3 parts •
1 page •
2 months ago •
Oboe, Recorder, Bassoon
Example to accompany https://musescore.org/en/node/270844 (q.v.). In spite of the tune name, this is not recorded by Hauptwerk at St. Anne's Moseley, but at the Mascioni organ (digitized by Piotr Grabowski) at Giubiasco, Switzerland. If you select "MuseScore" as audio source, you will hear the oboe etc as written on the score, as advertised.
3 parts •
2 pages •
4 months ago •
Violin, Oboe, Cello
PLEASE CLICK “Show More” below and read!
The bass of this composition is the first 40 bars of https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5320392 , which were generated by a program of mine which learned from the weighted vocabulary of Bach four-eighth-note bass patterns https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5308016 learned (automatically) from seven Bach movements listed there (read the explanation there). The model includes stripping all accidentals (for deep reasons). The two measures 32 and 48 are “cheats” I inserted manually, in one case to introduce a recapitulation (also added by “cheat”) and the other to ameliorate what I considered too difficult a problem (and I added one to close out the end).
The program chooses bass patterns stochastically as learned, and aligns each “next” pattern on a note also chosen stochastically. There is no measure-to-measure pattern learning, and when patterns are repeated, as in m. 34-36, it is serendipitous. I added accidentals (e.g., C#, B natural) to the bass as I saw fit (remember, the learning program deliberately strips them) to help shepherd the key structure.
I composed the violin and oboe parts upon that bass, trying to build a credible structure in spite of the fact that the bass was not constructed with one in mind! The point is to demonstrate how much power there is in this particular vocabulary of “bass riffs”, and exactly how one might utilize each of them in real composition (of course, every single one of them was excerpted from one or more real Bach compositions).
The appoggiature were customized with the MS3 Piano Roll Editor.
4 parts •
2 pages •
6 months ago •
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.
3 parts •
5 pages •
7 months ago •
Oboe, Voice, Cello
A beautiful aria from BWV 144 "Nimm, was dein ist", for soprano, oboe d'amore, and continuo (the latter a first-class example of the "JSB walking bass" genre). There are no figures in the BGA, so I did not supply a continuo "realization". Note the outrageous "resolution" of a 6-4-2 in m. 32. There are hidden 85% portati implementing the phrasing.
12 parts •
25 pages •
10 months ago •
Oboe, Voice(5), Other Woodwinds, Cello, Violin(3), Contrabass
This magnificent tenor aria -con-coro- from Part I of the St. Matthew Passion comments upon Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethesemane, when all his disciples fall asleep. The poet (Picander) asserts that he will not fall asleep — the tenor, accompanied by continuo and a watchman’s horn-like oboe, says he will watch “by his Jesus”, while a gentle, rocking chorus backed by strings interjects several times in response, “So our sins will fall asleep” (Here, "fall asleep" is understood to mean "die", "perish"; see Romans 6). The middle of the aria presents the thought that Jesus’ death atones for his sin (in some twisted syntax), and that this mourning (because of the redemptive power of the Cross) literally fills him with joy, a difficult thought for those not as deep in Christian commitment as Bach and Picander.
Toward the end, once at mm. 47-59, and again at mm. 69-81, the chorus offers extended meditations in non-gentle texture, in fact, some of the most beguiling, heart-wrenching, and characteristically Bachian counterpoint in his output. The first of the two thoughts (47-69) puts forth “Therefore, his [Jesus’] servant-like suffering must be for us at once really bitter and yet sweet”, the central idea of classical Christianity, and a very fair description of not only this painful yet unspeakably beautiful passage, but the entire Matthew Passion, or for that matter the entire technique and oeuvre of Bach, of which this passage is one of my very favorites. Full analysis of these dozen measures demands a monograph (well, here it is: https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/5149063 ) .It merits prizes for best jazz bass, best half-dim7 chord use, best pseudo modal-cadence riffs, best slow choral suspensions etc … (the second passage reprises the musical ideas of the first, but with the already-stated idea, "so our sins will fall asleep").
The opening oboe solo (with continuo) prefigures almost all the ideas of the movement, and is harvested with devastating economy for expositions, intermezzi, ritornelli, the choruses, and a da capo.
