By Alfred Durr
A work-by-work observation at the Bach cantatas by means of the world's most renowned Bach pupil, now to be had in English for the 1st time. It comprises the entire cantata librettos in German-English parallel textual content. An crucial reference ebook for a person hearing, acting in, or learning any of the Bach cantatas.
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Extra info for The Cantatas of J. S. Bach: With Their Librettos in German-English Parallel Text
Noack, ‘Georg Christian Lehms, ein Textdichter Johann Sebastian Bachs’, BJ 1970, 7–18. development of the bach cantata 17 monody around 1600, two types of musical recitation had been established in Italian opera and solo cantata, on the basis of the originally quite formless speech-song with continuo accompaniment: the one dramatic in style, characterized by a predominance of text-engendered syllabic declamation, and termed ‘stile recitativo’; the other lyrical and with a melodic tendency, rich in melismas, increasingly articulated in form by the use of recurring passages, and designated ‘aria’.
The dramatic aspect of the serenata often results in duet passages which not only take a distinctive textual form, such as: Fama: GIückseligkeit Anhalts: ⎫ ⎬ Ich weiche ⎭ Ά nicht; du sollst · der Erden sagen: nun; ich will Nur Tugend kann Fame: Anhalt’s Felicity: ⎫ ⎬ I yield ⎭ Ά des Landes Wohl · erjagen. GIückseligkeit Ά not; you shall · say to Earth: now; I would Only Virtue can strive for Ά the land’s welfare. felicity. but also derive from it their peculiar musical design. Moreover, a reciprocal relationship with the instrumental concerto—so abundantly cultivated in Cöthen—is unmistakable: for example, in the division of the choir in BWV 66a and 134a into concertists and ripienists, and in the probable derivation of the Brandenburg Concerto No.
Since the same technique is found in aria composition, however, it would be more appropriately described by a less speciﬁc term such as Vokaleinbau (vocal insertion). It is by no means peculiar to Bach, but is seldom found as often and as consistently as in his works. It contributes to the uniﬁed motivic-thematic structure of extended portions of a movement, and thus to the demise of the old motet-like articulation in small units. When combined with fugue, a 20 introduction passage of choral insertion can take on the function of an episode between two expositions, or else that of the non-fugal continuation of a composition.