Johann Sebastian Bach: Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51 – Voices of Music – Laura Heimes & John Thiessen

Voices of Music performs the first aria from the cantata “Jauchzet Gott in Allen Landen” (BWV 51) on original instruments. Featuring Laura Heimes, soprano, and John Thiessen, baroque trumpet. Voices of Music is directed by Hanneke van Proosdij and David Tayler.

Bach’s cantata is Italian in nature and makes extensive use of ritornello form within the larger framework of the Da Capo Aria. The original manuscripts are unusual in that they have “doublets” or extra parts for the strings, along with minimal solo and tutti markings. This performance features musicological research by Voices of Music into the works of Bach, and is also part of our Great Works series, which makes available exciting and historically based performances, along with editions of the music, free for teachers and students anywhere in the world.
Jauchzet Gott is the only cantata by Bach for both solo trumpet and solo soprano, and the highly virtuosic solo parts are demanding even by Bach’s standards. The soprano part covers two octaves and extends to high C. It is not known for whom the solo parts were composed; presumably the trumpet part was penned for the brilliant trumpeter Gottfried Reiche, and it is tempting to assume, as previous scholars have noted, that the solo soprano part was written for a visiting singer, as there was no known local singer at that time with a similar repertory. The first noted performance of the cantata was on the15th Sunday after Trinity, on 17 September 1730; the ms. is also marked “et in ogni tempo”, meaning that it could be performed at any time during the year. Although some scholars have drawn comparisons to music composed for the court at Weißenfels, the style and the scoring of the work seem most closely related to Italian composers such as Alessandro Scarlatti who composed many works for virtuoso singers and trumpet players . There is also the slim chance that Nicola Porpora, who had connections in Germany and visited in 1724, just prior to the date of BWV 51, or Caldara may have presented similar works. Nonetheless, at its core, the cantata is fashioned with Bach’s signature contrapuntal style.
Many authors have noted the resemblance in the opening and closing arias to the Italian concerto style, and for this reason, combined with the presence of the extra string parts and the soli and tuti markings, one can make a good case for doubling the string parts. In addition to the doublets, the original set of parts contains extra continuo parts, which we have assigned to the violone and archlute. We have added solo parts for the first violin where we think it is stylistically appropriate.
Pitch: A=415 Hz; temperament: Neidhardt 1724.

The Musicians and their Instruments

Carla Moore, baroque violin by Johann Georg Thir, Vienna, Austria, 1754
Maxine Nemerovski, baroque violin by Timothy Johnson, Indiana, 1999 (after Stradivarius)
Elizabeth Blumenstock, baroque violin by Andrea Guarneri, Cremona, 1660
Katherine Kyme, baroque violin by Johann Gottlob Pfretzichner, Mittenwald, 1791
Lisa Grodin, baroque viola by Mathias Eberl, Salzburg, Austria, 1680
William Skeen, five string baroque cello, Anonymous, Italy, c1680
Farley Pearce, violone by George Steppani, Manchester, 1985, after Amati, 1560
David Tayler, archlute by Andreas von Holst, Munich, 2012,
after Magno Tieffenbrucker, Venice, c1610
John Thiessen, baroque trumpet by Rainer Egger, Basel, 2004, after JL Ehe, III, 1746
Hanneke van Proosdij, baroque organ by Winold van der Putten, Finsterwolde,
Netherlands, 2004, after early 18th-century northern German instruments

Text and translations
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!
Was der Himmel und die Welt
An Geschöpfen in sich hält,
Müssen dessen Ruhm erhöhen,
Und wir wollen unserm Gott
Gleichfalls itzt ein Opfer bringen,
Daß er uns in Kreuz und Not
Allezeit hat beigestanden.

Praise God in all the nations!
All the creatures contained
In heaven and earth
Must praise his glory,
And we would now likewise bring an offering,
to him, our God.
For he, in the midst of affliction and distress
Has always stood beside us.

Original title: Dominica 15 post Trinitatis | et | In ogni Tempo. | Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen. | à | Soprano solo | 1 Tromba | 2 Violini | Viola | e | Continuo | di | Joh: Seb: Bach.

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