2 LP - SKW 7/1-2 - (p) 1973

2 CD - 8.35033 ZL - (c) 1985

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Das Kantatenwerk - Vol. 7

Kantate "Ein ingefärbt Gemüte", BWV 24
17' 11" A
Solo: Sopran (nur in Chor Nr. 3), Alt, Tenor, Baß - Chor

Clarino (in Clarintechnik geblasenes Naturhorn); Oboe I/II; Oboe d'amore I/II; Streicher; Bc. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Aria (Alto) "Ein ungefärbt Gemüte"
3' 34"

- Recitativo (Tenore) "Die Redlichkeit ist eine von den Gottesgaben" 1' 51"

- Coro "Alles nun, das ihr wollet" 3' 57"

- Recitativo (Basso) "Die Heuchelei ist eine Brut" 1' 29"

- Aria (Tenore) "Treu und Wahrheit sei der Grund" 3' 37"

- Choral (Coro) "O Gott, du frommer Gott" 2' 33"

Kantate "Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe", BWV 25

15' 12" B
Solo: Sopran, Tenor, Baß - Chor

Cornetto (Zink), Trombone I, II, III; Flauto (Blockflöte) I, II, III; Oboe I, II; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe" 4' 42"

- Recitativo (Tenore) "Die ganze Welt ist nur ein Hospital" 1' 26"

- Aria (Basso) "Ach, wo hol ich armer Rat?" 3' 05"

- Recitativo (Soprano) "O Jesu, lieber Meister" 1' 10"

- Aria (Soprano) "Öffne meinem schlechten Liedern" 3' 38"

- Choral (Coro) "Ich will alle meine Tage" 1' 11"

Kantate "Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig", BWV 26
16' 38" C
Solo: Sopran, Alt, Tenor, Baß - Chor

Corno (Zink); Flauto traverso (Querflöte); Oboe I, II, III; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig" 2' 49"

- Aria (Tenore) "So schnell ein rauschend Wasser schießt" 7' 42"

- Recitativo (Alto) "Die Freude wird zur Traurigkeit" 0' 49"

- Aria (Basso) "An irdische Schätze das Herze zu hängen" 3' 53"

- Recitativo (Soprano) "Die höchste Herrlichkeit und Pracht" 0' 44"

- Choral "Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig" 0' 41"

Kantate "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende", BWV 27
15' 26" D
Solo: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baß - Chor

Corno (Zink); Oboe I, II; Oboe da caccia; Organo obligato; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotti, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende" 4' 54"

- Recitativo (Tenore) "Mein Leben hat kein ander Ziel" 0' 47"

- Aria (Alto) "Willkommen! will ich sagen" 4' 29"

- Recitativo (Soprano) "Ach, wer doch schon im Himmel wär!" 0' 37"

- Aria (Baß) "Gute Nacht, du Weltgetümmel!" 3' 33"

- Choral "Welt ade! ich bin dein müde" 1' 06"

Kantaten 24 - 25 - 26 - 27

Solist der Wiener Sängerknaben, Sopran, Alto (27)

Paul Esswood, Alt

Kurt Equiluz, Tenor

Max van Egmond, Baß

Siegmund Nimsgern, Baß (26; 27)

Wiener Sängerknaben - Chorus Vienneisis / Hans Gillesberger, Leitung

CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN (mit Originalinstrumenten)

- Alice Harnoncourt, Violine
- Hermann Baumann, Naturhorn
- Walter Pfeiffer, Violine - Ralph Bryant, Zink
- Peter Schoberwalter, Violine - Hans Pöttler, Posaune
- Wilhelm Mergl, Violine
- Karl Jeitler, Posaune
- Josef de Sordi, Violine
- Ernst Hofmann, Posaune
- Kurt Theiner, Viola - Leopold Stastny, Flauto traverso
- Milan Turkovic, Fagott - Kees Boeke, Blockflöte
- Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Violoncello - Walter van Hauwe, Blockflöte
- Eduard Hruza, Violone - Elisabeth Harnoncourt, Blockflöte
- Herbert Tachezi, Orgel - Jürg Schaeftlein, Oboe, Oboe da caccia e d'amore

