Sheet music

Fugue in D Major (BWV 580) for Wind Quintet

5 parts6 pages04:162 years ago471 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.

Little is known about the Fugue in D Major (BWV 580) however scholars are not convinced it is the work of J. S. Bach..

Source: IMSLP (http://imslp.org/wiki/Fugue_in_D_major,_BWV_580_(Bach,_Johann_Sebastian).

Although originally composed for Organ, I created this modern interpretation of the Fugue in D Major (BWV 580) for Wind Quintet (Flute, Oboe, A Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon).

"La Vierge à la Crèche" for Flute & Harp

2 parts2 pages02:506 years ago471 views
Joseph Pierre Alexis Contant (12 November 1858 - 28 November 1918) was a Canadian composer, organist, pianist, and music educator. The first notable Canadian composer to be entirely trained in his native country, he stated "I write not for glory but rather to satisfy an irresistible need." Although he had considerable training as a pianist, his knowledge of musical composition was largely self-taught, although not by choice as his life afforded him little opportunity to find suitable teachers. Much of his time was spent dedicated towards teaching, family, and work as a church organist, and his compositional output was minimal before 1900. As his children grew older, he was able to devote more time to composition and therefore his later life was his most productive. A stroke in 1914 virtually ended his activity as a composer.

"La Vierge à la Crèche" ("The Virgin at the Cradle" or "Mary in the Manger") recounts the experience of the Virgin Mary and the newborn Savior Jesus Christ. The composition was intended for Piano and Mezzo Soprano. The lyrics were created by Alphonse Daudet and translate as:

In swaddling clothes white, freshly sewn
The Virgin cradled her Child Jesus
He chirped like a nest of birds
She rocked and sang softly
What we sing our little angels
But the Child Jesus did not fall asleep

Although originally written for Voice and Piano, I created this arrangement for Flute 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).
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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!

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

16 parts29 pages08:495 years ago473 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).

Aria: "Uns treffen zwar der Sünden Flecken" (BWV 136 No 5) for Marimba Duet

2 parts9 pages03:174 years ago471 views
Percussion(2)
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 Marimba Duet and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Aria: "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen" (BWV 244 No. 20) for Winds & Strings

8 parts9 pages04:532 years ago470 views
Flute, Oboe, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The St. Matthew Passion (also frequently but incorrectly referred to as St. Matthew's Passion; German: Matthäus-Passion), BWV 244 is a Passion, a sacred oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew (in the German translation of Martin Luther) to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music. The original Latin title Passio Domini nostri J.C. secundum Evangelistam Matthæum translates to "The Passion of our Lord J[esus] C[hrist] according to the Evangelist Matthew"

Bach did not number the sections of the St Matthew Passion, all of them vocal movements, but twentieth-century scholars have done so. The two main schemes in use today are the scheme from the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA, New Bach Edition) which uses a 1 through 68 numbering system, and the older Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, Bach Works Catalog) scheme which divides the work into 78 numbers. Both use lettered subsections in some cases.

Many composers wrote musical settings of the Passion in the late 17th century. Like other Baroque oratorio passions, Bach's setting presents the Biblical text of Matthew 26–27 in a relatively simple way, primarily using recitative, while aria and arioso movements set newly written poetic texts which comment on the various events in the Biblical narrative and present the characters' states of mind in a lyrical, monologue-like manner.

The St Matthew Passion is set for two choirs and two orchestras. Both include two transverse flutes (Choir 1 also includes 2 recorders for No. 19), two oboes, in certain movements instead oboe d'amore or oboe da caccia, two violins, viola, viola da gamba, and basso continuo. For practical reasons the continuo organ is often shared and played with both orchestras. In many arias a solo instrument or more create a specific mood, such as the central soprano aria No. 49, "Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben", where the absence of strings and basso continuo mark a desperate loss of security.

The Passion was written for two choruses and orchestras. Choir I consists of a soprano in ripieno voice, a soprano solo, an alto solo, a tenor solo, SATB chorus, two traversos, two oboes, two oboes d'amore, two oboes da caccia, lute, strings (two violin sections, violas and cellos), and continuo (at least organ). Choir II consists of SATB voices, violin I, violin II, viola, viola da gamba, cello, two traversos, two oboes (d'amore) and possibly continuo.

