Talk:Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4

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Featured article Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4 is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 27, 2016.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
December 21, 2015 Good article nominee Listed
March 11, 2016 Featured article candidate Promoted
Did You Know
Current status: Featured article

Archived discussions[edit]

I have archived earlier, acrimonious debates on aspects of the article's content, in the hope that after the the soon-to-be-completed ANI, a more cooperative and collegial approach will be adopted in future discussions of possible amendments to the article. I am also restoring the article page to what it was on 26 April last, before the previous round of discussions began. This may mean that a few non-contentious changes will have been reverted, but that can easily be righted. The main point is that this is a recently promoted FA and TFA, supposedly an example of our "best work", and it should not be presented to the world in a state of disorder while content issues are resolved.

I have done this as a housekeeping arrangement, not as a judgement on the worthiness or otherwise of the changes tht have been proposed. That is a matter for the content experts to decide, now with a clean sheet and, hopefully, an atmosphere of mutual respect. Brianboulton (talk) 15:37, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

Scoring and style[edit]

These paragraphs were removed from the article:

The scoring of the Christ lag in Todes Banden cantata has been described as "archaic"[1] and its style "medieval":[2]

  • String section: for the cantata Bach uses a string section consisting of two violin parts (Vl), two viola (Va) parts and continuo: this indicates an older practice as for instance found in 17th-century church cantatas by Bach's ancestors (see Altbachisches Archiv), and in Jesus Christus ist um unsrer Missetat willen verwundet, a Passion setting from the early 18th century (or older) which Bach had performed a few years after composing the Christ lag in Todesbanden cantata. In the first half of the 18th century the standard for a string section soon evolved to two violin parts, one viola part and continuo.
  • The cornett used in the cantata was an instrument that belonged to an earlier age: by the second quarter of the 18th century it had almost entirely disappeared from Bach's compositions.
  • SATB choral singing is still less distinguished from sections of the cantata where vocal soloists sing in ensemble:[2][3] this also is an older practice: in Bach's later cantatas there would be a clearer demarcation between choral movements and movements for vocal soloists (such as recitatives, arias, duets, ...).
  • Modal approach instead of the modern tonal system.[2]

Bach's 1730 description of what he expects from vocal and instrumental forces illustrates the later scoring standards: in this document a clear distinction is made between concertists and ripienists for the singers, no cornetts and trombones (presumably a 1724 or 1725 addition to the score of BWV 4)[4][5] are mentioned, and although Bach initially suggests two first viola players and two second viola players against four to six violin players in two groups, he ultimately asks only two viola players in total, without diminishing his requests for the violin players in two groups.[6]


  1. ^ Taruskin 2010, pp. 343–347.
  2. ^ a b c Zwang & Zwang 2005.
  3. ^ Bach, Johann Sebastian (composer), Luther, Martin (author), West, John E. (editor) and England, Paul (translator). Christ lay in death's dark prison. Novello & Co. (Plate No. 12053), c.1900–1905. OCLC 678916151
  4. ^ Dürr 1985, pp. V–VI.
  5. ^ Bach digital 1724 2014.
  6. ^ Bach, Johann Sebastian. "Kurtzer; iedoch höchstnöthiger Entwurff einer wohlbestallten Kirchen Music; nebst einigem unvorgreiflichen Bedencken von dem Verfall derselben." 23 August 1730. Translation: David & Mendel 1980, pp. 120–121.

Is there any problem with it? --Francis Schonken (talk) 10:05, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

