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SDG 118843183 01182Bach CantatasGardinerBach Cantatas GardinerVolume 21 SDG 118P 2006 Monteverdi Productions LtdC 2006 Monteverdi Productions Ltdwww.solideogloria.co.ukEdition by Reinhold Kubik, Breitkopf & HärtelManufactured in Italy LC13772Soli Deo Gloria721

CD 1 74:501-5 16:046-9 15:4110-14 19:5215-19 17:0420 5:34For QuinquagesimaJesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe BWV 22Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn BWV 23Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott BWV 127Sehet! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem BWV 159Appendix: Coro Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und GottRuth Holton soprano, Claudia Schubert altoJames Oxley tenor, Peter Harvey bassThe Monteverdi ChoirThe Choirs of Clare and Trinity Colleges, CambridgeThe English Baroque SoloistsJohn Eliot GardinerLive recording from the Bach Cantata PilgrimageKing’s College Chapel, Cambridge, 5 March 2000SDG118 FRONT WALLETCMYKThe MonSopranoDonna DKatharinAngharaElisabethElin ManSuzanneAltosDavid ClCharles HRobin TyLucy BalTenorsJulian PoVernon KNicolas RRobert MBassesJulian ClThomasMichaelRichard SJohn Sm

The Monteverdi ChoirSopranosDonna DeamKatharine FugeAngharad Gruffydd JonesElisabeth PridayElin Manahan ThomasSuzanne FlowersAltosDavid CleggCharles HumphriesRobin TysonLucy BallardTenorsJulian PodgerVernon KirkNicolas RobertsonRobert MurrayBassesJulian ClarksonThomas GuthrieMichael McCarthyRichard SavageJohn SmythThe Choir of ClareCollege, CambridgeDirector of MusicTimothy BrownSopranosIona ColtartJennifer DavisonJoanna HarrisVanessa HuntlyNicola IhnatowiczLouise KateckChristina SampsonAltosSuzanne AspdenMatthew OrtonJames RivettEmma ThompsonTenorsJohn HarteAlex JuppMatthew MoonPaul NaishBassesMaxwell Grender-JonesJeremy MarwellJonathan MidgleyJon SaundersReuben ThomasChristopher WestonThe Choir of TrinityCollege, CambridgeDirector of MusicRichard MarlowSopranosRachel BennettEugenie ChengPaula DownesHelen DeemingAnnie StewartJoanna HarrisRebecca WilliamsEleanor MajorJoanna WillmottHannah MalkinAltosMichael AllsopCatherine ArnoldEmily AttreeThomas BluntAdrian SandersTenorsAlastair BrookshawPaul CaseyChristopher LandauAndrew TortiseOliver MercerBassesThomas AllwoodStephen GarnerCharles LewisAngus McCareyAngus WilsonThe EnglishBaroque SoloistsFirst ViolinsAlison BuryAnne SchumannDebbie DiamondPenelope SpencerRebecca LivermoreSecond ViolinsLucy HowardAndrew RobertsJane GillieAlison TownleyViolasAnnette IsserlisLisa CochraneKatie HellerCellosDavid WatkinRuth AlfordDouble BassJudith EvansRecordersCatherine LathamMarion ScottOboesXenia LöfflerJames EastawayBassoonAlastair MitchellTrumpetGabriele CassoneOrganAlastair RossHarpsichordSilas John Standage

The Monteverdi ChoirSopranosLucinda HoughtonAngela KazimierczukCharlotte MobbsGill RossNicola JenkinKatie PringleElizabeth RobertsElin Manahan ThomasAltosElinor CarterWilliam TowersRobin TysonWilliam MissinTenorsRobert MurraySimon DaviesPaul TindallAndrew MackenzieWicksBassesJonathan BrownSimon OberstDaniel JordanCharles PottCellosMelanie BeckHelen VerneyThe EnglishBaroque SoloistsRecorderCatherine LathamFirst ViolinsMaya HomburgerNicolette MoonenPauline NobesSarah Bealby-WrightHenrietta WayneOboesMarcel PonseeleJames EastawaySecond ViolinsAdrian ButterfieldRoy MowattAlison TownleyAmelia BenjaminViolasAnnette IsserlisLisa CochraneColin KitchingNicolette MoonenDouble BassValerie BotwrightBassoonPhilip TurbettHornsRoger MontgomeryGavin EdwardsOrganHoward MoodyHarpsichordSilas John StandageCD 2 60:141-8 26:319-1112:0912-1721:25For the AnHimmelskön(For Palm SuWiderstehe d(For the ThirdWie schön le(For the AnnuMalin HarteliuJames GilchrThe MonteveThe English BJohn Eliot GaLive recordinWalpole St P

