while “more melismatic and supple” in “du segnest micht,” “depicting the gesture of benediction,” he says. Then the two subjects are repeated in the fugal closing section in the ATB voices “beneath the unchanging presence of the cantus firmus” Stanza 3. It is reminiscent of the penultimate variation of the early Chorale Partita, “Sei gegrüsset Jesu gütig,” BWV 768, Lejeune says. Besides using chorale themes as in Cantatas 106 and 131, “the use of the key of F minor also is a factor” was written after the death of Christoph in 1703.

“Stylistically, it is above all the second part of the motet (BWV Anh. 159) that points to Bach,” says Klaus Hofmann’s liner notes to the Wolfgang Helbich 1993, “The Apocryphal Bach Motets,” BCW Recording Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/Helbich.htm#V2. Although combinations of biblical text and chorale are “well-known in the motet artistry of the period, elsewhere the lower voice parts with the biblical text always had a homophonic setting,” he says. Here, “elaborate fugal polyphony takes the place of simple chords. Such is not the case with Bach’s contemporaries but does occur elsewhere in Bach, especially in the motet ‘Fürchte dich nicht’.”

‘Warum betrübst’ Text Paraphrase Discrepancies

In Motet “Ich lasse dich nicht,” BWV Anh. 159, there are various paraphrase discrepancies in the text and stanza numbering of the closing chorale “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz”(Why are you afflicted, my heart), BWV Anh. 59, Appendix, Final Chorale (SATB), NBA III/3:12 (see: http://partifi.org/YHY5P/segment/, Page 11. German text and Francis Browne English translation, BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/BWVAnh159-Eng3P.htm:

*Dir, Jesu, Gottes Sohn, sei Preis,
daß ich aus deinem Worte weiß,
was ewig selig macht!
Gib das ich nun auch fest und true
in diesem meinem Glauben sei.

To you Jesus, God's son, be praise,
That from your word I know
What makes blessed forever
Grant also that I may be firm and faithful
In this faith of mine.

*Ich bringe Lob und Ehre dir,
daß du ein ewig Heil auch mir
durch deinen Tod erwarbst.
Herr, dieses Heil gewähre mir,
und ewig, ewig dank ich dir.

I give praise and honour to you
That you have won an eternal salvation for me
Through your death
Lord, may you grant me this salvation
And may I always, always thank you

The following variant paraphrases are found in the German text and Francis Browne English translation of the chorale, “Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz,” BCW http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale037-Eng3.htm

8. Ich danke dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
Dass mir das Kund geworden ist
Durch dein wahrhaftig's Wort;
Verleih mir auch Beständigkeit
Zu meiner Seelen Seligkeit!

I thank you, Lord Jesus Christ,
for what has been revealed to me
through your truthful word;
bestow constancy also on me
for the blessedness of my soul!

9. Lob, Ehr und Preis sei dir gebracht
Für alles wie du mich bedacht.
In Demut bitt' ich dich:
Lass mich von deinem Angesicht
Ewig verstossen werden nicht !

Praise, glory and honour be given to you
for all your consideration for me.
In humility I ask you:
let me never from your face
be driven away.

The discrepancies, according to Daniel Melamed’s "The Authorship of the Motet, ‘Ich lasse dicht nicht’," Journal of the American Musicological Society, 1988: 518-19 (not in his Bach and the German Motet, 1995) are paraphrases from two successive hymnbooks: the Zollikofer Leipzig 1766, and New Hamburg 1788, found in later B&H editions.

Here is the original NLGB, Stanzas 13 and 14: “TRANSLATION: Tobin Schmuck, 2008 © Bach Vespers at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, NYC. Use by permission only, please. office@bachvespersnyc.org,"

http://bachvespersnyc.org/texts.asp?id=14&t=110#text. The German source (NLGB, S.13, 14) is the same as Bach Motets in the Rilling liner notes (Ibid. 6):

*Ich dank dir, Christe, Gottes Sohn,
I thank you, Christ, Son of God,
daß du mich solchs erkennen lan
that you reveal such things to me
durch dein göttliches Word;
through your divine word;
verleih mir auch Beständigkeit
grant me also steadfastness
zu meiner Seelen Seligkeit.
unto my soul's blessedness.

*Lob, Ehr und Preis sei dir gesagt
Laud, honor and praise be voiced to you
für alle dein erzeigt Wohltat,
for all your rendered good deeds,
und bitt demutiglich, laß mich nicht
and I humbly ask, let me not
von dein’m Angesicht
verstosen werden ewiglich.
be cast away eternity
from your countenance.

'Warum betrübst' 14 Verses

Here are the 14 verses of Warum betrübst du dich mein Herz? Verses 5 through 9 are missing in the BCW version: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale037-Eng3.htm. From the NLGB Leipzig, 1682 pp. 714-718 (Thomas Braatz, 3/15/2016).

