Sheet music with 10 instruments

"Tollite Hostias" (Opus 12 No. 10) for Small Orchestra

10 parts5 pages02:075 years ago2,519 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Strings(5)
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (1835 – 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist of the Romantic era. He is known especially for The Carnival of the Animals, Danse macabre, Samson and Delilah (Opera), Piano Concerto No. 2, Cello Concerto No. 1, Havanaise, Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, and his Symphony No. 3 (Organ Symphony).

Saint-Saëns' Oratorio de Noël is a solid presentation of an extremely appealing work. Scored for five soloists, chorus, strings, harp, and organ, the oratorio lies within the capabilities of good church and community choirs, and could easily find a place in the repertoires of groups looking for an alternative to Messiah to celebrate the Christmas season. It's warmly, but not gushily Romantic, with gratifying vocal and choral writing, and both harmonic and contrapuntal richness and variety. Much of it resembles what Mendelssohn might have sounded like had he lived long enough to adopt a late-Romantic idiom. Several of the movements are strongly memorable, particularly the Prelude and Consurge, Filia Sion (with their nods to Bach's Weinachtsoratorium), the duet, Benedictus, and the trio Tecum principium. One of the standouts of this performance is the organ of Hans-Joachim Bartsch, whose sensitive playing and colorful choice of registration is especially striking. The choral singing and orchestral playing of Bachchor and Bachorchester Mainz, conducted by Diethard Hellmann is top notch -- full and warmly nuanced. Sopranos Verena Schweizer, Edith Wiens, alto Helena Jungwirth, and tenor Friedrich Melzer sing beautifully, but bass Kurt Widmer is a little hooty. The sound is adequate, but is sometimes slightly distant. With a running time of less than 40 minutes, the CD could have used some filling out, perhaps with a few of the composer's many excellent liturgical choral works.

Although originally created for accompanied chorus, I created this arrangement for Small Orchestra: String Ensemble (Violins (2), Viola, Cello & Bass), French Horn & Woodwinds (Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, & Bassoon).

"Laudate Dominum" for Winds & Strings

10 parts10 pages02:314 years ago1,006 views
Johann(es) Simon Mayr (also spelled Majer, Mayer, Maier), also known in Italian as Giovanni Simone Mayr or Simone Mayr (1763 --1845) was a German composer.

He was born in Mendorf near Altmannstein, Landkreis Eichstätt, Bavaria, and studied theology at the University of Ingolstadt, continuing his studies in Italy from 1787. He was closely associated with the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt while a student in Ingolstadt, and the ideals of the French Enlightenment were a strong influence on his philosophy as a musician as corroborated by his famed Zibaldone or "Notebooks" compiled toward the end of his career.

Shortly thereafter, he took music lessons with Carlo Lenzi, and later with Ferdinando Bertoni. He moved to Bergamo in 1802 and was appointed maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Bergamo, succeeding his old teacher Lenzi. He held the post until his death, and became a central figure in the city's musical life, organizing concerts and introducing Ludwig van Beethoven's music there. He was music teacher to Gaetano Donizetti. By the end of his life, he was blind. He died in Bergamo and is buried in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore there, just in front of the tomb of his famous pupil.

Mayr's works, among which there are almost seventy operas, are rarely performed today.

Psalm 117 is the 117th psalm of the Book of Psalms. With just two verses and sixteen words in Hebrew, it is the shortest of all 150 psalms. It is the 595th of the 1,189 chapters of the King James Version of the Bible making it the middle chapter. It is also the shortest chapter in this version of the Bible. Psalm 117, known by the opening words in Latin as "Laudate dominum" (translated "O, Praise the Lord" or "Praise ye the Lord"), has been set to music by a number of composers, including William Byrd and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

As with the other Psalms, "Laudate Dominum" is concluded with a trinitarian doxology (Gloria Patri) when used in the Roman rite. In Catholic churches, the Psalm may be sung after the blessing at the devotional service called Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.

The title "Laudate Dominum" can also refer to Psalm 150 which begins with identical text. The exhortations to praise God through music in Psalm 150 have inspired settings from a number of composers.

Although originally composed for Chorus and Orchestra, I created this arrangement for Winds (Flutes, Oboes, Bb Clarinets, French Horn & Bassoon) and Strings (Violins, Violas, Cellos & Basss) 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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"Miniature Overture" from the Nutcracker Suite (Opus 71a Mvt. 1) for Small Orchestra

10 parts23 pages03:1510 months ago914 views
Piccolo, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Percussion, Violin(2), Viola
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893) was a Russian composer who lived in the Romantic period. He is one of the most popular of all Russian composers. He wrote melodies which were usually dramatic and emotional. He learned a lot from studying the music of Western Europe, but his music also sounds very Russian. His compositions include 11 operas, 3 ballets, orchestral music, chamber music and over 100 songs. His famous ballets (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty) have some of the best known tunes in all of romantic music.