CD 2 60:141-8 26:319-1112:0912-1721:25For the Annunciation / Palm Sunday / OculiHimmelskönig, sei willkommen BWV 182(For Palm Sunday/Annunciation)Widerstehe doch der Sünde BWV 54(For the Third Sunday in Lent (Oculi))Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern BWV 1(For the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)Malin Hartelius soprano, Nathalie Stutzmann altoJames Gilchrist tenor, Peter Harvey bassThe Monteverdi ChoirThe English Baroque SoloistsJohn Eliot GardinerLive recording from the Bach Cantata PilgrimageWalpole St Peter, Norfolk, 26 March 2000

The Bach Cantata PilgrimagePatronHis Royal Highness,The Prince of WalesPrincipal DonorsThe Dunard FundMr and Mrs Donald KahnThe Kohn FoundationMr Alberto VilarDonorsMrs ChapellMr and Mrs Richard DaveyMrs FairbairnMs Juliet GibbsMr and Mrs Edward GottesmanSir Edwin and Lady NixonMr and Mrs David QuarmbySir Ian and Lady VallanceMr and Mrs Andrew WongCorporate SponsorsGothaer VersicherungenBank of ScotlandHuth Dietrich HahnRechtsanwaeltePGGM PensoenfondsData ConnectionJaffe AssociatesSinger and FriedlanderCharitable Foundationsand Public FundsThe European CommissionThe Esmée Fairbairn TrustThe David Cohen FamilyCharitable TrustThe Foundation for Sportand the ArtsThe Arts Council of EnglandThe Garfield Weston FoundationLauchentilly FoundationThe Woodcock FoundationThe Monteverdi SocietyThe Warden of the Goldsmiths’CompanyThe harpsichord used for theproject, made by AndrewWooderson, and the organ, madeby Robin Jennings, were boughtand generously made availableto the Monteverdi by Sir Davidand Lady Walker (harpsichord)and Lord and Lady Burns (organ).Our thanks go to the BachCantata Pilgrimage committee,who worked tirelessly to raiseenough money to allow us tocomplete the project, to theMonteverdi staff, Polyhymnia’sstaff and, above all, to all thesingers and players who tookpart in the project.The RecordingsThe release of the Bach CantataPilgrimage recordings has beenmade possible by financial andother support from His RoyalHighness the Prince of Wales,Countess Yoko Ceschina,Mr Kevin Lavery, The NagauneeFoundation and many otherswho answered our appeal. Wecannot name them all, but weare enormously grateful to them.For the help and advice in settingup Monteverdi Productions, ourthanks to: Lord Burns, RichardElliston, Neil Radford and FionaKinsella at Freshfields BruckhausDeringer, Thomas Hoerner,Chaz Jenkins, John Kennedy,Stephen Revell, and RichardSchlagman and AmandaRenshaw of Phaidon Press.Cantata BWV 1 was endowedby His Royal Highness,The Prince of Wales.Cantata BWV 182 was endowedby Mr and Mrs Andrew Wong.The Walpole St Peter concertwas sponsored by TheFoundation for Sport and the Arts.Recorded live in King’s CollegeChapel, Cambridge, on 5 March2000 (CD1) and St Peter’s,Walpole St Peter, Norfolk, on26 March 2000 (CD2), as part ofthe Bach Cantata PilgrimageProducer: Isabella de SabataBalance engineers: Everett Porter(Polyhymnia) (CD1); Jean-MarieGeijsen (Polyhymnia) (CD2)Recording engineers:Thijs Hoekstra (Polyhymnia),Mario Noza (Eurosound) (CD1);Everett Porter (Polyhymnia),Tiemen Boelens (Eurosound)(CD2) Tape editors:Sebastian Stein, Ientje MooijEdition by Reinhold Kubikpublished by Breitkopf & HärtelSeries executive producer:Isabella de SabataCover: Gao, Mali, 1986 Steve McCurry/Magnum PhotosSeries design: UntitledBooklet photos: Steve Forrest(p.6); with permission of theProvost and Scholars ofKing’s College, Cambridge(p.8); Martin P Hare (p.12)Übersetzung: Gudrun MeierP 2006 The copyright in thissound recording is owned byMonteverdi Productions LtdC 2006 MonteverdiProductions Ltd4th Floor, 11 Westferry CircusLondon E14 4HEwww.solideogloria.co.ukSoli Deo Gloria