- Paul Hailperin, Oboe, Oboe d'amore
- Karl Gruber, Oboe

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gesamtleitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Casino Zögernitz, Vienna (Austria):
- giugno e ottobre 1972 (BWV 24 e 25)
- giugno, ottobre e novembre1972 - febbraio e aprile 1973 (BWV 26 e 27)
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Wolf Erichson
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec "Das Alte Werk" - 8.35033 ZL - (2 cd) - 32' 33" + 32' 18" - (c) 1985 - AAD
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken "Das Alte Werk" - 6.35033 EX (SKW 7/1-2) - (2 lp) - 32' 33" + 32' 18" - (p) 1973

Ein ungefärbt Gemüte (BWV 24) is one of the first Cantatas that the newly appointed Cantor of St Thomas’s wrote in Leipzig; it received its first performance on June 20, 1723. Bach did not often choose a text by Erdmann Neumeister, the creator of the ”modern” church cantata, and if we look at it we think we can see why: the poetry is far too much obscured by the theologians didactic fervour. Even so, for the musician of that period this text also offered advantages: like the central structure of a baroque building, everything is grouped around the words from the Bible, which are taken from the parallel text (Matt. 7: 12) to the Gospel reading for that Sunday. On either side of it are two recitatives that stand in a relation to one another through their opening words: "Die Redlichkeit” (integrity) and ”Die Heuchelei” (Hypocrisy). The outer framework is provided by the two arias, and only the final chorale has no counterpart at the beglnning.
Bach’s composition follows tho symmetrical order of the text by not placing the weighty choral movement at the beginning as usual, but instead setting the central Bible text in this manner. The movement is divided into a freely constructed, partly concortante, partly free polyphonic opening section, followed by a fugue, being analogous to the instrumental pattern of "Prelude and Fugue”. The symmetry of the text's words "Alles nun, das ihr wollet..., das tut...” is reflected in the two themes of the double fugue, and it is here perhaps that we have the actual starting point for the symmetrical scheme of the whole work.
We encounter such a mirror image again in the conclusion of the second movement: "Mach aus dir selbst ein solches Bild, wie du den Nächsten haben willt" (Bethink thee, therefore, is it thus we'd have our neighbor deal with us), where Bach logically abandons the form of the free recitative in favor of imitatorv arioso writting (sequential treatment ofthe initial motif in the continuo).
The final chorale is ornately adorned by means of independent instrumental parts with interludes between the lines; it gives the cantata, otherwise dominated by the solo concertante principle, a hymnic conclusion.
Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe (BWV 25), like the cantata considered above from Bach’s first year in Leipzig, received its first performances on August 29, 1723. The author of the text, whose lines abound in drastically baroque imagery, takes The Healing of the Ten Lepers recounted in the Gospel reading for that Sunday and centers in on the comparison of the sinfulness of the world with a disease - the "leprosy of sin" (movements 2 and 4), which Jesus alone is able to heal. According to the text of the final aria, the most successful by present-day standards, our song of praise should resound to Him - both now and even more so later on in the choir of the angels.
Bach attaches particular importance to the opening chorus in his compositions. The psalm text, which introduces the subject matter of the text as a whole, is set as a double fugue for choir accompanied by oboes and strings. This, however, is joined again by a chorale melody, announced by a quotation of the first line in long note values in the continue (instrumental introduction), then stated line by line by a choir of trombones (with a cornett as the soprano instrument) and recorders doubling the melody at the octave. The first fugue subject is heard in combination with the repeated first section of the hymn tune, the second subject with the first half of the second section and a combination of both subjects with its second half. The wellknown melody in the Phrygian mode is probably not meant to allude to the original chorale text ”Herzlich tut mich verlangen” (I long with all my heart) here, and Paul Gerhardt's text ”O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” (O sacred head, sore wounded) was still too little known in Leipzig around 1723 for the congregation to associate it with this melody as they heard it.
It is more probable that Bach had in mind the paraphrase oft he sixth Psalm ”Ach Horr, mich armen Sünder straf nicht in deinem Zorn” (O Lord, do not punish me, poor sinner, in thy vvrath), which was widely known at the time and is much more closely related to the subject of the cantata, especially in its second verse "Heil du mich, lieber Herre, denn ich bin krank und schwach” (Heal thou me, dear Lord, for I am sick and weak).
Bach follows this opening chorus, which is as ingenious as it is impressive, with three continuo movements, perhaps tor reasons of contrast. Striking syncopated ostinato figures depict the helplessness of the sinner in the aria ”Ach, wo hol ich Armer Rat”. The second aria (movement 5) sounds contrasted in every respect with its firm, dancelike rhythm, its clear periodic structure and its full instrumentation divided into choirs of recorders and of strings (+ oboes). The final chorale on the melody ”Freu dich sehr, o meine Seele" (Be very glad, 0omy soul) dwells on the gratitude that forms an essential theme of the Gospel narration.
Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig (BWV 26) is a chorale cantata from Bach’s second yearly series for Leipzig, and was first performed on November 19, 1724. The unknown text editor has adhered to the usual practice of rewriting the inner verses into recitatives and arias: Verses 2 and 10 have each become an aria, whereas the recitatives verses 3-9 and 11-12 had to be condensed so that the text would not become too lengthy. The reason for the choice of this hymn was the Gospel reading for that Sunday on the raising of Jairus’s daughter, though apart from general thoughts on death they have little in common. The basic idea is evidently that Jesus, who proves Himself Lord of life and death, will also awaken the believing Christians, and that in view of this hope all trust in ”earth|y treasures” is proved vain.
Bach”s composition stands entirely in the service of interpreting the text. ln the opening chorus the hymn tune (soprano + ”Corno" -in our recording a cornett) is embedded line by line in concertante instrumental writing with a therme of its own. The theme's upward- and downward-rushing sixteenth-note scales reflect life’s fleeting quality. The same imagery is enhanced by the agitation of the vocal counterpoints that support the chorale melody only to conclude each line in unison with the rnelodys opening notes. This movement leaves nothing to be desired as regards clarity of depiction.
The same holds true for the cantata's two arias, the first of which (movement2) is characterized by the image ot the rushing torrent, represented by rapid scale passages in instrument and voice alike. In the middle section, at the words "wie sich die Tropfen plötzlich teilen” (are gone like passing summer showers) the scales are displaced by broken triads - as in the representation of the "Tropfen meiner Zähren” (drops of my tears) in the aria ”Bu? und Reu” in the St Matthew Passion.
The relationship to the text is different again in the second aria (movement 4), in which the dance rhythm (the movement is an authentic bourrée) becomes an image of the ”foolish world" and its seduction. However, the listener is not allowed to deceive himself about the true nature of this "world," thanks to the minor character, the oboe sound and the scale figures shooting down into the depths which reappear in the middle section, revealing the dance to be no happy merrymaking, but a macabre dance of death.
Wer Weiß, wie nahe mir mein Ende! (BWV 27) is linked, like the cantata just discussed, to a Gospel narration of an avvakening from the dead (Luke 7: 11-17) - this time of the young man in Nain, The idea which the author of the text has developed is basically the same as before: Jesus will awaken me and therefore, he reasons, my fear of death (dealt with in the first and second movements) is groundless; on the contrary, death can only be welcome to me. The poetry, which recalls an aria text by Erdmann Neumeister in the third movement (Neumeister: "Wilkommen! will ich sagen, so bald der Tod ans Bette tritt..." remains free of both didacticism and baroque exaggerations, and is distinguished instead by a warmth of feeling that places it among the most successful texts ever set by Bach.
Bach's composition was written for October 6, 1726, and thus belongs to the third of the yearly cycles that have been preserved. Although it begins with a chorale, it is not a chorale cantata: the inner movements are not paraphrasos of a hymn, nor do the opening and closing chorales belong to the same hymn.
ln the opening chorus the hymn tune (”Wer nur den lieben Coll läßt walten" - Who but lets the dear God rule) is worked into a meditative instrumental texture with a theme of its own (though remotely related to the chorale). Bach, however, modifies this manner of writing, wellknown from the chorale cantatas, by the inclusion of recitative inserts in which the motif-based orchestral writing and the fixed meter of the text are maintained. This is the only example of a recitative in three-four time in the whole of Bach!
The first aria (movement 3) is of unusual charm, and requires as obbligato instruments an oboe da caccia and an obligato harpsichord, which was evidently replaced by an obbligato organ at a later performance. With its simple song melody, Bach has found just the right setting for the character of its text, and that of the entire cantata.
The second aria movement in the cantata (movement 5) is based on the contrast of concepts ”Gute Nacht - Weltgetümmel” (Good night - wordly bustle), which it also maintains consistently in the music. The initial Sarabande rhythm is basically kept going throughout the piece, but already in the second half of the ritornello and the main section of the aria it is filled out with lively sixteenth-note figuration, only the middle section and the end of the last ritornello being kept free of this. Contrary to his usual practice, Bach has adopted a five-part setting by Johann Rosenmüller as the final chorale.

Alfred Dürr

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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