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Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

GUEST,leeneia 04 Aug 00 - 05:17 PM
Morticia 04 Aug 00 - 08:00 PM
Shanti 04 Aug 00 - 08:12 PM
Sorcha 04 Aug 00 - 08:27 PM
rangeroger 04 Aug 00 - 10:57 PM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 00 - 12:20 AM
Sorcha 05 Aug 00 - 12:25 AM
Wincing Devil 05 Aug 00 - 12:34 AM
Sorcha 05 Aug 00 - 12:38 AM
Liz the Squeak 05 Aug 00 - 01:45 AM
Ritchie 05 Aug 00 - 05:03 AM
Shanti 05 Aug 00 - 02:30 PM
Shanti 05 Aug 00 - 02:38 PM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 00 - 02:46 PM
Giac 05 Aug 00 - 07:35 PM
Lucius 06 Aug 00 - 10:51 AM
GUEST,Roger the skiffler 07 Aug 00 - 06:11 AM
Whistle Stop 07 Aug 00 - 08:28 AM
GUEST,leeneia 07 Aug 00 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 07 Aug 00 - 09:46 AM
Joe Offer 24 Apr 13 - 07:10 PM
Steve Gardham 25 Apr 13 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 25 Apr 13 - 01:00 PM
Don Firth 25 Apr 13 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Grishka 25 Apr 13 - 03:45 PM
michaelr 25 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM
Joe Offer 25 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM
dick greenhaus 25 Apr 13 - 08:24 PM
Don Firth 25 Apr 13 - 09:52 PM
Steve Gardham 26 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM
Q 26 Apr 13 - 03:26 PM
Q 26 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM
Anne Neilson 26 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM
Don Firth 26 Apr 13 - 07:50 PM
Janie 26 Apr 13 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Apr 13 - 02:51 PM
GUEST,Don Leighty 28 Apr 13 - 01:37 PM
michaelr 29 Apr 13 - 01:13 AM
Janie 29 Apr 13 - 05:26 AM
GUEST,leeneia 29 Apr 13 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Apr 13 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Don Leighty 30 Apr 13 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,highlandman at work 30 Apr 13 - 03:23 PM
GUEST,Mark 30 Apr 13 - 05:49 PM
Don Firth 30 Apr 13 - 06:06 PM
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Subject: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 05:17 PM

Somebody brought this famous tune up is a discussion about slip jigs (cannot find that post today) Actually, the 9/8 piece that people call by this name is only the flute (most likely soprano recorder) accompaniment to a much slower hymn in 3/4. Jesu, Joy... is the English translation of this old German hymn.

The hymn itself is slow and sweet (some would say drab.) It has never achieved fame, but it is interesting to hear it sung against its famous accompaniment.

When Bach did the cantata it's in (#147, I think) he had a choir whose sopranos where little boys. The musicians were students at the local college, probably younger than today's college students. I think this helps explain why the song had to go quite slowly.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Morticia
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 08:00 PM

I've sung this song as part of a choir.....it remains one of my favourites of all time.......it requires a lot of breath control.......we took it slowly because we couldn't do otherwise, without lungs of titanium :)


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Shanti
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 08:12 PM

At the time Bach was composing, sopranos were always little boys or castratti. Women were not allowed to perform in public. Boy sopranos have always been popular, they still are. There is a beautiful innocence and purity about a male soprano voice. I don't think the slowness of the piece had anything to do with the singers. Being the epitome of Classical music, Bach's work is precise, intricate and takes a lot of technical expertise to play or sing correctly. I'm sure he had every intention of creating a slow, deliberate piece. If he had written something in a faster vein, the musicians would have practiced until they sang or played it the way he wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Sorcha
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 08:27 PM

I have always heard it as an Andante (80-90 beats) piece. It was the recessional at my wedding. Even as a "fiddler" I am not tempted to speed this one up. Jesu deserves a little respect, eh?


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: rangeroger
Date: 04 Aug 00 - 10:57 PM

Pete Seeger plays this on banjo on his "Goofing-Off Suite" Folkways FA 2045.

It has always held me breathless since I first heard it.

rr


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 12:20 AM

Au contraire, the slowness has to do with the singers. The song was around long before Bach. Lutheran music tends to go slow because the Lutherans let the entire congregation sing, and as any choir leader will tell you, when 200 or more amateurs sing, it's not fair or spiritual to make them go very fast. For another thing, Lutherans just have a tradition that that is how the music of their church ought to sound.

Another reason they did it slow is that the 9/8 part would be left in the dust if they didn't. It taxes the instrument with its big range and uses just about every sharp and flat you can find, fortunately in the coda.