Bach CantatasGardiner

Johann Sebastian Bach 1685-1750Cantatas Vol 21: Cambridge/Walpole St PeterCD 1 74:502For 53)Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe BWV 221. Arioso: Tenor, Bass e Coro Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe2. Aria: Alt Mein Jesu, ziehe mich nach dir3. Recitativo: Bass Mein Jesu, ziehe mich4. Aria: Tenor Mein Alles in allem, mein ewiges Gut5. Choral Ertöt uns durch dein Güte678915:41(6:56)(1:14)(3:20)(4:09)Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn BWV 231. Aria (Duetto): Sopran, Alt Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn2. Recitativo: Tenor con Choral Ach! gehe nicht vorüber3. Coro Aller Augen warten, Herr4. Choral Christe, du Lamm )Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott BWV 1271. Coro (Choral) Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott2. Recitativo: Tenor Wenn alles sich zur letzten Zeit entsetzet3. Aria: Sopran Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen4. Recitativo ed Aria: Bass Wenn einstens die Posaunen schallen5. Choral Ach, Herr, vergib all unsre Schuld

! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem BWV 1591. Arioso: Bass e Recitativo: Alt Sehet! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem2. Aria: Alt con Choral: Sopran Ich folge dir nach3. Recitativo: Tenor Nun will ich mich4. Aria: Bass Es ist vollbracht5. Choral Jesu, deine PassionBWV 127 Appendix20 (5:34) Coro (Choral) Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott3

CD 21234567860:14For the Annunciation/Palm Sunday/Oculi26:31 Himmelskönig, sei willkommen BWV 182(For Palm Sunday/Annunciation)(2:05) 1. Sonata(2:56) 2. Coro Himmelskönig, sei willkommen(0:30) 3. Recitativo: Bass Siehe, ich komme(2:30) 4. Aria: Bass Starkes Lieben(8:44) 5. Aria: Alt Leget euch dem Heiland unter(3:35) 6. Aria: Tenor Jesu, lass durch Wohl und Weh(2:43) 7. Choral (Coro) Jesu, deine Passion(3:24) 8. Coro So lasset uns gehen in Salem der Freuden12:09 Widerstehe doch der Sünde BWV 54(For the Third Sunday in Lent (Oculi))9 (7:54) 1. Aria: Alt Widerstehe doch der Sünde10 (1:25) 2. Recitativo: Alt Die Art verruchter Sünden11 (2:48) 3. Aria: Alt Wer Sünde tut, der ist vom Teufel4

12131415161721:25 Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern BWV 1(For the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)(8:08) 1. Coro Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern(0:59) 2. Recitativo: Tenor Du wahrer Gottes und Marien Sohn(4:04) 3. Aria: Sopran Erfüllet, ihr himmlischen göttlichen Flammen(0:49) 4. Recitativo: Bass Ein irdscher Glanz, ein leiblich Licht(5:54) 5. Aria: Tenor Unser Mund und Ton der Saiten(1:28) 6. Choral Wie bin ich doch so herzlich froh5

