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My apologies for the delay in posting this – the cantata for Trinity 9 (July 25, 1723 / July 24, 2016) is cantata 105 Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht.

In the previous episode of this special 1723 Leipzig Trinity series we saw how Trinity 8 marked the start of the shorter cantata, containing only around 6 movements instead of 10 to 14 movements. However, that weeks’ cantata was probably still based on earlier compositions. This means that cantata 105 Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht could be considered the start of the true Leipzig cantata.

Two striking “Leipzig only” features make an appearance in this cantata: clear references to Bach’s future Passions (see below), and the “corno da tirarsi” (slide horn).

Only three cantatas (Trinity 10’s cantata 46, as well as 162 and 67) show the full name corno da tirarsi written in the manuscript, but there are 27 cantatas from Leipzig requiring a corno in which that part is not playable on a natural horn, so must have been written for this corno da tirarsi as well. Cantata 105 is included in that group. Bach is the only composer who ever mentioned this instrument in writing, and most probably his principal brass player Gottfried Reiche was the only one who ever played it. After Reiche’s death in 1734 Bach did not write for this instrument anymore, and for repeat performances of any cantatas containing a corno da tirarsi part, Bach rewrote it for other instruments. Read more about this in Olivier Picon’s article on the “corno da tirarsi” from 2010

Herreweghe has recorded this cantata 105 Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht twice: first in 1992 (with soloists Barbara Schlick, Gerard Lesne, Howard Crook, and Peter Kooij), and again in 2012 (with soloists Hana Blazikova, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, and again Peter Kooij).

Though that first recording from 1992 is excellent, and the soprano aria on that recording has more character to my taste, I recommend the 2012 recording for the following reasons:

  1. At the time of the 1992 recording, no corno da tirarsi was available, which means that on that recording the tenor aria on that recording has an oboe accompaniment. The recording from 2012 does feature a corno da tirarsi in this aria.
  2. The “Herr, Herr” exclamations are more prominent in the opening chorus of the 2012 recording, and the tempo of the opening chorus is also a bit faster, which I like.
  3. The album, which includes three other cantatas, focuses on 1723 Trinity cantatas only, which of course is extra special for this blog’s special 1723 Trinity series.

Listen to this 2012 recording by Herreweghe on Spotify.

Listen to this 2012 recording on YouTube, by way of a playlist I created:

Support the artists and purchase this recording on Amazon (it’s always worth it, but this time you’ll get three more cantatas in that same album that will be discussed on this blog in the coming weeks!)

Read the German text with English translations here, and find the score here.

Listen for the “Herr, Herr” exclamations in the opening chorus. They will appear in the opening chorus of the St. John Passion in early 1724. The exquisite soprano aria has no bass instrument in the continuo. Bach will later use that feature more often in other Leipzig cantatas, to either show purity or uncertainty, and it is a strong feature of the Aus Liebe aria from the St. Matthew Passion. And last but not least: when I listen to the bass arioso from this cantata 105, I am strongly reminded of the bass arioso Am Abend da es kühle war from the St. Matthew Passion. The music is not 100% the same, but very similar, and there are also references in the text.

Other stunning features of this cantata 105: the strings accompanying the soprano aria illustrate the “shivering” and “quavering” in the text, and those same “uncertain” strings turn up again in the orchestra part of the closing chorale.

Wieneke Gorter, July 30, 2016.