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

I created this arrangement of the Aria: "Ich will bei meinem Jesu wachen" (I will watch with my Jesus) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorale: "Weil du mein Gott und Vater bist" (BWV 138 No 7) for Flute, Oboe & Strings

10 parts15 pages02:114 years ago470 views
Flute, Oboe, Strings(8)
Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the 15th Sunday after Trinity. 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). Melody and words of the chorale, published in Nuremberg in 1561, were once attributed to Hans Sachs, but this seems not likely according to Albert Friedrich Wilhelm Fischer's Kirchenliederlexikon (1878). Its theme is close to the reading from the sermon on the mount. Different from later chorale cantatas, the words are not based exclusively on the complete chorale, but only on the first three of its fourteen verses, used in three movements, expanded by additional poetry. The unknown poet contrasted the theme of the chorale, trust in God, with the anxious questioning of single voices, stressed by contrast of the metric poetry of the chorale opposed to the free meter of many interspersed recitatives. A turning point from distress to trust is reached close to the end in the only aria of the cantata. Bach first performed the cantata on 5 September 1723. Bach used the only aria as a base for the Gratias of his Missa in G major.


Bach followed the idea of the unusual text in a complex way in the two movements contrasting the chorale with recitative: in both, in lines 1 to 3 the strings open, the oboes enter, oboe I playing the chorale theme, oboe II adding lamenting motifs, then the tenor enters singing the chorale line as an arioso, finally the choir sings the choral theme in a four-part setting; this is followed by the recitative of the questioning single voice, alto in the first movement, soprano in the later one, both accompanied by the strings. After the three lines and recitatives, lines 4 and 5 are sung by the choir in the first movement. In the later one lines 4 and 5 are first composed as an imitative choral movement on the chorale theme of line 4 in a five-part setting, the fifth part played by violin I. Then a final secco recitative leads to a repeat of lines 4 and 5, this time similar to the first movement.

The only aria in dancing 6/8 time is dominated by figuration of violin I. The third verse of the chorale ends the cantata in a simple choral setting embedded in orchestral music on an independent theme.

The cantata's unusual structure has been criticized by his biographers Philipp Spitta and Albert Schweitzer. John Eliot Gardiner, who conducted the Monteverdi Choir and the English Baroque Soloists on their Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in performance and recording at the Liebfrauenkirche, Bremen (de), objects and summarises the cantata:

There is no question that BWV 138 is a highly original, experimental work, one that is simultaneously archaic, especially in the motet-like writing ... and modern in Bach's way of grappling with three successive stanzas of a sixteenth-century chorale, in anticipation of the chorale-based cantatas of his second Leipzig cycle. It is a clever device which allows him to pile on the tension between anxiety (the solo recitative interjections) and belief (the choral delivery of the hymn stanzas). The cantata's turning-point occurs midway – a dawning realisation that God will come to the believer’s rescue... with an outspoken declaration of trust in His providential care. The elaborate fantasia in 6/8 for the final chorale is a perfect – and well-planned – counterbalance to the gloom and distress of the opening movements.

Although the cantata was scored for soprano, alto, tenor and bass soloists, a four-part choir singing the chorale exclusively, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola, and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Flute, Oboe & Strings (4 Violins, 2 Violas & 2 Cellos) 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 ago471 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).

Chorale: "O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden" (BWV 244 No. 54) for String Quartet

4 parts1 page01:482 years ago470 views
Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The St. Matthew Passion (also frequently but incorrectly referred to as St. Matthew's Passion; German: Matthäus-Passion), BWV 244 is a Passion, a sacred oratorio written by Johann Sebastian Bach in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra, with libretto by Picander (Christian Friedrich Henrici). It sets chapters 26 and 27 of the Gospel of Matthew (in the German translation of Martin Luther) to music, with interspersed chorales and arias. It is widely regarded as one of the masterpieces of classical sacred music. The original Latin title Passio Domini nostri J.C. secundum Evangelistam Matthæum translates to "The Passion of our Lord J[esus] C[hrist] according to the Evangelist Matthew"

Bach did not number the sections of the St Matthew Passion, all of them vocal movements, but twentieth-century scholars have done so. The two main schemes in use today are the scheme from the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (NBA, New Bach Edition) which uses a 1 through 68 numbering system, and the older Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, Bach Works Catalog) scheme which divides the work into 78 numbers. Both use lettered subsections in some cases.