"Problem" is saying too much, but I feel it's rather general about Bach's scoring than relevant to this particular work. I don't think the reader of this cantata, written in 1707, revived in 1724 and 1725, is helped much by the exact numbers Bach wrote down in 1730, written not about this particular work. Do we really know if he wouldn't use more viola players reviving a cantata which has two viola parts? I'd prefer Bach's 1730 writing somewhere general, Bach's scoring, not in every cantata.
I don't think the reader needs the cornett explanation, because we have a link. It was the typical soprano instrument in a trombone choir, old-fashioned but still in use. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:24, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
"Bach uses the limited types of instruments at his disposal for unusual combinations" etc. is general, and by being general incorrect for this cantata. There's no "unusual combination" of instruments for this cantata, unless when compared to later standards. "strings (in a combination described by Richard Taruskin as "archaic")[1]" etc. remains unexplained, and is incomprehensible for the reader, except when explaining the difference between archaic and more modern (1730) standards.
Afaik there's only one composition where Bach uses a cornett in the second quarter of the 18th century. The cornett article doesn't say anything about Bach using the cornett more often in the first half of his career than in the second half, nor is that level of detail required in that article. At least it is more relevant to this article, than the instrumentation used in other early cantatas.
In sum: (1) the description is rather specific, and would better replace more general descriptions that don't really apply to this cantata; (2) being specific on the cornett, the instrument used for this cantata, is more appropriate than the detail about antiquated instrumentation given in this article about other cantatas ("...two recorders and two viole da gamba in the funeral cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, also known as Actus Tragicus. He uses instruments of the continuo group as independent parts, such as a cello in Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich and a bassoon in Der Herr denket an uns.[2]").


  1. ^ Taruskin 2010, pp. 343–347.
  2. ^ Wolff 2002, p. 100.
--Francis Schonken (talk) 12:29, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
What do you think of changing

... consisting of strings (in a combination described by Richard Taruskin as "archaic")[1] and brass:

  • a choir of cornetto (Ct) and three trombones (Tb) playing colla parte to reinforce the voices at times,
  • two violins (Vl),
  • two violas (Va)
  • basso continuo.[2][3]

The vocal parts can be sung by soloists or a choir; for example, Hier ist das rechte Osterlamm, described as a bass aria, is sometimes performed by the basses of the choir rather than a soloist. The exact scoring of the first version is unknown, but it may have been similar to the surviving version.[4][5] The string accompaniment is consistent with the limited instrumental forces which Bach had at his disposal early in his career. No woodwinds are featured, unlike some of Bach's other early cantatas (for example, Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir, BWV 131).


consisting of strings, brass (playing colla parte with the voices at times) and continuo.[2][3] The scoring of the Christ lag in Todes Banden cantata has been described as "archaic"[1] and its style "medieval":[6]

  • The string section consists of two violin parts (Vl) and two viola parts (VA); this indicates an older practice as for instance found in 17th-century church cantatas by Bach's ancestors (see Altbachisches Archiv), and in Jesus Christus ist um unsrer Missetat willen verwundet, a Passion setting from the early 18th century (or older) which Bach had performed a few years after composing the Christ lag in Todesbanden cantata. In the first half of the 18th century the standard for a string section soon evolved to two violin parts, one viola part and continuo.
  • The cornett used in the cantata was an instrument that belonged to an earlier age: by the second quarter of the 18th century it had almost entirely disappeared from Bach's compositions.
  • Choral singing is less distinguished from sections of the cantata where vocal soloists sing in ensemble:[6][7] compared to the clear demarcation between choral movements and movements for vocal soloists in Bach's later works.
  • The harmony is often Modal, instead of the modern tonal system.[6]

The brass parts, a choir of cornetto and three trombones reinforcing the voices, may have been added in the 1720s. They may also possibly represent the original scoring, in the style of the 17th-century polychoral tradition.[5]

In the following table of the movements, ...

I still feel that mentioning the specific Passion music leads us (too far?) away (you decide). I made all four bulleted items sentences, reduced what seems overlinking to strings and choral singing, introduced "harmony", changed the comparison sentence slightly, please check. - Different question: when I link to Church cantata#Easter, I get an unexplained abbreviation BDW, - I think it needs a link every time, because readers jump in from other articles. While many will know what BWV stands for, they will not know BDW.