Speaking of little boys, the very obvious 1-3-5-8-5-3-1-3-5-8 bit in the middle of the accompaniment was surely put there to help them come in after a solo recorder passage.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 12:25 AM

Well, it is still a good tune to get some other sound worm out of your ear.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Wincing Devil
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 12:34 AM

I am always upset at how much of Bach's choral music is played without the chorus. I didn't know that Jesu HAD words till I was in the adult choir at my church.

The human voice: A double reed wind instrument that is the easiest instrument to learn to play, but the most difficult to master.

Wincing Devil
The four cat food groups: Dry, Canned, Natural, Yours.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 12:38 AM

THREAD CREEP ALERT!!
W Devil, I always thought it was:
YOURS, Canned, natural, and yuckwearenoteatingthat.
sorry, not cat servants.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 01:45 AM

It may be lovely, but try doing it three times on one day at village weddings and you will soon tire of it.....

I just think it could make a lovely jig that's all....

LTS


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Ritchie
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 05:03 AM

I mentioned this once before but Vin Garbutt told a tale of how he writes songs.Sometimes he composes the tune and then add the words and other times he writes the words and then the tune. Now once he wrote a song and did it to the tune of 'Jesus Joy'...the trouble was when he came to put his own music to it he couldn't compose anything better..and to make matters worse he could n't play it.. so he had to sing the song unaccompanied..which he did in his marvellous style. Of course I did n't believe him for one minute.

regards ritchie


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Shanti
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 02:30 PM

WD...your cat pix are wonderful!....unfortunately, the first one doesn't come up...there's just a big square full of paw prints...but no cats. Looked at some of the others...those faces are adorable! 'Tis true, when taking pix of cats, as when doing anything else with them, that's not their idea, you have to have an enormous amount of patience. Those four-footed furry people are individualists to the enth degree.

I very much agree with your views on the human voice, though most instrumental musicians who don't sing, would "beg to differ."

Thanks Leeneia, for the added Luthern insights. Think all the points that have been brought out probably contributed to the way the piece was originally written and the way it has ultimately been performed.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Shanti
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 02:38 PM

Wincing Devil...your cat pix are wonderful! Of course, being people, cats are individuals, and anything they are asked to do that is not their idea is made extremely difficult. The first pic on your site does not come up. Only a large rectangle with paw prints is visible...but no cats. Those next two though, are adorable! What great faces!

I agree wholeheartedly with your view that the human voice is the most difficult instrument to master. But having worked with MANY instrumental musicians, I know they are of a different opinion.

Thanks Leeneia for the Lutheran insights into Jesu...I'm sure all of the points that have been raised figured in Bach's decision to time it the way he did. And though he originally wrote it for the church, I think he probably had in mind that it would ultimately be played in other places as well. The church was the place where it would, at that time, have the widest exposure. Everyone could afford to go to church, but not everyone had the money to go to concerts. Bach had 20 children...the man had to earn some money. The church and the monarchy/aristocracy were the only patrons.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 02:46 PM

Now, did Bach write the basic tune for "Jesu Joy," or is this an adaptation of an older hymn?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Giac
Date: 05 Aug 00 - 07:35 PM

A friend plays Jesu on his classical guitar with such taste that it sorta squeezes you heart. When told how lovely it sounds, his gruff reply is, "Well, it is a challenge."


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Lucius
Date: 06 Aug 00 - 10:51 AM

So help me with the pronounciation. Is it Jee-su, Joy -- or is it Yee-su, Yoie ?

ANd while it is in 9/8, is it realy a slip jig? I think that it take more than a time signature, as most slip jigs have two irregular phrases compacted into that signature. ALso, Bach wasn't Irish.

Lucius


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 06:11 AM

(Jesu Joy... playing in the background)"That is a German tune. We are at war with the Germans...funny thing, war".
(Yes I know we've been through all the Beyond the Fringe trivia on earlier threads, but this was always one of my favourite bits]
RtS


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 08:28 AM

I have been playing it on classical guitar for more years than I care to count, and have never tired of it. I also played it as the processional for a good friend's wedding; worked beautifully. Despite a certain familiarity, I consider it one of the greatest pieces of music ever written. Also, it is very adaptable; it can be played on a variety of instruments or ensembles, at different tempos, with or without singers, and it always seems to work. I have a Bach compilation CD (Windham Hill) that contains a wonderful arrangement of the piece for steel drums -- breathtaking.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:26 AM

In response to Joe's question, the hymn was around before the better-known accompaniment.

