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Johann Sebastian Bach

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Briana Bergen

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Johann Sebastian Bach

Structure of Mass
1. Kyrie eleison (Coro)
B-Minor:Last chord D-Major
Fugue with a chromatically rising line, falls back abruptly
Voices enter sequentially from low-high
Missa- Gloria
4. Gloria in excelsis (Coro)
Bright, majestic splendor, dance-like rhythms, instrumental
Birth of Jesus and Nativity Scene
Bach reused this material for Cantata 191, performed on Christmas day
9. Qui tollis peccata mundi (Coro)
B Minor
Sighing, Circling figures, monotonous plodding bass line
Harmonic dissonance
4 voices
Symbolum Nicenum
Credo in unum deum (Coro)
Written fifteen years after Kyrie and Gloria
Symmetrical structure with "crucifixus" centerpiece
Imitative theme throughout all voices
Theme comes from chant intonation in Leipzig
Bach is acknowledging roots of the Nicene Creed in cncient church
Baroque walking bass line gives it a more modern feel

Sanctus (Coro)
oldest music in whole mass
only polychoral texture movement
trinitarian references
huge crescendo at the end of movement
2. Christe eleison (Soprano I, II solo)
Contrasts the Kyrie in style, tonality, and effect
Agreement between singers, voices sing in parallel motion
3. Kyrie eleison (Coro)
F# minor (highly expressive in Baroque)
Stretto (voices make overlapping statements
Fugue theme appears 13 times
5. Et in terra Pax (Coro)
Occurs with no break
Contemplation of peace on earth
Main theme becomes the subject of a fugue
6. Laudamus te (Soprano II solo)
A Major
Perhaps intended for mezzo-soprano: Faustina Bordoni
Legendary vocal technique
7.Gratias agimus tibi (Coro)
Renaissance-style polyphony
Reuses the chorus from Cantata 29
Extension of
Stile Antico
Two themes overlapping, producing a thick wall of sound
8. Domine Deus (Soprano I solo, Tenore solo)
Love duet between God the Father and God the Son
Cascading downward melodic lines (from "Heaven")
Text is simultaneous to emphasize the interaction between Father and Son
Johann Sebastian Bach's
(BWV 232)
Why did Bach write a Catholic mass when he was a Lutheran?
He was a DEVOUT Lutheran??
Is is actually the "great catholic" mass or is it 4 Lutheran church anthems?
Bach was obviously rushing against time to complete the mass, because he was losing his eye sight to cataracts
Musical setting of the complete Latin Mass (Bach's only)
One of Bach's final compositions
Hailed as one of the greatest compositions of all time
Never performed completely during Bach's lifetime
Not mentioned in his unperformed section of his obituary
Named Mass in B minor by a publishing company in 1833 (83 years after his death)
Basically over his whole entire life span
First full performance likely in Riedel-Verein in Leipzig in 1859
Completed between 1748-1749(last 2 years of his life)
Sanctus written in 1724 for Christmas
Kyrie/Gloria written in 1733 with the death of Frederick Augustus I (Kapellmeister)
14/27 movements are in D-Major, why called Mass in B-Minor?
Assumed that it was named, because of Beethoven's Mass in D Major (Missa Solemnis)
4 Theories on why he assembled the mass in B- Minor:
His way of being remembered? (Mass V. Symphony)
For Lutheran Service Music
Commissioned for the opening of the
in Dresden?(Died before opening...)
For Count Johann Otto Westerburg? A devout Catholic who wanted to perform in Vienna at St. Stephens? (Not likely, due to lack of knowledge of it by his sons)
Parody, and way of recycling his cantata music... didn't want his music to be used as scrap paper!
10. Qui sedes ad dextram Patris (Alto Solo)
Set as an independent movement
Courtly dance music (gigue)
Suggests Christ's divine nature and his position at the right hand of God.