Tchaikovsky's ballet of the Nutcracker is based on Alexandre Dumas' translation of the original tale by E.T.A. Hoffman. Act One tells a story of how little Clara aids her magical Christmas gift (a nutcracker in the form of a soldier) defeat an army of mice. As a reward, in Act Two, he takes her to his magic kingdom and introduces her to a variety of subjects in a colorful stream of character dances. Tchaikovsky was initially displeased with the scenario for the ballet, which would be his last, because it lacked real drama. However, he reconciled himself to it and completed the Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, which was popular from its first performance, before going on to complete the entire ballet. Those seven dances -- including the familiar Spanish (Chocolate), Arab (Coffee), Chinese (Tea), and Russian dances -- and the overture are essentially the same as they appeared in the final, full ballet. To these he added interludes and scenes, with music and orchestrations that are just as delightful. His supply of lovely themes is endless, and he constantly provides brilliant orchestration. Unique features of his instrumentation include the Overture, which is entirely without cellos and double basses; the "Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy," which was inspired by the new celesta, an instrument Tchaikovsky encountered in Paris while working on the score; and the "Waltz of the Snowflakes," which uses a children's chorus. He also used toy instruments, perfectly in keeping with a story for children. The ballet was not as successful as his other stage works when it first appeared, however, now the traditional Christmas ballet is so popular that its annual performance keeps many a ballet company afloat. If all you know of this ballet is the famous suite, by all means hear the entire work..

Source: Wikipedia (https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyotr_Ilyich_Tchaikovsky).

Although originally created for Orchestra, I created this Transcription of the "Miniature Overture" from the Nutcracker Suite (Opus 71a Mvt. 1) for Small Orchestra (Piccolo, Flutes, Oboes, Bb Clarinets, French Horns, Bassoons, Triangle, Violins & Violas).

Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major (BWV 1048) for Strings

10 parts34 pages10:19a year ago833 views
Violin(3), Viola(3), Cello(3), Contrabass
In 1721, Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated six orchestral pieces to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg, ostensibly in response to a commission, but more likely as a sugarcoated job application. These pieces display a variety of styles, influences, and musical preoccupations and were probably not conceived of as a set. However, all of them share in Bach's great talent for absorbing new styles (among them the Italian concerto grosso) and then expanding and improving upon them. At any rate, the Margrave never thanked Bach, paid him a fee, staged a performance of the works, or offered him a position. Such was life, even for Bach.

The Concerto No. 3 in G major may have been written while Bach was at Weimar, given that it (along with Nos. 1 and 6) is reminiscent of the Italian concerto, a genre with which Bach was fascinated at the time. The motoric rhythm, clear melodic outline, and motivic construction owe a lot to the comparable works of Vivaldi, but the clarified harmony and more interesting counterpoint are unmistakably Bach's. The work's two main sections, both in G major (one alla breve, the other in 12/8 time), are separated by a brief Adagio which may be realized as a short violin cadenza. The concerto is written for three violins, three violas, and three cellos, with bass and continuo. The relationship between the instruments is subjective to the listener; as the positioning of the parts fluctuates, it may appear that there are no soloists, that the players are all soloists, or that the violins, violas, and cellos occupy their own solo groups. The Italian concerto grosso's distinction between concertino (a small group of soloists) and ripieno (the full ensemble) becomes in Bach's hands, and especially distinctively in the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, a kaleidoscopic range of colors and shades.

Source: AllMusic (http://www.allmusic.com/composition/brandenburg-concerto-no-3-in-g-major-bwv-1048-mc0002384428).

Originally written for 3 Violins, 3 Violas, 3 Cellos and Continuo, I created this Transcription of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major (BWV 1048) for String Ensemble (3 Violins, 3 Violas & 3 Cellos & Contrabass).

"Kyrie Eleison" from the Mass in B Minor (BWV 232 No. 1) for Woodwinds & Strings

10 parts41 pages08:352 years ago659 views
Flute(2), Oboe(2), English Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The Mass in B minor (BWV 232) by Johann Sebastian Bach is a musical setting of the complete Ordinary of the Latin Mass. The work was one of Bach's last compositions, not completed until 1749, the year before his death. Much of the Mass gave new form to vocal music that Bach had composed throughout his career, dating back (in the case of the "Crucifixus") to 1714, but extensively revised. To complete the work, in the late 1740s Bach composed new sections of the Credo such as "Et incarnatus est".

It was unusual for composers working in the Lutheran tradition to compose a Missa tota and Bach's motivations remain a matter of scholarly debate. The Mass was never performed in its entirety during Bach's lifetime; the first documented complete performance took place in 1859. Since the nineteenth century it has been widely hailed as one of the greatest compositions in musical history, and today it is frequently performed and recorded. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach archived this work as the Great Catholic Mass.

On 1 February 1733, Augustus II Strong, Polish King, Grand Duke of Lithuania and Elector of Saxony, died. Five months of mourning followed, during which all public music-making was suspended. Bach used the opportunity to work on the composition of a Missa, a portion of the liturgy sung in Latin and common to both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic rites. His aim was to dedicate the work to the new sovereign Augustus III, a Catholic, with the hope of obtaining the title "Electoral Saxon Court Composer”. Upon its completion, Bach visited Augustus III and presented him with a copy of the Missa, together with a petition to be given a court title, dated July 27, 1733; in the accompanying inscription on the wrapper of the mass he complains that he had "innocently suffered one injury or another” in Leipzig. The petition did not meet with immediate success, but Bach eventually got his title: he was made court composer to Augustus III in 1736.

In the last years of his life, Bach expanded the Missa into a complete setting of the Latin Ordinary. It is not known what prompted this creative effort. Wolfgang Osthoff and other scholars have suggested that Bach intended the completed Mass in B minor for performance at the dedication of the new Hofkirche in Dresden, which was begun in 1738 and was nearing completion by the late 1740s. However, the building was not completed until 1751, and Bach's death in July, 1750 prevented his Mass from being submitted for use at the dedication. Instead, Johann Adolph Hasse's Mass in D minor was performed, a work with many similarities to Bach's Mass (the Credo movements in both works feature chant over a walking bass line, for example). Other explanations are less event-specific, involving Bach's interest in 'encyclopedic' projects (like The Art of Fugue) that display a wide range of styles, and Bach's desire to preserve some of his best vocal music in a format with wider potential future use than the church cantatas they originated in.