Many composers wrote musical settings of the Passion in the late 17th century. Like other Baroque oratorio passions, Bach's setting presents the Biblical text of Matthew 26–27 in a relatively simple way, primarily using recitative, while aria and arioso movements set newly written poetic texts which comment on the various events in the Biblical narrative and present the characters' states of mind in a lyrical, monologue-like manner.

The St Matthew Passion is set for two choirs and two orchestras. Both include two transverse flutes (Choir 1 also includes 2 recorders for No. 19), two oboes, in certain movements instead oboe d'amore or oboe da caccia, two violins, viola, viola da gamba, and basso continuo. For practical reasons the continuo organ is often shared and played with both orchestras. In many arias a solo instrument or more create a specific mood, such as the central soprano aria No. 49, "Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben", where the absence of strings and basso continuo mark a desperate loss of security.

The Passion was written for two choruses and orchestras. Choir I consists of a soprano in ripieno voice, a soprano solo, an alto solo, a tenor solo, SATB chorus, two traversos, two oboes, two oboes d'amore, two oboes da caccia, lute, strings (two violin sections, violas and cellos), and continuo (at least organ). Choir II consists of SATB voices, violin I, violin II, viola, viola da gamba, cello, two traversos, two oboes (d'amore) and possibly continuo.

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

I created this arrangement of the Chorale: “O Haupt, voll Blut und Wunden” (O Head, full of blood and wounds) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Rondo from Sonata Concertante (Opus 113 Mvt 3) for Viola & Harp

2 parts15 pages06:423 years ago470 views
Viola, Harp
Violinist, teacher, and composer Louis Spohr (1784 - 1859) was described by Paganini, no less, as "The most outstanding singer on the violin." One of the leading virtuosos of his era, Spohr was a man of exceptional stature (physically, as well as morally and intellectually—he stood over six feet six inches in height), and as a liberal-minded freemason he was noted for his nobility of thought and deed. By his own admission, however, Spohr had been "from earliest youth, very susceptible to female beauty," and in 1805 (soon after he had become director of music to the Court at Gotha), he became infatuated with the brilliant and beautiful young harpist Dorette Scheidler, the talented daughter of one of the court singers. Scheidler became Spohr's wife in February 1806. Spohr's series of sonatas and other pieces for violin and harp were written for the couple to play together. Each work employed an ingenious solution to the outwardly ill-matched registral characteristics of the instruments. Spohr realized that the range in which the violin sounded most effective was, coincidentally, that which suited the harp least of all. He overcame this problem by stipulating that the harp should be tuned a semitone below regular concert pitch (in a flat key), while the violin was pitched a semitone below the harp part so that (as in this case) a harp part written in E flat major equated with a violin part in the key of D. The Sonata Concertante, Op. 113 (written in 1805 but published much later), was in fact the first work in which this novel solution was used. The piece comprises three movements and lasts around 20 minutes in all.

This is the finale, in Rondo form (Allegretto) and deploys several carefree and affable melodies, again shared on more or less equal terms between both instruments. I created this transcription for Viola & Concert (Pedal) Harp.

Gustav Holst – Jig from St. Pauls Suite – for Sax Tenor

2 parts7 pages03:59a year ago471 views
Tenor Saxophone, Piano
I am grateful to Mike Magatagan for the excellent arrangement for viola and piano. It is known that viola's parties often fit well on the range of the tenor saxophone.
https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/4814790
But I didn't expect that such energetic and exciting piece will be so naturally playable!
The only thing I had to change is to transpose 1 tone down, because I can't play above F# of the second octave. If you have not this problem, return the piece to its original key.
Enjoy!

Aria "Ergieße dich reichlich, du göttliche Quelle" (BWV 5 No. 3) for Harp

1 part6 pages06:395 years ago468 views
Harp
Wo soll ich fliehen hin (Where shall I flee), BWV 5,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 19th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 15 October 1724. It is based on a hymn of the same name by Johann Heermann.

Bach wrote the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the 19th Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 15 October 1724. It is part of his second annual cycle of cantatas, a cycle of chorale cantatas. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians – "put on the new man, which after God is created" (Ephesians 4:22–28) – and from the Gospel of Matthew, Healing the paralytic at Capernaum (Matthew 9:1–8).

