Sheet music

Sinfonia: "Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft" (BWV 50) for Orchestra

19 parts22 pages07:443 years ago477 views
Trumpet(3), Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Timpani, Violin(4), Viola(2), Cello(2)
Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft (Now is [come] salvation and strength), BWV 50, is a choral movement long attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach and assumed to be part of a lost cantata. The work was likely composed in 1723 but the date of its first performance is unknown.

American Bach scholar William H. Scheide suggested that the work was written for a Michaelmas celebration. However, the exact dates of composition and first performance are unknown.

The work has fascinated Bach scholars because of questions about its provenance. No autograph sources exist, and the earliest copies extant do not mention Bach's name. In 1982, Scheide argued that the existing version (for double choir) is an arrangement by an unknown hand of a lost original for five voices by J. S. Bach. His argument was based on irregularities in BWV 50's part-writing, which are highly unlike the writing of Bach. In 2000, the American performer and scholar Joshua Rifkin argued that a more plausible solution of this puzzle is that the author of BWV 50 was not Bach at all, but an unknown (but highly gifted) composer of the era. The suggestion is controversial.

The title is from Revelation 12:10: "Now is the salvation and the power and the kingdom and the might of our God and of His Christ come, since he is cast down who accused them day and night before God."

Like other cantatas for Michaelmas, it features texture layering from the lowest range to the highest, and a contrapuntal representation of "battles and massing armies". It is in two distinct sections and uses fugal techniques.

The movement begins with a "strong declaration in unharmonized octaves", pairing the low strings with the bass voice of the first choir. A rhythmic shift creates a "floating, turn-around feeling" before the tenor line enters, followed by alto and soprano. As this choir shifts into rhythmic counterpoint, the second choir, trumpet, and oboes enter. The movement also incorporates call-and-response, military-like tattoos, and an inversion of the previous order of thematic entry. The final twelve bars adopt a chromatic style not heard earlier in the piece.

The piece is written for an unusually large orchestra. The score involves two four-part choirs, three trumpets, timpani, three oboes, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun_ist_das_Heil_und_die_Kraft,_BWV_50).

I created this arrangement for Modern Orchestra consisting of Trumpets (Bb Piccolo Trumpet, Bb Trumpet & Flugelhorn) Flutes, Oboes, Bb Clarinets, French Horn, Bassoon, Timpani and Strings (4 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos).

"Je ne Suis Pas si Sot" for String Quintet

5 parts2 pages01:253 years ago476 views
Violin(2), Viola(2), Cello
Jacques Arcadelt (also Jacob Arcadelt; c. 1507 -- 14 October 1568) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance, active in both Italy and France, and principally known as a composer of secular vocal music. Although he also wrote sacred vocal music, he was one of the most famous of the early composers of madrigals; his first book of madrigals, published within a decade of the appearance of the earliest examples of the form, was the most widely printed collection of madrigals of the entire era. In addition to his work as a madrigalist, and distinguishing him from the other prominent early composers of madrigals -- Philippe Verdelot and Costanzo Festa -- he was equally prolific and adept at composing chansons, particularly late in his career when he lived in Paris.

Arcadelt was the most influential member of the early phase of madrigal composition, the "classic" phase; it was through Arcadelt's publications, more than those of any other composer, that the madrigal became known outside of Italy. Later composers considered Arcadelt's style to represent an ideal; later reprints of his first madrigal book were often used for teaching, with reprints appearing more than a century after its original publication.

"Je Ne Suis Pas Si Sot" is a chanson from a 1569 publication which is likely the 6th not the 9th book. A complete modern edition of Arcadelt's works is published in CMM, xxxi, 1-10 (ten volumes).

The English translation of the Lyrics are:

A simpleton shepherd far from it
Dearest, if I were to hold you
And lay you down by my side
I'll strip you bare
Of your skirt and of your shirt
My flute I will play to your heart's content

Although originally written for Chorus (a cappella), I created this arrangement for String Quintet (2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello).
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The underlying hyperlinks for the automatically-generated names (e.g., @Mike Magatagan") in posted comments/replies, contain invalid hyperlinks.For example: on a reply to an "Improving MuseScore.com" comment, the user name printed at the beginning of the comment contains an invalid reference (e.g., https://musescore.com/user/Mike%20Magatagan instead of the actual https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan )
This concerns one specific score by @Mike Magatagan namely the score https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/3004231If you click "Download" and choose "PDF including Parts"  the returned document is not a PDF but a "Not Found" error in XML format such as:  <Error><Code>NoSuchKey</Code><Message>The specified key does not exist.</Message><Key>3004231/8628087/18f138fc27/general-parts/score-parts.pdf</Key><RequestId>7C02B5365F83A247</RequestId><HostId>++UrE4WzPLQL6n4nqY64Q5aoi88wzvJjJqfSUqDiw2DSzJYIpfHzp0IE6RMQiDFkoGyv5AujhOA=</HostId></Error>All other export formats work fine.As a test I've downloaded that score in mscz format, opened it up with musescore 2.3.2 and used "Save online" to save it privately into my account (private url https://musescore.com/jeetee/scores/5304581 ). From there I can download the PDF with parts without issues.Mike already tried to "update" his score by resaving the score to his account; we were hoping this would force the musescore server to regenerate this PDF. Alas this seems to not work.Can someone on your end ( @Ximich or @abruhanov probably) debug this and/or force the server to generate that file?Thanks!

