1 CD - 454 467-2 - (p) 1998



32' 28"

Dramma per musica zum Jahrestag der Wahl Augusts III, zum polnischen König am 5. Oktober 1734

Text: Johann Christoph Clauder

- Choir: "Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen"
8' 01"

- Recitativo (Tenor): "Wie können wir, großmächtigster August"
1' 13"

- Aria (Tenor): "Freilich trotzt Augustus' Name"
7' 56"

- Recitativo (Bass): "Was hat dich sonst, Sarmatien, bewogen"
1' 36"

- Aria (Bass): "Rase nur, verwegner Schwarm"
3' 50"

- Recitativo (Soprano): "Ja, ja! Gott ist uns noch mit seiner Hülfe nah" 1' 15"

- Aria (Soprano): "Durch die von Eifer entflammten Waffen" 4' 15"

- Recitativo (Soprano, Tenor, Bass): "Laß doch, o teurer Landesvater" 2' 30"

- Choir: "Stifter der Reiche, Beherrscher der Kronen"
2' 52"

26' 47"

Jagd-Kantatenzum Geburstag des Herzogs Christian zu Sachsen-Weißenfels

Text: Salomon Franck

- Recitativo (Diana): "Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd"
0' 42"

- Aria (Diana): "Jagen ist die Lust der Götter"
2' 02"


- Recitativo (Endymion): "Wie? Schönste Göttin? Wie?" 1' 06"

- Aria (Endymion): "Willst du dich nicht mehr ergötzen" 4' 22"

- Recitativo (Dianam Endymion): "Ich liebe dich zwar noch" 2' 21"

- Recitativo (Pan): "Ich, der ich sonst ein Gott" 0' 31"

- Aria (Pan): "Ein Fürst ist seines Landes Pan" 3' 15"

- Recitativo (Pales): "Soll den der Pales Opfer hier das letzte sein?" 0' 37"

- Aria (Pales): "Schafe können sicher weiden" 4' 02"

- Recitativo (Diana): "So stimmt mit ein" 0' 09"

- Choir: "Lebe, Sonne dieser Erden" 3' 03"

- Aria-Duetto (Diana, Endymion): "Entzücket uns beide" 2' 03"

- Aria (Pales): "Weil die wollenreichen Herden" 2' 52"

- Aria (Pan): "Ihr Felder und Auen" 2' 33"

- Choir: "Ihr lieblichste Blicke, ihr freudige Stunden" 3' 50"

Monika Frimmer, Soprano (BWV 208: Diana; BWV 215)
Lynne Dawson
, Soprano (BWV 208: Pales)
John Elwes
, Tenor (BWV 208: Endymion; BWV 215)
David Wilson-Johnson
, Bass (BWV 208: Pan; BWV 215)

, Direction


Luogo e data di registrazione
Henry Wood Hall, London (England) - Novembre 1996

Registrazione: live / studio

Executive producer

Clive Bennet

Recording producer
Hein Dekker

Balance engineer

Ko Witteveen

Recording engineer

Jan Wesselink

Tape editing

Tjeerd Veeger

Art direction

Ton Friesen

Prima Edizione LP

Edizione CD
Philips | LC 0305 | 454 467-2 | 1 CD - durata 67' 21" | (p) 1998 | DDD

