Pamela Dellal, mezzo soprano

 

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Bach Cantata Notes

BWV 192

Bach Nun danket alle Gott BWV 192 is a setting of three verses of the Thanksgiving Hymn of the same name, “Nun danket alle Gott” composed in 1730. The work comes to us from a set of parts but no score. The tenor part is missing and has been reconstructed by the turn-of-the-century Bach scholar Gunther Raphael. Stylistically the movements are strongly suggestive of Bach’s instrumental works. The most unusual characteristic of this work is that it contains two chorale fantasias. A single cantata containing two fantasias built upon the same chorale is rare, the only other being BWV 100.

 The first verse is a merry chorus with the chorale tune appearing in long notes not only in the sopranos but virtually every instrument of the orchestra. The ending of the movement is unique for a chorale cantata in that the sopranos join the other voices to assertively reiterate the opening words. A feeling of a gavotte-like dance pervades the soprano/bass duet.  This second verse presents the tune in an elaborated version in the soprano and bass and an independent melody in the instruments. The ritornello theme features a tentative, halting figure followed by joyful sixteenth notes that suggests the hesitant, yet eager footsteps of a child. A rollicking gigue melody reminiscent of the final movement of the Third Orchestral Suite dominates the last movement.  This simple hymn of praise is replete with the constant symbolic iteration of notes in groups of three, depicting the Holy Trinity.

© Craig Smith, with additions by Ryan Turner



Bach Cantata BWV 192 is a setting of three verses of the Thanksgiving Hymn “Nun Danket alle Gott.” The work comes to us from a set of parts but no score. The tenor part is missing and has been reconstructed by the turn-of-the-century Bach scholar Gunther Raphael. The first verse is a merry chorus with the chorale tune appearing in long notes not only in the sopranos but virtually every instrument of the orchestra. The duet that is the second verse presents the tune in an elaborated version in the soprano and bass and an independent melody in the instruments. A gigue-like rhythm dominates the last movement with a rollicking and dynamic close.

©Craig Smith