As originally written, the acc. was not in 9/8. Since the hymn is in 3/4, the acc. is also in 3/4. Each beat gets 3 notes (a triplet), thus producing 9 notes in a measure.

It looks hard, but you just say "one-lolly, two lolly, three lolly" in your head, and it works fine.

Bach omitted the first note of the pattern when starting the acc., (that's the kind of thing that makes him "classical") but if that makes it too hard to start, you can put in a G to get going. Nobody will arrest you, at least not in the privacy of your home.


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Subject: RE: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 07 Aug 00 - 09:46 AM

The chorale melody, Werde Munter is I think attributed to Johann Schop, who died around 1660 or so.

The pronunciation of "Jesu" is

"Jee-zoo" (not "Yay-zoo") in English
"Zhezoo" in French
"Yezoo" in German
"Yeh-soo" in Latin

T.


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Subject: ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 07:10 PM

My wife had a harp rendition of "Jesu," playing on the CD player. She wanted to know the lyrics of the song, and I don't find them at Mudcat. Wikipedia has a wonderful article on the piece. I think we should have the lyrics here, so I'm going to brazenly copy-paste them from Wikipedia (something I do quite often).

English text
The following is the most commonly heard English version of the piece. It was written by the poet laureate Robert Bridges. It is not a translation of the stanzas used within Bach's original version, but is inspired by the stanzas of the same hymn composed in 1642 by Johann Schop that Bach had drawn upon: Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne, the lyrics of which were written in 1661 by Martin Jahn (c. 1620–c. 1682).

JESU, JOY OF MAN'S DESIRING
(Robert Bridges, music by J.S. Bach)

Jesu, joy of man's desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.


[Robert Seymour Bridges, OM, (23 October 1844 – 21 April 1930) was a British poet, and poet laureate from 1913 to 1930.]




Original text in German
Jahn's verses express a close, friendly, and familiar friendship with Jesus, who gives life to the poet. It has been noted that the original German hymn was characteristically a lively hymn of praise, which is carried over somewhat into Bach's arrangement; whereas a slower, more stately tempo is traditionally used with the English version.

Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,
o wie feste halt' ich ihn,
daß er mir mein Herze labe,
wenn ich krank und traurig bin.

Jesum hab' ich, der mich liebet
und sich mir zu eigen giebet,
ach drum laß' ich Jesum nicht,
wenn mir gleich mein Herze bricht.
—from BWV 147, Chorale movement no. 6

Jesus bleibet meine Freude,
meines Herzens Trost und Saft,
Jesus wehret allem Leide,
er ist meines Lebens Kraft,

meiner Augen Lust und Sonne,
meiner Seele Schatz und Wonne;
darum laß' ich Jesum nicht
aus dem Herzen und Gesicht.
—from BWV 147, Chorale movement no. 10

The original German text does not correspond to the most common English version. A close-to-literal translation of the original German:
    Well for me that I have Jesus,
    O how strong I hold to him
    that he might refresh my heart,
    when sick and sad am I.
    Jesus have I, who loves me
    and gives to me his own,
    ah, therefore I will not leave Jesus,
    when I feel my heart is breaking.
    —from BWV 147, Chorale movement no 6

    Jesus remains my joy,
    my heart's comfort and essence,
    Jesus resists all suffering,
    He is my life's strength,
    my eye's desire and sun,
    my soul's love and joy;
    so will I not leave Jesus
    out of heart and face.
    —from BWV 147, Chorale movement no. 10

Excerpted below are the opening stanzas of Jahn's Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne.

Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne, the lyrics of which were written in 1661 by Martin Jahn

JESU, MEINER SEELEN WONNE
(Martin Jahn, 1661; music by J.S. Bach, 1716/1723)

Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne,
Jesu, meine beste Lust,
Jesu, meine Freudensonne,
Jesu, dir ist ja bewußt,
wie ich dich so herzlich liebe
und mich ohne dich betrübe.
Drum o Jesu komm zu mir
und bleib bei mir für und für!

Jesu, mein Hort und Erretter,
Jesu, meine Zuversicht,
Jesu, starker Schlangentreter,
Jesu, meines Lebens Licht!
Wie verlanget meinem Herzen,
Jesulein, nach dir mit Schmerzen!
Komm, ach komm, ich warte dein,
komm, o liebstes Jesulein!


Gloss:
Jesus, my refuge and deliverer,
Jesus, the ground of my confidence,
Jesus, mighty trampler on the serpent,
Jesus, light of my life!
How my heart longs for you,
dear Jesus, painfully!
Come, ah come, I wait for you,
come,O dearest Jesus!

