Johann Sebastian Bach

Cantata BWV 12 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen

Two original sources for BWV 12 / BC A 68 survive: an autograph score D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 44, Faszikel 7; and an incomplete set of performance parts D-B Mus. ms. Bach St 109, Faszikel 1, in various hands, including Bach himself. This cantata was first performed in 1714 in Weimar, and then a second time in 1724 in Leipzig.

The cover page of the autograph score designates the work as a “Concerto a 9. / 5 stromenti. 4 voci.” The first page of the score is titled “Concerto a 1 Oboe, 2 Violini, 2 Viole, Fagotto, è 4 voci coll’Organo”.

Like other cantatas written during Bach’s tenure as Konzertmeister in Weimar, this work was intended for performance in Chorton pitch (a’ = 465Hz). The original set of parts only includes the four vocal parts in Chorton, a transposed vocal part for the tenor aria for performance in Kammerton, and a transposed, unfigured continuo part for performance in Kammerton. Since there are no extant oboe, string, or organ parts, we can only assume the following: for the first performance in Weimar Bach used instruments and voices at Chorton→f, with the exception of the oboe at Kammerton→g. The tromba part would have called for the usage of a trumpet in Chorton→C with a whole tone crook. The term “fagotto” suggests an instrument in Chorton. For the second performance in Leipzig Bach would have presumably transposed the string parts up a whole tone in order to perform the work at Kammerton→g, thus maintaining the same effective pitch.

The present edition preserves the original pitch intended by Bach, comprising two sets of performance materials, both score and parts, in Chorton→f and in Kammerton→g. The performance materials also include a combined oboe / tromba part, in which the oboe takes up the choral melody in the tenor aria, and the obbligato part in the concluding choral; and a fully figured continuo part in both pitches.