IntroductionJohn Eliot GardinerWhen we embarked on the BachCantata Pilgrimage in Weimar onChristmas Day 1999 we had no realsense of how the project would turn out.There were no precedents, no earlierattempts to perform all Bach’s survivingchurch cantatas on the appointed feastday and all within a single year, for us todraw on or to guide us. Just as in planning to scale a mountain or cross anocean, you can make meticulousprovision, calculate your route and getall the equipment in order, in the endyou have to deal with whatever theelements – both human and physical –throw at you at any given moment.With weekly preparations leading tothe performance of these extraordinaryworks, a working rhythm we sustained throughout awhole year, our approach was influenced by severalfactors: time (never enough), geography (the initialretracing of Bach’s footsteps in Thuringia and Saxony),architecture (the churches both great and small wherewe performed), the impact of one week’s music on thenext and on the different permutations of players andsingers joining and rejoining the pilgrimage, and,inevitably, the hazards of weather, travel and fatigue.Compromises were sometimes needed toaccommodate the quirks of the liturgical year (Easterfalling exceptionally late in 2000 meant that we ran outof liturgical slots for the late Trinity season cantatas,so that they needed to be redistributed among otherprogrammes). Then to fit into a single evening cantatasfor the same day composed by Bach over a forty-yearspan meant deciding on a single pitch (A 415) foreach programme, so that the early Weimar cantataswritten at high organ pitch needed to be performedin the transposed version Bach adopted for theirrevival, real or putative, in Leipzig. Although wehad commissioned a new edition of the cantatasby Reinhold Kubik, incorporating the latest sourcefindings, we were still left with many practicaldecisions to make over instrumentation, pitch, bassfiguration, voice types, underlay and so on. Nor didwe have the luxury of repeated performances inwhich to try out various solutions: at the end of eachfeast-day we had to put the outgoing trio or quartetof cantatas to the back of our minds and move onto the next clutch – which came at us thick andfast at peak periods such as Whitsun, Christmasand Easter.The recordings which make up this series werea corollary of the concerts, not their raison d’être.They are a faithful document of the pilgrimage,though never intended to be a definitive stylisticor musicological statement. Each of the concertswhich we recorded was preceded by a ‘take’ of thefinal rehearsal in the empty church as a safety netagainst outside noise, loud coughs, accidents ormeteorological disturbance during the performance.But the music on these recordings is very much‘live’ in the sense that it is a true reflection of whathappened on the night, of how the performers reactedto the music (often brand new to them), and of howthe church locations and the audiences affected ourresponse. This series is a tribute to the astonishingmusicality and talent of all the performers who tookpart, as well as, of course, to the genius of J.S.Bach.7

Cantatas for QuinquagesimaKing’s College Chapel, CambridgeThis concert was significant in several ways.Firstly, it contained Bach’s two ‘test’ pieces for thecantorship at St Thomas’s in Leipzig, BWV 22 andBWV 23, designed to be performed either side of thesermon within a single service on 7 February 1723.Then Quinquagesima being the last Sunday beforeLent, it was accordingly the final opportunityLeipzigers had of hearing music in church before thestatutory tempus clausum that lasted until Vesperson Good Friday, and Bach seemed determined toleave them with music – four cantatas – that theywouldn’t easily forget. Thirdly, by coincidence, in2000 Quinquagesima fell on 5 March, thirty-sixyears to the day since I first conducted Monteverdi’sVespers of 1610 in King’s College Chapel as an8undergraduate. The Monteverdi Choir was bornthat night. I was pleased to be returning to King’sfor this anniversary, and to invite the four collegiatechoirs from which I had recruited the originalMonteverdians to join with us in the singing of thechorales at the start of the concert. Of these, thechoirs of Clare and Trinity Colleges respondedpositively. King’s Chapel seemed to work its uniqueGothic alchemy on the music, though, as ever, oneneeded to be on one’s guard against the insidious‘tail’ of its long acoustic which can turn even themost robust music-making into mush.St Luke’s Gospel for Quinquagesima recountstwo distinct episodes, of Jesus telling the disciplesof his coming Passion and of sight restored to ablind man begging near Jericho. Bach deals withthe first episode in BWV 22 Jesus nahm zu sichdie Zwölfe, which, judging by the autograph score,looks as though it were composed at speed inLeipzig itself; and the second in BWV 23 Du wahrerGott und Davids Sohn, which shows signs ofhaving been pre-composed in Cöthen. BWV 22incorporates dance rhythms and in its final choralemovement – an elegantly flowing moto perpetuo –pays stylistic homage to Johann Kuhnau, theprevious Cantor of St Thomas’s. It begins with a fluidarioso for tenor (qua evangelist) and bass (qua voxChristi) with oboe and strings, and then breaks intoa skittish fugal chorus to point up the disciples’incomprehension in the memorable words ‘and theyunderstood none of these things, neither knew theythe things which were spoken’. One could read intothis an ironic prophecy of the way Bach’s newLeipzig audience would react to his creative