Jesus, delight of my soul,
Jesus, my best pleasure,
Jesus, my sun of joy,
Jesus, it is well known to you
how I love you from my heart
and am distressed without you.
Therefore O Jesus come to me
and stay with me forever and ever.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 09:33 AM

Joe,
I have the opposite problem. My wife is a massive fan of the orchestral version (no singing) and I keep picking up CDs from the charity shops with it on in hopes, but the first 3 I bagged all had the choral bit which she's not keen on.

As for me I'm a massive fan of harp playing. Could you please post the details of the harp version so I can keep a look out for it?


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 01:00 PM

"It has been noted that the original German hymn was characteristically a lively hymn of praise,"

Eh?

Down at my public library I once found a new book that discussed Bach's music and the society in which it was performed. In church, the high lines of music were sung by orphan boys who were raised in the most pernurious fashion possible by the town council. For example, citizens protested that the cistern of the boys' home had rats living in it, but the council did nothing.

So it's hard for me to imagine that when the young boys sang about being sick and sad that they did it in a lively fashion. Those kids knew about being sick and sad. Everybody did.

It's possible that when a cantata was performed, a woman was allowed to sing the high lines. That I don't know. But in the cantata, the hymn has to allow for the accompaniment, which is what most people think of as being "Jesu, Joy."

The accompaniment would have been played by a boy of about 16. It demends that he get three notes in every time the leads sing one quarter note. Plus it has chromatic accidentals coming and going. It's just not rational to make it go fast - or even moderately fast. Not only would it disrupt the religious experience if the kids crashed and burned, it would irritate the Duke. And nobody wants to risk that.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I like to play "Jesu Joy" on soprano recorder and pretend that I am 16 again.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 02:13 PM

In the mid-1970s I was working as an announcer at a classical music radio station in Seattle. Their record library was massive, and it was here that I first encountered a young classical guitarist named Christopher Parkening (LP, Parkening Plays Bach, EMI/Angel Records). Outrageously good! Shortly thereafter, I learned that Parkening was going to be giving a concert in Seattle. I telephoned a young woman of my acquaintance whom I knew was a very good pianist, but was also fond of classical guitar, although she didn't play. It was my first date with my now wife, Barbara.

Anyhoo—Parkening also had a folio of his transcriptions of the music on the Bach record, which I bought and tried out. Fairly simple sounding when you hear Parkening play them (he makes them sound like a stroll through the park), but they are extremely difficult!

One of his transcriptions is "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

Here it is:   CLICKY.

(Starts with a commercial, but it's very brief).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 03:45 PM

There are many books about Bach, of various degrees of accuracy, and I am not going to write another one here. Just a couple of facts for the casual reader: At the demand of his church, all of Bach's sacred music was performed by males only. Castratos were not allowed. The boys were schoolboys of the church's own school, orphans were a minority. Bach's soprano and alto parts are often much more difficult than the chorale discussed here. The tradition still lives in many countries, see for example a clip about Bach's own choir today.

The instruments were played by adults, mostly university students. Trumpet players had to be particularly well-trained, so that they could make a good living as professionals. Cantata 147 uses a trumpet, two oboes (etc.), a bassoon, and strings; the famous counter-melody is played by the oboes and the first violins. See the sheet music, make sure to scroll down to "Full score" for the original version. Of course there are many YouTube videos to choose from.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: michaelr
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 07:48 PM

JJOMD works a treat as a slip jig - check out my band's recording (2nd tune in the set).


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 08:15 PM

Steve Gardham asked about the harp rendition of "Jesu" that my wife plays over and over again. The album is called In Perfect Peace, harp music arranged and performed by Michelle Boykin. It's a very nice collection of familiar hymns, available for $15 from www.drnedley.com. I think Michelle is connected somehow with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.

Don Firth mentioned an LP titled Parkening Plays Bach, which Amazon says is available as LP. I listened to another Parkening guitar recording of "Jesu" on a 2006 album titled Grace Like a River, and it's terrific - as are the other pieces on the album.

Any other remarkable instrumental recordings of "Jesu"?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 08:24 PM

Oscar Brand, about 70 years ago or so, sang a set of cowboy words to it, winding it up with " I'll meet you tonight at the Old Bach Corral"
Wish I could find those words.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 09:52 PM

The first time I recall hearing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" was in October of 1954. Pete Seeger did a concert in a small auditorium in Seattle's University District during which he played his "Goofing Off Suite." That was part of it.

