Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bach: Sacred Songs & Arias from Schemellis Gesangbuch

"Georg Christian Schemelli, born in Herzberg around 1680, in 1736 -- at a time when he was working as a choirmaster-organist in Zeitz -- published a 'Musical Song Book' with Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig, which today is generally known under the name 'Schemellis Gesangbuch/Song book.' According to the customs of that time, this song book mainly contained song texts, and only 69 of the 954 songs altogether were written down with melodies. To these 69 melodies the publisher at the same time added compositions etched on copper, i.e. figured basses. According to the foreword of this song book '... by S. Hochedl. Herrn Johann Sebastian Bach, Hochfürst. Sächss. Capellmeister/ princely chapel-master of Saxony and Director Chor. Musici in Leipzig the melodies in this song book are partly newly composed, partly improved by him in the thorough bass, and immediately imprinted at the beginning of each song.' ... For the largest part of the melodies today it is certain that they were not composed by Bach, also a large part of the thorough bass pieces Bach had taken from other publications, then, however, 'improved' them as it is said in the foreword" (CD notes).

View catalog record here!


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