The piece is orchestrated for two flutes, two oboes d'amore, one natural horn (in D), three natural trumpets (in D), timpani, violins I and II, violas and basso continuo (cellos, basses, bassoons, organ and harpsichord).

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

I created this arrangement of the "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord, have mercy) for Woodwinds (2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Sinfonia from the Easter Oratorio (BWV 249 No. 1) for Small Orchestra

10 parts40 pages05:282 years ago652 views
Trumpet(3), Flute, Oboe, Timpani, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The Easter Oratorio (BWV 249) is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach, beginning with Kommt, eilet und laufet ("Come, hasten and run"). Bach composed it in Leipzig and first performed it on 1 April 1725.

The first version of the work was completed as a cantata for Easter Sunday in Leipzig on 1 April 1725, then under the title Kommt, gehet und eilet. It was named "oratorio" and given the new title only in a version revised in 1735. In a later version in the 1740s the third movement was expanded from a duet to a four-part chorus. The work is based on a secular cantata, the so-called Shepherd Cantata Entfliehet, verschwindet, entweichet, ihr Sorgen, BWV 249a which is now lost, although the libretto survives. Its author is Picander who is also likely the author of the oratorio's text. The work is opened by two instrumental movements that are probably taken from a concerto of the Köthen period. It seems possible that the third movement is based on the concerto's finale.

Unlike the Christmas Oratorio, the Easter Oratorio has no narrator but has four characters assigned to the four voice parts: Simon Peter (tenor) and John the Apostle (bass), appearing in the first duet hurrying to Jesus' grave and finding it empty, meeting there Mary Magdalene (alto) and "the other Mary", Mary Jacobe (soprano). The choir was present only in the final movement until a later performance in the 1740s when the opening duet was set partly for four voices. The music is festively scored for three trumpets, timpani, two oboes, oboe d'amore, bassoon, two recorders, transverse flute, two violins, viola and continuo.

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

I created this arrangement of the opening Sinfonia for Small Orchestra (Piccolo Trumpet, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Flute, Oboe, Timpani, 2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorus: "Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele" (BWV 143 No 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts7 pages02:324 years ago635 views
Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele (Praise the Lord, O my soul), BWV 143, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. It is not known if he composed the cantata for New Year's Day in Mühlhausen or Weimar, between 1708 and 1714.The librettist is unknown. The cantata draws from Psalm 146 and the hymn Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ by Jakob Ebert to develop its seven movements.

Bach wrote the cantata for New Year's Day, which is also the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ. The prescribed readings for the day were 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 eight days after his birth. However, most of the text for the cantata was taken by the unknown librettist from Psalms 146. Movements 2 and 7 are the first and third stanza from the chorale "Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ" by Jakob Ebert, written in 1601.

The provenance of this cantata is disputed: some suggest that it may not be a Bach work because of its "unpretentious" nature and the lack of authoritative original music, or perhaps it was a transposition of an earlier work. Alternatively, part of the cantata may have been written by Bach, while other parts (likely the choruses and the bass aria) were added or amended by other composers.

The opening chorus is quite short, using imitative fanfare figures without much harmonic development. It employs a ritornello theme on the tonic and dominant chords, incorporating a descending-third sequence. Its text is the opening of Psalm 146.

The soprano chorale is accompanied by a violin obbligato. Although the vocal line is mostly undecorated, it is accompanied by a rhythmically active violin counterpoint following the circle of fifths. The obbligato line reaches a double cadence before the soprano entrance.

The tenor recitative is quite short and is considered unremarkable.

The fourth movement is a tenor aria in free verse. The vocal line is "convoluted and angular", reflecting the themes of misfortune, fear and death. Musicologist Julian Mincham suggests that these themes suggest that Salomon Franck may be the poet, as these were recurrent images in his texts, but also notes a lack of integration atypical of Franck's oeuvre.

The bass aria employs a triadic motif similar to that of Gott ist mein König, BWV 71. It is short and has a limited range of tonal development or chromatic variation.

The sixth movement is another tenor aria characterized by the layered scale figuration in the instrumental accompaniment. The bassoon and continuo perform as a duet against the chorale melody in the strings.

The closing chorus employs the third stanza of the chorale as a cantus firmus in the soprano. The lower voices sing Alleluias and are more varied in their writing.

Although the cantata was scored for three vocal soloists (soprano, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, three corni da caccia, timpani, bassoon, two violins, viola, and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Trumpet, Woodwinds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Sinfonia: "Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend" (BWV 248 No 10) for Winds & Strings

10 parts15 pages06:183 years ago596 views
Flute(2), Oboe(2), Clarinet, French Horn, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
The Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 incorporating music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734 and a now lost church cantata, BWV 248a. The date is confirmed in Bach's autograph manuscript. The next performance was not until 17 December 1857 by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin under Eduard Grell. The Christmas Oratorio is a particularly sophisticated example of parody music. The author of the text is unknown, although a likely collaborator was Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander).

It was conceived as a set of six cantatas. Unlike the Passion settings and the oratorios of Bach's exact contemporary Handel, the six parts of his Christmas Oratorio were performed on separate days. Bach wrote the six cantatas to celebrate the whole period of the Christmas festivities of 1734-35, starting with Part I on Christmas Day, and ending with Part VI on Epiphany (January 6th). The performances were divided between his two churches: Parts I, II, IV and VI were given at the Thomaskirche, and Parts III and V at the Nicolaikirche.

