Cantata BWV 75
2011, February 3
JS Bach Cantata BWV 75: Die Elenden sollen essen
(The meek shall not go empty)
First Sunday after Trinity May 30 1723
Scoring: Trumpet, oboe I,II, oboe d'amore, violin I,II, viola, bassoon, Continuo
Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass
Bärenreiter vol 6; p 111
Reading: Epistle: 1 John 4:16-21
Reading: Gospel: Luke 16:19-31
Sacred Cantatas Vol 4
Conductor: Gustav Leonhardt
Ensemble: Leonhardt Consort, Knabenchor Hanover, Collegium Vocale, Gent
Soprano: Markus Klein
Alto: Paul Esswood
Tenor: Adalbert Kraus
Bass: Max van Egmond
Label Teldec 4509-91758-2
Liner Notes: Ludwig Finscher, 1977
Bach Edition (out of print)
Conductor: Pieter Jan Leusink
Ensemble: Holland Boys Choir, Netherlands Bach Collegium
Soprano: Ruth Holton
Alto: Sytse Buwalda
Tenor: Kent Schloch
Bass: Bas Ramsclaar
Label Brilliant Classics 93102/72
Bach Famous Cantatas vol 1
Conductor: Philippe Herreweghe
Ensemble: Ghent Collegium Vocale
Soprano: Carolyn Sampson
Alto: Daniel Taylor
Tenor: Mark Padmore
Bass: Peter Kooy
Label Harmonia Mundi 5908357
Recorded: December 2003 Date: 05/11/2010
Bach Cantatas vol 6
Conductor: Ton Koopman
Ensemble: Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra, Amsterdam Baroque Choir
Soprano: Ruth Ziesak
Alto: Elisabeth von Magnus
Tenor: Paul Agnew
Bass: Klaus Mertens
Label: Challenge 72206
Venue: Waalse Church, Amsterdam, Netherlands 04/1997 - 09/1997
Release Date: 02/01/2005
Bach Cantatas vol 8
Conductor: Masaaki Suzuki
Ensemble: Bach Collegium Japan
Soprano: Midori Suzuki
Countertenor: Yoshikazu Mera
Tenor: Gerd Türk
Bass: Peter Kooij
Label: Bis 901
Venue: Kobe Shoin University Chapel, Japan 05/1998
Release Date: 11/01/1998
Dürr p 381-387
Whittaker vol 1 p 181-195
Green p 170-173
Terry vol 2 p 284
Boyd p 138
Chafe p 27
In May, after Telemann and Graupner were excluded from consideration, Bach moved his family to Leipzig and took on the position of cantorate of St. Thomas Church where he would serve the rest of his life.
For the first two Sundays of his tenure Bach wrote a pair of companion cantatas, BWV 75 and 76. Since they were presented on different weeks and are both quite long, I am listening to them separately.
Dürr says in his description of BWV 75 It can hardly escape notice that in character, the arias have a certain affinity with dance. The tenor aria, no 3, might be viewed as a polonaise, the soprano aria ...no 5 as a minuet, and the alto aria...no 10...as a quasi-passepied.
Both BWV 75 and 76 are written in two parts, the first sung before the sermon and the second during communion, after the sermon. Both these cantatas have been analyzed extensively, by many authors. BWV 75 is written for the beginning of the Trinity season, so is the first cantata in the annual cycle starting on Trinity Sunday. The other half of the year, the Temporale season starts with the first Sunday of Advent. Chafe states that though Bach probably reordered his cycles to begin with Advent, the fact that their composition was six months out of phase affected the ways in which Bach articulated the beginning of the Trinity season. Thus...Bach's cantatas for the first and second Sundays after Trinity in 1723 appear very much to have been intended as a musico-theological "message" for his new community.
These two cantatas are both long and complex; I could go on listening and reading here forever. Overall I have enjoyed listening to this cantata; I am partial to Klaus Mertens for the bass parts, but enjoy Leonhardt's reading for tempo and dynamics. The oboe d'amore part in section 5, and all the oboe music, is special.
