Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51

by Johann Sebastian Bach

Opera di Firenze http://www.operadifirenze.it

Florence, Italy
  • March 2023
    20:00 > 23:00
    3 hours

Antonio Vivaldi Concerto in re minore op. 3, RV 565 Johann Sebastian Bach Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51 Igor Stravinskij Pulchinella

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Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen BWV 51


The Composition

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landein BWV 51

Libretto written in german by N/A
Johann Sebastian Bach composed the church cantata Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen ("Exult in God in every land"[1] or "Shout for joy to God in all lands"[2]) BWV 51, in Leipzig. The work is Bach's only church cantata scored for a solo soprano and trumpet. He composed it for general use (ogni tempo), in other words not for a particular date in the church calendar, although he used it for the 15th Sunday after Trinity: the first known performance was on 17 September 1730 in Leipzig. The work may have been composed earlier, possibly for an occasion at the court of Christian, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, for whom Bach had composed the Hunting Cantata and the Shepherd Cantata. The text was written by an unknown poet who took inspiration from various biblical books, especially from psalms, and included as a closing chorale a stanza from the hymn "Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren". Bach structured the work in five movements, with the solo voice accompanied by a Baroque instrumental ensemble of a virtuoso trumpet, strings and continuo. While the outer movements with the trumpet express extrovert jubilation of God's goodness and his wonders, the central introspective aria, accompanied only by the continuo, conveys a "profound expression of commitment to God".[3] He set the closing chorale as a chorale fantasia, the soprano sings the unadorned melody to a trio of two violins and continuo, leading to an unusual festive fugal Alleluja, in which the trumpet joins. The Bach scholar Klaus Hofmann notes that the work, unusually popular among Bach's church cantatas, is unique in the demanded virtuosity of the soprano and trumpet soloist, and evidences "overflowing jubilation and radiant beauty".[4]
Movements The music is concertante and virtuoso for both the trumpet and the soloist. The first aria and the concluding Alleluja are in the style of an Italian concerto.[4] Dürr observes that the five movements are in five different musical forms: concerto, monody, variation, chorale fantasia and fugue.[2] The scoring is richest in the outer movements (with the trumpet), and reduced to just continuo in the central aria. 1 The first aria, "Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen" (Exult in God in every land),[1] is in da capo form, with extended coloraturas.[2][3] The theme, with a beginning in a triad fanfare, is well suited to the trumpet. It is first developed in a ritornello of the orchestra and then "constantly worked" in the soprano part.[4] 2 The only recitative, "Wir beten zu dem Tempel an" (We pray at your temple),[1] is first accompanied by the strings, a second part is secco but arioso.[2][3] The second part develops the idea of "von seinen Wundern lallen" (chatter about His wonders) in coloraturas of rhythmical complexity.[4] 3 The second aria, "Höchster, mache deine Güte" (Highest, renew Your goodness),[1] is accompanied only by the continuo "quasi ostinato"[2][4] which supports expressive coloraturas of the voice. The lines in the continuo, in constant movement in 12/8 time seem to constantly rise, towards the addressed "Höchster" (Highest) which appears as an octave jump down. Two extended melismas express gratefulness for being a child of God. The musicologist Julian Minchem notes that Bach is able to convey with modest means a "profound expression of commitment to God".[3] 4 The chorale, "Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren" (Glory, and praise with honor),[1] is a chorale fantasia, with the soprano singing the unadorned melody to a three-part accompaniment of two violins and continuo.[2][3] 5 The chorale leads without a break to a concluding fugal "Alleluja" with the trumpet, bringing the cantata to a particularly festive close.[2] The movement begins with the soprano and the responding trumpet, before the other instruments come in to build a "fine display piece".[4] Mincham summarizes: "The long flowing melismas leave one literally breathless with the sheer pleasure in, and energy generated through, the relationship with God."[3]

Johann Sebastian Bach

Short biography of the composer
Johann Sebastian Bach[n 2] (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music such as the Brandenburg Concertos; instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suites; keyboard works such as the Goldberg Variations and The Well-Tempered Clavier; organ works such as the Schubler Chorales and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor; and vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music.[2][3] The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After being orphaned at the age of 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph, after which he continued his musical education in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar, where he expanded his organ repertory, and Köthen, where he was mostly engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor (cantor at St Thomas's) in Leipzig. There he composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, and for its university's student ensemble Collegium Musicum. From 1726 he published some of his keyboard and organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened during some of his earlier positions, he had difficult relations with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by his sovereign, Augustus III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, in 1736. In the last decades of his life he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions. He died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65. Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint, harmonic, and motivic organisation,[4] and his adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include hundreds of cantatas, both sacred and secular. He composed Latin church music, Passions, oratorios, and motets. He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs. He wrote extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, and suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra. Many of his works employ the genres of canon and fugue. Throughout the 18th century, Bach was primarily valued as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities. The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals (and later also websites) exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works) and new critical editions of his compositions. His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including the Air on the G String and "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", and of recordings, such as three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's oeuvre marking the 250th anniversary of his death.


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