The cantata text is based on the hymn in eleven stanzas "Wo soll ich fliehen hin" by Johann Heermann, published in 1630, which is recommended for the Sunday in the Dresdner Gesangbuch. An unknown poet kept the first and last stanzas as the respective cantata movements. He paraphrased the other stanzas rather freely: 2 and 3 as movement 2, 4 as movement 3, 5 to 7 as movement 4, 8 as movement 5, and 9 and 10 as movement 6. A year before, Bach had composed for the occasion Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen, BWV 48, concentrating on the promise of Jesus to the sick man: "Your sins are forgiven". Similarly, the awareness of being a sinner who needs healing is the theme of Heermann's chorale and this cantata. The poetry adds to the chorale images which the composer could use, for example in movement 3, the divine source of blood to cleanse the stains of sins, a Baroque phrase relying on Psalms 51:4, Revelation 1:5 and Revelation 7:14. In movement 5 the poet invented a ferocious, hellish army, which is silenced by the believer who shows the blood of Jesus.

Bach first performed the cantata on 15 October 1724. The autograph score to the cantata, now in the British Library, was once owned by Joseph Joachim.

Bach arranged the movements in symmetry around movement 4 as the turning point in the cantata between desolation and hope, a recitative, which receives added weight by the cantus firmus of the chorale played by the oboe. One line of the chorale stanza is sung unchanged: was ich gesündigt habe (the sins I committed).

In the opening chorus Bach gave the tune in unadorned long notes to the soprano, reinforced by the trumpet. The vocal parts are embedded in an independent instrumental concerto. The motifs of the instruments, which also appear in the lower voices, are derived from the tune, following the upward movement of its first line and the downward movement of its second line. Both other recitatives are secco. The first aria is accompanied only by an obbligato viola illustrating the flow of blood, termed by John Eliot Gardiner the "gushing, curative effect of the divine spring" in "tumbling liquid gestures", summarized as "the cleansing motions of some prototype baroque washing machine". The tenor sings the same figuration on the word wäschet (washing). Bach used the solo viola only rarely in his cantatas (twice, according to Boyd); he may have played these solos himself. The second aria is accompanied by the full orchestra with the trumpet as a "ferociously demanding obbligato". In sudden breaks it conveys the silencing of Verstumme, Höllenheer (Be silent, host of hell). Different as the two arias are, the figuration in the second one is similar to the one in the first, interpreting that it is the very flow of blood which silences the "army of hell". The closing chorale is set for four parts.

The cantata in seven movements is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, tromba da tirarsi (slide trumpet), two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wo_soll_ich_fliehen_hin,_BWV_5).

I created this arrangement of the first Aria: "Ergieße dich reichlich, du göttliche Quelle" (Pour yourself richly, you divine fountain) for Concert (Pedal) Harp.

Aria: "Gewaltige stößt Gott vom Stuhl" (BWV 10 No 4) for Viola & Cello

2 parts3 pages03:203 years ago469 views
Viola, Cello
Meine Seel erhebt den Herren (My soul magnifies the Lord), BWV 10,[a] is a cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the feast of the Visitation and first performed it on 2 July 1724. It is the fifth chorale cantata from his second annual cycle, of chorale cantatas, based on the German "Magnificat" by Martin Luther.

Bach begins the opening chorus with an instrumental introduction that is unrelated to the psalm tone, a trio of the violins and the continuo, the violins doubled by the oboes, the viola filling the harmony. The main motif of the chorale fantasia, marked vivace, stands for joy and is set in upward "rhythmical propulsion". The chorus enters after 12 measures with the cantus firmus in the soprano, doubled by a trumpet, whereas the lower voices add free polyphony on motifs from the introduction. Bach treats the second verse similarly, but with the cantus firmus in the alto, because the text "Denn er hat seine elende Magd angesehen" speaks of the "lowly handmaid". The movement is concluded by a vocal setting without cantus firmus embedded in the music of the introduction, framing the movement.