I have discarded the flutes, which just double the violins (except below D4 where Bach had to “write-around”), which almost double the soprano and alto. My performance touchstone is the 1959 recording by Møgens Wöldike. The continuo-da-flauti-da-Pan is my own realization, figures from the Bachgesellschaft. There is one corrected note from the NBA marked (thanks, @timothyser2). I give the Coro I continuo to cello, Coro II to contrabass (and no realization, as the harmony is full as it stands). So there are no figures for the choral part. I haven’t put in all the slurs in the string parts; all the slurs in the oboe, tenor, and cello are there and implemented.
I used “hidden portato” phrasing at 88%. Bach has some actual staccato marks, which I have observed, but have changed staccato gate time from the default 50% to 75% for this score. I have exchanged the "bogus Dorian" key signature for the three flats that unambiguous C minor asks.
6 parts •
9 pages •
a year ago •
Oboe, Voice(2), Other Woodwinds, Bassoon, Contrabass
Newly phrased with hidden portato and marcato phrasing. See https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/960796 -- I cannot update that score because of the new limit (5000 chars) on "About texts". Go there to read what I have to say about this spectacular movement and my realization of it.
The portato and marcato phrasings can be seen by downloading the score and un-hiding "Invisible" elements. Every single word is phrased appropriately, and all of the bass. My phrasing is also influenced by many performances I have heard.
Latest version (3/3/2018) records the continuo realization on the Flauto a Camino stop on the Grande of the 2009 Mascioni organ at Giubiasco, Switzerland, as digitized by Piotr Grabowski, via Hauptwerk. If you select "... Audio sources" and choose "MuseScore audio", you will get the usual "Pan Flute" continuo, which isn't that bad, I think, but some disagree.
3 parts •
2 pages •
a year ago •
Oboe, Other Woodwinds, Recorder
A particularly beautiful “coloratura” organ chorale prelude of the type beloved of Böhm, but with many similar in Buxtehude, and, of course, Bach.
The left-hand is in the style of a continuo realization, but contrapuntally independent of the (ornamented) cantus (which is not the case with true continuo). There are few suspensions or other nonharmonic tones in the left hand (except at a couple of points), all the contrapuntal energy being generated in the cantus. The hymn can be traced through the ornamented cantus in half and quarter notes, with frequent suspensions, neighbors, and other ornaments.
I've used pan flute, 16' "pedal recorder", and MS Oboe. I've had to hide some mordent realizations in a second voice on the cantus staff because of the year-old+ MS bug that ornamented tied notes corrupt the playback where they appear. I've done no phrasing work.
In landscape form, this is ideal for printing and performance.
There is an organ trio, BWV 584, in G minor, which appears neither in the Bachgesellschaft Ausgabe nor the Peters Bach Organ Works, but can be found on IMSLP. Strangely enough, its right-hand corresponds exactly (almost) to the oboe part of this aria, and the pedal to the latter's continuo. The left hand seems to be the missing violin (or whatever) part — that was the assumption of Alfred Dürr, who from it produced a reconstruction (such as I have done here) which is probably the one I have heard on Barbe's recording.
One must note that the trio is (obviously) three-voiced, and the aria four-voiced. Except for a handful of isolated points (where I have silenced and small-noted the “584 violin” part), the new violin never duplicates or parallel-fifths or conflicts the tenor, suggesting that it was extracted from such a four-part aria (and lightly adjusted). On the other hand, except for a couple of cadences, of necessity, no critical harmony component is ever found lacking with the tenor removed (i.e., the organ trio), which is almost miraculous and not easily explainable (that the vocal never cadences on thirds is part of this secret, for sure).
Peter Williams (The Organ Works of Bach, 3rd ed.) thinks that the both the cantata movement and the organ trio derive from an earlier common source, and that the trio, whose score's provenance is not clear, may not be a reduction by Bach. Williams also asserts that the left-hand shares much with the tenor part, but (other than m. 14 and 27 and the three-voiced cadences), this is not really so, at least not any more so than for the oboe part.