11. Quoniam tu solus sanctus (Basso Solo)
Unusual Orchestration
Written in modified ternary form
Bach writes out the embellishments
12. Cum Sancto Spiritu (Coro)
Alternates between concertato syle and fugal writing
"false" entries in stretto style
Patrem Omnipotentem (Coro)
Declamatory statement, symmetrical, more modern
Cantata 171
Et in unum Dominum (Soprano I solo, Alto solo)
Love duet, 1 voice represents father, other the son
Et incarnatus est (Coro)
One of the most expressive movements in the whole mass
Symbolic are the imitative vocal lines which descend
Sighing bass figures, perceived as cross figures
Combine to create an anticipation of the crucifixion
Kreuz (German word for sharp, signifies "cross."
Crucifixus (Coro)
"Lamento" bass line
Theme is presented 13 times
Central in position in structure
Et resurrexit (Coro)
Jubilant D Major
Ascending figures that are inverted from Crucifixus
Et in Spiritam in sanctum Dominum (Basso Solo)
Pastoral mood
absence of text/music relationship suggests parody
Confiteor (Coro)
Ends as it began
Old style
Rising bass theme

Et expecto (Coro)
Jubilant Chorus
Osanna, Benedictus, Agnus Dei et Dona nobis pacem
Osanna in excelsis (Coro)
8 part-double choir
twenty part texture
fast triple meter

Benedictus (Tenore solo)
"solitary mystical reflection"
"sensitive style"
Agnus Dei (Alto solo)
strict counterpoint
sighing, leaping figures
unusual chromatic leaps
Dona nobis pacem (Coro)
gratias music returns
produces sense of cyclical unity
dramatic sense of finality
Sir David Willcocks (the great English conductor) said:

" I don't know any other of Bach that has a greater range and a variety of emotions than the
Mass in B Minor
--the majesty of the
the profound grief of the 'Crucifixus,' the tenderness of the 'Qui tollis,' the joy of the 'Et resurrexit'."
Bach, Johann S. Messe in H-Moll: Bwv 232. Kassel: Bärenreiter Verl, 1965. Print.

Grout, Donald J. A History of Western Music. New York: Norton, 1960. Print.

Herz, Gerhard, and Gerhard Herz. Essays on J.s. Bach. Ann Arbor, Mich: UMI Research Press, 1985. Print.

Malcolm, Boyd—Edited by John Butt March 1999, Oxford University Press

Orchestra Collegium Vocale. J.S. Bach Messe in H-Moll. Cond. Phillippe Herreweghe. 1989. Spotify. Web.

Schweitzer, Albert. J.s. Bach. London: A. & C. Black, 1923. Print.

Stauffer, George B., Dr. "The Mass in B Minor: Bach’s Musical Last Will and Testament." Baldwin-Wallace College Bach Festival. United States, Berea. 20 Nov. 2013. Lecture.

Summer, Robert J. Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2007. Print

Tomita, Yo, Robin A. Leaver, and Jan Smaczny. Exploring Bach's B-Minor Mass. , 2013. Print.

Unger, Melvin P. J.s. Bach's Major Works for Voices and Instruments: A Listener's Guide. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press, 2005. Print.

"The Mass in B minor is the consecration of a whole life: started in 1733 for 'diplomatic' reasons, it was finished in the very last years of Bach's life, when he had already gone blind. This monumental work is a synthesis of every stylistic and technical contribution the Cantor of Leipzig made to music. But it is also the most astounding spiritual encounter between the worlds of Catholic glorification and the Lutheran cult of the cross."- Alberto Basso
In Symbolum Nicenum
The Crucifixus
Based on 1714 Weimar cantata "Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen" (BWV 12)
Text is from John 16:20--Jesus foreshadows his own death
Bach parodies his own cantata? Deeper meaning?
Lamenting Bass line (13x,throbbing quarter notes)
Text Repetition
Modulates to G Major in time for the "Et Resurrexit"
Bach gets theme from old style
Stile Antico
Seven-Part Motet
Alphabet use (A=1,B=2)(24 letters,IJ/UV)
Credo=43, Sung 43 times
First two movements=129 (3x43)
Filled with symbols of the Cross
Chi (Christos)
Descending as from heaven to earth
"Et homo factus est" melodic phrases turn upward for 1st time indicating that God was made man
Sharp Signs=Symbol of the Cross
First three movements spell a rising B-minor chord
Last three movements spell a falling B-minor chord
Full transcript