The soprano aria "Herr, der du stark und mächtig bist" (Lord, you who are strong and mighty) is a concerto of the voice and the oboes, accompanied by the strings. The recitative "Des Höchsten Güt und Treu" (The goodness and love of the Highest) ends on an arioso, leading to the following aria "Gewaltige stößt Gott vom Stuhl" (The mighty God casts from their thrones) for bass and continuo. In movement 5 "Er denket der Barmherzigkeit" (He remembers his mercy) the text returns to the original German "Magnificat", and the music to the psalm tone, played by oboes and trumpets as the cantus firmus, while alto and tenor sing in imitation. Bach later transcribed this movement for organ as one of the Schübler Chorales, BWV 648. The recitative "Was Gott den Vätern alter Zeiten" (What God, in times past, to our forefathers), referring to God's promise, begins secco. Starting with the added words "Sein Same mußte sich so sehr wie Sand am Meer und Stern am Firmament ausbreiten, der Heiland ward geboren" (His seed must be scattered as plentifully as sand on the shore and as stars in the firmament, the Savior was born), the strings stress the importance of the promise kept. In the final movement, the two verses of the doxology are set on the psalm tone for four parts, with all instruments playing colla parte.

The cantata in seven movements is scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor and bass), a four-part choir, trumpet, two oboes, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. The trumpet is only used to highlight the cantus firmus and may have been a tromba da tirarsi, a slide trumpet.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meine_Seel_erhebt_den_Herren,_BWV_10).

I created this Arrangement of the second Aria (bass): "Gewaltige stößt Gott vom Stuhl" (The mighty [ones] God casts from their thrones) for Viola & Cello.

Aria: "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" (BWV 54 No 1) for Horn & Strings

5 parts5 pages06:304 years ago468 views
Widerstehe doch der Sünde (Just resist sin), BWV 54, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the solo cantata for alto in Weimar, probably for the seventh Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 15 July 1714. It is his first extant church cantata for a solo voice.

The prescribed readings for the Sunday are from the Epistle to the Romans, "the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life" (Romans 6:19--23), and from the Gospel of Mark, the feeding of the 4000 (Mark 8:1--9).

The text was written by Georg Christian Lehms for Oculi, the third Sunday in Lent, and published in 1711 in Gottgefälliges Kirchen-Opffer. It concentrates on avoiding sin. The first line of movement 3 quotes 1 John 3:8.

Alfred Dürr suggested that Bach composed the cantata in Weimar for the Seventh Sunday after Trinity of 1714. On 2 March 1714 Bach was appointed concertmaster of the Weimar court capelle of the co-reigning dukes Wilhelm Ernst and Ernst August of Saxe-Weimar. As concertmaster, he assumed the principal responsibility for composing new works, specifically cantatas for the Schlosskirche (palace church), on a monthly schedule. The cantata text relates to the epistle of both Sundays, but shows no connection to either Gospel.

According to Dürr, Bach probably first performed the cantata on 15 July 1714. Other scholars arrive at different dates. It is his first extant church cantata for a solo voice, followed a few weeks later by Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut, BWV 199, for soprano.

The cantata is the first of four written for a single alto soloist, the others, all written in 1726, being Geist und Seele wird verwirret, BWV 35, Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust, BWV 170 and Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, BWV 169, two of which also have texts by Lehms. In Leipzig at Bach's time, a boy soloist performed the difficult part which is now sung by contraltos and countertenors.

The first aria, Widerstehe doch der Sünde, is a da capo aria, which opens with a surprising dissonance and leaves its key of E-flat major open until a cadence in measure 8. Dürr describes it as a call to resistance and compares it to the beginning of the recitative "Siehe, ich stehe vor der Tür", a call to be ready, in the cantata for Advent Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, also composed in 1714.

The recitative Die Art verruchter Sünden (The way of vile sins) is secco, accompanied by the continuo. The words "So zeigt sich nur ein leerer Schatten und übertünchtes Grab" (It shows itself as only an empty shadow and a whitewashed grave) are expressed in "pale" harmonies. The final lines are arioso and illustrate in "Sie ist als wie ein scharfes Schwert, das uns durch Leib und Seele fährt" (It is like a sharp sword, that pierces through body and soul) the movement of the sword by fast runs in the continuo.

The final aria Wer Sünde tut, der ist vom Teufel (He who sins is of the devil) is again a da capo aria, but shows elements of a four-part fugue for the voice, the violins in unison, the violas in unison and the continuo.

Bach used the first aria again in his St Mark Passion.