The trio only goes as far as m. 30, i.e., does not cover the “B section.” I have retained my own reconstruction from 30 to the end in this score. My reconstruction remains visible (so you can compare my answer to the “right answer”), but is silenced in the mixer. For a good time, unsilence it and hear them together. I have retained the figured bass from the BGA, and my realization from the earlier attempt, which is largely correct, but leaves some beautiful features (e.g., the suspended 9th in the middle of m. 8) in the new part unfigured (and thus, I lacked the clues to reconstruct them in the earlier attempt).
6 parts •
12 pages •
2 years ago •
Oboe, Violin, Voice, Other Woodwinds, Cello, Contrabass
“I will think upon the Heavens, and to the world not give my heart. Whether I go or stay, the question remains in my mind, ‘Man/humanity, whither goest thou?' ”
This gorgeous aria from the Cantata BWV 166, “Wo gehst du hin?” (“Whither goest thou?”) comes to us incomplete. The obbligato violin part is lacking: several reconstructions have been attempted, and this is mine, done in the first days of Sept. 2016. I have had and loved a 1960 recording by Helmut Barbe and the St. Nicholas Choir of Berlin/Spandau almost that long, and the reconstruction on that LP (whose origin I don’t know) explicitly and implicitly informed many of my choices (e.g., the basic canon at the fifth and interlocking obbligato figures in the first five measures and elsewhere), but it seems clear that “those were there to be found”, based upon similar Bach arias and the interaction of the oboe and the tenor. So how much is Bach’s and how much is mine is a fair question, but I don’t think there’s much of anyone else’s reconstruction here. The Bachgesellschaft (BGA) shows only the oboe, tenor, and continuo (i.e., no violin reconstruction). I did not listen to or refer to the LP or any other reconstruction while doing this. Reconstruction is a curious exercise related to both discovery and invention – if I succeeded in the reconstruction, then none of it is mine and all of it is Bach's.
The key to the reconstruction is the figuring of the bass, which, in its “descriptive/reductive” role, almost always provides a sure indication of what “important notes” are to be sounded by the obbligati - account for the oboe and tenor, and you’re set. As always, maximal economy on “shapes” is best — I suppose I could still do better.
I have also realized the continuo, whose figuring runs off the rails at m. 30, at which point I had to infer the right harmony from context and idiom, and lacked this guide for the obbligato.
15 parts •
49 pages •
2 years ago •
Oboe(2), Flute(2), Violin(2), Viola, Voice(4), Other Woodwinds, Cello, Bassoon, Contrabass
The magnificent, pain-wracked yet glorious opening chorus of Bach’s Passion according to St. John, BWV 245. Surely one of Bach's, or anyone's, greatest choruses.
(“A section”, (da capo)) Herr, unser Herrscher, (Lord, our ruler) Dessen Ruhm in allen Landen (Whose fame in all lands) Herrlich ist! (Is glorious!) (“B section”) Zeig' uns durch deine Passion, (Show us through Thy Passion) Daß du, der wahre Gottessohn, (That Thou, the true Son of God) Zu aller Zeit, (Through all time) Auch in der größten Niedrigkeit, (Even in the greatest humiliation) Verherrlicht worden bist! (Hast been glorified!)
The Passion according to St. John, as its eponymous Gospel, emphasizes the Kingship of Jesus in contrast to the Passion according to St. Matthew, which more emphasizes his humanity. The “St. John” setting, written (first version) in 1724, Bach's second year at Leipzig, is grittier and angrier than the later “St. Matthew”. For many a music lover, myself at least, although replete with exquisite moments, the “St. John” is harder to love than its better-known peer. But what it does it does well, and nothing conveys that grittiness and anger as well as this opening chorus.
Although few works produced by humanity stand comparison with the opening chorus of the St. Matthew Passion (https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/812951), here such a task seems inescapable. While “Kommt, ihr Töchter” presents a broad tragic panorama with extraordinary elements, the double chorus, the redemptive chorale with its tug on the modality of the work, and its double-counterpoint chromatic motifs, “Herr, unser Herrscher” is more narrowly focused on unremitting harshness, with its tonality never straying more than 2 flats (or want thereof) from G Minor, and a conventional “da capo” framing its inner “B Section”. Flutes double the oboes (save in one passage where Baroque flute tessitura interferes), wailing away in long notes, outlining sequences of diminished fifths and painfully grinding at each other in frequent suspensions of the minor second.