“Vom Creutz / Verfolgung und Anfechtung.” Ein gut Haus-Lied/ Hausvätern sampt den ihrigen zu gebrauchen/gestellet durch Hans Sachsen / von Nürnberg / bekandten / Deutschen Poeten.

1. Warumb betrübst du dich / mein Hertz/Bekümmerst dich und trägest Schmertz/Nur umb das zeitlich Gut? Vertrau du deinem HErren GOtt / Der alle Ding erschaffen hat.
2. Er kan und wil dich lassen nicht / Er weiß gar wol was dir gebricht / Himmel und Erd ist sein / Mein Vater und Mein Herre Gott / Der mir beysteht in aller Noth.
3. Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist / Dein Kind wirst du verlassen nicht / Du väterliches Hertz / Ich bin ein armer Erdenkloß / Auff Erden weiß ich keinen Trost.
4. Der Reich verläßt sich auff sein Gut / Ich abr wil dir vertraun / mein Gott / Ob ich gleich werd veracht / So weiß ich / und gläub festiglich / Wer Gott vertraut / dem mangelt nicht.
5. Helia / wer ernähret dich / Da es so lange regnet nicht / In so schwer theurer Zeit? Ein Wittwe aus Sidonier Land / Zu welcher du von Gott warst gesandt.
6. Da er lag untr dem Wachholdrbaum / Der Engel Gotts vom Himmel kam / Und bracht ihm Speis und Tranck / Er gieng gar einen weiten Gang / Bis zu dem Berg Horeb genannt.
7. Des Daniels Gott nicht vergaß / Da er unter den Löwen saß / Sein Engel sandt er hin / Er ließ ihm Speise bringen gut / Durch seinen Diener Habacuc.
8. Joseph in Egyptn verkauffet ward / Vom König Pharao gefangen hart / Umb sein Gottfürchtigkeit / Gott macht ihn zu einn grossen Herrn / Daß er kont Vatr und Brüdr ernehrn.
9. Es ließ auch nicht der treue Gott / Die drey Männr im Feur-Ofen roth / Seinn Engel sandt er hin / Bewahrt sie für des Feuers Glut / Und halff ihnen aus aller Noth.
10. Ach GOTT! du bist noch heut so reich / Als du bist gwesen ewiglich / Mein Vertraun steht gantz zu dir / Mach mich an meiner Seelen reich / So hab ich gnug hie und ewiglich.
11. Der zeitlichn Ehr wil ich gern entbern / Du wollst mir nur des Ewgn gewährn / Das du erworben hast Durch deinen herben bittern Tod / Das bitt ich dich / mein HErr und Gott.
12. Alles / was ist auff dieser Welt / Es sey Silber / Gold oder Geld / Reichthum und zeitlich Gut / Das wäret nur ein kleine Zeit / Und hilfft doch nicht zur Seligkeit.
13. Ich danck dir Christ / o Gottes Sohn / Daß du mich solchs erkennen lahn / Durch dein göttliches Wort / Verleih mir auch Beständigkeit Zu meiner Seelen Seligkeit.
14. Lob / Ehr und Preis sey dir gesagt / Für alle dein erzeigt Wolthat / Und bitt demütiglich / Laß mich nicht von deinm Angesicht Verstossen werden ewiglich. (…Vollständiges Gesangbuch… [in 8 volumes] Leipzig, 1697 [in Bach’s library] I. p. 631. The same as the Vopelius 1682).

Additional musical and biographical resources for Motet BWV Anh. 159, “Ich lasse dich nicht,” include the following:

*Bach Motets (BWV 225-229, Anh. 159), edited by Uwe Wolf, with critical commentary, extensive footnotes and musical sources (Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben Carus 31.224/10, 2003. https://www.carusmedia.com/images-intern/medien/30/3122410/3122410x.pdf.
*Altbachisches Archiv (complete), Konrad Junghänel, Cantus Cölln, Peter Wollny liner notes, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Archive-Elder-Bachs-Altbachische-Archiv/dp/B00008SHCZ, BCW Recording Details, http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/CantusColln.htm#V3.

William Hoffman wrote (March 16, 2016):
Motets BWV Anh. 159, Chorale Text

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Texts/Chorale037-Eng3.htm, (new, complete text)

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz
Text and Translation of Chorale

 

German Text (verses in bold print set by Bach)

English Translation

1

Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz?
Bekümmerst dich und trägest Schmerz
Nur um das zeitliche Gut?
Vertrau du deinem Herren Gott,
Der alle Ding erschaffen hat.

Why are you afflicted, my heart,
why are you full of care and enduring sorrow
only for temporal possessions?
Place your trust in your Lord God
who has created everything.

2

Er kann und will dich lassen nicht,
Er weiß gar wohl, was dir gebricht,
Himmel und Erd ist sein!
Dein Vater und dein Herre Gott,
Der dir beisteht in aller Not.