Although the cantata was originally scored as chamber music for alto, two oboes, two violins, two violas, and basso continuo, I created this arramgement for French Horn & Strings (2 Violins, 2 Violas & Cello) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

"Behold the Lamb of God" (HWV 56 No. 22) for Oboe & Strings

5 parts3 pages04:163 years ago466 views
Oboe, Strings(4)
Messiah (HWV 56) is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Handel's reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and no direct speech. Instead, Jennens's text is an extended reflection on Jesus Christ as Messiah. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only "scene" taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the "Hallelujah" chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ's glorification in heaven.

Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards reproducing a greater fidelity to Handel's original intentions, although "big Messiah" productions continue to be mounted. A near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times.

From the gentle falling melody assigned to the opening words ("Comfort ye") to the sheer ebullience of the "Hallelujah" chorus and the ornate celebratory counterpoint that supports the closing "Amen", hardly a line of text goes by that Handel does not amplify".

The opening chorus "Behold the Lamb of God" begins like a French overture in G minor, a key of "tragic presentiment", according to Christopher Hogwood. The continuo drops an octave, then the violins rise an octave, to express "Behold". After only three instrumental measures the voices proclaim the Testimony of John the Baptist, John 1:29, which recalls Isaiah 53. The alto begins, followed after half a measure each by the soprano, the bass, and finally the tenor. After the initial rise, the melody falls in dotted rhythms, but rises on "that taketh away the sin of the world". The melody shows similarity to the beginning of "He shall feed his flock", but "sharpened" from major to minor, from triplets to dotted rhythm, and by the octave leap in the beginning.

Although originally written for Vocal soloists (2 sopranos, alto, tenor, bass), Chorus, Orchestra and Harpsichord, I created this arrangement for Oboe & 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).

"Bon Jour Mon Coeur" for Woodwind Quartet

4 parts1 page01:055 years ago466 views
Renaissance composer Orlande de Lassus was born in Mons and got his start as a choirboy. An often disputed story has the child Lassus kidnapped three times on account of his beautiful singing voice; the only certainty is that by 1544 he had joined the service of Ferrante Gonzaga, Viceroy of Sicily. A stopover in Mantua allowed Lassus to absorb prevailing Italian influences. Lassus spent less than a year in Sicily and transferred to Milan for the remainder of the 1540s. He often used an Italian form of his name, Orlando di Lasso. In 1551, Lassus was made choirmaster at St. John of Lateran in Rome, but remained only until 1553, being succeeded by Palestrina. Lassus returned to Mons in 1554, receiving word that his parents were ill, but upon his arrival found them already dead and buried. In 1555, Lassus' first book of madrigals and a collection of various secular works appeared simultaneously in Antwerp and Venice, thus beginning his status as a one-man industry of musical publications. Lassus' work accounts for three-fifths of all music printed in Europe between 1555 and 1600.

In 1557, the German Duke Albrecht V engaged Lassus' services as a singer at the court in Munich. Lassus' status was upgraded to Kapellmeister in 1561. His position enabled considerable travel, and Lassus made frequent trips to Venice, where he met and made friends with the Gabrielis. Judging from the range of settings, both sacred and secular, coming from Lassus in these years, it is apparent he was asked to supply music for a wide variety of events at the court of Duke Albrecht. The flood of published editions, both authorized and not, of Lassus' music during this time established him as the most popular composer in Europe, and in 1574 he was made a Knight of the Golden Spur by Pope Gregory XIII.

In 1579, Duke Albrecht V died, and the longstanding extravagance of his court left his successor, Duke Wilhelm, with little choice but to make deep cuts in the entertainment budget. This had a direct and negative effect on Lassus' fortunes, but nonetheless he declined an offer in 1580 to relocate to the Court at Dresden. By the late 1580s, the number of new pieces Lassus undertook began to slow down. In the months before his death, Lassus succeeded in bringing to life his last great masterwork, the Lagrime di San Pietro, in itself a summation of the highest forms of Renaissance musical art. He died at about the age of 62, and in 1604 his sons published an edition of his collected works entitled Magnus opus musicum. This was used as the basis for the first modern edition of Lassus' music, published in Leipzig between 1894 and 1926.

