All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Unser Mund sei voll Lachens

BWV 110 performed by the Netherlands Bach Society conducted by Jos van Veldhoven
Grote Kerk, Naarden

Conductor Jos van Veldhoven likes to work with ripieno. Why?

"The first movement is like a red carpet for the arrival of the Christ-child"

Glorious music

Bach greets the newborn Child in festive spirit.

The opening chorus of this cantata immediately draws all the attention. Bach reused the music from his Orchestral Suite no. 4 in D major, BWV 1069, but added another choir and four soloists to it, to greet the newborn Child in festive spirit. Another interesting fact about this opening chorus, from conductor Jos van Veldhoven, is that it is one of the few pieces where Bach gives instructions for the alternation of solo and tutti sections.

The words of this cantata are a wonderful description of how God in his glory wants to get close to humble mankind on earth. The music fits the words perfectly. The glory, for example, is obviously heard in the opening chorus, but also in the recitative and the powerful aria ‘Wacht auf’ by the bass with a trumpet solo. In the heart of the cantata, the alto meditates on the wonders of the Christmas message: God giving up his own son in order to suffer for the salvation of mankind. The operative word here is love, so the oboe d’amore plays a prominent role alongside the alto. For the duet ‘Ehre sei Gott’, Bach refers back to the ‘Virga Jesse’ from his Magnificat of one year earlier. The austere final chorale is also particularly effective, providing a contrast with the grandeur of the preceding bass aria.


BWV
110

Title
Unser Mund sei voll Lachens

Genre
cantata

Year
1725, revivals in 1728 and 1731

City
Leipzig

Lyricist
Georg Christian Lehms, 1711

Occasion
Christmas Day

First performance
25 December 1725

Special Notes
For the opening chorus, Bach used the Ouverture from his Orchestral Suite no. 4, BWV 1069, and for the 5th movement one of the ‘Einlagen’ (Virga Jesse) from the Magnificat.

Cast & Crew

Release date 25 December 2016
Recording date 17 December 2015
Location Grote Kerk, Naarden
Conductor Jos van Veldhoven
Soprano Maria Keohane
Alto Alex Potter
Tenor Charles Daniels
Bass Matthias Winckhler
ripieno soprano Lucie Chartin, Marie Heeschen
ripieno alto Elsbeth Gerritsen, Michaela Riener
ripieno tenor Immo Schröder, Yves van Handenhove
ripieno bass Jelle Draijer, Michiel Meijer
Violin 1 Shunske Sato, Annelies van der Vegt, Anneke van Haaften, Lidewij van der Voort
Violin 2 Sayuri Yamagata, Pieter Affourtit, Paulien Kostense
Viola Staas Swierstra, Jan Willem Vis
Cello Lucia Swarts, Richte van der Meer
Double Bass Robert Franenberg
Traverso Frank Theuns, Doretthe Janssens
Oboe Martin Stadler, Peter Frankenberg, Yongcheon Shin
Bassoon Benny Aghassi
Trumpet Robert Vanryne, Stephen Keavy, Mark Geelen
Timpani Luuk Nagtegaal
Harpsichord Siebe Henstra
Organ Pieter-Jan Belder
Director Joost Honselaar
Assistant director Ferenc Soetman
Music recording Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt, Micha de Kanter
Audiomontage -en mix Guido Tichelman
Camera Jochem Timmerman, Rene Holbrugge, Martin Struif, Chris Reichgelt
Lights Zen Bloot
Lighting assistant Patrick Galvin
Video engeneer Justin Mutsaers
Set technique Glenn van den Eerden
Data handling Charlotte Storm
Project Manager NEP Peter Ribbens
producer Imke Deters

Vocal Texts

Original

1. Chor

Unser Mund sei voll Lachens
und unsre Zunge voll Rühmens.
Denn der Herr hat
Grosses an uns getan.

2. Arie (Tenor)

Ihr Gedanken und ihr Sinnen,
schwinget euch anitzt von hinnen,
steiget schleunig himmelan
und bedenkt, was Gott getan!
Er wird Mensch, und dies allein,
dass wir Gottes
Kinder sein.

3. Rezitativ (Bass)

Dir, Herr, ist niemand gleich.
Du bist gross,
und dein Name ist gross 
und kannst’s mit der Tat beweisen.

4. Arie (Alt)

Ach Herr, was ist ein Menschenkind,
dass du sein Heil
so schmerzlich suchest?

Ein Wurm, den du verfluchest,
wenn Höll und Satan um ihn sind;
doch auch dein Sohn, den Seel und Geist
aus Liebe seinen Erben heisst.

5. Arie (Sopran, Tenor)

Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe
und Friede auf Erden
und den Menschen ein Wohlgefallen!

6. Arie (Bass)

Wacht auf, ihr Adern und ihr Glieder,
und singt dergleichen Freudenlieder,
die unserm Gott gefällig sein.
Und ihr, ihr andachtsvollen Saiten,
sollt ihm ein solches Lob bereiten,
dabei sich Herz und Geist erfreun.

7. Choral

Halleluja! Halleluja! Gelobt sei Gott,
singen wir all aus unsers
Herzens Grunde.

Denn Gott hat heut gemacht
solch Freud,
die wir vergessen solln zu
keiner Stunde.

Translation

1. Chorus

Let our mouth be full of laughter
and our tongue of singing.
For the Lord hath done
great things for us.

2. Aria 

All you thoughts and meditations,
soar aloft at once,
climb swiftly heavenwards
and think what God has done!
He becomes man, merely
that we might be
heaven’s children.

3. Recitative 

There is none like unto Thee, O Lord.
Thou art great,
and Thy name is great
in might.

4. Aria 

Ah, Lord, what is man
that Thou, through such pain, would redeem him?

A worm, whom Thou dost curse,
when hell and Satan surround him;
but yet Thy Son, whom soul and spirit
out of love call their inheritance.

5. Aria 

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace,
good will toward men!

6. Aria

Awake, you veins and limbs,
and sing those songs of joy
which are pleasing to our God.
And you, you strings of deep devotion,
should offer Him such praise,
that heart and soul rejoice.

7. Chorale

Alleluia! Alleluia! All praise to God,
let us all sing from the
depths of our hearts.

For God today has
wrought such joy,
that we shall
always remember.

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