Bach wrote the Christmas Oratorio over a short period. Unusually for him, but perhaps by necessity, he recycled music from earlier compositions. At least eleven sections have been identified as coming from three earlier secular cantatas, with Bach working with his frequent collaborator Picander to alter the texts for their new use. It is thought that several more sections may be based on lost sacred works, including the documented but now lost St Mark Passion. Bach also composed new music for much of the piece, including all of the recitatives and chorales.

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

I created this arrangement of the Sinfonia: "Und es waren Hirten in derselben Gegend" (And there were shepherds in the Fields) for Winds (2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Bb Clarinet & French Horn) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Jesu Christ, mein's Lebens Licht" (BWV 118) for Winds & Strings

10 parts19 pages03:383 years ago509 views
Trumpet, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Strings(5)
Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht (O Jesus Christ, light of my life), BWV 118, is a church cantata composed by Johann Sebastian Bach, intended for a funeral. This work was written around 1736 or 1737 and was performed at the grave-side ceremony for Count Friedrich von Flemming on October 11, 1740.

This work, along with Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230 is included as a motet in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe, though both of the works fall partly outside the norms of the motet genre. "O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht" has been characterized as "something between a cantata movement and a motetic choral transcription." The text is a 1610 hymn by Martin Behm.This work is a motet version of the chorale Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid. The lower voices of the choir sing counterpoint to the chorale melody line in the soprano. The accompaniment includes an ascending string motive.

This motet was originally scored for four-part choir. There are two versions of the instrumental scoring: one includes two litui, cornetto, three trombones, and organ; the other is two litui, strings, organ continuo, and optionally three oboes and bassoon.I created this arrangement for Winds (Bb Cornet, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet & French Horn) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola, Cello & Bass) and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

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

10 parts15 pages02:114 years ago462 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).

Chorus: "In allen meinen Taten" (BWV 97 No 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts23 pages05:013 years ago458 views
Flute, Oboe, Trumpet(2), French Horn, Tuba, Strings(3), Cello
In allen meinen Taten (In all that I do / In all my undertakings), BWV 97, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig in 1734 for an unspecified occasion. The text consists of the unchanged words of the hymn by Paul Fleming (1642).

Bach wrote the chorale cantata in 1734, about a decade after his annual cycle of cantatas, in the same year as his Christmas Oratorio, one year after Kyrie and Gloria of his later Mass in B minor. He dated the manuscript himself, but the occasion is unspecified. The work may have originally been composed for a wedding, because the score shows on top of movement 7 the crossed-out words "nach der Trauung" (after the wedding). A later copy mentions the fifth Sunday after Trinity. The text consists of nine unchanged stanzas of the chorale by Paul Fleming, published in 1642. The six lines of each stanza rhyme in pairs: 1 and 2, 4 and 5, 3 and 6. The text was written in 1633 at the outset of a "long and hazardous journey" to Moscow and reflects a "beginning in God's name". Bach structured nine stanzas in as many movements, framing a sequence of arias and recitatives by an opening chorus and a closing chorale. At least two later performances between 1735 and 1747 are documented.

In the two choral movements, Bach used the melody of the hymn, but composed music unrelated to the melody in the other cantata movements. The poet wrote the words to fit the well-known tune of "Innsbruck, ich muß dich lassen" by Heinrich Isaac. Bach had used it twice in his St Matthew Passion, in movements 10 (Ich bin's, ich sollte büßen) and 37 (Wer hat dich so geschlagen).

In keeping with a beginning, Bach set the opening chorale fantasia in the style of a French overture, in a sequence slow – fast (fugue), as he had done already as early as in 1714 in Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, beginning a new liturgical year. The slow section, marked grave, in dotted rhythm is instrumental, in the fast section, marked vivace, the orchestra plays a fugue, to which the soprano sings the cantus firmus of the melody line by line in long notes, whereas the lower voices take part in the imitation of the instrumental motifs. After the last line all voices join in an "urgent homophonic concluding statement".

Bach structured the inner movements, named "versus" (Latin for stanza), as five arias and two recitatives, using the voices from the lowest to the highest, increasing the instrumentation from continuo to obbligato instruments. He kept the structure of the text, two even parts, in all of these movements but the duet which shows a modified da capo form. The recitatives are kept simple, the first (versus 3) is secco, the second (versus 5) is accompanied by the strings. Versus 2 is introduced by a ritornello of the continuo on a theme which the bass picks up. Versus 4 is brightened by a virtuoso violin part, possible as an image of God's grace in "Ich traue seiner Gnaden" (I trust His grace). John Eliot Gardiner compares the writing for the violin to that in his sonatas and partitas for solo violin. The strings open versus 6 with motifs illustrating rest and motion, which is obvious when the alto sings: "Leg ich mich späte nieder" (Late do I lie me down), "erwache" (wake up), "lieg oder ziehe fort" (lie still or go forth). Versus 7 is set as a duet with continuo. The ritornello begins with a theme later also used by the voices and ends on a characteristic motif illustrating the resolution of "... then will I uncomplaining unto my fate press on". In the last aria the oboes support the soprano singing in extended melismas "I have surrendered myself to Him".

In the closing chorale, the strings play three independent parts in addition to the four vocal parts, while the oboes play the choral melody, termed "augmenting the luminescent harmony" by Gardiner. Called by Dürr "hymnische Krönung" (hymnal crowning), the movement balances the first movement and adds weight to the summarising text of the final stanza, "To thee be true, o spirit, and trust in Him alone now who hath created thee".

