JSB/Mike Magatagan/BSG: Schafe können sicher weiden (BWV 208.9)

Uploaded on Apr 28, 2015

This is my rewrite of Mike Magatagan's string quartet arrangement of the famous aria of safely grazing sheep from the Hunting Cantata, BWV 208.

Mike has graciously allowed me to correct and enhance his work. My goals here are multiple: to help Mike learn Bachian counterpoint, to enjoy myself, and to post what is now my own work, too; perhaps others can learn.

I followed certain ground rules: I did not look at Bach's original--I fixed up Mike's work, not Bach's work. I kept the bass line and violin 1 as Mike had them; I more or less gutted the second violin and added my own, and rewrote the viola heavily. A few times I left entire measures intact (as it were).

The technical goals of the rewrite were primarily to fix various sorts of large and small contrapuntal errors; the largest ones were Mike simply duplicating Violin 1 or Viola in violin 2 for a half a measure at a time, and there were ubiquitous unison and octave duplicate gestures, which I remedied, often with simple long notes. There were many missed opportunities for vacant contrapuntal space (resulting in overcrowding!) which I exploited, particularly adding classic suspensions and classic resolutions of 6-4-2's, and enhanced awareness of JSB's beloved half-diminished sevenths (6 5 flat).

A second goal was to add interest to the composition over and above what both Bach and Mike had: spicing it with imitations of the recorder head motif, the vocal head motif, and new secondary motifs contributing to measure-by-measure sequences. At one point, mm 12-15, perhaps a bit too ostentatious, where Mike had silence, I was able to supply a canon at the seventh. I even disconnected parallel-sixth head-motif passages from Bach in order to construct a more interesting four-voice texture (Bach's original was basically three-voiced).

I strove to keep as much of Mike's architecture and detail as possible, unless I had something sufficiently better to say. There may still be "bugs" unfixed, or even new ones I introduced. Fortunately, this site facilitates score revisions without corrupting dates/stats, etc.

There is a huge echo of the texture of the eponymous opening aria of BWV 54, "Widerstehe doch der Sünde" hovering about.

Mike and others, enjoy/compare.

Mike's original is https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/821476 .

Bach string quartet arrangement sheep counterpoint learn counterpoint exercise

Pages 5
Duration 6:24
Measures 40
Key signature 2 flats
Parts 4
Part names Violin (2)
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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I already love it! It's so much fuller with seemingly even more voices. I love the drama on M18. Very nice. The V2 part on M28-29 adds such interest. Leaves me wanting more. Thanks Bernie!