Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190

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Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Sing a new song to the Lord), BWV 190, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote it in Leipzig for the New Year's Day and first performed it on 1 January 1724. He adapted it in 1730 to Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190a for the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession.

History and words

Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the New Year's Day, which is also the Feast of the circumcision and naming of Jesus, and first performed it on 1 January 1724. The prescribed readings for the day are Galatians 3:23–29 and Luke 2:21, the prescribed circumcision and naming of Jesus eight days after his birth. The unknown poet, possibly Picander, refers only in a general way to the readings, he mentions the naming at the end of movement 4, "Jesu Namen" (name of Jesus), and he starts every line in the following aria with "Jesus". Otherwise his text stresses praise and thanks for the gifts of the past and prayer for further blessings.[1] The poet compiled for the opening chorus three verses from psalms, Psalm 149:1 and Psalm 150:4,6, and in between the first two lines of Martin Luther's Deutsches Tedeum (German Te Deum) Herr Gott, dich loben wir (Lord God, Thee we praise).[2] The words from the Te Deum appear again in the second movement, interspersed by recitative. The closing chorale is the second stanza of Johannes Herman's Jesu, nun sei gepreiset (1591).[1]

Bach performed the cantata again in the second half of the 1730s. Probably in Bach's revision process, parts of the original music got lost: for the first two movements only the vocal parts and the violin parts survived. Reconstruction of the missing parts was attempted by Bernhard Todt (1904), Walther Reinhart (1948), Olivier Alain (1971), Diethard Hellmann (1995),[3] and Ton Koopman.

In his Christmas Oratorio of 1734, Bach dedicated the complete Part IV for New Year's Day to the naming of Jesus, told in the one verse from the Gospel of Luke, first performed on 1 January 1735.

Scoring and structure

The cantata is festively scored for alto, tenor and bass soloists, a four-part choir, three trumpets, timpani, three oboes, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola, and basso continuo including bassoon.[1] The instrumentation is known from the extant closing chorale, although most parts of the first movements are lost.[4]

  1. Coro: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
  2. Chorale e recitativo (alto, tenor, bass): Herr Gott, dich loben wir
  3. Aria (alto, strings): Lobe, Zion, deinen Gott
  4. Recitativo (bass): Es wünsche sich die Welt
  5. Aria (tenor, bass, oboe d'amore): Jesus soll mein alles sein
  6. Recitativo (tenor, strings): Nun, Jesus gebe
  7. Chorale: Laß uns das Jahr vollbringen

Music

The opening chorus on three psalm verses and two lines from Luther's Tedeum is a complex architecture in three sections. A concerto Singet dem Herrn is concluded by the liturgical melody Herr Gott, dich loben wir in unison, a choral fugue Alles was Odem hat (Everything that has breath) is concluded by a similar Herr Gott, wir danken dir, the final section Halleluja is a shortened reprise of the first.

In movement 2 the liturgical melody is set four-part and interrupted by recitatives. The following alto aria is dance-like and simple, the duet is accompanied by an obbligato instrument which may be oboe d'amore or violin. Gardiner tried both, but chose a viola d'amore instead. Neither movement has a da capo. The strings intensify the prayer of the last recitative. The choir of trumpets marks the ending of every line in the closing chorale.[1][4]

Recordings

BWV 190a

For the celebration of the Bicentennial of the Augsburg Confession on 25 June 1730, Bach adapted the cantata to Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190a. The different text of Picander survived, published in 1732 in Ernst-Schertzhaffte und Satyrische Gedichte part 3, in Leipzig. The closing chorale was the third stanza of Luther's Es wolle Gott uns gnädig sein (1523).[2] The music is lost and can only be reconstructed from BWV 190, as BWV 120b, written for the same occasion, can only be derived from Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille, BWV 120.[1] Diethard Hellmann wrote a reconstruction in 1972.

  1. Coro: Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied
  2. Chorale e recitativo (alto, tenor, bass): Herr Gott, dich loben wir
  3. Aria (alto): Lobe, Zion, deinen Gott
  4. Recitativo (bass): Herr, wenn dein Evangelium
  5. Aria (tenor, bass): Selig sind wir durch das Wort
  6. Recitativo (tenor): Nun Gott, wir opfern dir
  7. Chorale: Es danke, Gott, und lobe dich

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Alfred Dürr. 1971. "Die Kantaten von Johann Sebastian Bach", Bärenreiter (in German)
  2. ^ a b Z. Philip Ambrose. "BWV 190a Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied". University of Vermont. Retrieved 18 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Bach, J. S.: Cantata BWV 190 Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied". Breitkopf & Härtel. 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2010.
  4. ^ a b John Eliot Gardiner (2009). "Cantatas for the Sunday after Christmas / St Bartholomew's, New York" (PDF). solideogloria.co.uk. Retrieved 20 December 2010.

External links