Although originally scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, two oboes, bassoon, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. I created this arrangement for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn & Euphonium) & 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) as well as the "Dirty Brass Trumpet SoundFont" Soundfont at http://hotfile.com/dl/107684584/730b25e/Dirty_Brass_Trumpet_SoundFont_20.

Chorus: "Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe" (BWV 248 No 21) for Winds, Harp & Strings

10 parts11 pages03:292 years ago437 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello, Harp
The Christmas Oratorio BWV 248, is an oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach intended for performance in church during the Christmas season. It was written for the Christmas season of 1734 incorporating music from earlier compositions, including three secular cantatas written during 1733 and 1734 and a now lost church cantata, BWV 248a. The date is confirmed in Bach's autograph manuscript. The next performance was not until 17 December 1857 by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin under Eduard Grell. The Christmas Oratorio is a particularly sophisticated example of parody music. The author of the text is unknown, although a likely collaborator was Christian Friedrich Henrici (Picander).

It was conceived as a set of six cantatas. Unlike the Passion settings and the oratorios of Bach's exact contemporary Handel, the six parts of his Christmas Oratorio were performed on separate days. Bach wrote the six cantatas to celebrate the whole period of the Christmas festivities of 1734-35, starting with Part I on Christmas Day, and ending with Part VI on Epiphany (January 6th). The performances were divided between his two churches: Parts I, II, IV and VI were given at the Thomaskirche, and Parts III and V at the Nicolaikirche.

Bach wrote the Christmas Oratorio over a short period. Unusually for him, but perhaps by necessity, he recycled music from earlier compositions. At least eleven sections have been identified as coming from three earlier secular cantatas, with Bach working with his frequent collaborator Picander to alter the texts for their new use. It is thought that several more sections may be based on lost sacred works, including the documented but now lost St Mark Passion. Bach also composed new music for much of the piece, including all of the recitatives and chorales.

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

I created this arrangement of the Chorus: "Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe und Friede auf Erden" (Glory be to God in the highest and peace on earth) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon), Concert (Pedal) Harp and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Kyrie Eleison" from the Mass in A Major (BWV 234 No. 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts32 pages05:212 years ago436 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Church music in Latin by Johann Sebastian Bach comprises about ten compositions, all composed during his Leipzig period. As a Lutheran church musician, Bach was more devoted to the composition of sacred music in German, writing hundreds of liturgical compositions in that language, and for instance also producing a German version of Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. Compared to Lutheran practice elsewhere, an uncharacteristic amount of Latin was however used in church services in Leipzig: it included music on Latin texts being performed on ordinary Sundays, on high holidays (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost), and the Magnificat also on Marian feasts (Annunciation, Visitation, Purification).

In Lutheran service, a Missa was a setting of only Kyrie and Gloria. Such a mass consisting of only Kyrie and Gloria is for that time period sometimes indicated as Missa brevis (literally: "short mass"). In 1733 Bach composed such a Missa brevis for the Catholic court in Dresden, however in an extended setting. In the late 1730s he again composed four Missae breves, mostly parodies of earlier cantata movements. At the end of his life he expanded the Missa for Dresden to his only setting of the complete Mass ordinary, the Mass in B minor.

Bach wrote four other settings of Kyrie and Gloria, sometimes called Missa brevis. The attribute brevis in this case means short in words, unlike the Missa brevis of the classical period which is short in duration. Sometimes the works are termed Lutheran mass, because the combination of only Kyrie and Gloria was used more frequently in the Lutheran liturgy.

They seem to have been intended for liturgical use, considering a performance time of about 20 minutes each, the average duration of a Bach cantata. They may have been composed around 1738/39. Possibly they were written for Count Franz Anton von Sporck or performed by him in Lysá.

Each Missa is in six movements, the Kyrie one choral movement in three sections, the Gloria in five movements. The first and last movement of the Gloria are also choral, framing three arias for different voice types. The music consists mostly of parodies of cantata movements. He changed the music slightly to adjust to the Latin words, but kept the original instrumentation. The opening chorus of Es wartet alles auf dich, BWV 187, became the final movement of the Missa in G minor, Cum sancto spiritu. Occasionally he switched a voice part, for example he asked for a tenor in the Quoniam of that Missa, a parody of the soprano aria Halt ich nur fest an ihm of that cantata.

For the Missa in A major, BWV 234, scored for flute, strings, SATB, and basso continuo, Bach parodied music from at least four earlier cantatas. In 1818 this was one of a very few of Bach's compositions for voices and orchestra to appear in print prior the Bach Gesellschaft complete edition in the second half of the 19th century.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bach's_church_music_in_Latin#Settings_of_.28parts_of.29_the_Latin_mass_liturgy).

I created this arrangement of the "Kyrie Eleison" (Lord have Mercy) for for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Graduale 6: "Non in Multitudine" (HV 56) for Winds, Strings & Piano

10 parts10 pages02:145 years ago420 views
Joseph Leopold Eybler (1765 - 1846) was an Austrian composer known today perhaps more for his friendship with Mozart than for his own music.

Eybler was born into a musical family. His father was a teacher, choir director and friend of the Haydn family. Joseph Eybler studied music with his father before attending Stephansdom (the cathedral school of St. Stephen's Boys College) in Vienna. He studied composition under Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, who declared him to be the greatest musical genius in Vienna apart from Mozart. He also received praise from Haydn who was his friend, distant cousin and patron.

In 1792 he became choir director at the Karmeliterkirche (Carmelite Church) in Vienna. Two years later he moved to the Schottenkloster, where he remained for the next thirty years (1794-1824). Eybler also held court posts, including that of court Kapellmeister (chapel master) (1824–33). The Empress Marie Therese commissioned many works from him, including the Requiem in C minor (1803).

