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Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5

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Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5

Wo soll ich fliehen hin (Where shall I flee),[1] BWV 5,[1] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 19th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 15 October 1724. It is based on a hymn of the same name by Johann Heermann.

Contents

  • History and words 1
  • Scoring and structure 2
  • Music 3
  • Selected recordings 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6
  • Sources 7

History and words

Bach wrote the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the 19th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 15 October 1724.[2] It is part of his second annual cycle of cantatas, a cycle of chorale cantatas. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians – "put on the new man, which after God is created" (Ephesians 4:22–28) – and from the Gospel of Matthew, Healing the paralytic at Capernaum (Matthew 9:1–8).

The cantata text is based on the hymn in eleven stanzas "[2]

Bach first performed the cantata on 15 October 1724.[2] The autograph score to the cantata, now in the British Library, was once owned by Joseph Joachim [1].

Scoring and structure

The cantata in seven movements is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, tromba da tirarsi (slide trumpet), two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo.[2]

  1. Chorus: Wo soll ich fliehen hin
  2. Recitative (bass): Der Sünden Wust hat mich nicht nur befleckt
  3. Aria (tenor): Ergieße dich reichlich, du göttliche Quelle
  4. Recitative (alto): Mein treuer Heiland tröstet mich
  5. Aria (bass): Verstumme, Höllenheer
  6. Recitative (soprano): Ich bin ja nur das kleinste Teil der Welt
  7. Chorale: Führ auch mein Herz und Sinn

Music

Bach arranged the movements in symmetry around movement 4 as the turning point in the cantata between desolation and hope, a recitative, which receives added weight by the cantus firmus of the chorale played by the oboe. One line of the chorale stanza is sung unchanged: was ich gesündigt habe (the sins I committed).[1][2]

In the opening chorus Bach gave the tune in unadorned long notes to the soprano, reinforced by the trumpet. The vocal parts are embedded in an independent instrumental concerto. The motifs of the instruments, which also appear in the lower voices, are derived from the tune,[4] following the upward movement of its first line and the downward movement of its second line.[5] Both other recitatives are secco. The first aria is accompanied only by an obbligato viola illustrating the flow of blood, termed by John Eliot Gardiner the "gushing, curative effect of the divine spring" in "tumbling liquid gestures", summarized as "the cleansing motions of some prototype baroque washing machine".[4] The tenor sings the same figuration on the word wäschet (washing). Bach used the solo viola only rarely in his cantatas (twice, according to Boyd); he may have played these solos himself.[6] The second aria is accompanied by the full orchestra with the trumpet as a "ferociously demanding obbligato".[4] In sudden breaks it conveys the silencing of Verstumme, Höllenheer (Be silent, host of hell).[1] Different as the two arias are, the figuration in the second one is similar to the one in the first, interpreting that it is the very flow of blood which silences the "army of hell". The closing chorale is set for four parts.[2]

Selected recordings

Notes

  1. ^ "BWV" is Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, a thematic catalogue of Bach's works.

References

  1. ^ a b c  
  • ^ a b c d e f  
  • ^ "Wo soll ich fliehen hin / Text and Translation of Chorale". bach-cantatas.com. 2005. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  • ^ a b c d  
  • ^ "Chorale Melodies used in Bach's Vocal Works / Wo soll ich fliehen hin / Auf meinen lieben Gott". bach-cantatas.com. 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  • ^ Mincham, Julian (2010). "Chapter 20 BWV 5 Wo soll ich fliehen hin". jsbachcantatas.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  • Sources

    • Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5: Scores at the International Music Score Library Project
    • Wo soll ich fliehen hin BWV 5; BC A 145 / Chorale cantata Leipzig University
    • Cantata BWV 5 Wo soll ich fliehen hin history, scoring, sources for text and music, translations to various languages, discography, discussion, bach-cantatas website
    • Wo soll ich fliehen hin history, scoring, Bach website (German)
    • BWV 5 Wo soll ich fliehen hin English translation, University of Vermont
    • BWV 5 Wo soll ich fliehen hin text, scoring, University of Alberta
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