Hear the FABULOUS CAPEHART in a recording from LEIPZIG's ST THOMAS CHURCH recorded at the BACH Bicentennial celebrations. Cantata BWV 78 Jesu, der du meine Seele
Played on the 1946 CAPEHART Radio-Phonograph record changer.
More about the CAPEHART here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q342zZ...
The Choir of the St. Thomas church in Leipzig is perhaps the greatest, and certainly oldest choir in Germany. Over 800 years old, Johann Sebastian Bach was its most famous Thomaskantor from 1723 - 1750.
From his first year at Leipzig, the Kantata BWV 78 "Jesu, der du meine Seele" was composed in 1724 for the 14th Sunday after Trinity. It is based on a chorale by Johann Rist.
The 1950 Bach Bicentennial recording by the revered Thomaskantor Günther Ramin with his pupil Thomasorganist Karl Richter at the Harpsichord is the first complete recording of BWV 78 in German language.
This recording was apparently issued only once on a French LP in 1970, it is not available on CD.
I am showcasing here the famous movement two Alto & Soprano Duetto "Wir eilen mit schwachen, doch emsigen Schritten" not only to showcase the great fidelity of the Capehart Phonograph with the bell like quality of the boy soloists, but also to make this rare recording available to a wider audience.
We hasten with feeble, but zealous steps
o Jesus, o Master, to Thee for help.
Thou seekest out the ailing and erring faithfully.
Ah! hear us, Ah! hear us as we raise our voices
to ask for help.
Let Thy merciful face be our pleasure.
This text is, by an unknown writer based on Rist's mention in stanza two of Jesus seeking the lost sheep, is a puzzling and obscure non-sequitur.
Bach turns these dense lines into one of his most charming and sublime arias, using plenty of baroque oratory:
- the fleeting steps of the continuo
- the Seuftzermotive (sighs of longing) at "To Thee" and "Ah! hear us"
- the wild, dissonant harmonies of the "ailing and erring"
- and finally the final, glorious ornaments of "the pleasure of Thine face"
The East German Eterna 78s is of somewhat noisy shellac. Due to material shortages in 1950, East Germans still had to trade two old records for a new Schallplatte.
The singing of the boys is glorious: The effortless leaps into the high octave, the flawless execution of the dotted melody line and the written-out ornaments is simply astonishing.
This also seems to be the only recording ever, where the solos are not sung by a single soloist, but (probably 3) individual boy choristers per voice.
For more about Bach Cantatas, their performers and recording history check this great website:
The record has been recorded directly with a microphone from the Capehart, despite the surface noise I have not done any sound processing.
If you want to see more recordings with the CAPEHART Phonograph, check:
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