Concerto Stella Matutina

Judit Scherrer      soprano
Matthias Lucht      countertenor
Jakob Pilgram      tenor
Dominik Wörner      bass

Jessica Jans      soprano
Cornelius Glaus      countertenor
Nils Giebelhausen      tenor
Christian Feichtmair      bass
Silvia Schweinberger, Susanne Mattle  violin
Lucas Schurig-Breuss, Katya Polin  viola
Thomas Platzgummer  cello
Barbara Fischer  violone
Johannes Hämmerle  organ
Alfredo Bernardini [9-16], Ingo Müller, Elisabeth Baumer  oboe
Wolfram Schurig, Katya Polin  recorder
Makiko Kurabayashi  basson
Herbert Walser-Breuss, Bernhard Lampert, Ulrich Mayr  trumpet
Georg Tausch  timpani

Alfredo Bernardini  direction

pitch : a‘ 465 (Chorton)
sources: D 5 a/b Nr. 33 Stadt-Archiv Mühlhausen («Actus Homagiali»); «VI Ouvertures … nach französischer Art und Manier, Nürnberg 1693»;  Mus. ms. Bach P 45, Faszikel 1 Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Bach)
editions: Johannes Hämmerle

Philipp Heinrich Erlebach  (1657 – 1714)
Actus Homagiali
Mulhusino, 28. October 1705
[ 1 ]    Marche    01 : 22
[ 2 ]    Serenata «Josephs Neuer Kayser-Thron»    12 : 50
Concerto «Exultemus, Gaudeamus, Lætemur»
[ 3 ]    «Exultemus, gaudeamus, lætemur»     01 : 55
[ 4 ]    «Tace languor»    02 : 26
[ 5 ]    «Applaudite, applaudite»    02 : 29
[ 6 ]    «Iova clemens omnibus»    03 : 01
[ 7 ]    «O sanctum numen!»    03 : 16
[ 8 ]    Marche    01 : 26

Ouverture VI in g-Moll
aus / from «VI Ouvertures nach französischer Art» 1693
[ 9 ]    [Ouverture]    03 : 09
[ 10 ]    Entrée    01 : 21
[ 11 ]    Gavotte    00 : 40
[ 12 ]    Menuet – Trío    01 : 51
[ 13 ]    La Plainte    03 : 04
[ 14 ]    Entrée    00 : 53
[ 15 ]    Gigue    00 : 59
[ 16 ]    Chaconne    04 : 09

Johann Sebastian Bach  (1685 – 1750)
Motetto diviso in quatuor Chori
«Gott ist mein König» BWV 71
Erstauffühung in der Hauptkirche B.M.V. [Marienkirche]
in Mühlhausen zum Rats-Wechsel am 4. Februar 1708
[ 17 ]    I. Tutti e animose «GOtt ist mein König»    01 : 45
[ 18 ]    II. Air Tenor, con chorali in Canto «Ich bin nun achzig Jahr»    04 : 02
[ 19 ]    III. Fuga al ottava â 4 voci «Dein Alter sey wie deine Jugend»    01 : 59
[ 20 ]    IV. Arioso Basso, con Obboe e Flutti «Tag und Nacht ist dein»    03 : 19
[ 21 ]    Air Alto e Trombe «Durch mächtige Kraft»    01 : 06
[ 22 ]    V. Affetuoso e Larghetto «Du wollest dem Feinde»    03 : 22
[ 23 ]    Arioso, â 10. stromenti, e 4 voci «Das neue Regiment»    03 : 20

«… muß täglich von neuen Dich JOSEPH erfreuen»
oder Mühlhausen grüsst Kaiser Joseph I.

