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CHURCH CANTATA (No. 19)—BACH

Synopsis

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'Es ERHUB Sich Ein STREIT'
(' Then a tumult arose ')
Relayed from the Guildhall School of Music
The Singers :
KOEL EADIE (Soprano)
STEWART WILSON (Tenor)
STANLEY RILEY (Bass) THE WIRELESS CHORUS
The Players:
AMBROSE GAUNTLET
(Violoncello) Continuo
EUGENE CROFT (Bass) Continuo LESLIE WOODGATE (Organ) Continuo
THE WIRELESS ORCHESTRA
(Trumpets, Tympani, Oboes, Oboe d'Amore, Bassoons and Strings)
(Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON )
COMPOSED for Michaelmas, probably in 1726, this Cantata begins with an opening chorus whose strength and vigour are hardly ever excelled anywhere in Bach's music. It sets forth the battle of the hosts of Evil against the Archangel Michael, and the strife and tumult are illustrated with the most picturesque vividness. The text speaks of serpents and dragons assailing the gates of Heaven, and Bach makes great use of a writhing motive in the accompaniment; as the battle begins, it rises always upwards, but when we reach the point where Michael and his Angels prevail, the same motive is used in an upside down form, dropping down to the very lowest depths, to typify the overthrow of tho Evil ones. It is a device which in less skilful hands might well be childish; here it is used with real mastery.
The beautiful and tender soprano aria is finely accompanied, and in the song, ' Bide ye angels.' the angel theme, like that of the Pastoral Symphony in the Christmas Oratorio, is effectively used. The trumpet plays the old chorale, 'Ach, Gott, lass dein leib' Engelein' f 0 God, let thy dear angels '), and the effect is more striking than in some of the trumpet obbligatos which Bach wrote later. The final chorale is impressively accompanied with three trumpets and drums among the orchestral instruments.
I.—Chorus :
Then a tumult arose.
The hosts of the Evil one, Hell's angry legions
In fury assailed the Heavenly Regions. But the Angel Michael's sword
Drove them out before the Lord, Satan quaU'd beneath its blows.
II.—Recitative (Bass) :
Praise God I The Fiend is fled.
Th' unconquerable Michael's arm to victory his
Angel host hath led;
In chains did bind the Evil one and unto darkness throw him,
And Satan's place before the Lord no more in Heav'n shall know him.
Now have we nought to fear from him, Yea. though his awful voice affright us, The angels guard our heart, our soul. He can no more despite us.
III.—Aria (Soprano):
God sends His angeis to our aid; Nor ever can they fail us.
So may we go stiU unafraid, Though enemies assail us.
About us aye with shield and sword Are gather'd Angels of the Lord, Ev'n as a mighty army.
XV.—Recitalive (Tenor) :
How poor and weak is man, a sinful child ! A worm, his way is lowly.
See, how all merciful, the Saviour mild With loving care His children tendeth. His guardian angels holy
The seraphim's bright host,
When mankind needeth succour most To be his shield, He sendeth.
V.—Aria (Tenor) :
Bide ye Angels, by me stay t
Guide me still, though weak and humble, That my foot no more may stumble. Guide me, too, that I alway,
Songs of thankfulness mav bring Him, Ev'n as angels ever sing Him.
VI.—Recitative. (Soprano) :
So with the Angel's tender care about us ever Be it our care that evil thoughts and evil deeds affright them never,
So, shall we, when at God's beheat, Our enrthly life is ended, Unto our heav'nly Rest
By angel hosts be tended.
English Text by D. Millar Craig.
Copyright B.B.C., 1929.
Cantatas for the next four Sundays are :—
October 6. No. 6-
' Wo soil ich fliehen hin ? ' (' Whither shall I flee ? ')
October 13. No. 180—
' Schmticke dich, o liebe Seele. (' Rise, O Soul.')
October 20. No. 38-
' Aus tiefer Noth schrei tch zu dir * (' From depths of woe.')
October 27. No. 89-
' Was soil ich aus dir machen Ephraim ?' f What shall I make of thee, O Ephraim ')

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CHURCH CANTATA (No. 19)—BACH

2LO London, 29 September 1929 17.45






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