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Bach/Magatagan (continuo by BSG): Ihr Kleingläubigen (BWV 81, #4)


Uploaded on May 31, 2015

Continuo realization added to Mike Magatigan's (unmodified) viola/cello arrangement of the bass arioso from BWV 81 "Ihr Kleinglåubigen, warum seid ihr so furchtsam?" (https://musescore.com/mike_magatagan/scores/908336) .

With Mike's kind permission and encouragement, I have added Bach's original figures (from the Bachgesellschaft Ausgabe, on IMSLP) and realized them for MS's Panflötenkammerorgel, shifting the mood ever so slightly back from "sonata di camera" to "sonata di chiesa". I have followed Bach's figuring, er, religiously, only occasionally introducing passing-tones. The little dactyl ("BAAMP-dada") figures in the continuo in contrary motion to those in the bass, effectively exchanging voices (e.g., C# and A#), are a standard technique to avoid parallel motions on both sides of their beat, and add a great deal of interest (so I added a couple other than in that context, to promote motivic integrity).

Note that while continuo realizations are required to operate in mutual "credible" counterpoint with their bass, they are not considered "three more voices to the composition increasing its voice-complexity by three", but are freely allowed to double (occasionally), even to highlight, obbligato voices gestures, as do JSB cantata instrumental parts (which can also double continuously). Although Mike's 81/4 works just fine as chamber music, the authentic sound of this type of movement requires a stylistically appropriate continuo as I provide here. Skilled continuo improvisers (e.g., the Man himself) were reputed to play continuo parts that sounded like composed concerti (not de facto ensemblewise appropriate, IMO).

While realizing this continuo, I felt Bach's guiding hand insofar as any "problem" I had ("where will this voice go? where will this voice come from?") was always answered by careful thought about the surrounding figures, evidence that Bach thought about the harmony and counterpoint as a whole, even in a two-voiced movement, further evidence of what all the books tell us, that we must imagine and explain the harmony in our head even when composing in two voices. It figures.

I have analyzed the abundant internal references by imitation at all pitches in this wonderful short composition here https://musescore.com/user/1831606/scores/911596.

Bach Cantata viola arrangement continuo

Pages 2
Duration 01:26
Measures 21
Key signature 2 sharps
Parts 3
Part names Viola, Other Woodwinds, Cello
Privacy Everyone can see this score
License None (All rights reserved)
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Sounds full and rich Bernie! Take a look at M4S2. There appears to be some uh-hidden notes. Thanks!
Those skinny stems escaped my inspection; as though the huge elephant-shaped s-p-a-c-i-n-g there were hiding anything! I look forward to jim.newton's "new trill system" and the proper end to this kludgery. I didn't think it was worth another, hidden staff. Thanks again, and for the nice arrangement which is my basis here.

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