It was clearly of great importance at the start of the 18th century, both to the free imperial city of Mühlhausen in Thuringia and to distant Vienna, metropolis of the Holy Roman Empire, to be recognized and to record signs of both independence and affiliation to the empire and its ruler. Two musical documents have survived in testimony. One owes its prominence to the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, the other, preserved in Mühlhausen’s municipal archives and revived in performance today after more than three hundred years, is from the hand of Philipp Heinrich Erlebach: «Musicalia bei dem Actu Homagiali Mulhusino den 28. October 1705 / Serenata, Concerto et Marche.»
Erlebach arrived in the free imperial city as part of the retinue of his employer, Count Albert Anton von Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, who received the city’s allegiance a representative of the emperor Joseph I. Erlebach was appointed director of music with clearly defined duties by the count. Among these duties was «to organize with utmost diligence the orderly musical attendance both in church and at table, when and where we command, whereby it is left to his judgement to utilize either his own compositions or those of others, as he prefers.» Erlebach fulfilled the terms of his contract extremely conscientiously and composed hundreds of works, most of which were unfortunately destroyed in a castle fire in 1735. Count Albert Anton also commissioned the «Musicalia bei dem Actu Homagiali», which consists of a serenata, a concerto and a march. We may smile a little at the simplicity of the «Serenata»; it is a strophic setting with concertino and ripieno parts, but solemn trumpets and military-sounding oboes are also scored for together with the strings and singers, the intention being to provide a ceremonial ode to His Majesty Joseph I, as of May 5th 1705 Emperor of the Sacrum Imperium Romanum. The Serenata’s anonymous text makes reference to historical events such as the victory of Leopold I’s army over the Ottomans at Kahlenberg near Vienna in 1683 or the second battle near Höchstädt in 1704. As usual, and as in Johann Sebastian Bach’s secular cantatas, there are attempts to compare heroes from Greek mythology and the Bible to the emperor, to be idols for him.
The following «Concerto» is one of those sophisticated motets similar to some of the works written by Dietrich Buxtehude. Erlebach adroitly changes affect, for example when the word «languor» (fatigue) is sung or «applaudite» calls for general rejoicing. The subsequent French-style «Marche» leads us out of church to the awaiting honorary battalion, whose gun salutes to the new ruler almost seem to double as an invitation to free beer. It would certainly have been obvious both to the musically-inclined amateur and to the professionals of 1705 that this homage was also Master Erlebach’s own (albeit brief) portfolio, sent to distant Vienna in the hope of impressing His Imperial Majesty. At any rate, the «Actus Homagiali» was intended to document both identity and solidarity with the beautiful blue Danube.
A propos documentation: anyone familiar with the works of the East Friesland composer Philipp Heinrich Erlebach will know that many of his pieces are a conglomerate of Italian, French and German elements. Thus Erlebach was one of the first composers in the German Provinces to master the form and style of the French Ouverture, in writing so-called Orchestral Suites. Not only the overture in French style with its fugal middle section, but also the order of dances with a closing Chaconne, ever-present in Louis XIV music theatre, show that these suites have their roots in French operas and their ballet intermezzi.
The congratulatory church motet «Gott ist mein König» shows how modern the «French» oboe was at the beginning of the 18th century in the German Provinces. At its performance in the Marienkirche in Mühlhausen on February 4th 1708, on the occasion of city council elections, Johann Sebastian Bach, organist of St. Blasius, employed all the instruments he could lay his hands on. The usual string group and basso continuo is enriched with trumpets, indispensable on festive occasions, and – as in Erlebach’s «Actus Homagiali» – oboes too, as well as recorders. It is notable that the more modern wind instruments, as well as the cello (entirely new in church music) were at a different pitch, a whole tone lower than the traditional ensemble. Thus Bach notated oboes, recorders and cello as «transposing» instruments in the surviving autograph score, which gives us some insight into the performing practice of the time. Incidentally, this has led to some confusion in modern editions of the piece. «Does the piece begin in C major or D major?» is the question for scholars. For this recording we have attempted to match the conditions in Mühlhausen around 1700 and perform at choir pitch (a’ 465 Hz). Oboes, recorders and cello are tuned a whole tone lower and thus played as transposing instruments. Indeed, the future cantor of St. Thomas was able to mix these modern sounds into previously unheard combinations, already allowing his genius to shine at the age of twenty-three.  For example, the second section is set as «Air Tenor, con chorali in Canto» and the next section as «Fuga al [sic] ottava â 4 voci». Recitatives or large-scale da capo arias are missing entirely. The individual sections almost flow into each other, as in Bach’s setting of Psalm 130 «Aus der Tiefen», probably dating from 1707 in Mühlhausen. This explains why this commemorative piece appears not as a cantata on the printed title page but as a «Congratulatory church MOTETTO» a description taken up on the cover of the autograph score prepared and inscribed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach much later. Johann Sebastian Bach also calls the piece a «Mottetto [sic] diviso in quatuor Chori». It goes beyond the scope of this article to explain how the confusing (and still common) description of this piece as a «cantata» came about, but it serves as an example as to how documents from earlier times were treated, from corrections to the musical text to «marginal» assimilations in spelling, e. g. «Hülfe» to «Hilfe».
The autograph score as well as the printed first edition (which would definitely have had the composer’s imprimatur) clearly indicate the distribution of vocal resources. Thus Bach naturally counts on one singer per part, the «Concerti», to which four «Ripieni» singers can be added «e piace» i. e.­
when and if desired. But not more! We have settled on a performance with eight singers. Incidentally, Bach had an Italian eccentricity at the time, calling himself «Gio:[vanni] Basti[ano] Bach. / Org[anista] Molhusino» on the title page and also using the Venetian «doi» for «due».
We do not know who wrote the libretto of this church motet. Biblical texts and the sixth verse of the chorale «O Gott, du frommer Gott» are skilfully combined with freely composed sections in verse. We may chuckle at the line «Ich bin nun achzig [sic] Jahr» («I am now eighty») referring indirectly to the eighty-three year old Adolf Strecker, elected yet again as mayor, but the main point is that the «new regiment» should so act as to keep the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph I in distant Vienna ever happy and proud of his imperial free city Mühlhausen. The newly-elected council had the parts and text printed by Tobias David Brückner in Mühlhausen in that same year 1708. Bach would almost certainly have stipulated on having a few copies for applying for lucrative positions, little knowing that «Gott ist mein König» would remain the only large-scale sacred work of his to be printed during his own lifetime.