  1. ^ a b Taruskin 2010, pp. 343–347.
  2. ^ a b Bach digital 1724 2014.
  3. ^ a b Bischof 2015.
  4. ^ Bach digital 1707 2014.
  5. ^ a b Dürr 2006, p. 264.
  6. ^ a b c Zwang & Zwang 2005.
  7. ^ Bach, Johann Sebastian (composer), Luther, Martin (author), West, John E. (editor) and England, Paul (translator). Christ lay in death's dark prison. Novello & Co. (Plate No. 12053), c.1900–1905. OCLC 678916151

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:15, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Introduced in article[edit]

I introduced Gerda's proposal above into the article. Some cleanup would still be in order I suppose (e.g. harmonise abbreviations used in table) – but definitely an improvement. --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:46, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Article title[edit]

The article has once again been moved without obvious consensus (and is therefore likely to flare up again). It seems to me the consensus had been to use the (by far) most common spelling, which is Totesbanden, which is also correct German. Could we at least have a proper WP:RM (not an endless and acrimonious round-robin, but an official WP:RM) instead of unilateral actions and personal preferences on this? That's the problem with these kinds of issues -- they go back and forth and get confused and endless unless official discussions are enacted. Thank you. Softlavender (talk) 12:20, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

The article title is now as it was created, and as it was approved for FA, and as it appeared as TFA. It was moved boldly without a discussion, I reverted, it should THEN have been discussed, but was instead reverted again. It is now again as before the bold move, following WP:BRD. A change would need good reasons and substantial support in a RM.
The question is not how Todesbanden or Todes Banden is spelled anywhere, but specifically for this cantata, and even more specifically in the sources used for this article. Luther wrote two word, Bach wrote two words, the NBA (two words) deviated from the old (one word) for reasons. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:10, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
There was a seemingly overwhelming argument for Todesbanden in the various posts on this page which have now been archived, which indicates that an WP:RM would gain support for that spelling. That is why I am repeatedly suggesting that a WP:RM be enacted if those who desired that spelling still desire it. I have a feeling this is going to come up again, and the insanely lengthy and unresolved discussions that surround these issues without official discussions is not the way to go. Only an WP:RM is going to resolve the matter. Softlavender (talk) 13:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I am not against a RM, if this little difference in spelling matters enough to someone to start it, but confess that I'd rather write new content than deal with it. The article including its name was stable for years, until the undiscussed move. Several FA reviewers found nothing even questionable about the title. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:15, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
Let's make it one of the (minor?) points in the FAR. That has the "official" aspect Softlavender seems to prefer, with I suppose a closure and/or next step recommendation by a FAR coordinator, depending on where we get. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:07, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
As an FAR coordinator, I would recommend that if the title remains an issue of contention, it be dealt with outside of the FAR process. FAR is not intended as dispute resolution, and while there is potential impact on the article's adherence to the FA criteria if people are going to start move-warring over this, RM is more likely to get a good discussion on this specific topic than trying to treat it as a minor point in the FAR. Nikkimaria (talk) 01:46, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure why FAR is even being mentioned here. The article is not currently undergoing an FAR. But there is still heavily weighted opinion that the article title should reflect common usage. Instead of the constant back-and-forth moves and reverts, and the endless discussions that go nowhere, an WP:RM should be enacted if people, or anyone, still feel(s) the title should be changed. Softlavender (talk) 05:23, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Re. "Why FAR is ... mentioned": see Wikipedia:Featured article review/Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 4/archive1#Procedural: re-opening of FAR and WP:RM are linked.
The OP of the section here makes clear someone feels that "the title should be changed", so they could raise up to the challenge they set themselves.
For me it is equally viable to do the FAR first, and then see whether a WP:RM is still needed. I'd prefer that sequence for at least two reasons: (1) As long as this article keeps its FA status the argument that the title as FA'd "is right" can be used (the argument is used, see above); (2) The last two reverts away from the normal title resulted from forumshopping, so that should be undone without further ado and the WP:RM should be starting from the ...banden variant, if anyone wants to start it that way (without further forumshopping). --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:44, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The article was just promoted to FA 3 months ago. There is nothing anywhere to suggest that it would ever undergo an FAR. Move rationales have nothing to do with article rating (stub, B-class, GA, FA, whatever). Move rationales have to do with WP:NAME, and the result of a WP:RM is based on consensus and the strength therein of the variously cited WP:NAME rationales. Softlavender (talk) 05:57, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I tought that the discussion about the article title was closed. Is this rearguard action really opportune? --Réginald alias Meneerke bloem (To reply) 06:21, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