Fugue in G Major (BWV 577) for Guitar Quartet

4 parts9 pages03:122 years ago477 views
Guitar(4)
Unique among Bach's works -- assuming it is by Bach -- this is a fugue in jig-time, the sort of thing one finds in Buxtehude and Pachelbel, but at a lower skill level. It begins, innocently enough, with a cheerful tune in dotted Gigue rhythm, but quickly proves to be a treacherous test of virtuosity with its rapid, four-voice writing and its especially difficult pedal part. The fugue works well if played in a low-key manner, but some performers feel that if they're going to take the trouble to master this three-minute piece, they should impress the audience with its difficulty, so with a combination of showy registration choices and fast tempo, this can also be used as a barn-burner.

Source: Allmusic (http://www.allmusic.com/composition/fugue-for-organ-in-g-major-bwv-577-bc-j61-mc0002369101).

Although originally composed for Organ, I created this modern interpretation of the Fugue in G Major (BWV 577) for Guitar Quartet.

Chorus: "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (BWV 16 No 1) for Winds & Strings

8 parts4 pages01:453 years ago481 views
Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Herr Gott, dich loben wir (Lord God, we praise You), BWV 16,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for New Year's Day and first performed it on 1 January 1726. The beginning of the text is based on "Herr Gott, dich loben wir", Luther's German Te Deum.

Bach wrote the cantata in his third year in Leipzig for New Year's Day, which is also the feast of the circumcision and naming of Jesus. The prescribed readings for the feast day were taken from the Epistle to the Galatians, by faith we inherit (Galatians 3:23–29), and from the Gospel of Luke, the Circumcision and naming of Jesus (Luke 2:21). The cantata text is taken from a 1711 publication by Georg Christian Lehms, it centers on praise and thanksgiving without being related to the readings. The poet began with four lines from Martin Luther's German Te Deum, "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praise you). The following pair of recitative and aria deal with thanks for past gifts, while a further pair deal with a prayer for further blessings. The poet did not supply a closing chorale, but Bach chose the final stanza of Paul Eber's "Helft mir Gotts Güte preisen" (Help me to praise God's goodness) (c. 1580).

In the opening chorus the soprano and the horn present the liturgical melody of the Te Deum, whereas the lower voices move in vivid counterpoint, but also a fourth part of oboe I and violin I. The following secco recitative ends on the words "O, sollte darum nicht ein neues Lied erklingen und wir in heißer Liebe singen?" (O, should not therefore a new song be taken up and that we sing in heated love?). Consequently the following movement begins attacca (without a break) with the voices' "Laßt uns jauchzen, laßt uns freuen" (Let us celebrate, let us rejoice). This unusual movement combines elements of chorus and aria in a free da capo form. The first section is dominated by the chorus, the middle section by the bass. Musicologist Julian Mincham points out that it is "an unusual and imaginative combination of aria and chorus" and likens it to the interaction between a pastor and his flock. A second secco recitative leads to a tender aria which was accompanied by an obbligato oboe da caccia in 1726. In a later performance, likely in 1734, this was replaced by a "violetta", which can be a viola or a descant viola da gamba, according to Johann Gottfried Walther. The cantata closes with a four-part chorale

The cantata in six movements is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, corno da caccia, two oboes, oboe da caccia, two violins, viola, violetta (alternative in a later performance) and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herr_Gott,_dich_loben_wir,_BWV_16).

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorus: "Herr Gott, dich loben wir" (Lord God, we praise You) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorale: "Dein Blut, der edle Saft" (BWV 136 No 6) for Wind Ensemble

6 parts1 page01:114 years ago477 views
Flute, Oboe, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Tuba
Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz (Examine me, God, and discover my heart), BWV 136, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in 1723 in Leipzig for the eighth Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 18 July 1723.

Bach composed the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the eighth Sunday after Trinity, in his position as Thomaskantor. The prescribed readings for the Sunday are from the Epistle to the Romans, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:12–17), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the warning of false prophets from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:15–23). The sources show, however, that only the middle section of movement 3 and the chorale were composed then with certainty. The other parts may rely on a former unknown secular or church cantata. The opening chorus is based on Psalms 139:29. The poet of the recitatives and arias, which are closely connected to the Sunday's gospel, is unknown. The chorale is verse 9 of Johann Heermann's "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" (1630) on the melody of "Auf meinen lieben Gott", which Bach used again in 1724 as the base for his chorale cantata Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5.

The opening chorus is mainly in two parts (A and A'), with choral fugues on the same themes, both presenting the complete text. An extended instrumental ritornello, dominated by the horn, is heard before, between and after the choral sections. The first fugue is preceded by a choral Devise (statement). Throughout the movement the two oboes never play independently but double the violins in the ritornelli and the soprano in the vocal sections. Bach used this movement later as the base for the "Cum Sancto Spiritu" of his Missa in A major.

The two recitatives are mostly secco, only the last measures of movement 4 tend to an arioso. The aria is accompanied by the oboe d'amore, the middle section (certainly composed in 1723) is marked presto. The two violins in unison accompany the duet, while the voices sing sometimes in imitation, sometimes in homophony, in the style of duets Bach wrote in Köthen.

The chorale is expanded to five parts by an independent violin, similar to the chorale of Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! BWV 172.