If I remember correctly, he played the triplet accompaniment on the banjo and whistled the melody.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 02:58 PM

Many thanks, Joe.

My wife and I loved the recording. She's going to download it onto her MP3 player as my PC speakers don't really do it justice.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Q
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 03:26 PM

There are a variety of music only renditions.
I liked Angel Romero, guitar.
"Angel Romero Plays Bach"

For the original, cantata no. 147, I recommend Harry Christophers and The Sixteen. "J. S. Bach, Cantatas 34, 50 and 147." SRI.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Q
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 03:57 PM

The original tune, "Werde munter, mein Gemüte," composed by Johann Schop, a violinist.
Anyone know of a recording of this tune on the violin?


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Anne Neilson
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 05:50 PM

I'm sure there is a YouTube video of Leo Kottke (American 12-string guitarist) playing this great piece, but don't have the time to look for it.

Enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 07:50 PM

There are several of Leo Kottke on YouTube, playing both six and 12-string guitar. Here's a nice version of his doing "Jesu" on the six-string:

CLICKY.

You did know, of course, that one of Keo Kottke's ancestors wrote our national anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner."

Francis Kottke.

(I'll go now.)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Janie
Date: 26 Apr 13 - 08:36 PM

Nothing to add. Just chiming in to say I am enjoying this thread and to say thanks to all of you who are sharing your knowledge and also links.

Janie


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Apr 13 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for the link, Don. I enjoyed it.

Janie - nice to hear from you.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Don Leighty
Date: 28 Apr 13 - 01:37 PM

I recall reading that Leo Kottke originally learned the song from the aforementioned Pete Seeger version (on his Goofing Off Suite LP).

The first instrumental I can remember hearing was on the original Switched-On Bach album. Leo Kottke came along soon after that.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: michaelr
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 01:13 AM

Has anyone listened to my slip-jig version linked above? I'd welcome comments.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Janie
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 05:26 AM

I listened Michael and liked it very much.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 29 Apr 13 - 10:33 AM

Too fast, too mechanical, and it sounds like the fiddler isn't listening to the guitar. Your band is doing well, but it's time to move to another level and play together, to blend with one another the way good choir members do.

This piece was written for recorder, an instrument which we put in our mouths and play with our breath. It is capable of variation and expression. However, most people who have heard "Jesu Joy" have heard it on an organ, which is a machine. It's a complex and wonderful musical machine, but it's still just a machine.

For example, the Kottke version sounds like the organ version played on a guitar.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 07:01 AM

A guitar is the opposite of a machine, so that many pieces that were adapted from other instruments amount to circus acrobatics. Kottke's 12-string stunt is to be admired from that point of view, but not as music, let alone Baroque music.

Good Baroque organ players can do a lot of musical articulation.

Michael's version does not claim to be a rendering of Bach's music, it is a parody. Nothing wrong with that, and the fun of it is that it almost works, in the sense that a jigger who does not know the tune may almost mistake it for an authentic jig.

Bach wrote many masterful stylized jigs (gigues) himself, but "Jesu" is a different genre whose name I do not recall, distantly related to the "pastorale". The original instruments are two oboes and violins. The emotion to be expressed is safety and comfort rather than merriment.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Don Leighty
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 01:41 PM

Nice thing about Bach's music is that it works on anything.


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 03:23 PM

Despite the instrument indications in the scores, it was common practice for an ensemble to be made up of whatever the parish could scrape together at the time. On any given week the second fiddle player might be down with a kidney stone, and the maestro might give that part to an oboe and fill in the missing oboe part from the organ... whatever worked. Not that different to session playing, is it?

Also, the speed of the piece was not merely a function of how fast the singers/players could go. One fairly standard way to arrange a melody was by "augmentation," meaning you stretched out the notes reeeeaaaal looooonnnnnng and wrote a countermelody to decorate it. Very common in cantatas and in organ preludes.

Bach of course was an undisputed master of countermelodies that often far exceed the beauty of the main melody.

Finally, as an organist, I hope my playing is not mechanical!! (Although there are far too many on all sorts of instruments who play Baroque music too fast and soullessly, IMHO.)

-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: GUEST,Mark
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 05:49 PM

And then there's this well-known version:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ekQ1RTmzBc


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Subject: RE: Origins/ADD: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
From: Don Firth
Date: 30 Apr 13 - 06:06 PM

Umm--actually--

Bach scored the chorale movements for choir, trumpet, violin, optionally oboe, viola, and basso continuo.

The music's wide popularity has led to numerous arrangements and transcriptions for many different instruments.

Don Firth


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