There were several discussions, and none of them were WP:RMs. In addition, none of the discussions were "closed" and even if they had been that wouldn't be binding because there was no WP:RM. Softlavender (talk) 06:23, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Re. "There is nothing anywhere to suggest that it would ever undergo an FAR": incorrect, the current FAR is "on hold" and the FAR coordinator has been clear that without counting the article titling issue, the FAR has enough body to reopen it.
I know what WP:RM's are about, and that only WP:AT-related rationales should count. And that "Several FA reviewers found nothing even questionable about the title" is not a sound argumentation in that sense. That's however not how WP:RMs proceed if you have any experience with them. In other words, I don't see much sense in holding a WP:RM prior to establishing, after due procedure, whether or not this was a failed FA the day it got promoted. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:39, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
"That's however not how WP:RMs proceed if you have any experience with them." That's not true; moreover, the title was never even remotely mentioned at this article's two-month-long FA candidacy [1]. -- Softlavender (talk) 07:09, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Yet "Several FA reviewers found nothing even questionable about the title" is used in the current discussion as an argument. And similar or other non-WP:AT arguments in the forumshops that were apparently necessary to get this page moved away, twice, from what one would expect per WP:AT.
Compare this WP:RM where non-WP:AT arguments were successful in arguing away a proposed page move.
But again, you were the one who wrote "an WP:RM should be enacted if people, or anyone, still feel(s) the title should be changed", so I don't understand what's keeping you from initiating a WP:RM. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:33, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
This current discussion is not a WP:RM. And there are no !votes and no consensus at all on the so-called RM you linked to. Softlavender (talk) 07:52, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
"This current discussion is not a WP:RM", indeed, I see you calling for one and then stalling to start one. --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:56, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Gerda stated at the top that "The article title is now as it was created", but that's not true. Here are the move stats regarding Todesbanden vs. Todes Banden:
  • The article was created in 2005 by Microtonal as Todesbanden [2]
  • A drive-by editor, FraKctured, moved it in July 2005 to Todes Banden after changing the lede: [3]
  • It was moved back in February 2006 by Microtonal to Todesbanden: [4]
  • Gerda moved it in April 2011 to Todes Banden: [5]
  • Francis moved it on 25 April 2016 to Todesbanden: [6]
  • Gerda moved it on 26 April 2016 to Todes Banden: [7]
  • Francis moved it on 26 April 2016 to Todesbanden: [8]
  • Meneerke bloem moved it on 11 May 2016 to Todes Banden: [9]
  • Francis moved it on 12 May 2016 to Todesbanden: [10]
  • Graham87 moved it on 21 June 2016 to Todes Banden: [11]
-- Softlavender (talk) 08:23, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry about the beginning, - I looked at the article title, not the lead, but that is obviously not the title then. I add a few moves in between. I also don't like the description of an editor as drive-by who added substantially. I agree with Kusma (ss>inserted above see below) that both are fine, so why change? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:45, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Gerda, I've removed your addition to my post. Please do not alter others' posts, per WP:TPO. Also, if you look at FraKctured's contributions, you'll see he was clearly an inexperienced drive-by editor, and he did not "add substantially" to the article [12]. Softlavender (talk) 11:01, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, once you had a chronological order I thought it made more sense there. Restored:
"Kusma moved it to two words on 2 June 2006 "move to traditional spelling, as in intro section and on dewiki", but reverted immediately saying "both seem fine, not sure anymore", had been added at 8:45. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:20, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
ps: I would have preferred to leave all editors without a label. FraKctured was the first to add recordings, that was a good addition. Experienced or not should not matter anyway, - we all started at some point. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:25, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── When writing articles on Bach's cantatas we use the canonical source by Alfred Dürr, published in 1993 in German; and in English translation by Oxford University Press in 2005 and 2006. With Christoph Wolff, Dürr was one of the leading Bach scholars; he was also principal editor of the Neue Bach Ausgabe. Although dead now, I assume that while alive he knew about German grammar and changes in German orthography. I used the 2006 book to write BWV 105. (I should add that I have edited the article on the Lutheran hymn Christ lag in Todesbanden and written content on one setting as a chorale prelude BWV 625; I found the 1724 image for the infobox here, although I am not a fan of infoboxes.)