Although the cantata was scored for three soloists (alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, corno da caccia, oboe, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Wind Ensemble (Bb Trumpet, Flute, Oboe, French Horn,Trombone & F Tuba) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Invention No. 4 in D Minor (BWV 775) for Viola Duet

2 parts1 page01:142 years ago475 views
Viola(2)
Despite its minor key, Bach's fourth invention has a pleasant, swaying feel thanks to the smoothly rolling, up-and-down contour of its top melody. The bottom picks up the theme, but supports it with independent though related material rather than mimicking it in strict canon. Long, imposing trills intrude upon each part. The "two-part" designation here applies not only to the voicing but to the structure; the piece falls into two halves, the second both a commentary on and prolongation of the first.

Although originally composed for Harpsichord, I created this arrangement for Viola Duet.

Chorus: "Preise dein Glücke, Gesegnetes Sachsen" (BWV 215 No. 1) for Small Orchestra

16 parts29 pages08:495 years ago475 views
Trumpet(2), Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet(3), French Horn, Bassoon, Timpani, Strings(4)
Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen (Praise your good fortune, blessed Saxony), BWV 215, is a secular cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the cantata gratulatoria (congratulatory cantata) or Dramma per musica (drama in music) in Leipzig as a Festmusik für das kurfürstlich sächsische Haus (Festive music for the court of the Electorate of Saxony) for the anniversary of the election of August III, Elector of Saxony, as King of Poland, and first performed it on 5 October 1734 in the presence of the Elector.

The Neue Bach-Ausgabe has detailed background information about the events around the composition and first performance of the cantata, collected by Werner Neumann. August III, Elector of Saxony and of Poland, had announced his presence in Leipzig from 2 to 6 October 1734, on short notice. As the anniversary of his election as king on 5 October fell in this time, students of the University of Leipzig planned to perform a procession with torches and evening music on that day. The cantata text was written by Johann Christoph Clauder. He refers to the events of the last months. While other congratulatory cantatas often use allegorical figures, this work concentrates on the king and his qualities. When Augustus II the Strong died, August III followed him as both elector and king, but had to secure the throne against partisans of Stanislaw I Leszczynski.

Bach composed the music, probably in no more than three days. He used the first movement of his 1732 cantata Es lebe der König, der Vater im Lande, BWV Anh 11, set for two four part choirs, as a base for the opening chorus. The former work had been composed in 1732 for the Namenstag (name day) of the previous elector August II. It seems likely that Bach also used other earlier music, but no specific pieces have been identified.

A chronicle of Leipzig written by Johann Salomon Riemer reports the performance of the cantata on 5 October, in front of the Apel House, the Elector's palace in Leipzig, after a torch-light procession of six hundred students. The Elector and his family remained at the window as long as the music lasted and were pleased ("herzlich wohlgefallen"). 700 copies of the text were printed. The following day, the chronicle reports the death from a stroke of the trumpeter Gottfried Reiche, "Senior der Mus. Stadt Compagnie" (senior of the town music company), who had played first trumpet in the cantata. Possibly "over-exertion and/or the inhalation of smoke from the torches" played a role.

Bach used the seventh movement, the soprano aria Durch die von Eifer entflammeten Waffen, as the base for a bass aria in his Christmas Oratorio, Part V, Erleucht auch meine finstre Sinnen. He used the first movement as the base for the "Osanna" of his Mass in B minor.

The cantata in nine movements is scored for three soloists, soprano, tenor and bass, two four-part choirs, and a festive orchestra of three trumpets and timpani, two flauto traverso, two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preise_dein_Gl%C3%BCcke,_gesegnetes_Sachsen,_BWV_215).

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorus: "reise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen" (Praise your fortune, blessed Saxon) for Small Orchestra: Trumpets (2), Flutes, Oboes, Bb Clarinets, French Horn, Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, Timpani and Strings (Violins (2), Viola & Cello).

"Schmücket das Fest mit Maien" for Piano & Woodwinds

5 parts4 pages02:505 years ago474 views
Andreas Hammerschmidt (1611 or 1612 – 29 October 1675), the "Orpheus of Zittau," was a German Bohemian composer and organist of the early to middle Baroque era. He was one of the most significant and popular composers of sacred music in Germany in the middle 17th century.

Hammerschmidt wrote motets, concertos and arias, and almost all of his output is sacred vocal music in the concertato style. According to Manfred Bukofzer (1947), he "watered down the achievements of Schütz for the multitude." Many of his compositions are in the form of the chorale monody, an adaptation of the early Baroque Italian form to a sacred, and specifically Protestant, purpose. Indeed Hammerschmidt represents the second generation of composers who distilled a native German Baroque tradition out of forms and styles imported from Italy.

Over 400 works by Hammerschmidt survive, in a total of 14 separate collections. The motets represent a more conservative style, as noted by Hammerschmidt himself, and the concertos—concertato pieces with opposing groups of voices and instruments—are in a current idiom.

Some of his concertos are written for large ensembles, with diverse combinations of instruments and voices (for example, the sets from Gespräche über die Evangelia of 1655–1656; this was long enough after the war that large ensembles were available again). He wrote these pieces for Sundays and church feast days; their structure and intent foreshadowed the later German church cantata, as exemplified most famously by Johann Sebastian Bach. Even Hammerschmidt's masses conform to the concertato style, and are best seen as concertos.

While Hammerschmidt was an organist all of his life, no organ music of his has survived; indeed there is no evidence he published any. Some instrumental music of his has survived in three publications; most of these are suites of dances influenced by the English style which was prevalent in the northern part of Germany at that time.

