Coro: "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (BWV 7 No. 1) for Woodwind Ensemble

Uploaded on May 10, 2013

Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam (Christ our Lord came to the Jordan), BWV 7,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the Feast of St. John the Baptist and led the first performance on 24 June 1724. It is the third chorale cantata from his second annual cycle of chorale cantatas, based on Martin Luther's "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam", a hymn about baptism. Luther's first and last stanza are used unchanged (the former treated as a chorale fantasia, the latter as a four-part closing chorale) and an unknown librettist paraphrased the five inner stanzas into a corresponding number of recitatives and arias. The cantata is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, two oboes d'amore, two solo violins, strings and basso continuo.

Bach composed the cantata for St John's Day in Leipzig as the third cantata of his second annual cycle, which began about two weeks before with O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, for the first Sunday after Trinity. The cycle was devoted to Lutheran hymns, typically rendered by keeping their text of the first and last stanza, while a contemporary poet reworded the inner stanzas.

The structure of seven movements begins with a chorale fantasia and ends, after a sequence of alternating arias and recitatives, with a closing chorale as a four-part setting. Bach increased the number of accompanying instruments for the arias, from only continuo to two solo violins, finally to two oboes d'amore and the strings.

The cantata in seven movements is scored for three vocal soloists (alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir (SATB), two oboes d'amore (Oa), two solo violins (Vs, the second one only introduced in a later performance), two violins (Vl), viola (Va) and basso continuo (Bc).

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_unser_Herr_zum_Jordan_kam,_BWV_7).

In the opening chorus, "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (Christ our Lord came to the Jordan), the tenor has the melody as a cantus firmus, while the other voices sing free counterpoint. In the first cantata of the cycle, O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, Bach gave the cantus firmus of the chorale tune to the soprano, in the second, Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein, BWV 2, to the alto. The opening chorus resembles an Italian violin concerto. The musicologist Julian Mincham likens the "solo violin's persistent, rocking, wave-like idea" to the waves of the Jordan River. Alfred Dürr compares the vocal sections, all with the solo violin, to the solo sections of a violin concerto, as opposed to the tutti sections with the orchestra. John Eliot Gardiner interprets the movement as a French overture, "replete with grandiloquent baroque gestures to suggest both the processional entrance of Jesus and the powerful flooding of the River Jordan". Klaus Hofmann notes that the movement combines the old style of motet writing with the new type of solo concerto, and observes that "the main violin solo episodes ... are at first linked to the choral entries, but gradually assume larger proportions and greater independence as the movement progresses".

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorus: "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (Christ our Lord came to the Jordan) for Woodwind Ensemble (2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon).


Pages 20
Duration 06:02
Measures 129
Key signature 1 sharp
Parts 6
Part names Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet, Bassoon
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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