The Gradual is a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In the Tridentine Mass it was and is sung after the reading or chanting of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract. In the Mass of Paul VI the gradual corresponds to the Responsorial Psalm. There is the option to replace this psalm with the gradual, but its use is extremely rare. It is part of the Proper of the Mass.

Although the Gradual: "Non in multitudine est virtus tua Domine" ("It's not in the multitude is your power, O Lord") in F Major was composed for Accompainied Chorus, I created this arrangement for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon), Strings (Violins (2), Viola & Cello) & Acoustic Piano and it is best played using the "GeneralUser GS.sf2" Soundfont by S. Christian Collins Software (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php).

Chorus: "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" (BWV 125 No 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts20 pages04:403 years ago413 views
Flute, Oboe, Trumpet(2), French Horn, Tuba, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin (With peace and joy I depart), BWV 125, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the Feast of Purification.

Luther's chorale in four stanzas is a paraphrase of this canticle, "With peace and joy I depart in God's will". Luther phrased each verse of the canticle in one stanza. An unknown librettist kept the first and the last stanza and paraphrased the inner stanzas in four movements. Movement 2 takes Luther's second stanza as a starting point and relates Simeon's view as an example on how to look at death. Movement 3 comments the complete text of Luther's second stanza in recitative. The allusion to "light for the heathen" from the Gospel and the hymn is seen related to "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). Movements 4 and 5 are derived from the third stanza, 4 relates to Paul's teaching about God's grace, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Romans 3:25), thus declaring the Lutheran teaching of justification "by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone" even more clearly than Luther's song.

The opening chorus begins with a concertante ritornello, in which the flute and the oboe play opposed to the strings. A motif in triplets rises a fifth, related to the first interval of the chorale tune. The soprano sings the cantus firmus in Phrygian mode in long notes. The lower voices participate in the instrumental motifs for lines 1, 2, 3 and 5, but lines 4 and 6 are treated differently. In accordance to the text, "sanft und stille" (calm and quiet) and "der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden" (death has become my sleep), they are performed softly (piano), in homophony, chromatic, and modulating to distant keys.

The alto aria is richly ornamented and accompanied by the flute and oboe d'amore, on a calm foundation of repeated notes in the continuo, marked "legato". The phrase "gebrochene Augen" (broken eyes) is pictured by a broken vocal line, flute and oboe d'amore play dotted rhythm to the "almost trembling declamation" of the voice. In the bass recitative with chorale, the chorale tune is unadorned but for the last line, "im Tod und auch im Sterben" (in death and also in dying), where the music is extended by two measures and coloured in chromatic and rich ornamentation. The elements recitative and chorale are unified by a motif in the strings, called "Freudenmotiv" by Alfred Dürr, which "always indicates an underlying mood of happiness". The closing chorale is a four-part setting.

Julian Mincham relates the opening movement to that of Bach's later St Matthew Passion. It is similar in its motifs in triplets, density of counterpoint, and is in the same key of E minor, shared by the Crucifixus of his Mass in B minor which he derived from the 1714 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 (Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing). Mincham concludes: "death, sleep, a journey of departure, peace and consolation are some of the intertwined themes and images. Bach is always at his most creative and imaginative when dealing with such complexities".

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

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mit_Fried_und_Freud_ich_fahr_dahin,_BWV_125).

I created this arrangement of the opening chorus: "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin" (With peace and joy I depart) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn, F Tuba) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorale: "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" (BWV 23 No 4) for Winds & Strings

10 parts21 pages03:242 years ago409 views
Flute, Oboe, Trumpet, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn (You true God and Son of David), BWV 23,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Köthen between 1717 and 1723 for the Sunday Estomihi and performed it as an audition piece for the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig on 7 February 1723.

Bach probably composed the cantata in Köthen between 1717 and 1723 for Quinquagesima Sunday (also known as Estomihi), but it was revised to be included as Bach's other test piece (with Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe, BWV 22) for the position of Thomaskantor in Leipzig. The work was performed there on 7 February 1723 (after the sermon), and performed again on 20 February 1724. It is unclear whether a "test" performance of the 1723 revised version took place in Köthen before Bach's audition at the Thomaskirche.

The chorale theme Christe, du Lamm Gottes first appeared in print in Johannes Bugenhagen's Braunschweig church order, published in Wittenberg in 1525. The theme is an adaptation of Luther's setting of the Kyrie eleison in his 1525 Deutsche Messe.

In this cantata, Bach combines elements of ritornello and concerto writing to expand his range of structural experimentation. Although the chorale was a later addition, its melody is incorporated earlier in the piece. The text's theme is optimistic, but the music throughout has a sense of underlying sadness. Craig Smith describes the cantata as "one of the densest and greatest".

The opening movement is "a sinewy and somewhat enigmatic quintet" for soprano and alto voices (assuming the role of the blind man addressing Jesus) with low active oboes and continuo. The movement is in adapted ternary form with an opening and closing "Italianate" ritornello. The soprano line includes a "drooping" motive, hinting at later harmonic and emotional development. There is a "thorny, even awkward juxtaposition of triple and duple meters" throughout the duet.

The tenor recitative is quite similar to that for bass in BWV 22: they are in major and use chordal strings underlying the vocal line. This movement adds an instrumental rendition of the melody of the closing chorale in oboe and violin.

The chorus is "dance-like but not toe-tapping, major but not ebulliently so, employing the full chorus but restrained throughout". The form is free rondo with interspersed extended episodes of tenor and bass duet. The opening includes the BACH motif.

