J S Bach


Bac 1

Aria: Hier in meines Vaters Stätte

from Cantata BWV 32

for bass (G-e'), violin and continuo

Price: £ 5.90

Bach’s church cantata BWV 32, Ich geh’ und suche mit Verlangen, was written for the Lutheran liturgy for the first Sunday after Epiphany, and relates to the gospel reading set for that Sunday – Luke 2, vv 41-45. This tells of the parents of the twelve-year-old Jesus searching for him in Jerusalem at the end of their pilgrimage, and finding him in the Temple in discourse with the teachers.

The recitative is based on Jesus’ reply to his parents “How is it that ye sought me? Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” The aria Hier in meines Vaters Stätte which follows reflects on the Temple as a spiritual home. The text is by Georg Christian Lehms (1684-1717), whose considerable literary output included five cycles of librettos for church cantatas. Bach set in all ten of his librettos.

It is thought that the work was first performed in Leipzig in 1726 on the first Sunday after Epiphany (January 13th), and it thus belongs to Bach’s third cycle of cantatas for the church’s year. The work is among five ‘Dialogue’ cantatas, which typically depict Jesus, sung by a bass, in dialogue with the soul, sung by a soprano. The aria of this present edition is remarkable for the freedom and lyricism of the violin obbligato.

Text and translation

Recitativo

Was ist’s, dass du mich gesuchet? Weisst du nicht, dass ich sein muss in dem, das meines Vaters ist?

What made you search? Did you not know that I was bound to be in my Father’s house?
Aria

Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte,  Hier, in meines Vaters Stätte,
 find’t mich hier ein betrübter Geist.  a troubled soul will find me.
 Da kansst du mich sicher finden  There you can surely find me
und dein Herz mit mir verbinden,  and unite your heart with me,
 weil dies meine Wohnung heisst.  for this is called my dwelling-place.
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Bac 2

Aria: Leget euch dem Heiland unter

from Cantata BWV 182

for alto (a-d''), recorder (or flute) and continuo

Price: £ 5.00

Bach’s church cantata BWV 182, Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, was written for the Lutheran liturgy for Palm Sunday, 25 March 1714.  The title (King of Heaven, be thou welcome) is associated with the gospel reading for that day, with its account of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  

The cantata belongs to Bach’s period in Weimar, and indeed began his first cycle of cantatas for the church’s year.  Others were produced at about four weekly intervals from then on.  The cantatas in this series show characteristics derived from the Italian style which Bach had begun to adopt.  In cantata No 182, for example, he introduces a recitative for bass, and the present aria for alto is in da capo form.

An editorial problem with this work stems from the fact that Bach wrote the continuo part for an organ at high pitch; to play it on a modern keyboard instrument in effect transposes the piece down a minor third, which puts the lowest notes of the obbligato below the compass of the treble recorder.This edition offers a recorder part which is as close to the original recorder part as possible.

The text of the aria Leget euch dem Heiland unter, is probably by Salomo Franck, the court poet at Weimar, many of whose texts Bach set.  Its exhortation to devotion, purity and dedication are reminiscent of the writing in the epistles of Paul to the early church communities.

Text and translation

Aria

Leget euch dem Heiland unter, Submit yourself to the Saviour,
Herzen, die ihr christlich seid. hearts, that would be Christian.
Tragt ein unbeflektes Kleid Put on a spotless garment
eures Glaubens ihm entgegen. of your faith placed in him.
Leib und Leben und Vermögen Body and life and power
sei dem König jetzt geweiht. be henceforth dedicated to the King
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Bac 3

Aria: Komm, du süsses Todesstunde

from Cantata BWV 161

for alto/mezzo (bflat - f''), two recorders, organ and continuo

Price: £ 6.00

Bach’s church cantata BWV 161, Komm, du süsses Todesstunde, was written for the Lutheran liturgy for the 16th Sunday after Trinity, but was also used for the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. It was first heard, at Weimar, on 6th October 1715. The cantata is from Bach’s period in Weimar, and belongs to the first cycle of cantatas for the church’s year, which he was contracted to produce. The cantatas in this series show characteristics derived from the Italian style which Bach had begun to adopt.

The text of the aria Komm, du süsses Todesstunde, is by Salomo Franck, the court poet at Weimar, who provided many of the texts that Bach set. The theme of welcoming death is a joyful rather than a sombre one. Its relevance to the Feast of the Purification may lie in the account of the aged Simeon’s joyfully embracing the child Jesus, whose coming is for him a sign that he may now take
his departure from life. The reference to the honey in the lion’s mouth is to Samson’s discovery of a hive of bees in the carcase of a lion, as recounted in the book of Judges, 14: 8,9.

This lovely aria has a notable feature in that a solo stop (‘sesquialtera’) on the organ is given a choral tune which Bach skilfully – one might say miraculously – weaves into the already complex texture of the music. The tune is a familiar one, often referred to as ‘The Passion Chorale’ because Bach used it in the St Matthew Passion. But Bach’s congregation were more likely to associate the tune with an earlier setting, of the words ‘Herzlich tuth mich verlangen’ (My heart is filled with longing to leave this world in peace), which accords with the theme of this aria.

Text and translation

 Komm, du süsses Todesstunde,
da mein Geist Honig speist
aus des Löwen Munde.
Mache meine Abschied süsse,
säume nicht, letztes Licht,
dass ich meinen Heiland küsse.
Come, sweet hour of death,
that my soul taste honey
from the mouth of the lion.
Make my departure sweet,
do not delay, last light,
that I may kiss my saviour.
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CVR 3564

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen

Cantata BWV 51

for soprano, trumpet in C & keyboard

Price: £ 6.90

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, BWV 51, was intended for the fifteenth Sunday after Trinity. If composed in 1730, as several scholars conclude, the first performance probably took place in Leipzig on September 17th in St Thomas' Church. owever the score indicates that it was also intnded for general use (und für alle Zeit).
Scored for solo soprano, trumpet, violins I and II, viola and continuo, it is one of Bach's rare cantatas which seem equally suited to the concert hall as to a liturgical setting.The virtuosic qualities required of both the soprano and the trumpet characterise this cantata as almost a double concerto in its first movement, and in the concluding Alleluja of the fourth movement.

CVR 3565

Three Arias for Bass Voice and Trumpet

Ich will von Jesu Wunden singen (BWV 147)
Auf, auf mit hellen Schall (BWV 128)
Grosser Herr, o starker König (BWV 248, Pt 1)

for bass, trumpet in C, & keyboard

Price: £ 5.50