The most striking feature of the setting is surely the interlocking sixteenth-note figure stated at the outset and kept for almost the entire movement by the strings (but often infiltrating the chorus, and at three points the basso continuo). These undulating, pulsating figures form a vocabulary of harmonic shading, whose subtle changes of shape and detail color the entire harmonic fabric in a unique way that defies my, for one, understanding. Often the edges of the shapes provide chromatic conflict allusive to the Cross. The shapes of these patterns and their consequent peculiar counterpoint among themselves (e.g., m. 88) merit detailed study.
Twice the chorus hushes, and sinks to a low tessitura, at “auch in der größten Niedrigkeit” (even in deepest humiliation (i.e., “nieder” = “low”)) to rise again at “verherrlicht” (glorified).
Occasionally conflicting tales told by the oboes and the string figures produce striking and unexpected harmonies. The jazz chord on the second half of m. 24, figured (inadequately; it cannot be fully realized in four voices) by Bach 9b-7-4 (the 6 (jazz “13th”), Eb, provided by the second violin, is the source of its striking color) is the best such (it also occurs in m. 74, and at the climax (m. 47) of the famed Mozart “Elvira Madigan” Andante K. 467 #2, on the same bass, G, no less). As in “Kommt, ihr Töchter”, Bach exploits extended pedal points to spin forth an abundance of exotic harmonies (as does Mozart in the cited passage).
I haven't figured the bass (the BGA is fully so) nor realized such figuring, nor done any PRE phrasing work, but the rendition above is wholly “honest”, my only contributions so far being pan, balance, and tempo (including the 2 ritards), and an occasional hidden staccato-dot phrase break (esp. in the B sec). The dynamic changes (although I use different marks, e.g., mp for ‘forte’ in the instruments) are Bach’s. The beaming follows the BGA. My model is the 60’s performance of the late Karl Richter; the forces available to MuseScore do not include the Baroque instrumentation or vocals necessary for a more “historical” performance.
I may or may not address the continuo; the harmony speaks perfectly without it. The PRE on MuseScore/Mac is too painful.
[2016-08-30 Hid flute parts (changed to JSB/BGA hack at split), managed bar line extents, added text underlay.]
5 parts •
7 pages •
2 years ago •
Oboe, Voice(2), Other Woodwinds, Cello
“God, you have well accomplished what now has happened to us. (B sec) Therefore let us always trust in Him and rely upon His grace, for He has bestowed this upon us, which now will delight us for ever. ” (trans. by Pamela Dellal, Emmanuel Music).
This exquisite duet for Soprano and Bass (a less common pairing in Bach), in imitation at the octave with sinuous oboe obbligato, is from the Cantata BWV 63, “Christen, ätzet diesen Tag”, (Christians, etch this day (proverbially, in your minds)). It first came to my attention on a Bach Aria Group LP decades ago, performed with operatic technique and a piano continuo, but its slowly-unfolding beauty was immediately apparent. It was about at the tempo I have it.
The graceful canon at the lower eleventh (fourth+8va, ~ 5th above) on “Therefore let us build/rely upon His grace” (mm. 27-31), spinning out “bauen” (build), is worthy of study, particularly. the pictorial use of the scalar bass (but also note the “not quite consonant” sonorities on the unfigured second-of-four eighth-notes in 27-28 – engineering tradeoffs).
I have realized the continuo on Violoncello and Panflötenorgel. I have not (yet) taken pains to effect articulation in the Piano Roll editor, sorry.
3 parts •
4 pages •
2 years ago •
Oboe, Viola, Cello
The diatonic step-down-per-measure character of the ‘Lamento’/-passus-duriusculus- bass suggests canon at the second or ninth below. Here it is, eight statements in canon at the ninth below, including a tip of the hat to BWV 78.1. I do take a few melodic liberties for the sake of the canon–don't try them at home!
Inspired by Roland Bouman's recent work. [7/29 – Added a repeat in inversion, i.e., a canon at the seventh above.][7/30 – additional ornamentation.]