2 LP - SKW 13/1-2 - (p) 1975

2 CD - 8.35284 ZL - (c) 1987

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Das Kantatenwerk - Vol. 13

Kantate "Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden", BWV 47
22' 19" A
Solo: Sopran, Baß - Chor

Oboe I, II, Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden" 6' 11"

- Aria (Soprano) "Wer ein wahrer Christ will heißen" 9' 26"

- Recitativo (Basso) "Der Mensch ist Kot, Stank, Asch und Erde" 1' 29"

- Aria (Basso) "Jesu beuge doch mein Herze" 4' 21"

- Choral "Der zeitlichen Ehr will ich gern entbehrn" 0' 48"

Kantate "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen",  BWV 48

16' 06" B
Solo: Alt, Tenor - Chor

Tromba (Zugtrompete); Oboe I, II; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen" 5' 29"

- Recitativo (Alto) "O Schmerz, o Elend, so mich trifft" 1' 16"

- Choral "Soll's ja so sein" 0' 41"

- Aria (Alto) "Ach lege das Sodom der sèndlichen Glieder" 2' 59"

- Recitativo (Tenore) "Hier aber tut des Heilands Hand" 0' 38"

- Aria (Tenore) "Vergiebt uns Jesus unsre Sünden" 3' 46"

- Choral "Herr Jesu Christ, einiger Trost" 1' 03"

Kantate "Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen", BWV 49
25' 24"
Solo: Sopran, Baß

Organo obligato; Oboe d'amore; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone)

- Sinfonia 6' 36"
- Aria (Basso) "Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen" 4' 59"
- Recitativo (Basso, Soprano) "Mein Mahl ust zubereit" 2' 03"
- Aria (Soprano) "Ich bin herrlich, ich bin schön" 5' 14"
- Recitativo (Soprano, Basso) "Mein Glaube hat mich selbst so angezogen" 1' 13"
- Duetto (Soprano, Basso) "Dich hab ich je und je geliebet" 5' 10"

Kantate "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft", BWV 50
3' 38"

Tromba I/II/III; Timpani; Oboe I/II/III; Violino I/II, Viola; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Doppelchor (8-stg.) - Torso einer Kantate 3' 38"

Kantaten 47 - 48 - 49 - 50

Peter Jelosits (Wiener Sängerknabe), Sopran

Paul Esswood, Alt

Kurt Equiluz, Tenor

Ruud van der Meer, Baß

Wiener Sängerknaben - Chorus Vienneisis / Hans Gillesberger, Leitung

CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN (mit Originalinstrumenten)

- Alice Harnoncourt, Violine
- Ralph Bryant, Zugtrompete
- Walter Pfeiffer, Violine - Josef Spindler, Naturtrompete in D (50)
- Peter Schoberwalter, Violine - Richard Rudolf, Naturtrompete in D (50)
- Wilhelm Mergl, Violine
- Hermann Schober, Naturtrompete in D (50)
- Josef de Sordi, Violine
- Kurt Hammer, Pauken (50)
- Kurt Theiner, Viola - Jürg Schaeftlein, Oboe d'amore, Oboe

- Milan Turkovic, Fagott - Paul Hailperin, Oboe
- Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Violoncello, piccolo
- David Reichenberg, Oboe (47/1,5)
- Eduard Hruza, Violone - Karl Gruber, Oboe (50)
- Herbert Tachezi, Orgel - Bernhard Klebel, Oboe (50)

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gesamtleitung
Luogo e data di registrazione
Casino Zögernitz, Vienna (Austria):
- novembre 1974 / febbraio e maggio 1975 - (BWV 47 e 48)
- febbraio e maggio 1975 - (BWV 49)
- settembre 1967 - (BWV 50)
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Wolf Erichson
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec "Das Alte Werk" - 8.35284 ZL - (2 cd) - 38' 30" + 29' 11" - (c) 1987 - ADD
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken "Das Alte Werk" - 6.35284 EX (SKW 13/1-2) - (2 lp) - 38' 30" + 29' 11" - (p) 1975
La registrazione della Cantata BWV 50 è la stessa già edita nel 1969 Telefunken SAWT 9539-B.

Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden (BWV 47) was composed for October 13, 1726. It shares with a whole series of cantatas for the Sundays after Trinity 1726 at least two peculiarities: the use of the organ as a concertante instrument (played by Bach himself), and extension of the first chorale movement to a wide-ranging and complicated fugal form. In the case of BWV 47, concentration on this first movement, a setting of Holy Scripture, was particularly appropriate - firstly because the graphic antithesis ofthe sentence from Luke 14: 11, provided the best starting point for richly illustrative composition; secondly because the related text by Johann Friedrich Helbig, a government official of Eisenach, had resulted in an unusually meager paraphrase of the bible quotation. Bach composed the quotation from Luke as a grand, choral fugue appearing twice and symmetrically framed by an instrumental movement and the latter’s varied repetition with built-in passages for choir. Just as the themes of the choral fugue directly and graphically trace the central text terms "erhöhet - erniedriget" (exalteth - abased), ”erniedriget - erhöhet,” so, too, is the form of the entire movement arranged as an allegorical reflection of the text’s dichotomy: fugal theme and obbligato counterpoint, double fugal rendering, double symmetry of the framing sections and of the whole. The figurativeness of thematicism and allegory of the form provide a magnificent conceptual unity which at the same time has a direct powerful musical impact, The following aria is set more modestly from a musical point of view (in the first version with concertante organ, which was presumably replaced for a peformance in the 1730 by a violin). The principal section, in flowing melody; represents ”humility,” the center part expresses in the vocal part and ”proud” instrumental rhythm ”pride," while the continuo ensures, by further development of the principal section themes, that no doubt shall arise as to the hierarchy of the terms: “humility” takes not only theological-moral, but also thematic-musical precedence. The accompagnato that follows deals with the excessively ”strong” words of the text in a comparatively simple manner. The second aria treats the recurring central contrast of humility - pride in detail as done similarly in the first, but, in accordance with the prayerful tone of the text, again accentuating the priority ot humility at several musical levels: through the use ot F flat major (as opposed to G minor as the cantata’s main key), through use of the oboe’s timbre, and by combining the oboe, violin and voice parts into a demanding, contrapuntal trio movement. The concluding chorale provides a contrast to this artistic display with an extremely unpretentious cantional-style movement - perfectly suiting the venerable simplicity of its text.
Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen (BWV 48) is from one of Bach's first annual Leipzig cantata cycles and was intended for performance on October 3, 1723. The anonymous author, much more emotional and graphically powerful than the author of BWV 47, clearly divides the text into laments for the sinfulness of man and consolation stemming from the Redeemer's help; a chorale verse has been inserted into the cantata’s poetical setting at the conceptual turning point. Bach transformed the affective and graphic elements ofthe text into musical language which is a great deal stronger than what we find in Cantata No. 47, which aims at immediate effect and is correspnndingly simpler in its overall plan. The words of Paul, to which the cantata is related, are depicted in a choral movement, the counterpoint of which - marked as it is by emphatic entries at the sixth and a sighing melody - becomes more tightly textured towards the end. The movement grows in intensity through a string ritornello which ascends, in winding fashion, like a hand in search of succour; the tromba and oboes contribute to this the chorale melody "Herr Jesu Christ, ich schrei zu dir” (Lord Jesus Christ, I cry onto you), line by line in canonic form. - A highly expressive accompagnato provides the transition to the first chorale movement, in which the "deep sighing” still reverberates, especially in the last line. The two arias and the concluding chorale then take up the trusting prayer-like character of their texts in conspicuously simple but nevertheless carefully shaded rnusieal forms and accents: a songlike intimate alto aria with concertante oboe, a melodic, broadly flowing tenor aria with a sonorously intoned string movement, and finally the l2th verse of the chorale quoted in the opening chorus as a harrnonically rich cantional movement.
The Gospel for the 20th Sunday after Trinity - the Parable of the Royal Wedding Feast - was transformed by the anonymous texl author of the cantata Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen (BWV 49) into a ”dialogue" between the "bridegroom" Christ and the faithful soul as the "bride." It is in keeping with a very old tradition of evoking in poetic settings of this kind the erotic graphic fantasy of the hymn of praise; and it is certainly no coincidence that Bach, like countless composers before him, let himself be inspired by this very world of imagery to produce a composition which clearly brings out the direct sensual possibilities of music. This musical attitude did not detract in the least from use of the work as a cantata for the church service - it was written for November 3, 1726 - so long as it could be understood as allegorically as the text demanded. It is in keeping with the dialogue character that introductory chorus and concluding chorale are omitted; the form of the work is thus exactly the same as the secular Italian cantata. In place of the chorus there is, as a ”sinfonia," a splendid orchestra movement with concertante organ, presumably from the Köthen period, which Bach later reused as the finale tor the Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1053 (the two other movements of the Köthen work are retained in Cantata No. 169, which was composed in October, 1726). A bass aria follows, similarly with concerlante organ, in which the demands of the bridegroom ("yearning” chromatics) and the picture of the bride as a dove ("gentle" triplets) are fully portrayed. A short accompagnato dialogue moves into an entirely ”secular" duettino which is attuned to the character and motif of the bass aria, The following aria of the bride, scored just as elegantly and with singularity of timbre with oboe d'amore and violoncello piccolo, is completely dominated by an almost coquettish allemande melody and ”lovesick" sighing turns - even where the naive sensual opening text recedes into dry allegory. The conclusion, after a short recltative dialogue, is formed by a duet in which artistic execution, allegory and tonal sensuousness combine in an almost unique fashion, even by Bach’s standards: organ and bass perform concertante with an elegantly ornamental motif derived from the chorale which the soprano projects into the artistic movement. Secular joy and piety appear to be fused into one entity through the medium of music.
Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (BWV 50) holds a special place in the works that have been handed down: presumably it is the opening movement of a lost cantata which was intended for a special occasion, as indicated by the exceptional orchestral scoring, the dual choirs and the ostentatious artistic execution of the movement. (Its possible use for the Feast of the Archangel Michael, from the epistle of which the text originates, appears on the other hand to be of secondary importance). The piece is a remarkable example of a formidable overall conception featuring the twofold use of the same fuge. It intensifies to the highest degree of emphasis and tonal development by way of choral declamation blocks of the second choir, then the finely-textured interplay of the concertante choirs, and finally by an interweaving of both in a gigantic contrapuntal upsurge, together with signal motifs in the orchestra. The occasion forthe work, which has been described as "Bach’s most powerful choral piece,” is iost in obscurity.
Ludwig Finscher

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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