Lassus remained Catholic during this age of religious discord, although not dogmatically so, as may be seen from his more worldly secular songs as well as his parody Masses and Magnificats based on secular compositions. Nevertheless the Catholic Counter-Reformation, which under Jesuit influence was reaching a peak in Bavaria in the late sixteenth century, had a demonstrable impact on Lassus' late work, including the liturgical music for the Roman Rite, the burgeoning number of Magnificats, the settings of the Catholic Ulenberg Psalter (1588), and especially the great penitential cycle of spiritual madrigals, the 'Lagrime di San Pietro' (1594). Among his other liturgical compositions are hymns, canticles (including over 100 Magnificats), responsories for Holy Week, Passions, Lamentations, and some independent pieces for major feasts.

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

Sonata II in C Major for Bassoon Trio

3 parts4 pages06:535 years ago466 views
Georg Daniel Speer (1636 – 1707) was a German composer and Baroque writer of a musical treatise, political tracts, and fiction. In 1687 he published a treatise on music that is considered useful in understanding Middle Baroque music. His writing on music would influence German Baroque trombone works for over a century. In non-musical writing his political tracts led to his being imprisoned for a year and a half. In literature he is known for three or four autobiographical novels that give a feel of the musical scene of his era and make use of humor. In them the narrator is referred to as Daniel Simplex. His novels had largely became obscure until rediscovery in the 1930s.

Sonata II in C Major is from Grund-richtiger Kurtz-Leicht- und Nöthiger jetzt Wol-vermehrter Unterricht der musicalischen Kunst Oder Vierfaches Musicalisches Kleeblatt, Ulm 1697 and was composed entirely for Bassoon Trio and it is best played using the "Orchestral Winds" Soundfont from SoundFont Downloads at (http://www.soundfontdownloads.com).

"The Rocks of Bawn" for Viola & Harp

2 parts3 pages02:134 years ago469 views
"The Rocks of Bawn" (Rocks of White) talks about Oliver Cromwell's invasion of Ireland in 1649 and the treatment of the Roman Catholics: In 1652, Oliver Cromwell "subdued" Ireland, a process that often recurred in history before and since. Many Catholic landholders were dispossessed and forced to take their families and belongings beyond the Shannon, to the hard country of Connaught. While English and Scottish Protestant newcomers settled on the lusher vacated farms, the dispossessed Irish hacked out a thin living among the "rocks, bogs, salt water and seaweed" of the barren west coast. In the ensuing centuries, to many a farm-hand even the British Army offerred better prospects than the stony plough-defying soil of Mayo, Galway and Clare. The lament of the Connaught ploughman has become one of the most popular of all Irish folk songs, seemingly within the last few years.

Scholars feel that "Rocks of White is not a good transaltion". In Irish the presence of "of" between Rocks and White denotes the genitive 9 (n tuiseal ginideach). This indicates that both Rocks and White are nouns.

In Cavan it is asserted that the Rocks of Bawn refers to the poor soil (impossible to plough) in west cavan, adjacent to the town of Bawnboy (An Babhún Buí - the yellow earth enclosure - that the earth enclosure is referred to as a Babhún rather than a Lios or Rath indicates that it was enclosure made up during the Elizabethan plantation of Ulster).

Although originally written for traditional folk instruments, I created this arrangement for Viola & Celtic or 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).

"Thomas Leixlip the Proud" for Flute & Harp

2 parts3 pages02:185 years ago467 views
This traditional Irish Jig was originally attributed to Turlough O'Carolan. Scholars beieve that as it’s not in the ‘Book’ by O’Sullivan. In searching further, it was determined that it is actually from a song "Tho’ Leixlip is Proud", about Leixlip near Dublin having lovely woods etc . It seems that O’Neill may have seen Tho’ (Though) as Thos. short for Thomas and attributed it as another Carolan tune. Although a great tune, there were then many Baroque influenced tunes and songs from operas etc at the time from all over Britain and Ireland. Carolan was certainly open to all influences.

There is a song from the opera Poor Soldier that starts ‘Tho’ Leixlip is proud of it’s close shady bowers.’ It’s likely that this was read as "Thos." i.e. Thomas and as it sounded like a Baroque tune , attributed to Carolan. It’s not in O’Sullivan’s book of Carolan tunes and Bonnie Shaljean the harpist doesn’t know it as one of his. Leixlip is now a suburb of Dublin and the song sung by Pat, the Poor Soldier praises Norah his beloved.
The tune is similar to The Humours of Glynn or The Sligo Rambler and was widely played as a jig so may have been lifted from the tradition. Burns also used it for a song.