The late appearance of the English translation undoubtedly adversely affected the article. As late as 2009[13], just before Gerda Arendt started editing the article, no sources at all were used for the article. So Softlavender's attempted chronology is misleading; it almost seems like an attempt to force bad editing practices on good editors.

In discussing edits to this article, we go straight to the scholarly sources. We dig out our copy of Dürr and turn to the relevant page. (Native German speakers like Gerda Arendt will doubtless have the German edition.) On page 262 of the English edition we find the orthography "Christ lag in Todes Banden" for BWV 4. So I think that is what we do in this article. I have also found Graham87, who has helped me in Bach articles, to be utterly reliable. Mathsci (talk) 10:09, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

There's no such things as a universal "we" on Wikipedia. All outcomes on any given article are decided by the appropriate official consensus-determining process (generally closed by an uninvolved admin if that official consensus is unclear), or WP:DR. There is nothing "misleading" about my move stats for the article; I've provided the diffs for each move. Softlavender (talk) 11:01, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
There is no universal "we", but a project Classical music, where the cantata titles were discussed, resulting in adding the BWV number to all of them, for a short disambuigation. I don't remember if we discussed what to use for titles (I remember the question of "?" in "!" in them), but what we - the editors of classical music - then did was: follow the NBA. Most of the titles - pre-defined before article creation for example in {{Bach cantatas}} - did that anyway, - this cantata was one of the few exceptions, until I changed it. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:14, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
expanding this: here is a link to discussions about Bach cantatas on Classical music. My approach from 2010, Bach cantata article names (again and again) was discussed by several users. It was not the first, nor the last of good discussions about related topics, there are many more in the same archive alone. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:05, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
Not relevant here, but I was interested: the German Wikipedia had also some time of the title in one word, from 1 January 2007 to 22 January 2007. Stable at two words, just with different disambuigation since. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:37, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The state of the article in 2009 underlines why we have to rely on the sources (for anything). Looking at the nearest of the four English copyright libraries, I can see which English language sources are available in book form on the early cantatas. Recent books include the short 1966 BBC guide of Westrup , the 1972 book of Robertson on church cantatas, the 2005 book of Dürr, the 1997 book of Woolf (The world of Bach cantatas: Bach's early sacred cantatas), the 1979 book of Whittaker, the 1989 book of W. Murray Young and the 2000 book of Eric Chafe on Analyzing Bach cantatas. There are of course all the older books (e.g. Terry) and other books about Bach, as well as journal articles. Of these books, Dürr is undoubtedly the principal source (but of course not the only one). Among the sources just mentioned, on page 56 of Wolff's book he uses the form Chris lag in Todes Banden. So given the choice between the views of the two eminent Bach scholars Wolff and Dürr and the unsourced views of an anonymous wikipedian, possibly from Boise, without hesitation I would choose Wolff and Dürr. Mathsci (talk) 13:08, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The first edit in which a source was added was on 12 April 2011, 6 years after the article was started.[14] Mathsci (talk) 14:12, 23 June 2016 (UTC)


Thus far this new round of discussion on the article title is proving ineffective for drawing a consensus nearer, and only further highlights its basic instability. Now we can continue to stall the FAR re-activation, but the chances that the article title would somehow miraculously stabilise prior to the FAR, so that "page name instability" can be dropped as one of the many reasons fleshing out that FAR, seems extremely unlikely.