Cover Art



Bach's secular cantatas are considerably fewer in numher than the sacred ones he wrote tor the Lutheran church services, and yet they span almost every period of his creative life. Some are known only from their texts, while others have been lost entirely. Of those that survive, the earliest is No. 208, Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd. It celebrates the birthday of Duke Christian of Saxe-Weissenfels, and most probably dates from 1713: Bach is known to have spent some days at the Weissenfels court that year, around the time of the duke’s birthday (23 February). He was then, however, in the permanent service of another, very dilterent duke, the pious and severe Wilhelm ernst of Saxe-Wiemar, whose castle at Weimar must rarely have resounded to such ioyful strains as we find in Bach's cantata. The court poet and librarian at Weimar was Salomon Franck, and it was he who supplied Bach with the words of Was mir behagt.
Duke Christian like many other European princes and potentates of the time, was passionately fond of hunting, and Was mir behagt (often referred to simply as the “Hunting” Cantata) opens with a recitative and aria in which Diana, goddess of the chase, proclaims hunting to be her only pleasure, and the sport of gods and heroes. It is unusual (although not otherwise unknown) for a cantata of this length to begin with a simple recitative, and it has been suggested that an early version of the opening movement of Bach's First Brandenburg Concerto possibly served as an introduction to the cantata, either at the first performance or at a subsequent revival. Certainly the parts for the two hunting-horns in Diana's aria find an echo in the concerto. As might be expected, the presence of Diana is little more than a device to lend an air of classical dignity to the proceedings. after the goddess's lover, Endymion, in a complementary recitative.aria, has complained about the way that Diana neglects him and thinks only of hunting. Diane explains that her behaviour is dictated by a desire to celebrate the duke's birthday, and Endymion, reassured, resolves to join her in that.
The rest of the cantata, for all its veneer of classical, is a barely disguised panegyric to the reigning duke. Pan and Pales pay their contrasting tributes in two further recitative-aria pairs; Pan is accompanied by the appropriately rustic sounds of two oboes and taille (tenor oboe), while two recorders lend an equally suitable pastoral tone to Pales' "Schafe können sicher weiden" (No. 9), well known in numerous instrumental arrangements. after an energetic "chorus" (in reality an ensemble for the four vocal soloists), the celebrations continue in the promised duet from Diana and Endymion, two further arias for pales and Pan, and a second "chorus" in which the hotns are again prominent.
Pales’ ”WeiI die wollenreichen Herden” (No. 13) is particularly noteworth for the way that Bach, a decade or so later, reworked it as an aria in the sacred cantata Also hat Gott die Welt geliebt (No. 68) by retaining the bass and fitting to it a completely new vocal line. The result was the aria well known among English speakers as "My heart ever faithful." Pan is first aria was also adapted for the same cantata, and in 1728 or 1729 the final number was used as the opening chorus of Cantata No. 149, this time for soprano, alto, tenor and hass and with trumpets instead of horns. A homage cantata, by its nature, did not easily lend itself to repetition, and Bach was not one to allow his music to fell into total oblivion.
In 1723 Bach moved to Leipzig as Thomaskantor and director of music to the city's four main churches. In 1729 he took over the directorship of a callegium musicum - a performing society supported mainly by students and amateur instrumentalists - which the composer Telemann had founded in the early years of the century. In doing so he was no doubt finding e new outlet for his creativity after some six years devoted mainly to the composition and performance of cantatas, Passions and other works for the Lutheran lityrgy; but he was also making a shrewd political move. The collegium musicum held its regular weekly meetings at Gottfried Zimmermann's coffee house in the city, but the society was also responsible for providing music to celebrate various events and anniversaries connected with the Saxon court in Dresden. Bach’s new activities therefore helped to bring him into close contact with the elector and his highly placed officials.
On 2 October 1734 it was announced that elector Friedrich August II was to visit Leipzig in Just three days‘ time. Normally this would have allowed Bach little time to prepare the customary musical homage, but it is likely in this case that he had already planned to perform the cantata Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen on 5 October, which was the first anniversary of Friedrich August's election as King of Poland. It would have been necessary, therefore, only to adapt the work for performance in the market place in front of the merchant's house where the elector normally stayed during his Leipzig visits. The occasion proved to be a particularly festive one, with 600 students forming a torchlight procession to the market place, but it has ever since haen linked with the demise of Bach's principal trumpeter, the 67-year-old Gottfried Reiche, who collapsed and died the following day as a result (it was said) of the torch smoke and his exertions the previous evening. The first trumpet does indeed have an important role to play in the cantata as part of an orchestra which includes also two other trumpets, timpani, two flutes, two oboes, strings and continuo.
The text of Preise dein Glücke is by Johann Christoph Clauder, a teacher at Leipzig University, and it is, of course, tailored to the particular occasion, which means that the work does not easily lend itself to revival in the concert hall. The opening eight-part chorus will, however, be familiar to many as an earlier version of what was to become "Osanna in excelsis" in the B minor Mass. The soprano aria "Durch die von Eifer entflammeten Waffen" (No. 7) was also put to good use later on as a bass arie in Part 5 of the Christmas Oratorio. The cantataßs other two arias are both substantial da capo structures, and a particular feature of the work (one which supports the idea that Bach had a reasonable amount of time to write it) is the careful composition of the recitatives, all but one of which have quite elahorate instrumental accompaniments.
Malcom Boyd