outpourings over the next twenty-six years – in theabsence, that is, of any tangible or proven signs ofappreciation: neither wild enthusiasm, deep understanding nor overt dissatisfaction. Two dance-basedarias follow: a grief-laden gigue in 9/8 for alto withoboe obbligato (No.2), a gentle plea to be allowedto accompany the Saviour on his spiritual journeyto Jerusalem, and a passepied for tenor and strings(No.4), a prayer for courage and help in denyingthe flesh. The cantata concludes with a piacevolechorale setting over a ‘walking’ bass as a symbolof the disciples’ journey to fulfilment – nothing toarouse any suspicions here, nor to ruffle anycongregational feathers. Compared to some of theflowery words and unappetising imagery that Bachwent on to set in his first year in office, this librettois refreshingly straightforward and well-crafted –perhaps a ‘set text’ assigned to him by his clericalexaminers?BWV 23 is an altogether more solemn affair,and was written to be performed after the sermonand the distribution of communion. It has the feelof Passion music and indeed its concluding movement, a setting of the German Agnus Dei, seems tohave been tacked on to a pre-existing cantata onceBach arrived in Leipzig for his audition (it had earlierbelonged to his lost Weimar Passion setting andwould be recycled for the hasty revival of his St JohnPassion in 1725). The cantata emphasises the wayin which Jesus actively sought out the sick andhandicapped – and therefore social outcasts – andhealed them. Bach’s opening movement is a slowduet in C minor for soprano and alto with twin oboeobbligati (there are two blind men in St Matthew’saccount, 20:30-34). It is a long aria with a poignantappeal for compassion in the midst of misery, itschamber-like textures characteristic of Bach’sCöthen period – ornate and dense, and no easylisten for Bach’s critical assessors. It is followedby an accompagnato for tenor and strings with theoboe/first violin playing the Lutheran Agnus Deiwordlessly. The original ending of this cantata wasthe swinging, rondo-like chorus ‘Aller Augen warten,Herr, auf dich’ (No.3), in which the blind men’sprayer, now given to tenor and bass soloists, isinterspersed with the seven-fold appearance ofthe text from Psalm 145, all upon a bass line tracingthe contours of the opening melodic phrase of theAgnus Dei, now in G minor. Bach’s decision toappend his earlier Passion setting of the Agnus Deias a slow, mostly homophonic chorale was surelystrategically sound: it instantly displayed thebreadth of his stylistic and exegetical scope tohis future employers.A press report, by a ‘special correspondent’,appeared in the Hamburg Relationscourier: ‘On thepast Sunday in the forenoon the prince-appointedCapellmeister of Cöthen, Mr Bach, gave an auditionhere in the Church of St Thomas in respect of the stillvacant post of the Cantor, and the music he madeon that occasion was highly praised by all those whojudge such things.’ Peter Williams has made thespicy suggestion that the ‘special correspondent’could have been Bach himself – an early example of‘spin’ and self-aggrandisement. How one would liketo know from ‘those who judge such things’ whetherthey responded more favourably to the moreconventional (utilitarian, even) BWV 22, reminiscent9

of Kuhnau, or the more ingenious and sophisticatedBWV 23, with its Neumeister-style verse dividedinitially, like an Italian sonata, into three movementsdictated by compositional requirements and designrather than by the text.If Bach’s examiners had any lingering doubts asto the complexity of his music, or the charge of itsbeing ‘bombastic and confused’ (as J A Scheibewas famously to describe it), what would they makeof the later pair of cantatas composed for this sameSunday two and six years later, in 1725 (BWV 127)and 1729 (BWV 159)? What Laurence Dreyfus callsBach’s ‘indomitable inventive spirit’ led him duringthe course of the next few years – as we arediscovering with each fresh instalment of weeklycantatas – to come up with a succession of works,each characterised by a colossally fertile musicalbrain and a prodigious musical imagination andcapacity for invention, all held in check by anunparalleled technical mastery of the componentparts; yet containing at the same time music thatcould appeal to the senses and nourish the spirit.The opening movement of BWV 127 Herr JesuChrist, wahr’ Mensch und Gott is a case in point,an elegiac chorale fantasia in which Bach combinesPaul Eber’s hymn of 1562 with a text-less presentation of the Lutheran Agnus Dei and, in case thatwere not enough, several references in the bassocontinuo to the Passion chorale ‘Herzlich tut michverlangen’. There is nothing remotely bombastic orconfused in Bach’s composition of this movement;nor academic, smart-arsed or tendentious. It isarresting in its musical presentation of the dualismof God and man and the relationship of the individual10believer to Christ’s cross and Passion. I took theradical step of asking the Clare and Trinity choirs tojoin in by adding the appropriate German words tothe Agnus Dei strophes, since that reference wouldbe lost on a contemporary non-Lutheran audience.With undergraduate sopranos and altos on oppositewings of the centrally arrayed Monteverdi Choir, thewhole movement acquired the proportions of achoral triptych (or a mini ‘Three Choirs Festival’);it sounded vibrant and stirring, and gave an inklingof how the St Matthew Passion might have soundedin the 1730s, its double chorus augmented by athird choir singing from the ‘swallow’s nest’ galleryin St Thomas’s. (For those who prefer their Bachuntampered with, we have included the originalversion as an additional track, recorded at ourfinal rehearsal.)The following recitative for tenor links theindividual’s thoughts on death to the path preparedby Jesus’ own patient journey towards his crucifixion and acts as a bridge from the F major chorusto the extended C minor ‘sleep aria’ (No.3). This isfor soprano with oboe obbligato – plus staccatoquaver reiterations by two recorders and a pizzicatobass line, the second occasion this year in which wehave encountered Bach’s use of pizzicato strings torepresent funeral bells. Then just in case anyonehappened to have nodded off in this mesmeric andravishing aria, Bach calls for a trumpet to add to thefull string band in a grand, tableau-like evocationof the Last Judgement (No.4), replete with tripleoccurrences of a wild 6/8 section when all hell islet loose in true Monteverdian concitato (‘excited’)manner. Theologically and musically this is highly

