BACH, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750). The manuscript 'Taille' [tenor oboe] part for the sacred cantata BWV 174 'Ich Liebe den Höchsten vom ganzen Gemüthe', composed for performance in Leipzig on 6 June 1729, THE LAST FOUR LINES, COMPRISING THE 20 BARS OF THE CHORALE, INCLUDING THE WORDS 'CHORAL' AND 'FINE', ENTIRELY IN THE HAND OF THE COMPOSER, the remainder in the hand of two copyists (the majority in the hand of Samuel Gottlieb Heder), altogether 1½ pages, folio (355 x 220mm), watermark 'AM' or 'MA' (evenly browned, old strengthening at upper margin of verso, three very small punctures from ink acidification), numbered '12' in faint red pencil at upper left corner, a few 19th-century pencil numberings.
Provenance: The score and parts of BWV 174 appear to have passed after Bach's death to his son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. Thereafter, the taille part almost certainly shares the same early provenance as the main surviving group of 13 parts held today by the Riemenschneider Bach Institute, Baldwin-Wallace College, Berea, Ohio (formerly in the Hinrichsen family collection), with which it shares an early numbering in red pencil; these were purchased at auction in 1827 by Geheime Postrat Carl Pistor, and left on his death to his daughter and son-in-law Professor Adolf and Betty Rudorff; shortly thereafter, the Rudorffs passed the manuscripts to the musicologist F.W. Jähns (1809-1888), whose annotation is visible at the foot of p.2 of the present manuscript; the Bach scholar Philipp Spitta viewed the manuscript whilst it was in Jähns' collection, and added a note in pencil to the foot of p.1; the majority of the parts were returned to the Rudorffs' son, the composer Ernst Rudorff, on Jähns' death in 1888, but Jähns had sold at least two other parts(the violino I concertato to an autograph dealer in 1856, and the two leaves of the violoncello I concertato separately (!)), and it seems very likely that the taille part met a similar fate. It reappears in 1926 in catalogues XXVIII and XXIX of the Viennese dealer V.A. Heck, before being offered at auction in Berlin by K.E. Henrici (catalogue CXXXII, lot 14) in 1928. It was acquired there by Freiherr Schey von Koromla, in the hands of whose descendants it has remained.
'Ich Liebe den Höchsten vom ganzen Gemüthe' sets a text composed specifically for Whit Monday by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici), one of the cycle of cantata texts he published with Bach in mind in his Cantaten Auf die Sonn- und Fest-Tage durch das gantze Jahre in 1728: by setting it for Whit Monday 1729 (6 June), Bach was therefore using it on the first possible occasion. As often with the cantatas of the period 1726-29, Bach prefaces the work with a sinfonia drawn from an earlier concerto, here the 1st movement of the Brandenburg Concerto no.3 in G (BWV 1048). Characteristically, Bach took the opportunity to rework and enrich the instrumental texture of the concerto, with the addition of two horns and a ripieno choir of oboes and strings -- these additional parts, which were newly composed for the occasion, included the present part for the taille (a tenor oboe in F). Alfred Dürr notes the effect of Bach's reworking (The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach, tr. Richard P. Jones, OUP, 2005, p.364): 'As a result, the string ensemble, which formerly functioned as a single group, now becomes a concertino set against a ripieno body of horns, oboes and strings, a structural modification that replaces the original concept of nine instruments on equal terms with something quite different'. One consequence of the imposing scale of this introductory movement was the abbreviated structure of the remaining cantata, comprising only two arias and a recitative (in which the taille is silent), and the concluding chorale, whose melody is familiar from the concluding chorale of the St John Passion.
Arthur Mendel (in the Neue Bach Ausgabe, Kritische Bericht I/14, p.80ff) considers that both the composition of the cantata and the production of the score and parts took place 'in größter Eile unmittelbar vor dem 6 Juni 1729 (in the greatest haste immediately before 6 June 1729)' -- and certainly work on copying the parts was still going on the night before the first performance, to judge by the date of 5 June on the alto part (and the 5th being Whit Sunday, work could scarcely have begun until the day was well advanced). As usual, the full score is mostly in Bach's autograph (although unusually in this instance a copyist transcribed most of the string parts of the sinfonia directly from the Brandenburg Concerto manuscript). The parts were thereafter transcribed by a team of copyists comprising Bach himself, his son Carl Philipp Emmanuel and six amanuenses (three of whom appear to have helped only in this instance): the greater part of the work was carried out by the two copyists who feature in the present manuscript, Christoph Dürr's 'Hauptkopist D' (now identified as Bach's pupil Samuel Gottlieb Heder: bars 1-107a of the sinfonia in the present manuscript) and Dürr's 'Anonymus IV' (107b-136). Bach contributed in some way to the copying of nine of the 23 parts, most frequently, as here, in the concluding chorale. The combination in a single manuscript of the composer's hand with that of his two principal copyists provides an attractive reminder of the industrious spirit of cooperation in which Bach's great church compositions were produced. MANUSCRIPTS BY BACH ARE VERY SCARCE ON THE MARKET: ACCORDING TO OUR RECORDS, IT IS 16 YEARS SINCE THE LAST AUTOGRAPH MUSIC BY THE COMPOSER WAS OFFERED AT AUCTION.