J. S. Bach, cantatas featuring violoncello piccolo solo - part 6
For the first time, undoubtedly in the continuo group!
On the 13th of May 1725, Bach again used the violoncello piccolo as an obbligato instrument in a cantata written for the 6th Sunday after Easter and titled: “They will cast a spell over you”, or, more literally “, They will ban you”.
One entire month separates the Cantata BWV 183 from the previous one. The violoncello piccolo solo appears here in the second number of the cantata. It is a tenor aria, in Molto Adagio, in the scheme ABA.
The original part is in tenor clef and is on an independent sheet. The violoncello piccolo introduces the aria, and since the entrance of the tenor they engage in dramatic dialogue. What is new in this cantata is that instead of what could be a pause or a tacet, whenever it doesn’t dialogue with the tenor, the violoncello piccolo doubles the continuo part.
Like many other arias, the C string is not used at all, so this is a part in the tenor range and adds to the continuo a tenor voice. Also, the G string is seldomly used. The proportions of notes on the fourth strings are similar to the previous two cantatas. From the 2nd of April (BWV 6) to the 13th of May 1725, Bach didn’t use the C string at all and used very little the G string. If present, the C string didn’t satisfy him. And probably he didn’t feel the G convincing as well.
The words of the aria are a statement of faith and braveness.
I fear not the terror of death
I don't shy away from any trouble.
Because Jesus' protective arm will cover me,
I follow him gladly and willingly;
If you don’t want to spare my life
And believe doing so to do God a service
He shall reward you himself
You can be sure.
News from da Spalla world
Do you like this video? Tomorrow the Glass Thistles will play live at the Bury Folk Festival!
Updates from our workshop
This week we visited friends in Cremona, we are going on with the necks of our instruments, and we are just taking it easy while keeping company with Alessandro’s mother, who spends the summer in her family home in Ortisei. Ortisei is famous for its wooden sculptors, check it out!
Featured video of the week
Kai, 13 year old, had his new Violoncello da Spalla last month and is sharing now his month of daily progresses!