complex, sophisticated and innovative. It is alsoagainst the run of play of Bach’s second Leipzigcycle, where several factors combine to limit theavailable opportunities of experimentation with newforms: (a) the more uniform character of his libretticompared with the Biblical compilations of his earliercantatas; (b) the self-imposed task of composingnew church music each week and maintaining thatrhythm well into the second year; (c) the standardisation of cantata form caused by the popularityof the Neumeister type (chorus – recitative – aria –chorus); and (d) the frequent lack of imaginationshown by several of his librettists. Later on, ofcourse he did experiment, or, as Gillies Whittakerputs it, ‘we find examples where he seems to bereaching out to those plastic and connected groupsof movements with which Mozart achieved suchmiracles in his operatic finales.’The seven sub-sections of BWV 127 No.4 area good example: in essence this pairing of accompanied recitative and aria is made up of threealternating sections. First, there is an openingrestless accompagnato with no discernible tonalcentre, for trumpet and strings, painting the Dayof Judgment. Next, an arioso in G minor (‘Fürwahr,fürwahr’) quoting the choral melody on which thecantata is founded, and finally the 6/8 section withscurrying strings and trumpet fanfares to illustrateman’s rescue from the violent bonds of death. It is inthis last section that Bach quotes – or pre-echoes –the spectacular double chorus ‘Sind Blitze, sindDonner’ from the St Matthew Passion. Now, if thechorus predates the bass aria, that has fascinatingimplications for re-dating the St Matthew, whichuntil 1975 was thought to have been composed forGood Friday 1729, but since then has been broughtforward by two years. Was Bach already composingthe St Matthew in 1724/1725, during the time hewas engaged in composing his second Jahrgangof chorale cantatas? If so, it raises the possibilitythat he conceived the St Matthew as a kind of‘chorale Passion’, and certainly he makes rathermore extensive use of four-part chorales in theSt Matthew than in the St John, as well as writingextensive chorale movements to open and closePart I. But regardless of when precisely he beganthe St Matthew, it looks as if Bach’s initial intentionsat Leipzig were even more grandiose than scholarshave hitherto supposed, and that at his appointmenthe set himself the task of presenting his own music,mostly newly-composed, some of it re-cast from hisWeimar years, for at least the first two Jahrgänge,each cycle culminating with a Passion setting: highlycontroversial in the case of the St John in 1724, andin the case of the St Matthew, ground-breaking andfar more time-consuming than he had expected,and needing therefore to be deferred for a furthertwo years.Last in this Quinquagesima programme wasBWV 159 Sehet! Wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem,a five movement Stück to a text by Picander firstperformed on 27 February 1729. It opens in mediasres, as it were, with a dialogue for Jesus (the basssoloist) proclaiming the words in St Luke (18:31)‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem’, and the Christiansoul (alto) imploring the Saviour to avoid the fatebefore him (‘the cross is already prepared. thefetters await Thee’). The alto is accompanied by11

