David Marr on ABC Classic FM

I’ve known David Marr and Neil Armfield at one remove for many years. I know they’ve known each other for about the same amount of time. This lent a certain comical and dramatic irony as David interviewed Neil about his career and upcoming production of Peter Grimes on ABC Classic FM the other morning, without giving away any of this.

Funnier was David’s back announcement for Bach’s cantata, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. David obviously knows that the number is 147, but he was a bit vague about the letters which come before it. There was a little Marresque um, and then he hazarded a guess:

“BMV 147.”

I’d like to think David was led astray by the BVM. I suspect BMWs are a more proximate cause.

3 Responses to “David Marr on ABC Classic FM”

  1. Thom Says:

    Of course, the delicious irony there is that the Bach cantata numbers are identical to their BWV catalogue numbers, so he could have quite easily (and correctly) said “Cantata No.147”.

    • marcellous Says:

      Thom, did JSB himself assign the numbers? I thought that the basic numbering dates from the Bach Gesellschaft edition.

  2. Thom Says:

    I don’t believe Bach assigned the numbers himself and I think you’re right as to the source. All the same, since the BWV numbers are assigned by category rather than chronology and since the cantatas are the first category, the published numbers happen to be the same as the BWV numbers. Same as Haydn Hob.I being the symphonies. (Although once or twice I’ve seen an overly earnest orchestra come out with “Symphony No.46, Hob.I:46” or similar…)

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