Bernhard Trebuch

Josephs neuer Kayser Thron
[ 2 ]
Josephs neuer Kayser Thron
strahlet Östreich in die Länder
durch Europa weit behender
als des Jovis Feur und Blitz
und erweckt der Götter Sitz
gleich wie diesen Helicon,
zu Ehren den grösten Monarchen der Erden,
durch welchen die Cronen selbst herrlicher werden.

Der Potenten gröste Macht
über Osten, Süd und Westen,
auf dem Meer und in den Festen
blinkt aus Joseph Sonnen klar
als der Majestät Altar,
dem es Gott hat zugedacht,
daß künfftig in Reichen und Theilen der Erden,
durch keinen als Joseph der Friede soll werden.

Zwar die Wolken donnern noch
stark von Leopoldi Siegen,
als ihm muste unterliegen
Ottomani Schwarm und Mark,
Frankreich sahe seinen Sarg
und ein unerträglichs Joch,
wann Östreich zu Höchstädt ist Himmel hoch worden,
und Schellenberg schallet vom Römischen Orden.

Doch der Segen Josephs geht
über aller Ahnen Tugend,
der des Hercules in Jugend
schon ein Alexander Geist
und die Lilien zerreist,
die Navarrens Lüffte weht,
so vielmahl die Donau hat Leichen getrieben,
so viel sind die Siege mit Blute beschrieben.

