Thursday, November 22, 2012

J.S. Bach literally dances a jig –– in Church –– 
and gets away with it.

Now, Thank We All Our God


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Cantata: 
BWV 192 - Nun danket alle Gott (Now, thank we all our God)

First performance:
Leipzig - 31.10.1730

Concentus musicus Wien - Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Tölzer Knabenchor - Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden

Soprano:
Helmut Wittek (Tölzer Knabenchor)

Bass:

Thomas Hampson

Text and Translation:

http://webdocs.cs.ualberta.ca/~wfb/cantatas/192.html
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/IndexBWV4.htm

Recording (1987)

http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/H&L-Rec6.htm
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Performers/H&L-Rec7.htm

Painting:
Dance of the Villagers - Peter Paul Rubens

8 comments:

  1. He DOES deserve ALL the credit! :)

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  2. Bach was always one of my favorites. Beautiful and powerful music. Very uplifting.

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  3. Yesterday, I did a highly rewarding YouTube search for various musical settings and performances of Nun danket alle Gott (Now Thank We All Our God). I enjoyed listening to all of them, but Nicolas Harnoncourt's interpretation of Bach's Choral Cantata on the tune struck me as the most distinguished and inspiring.

    Since it was illustrated with the characteristically swirling "Dance of the Villagers" -- one of Peter Paul Rubens' most energetic, kinetic, and colorful paintings, I felt compelled to share it here at the blog.

    All of this was a happy discovery for me. I knew several organ pieces based on Nun danket all Gott, but had never experienced the Cantata before. Harnoncourt's was by far the most fully alive of several performances I listened to.

    Bach exhibits more exuberant energy in this twelve-minute outburst of joy and wonder than any rocket ship that ever made it to the moon and beyond.

    In this one small example of his many many marvels Bach quite literally danced a JIG -- in CHURCH! -- and got away with it.

    Music of this high a quality is a blessing of eternal significance for those with ears to hear it.

    ~ FreeThinke

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    Replies
    1. So very true FT.

      Some of the happiest and and most fulfilling moments of my youth and early adulthood was when I was playing classical and jazz on my trumpet. I regret now that I gave it up for other pursuits. But I can still enjoy the joys of enjoying truly fine music.

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  4. FT,
    I love it!

    I'll be posting this music on Sunday -- with a hat tip to you.

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  5. Thanks for that uplifting post, FT.

    I make no claim to being very knowledgeable of Classical Music but I do like Bach and Mozart and some Beethoven.

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  6. All I can say, Waylon -- and others -- just keep listening, and I'm sure an appreciation is bound to grow in you that becomes deeper and deeper with time.

    There has been a virtual BLACKOUT by the ENEMEDIA of most of the really great stuff. Awareness of music, art and literature of the highest quality has been deliberately driven out of our classrooms, our public square, and has certainly been all-but-banned n television, in "pop" music, and the movies.

    There is a reason for this, but many would call me a "crackpot" for saying what it is.

    Suffice it to say it has been a depressingly successful attempt to cut us off from GOD -- the Source of all true creativity, ingenuity, comforting, cheering, uplifting, inspiring thought and constructive endeavor.

    Militant secularism has given the would-be despots a much higher chance of achieving the Mind Control and eventual Enslavement of us all.

    Paradoxically, the intense self-discipline required to live a life devoted to God, as the embodiment and perfect expression of Life, Truth, Love, Intelligence, Principle, Soul, Spirit and Beauty, LIBERATES us from the intolerable burden of enslavement to selfishness, callousness, gross sensuality, and various forms of addiction.

    More than that it liberates us from the notion that we must live out our lives as helpless CHILDREN dependent on the arbitrary, often cruel caprices of an Almighty Nanny State.

    Bach, who probably worked harder in his sixty-five years than anyone who ever lived before or since, "quietly performed miracles" on a daily basis in humble circumstances that would see intolerably dreary and overly demanding to most of us.

    Not so! He never achieved great wealth, lived humbly, even meagerly, was under-appreciated by his employers, but HE KNEW WHO HE WAS and REVELED in it within himself without making the slightest show of pride or conceit.

    Bach may have been overall the best role model who ever lived. He FULFILLED his DESTINY.

    Very few of us could hope to make that claim.

    ~ FreeThinke

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  7. AOW, I am so glad you will be giving fellow bloggers and passersby yet another chance to hear this exuberant music.

    I must have listened to it a dozen times already, and frankly can't get enough of it.

    It positively FLOATS and takes FLIGHT.

    ~ FT

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