"O Little One Sweet" (BWV 493) for Woodwind Quartet

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Uploaded on Dec 2, 2012

"O Little One Sweet" (O Jesulein süß) is actually an old German tune, harmonized by Johann Sebastian with words first appearing in Scheidt's "Tablaturbuch" (1650).

When Georg Christian Schemelli published his Schemelli Gesangbuch (Schemelli's Songbook) in 1736, he called upon his friend Johann Sebastian Bach to provide the figured bass for many of the well-known Lutheran hymn tunes. One of Bach's 69 settings was for O Jesulein süss, a Christmas hymn by Paul Gerhardt from 1665. Bach let Gerhardt's five-line melody stand almost unaltered but added wonderful harmonies beneath it. The brief piece opens in the minor but cadences in the major by the end of the opening line, modulates briefly to the relative minor in the third and fourth lines and closes with the return of the opening line as the fifth and final line.

Although this piece was originally written for Chorus, I arranged it for Woodwind Quartet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon). This piece is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).


Pages 1
Duration 01:09
Measures 23
Key signature 2 flats
Parts 4
Part names
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License None (All rights reserved)
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