The closing chorale sets the same verse three times, likely representing the Trinity and drawing the listener's attention to the Passion narrative. It opens with "some of the weightiest and most ponderous music that Bach ever composed". The instrumental introduction varies between settings: the first and second begin with an oboe figure in G minor, the third with imitative counterpoint above the continuo. The harmonic structure of the movement is unsettled, ending on a C major chord that does not resolve. There is a concluding coda of Amens, heralded by a syncopated figure

The cantata is scored for three vocal soloists (soprano, alto, and tenor), four-part choir, cornett, three trombones (or trombe), two oboes, two violins, viola, and basso continuo. The piece has four movements.


Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Du_wahrer_Gott_und_Davids_Sohn,_BWV_23).

I created this arrangement of the final Chorale: "Christe, du Lamm Gottes" (Christ, Lamb of God) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Trumpet, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Sinfonia: "Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde" (BWV 83 No 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts21 pages09:123 years ago405 views
Flute(2), Oboe(2), Trumpet, French Horn, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Erfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde (Joyful time in the new covenant), BWV 83, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He wrote it in 1724 in Leipzig for the feast Mariae Reinigung (Purification of Mary) and first performed it on 2 February 1724.

Bach wrote the cantata in his first year in Leipzig for the feast Purification of Mary. The prescribed readings for the feast day were from the book of Malachi, "the Lord will come to his temple" (Malachi 3:1–4), and from the Gospel of Luke, the purification of Mary and the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, including Simeon's canticle Nunc dimittis (Luke 2:22–32). The gospel mentions the purification of Mary, but elaborates on Simeon who had been told he would not die without having seen the Messiah. Simeon's canticle Nunc dimittis ("Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace") is a constant part of the services Compline and Evensong. The unknown poet also concentrates on this aspect of the gospel and connects it to the listener's attitude to his own death. In movement 2 he comments the words of the canticle "Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Friede fahren" by recitative. He shapes movement 3 as a close paraphrase of Hebrews 4:16. Movement 4 recalls the last verse of the gospel, the closing chorale expresses the same thought in Martin Luther's words, the fourth stanza of his chorale "Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin".

The cantata was Bach's first cantata for the occasion. He first performed it on 2 February 1724 and again in 1727. In 1725 he composed a chorale cantata Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 125, on Luther's German version of the Canticle of Simeon, in 1727 he wrote his famous solo cantata Ich habe genung, BWV 82.

The first da capo aria is richly scored for the full orchestra. Its first section celebrates the "joyful time". The ritornell presents a first motif in upward coloraturas, which is later picked up by the voice, then playful contrasting "choirs" of instruments, and virtuoso figuration of the solo violin. In great contrast the middle section concentrates on "our resting place, our grave", the violin imitating funeral bells by repetitions on open strings.

Movement 2 is singular in Bach's cantatas. It contains the canticle of Simeon, sung by the bass on the eighth psalm tone of Gregorian chant, while a canon is played by all strings in unison and the continuo. After the first verse of the canticle, three sections of secco recitative are interrupted by the canonic music, finally the other two verses of the canticle are treated as the first. The use of psalm tones was already considered an archaism in Bach's time.

In Movement 3 the concertante violin plays endless runs in triplets, to illustrate "Hurry, heart, full of joy", the voice imitates the runs. A short secco recitative leads to the four-part chorale. Bach had used this chorale already in his early funeral cantata Actus tragicus (1707 or 1708).

Although originally scored for alto, tenor and bass soloists, a four-part choir in the chorale, two horns, two oboes, solo violin, two violins, viola, and basso continuo, I created this arrangement for Winds (2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, Bb Trumpet & French Horn) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorus: "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit" (BWV 115 No 1) for Winds & Strings

10 parts24 pages05:183 years ago401 views
Trumpet, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit (Make yourself ready, my spirit), BWV 115, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity and first performed it on 5 November 1724. It is based on the hymn by Johann Burchard Freystein (1695).

Bach composed the cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the 22nd Sunday after Trinity. That year, Bach composed a cycle of chorale cantatas, begun on the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724. The prescribed readings for the Sunday were from the Epistle to the Philippians, thanks and prayer for the congregation in Philippi (Philippians 1:3–11), and from the Gospel of Matthew, the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18:23–35).

The cantata is based on a hymn in ten stanzas by Johann Burchard Freystein (1695), which expands a single theme related to the Gospel: be prepared by awareness and prayer for the arrival of the Lord. An unknown poet kept the first and the last stanza as movements 1 and 6 of the cantata. He derived the inner movements as a sequence of alternating arias and recitatives from the inner stanzas, using stanza 2 for 2, stanzas 3 to 6 for 3, stanza 7 for 4, keeping the first two lines unchanged, and stanzas 8 to 9 for 5. The chorale is sung to the anonymous melody of "Straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn" (1681).

The opening chorus is a chorale fantasia in the form of a passacaglia. The instruments perform independent concertante chamber music, set for three parts, the flute, the oboe d'amore and the strings in unison. The soprano sings the melody as a cantus firmus, the lower voices are set partly in imitation, partly homophonic. The alto aria (Oh, sleepy soul – are you still at rest?) begins, as Klaus Hofmann notes, "as a musical sleep scene of a kind that could have graced any opera of the time". Marked Adagio, the oboe d'amore plays a solo in siciliano rhythm, leading to a "long, peaceful, quasi-'sleeping' note". The text's admonition to be vigilant ("Punishment might suddenly awaken you and, if you were not alert, conceal you in the sleep of eternal death") appears in the contrasting middle section, marked Allegro.