Itzo bethen billich wir
in Graf Albrecht an den Kayser,
Schwartzburg fürstlich hohe Häuser
müßen so verahnet seyn,
theurer Held, du trägst den Schein
von des Adlers Götter Zier,
und wird es in Schwartzburg nach Wunsche ergehen,
so wird auch die Ruhe des Kaysers/Reiches bestehen.

Ferner opffern wir dir auf
unsern Leib, Guth, Blut und Leben,
laß uns deinen Schutz umgeben,
daß die treue Mühlen Stadt
ihres Kaysers Gnade hat,
wie sie rufft zum Sternen Lauf
das Vivat! in Lüfften, zu Waßer, auf Erden,
muß Joseph ein mächtiger Josua werden.

Exultemus, gaudeamus
[ 3 ]
Exultemus, gaudeamus, lætemur in Deo Domino nostro.
[ 4 ]
Tace languor, sile mæror, pectus fovet gaudia.
Dei, summi imperantis
regum sceptra confirmantis
gratiam ac eiusdem gloriam
pleno ore celebramus,
colimus et prædicamus
sacro cum tripudio.
[ 5 ]
Applaudite, intrate nunc portas Domini.
Convenite, sancti, ad collaudandum
ad extollendum manus vestras.
[ 6 ]
Iova clemens omnibus præsens est serio præcantibus.
Ille quoque gemitum cordis sacrificium
et ardorem charitatis
ceu adorem suavitatis
ut pro sua bonitate
votis nostris annuat.
[ 7 ]
O sanctum numen!
O strenue Dux!
O Deus exercituum!
Ah! protege potenter, qui solus es omnipotens,
nostrum gloriosissimum Protectorem.
Sit Tibi Soli Gloria, Halleluja!

Motetto diviso in quatuor Chori
«GOtt ist mein König»
[ 17 ]
Tutti e animose.
GOtt ist mein König von Alters her / der alle Hülffe thut /
so auf Erden geschicht.
Psalm. LXXIV.12.
[ 18 ]
Air Tenor, con chorali in Canto.
Ich bin nun achzig Jahr / worum soll dein Knecht sich mehr beschwe-
ren? laß mich umkehren / daß ich sterbe in meiner Stadt / bey meines
Vaters / und meiner Mutter Grab.
II. Samuel XIX.31.37.
Soll ich auf dieser Welt mein Leben höher bringen /
Durch manchen seuren Tritt hindurch ins Alter dringen /
So gib Gedult / für Sünd und Schanden mich bewahr /
Auf daß ich tragen mag mit Ehren graues Haar.
[ 19 ]
Fuga al ottava â 4. voci.
Dein Alter sey wie deine Jugend. und GOtt ist mit dir in allem /
das du thust.
Deuteron. XXXIII.25. Genes. XXI.22.
[ 20 ]
Arioso Basso, con Obboe e Flutti.
Tag und Nacht ist dein. Du setzest einen jeglichen Lande seine Gräntze.
Psalm. LXXIV.v.15.
[ 21 ]
Air Alto e Trombe.
Durch mächtige Kraft
Erhälstu unsre Gräntzen /
Hier muß der Friede gläntzen /
Wenn Mord / und Krieges=Sturm sich aller Ort erhebt.
Wenn Cron und Zepter bebt /
Hastu das Heil geschafft /
Durch mächtige Kraft.
[ 22 ]
Affetuoso e Larghetto.
Du wollest dem Feinde nicht geben die Seele deiner Turtul=Tauben.
Psalm. LXXIV.19.
[ 23 ]
Arioso, â 10. stromenti, e 4 voci
Das neue Regiment
auf ieglichen Wegen /
bekröhne der Seegen!
Friede / Ruh und Wohlergehn /
müsse stets zur Seiten stehn
dem neuen Regiment
Glück / Heil / und grosser Sieg
muß täglich von neuen
Dich JOSEPH erfreuen /
daß an allen Ort und Landen gantz beständig sey vorhanden
Glück / Heil / und grosser Sieg.