So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife, BWV 515 by Bach

Charles Daniels (tenor), Menno van Delft (harpsichord), Mieneke van der Velden (viola da gamba), and Fred Jacobs (theorbo) perform “So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife” (Each time I take my pipe ’n tobacco) BWV 515 by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This comes from the absolutely amazing Netherlands Bach Society and their YouTube from their project All of Bach (You can even search via BWV number). Constantly posting fantastic Bach performances, it’s one of my most watched YouTube channels. You can see the full lyrics and translation via Oxford Leider. Quick sum: Folks, we’re all fading to dust like the smoking of a pipe! But it’s okay, adore the little pipe.

Here’s their Youtube Description:

The song ‘So oft ich meine Tobackspfeife’, performed by Charles Daniels, Menno van Delft, Mieneke van der Velden and Fred Jacobs for All of Bach, appears twice in the Notenbüchlein from 1725: once without words, and again – directly alongside – with words and a more embellished bass line. Are the runs reminiscent of curling tobacco smoke? It may be a simple idea, but no simpler than the way in which the words explore the similarities between people and pipes: both are made of earth, and both are blackened by use. However hot the tobacco burns, protect yourself from the heat of hell. So smoke with care, bearing human life in mind – a real Lutheran awareness campaign.

Recorded for the project All of Bach on May 12th 2018 at the Bartolotti House, Amsterdam. This recording was made possible by the support of Stichting Elise Mathilde Fonds.

Sheet Music & Lessons for Bach on the Site

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