Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690 -- 1749) was a
prolific German baroque composer. Stölzel grew up in
Schwarzenberg, Saxony in the Erzgebirge. From 1707 he
was a student of theology in Leipzig, and of Melchior
Hofmann, the musical director of the Neukirche. He
studied, worked and composed in Wrocław and Halle.
Then an eighteen-month sojourn in Italy from 1713 —
where he met Antonio Vivaldi in Venice — rendered him
au courant with the latest musical taste. After working
for three years in Prague, he became briefly court
Kapellmeister in Bayreuth and Gera. Then in 1719 he
married, and the next year took up an appointment in
Gotha, where he worked until his death for the dukes
Frederick II and Frederick III of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg,
composing a cantata each week.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -- 1750) was a German
composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and
violinist of the Baroque period. He enriched
established German styles through his skill in
counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and
the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from
abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's
compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the
Mass in B minor, the The Well-Tempered Clavier, two
Passions, keyboard works, and more than 300 cantatas,
of which nearly 100 cantatas have been lost to
posterity. His music is revered for its intellectual
depth, technical command, and artistic beauty.
Bekennen will ich seinen Namen (I shall acknowledge His
name), BWV 200, is a church cantata composed in Gotha
by Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel in 1720 and arranged by
Johann Sebastian Bach around 1742.
The cantata is a fragment, consisting of a single aria,
likely written for the Feast of the Purification of
Mary. The prescribed readings for the day were Malachi
3:1--4, and Luke 2:22--32.
Bach likely performed his arrangement in 1742 in
Leipzig and The surviving movement is scored for solo
alto voice, two violins, and basso continuo. As with
many of Bach's latest cantatas, the aria has a "quality
of mellow assurance". It is in adapted ternary form but
includes no clear reprise of the opening section. The
vocal line includes melismas but no other word
Although originally written for Voice (Alto), Violins,
and Basso Continuo, I created this arrangement for
Oboe, French Horn and Concert (Pedal) Harp.