He cannot and will not abandon you,
he knows well what you lack,
heaven and earth are his!
Your father and your God.
who stands beside you in all distress.

3

Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist,
Dein Kind wirst du verlassen nicht,
Du väterliches Herz!
Ich bin ein armer Erdenkloß,
Auf Erden weiß ich keinen Trost.

Since you are my God and father
you will not abandon your child,
you fatherly heart!
I am a wretched clod of earth,
on earth I know no consolation.

4

Der Reiche bauet auf sein Gut;
Ich will vertrauen auf Gottes Hut.
Ob mich die Welt veracht',
So glaub ich doch mit Zuversicht,
Wer Gott vertraut, dem mangelt's nicht.

The rich man builds on his goods;
I shall trust in God’s care.
Although the world scorns me,
I believe with confidence,
who trusts in God will lack nothing.

5

Helia , wer ernähret dich
Da es so lange regnet nicht
In so schwer theurer Zeit?
Ein Wittwe aus Sidonier Land
Zu welcher du von Gott warst gesandt.

Elias,who feeds you
when there is no rain for so long
in time of such hard famine?
A widow from Sidon
to whom you were sent by God

6

Da er lag untr dem Wachholdrbaum
Der Engel Gotts vom Himmel kam
Und bracht ihm Speis undTranck
Er gieng gar einen weiten Gang
Bis zu dem Berg Horeb genannt.

As he lay beneath a juniper tree
God’s angel came from heaven
and brought him food and drink.
He went on a long jouirney
to the mountain named Horeb.

7

Des Daniels Gott nicht vergaß
Da er unter den Löwen saß
Sein Engel sandt er hin
Er ließ ihm Speise bringen gut
Durch seinen Diener Habacuc.

God did not forget Daniel
as he sat among the lions.
He sent his angel down,
he had good food brought to him
by his servant Habakuk

8

Joseph in Egyptn verkauffet ward
Vom König Pharao gefangen hart
Umb sein Gottfürchtigkeit
Gott macht ihn zu einn grossen Herrn
Daß er kont Vatr und Brüdr ernehrn.

Joseph was sold into Egypt,
imprisoned by Pharaoh the king
For his reverence for God
God made him a grerat lord
so that he could feed his father ad brothers

9

Es ließ auch nicht der treue Gott
Die drey Männr im Feur-Ofen roth
Seinn Engel sandt er hin
Bewahrt sie für des Feuers Glut
Und halff ihnen aus aller Noth.

The faithful God also did not forsake
the three men in the burning fiery furnace,
he sent down his angel,
protected them from the fire’s heat
and helped them in all distress.

10

Ach Gott, du bist so reich noch heut';
Ob je du warst von Ewigkeit,
Mein Trauen steht zu dir;
Sei du nur meiner Seele Hort,
So hab' ich Gnüge hier und dort.

Ah God, you are as rich today
as you were from eternity,
my trust stands by you;
be the only refuge of my soul,
then I have enough here and hereafter.

11

Zeitlicher Ehr, ich gern entbehr',
Des Ewigen mich nur gewähr,
Das du erworben hast
Durch deinen herben, bittern Tod;
Das bitt ich dich, mein Herr und Gott.

Temporal glory I happily do without,
only grant that I may share the eternal glory
that you have gained
by your harsh, bitter death;
for this I ask you, my Lord and God.

12

Alles was ist auf dieser Welt,
Es sei Gold, Silber oder Geld,
Reichtum und zeitlich Gut,
Das währt nur eine kleine Zeit
Und hilft doch nichts zur Seligkeit.

Everything that in this world,
whether it is gold, silver or money,
wealth or temporal possessions,
lasts only a short time
and is of no help for blessedness.

13

Ich danke dir, Herr Jesu Christ,
Dass mir das Kund geworden ist
Durch dein wahrhaftig's Wort;
Verleih mir auch Beständigkeit
Zu meiner Seelen Seligkeit!

I thank you , Lord Jesus Christ,
for what has been revealed to me
through your truthful word;
bestow constancy also on me
for the blessedness of my soul!

14

Lob, Ehr und Preis sei dir gebracht
Für alles wie du mich bedacht.
In Demut bitt' ich dich:
Lass mich von deinem Ange
Ewig verstossen werden nicht !

Praise, glory and honour be given to you
for all your consideration for me.
In humility I ask you:
let me never from your face
be driven away.

Contributed by Francis Browne (March 2006, December 2007, March 2016)

 

Motet BWV Anh 159: Details & Recordings | General Discussions

Johann Christoph Bach: Short Biography | Motet Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh 159 | Motet Merk auf, mein Herz und sieh dorthin, BWV Anh 163 | Motet Der Gerechte, ob er gleich zu zeitlich stirb


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



 

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Last update: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 01:10