Although "Schmücket das Fest mit Maien" (Bind the sacrifice with cords, even unto the horns of the altar) was originally written for Strings and Basso Continuo, I created this arrangement for Piano and Woodwinds (Flutes (2), Oboes (2), Bb Clarinets (2) & Bassoons (2)) and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Sonata XII for Violin & Harp

2 parts7 pages07:405 years ago475 views
Johann Ernst Galliard (1687–1747) was a German composer. He was born in Celle, Germany to a French wig-maker. His first composition instruction began at age 15. Galliard studied composition under Jean-Baptiste Farinel, the director of music at the Court of Hanover, and Abbate Steffani. In addition to his composition ability, he was also a capable oboe and recorder player. Galliard made a step forward in his musical career when he performed one of his original compositions. This Sonata for oboe and two bassoons debuted at one of Farinel’s concerts. Galliard earned an esteemed seat in the chamber music of George, Prince of Denmark. Later, he moved to England where he became chapel-master of Somerset House. Galliard became a familiar face in high society due to his proximity to and frequenting of the royal residence. In response to war victories, Galliard composed a Te Deum, Jubilate, and three additional anthems.

Bigger and better things seemed promising following his participation in the founding of the Academy of Ancient Music. However, in the scrap for kingdom-wide directorial status, Galliard fell short to greats such as Handel and Bononcini. He wrote the music to Calypso and Telemachus (from Sibley Music Library Digital Scores Collection) upon the request of a friend, the poet John Hughes. Despite approval from his peers, the show was a failure. As a result, he refocused on his oboe performance. He joined Handel’s Italian Opera in 1713 as an oboe soloist. Galliard composed several more cantatas to texts by Hughes and Congreve. He published an opera, music to the Morning Hymn of Adam and Eve taken from John Milton’s Paradise Lost, and a large number of pantomimes which he turned out under contract to Rich, the enterprising manager of the Lincoln’s-Inn-Fields Theatre. His published instrumental music includes the following: Six Sonatas for a Flute and a Thorough Bass, Six Solos for the Violoncello, and Six Sonatas for the Bassoon or Violoncello with a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord. (from Sibley Music Library Digital Scores Collection)

Although this piece was originally written for Flute and continuo, I created this arrangement for Violin and Concert (Pedal) Harp and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Sinfonia No. 15 in B Minor (BWV 801) for String Trio

3 parts2 pages01:292 years ago476 views
The Inventions and Sinfonias, BWV 772–801, also known as the Two- and Three-Part Inventions, are a collection of thirty short keyboard compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750): 15 inventions, which are two-part contrapuntal pieces, and 15 sinfonias, which are three-part contrapuntal pieces. They were originally written as musical exercises for his students.

Bach titled the collection: "Honest method, by which the amateurs of the keyboard – especially, however, those desirous of learning – are shown a clear way not only (1) to learn to play cleanly in two parts, but also, after further progress, (2) to handle three obligate parts correctly and well; and along with this not only to obtain good inventions (ideas) but to develop the same well; above all, however, to achieve a cantabile style in playing and at the same time acquire a strong foretaste of composition."

The two groups of pieces are both arranged in order of ascending key, each group covering eight major and seven minor keys and were composed in Köthen; the sinfonias, on the other hand, were probably not finished until the beginning of the Leipzig period.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventions_and_Sinfonias_(Bach)).

Although originally composed for Harpsichord, I created this arrangement of the Sinfonia No. 15 in B Minor (BWV 801) for String Trio (Violin, Viola & Cello).

Aria: "Mein alles in allem, mein ewiges Gut" (BWV 22 No 4) for Guitar & Strings

5 parts5 pages05:253 years ago474 views
Guitar, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe (Jesus gathered the twelve to Himself), BWV 22,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach composed for Quinquagesima, the last Sunday before Lent. Bach composed it as an audition piece for the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig and first performed it there on 7 February 1723.

The work, which is in five movements, begins with a scene from the Gospel reading in which Jesus predicts his suffering in Jerusalem. The unknown poet of the cantata text took the scene as a starting point for a sequence of aria, recitative, and aria, in which the contemporary Christian takes the place of the disciples, who do not understand what Jesus is telling them about the events soon to unfold, but follow him nevertheless. The closing chorale is a stanza from Elisabeth Cruciger's hymn "Herr Christ, der einig Gotts Sohn". The music is scored for three vocal soloists, a four-part choir, oboe, strings and continuo. The work shows that Bach had mastered the composition of a dramatic scene, an expressive aria with obbligato oboe, a recitative with strings, an exuberant dance, and a chorale in the style of his predecessor in the position as Thomaskantor, Johann Kuhnau. Bach directed the first performance of the cantata during a church service, together with another audition piece, Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn, BWV 23. He performed the cantata again on the last Sunday before Lent a year later, after he had taken up office.

The cantata shows elements which became standards for Bach's Leipzig cantatas and even the Passions, including a "frame of biblical text and chorale around the operatic forms of aria and recitative", "the fugal setting of biblical words" and "the biblical narrative ... as a dramatic scena".

The cantata has five movements and is scored for three vocal soloists (an alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir (SATB), and for a Baroque orchestra of an oboe (Ob), two violins (Vl), viola (Va) and basso continuo. The duration is given as c.?20 minutes.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_nahm_zu_sich_die_Zw%C3%B6lfe,_BWV_22).