In the soprano aria "Bete aber auch dabei" (But you should also pray), flute and violoncello piccolo play chamber music, to which the solo adds a "noble cantilena". The closing chorale is a four-part setting of the final call: "Therefore let us forever be alert, entreat and pray".

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

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mache_dich,_mein_Geist,_bereit,_BWV_115).

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorale: "Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit" (Make yourself ready, my spirit) for Winds (Bb Trumpet, Flute, Obor, Bb Clarinet, French Horn & Bassoon) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

Chorale: "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" (BWV 9 No 1) For Winds & Strings

10 parts50 pages05:142 years ago395 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Es ist das Heil uns kommen her (It is our salvation come here to us), BWV 9,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in Leipzig for the sixth Sunday after Trinity between 1732 and 1735, based on the hymn "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" by Paul Speratus. Bach composed the cantata to fill a gap in his cycle of chorale cantatas written for performances in Leipzig from 1724.

The cantata is framed as the earlier chorale cantatas by a chorale fantasia and a chorale four-part setting of the first and the twelfth stanza in the original words by the reformer Speratus, published in the First Lutheran Hymnal. The theme is salvation from sin by God's grace alone. An anonymous librettist paraphrased the content of ten inner stanzas to alternating recitatives and arias. Bach scored the cantata for a chamber ensemble of four vocal parts, flauto traverso, oboe d'amore, strings and continuo. He gave all three recitatives to the bass, like a sermon interrupted in reflection by a tenor aria with solo violin and a duet of soprano and alto with the wind instruments.

Bach composed the cantata for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity between 1732 and 1735. It filled a gap in his second annual cycle of chorale cantatas written for performance in Leipzig. In 1724, when he composed the cycle, he had an engagement in Köthen that Sunday, and therefore left the text for later completion. The cantata is based on a hymn "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" by Paul Speratus, which was published in 1524 in the Achtliederbuch, the first Lutheran hymnal. The theme of the chorale is the Lutheran creed of salvation from sin by God's grace alone (justification by faith), summarized in the first stanza: "Deeds can never help, ... faith beholds Jesus Christ, ... He has become the Intercessor"..

The cantata in seven movements is scored for a chamber music ensemble of four vocal soloists (soprano (S), alto (A), tenor (T) and bass (B)), a four-part choir SATB, flauto traverso (Ft), oboe d'amore (Oa), two violins (Vl), one of them solo (Vs), viola (Va), and basso continuo (Bc). The autograph title page reads: "Dominica 6. post Trinitatis / Es ist das Heil uns kommen her / a / 4 Voci / 1 Traversa / 1 Hautb: d'Amour / 2 Violini / Viola / e / Continuo / di / Joh:Sebast:Bach".

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Es_ist_das_Heil_uns_kommen_her,_BWV_9).

The opening chorus, "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" (It is our salvation come here to us), is a chorale fantasia, the vocal part embedded in a concerto of the instruments. The cantus firmus of the chorale melody is in the soprano in unadorned long notes, while the lower voices engage in imitation. The scoring with the obbligato instruments flute and oboe d'amore in contrast to the strings is unusual, sometimes the first violin takes also part in the concerto.

I created this arrangement of the opening Chorale (Fantasia): "Es ist das Heil uns kommen her" (It is our salvation come here to us) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) and Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).

"Gloria in Excelsis" from the Mass in G Major (BWV 236 No. 2) for Winds & Strings

10 parts41 pages04:572 years ago392 views
Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn, Bassoon, Violin(2), Viola, Cello
Between 1737 and 1748 Johann Sebastian Bach wrote at least five Masses, four of which survive in their entirety. (The C Minor Mass exists only as a fragment.) These are known as the Missa brevis (plural is Missae brevis), meaning brief Masses or Lutheran Masses, in contrast to the Mass in B Minor, Bach's only Latin work following the complete Catholic Mass structure. But none of these Masses gets much attention in either Bach scholarship or performances, suffering first from being in the shadow of the Mass in B Minor - called by Georg Nägeli one of the "greatest musical works of art of all times and all peoples" - and second by the fact that each of these four Masses are "parody" works. A parody work is one based on preexisting music. Parody Masses were common in the Renaissance, whereby a composer would create a new musical work out of old material. Normally, that "old material" was a chant or popular song, some musical element that would be recognizable to the choir and congregation. For two famous examples, see Josquin's Missa pange lingua (based on the chant "Pange lingua", still used today in the Catholic Church), or Machaut's Missa l'homme armé (which is based on a popular song).

Bach's Masses, however, are parodies of his own work. In modern times, we tend to think of the word "parody" in terms of comedy; but the original use of the word in music had no such connotations. In fact, parody was a common technique that was often a form of flattery - if your work proved to be the source of the parody, then your music had to be fairly well known, perhaps even well respected. In the present case, Bach's Mass in G Major is largely based on his own earlier cantatas:

- The "Kyrie Eleison" is derived from Cantata 179
- the opening movement of the "Gloria in Excelsis" comes from Cantata 79
- the "Gratias agimus tibi" movement is derived from Cantata 138
- continuing in the Gloria, the movement "Domine Deus" also comes from Cantata 79
- "Quoniam tu solus sanctus" comes, like the Kyrie, from Cantata 179
- the final movement of the Gloria, "Cum Sancto Spiritu", originates from Cantata 17

Source: Bach.org (http://www.bach.org/bwv236.php).

I created this arrangement of the "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" (Glory to God in the highest) for Winds (Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, English Horn, French Horn & Bassoon) & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).