1 CD - 446 716-2 - (p) 1996


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750) GESCHWINDE, IHR WIRBELNDEN WINDE, BWV 201

58' 23"

Dramma per musica. Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan - Text: Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander)

- Chorus: "Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde"
5' 20"

- Recitativo (Phoebus, Pan, Momus): "Und du bist doch so unverschämt und frei" 1' 32"

- Aria (Momus): "Patron, das macht der Wind"
2' 24"

- Recitativo (Mercurius, Phoebus, Pan): "Was braucht ihr euch zu zanken?"
0' 45"

- Aria (Phoebus): "Mit Verlangen drück' ich deine zarten Wangen"
9' 06"

- Recitativo (Momus, Pan): "Pan, rücke deine Kehle nun" 0' 20"

- Aria (Pan): "Tanze, zu Sprunge, so wackelt das Herz" 5' 28"

- Recitativo (Mercurius, Tmolus): "Nunmehro Richter her!"
0' 43"

- Aria (Tmolus): "Phoebus, deine Melodei hat die Anmut selbst geboren" 5' 27"

- Recitativo (Pan, Midas): "Komm, Midas, sage du nun an, was ich getan!"
0' 48"

- Aria (Midas): "Pan ist Meister, laßt ihn gehn!" 5' 05"

- Recitativo (Momus, Mercurius, Tmolus, Phoebus, Midas, Pan): "Wie, Midas, bist du toll?"
0' 58"

- Aria (Mercurius): "Aufgeblasne Hitze, aber wenig Grütze"
6' 20"


- Recitativo (Momus): "Du gutter Midas, geh nun hin"
1' 06"

- Chorus: "Labt das Herz"
2' 52"


21' 08"

Serenata. Glückwunschkantate zum Geburstag des Fürsten Leopold von Anhalt-Köthen - Text: Anonymous

- Recitativo (Soprano): "Durchlaucht'ster Leopold, es singet Anhalts Welt" 0' 39"

- Aria (Soprano): "Güldner Sonnen frohe Stunden"
4' 10"

- Aria (Bass): "Leopolds Vortrefflichkeiten" 1' 32"

- Aria (Duetto: Soprano, Bass): "Unter seinem Purpursaum"
4' 15"

- Recitativo (Soprano, Bass): "Durchlauchtigster, den Anhalt Vater nennt" 1' 09"

- Aria (Soprano): "So shau dies holden Tages Licht"
3' 32"

- Aria (Bass): "Dein Name gleich der Sonnen geh" 2' 47"

- Chorus (Soprano, Bass): "Nimm auch, großer Fürst, uns auf"
2' 37"

Monika Frimmer, Soprano (BWV 201: Momus; BWV 173a)
Ralf Popken
, Alto (BWV 201: Mercurius)
Christoph Prégardien
, Tenor (BWV 201: Tmolus)
John Elwes, Tenor (BWV 201: Midas)
David Wilson-Johnson, Bass (BWV 201: Pan; BWV 173a)
Max van Egmond, Bass (BWV 201: Phoebus)

, Direction


Luogo e data di registrazione
Henry Wood Hall, London (England) - Novembre 1995

Registrazione: live / studio

Artist and reppertoire production

Clive Bennett

Recording producer

Hein Dekker

Balance engineer
Ko Witteveen

Recording engineer

Roger de Schot

Tape editors

Tjeerd Veeger

Art direction

George Cramer

Prima Edizione LP

Edizione CD
Philips | LC 0305 | 446 716-2 | 1 CD - durata 69' 08" | (p) 1996 | DDD

Cover Art

"Frühlingsabend" (1879) by Arnold Böcklin. Artothek/Budapest, Art Museum.