12Cantatas for the Annunciation,Palm Sunday and Oculiall the strings, while the bass’s words are givenover a disjointed ‘walking’ bass which stops afterthe drop of a seventh as though Jesus pauses on hisjourney, turns to his disciples and tries to alert themto his approaching trial and death. Again one sensesan instant affinity with the St Matthew Passion –the same Magdalene-like outpouring of grief andoutrage (‘Ach Golgatha, unsel’ges Golgatha!’), thesame librettist and the same elevated tone andintensity of expression.The similarities continue with the second movement, a flowing 6/8 aria for alto and continuo withthe sixth verse of the celebrated Passion chorale‘O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden’ by Paul Gerhardt(1656) sung above it by the sopranos. The fourthmovement opens with the words ‘Es ist vollbracht’ –that Bach should have set these words twice, first inthe St John Passion and then in this cantata, both somemorably and each time with such overwhelmingbut distinctive pathos, is something to marvel at.In this cantata version in B flat, for oboe, strings andbass soloist, time seems almost to stand still – evenwhen the singer’s words are ‘Now shall I hasten’ –radiating a solemn peace achieved through Christ’sresignation to his fate. This may be partly a functionof the exceptional richness of Bach’s harmoniclanguage – a frequent stressing of the subdominantkey, even the subdominant of the subdominant!The final chorale sets a stanza of Paul Stockmann’sPassiontide poem ‘Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod’(1633) to Vulpius’ tender melody, with wonderfullysatisfying chromatic harmonies over a lyricalbass line.Walpole St Peter, NorfolkAn isolated concert – the third Sunday in Lent(March 26 this year), for which we must be contentwith a single cantata, the near-coincidence with theFeast of the Annunciation (March 25), and a remotefenland church, perhaps one of the most perfect earlyperpendicular churches in England: there was alwayssomething special about this concert, even in its planning. Exactly two years ago, as guests of the Prince ofWales at Sandringham, we had been given a guidedtour of his favourite Norfolk churches. The one thattook my eye was Walpole St Peter, the ‘Queen of theMarshlands’, with its elegant pointed arcades andslender columns, its pale oak box-pews and raisedchancel, and the choir stalls with their beautifullycarved poppy-heads. I felt instinctively that it was the

right venue for this particular trio of Lenten cantatas.But how could His Royal Highness have known whenhe chose to be the sponsor of BWV 1, not only that itwas written for the Feast of the Annunciation but thathe himself would be in residence at Sandringham thatvery weekend, and would therefore ask to attend ourconcert in person?We assembled on the Saturday afternoon torehearse the three cantatas (BWV 182, 54 and 1) inthis ravishing but ice-cold church, the rain beatingdown on the roof and the bleak agricultural prairieland that is this corner of East Anglia. The sun cameout on the Sunday and provided the magical ‘play oflight on stone and wood’ which merited the five starsin Simon Jenkins’ book of England’s Thousand BestChurches. The Prince duly arrived and we greetedhim with Thomas Arne’s Drury Lane arrangement ofGod Save the King (1745), played not in the usualponderous and lugubrious way, but as an airy, lightfooted passepied. It was a fitting prelude to theelegant Sonata with which Bach introduces BWV 182Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, composed in 1714when Palm Sunday coincided with the festival of theAnnunciation. In effect the Sonata is a miniatureFrench overture for solo violin and recorder indialogue with a pizzicato accompaniment, faintlyevocative of Christ’s donkey-ride to Jerusalem. Withthe magical moment when the strings play an arcoswell for the first time, you sense yet again the coupde foudre of Bach’s first encounter with the music ofhis Italian contemporaries – Corelli, Vivaldi and others.A madrigal-like welcome song for chorus (No.2) –and, as I see it, the idiomatic use of concertisten, withripienisten joining as the strings and recorder enter –suggests a growing throng come to salute Christas God’s representative on earth. Seldom is Bachso freshly light-hearted. The music’s chamberproportions, gaiety and airiness seemed perfectlyattuned to the building. There is only one recitative(No.3), and that is more like an arioso, yet threesuccessive and contrasting arias which treatChrist’s forthcoming Passion as a source of spiritualinspiration, the bass (No.4) and tenor (No.6)addressing Christ directly, the alto (No.5) exhorti

2. Aria: Alt Mein Jesu, ziehe mich nach dir 3. Recitativo: Bass Mein Jesu, ziehe mich 4. Aria: Tenor Mein Alles in allem, mein ewiges Gut 5. Choral Ertöt uns durch dein Güte Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn BWV 23 1. Aria (Duetto): Sopran, Alt Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn 2. Recitativo: T