2 LP - SKW 17/1-2 - (p) 1977

2 CD - 8.35335 ZL - (c) 1988

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Das Kantatenwerk - Vol. 17

Kantate "Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen", BWV 65
16' 45" A
Solo: Tenor, Baß - Chor

Corno I, II (Naturhörner in C); Flauto I, II (Blockflöten); Oboe da caccia I, II; Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen" 4' 47"

- Choral "Die Könige aus Saba kamen dar" 0' 38"

- Recitativo (Basso) "Was dort Jesaias worhergesehn" 1' 41"

- Aria (Basso) "Gold aus Ophir ist zu schlecht" 2' 50"

- Recitativo (Tenore) "Verschmähe nicht, du, meiner Seelen Licht" 1' 25"

- Aria (Tenore) "Nimm mich dir zu eigen hin" 3' 51"

- Choral "Ei nun, mein Gott, so fall ich dir" 1' 15"

Kantate "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt", BWV 68

16' 49" B
Solo: Soprano, Baß - Chor

Cornetto (Zink); Trombone I, II, III; Oboe I, II, Taille (Tenoroboe in f); Streicher; B.c. (Fagotto, Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt" 5' 28"

- Aria (Soprano) "Mein gläubiges Herze" 3' 58"

- Recitativo (Basso) "Ich bin mit Petro nicht vermessen" 0' 36"

- Aria (Basso) "Du bist geboren mir zu Gute" 3' 13"

- Coro "Wer an ihn glaubet" 3' 17"

Kantate "Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen" (Dialogus), BWV 66
31' 10" C
Solo: Alt (Furcht), Tenor (Hoffnung), Baß - Chor

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

- Coro "Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen" 10' 28"

- Recitativo (Basso) "Es bricht das Grab und damit unsre Not" 0' 31"

- Aria (Basso) "Lasset dem Höchsten ein Danklied erschallen" 6' 34"

- Recitativo - Arioso - Recitativo (Alto, Tenore) "Bei Jesu Leben Freudig sein" 4' 44"

- Aria (Duetto) (Alto, Tenore) "Ich fürchte zwar (nicht) des Grabes Finsternissen" 8' 13"

- Choral "Alleluja! Alleluja! Alleluja"" 0' 25"

Kantate "Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ", BWV 67
13' 32" D
Solo: Alt, Tenor, Baß - Chor

Corno da caccia; Flauto traverso; Oboe d'amore I, II; Violino I, II, Viola; B.c. (Violoncello, Violone, Organo)

- Coro "Halt im Gedàchtnis Jesum Christ" 3' 06"

- Aria (Tenore) "Mein Jesus ist erstanden" 2' 37"

- Recitativo (Alto) "Mein Jesu, hei'est du des Todes Gift" 0' 25"

- Choral "Erschienen ist der herrlich Tag" 0' 23"

- Recitativo (Alto) "Doch scheinet fast, da' mich der Feinde Rest" 0' 49"

- Aria (Basso) "Friede sei mit euch" 5' 14"

- Choral "Du Friedefèrst, Herr Jesu Christ" 0' 42"

Kantaten 65 - 68
Kantaten 66 - 67

Peter Jelosits (Wiener Sängerknabe), Sopran
Paul Esswood, Alt
Kurt Equiluz, Tenor Kurt Equiluz, Alt
Ruud van der Meer, Baß Max van Egmond, Baß

Tölzer Knabenchor Knabenchor Hannover
(Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden, Leitung) (Heinz Hennig, Leitung)

Collegium Vocale

CONCENTUS MUSICUS WIEN (Philippe Herreweghe, Leitung)
- Ralph Bryant, Zink

- Othmar Berger, Naturhorn LEONHARDT-CONSORT
- Hermann Rohrer, Naturhorn - Don Smithers, Naturtrompete in D, Corno da tirarsi
- Hans Pöttler, Posaune - Barthold Kuijken, Querflöte
- Ernst Hofmann, Posaune
- Ku Ebbinge, Oboe, Oboe d'amore

- Horst Küblböck, Posaune - Bruce Haynes, Oboe, Oboe d'amore

- Elisabeth Harnoncourt, Blockflöte - Marie Leonhardt, Violine
- Leopold Stastny, Blockflöte - Lucy van Dael, Violine

- Jürg Schaeftlein, Oboe, Oboe da caccia
- Alda Stuurop, Violine

- David Reichenberg, Oboe - Antoinette van den Hombergh, Violine
- Paul Hailperin, Oboe da caccia, Taille
- Janneke van der Meer, Violine

