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Salomon Franck

Salomon (also Salomo) Franck, 6 March 1659  – 11 July 1725), was a German lawyer, scientist, and gifted poet. He was the librettist of some of the best-known cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach.[1][2]

Biography

Franck was born in Weimar. After studying law and theology at Jena he held government posts at Zwickau, Arnstadt, Jena and Weimar, where he died.[3] Records show that, as of 1702, Franck was secretary of the high Consistory, managing the numismatic collection and the library records for the court of Duke of Saxe-Weimar, William Ernest.

Franck had already written several secular cantata texts prior to his association with Johann Sebastian Bach, e.g. Himmelsflammende Wunschopfer, which was performed at Weimar castle in 1697. Franck also wrote many sacred texts. His earliest church-cantata texts were written in the older form, consisting of verses from the Bible and strophic songs. In 1711 he used for the first time the new form introduced by Erdmann Neumeister.[4]

In 1717, Franck published a collection of sacred texts titled Evangelische Sonn- und Festtages Andachten auf Hochfürstliche Gnädigste Verordnung zur Fürstlich Sächsischen Weimarischen Hof-Capell-Music in Geistlichen Arien erwecket von Salomon Francken, Fürstlich Sächsischen Gesamten Ober-Consistorial-Secretario in Weimar. Weimar und Jena bey Johann Felix Bielcken. 1717.

Collaboration with Bach

He wrote the text for Bach's earliest secular cantata (1713), Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd (BWV 208) in which, following the custom of the day, he drew upon mythological characters.[1] The cantata was composed for the 31st birthday celebration of Duke Christian of Sachsen-Weissenfels.

It is not known for sure when he began collaborating with Bach on sacred cantatas, as the author of some texts used by Bach is unknown. However, the collaboration between Franck and Bach was particularly active from 1714, when the composer was promoted to the post of Konzertmeister at Weimar, and embarked on the composition of cantatas for the Schlosskirche (court chapel) on a regular monthly basis. Bach adopted the new form of cantata, composing recitatives and da capo arias. In 1717 the composer left Weimar, but he continued to set Franck's words years later when based at Leipzig.

Texts set by Bach include those of the cantatas BWV 31, BWV 70a, BWV 72, BWV 80, BWV 132, BWV 147, BWV 152, BWV 155, BWV 161, BWV 163, BWV 164, BWV 165, BWV 168, BWV 182, BWV 185, and BWV 186a.[5] He also most likely wrote the text for BWV 12, BWV 172 and BWV 21.

Works

  • Madrigalische Seelen-Lust über das heilige Leiden unsers Erlösers (1697)
  • Cycle of cantatas for the Liturgical year 1714/1715: Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer
  • Cycle of cantatas for the Liturgical year 1715/1716: Evangelische Seelen-Lust
  • Cycle of cantatas for the Liturgical year 1716/1717: Evangelische Sonn- und Fest-Tages-Andachten
  • Heliconische Ehren-, Liebes- und Trauer-Fackeln, Weimar, Jena (1718)

Texts set to music by Johann Sebastian Bach

probably by Salomon Franck (1714)

From Evangelisches Andachts-Opffer (1715)

From Evangelische Sonn- und Fest-Tages-Andachten (1717)

References

Sources

  • Ian F. Finlay. Bach's Secular Cantata Texts. Music & Letters, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Jul., 1950), pp. 189–195.
  • Alfred Dürr: Die Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bachs, dtv/Bärenreiter, München und Kassel, 6. Auflage, 1995
  • Christoph Wolff (Hrsg.): Die Welt der Bach-Kantaten, Metzler/Bärenreiter, Stuttgart und Kassel, 3 Bände Sonderausgabe 2006 ISBN 3-476-02127-0
  • Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini. Studi sui testi delle Cantate sacre di J. S. Bach. Università di Padova, pubblicazioni della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia, vol. XXXI, Padova & Kassel, 1956, xv-291.
  • Geoffrey Turner. Singing The Word: The Cantatas of J S Bach. New Blackfriars, volume 87, issue 1008, pages 144–154.
  • J. C. J. Day. The texts of Bach's Church cantatas: some observations. German Life and Letters, volume 13 (1960), num. 2, pages 137–144.
  • Harald Streck. Die Verskunst in den poetischen Texten zu den Kantaten J. S. Bachs. Dissertation: Universität Hamburg 1971, 214 pages.

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