Although this work was originally written for Folk Instruments, I created this arrangement for Flute & 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).

Prelude: "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern" (BWV 739) for Pipe Organ

4 parts7 pages04:182 years ago465 views
Organ(4)
As organist at Weimar, Johann Sebastian Bach was charged with providing a harmonic underpinning for the singing of Lutheran chorale tunes chosen for each day. Bach wrote out many of these harmonizations, in part as instruction for younger composers (they are still used for this purpose). A derivation of this practice, Bach's conception of the organ chorale, as manifested in the chorale preludes, dates from 1713 -1714, about the time he became familiar with Vivaldi's concertos.

Bach's Orgelbüchlein (Little Organ Book) contains chorale preludes for the church year written during the composer's service at Weimar (1708 - 1717). In about 1713, Bach began assembling the Orgel-Büchlein, and his earliest entries seem to be Her Christ, der ein'ge Gottes-Sohn, BWV 601, In dulci jubilo, BWV 608, Christ ist erstanden, BWV 627, and Heut' triumphieret Gottes Sohn, BWV 630. These were very original compositions, highly expressive miniatures based on a chorale melody, supported with refined counterpoint, and featuring highly condensed motivic writing.

Bach's Orgelbüchlein was essentially complete by 1716. Only the fragment O Traurigkeit and the chorale prelude, Helft mir Gottes Güte preisen, BWV 613, were added later. "Complete" is used with some reservation here, because Bach originally projected 164 pieces but completed fewer than 50. In Bach's manuscript, pages with finished pieces alternate with blank ones intended for other chorale preludes. The later pieces differ from Bach's earlier chorale elaborations, in that they contain only one statement of the melody and are intended to demonstrate how to accompany a chorale with contrapuntally proper figurations that support the meaning of the text.

In the early 1740s Bach assembled a number of chorale preludes, possibly with the intention of publishing them as a set. These Achtzehn Choräle (Eighteen Chorales) BWV 651 - 668 were almost certainly written before 1723 and revised later. The Fantasia super Komm, heiliger Geist, BWV 651 is an especially impressive, extended elaboration of the chorale melody, which is in the pedal. The tune is treated in a less ornate fashion in the next prelude of the set (BWV 652). The highly convoluted Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658 also contains the chorale melody in the pedal.

The six Schübler chorales (BWV 645 - 650) are derived from Bach's cantatas and contain one of his most popular chorale preludes, on the melody Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645.

The third part of Bach's Clavier-Übung, published in Leipzig in 1739, contains 21 chorale preludes (not all appear in every publication), many of which are for manuals only. Nine of these are meant for use during the Mass, while the others are for the catechism. Among the most impressive is Kyrie, Gott heiliger Geist, BWV 671, which is in five voices with the chorale melody in the pedal. More complex is the first of two preludes on Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, BWV 686, which is in six parts, including two pedal parts.

Bach wrote a number of works based on the chorale "Wie schön leuchtet uns der Morgenstern" (How Beautifully the Morning Star Shines), including his Cantata BWV 1, as well as several other chorale preludes. This one, BWV 739, is among the earlier efforts, though it shows Bach already a master at adapting the melody to the organ. As many know, his chorale preludes were composed to serve as a means to prime the congregation during church services for the singing of the chorale itself. Here, Bach deftly captures the character of the chorale's text, with music that is ethereal, celestial, and brimming with sunlight. While some have considered this work of doubtful origin in the past, it appears to be an authentic Bach effort. It features a cantus firmus, but hardly of a stationary nature. The theme is given a mostly light treatment throughout, the mood lively and joyous. Bach's contrapuntal writing consistently shows his usual skill, and in the end, the blending of sonorities produces a colorfully woven musical fabric of great appeal. This chorale prelude is a relatively long one, having a general duration of just over four minutes.

Source: Allmusic (http://www.allmusic.com/composition/wie-sch%C3%B6n-leuchtet-uns-der-morgenstern-i-chorale-prelude-for-organ-bwv-739-bc-k97-mc0002368850).

I created this Transcription of the Chorale Prelude (BWV 739) "Wie schön leuchtet uns der Morgenstern" (How Beautifully the Morning Star Shines) for Pipe Organ.

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

6 parts20 pages06:025 years ago464 views
Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet, Bassoon
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).