J.S. Bach: Der Herr denket an uns (Sinfonia, BWV 196.1)

6 parts5 pages01:534 months ago106 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Other Woodwinds, Contrabass
The Sinfonia to Bach's cantata BWV 196. In MS3, Piano Roll Editor was used for some minimal phrasing and proper execution of the appoggiature. Continuo by me (pan flutes). Score (with figures) from the Bachgesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA via IMSLP).

The upper strings think it's a French Overture, but many characteristics of that genre are lacking and it's just a lot of neat dotted patterns and Italianate suspensions.

The cello being 10% pseudo-independent of the continuo is moderately unusual in the cantatas.

J.S. Bach: Nun komm’, der Heiden Heiland (BWV 659) (on Hauptwerk/Sonus Doesburg)

4 parts2 pages03:556 months ago167 views
Oboe, Viola, Cello, Contrabass
The haunting melismatic prelude on Luther's Advent tune, with its moody, mystical walking bass under left-hand canonettes and a supremely-ornamented solo. This iconic setting owes to Buxtehude's earlier setting, especially in its Chopinesque coda run.

While the hymn expresses quiet joy anticipating the Advent of the Saviour, this setting is yet dark and mystical. The sombre opening three measures are (look closely!) a canon at the fifth on the opening phrase of the chorale over a seemingly ordinary "walking bass", but the skill with which these elements were chosen and joined reveals its genius.

It is easy to play if you can read the alto clef (as in the Peters edition — this is the "poster child" for why alto clef is great). As a youth, I had to learn to read it just to play this, the first long Bach chorale prelude I could. Beginning organist, you can do the same!

The default audio is recorded by Hauptwerk on the Sonus Paradisi imaging of the Walcker organ at Doesburg, Holland.

II: Orchester Oboe 8, Cello 8, Nazard 2-2/3, Piccolo 2
I: Viola da Gamba 8
Pedal: Prinzipalbass 16, Oktavbass 8

The native MuseScore audio source with 2 viole for the left-hand is actually very beautiful (IMO), too.

Mozart: Larghetto, from Clarinet Quintet in A (“Stadler”) K 581

5 parts14 pages04:406 months ago342 views
Clarinet, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The exquisite Larghetto from Mozart's famed clarinet quintet, dedicated to clarinettist Anton Stadler. A beloved Mozart gem, it is suffused with ineffable, ineluctable, irresistible grace and pathos.

In this small Sonata-Allegro form, the string parts more or less play continuo (a good model for this kind of writing) behind clarinet solo, duets (clarinet and bass) and trios (clarinet, vn1, bass (see the occasional cl/string doublings in the opening measures). There are short senza basso trios of vn1, vn2, vla. My favorite part is the (twice-told) very Bach-like suspension chain against the 32d-note runs (in vn1 and clarinet, second time inverted).

I have taken great care to implement Mozart's phrasings with hidden portati. I was forced to write out some of the turn ornaments in smal notes. Although MuseScore can't perform the (few) hairpin dynamics properly, I nonetheless retained them for score value. One can learn a great deal about phrasing (vis-à-vis other repertoire) by studying Mozart's slur-marks.

If you can read soprano clef, imagine the same on the A-Clarinet part and you will see the "concert pitch" notes (or download it and click "concert pitch").

I met K. 581 on a commercial casette tape used as a demo left in a wonderful casette player/recorder I purchased maybe 40 years ago at the long-gone Waltham (MA) Camera and Stereo.

This is "as good as it gets."

J.S. Bach: Der Gott, der hat mir versprochen (BWV 13, #3)

9 parts12 pages03:189 months ago173 views
Violin(2), Viola, Flute, Oboe, Voice, Other Woodwinds, Cello, Contrabass
A superlative concerted chorale-prelude movement on "Freu' dich sehr, o meine Seele" from the incredible cantata "Meine Seufzer, meine Thränen", BWV 13.

Those who, like myself, strive to learn this art are encouraged to study the bass chosen to underlay the Cantus when it appears. The harmonic creativy in these places is deeply inspiring.

Handel: Cara Sposa from Rinaldo (audio rendition by @SDG)

5 parts5 pages08:3511 months ago199 views
Violin(2), Viola, Voice, Cello
One of Handel's most beautiful and renowned arias. Score from Deutsche Händelgesellschaft. No figuring is indicated on the bassi. I have put great effort into phrasing, by the customized-portato technique; the phrasing slurs are Handel's.

No original content other than phrasing.

Gertim (@SDG) has kindly rendered the audio with better soundfonts and other technology, and that is the default audio source.