Bach's secular cantatas are few in number compared with those he provided for the Lutheran liturgy Most were composed to celebrate a particular event, such as a birthday, or as an act of homage to some notable dignitary. Once the occasion had passed there was little likelihood that the work could be used again in similar circumstances, unless some discreet juggling with the text was possible. Consequently many of them have been lost, or survive only in fragmentary form among the church cantatas and oratorios as “parodies,” fitted out with new, sacred texts to give them a further lease of life.
There were two periods in particular when Bach was called upon to produce secular works of this kind: the first was from 1717 to 1723, When he served as Kapellmeister to Prince Leopold of Köthen; the seond was in 1729-41. when he directed a concertgiving society in Leipzig. Each of these periods is represented by the works recorded here.
As Kapelltneister to Prince Leopold, Bach was required each year to celebrate New Year's Day and the prince's birthday (10 December) with a new cantata. It was for the latter occasion, probably in 1722, that he wrote Durchlaucht'ster Leopold, one of only two cantatas from this period to survive. As might be expected, the anonymous text has only one purpose: to flatter and congratulate the prince. In Italy at this time such a work would have been called a serenata, and it was in fact with this title (or, more precisely “Serenade“) that Bach headed the score now in the Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin. In 1724 he re-used the music of the first five numbers and the final "cor0" (in reality a duet) for the sacred cantata Erhöhtes Fleisch und Blut, and the aria "Dein Name gleich der Sonnen geh" (No. 7) also turns up in a church cantata (No. 175), dating from 1725.
One feature of the arias and duets in Durchlaucht'ster Leopold is their structural diversity. The duet “Unter seinem Purpursaum" (No. 4) is in fact unique in Bach‘s works - a three-strophe text set in a kind of variation form: the first strophe in G major for bass, with string accompaniment; the second in D major for soprano, with flutes and strings; and the third in A major for both singers, with violin semiquavers shadowing unison flutes. Even more striking, perhaps, is the dance-like character of many of the movements. The duet just mentioned is specifically marked "al tempo di minuetto"; No. 6 is in the style of a bourrée and No. 8 has the tempo and rhythm of a polonaise. The two duets in particular have unusually lengthy instrumental preludes and interludes, and it would not be fanciful to suggest that at the first performance homage was paid to Prince Leopold in dance as well as in song.
Bach’s Köthen years were followed by a period of intense activity in composing Passions, cantatas and other works for the main churches in Leipzig, where he became Kantor and Director of Music in 1723. His next major opportunity for composing secular cantatas came in 1729, when he took over the directorship of the collegium musicum that the composer G.P. Telemann had founded in the city of the first decade of the eighteenth century. As the principal secular music-making society in Leipzig, the collegium was called upon to mark civic occasions, such as a visit from the elector or the anniversary of his accession, by performing a work of the serenata type, and Bach himself composed several pieces for such occasions. But the society also met regularly for more informal music-making, and it was probably for one of these “ordinary” meetings that he wrote one of his best-known secular cantatas, Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan.
C.F. Henrici (better known as Picander), Bach’s regular librettist at Leipzig, based this cantata on an episode in Book II of Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, but both text and music invite interpretation as a defence of an established aesthetic at a time when change was in the air, even if the work can no longer be seen (as it once was) as a response to specific criticism of Bach‘s music made in 1737. Bach's autograph is now thought to date from about 1729.
Framed by two five-part choruses sung by the six soloists (the two basses sing in unison or octaves) and accompanied by a sumptuous orchestra of three trumpets and timpani in addition to the usual woodwind and strings, the contest between Phoehus (representing the Bach aesthetic) and Pan (the new trends) is conducted in a series of recitatives and arias. The two crucial arias are “Mit Verlangen" (No. 5) and “Zu Tanze. zu Sprunge" (No. 7). The first is a tender. expressive and delicately embellished melody sung by Phoehus to the accompaniment of flute, oboe d'amore and muted strings; the second is in it more straightforward. dance-like vein, simply accompanied by violins and continuo, expressing Pan's unsophisticated. rustic nature (Bach was later to transfer it effectively to the "Peasant" Cantata.
Similarly contrasted are the arias of the rivals‘ two tenor supporters. Tmolus seconds Phoebus with an aria (No. 9) which matches his hero‘s in suave expression and elevated style. Midas sides with Pan in a song (No. 11) whose naive cheerfulness earns him a pair of donkey's ears. (The braying of the donkey is twice suggested at the word “Ohren" (ears) by the violins and in the intervening ritomello by the continuo bass). The contest is supervised by Momus (soprano) and Mercurius (alto), whose arias are also strongly contrasted. The bluff geniality of Momus's well-known “Patron, das macht der Wind" inclines towards the Pan style, while “Aufgehlasene Hitze," with its more thoughtful tone, more elaborate accompaniment (with two obbligato flutes) and minor key, underlines Mercurius’s sympathy for the winning contestant.
Malcom Boyd