Roebuck Ramsden. ...John Garside
Produced by Peter Watts
Act 1: Roebuck Ramsden 's study,
Portland Place, London
Act 2: The carriage drive of a house near Richmond
Hector Malone, Jnr:
sung by The BBC Singers
(Margaret Godley , Margaret Rees , Maude Baker , Margaret Rolfe , William Macmillan , Emlyn Bebb , Stanley Riley , and Leonard Hubbard )
Conductor, Leslie Woodgate
The Coffee Cantata, No. 211
Ethel Hayden (soprano)
William Hain (tenor)
Benjamin de Loache (baritone)
Directed from the harpsichord by Ernst Victor Wolff on gramophone records
Bach's ' Coffee Cantata,' probably written for performance in his family circle, is a setting of a poem by Christian Friedrich Henrici playfully satirising the early eighteenth-century passion for coffee-drinking. Henrici was an old friend and collaborator of Bach's in the church cantatas; but he was originally a satirist and he first exercised his pen at the expense of the coffee-drinkers in a comic poem of 1727. Five years later he returned to the topic and Bach set the result to music.
There are three characters-or, rather, two characters and a narrator (tenor); a father, Schlendrian (bass), who is determined to cure his daughter, Lieschen (soprano), of her passion for coffee. He grumbles and blusters, and finally threatens that unless she gives up coffee she shall never have a husband. She counters by putting it about that ' no lover need come to the house unless he will promise to me in person, and insert it In the marriage settlement, that I am to be allowed to make coffee as I like.' And, needless, to say, she wins.
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