I am prepared to give it a few more days, and I also commend Nikkimaria for inviting to give it another shot, but when "page name instability" is a legitimate FAR topic, it is unrealistic to expect it to be solved before the FAR becomes active. IMHO the page title can only be stable when it is where one would expect it to be according to WP:AT and related WikiProject discussions (which afaik never concluded in NBA superseding BWV for article titles). The discussion above continues to make clear that there is a persisting opposition to letting the article title stabilise on that more logical choice. --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:16, 25 June 2016 (UTC)

Can you explain why you feel FAR would be a better venue to discuss the titling than RM? I have not examined the arguments supporting each proposed title in detail, but it would seem to me that RM is tailored to examining AT and related issues, and would result in stabilization one way or the other. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:18, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
As Mathsci pointed out above, the article title was stable from the time when sources were introduced to the article (the first of them saying "Todes Banden"), until it was moved without a discussion, uniting two words to one, no more. I believe that we might have more important things to do than argue about whether to write "Todes Banden" or "Todesbanden", as both are sort of right, and I am sure that no reader will be confused when that is explained in the very first sentence (as it is now), supported by the sources for the article, namely the critical edition of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe and those who follow it. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 20:17, 25 June 2016 (UTC)
If left the choice between these two options:
  1. Proceed with the FAR now, and see about the WP:RM later
  2. Proceed with the WP:RM now, and see about the FAR later
I'd choose the first option. I gave two reasons for that choice above (see my second reply in this section), and could give more reasons if asked that question. I can not however answer the question "...why you feel FAR would be a better venue to discuss the titling than RM?" because that's not the way I feel.
That being said, anyone who feels that the WP:FAR should be postponed with at least another week can start a WP:RM (not as if anyone's permission is needed to start a WP:RM). Otherwise I see no further reason to stall reopening the FAR. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:33, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Looking at your reply above... point 1 only goes away if the FA is delisted, which isn't a foregone conclusion no matter what the title, and point 2 is irrelevant to the issue of whether to do FAR or RM first - it concerns which title ought to be the "default". My concern is that postponing a title discussion will complicate the FAR, either because commenters will try to argue what is essentially an RM within the FAR itself or because the lack of settled title will contribute to further instability which will make it difficult to resolve the FAR even if all other concerns are addressed. Nikkimaria (talk) 15:58, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Re. "point 1 only goes away if the FA is delisted": incorrect. Above the argument is used "The question is not how Todesbanden or Todes Banden is spelled anywhere, but specifically for this cantata, and even more specifically in the sources used for this article." (bolding added). One of the key issues of my original FAR proposal is that there is an unbalance in the sources used for this article. Once that gets sorted (for which FA delisting is no prerequisite), spelling as "in the sources used for this article" may turn into an argument for the Todesbanden variant. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:43, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
I think the FAR should be postponed for a while longer, perhaps to the beginning of 2017, to allow things to settle down. The article could be improved in the meantime. To be frank, I think an observer on Mars would be laughing at us for not having a mechanism to resolve the question of the title. --Thoughtfortheday (talk) 18:46, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
We do have such a mechanism: RM. Personally I don't care what the title is, was, or will be, but it is something we need to get sorted. Nikkimaria (talk) 19:30, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
OK, if that mechanism can produce a result, we should use it before the FAR. --Thoughtfortheday (talk) 19:43, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Giving discussions on this talk page a new chance before going to FAR is probably in the best interest of a swift improvement of the article's quality. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:43, 27 June 2016 (UTC)

Discography section[edit]

I'd replace (in the "Selected recordings" section):

Christ lag in Todes Banden was recorded early, and has been recorded often; as of 2016, the Bach-Cantatas website lists 77 different complete recordings, the earliest dating from 1931 when Lluís Millet conducted the Orfeó Català in Francesc Pujol's Catalan version of the cantata. The performance was recorded by La Voz de su Amo (His Master's Voice) and appeared on three 78 rpm discs.[1]