- Alice Harnoncourt, Violine - Wiel Peeters, Viola
- Walter Pfeiffer, Violine - Ruth Hesseling, Viola (66; 67/2)
- Peter Schoberwalter, Violine - Wim ten Have, Viola (67)
- Wilhelm Mergl, Violine - Brian Pollard, fagott
- Anita Mitterer, Violine (65/1,2,7; 68/1,5)
- Anner Bylsma, Violoncello
- Ingrid Seifert, Violine (65/6)
- Dijck Koster, Violoncello (66/1,6; 67)

- Veronika Schmidt, Violine (68/1,5)
- Richte van der Meer, Violoncello (66/2,33; 67/2)

- Josef de Sordi, Violetta - Anthony Woodrow, Violone
- Kurt Theiner, Viola - Gustav Leonhardt, Orgel

- Otto Fleischmann, Fagott - Bob van Asperen, Orgel (66/2,3; 67/2)
- Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Violoncello, piccolo

- Eduard Hruza, Violone Gustav Leonhardt, Gesamtleitung
- Herbert Tachezi, Orgel

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Gesamtleitung

Luogo e data di registrazione
Casino Zögernitz, Vienna (Austria) - novembre 1975 (BWV 65) / maggio e giugno 1975 (BWV 68)
Amsterdam (Olanda) - giugno 1976 (BWV 66 e 67)
Registrazione live / studio
Producer / Engineer
Wolf Erichson
Prima Edizione CD
Teldec "Das Alte Werk" - 8.35335 ZL - (2 cd) - 33' 20" + 44' 25" - (c) 1987
Prima Edizione LP
Telefunken "Das Alte Werk" - 6.35335 EX (SKW 17/1-2) - (2 lp) - 33' 20" + 44' 25" - (p) 1977

Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen (BWV 65) was composed for the Feast of Epiphany in 1724, Bach's first year in Leipzig. The anonymous text links up with the Epistle and Gospel of the day and gradually develops the lessons which the pious Cnristian has to draw from the Old Testament prophecy of the adoration of the Magi from Sheba (Epistle) and its fulfillment (Gospel). This thought process is arranged in two-part sections for each: chorus and chorale paraphrase (and symbolize) the Epistle and Gospel, being the Old and New Testament readings; recitative and aria of the bass turn to the practical application to the entire "host of Christians"; recitative and aria of the tenor develop the turning of the individual to the Redeemer, which is ultimately taken up by the voice of the congregation in the chorale.
From a musical point of view the work is a Christmastide Cantata par excellence: splendid in its setting, festive in expression, with its dancelike character playing a special role. The grand opening chorus paints, in the 12/8 time so common to Christmas, the multitudes arriving, ”all coming from Sheba,” first in powerful imitation and sound crescendo, then in chorale fugue tonally building up again right up to the abridged full-texture ritornello of the beginning. The first chorale displays in its tonal richness, especially in the concluding line, another reflection of this splendid movement - the reduction, as it were, of the great multitude to three Magi. The bass aria adopts the festive, singular sound which marks the entire cantata. The use of two oboes da caccia is just as unusual in this movement when heard in the deprecating motif of the first measures (”Gold aus Ophir ist zu schlecht"), the same motif frequently recurring in the instrumental parts. The tenor aria returns to the full orchestral sound and intensifies the note of joyful abandon to the degree of dancelike ecstasy. The response to this is the final chorus in which the ecstatic individual no longer speaks, but, instead, the congregation, united in faith, in its quite simple cantional style, indicating another aspect of Christmas piousness - quiet contemplation and inner warrnth.
Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen (BWV 66) probably also belongs to Bach's first Leipzig annual cantata cycle, and was thus prepared for Easter Monday, l724. Admittedly, it was not newly composed - for in its essentials the music goesback to a Cöthen birthday cantata, the text of which has been retained. The unknown Leipzig author had the thankless task in 1724 of inventing an Easter Monday text to Bach’s music. Undoubtedly it is due to the difficulties ol this task that the text does not deal more precisely with the Epistle or the Gospel for the day, but, rather, tends to circurnscribe the general rejoicing of Easter. In the detailed work, however, it makes clever use of some possibilities of emotional description and word painting.
The whole work is attuned to festive exultation and powerful contrasts, as was appropriate for a gratulatory cantata. The grand scale of the opening chorus is conspicuously similar to that of the Christmas Oratorio: very expansive da capo settings, instrumental and vocal brilliance in the main section, tonal reduction and at this point extraordinarily bold chrornatics in the middle section. The duet passages of the middle section were probably sung by soloists in the secular original, i.e. by the allegorical persons ”Glückseligkeit Anhalts” (Anhalt's Bliss) and ”Fama” (Repute) A brief accornpagnato leads on to the bass aria, which in rneter, tonality and general sound is related to the chorus. Then ”Furcht" (Fear) and ”Hoffnung” (Hope) step forward to be heard, initially in a grand and rhetorically very carefully worked out recitative-arioso/duet-recitative block, and then in an elegant, wide-ranging homophonic duet with concertante violin. The cantata closes with a simple cantional chorale.
Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ (BWV 67) was composed for the Sunday Quasinmodogeniti, thus following Cantata No. 66 about a week later; as opposed to the latter; however, it is an original composition. The text, once by an anonymous author, develops with drastic vividness from the Gospel (the story of doubting Thomas) the contrast between the Christians who are continually under attack and the Redeemer in his unceasing struggle on their behalf. This culminates in Christ's highly dramatic “appearance” (”Friede sei mit euch” - peace be unto you) and the congregationßs concluding acknowledgement of Christ as the provider and guardian of outward and inward peace. Bach did not close his eyes to the suggestiveness of this exceptionally ingenious text. The cantata is one of the most magnificent works of the first Leipzig annual cycle, and from a formal and technical standpoint one oi the most original Bach cantatas altogether. The opening chorus spreads the text over two themes which are emotional and descriptive at the same time; from the chorale-like, stylised injunction "Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ” the word ”Halt” (hold) is also set off as the emphatic cry of the chorus. In form the movement is an ingenious and complicated entity in which symmetry and intensifying passages intermingle with each other: Sinfonia - chorus with independent instrumental writing - choral fugue with instruments - Sinfonia with chorus. The tenor and alto take over the following solo numbers. The tenor aria in which the attacks begin is answered with encouragement by the alto recitative, which is reinforced by the inserted chorale; the second alto recitative which immediately ensues again conjures up the picture of the oppressors. In the following choral aria, which almost stands alone in Bach's creative output, the ”action" reaches its climax: the tumultuous battle of the string prelude is answered by the vox Christi (for bass solo) with a threefold gesture of blessing, accompanied by mysterious woodwind sounds; the chorus then takes up the battle, singing its hymn verses into the tumult of the strings, constantly strengthened by the words of peace spoken by vox Christi, with which the splendid movement concludes. The chorale which closes the work acknowledges Christ as the bringer of peace.
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt (BWV 68) is part of the second Leipzig annual cantata cycle, composed for the Monday after Pentecost of 1725. The text combines church hymn, biblical quotations and strophic poetry (by Christiane Mariane von Ziegler, the writer from the Leipzig circle of Gottsched) into the highest degree of complex unity. The two aria texts sing of deeds of redemption by Jesus; only the recitative between them, and thus located exactly in the middle of the Cantata, provides a direct connection with the Gospel for the day (God sent Christ not as Judge but as Redeemer). The two framing pieces accentuate this reference in dillerent ways: peacefully and confident in different ways: peacefully and confident in faith in the chorale of the beginning, serious and dogmatic, almost menacing, in the Gospel quotation of the conclusion.
Just as multifaceted as the text, the composition provides an array of instruments to depict possible stances toward the text - these were instruments with which Bach was experimenting precisely in the years 1724/25 (horn, violoncello piccolo, oboes and ohoe da caccia, trombones and cornett). The opening chorus is one of Bach’s most original choral movements: the hymn melody appears, ornamented almost to the point where it cannot be recognised, and is embedded in a festive, dignified siciliano setting, which presumably is intended to rouse associations with the typical siciliano sphere of Christmas music and with it the miracle of Christ's birth. Because of their sprightly note, the two aria texts gave Bach an opportunity to fall hack on two arias from the Hunting Cantata BWV 208, although the Soparano aria underwent considerable changes. The ”subjective” joy of the individual Christian is brought off very effectively and, thanks to its melodic terseness, readily understood. In impressive contrast to this stand the ”objective" outer movements - the chorale and quotation from Scripture. Because of its form (double fugue in the tradition of the sacred motet) and instrumentation (cornett and trombones playing colla parte) the conciuding chorus takes on a marked archaic note, even more strongly accentuating the dogmatic severity of the text.

Ludwig Finscher

Nikolaus Harnoncourt (1929-2016)
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