In this, the second aria, again with strings, is a dance-like movement in free da capo form, A B A'. The unusually long text, of four lines for the A section and two for the B section, results in Bach's solution to repeat the end of the first line (my eternal good) after all text of A, and then after the middle section B repeat only the first line as A', thus ending A and A' the same way. In this modified repeat, the voice holds a long note on the word Friede ("peace"), after which the same theme appears in the orchestra and again in the continuo. The musicologist Tadashi Isoyama notes the passepied character of the music, reminiscent of secular Köthen cantatas. Mincham describes: "Bach's expression of the joy of union with Christ can often seem quite worldly and uninhibited", and summarises: "The 3/8 time signature, symmetrical phrasing and rapid string skirls combine to create a sense of a dance of abandonment.".

I created this arrangement of the second Aria, "Mein alles in allem, mein ewiges Gut" (My all in all, my eternal good) for Classical (Acoustic) Guitar & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorale: "Jesu, deine Passion ist mir lauter Freude" (BWV 182 No 7) for Flute & Strings

5 parts5 pages02:524 years ago475 views
Himmelskönig, sei willkommen (King of Heaven, welcome), BWV 182, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Weimar for Palm Sunday, and first performed it on 25 March 1714, which was also the feast of the Annunciation that year.

In Weimar, Bach was the court organist of Johann Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar. On 2 March 1714, he was promoted to Konzertmeister, an honour which included a monthly performance of a church cantata in the Schloßkirche. According to Bach scholar Alfred Dürr, this cantata is Bach's first cantata for the court of Weimar, in a series which was meant to cover all Sundays within four years. It preceded Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12. Bach first performed it in the Schlosskirche on Palm Sunday, 25 March 1714. Other than in Leipzig, where tempus clausum was observed during Lent and no cantatas were permitted, Bach could perform in Weimar a cantata especially meant for the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. The prescribed readings for the day were from the Epistle to the Philippians, "everyone be in the spirit of Christ" (Philippians 2:5--11), or from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, "of the Last Supper" (1 Corinthians 11:23--32), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the entry into Jerusalem (Philippians 2:5--11).

The poetry was written by the court poet Salomon Franck, although the work is not found in his printed editions. Bach's biographer Philipp Spitta concluded this from stylistic comparison and observing a lack of recitatives between arias. The poetry derives from the entry into Jerusalem a similar entry into the heart of the believer, who should prepare himself and will be given heavenly joy in return. The language intensifies the mystical aspects: "Himmelskönig" (King of Heaven), "Du hast uns das Herz genommen" (You have taken our hearts from us), "Leget euch dem Heiland unter" (Lay yourselves beneath the Savior). The chorale in movement 7 is the final stanza 33 of Paul Stockmann's hymn for Passiontide "Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod" (1633).

A da capo sign after the last aria in some parts suggests that originally the cantata was meant to be concluded by a repeat of the opening chorus.

As Bach could not perform the cantata in Leipzig on Palm Sunday, he used it on the feast of Annunciation on 25 March 1724, which had coincided with Palm Sunday for the first performance. He performed it in Leipzig two more times.

The cantata is intimately scored to match the church building. An instrumental Sonata in the rhythm of a French Overture depicts the arrival of the King. (In his cantata Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, for Advent that same year on the same reading, Bach went further and set a chorus in the form of such an overture). The recorder and a solo violin are accompanied by pizzicato in the divided violas and the continuo. The first chorus is in da capo form, beginning with a fugue, which leads to a homophonic conclusion. The middle section contains two similar canonic developments.

The following Bible quote is set as the only recitative of the cantata. It is given to the bass as the vox Christi (voice of Christ) and expands to an arioso. The instrumentation of the three arias turns from the crowd in the Biblical scene to the individual believer, the first accompanied by violin and divided violas, the second by a lone recorder, the last only by the continuo.

The chorale is arranged in the manner of Pachelbel; every line is first prepared in the lower voices, then the soprano sings the cantus firmus, while the other voices interpret the words, for example by fast movement on "Freude" (joy). The closing chorus is, according to conductor John Eliot Gardiner, "a sprightly choral dance that could have stepped straight out of a comic opera of the period".

Although this cantata was scored for alto, tenor, and bass soloists, a four-part choir, recorder, two violins, two violas and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Flute & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

"Christus der ist mein Leben" for Viola & Cello

2 parts1 page02:424 years ago474 views
Viola, Cello
Johann Gottfried Walther (1684 -- 1748) was a German music theorist, organist, composer, and lexicographer of the Baroque era. Walther was born at Erfurt. Not only was his life almost exactly contemporaneous to that of Johann Sebastian Bach, he was the famous composer's cousin.

Walther was most well known as the compiler of the Musicalisches Lexicon (Leipzig, 1732), an enormous dictionary of music and musicians. Not only was it the first dictionary of musical terms written in the German language, it was the first to contain both terms and biographical information about composers and performers up to the early 18th century. In all, the Musicalisches Lexicon defines more than 3,000 musical terms; Walther evidently drew on more than 250 separate sources in compiling it, including theoretical treatises of the early Baroque and Renaissance. The single most important source for the work was the writings of Johann Mattheson, who is referenced more than 200 times.

Johann Gottfried Walther wrote sacred vocal works and numerous organ pieces, consisting mostly of chorale preludes including this "Christus der ist mein Leben" (Christ is my life).