BWV 4: 1931 Catalan recording
La Voz de su Amo[2] His Master's Voice[3] Movement Audio[4]
AB 690 (side 1) 11178–A (M 120-1) 1–2a Flac
AB 690 (side 2) 11178–B (M 120-2) 2b
AB 691 (side 1) 11179–A (M 120-3) 3 Flac
AB 691 (side 2) 11179–B (M 120-4) 4–5 Flac
AB 692 (side 1) 11180–A (M 120-5) 6
AB 692 (side 2) 11180–B (M 120-6) 7

In 1931 Lluís Millet conducted the Orfeó Català in Francesc Pujol (ca)'s Catalan version of the cantata. The performance was recorded by La Voz de su Amo (His Master's Voice) and appeared on three 78 rpm discs.


  1. ^ Oron 2015.
  2. ^ Catálogo de discos "La Voz de su Amo": enero 1932. His Master's Voice, 1932, pp. 96–97
  3. ^ Bach, Johann Sebastian (composer), Luther, Martin (author), Pujol, Francesc (arranger, translator), Millet, Lluís (conductor), Orfeó Català of Barcelona (performers). Cantata No. 4: Christ Lay in Death's Dark Prison: Sung in Catalan with orch. Victrola, 1932. OCLC 49511727
  4. ^ The AHRC Research Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM)

--Francis Schonken (talk) 06:54, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

The Catalan recording is mentioned. The amount of detail you suggest seems undue to me. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:15, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Gerda, it's better to move this comment to the "Discography section" thread above to keep the discussion together. It doesn't belong as a subsection here. Voceditenore (talk) 09:13, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Moved to here --Gerda Arendt (talk) 11:45, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I think we have to be a bit careful here. In an early version of the article I put in a quite a lot of detail about Nadia Boulanger and her recordings, but I was asked to prune it as part of the FAR process. --Thoughtfortheday (talk) 10:21, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
I have moved the material about the Catalan recording to a new article on the discography, where I hope it will find a happy home.--Thoughtfortheday (talk) 10:22, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

Please revert unarchiving[edit]

Francis, please revert your un-archiving. Instead, make corrections, but please not more than one a day, to give us the opportunity to follow, and/or make suggestions here, with the same. Sorry, our capacity just for reading is limited. I guess I speak for myself, Thoughtfortheday and the many others who worked on this article.--Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:06, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

I have reverted this highly disruptive and unconstructive "unarchiving". Francis, if you wish to set up automatic archiving for the future, fine. Do not use that as an excuse to restore the unholy mess you had made of this page and the entirely unacceptable restoration of other editors' comments which you had re-factored in a grossly misleading way. Your behaviour here has already been the subject of an ANI discussion a month ago. Enough of this. Voceditenore (talk) 08:06, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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references/list/links issues[edit]

I'm following the approach as outlined at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 227#Redux:

--Francis Schonken (talk) 12:36, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

You refer to an archived discussion as if it was anything actionable. No consensus was found there. The tags to a FA, with a source review by Brianboulton, are a disgrace. Fixed two things but will be off for the rest of the day, so can't help. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:24, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Tags should not be used as weapons, to enforce a personal view. This is a featured article which has been through the required process. Doesn't mean it's perfect, but highlights the need for some cautioin. Francis: you need to drop the warrior mentality; raise your points neutrally, with due respect to others whose views differ from yours. Be prepared to accept solutions that might differ from your preference – that is the way Wikipedia works best. It might be that you are entirely right in your standpoint, but you need to gain a consensus rather than pursuing a one-on-one battle with Gerda. Please find a different way of conducting discussions. Meantime I am removing the tags, in the hope that we can establish a calmer mood for future discussion. Brianboulton (talk) 14:41, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

I am interested in some of the ideas suggested, eg standardised criteria for inclusion of recordings. I may be missing something, but I don't think we have a range of such criteria yet. Looking for notability in the conductors has been helpful in the past and I agree other criteria could be added. On the other hand, I am not sure that a good Gramophone review is necesarily a suitable criterion. Given the relatively poor sound quality of many historic recordings, I think this source is likely to direct its readers towards recent recordings.--Thoughtfortheday (talk) 15:08, 5 July 2017 (UTC)


Can we agree ...