1 Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt: Chorus
Slow, majestic chorus, on Psalm 22:26. The piece is in two parts, the first from measure 1 to measure 67 in 3/4 time, which Boyd says is like a French overture, but sounds to me rather like a processional. The second part starting at measure 68 to the end at measure 105 is a fugue on the words "Euer Herz soll ewiglich leben." (Your hearts shall live forever). Ewiglich (eternally) is given a very long held note, while leben (live) is given a very extended melisma (14 beats, 41 notes).
2 Was hilft des Purpurs Majestät: Recitative bass
Emphatic rhetorical questions, with strings. The vocal line has large leaps and dissonances, especially at the beginning where there is a tonic pedal.
3 Mein Jesus soll mein alles sein: Aria tenor
A happy tenor sings Jesus will be his all.
4 Gott stürzet und erhöhet: Recitative tenor
Short and declamatory
5 Ich nehme mein Leiden mit Freuden auf mich: Aria soprano
Wonderful oboe d'amore part, in duet with soprano.
6 Indes schenkt Gott ein gut Gewissen: Recitative soprano
Short reading with organ accompanying.
7 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan: Chorale
Trumpets enter and play interludes in this very upbeat chorale.
Trumpet plays Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan with accompaniment of strings.
9 Nur eines kränkt: Recitative alto
Slow and dignified
10 Jesus macht mich geistlich reich: Aria alto
I like most Leonhardt's slow and deliberate tempo with the strings articulated, not legato. It most matches the mood of the previous recitative.
11 Wer nur in Jesu bleibt: Recitative bass
With continuo only. Seven measures, passing through five tonal areas, though I would not say modulation. I see A Major to b minor, a lovely chromatic passage to e minor, a move to a minor, to end in C Major. Whittaker sees the same except he sees D Major as the first area. Only Pieter Jan Leusink, of my recordings, holds the pedal points so you get the great dissonances.
12 Mein Herze glaubt und liebt: Aria bass
Alfred Dürr says, The least dancelike aria, and the most strongly influenced by the concerto [form],is the last, no. 12. The trumpet which takes no part in the opening movement and otherwise plays only the cantus firmus in the sinfonia that opens Part 2...is here...assigned an unexpectedly significant role. It opens the movement thematically, with the support of the string orchestra and thereafter comes to the fore with its virtuoso figuration. The bass timbre of the voice part, its wide and powerful intervals, and the radiant brilliance of the trumpet: all these things unite to give a most vivid illustration of the words 'My heart believes and loves...'.
The bass part alternates with the trumpet and strings to create the effect of a vocal concerto.
13 O Armut, der kein Reichtum gleicht: Recitative tenor
14 Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan: Chorale
Identical with 75.7.
Instruments and voices for each part
|1||Chorus, SATB, oboe I,II, violin I,II, viola, bassoon, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|2||Bass recitative, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|3||Tenor aria, oboe, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|4||Tenor recitativ, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|5||Soprano aria, oboe d'amore, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|6||Soprano recitative, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|7||SATB chorale, oboe I,II, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: specifies organ)|
|8||Sinfonia, trumpet, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|9||Alto recitative, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|10||Alto aria, violin I,II unison, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|11||Bass recitative, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|12||Bass aria, trumpet, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|13||Tenor recitative, continuo (NBA: not specified)|
|14||Chorale SATB, oboe I,II, violin I,II, viola, continuo (NBA: specifies organ)|
Biblical references for each part
References for the text: King James Bible, Luther Bible 1545
|1||Psalm 22:26||The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.|
|1||Psalm 22:27||Die Elenden sollen essen, daß sie satt werden, und die nach dem Herrn fragen, werden ihn preisen; euer Herz soll ewiglich leben.|
* The difference in the Psalm verse is because the German psalm is numbered from verse 2; the dedication at the beginning is numbered as verse 1.
Emmanuel Notes BWV 75.
Emmanuel Translation BWV 75.
Discussion from Bach Cantatas Website.
Recordingsfrom Bach Cantatas Website.
Classical.net discussion, Simon Crouch.
John Eliot Gardiner Cantatas Recording.
Discussion from Answers.com
Discussion from the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Julian Mincham's guide