Although originally written for Organ, I created this abbreviated arrangement for Viola & Cello and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Chorale: "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (BWV 99 No 1) for Wind Trio & Strings

7 parts15 pages09:383 years ago474 views
Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan (What God does is well done), BWV 99,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 15th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 17 September 1724. It is based on the hymn by Samuel Rodigast (1674).

Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig as part of his second annual cycle of chorale cantata for the 15th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 17 September 1724. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Galatians, Paul's admonition to "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25–6:10), and from the Gospel of Matthew, from the Sermon on the Mount, the demand not to worry about material needs, but to seek God's kingdom first (Matthew 6:23–34). The cantata text is based on the chorale "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (1674) by Samuel Rodigast, which is generally related to the Gospel. Bach used the chorale in several other cantatas, especially later in another chorale cantata, Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 100. All six stanzas begin with the same line. An unknown author kept the text of the first and last stanza, but paraphrased the inner four stanzas to as many movements, even keeping some of the rhymes in movement 2. In movement 4, he refers to the Gospel, paraphrasing the last verse to "Even if every day has its particular trouble". He introduced references to the cross twice in movement 5, stressing the suffering of Jesus and his followers.

The opening chorus is a distinct concerto movement. The strings open with a theme derived from the chorale melody. After 16 measures, a concertino of flute, oboe d'amore and violin I begins, with the oboe playing the theme introduced by the strings and the flute playing a virtuoso counterpoint. Three measures later, the voices enter, with the cantus firmus in the soprano, doubled by the horn. In the interlude following the Stollen of the bar form, all of the instruments participate in the concerto. The complete sequence is repeated for the second Stollen. For the Abgesang, Bach combines differently, now the strings and woods play tutti, and the flute appears as a solo, alternating with the oboe. Therefore, the instrumental postlude is not a repeat of the introduction, but a more complex combination. According to Julian Mincham, "this movement would still work perfectly well if the vocal parts were entirely removed."

The first secco recitative ends on a long coloratura on the last word "wenden", or "turn", as in "can turn aside my misfortune". The first aria is accompanied by the flute, another work for an able flute player, following Was frag ich nach der Welt, BWV 94 and Nimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott, BWV 101, composed only a few weeks earlier. The text mentions "erschüttern" (shudder); shaking and torment of the soul are pictured in virtuoso figuration, although the soul is asked not to shudder. The second recitative is similar to the first, ending on the last word "erscheinet", or "appeareth", as in "when God's true loyal will appeareth". In the last aria, a duet, the strings are still silent, while the flute and oboe accompany the voices. The instruments begin with a ritornello, a trio with the continuo. After a first vocal section, a second section presents new material, but refers to the first section by a repeat of instrumental motifs from the first section and a complete repeat of the ritornello as a conclusion. The closing chorale is set for four parts.

The cantata in six movements is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, horn, flauto traverso, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Was_Gott_tut,_das_ist_wohlgetan,_BWV_99).

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorale: "Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan" (What God does is well done) for Wind Trio (Flute, Oboe, French Horn) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Aria: "Jesus ist ein guter Hirt" (BWV 85 No 2) for Marimba, Oboe & Cello

3 parts4 pages03:163 years ago474 views
Percussion, Oboe, Cello
Ich bin ein guter Hirt (I am a Good Shepherd), BWV 85, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the second Sunday after Easter and first performed it on 15 April 1725.

Bach composed the cantata in his second annual cycle in Leipzig for the second Sunday after Easter, called Misericordias Domini. The prescribed readings for that Sunday were from the First Epistle of Peter, Christ as a model (1 Peter 2:21–25), and from the Gospel of John, the Good Shepherd (John 10:11–16).

According to John Eliot Gardiner, the poet is likely the same as for two preceding cantatas, Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden, BWV 6, and Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats, BWV 42, before Christiana Mariana von Ziegler became the poet for the following cantatas of the period. The three cantata texts were probably written for Bach's first year in Leipzig, but postponed due to the workload of the first performance of the St John Passion that year. They are a sequence on themes from the Gospel of John. The poet opens the cantata with the beginning from the Gospel, verse 11. Movement 2 explains that being a Good Shepherd was realized in the Passion. The thought is commented by the first stanza of Cornelius Becker's hymn "Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt" (1598), a paraphrase of Psalm 23. The poet refers In movement 4 to verse 12 of the Gospel, the contrast of the shepherd who is awake to watch over the sheep, whereas the hired servants sleep and neglect them. Movement 5 names love as the shepherd's motivation to care for the sheep. The cantata ends with the chorale "Ist Gott mein Schutz und treuer Hirt", the fourth stanza of Ernst Christoph Homberg's hymn "Ist Gott mein Schild und Helfersmann" (1658).

In the first movement, the bass as the vox Christi sings "I am a good shepherd", framed by instrumental ritornellos. The motif on these words appears already four times in the ritornello. The movement is between aria and arioso, with the oboe as a concertante instrument in "a mood of tranquil seriousness". The alto aria is accompanied by an obbligato violoncello piccolo. The chorale stanza is sung by the soprano on the tune of "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" by Nikolaus Decius, with a slightly ornamented melody, whereas the two oboes play a theme in ritornellos which is derived from the first line of the tune.

The only recitative is a miniature sermon, accompanied by the strings accenting phrases of the text. Movement 5 is the only movement in the cantata in pastorale rhythm. The strings, violins and viola's, play in unison, so in the low register. Thus the tenor voice frequently appears as the highest part, beginning with three times "Seht" (look). Gardiner observes the similarity to the alto aria "Sehet, Jesus hat die Hand" in the St Matthew Passion (#60 in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe), both in the theme "pastoral love emanating from the cross", and the music, described as "rich, flowing melody and gently rocking rhythm". The closing chorale is a four-part setting.