  • ... that an archived discussion is just that, an archived discussion? There was no close requesting that anything has to be done. There were not many participants, and the few disagreed.
  • ... that we don't see a conflict between Francis Schonken and me, but if there's conflict, it's with the many editors who contributed to this article, by writing and reviewing, for many years, and long before I ever saw it? The FAC was not only by me but also by Thoughtfortheday.
  • ... that Bach Cantatas Website has been an acceptable source in this article, other articles on similar topics, and translations of this article to other languages, for many years? For recordings' choice see 2007. Bach Cantatas Website was EL from 2011. Recordings were not referenced until much later, because everyone seemed to know where they came from.
  • ... that the Bischof presentation is solid and with a good layout?
  • ... that the Grob site has valuable infomation about the cantatas, good enough for an EL?
  • ... that tags for a FA (which is watched by many anyway) are no service to a casual reader? I don't support tagging any articles, feeling that concerns belong on the article talk page and/or the project talk of a relevant project, here classical music

If we agree I propose ...

  • ... that we change the links to liner notes, from Bach Cantatas Website to the original publisher. I did that for this article for the Gardiner ref on BWV 4, while another Gardiner ref was already in that format. My approach would be to do it always for the upcoming Sunday of the liturgical year, and I started for the three Sundays after Trinity. Everyone interested in a speedier change is welcome to do so, however, it looks just the same for the reader.
  • ... that we support each Bischof ref by a second ref but leave it in place because of its better layout?
  • ... that we think about criteria for the selection of recordings? I typically found it already done when I met an article.
  • ... that we use Bach Cantatas Website for the recordings because - user-friendly! - it has the most precise and detailed listing on one page (or few pages)? We just exercised referencing individual recordings to different sources, and found them supporting the facts.
  • ... that we might separate the recordings listing in a discography article?

Replies to the above: the YouTube (not by me) was replaced by Voceditenore, the typo was fixed. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 15:25, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for these points which seem very helpful to me.--Thoughtfortheday (talk) 18:40, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
I agree that these are good points, worth acting on. It's always an excellent idea to separate the discography into a separate list, something that I generally sought to do in all my music articles, most recently with Alan Bush. I agree with Thoughtfortheday's suggestion that we should have standard criteria to determine the basis for selection in a discography, but I don't think the nature of the discography is relevant to the article's quality as a whole. (Printed composer biographies often include a "selected discography", which can be interesting but is often outdated). A rough-and-ready principle I've used in the past when compiling discographies is to include any obviously historic recordings. e.g. the first commercial release, but otherwise to concentrate on those that are still commercially available, for which I will consult websites such as Amazon and Presto Classical.
I would additionally say this, on the use of tags and maintenance banners. Their use should be restricted to cases where there are serious omissions or other obvious shortcomings in an article, e.g. swathes of uncited content, clearly inadequate sources, obviously non-neutral content and other major matters. Using them for no other purpose than to enforce a relatively minor point is disruptive. Sadly, this is not the first time that this article has been subject to peremptory treatment; this is what the then-recently-promoted FA had been reduced to on 19 May 2016, before I restored the promoted text in the hope of setting a basis for rational discussion. This appeared to work for a time... Let us try to sustain the more collegial approach this time round. Brianboulton (talk) 21:37, 6 July 2017 (UTC)
I am glad you are pleased with it. The table was mainly done by Gerda and the information about the Catalan recording came from Francis.--Thoughtfortheday (talk) 08:46, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
Thank you for the discography! I guess the introduction could also appear there, for readers who come directly to that article. - I don't deserve credit for the table, I only arranged what others assembled. Can't repeat enough that the article has many authors. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 10:10, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I have added an introductory para to the discography. There is still scope for expansion.--Thoughtfortheday (talk) 11:12, 9 July 2017 (UTC)