BWV 505

All of Bach: a project by the Netherlands Bach Society

Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht

BWV 505 performed by Charles Daniels,
Mieneke van der Velden and Fred Jacobs
at the Bartolotti House, Amsterdam

Charles Daniels and Menno van Delft talk about the Musicalisches Gesang-Buch G.C. Schemelli.

Evidence at last

This simple yet true aria is almost certainly by Bach.

In Schemelli’s songbook, the sacred song Vergiss mein nicht is accompanied by the note ‘di S. Bach D. M. Lips’. The latter stands for ‘director musices Lipsiensis’ (music director of the city of Leipzig). So evidence at last, or at least a strong clue, that Bach did indeed supply new music for Schemelli’s Gesangbuch! Vergiss mein nicht is a simple aria, but a true one, to the point of lyricism. In the collection, the text comes under the heading of ‘Vom zeitlichen Kreuz und Leiden’. The author begs for God’s divine assistance in all sorts of earthly needs and distress, until death.

Musicalisches Gesang-Buch G.C. Schemelli
In the eighteenth century, sacred songbooks for private use were an important aid in simple, domestic devotion. For example, no fewer than 17 editions of Johann Freylinghausen’s Geistreiches Gesangbuch were published between 1704 and 1734. Two years later, pietist Georg Christian Schemmel, alias Schemelli, launched his own songbook, containing no fewer than 954 songs, 69 of which included melody, text incipit and figured bass. In order to outdo the competition, he involved probably the most famous music consultant of all time, who happened to be his son’s music teacher: Bach. Following intensive research, only three of the 21 original melodies in the collection (BWV 439-509) can be attributed with certainty to the cantor at the Thomasschule: BWV 452, 478 and 505. The others are accompaniments, revisions and improvements. Bach’s precise role in Schemelli’s Gesangbuch will probably always remain a mystery.


Vergiss mein nicht, vergiss mein nicht

sacred song

Musicalisches Gesang-Buch G.C. Schemelli



Cast & Crew

release date 9 August 2019
recording date 12 May 2018
location Bartolotti House, Amsterdam
tenor Charles Daniels
viola da gamba Mieneke van der Velden
theorbo Fred Jacobs
Director, camera and lights Gijs Besseling
Music recording Guido Tichelman, Bastiaan Kuijt
Music edit and mix Guido Tichelman
Camera, lights Nina Badoux
Camera and lighting assistant Eline Eestermans
Interview Onno van Ameijde, Marloes Biermans
Producer concert Marco Meijdam
Producer film Jessie Verbrugh
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds

Vocal Texts




You might also like these works