Although originally scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir only in the chorale, two oboes, two violins, viola, violoncello piccolo and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Marimba, Oboe & Cello.

Prelude: "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (BWV 684) for Pipe Organ

2 parts7 pages04:182 years ago475 views
Percussion, Piano
The Clavier-Übung III, sometimes referred to as the German Organ Mass, is a collection of compositions for organ by Johann Sebastian Bach, started in 1735–36 and published in 1739. It is considered Bach's most significant and extensive work for organ, containing some of his musically most complex and technically most demanding compositions for that instrument.

In its use of modal forms, motet-style and canons, it looks back to the religious music of masters of the stile antico, such as Frescobaldi, Palestrina, Lotti and Caldara. At the same time, Bach was forward-looking, incorporating and distilling modern baroque musical forms, such as the French-style chorale.

The work has the form of an Organ Mass: between its opening and closing movements—the prelude and "St Anne" fugue in E-flat, BWV 552—are 21 chorale preludes, BWV 669–689, setting parts of the Lutheran mass and catechisms, followed by four duets, BWV 802–805. The chorale preludes range from compositions for single keyboard to a six-part fugal prelude with two parts in the pedal.

The purpose of the collection was fourfold: an idealized organ programme, taking as its starting point the organ recitals given by Bach himself in Leipzig; a practical translation of Lutheran doctrine into musical terms for devotional use in the church or the home; a compendium of organ music in all possible styles and idioms, both ancient and modern, and properly internationalised; and as a didactic work presenting examples of all possible forms of contrapuntal composition, going far beyond previous treatises on musical theory.

The chorale prelude Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam BWV 684 has a trio sonata like ritornello in C minor in the three parts of the manuals. (Note that I have replaced the the cantus firmus in the tenor register of the pedal). Bach specifically stipulates two keyboards to give different sonorities to the imitative upper parts and the bass part. The undulating semiquavers in the bass, usually interpreted as representing the flowing waters of the Jordan, imitate a violine continuo, according to the model of Kauffmann's Harmonische Seelenlust. The musical content of the ritornello contains explicit allusions to the melody of the chorale, sometimes hidden in the semiquaver passage work and motifs.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clavier-%C3%9Cbung_III).

I created this Transcription of the Chorale Prelude (BWV 684) "Christ unser Herr zum Jordan kam" (Christ our Lord to the Jordan came) for Pipe Organ.
Passacaglia in D Minor (BuxWV 161) for Bassoon & Piano
Video

Passacaglia in D Minor (BuxWV 161) for Bassoon & Piano

2 parts6 pages04:206 months ago474 views
Bassoon, Piano
Dietrich Buxtehude is probably most familiar to modern classical music audiences as the man who inspired the young Johann Sebastian Bach to make a lengthy pilgrimage to Lubeck, Buxtehude's place of employment and residence for most of his life, just to hear Buxtehude play the organ. But Buxtehude was a major figure among German Baroque composers in his own right. Though we do not have copies of much of the work that most impressed his contemporaries, Buxtehude nonetheless left behind a body of vocal and instrumental music which is distinguished by its contrapuntal skill, devotional atmosphere, and raw intensity. He helped develop the form of the church cantata, later perfected by Bach, and he was just as famous a virtuoso on the organ.

The Passacaglia for organ in D minor, BuxWV 161, may well be Dietrich Buxtehude's most famous piece of music -- but that does not mean, sadly, that it is by any stretch of the imagination well recognized. It is one of three ostinato-oriented, ground bass organ pieces (BuxWV 159-161; a related work is BuxWV 137, whose brief final section is a chaconne) in which Buxtehude refocused the lens of his quintessentially north-German organ art to look at the Spanish-Italian chaconne and passacaglia forms -- forms hitherto foreign to mainstream German organ music. Like nearly all of Buxtehude's music, BuxWV 161 has to this point remained undatable -- the best we can do is say that it was probably composed during his 40-year tenure as organist at the Marienkirche at Lübeck, a post he held from 1668 to his death in 1707.

In the Passacaglia, Buxtehude assigns the repeating four-measure ground bass to the pedals, and allows the two hands to devise ever more elaborate filigree -- here contrapuntally ordered, there made into more obviously virtuoso stuff -- to go above it. Buxtehude builds a four-section plan from the modulations through which he puts the ground bass (D minor - F major - A minor - D minor); each section is exactly 30 measures in length, with a one-measure "fill" separating neighboring sections. It is easy to recognize, when encountering such an unwaveringly precise but flexible-sounding architecture, the extent to which such works as the Passacaglia influenced Buxtehude's spiritual descendent J.S. Bach, who is of course famed for his intricate and sometimes mathematical structural layouts, and who as a young man traveled some 200 miles on foot so that he might hear Buxtehude play.

Source: AllMusic (https://www.allmusic.com/composition/passacaglia-for-organ-in-d-minor-buxwv-161-mc0002361998 ).

I created this Interpretation of the Passacaglia in D Minor (BuxWV 161) for Bassoon & Piano.

Aria: "Soll ich meinen Lebenslauf" (BWV 153 No 8) for Woodwind Quintet

5 parts4 pages04:344 years ago473 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon
Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind (See, dear God, how my enemies), BWV 153, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig for the Sunday after New Year's Day and first performed it on 2 January 1724.

Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the Sunday after New Year's Day and first performed it on 2 January 1724. The prescribed readings for the day are from the First Epistle of Peter, the suffering of Christians (1 Peter 4:12–19), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the Flight into Egypt (Matthew 2:12–23). The unknown poet took Herod's Massacre of the Innocents and the Flight into Egypt as a starting point to reflect in general the situation of the Christians confronted with enemies. The poet is possibly the same person as the author of the two Christmas cantatas Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes, BWV 40, and Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget, BWV 64, performed shortly before, because three hymn stanzas are featured in all three works. The cantata opens with a chorale, the first stanza of David Denicke's "Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind" (1646). Movement 5 is stanza 5 of Paul Gerhardt's "Befiehl du deine Wege" (1656), known as movement 44 of the St Matthew Passion. The words speak of the utmost enemies: "Und ob gleich alle Teufel" (And even if all devils). The cantata ends with stanzas 16 to 18 of the chorale "Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid" (1587), attributed to Martin Moller. Bach would later write a chorale cantata Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 3 on this chorale, and use its first stanza in Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid, BWV 58.

This cantata opens with a four-part chorale, which is unusual for Bach's cantatas. It was the fifth cantata (and the fourth new one) of the 1723 Christmas season after BWV 63, BWV 40, BWV 64, and BWV 190, while one more for Epiphany, BWV 65, was still to come; Bach may have wanted to ease the workload for the Thomanerchor. All recitatives are secco, accompanied by the continuo, but movements 4 and 7 open with an arioso. Movement 3 is marked Arioso by Bach, but is almost an aria. The Bible word from Isaiah 41:10, "Fürchte dich nicht, ich bin mit dir" ("Fear not, I am with you"), is given to the bass as the vox Christi. The opening ritornell of eight measures is present for most of the movement, transposed to different keys.

Only two of the nine movements are arias. The first aria, movement 6, illustrates the enemies in fast violin passages, sharp dotted rhythms played in unison, and bold harmonic development. Gardiner compares its intensity to Peter’s aria Ach, mein Sinn from the St John Passion.

The second aria, movement 8, is a Menuett, which Bach probably derived from his secular music, depicting eternal joy. Twice the instruments play a section and then repeat it with the voice woven into it. In the second vocal section, the words "Daselbsten verwechselt mein Jesus das Leiden mit seliger Wonne, mit ewigen Freuden" (and there my Jesus exchanges sorrow for blessed delight, for eternal joy) are presented on a new theme, marked allegro, then the instruments repeat their second section as a postlude.

Although the cantata is scored for a chamber ensemble of alto, tenor and bass soloists, a four-part choir, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. I created this arrangement for Woodwind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

"To Thee all Angels Cry Aloud" (HWV 278 Part I No. 2) for Woodwind Quintet

5 parts3 pages01:325 years ago473 views
Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate is a sacred choral composition in two parts, written by George Frideric Handel to celebrate the Treaty of Utrecht, which established the Peace of Utrecht in 1713, ending the War of the Spanish Succession. The combination of a Te Deum and Jubilate, the Psalm 100, follows earlier models. The official premiere of the work on English texts was on 13 July 1713 in a service in St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Handel's composition was written to celebrate the Peace of Utrecht in 1713. It was his first commission from the British royal family and established his career in London. It was also his first major sacred work to English texts. Handel followed the models of Henry Purcell's 1694 Te Deum and Jubilate with strings and trumpets, which was regularly performed for official functions in St Paul's even after the composer's death, and a 1709 setting by William Croft. As in these models, Handel composed a combination of two liturgical texts, the Ambrosian Hymn Te Deum, We praise thee, O God, and a setting of Psalm 100, O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands, which is a regular canticle of the Anglican Morning Prayer.

Although originally written for Chorus (SATB) and Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Woodwind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn and Bassoon) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

"Quartetto" (Opus 18 W.B 16) for Flute, Oboe & Harp

3 parts28 pages18:275 years ago473 views
Johann Christian Bach (1735 – 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh child and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as "the London Bach" or "the English Bach", due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart.

Bach composed a set of six symphonies that were assigned the opus number 18 by music publisher and seller William Forster, who began to publish them as Bach was dying in the autumn of 1781. All are finely crafted works, but Nos. 1, 3, and 5, scored for double orchestra, are particularly impressive. Bach's unusual configuration is comprised of two string sections, seated left and right, with horns and oboes on one side and flutes on the other (the bassoon could be in either group). With this arrangement Bach was able to create some splendid effects, such as the antiphonal exchange of musical ideas. No. 1's Spiritoso first movement fairly leaps with coiled energy but also contains many finely graded quieter moments. No. 3's jubilant finale features some beautifully scored woodwind passages, while No. 5 ends with a grand minuet in the manner of Haydn.

Symphonies 2, 4, and 6 actually began life in the opera house. No. 2 is the overture Bach's opera Lucio Silla, its three sections conforming to those of a symphony. Symphony No. 6, compiled from the overture and two ballet movements from the opera Amadis de Gaule, probably was not even arranged by Bach. However, his compositional genius ensures that the impact and enjoyment of these "symphonies" is in no way diminished by their contrived origins.

Although originally written for Flutes (2), Violin and Violoncello, I created this arrangement for Flute, Oboe & Harp and It is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).