J.S. Bach/Pergolesi: Wasche mich - complete analysis of Bach's viola contribution by BSG, 2018

5 parts13 pages03:08a year ago84 views
Violin, Viola, Voice, Harpsichord, Cello
CLICK "Show more". Complete analysis of the content and genesis of Bach's viola part for the "Eja mater" of Pergolesi's "Stabat mater" https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5090495 . Analysis and note-by-note comparison of vocal line changes at https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5091480 .

See my set https://musescore.com/user/1831606/sets/5093144 for all.
Y'all might like to visit my own “I added an active viola to a piece that was fine without it” works inspired by this, the second here being the first movement of P's same Stabat Mater:


J.S. Bach/Pergolesi: Wasche mich doch rein von Sünden - comparison and analysis of Bach's changes to Pergolesi's vocal line

6 parts10 pages02:26a year ago56 views
Violin, Viola, Voice(2), Harpsichord, Cello
CLICK "Show more". Analysis and comparison of Bach's changes to Pergolesi in https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5090495 . Analysis of viola part content and genesis at https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5093086 .

https://musescore.com/user/1831606/sets/5093144 all three scores.

J.S. Bach (from Pergolesi) Wasche mich doch rein von Sünden (BWV 1083, #8)

5 parts10 pages02:27a year ago112 views
Violin, Viola, Voice, Harpsichord, Cello
A central and outstanding movement from Bach’s rework of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Bach has added an active viola part, and effected other changes, subtly changing the character of the piece.

Y'all might like to visit my own “I added an active viola to a piece that was fine without it” works inspired by this, the second here being the first movement of P's same Stabat Mater:


J.S. Bach: accompanied chorale, Nun, ich weiß, du wirst mich stillen (BWV 105, #6)

9 parts3 pages01:55a year ago274 views
Violin(2), Viola, Voice(4), Cello, Contrabass
CLICK "Show More"! The closing chorale from the Cantata BWV 105, “Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht.”, notable for its obbligato string parts, which demonstrate God quieting the troubled conscience (Gewissen), slowing down from sixteenths to triplets, to eighths, to quarter notes, the three upper strings expressing an eerie oft-chromatic, contrary-motion texture independent of the chorale.

There are several extraordinary features of the composition and the MuseScore page. The latter is easier to describe, so, that first.

This score exploits a little-known MuseScore feature about which I just learned, “local time signatures”. You will note that in measure 6, the three string parts get different time signatures that the choral parts (it actually happens in 7, but many time signatures have been made invisible, and there is trick measure-numbering). See https://musescore.org/en/handbook/time-signatures#local-time-signatures . Secondly, “portato phrasing” (not to be confused with baked or “French-Fried”) is used heavily, at very least at the last note of each phrased group (the phrasing slurs are Bach’s). https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/4978661 . A contrabass part colla parte on continuo is hidden; the continuo is not realized — read on —

The composition appears at first to be a 4-part choral setting of “Jesu, der du meine Seele” (cf BWV 78.1, https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/879641 , one of my most popular scores) with interesting violin and viola parts. IT IS NOT!!! The present movement is a true seven-part contrapuntal texture; the obbligato string parts are COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT of the chorale (but, of course, backing it harmonically). The continuo part, as usual, is colla parte with the choral bass, and serves as bass for both “choirs”, the vocal quartet and the string quartet (4 + 4 -1 = 7). As a result, if the vocal parts be “kräftiglich herausgerissen” (“powerfully ripped out”, cf. BWV 78.1) of the score, you will see what appears to be horrible chorale-writing! They do not stand as a four-voice chorale! For example, look at the last chord of measure 2: there is no third, no F#, in the choral parts, because the first violin has it and the the 4-3 gesture preparing it. Or measure 19, where the tenor screams up to a high Eb to jump down a diminished seventh to a needed F#, where the alto is on G and could have elegantly gone to F# in 4 parts, but the gently-falling motion of the first violin already has that gesture. In m. 8, a suspended G in the alto, a 5-4 suspension, is not even resolved, because it is also in the first violin, where it IS resolved (in 4 parts, that would be flatly unacceptable) And doubling the leading tone is “not as forbidden” in 7 parts as in 4 (cf. m. 12). Consider the horrific Tenor/Bass "direct fifth", violently similar motion from a unison down to a fifth outside of it in m.8!

In 7 parts, rules and demands on linearity of parts are considerably weaker than in 4.

In any setting in more than three parts, including 4, “elegance” and “logic” have to be distributed in different measures (in both senses) to parts as per their thematic importance. Here, of course, the cantus (soprano part) is fixed by the chorale melody. The bass is next in importance. Then the first violin, then the second and viola, then the choral alto and tenor. So the last two, or even three, show kludges, compromises, crazy leaps, “dirty stuff” etc., correspondingly. This is true seven-voice writing, rare in Bach, vanishingly so in chorales.

The modernistic "clusters" (e.g., C D E, m. 3, third beat) are particularly beautiful.