Posts Tagged ‘ Bach ’

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750): Concerto No. 1 in D Major, BWV 972 (after Vivaldi RV 230; Op. 3/9)

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January 9, 2016

bach signature This splendid piece of music dates from Bach's time in Weimar. It's a transcription of from L’Estro Armonico of Vivaldi's Concerto Op 3 No 9 D major RV 230 and is one of a series of transcriptions he produced during his time there possibly at the behest of the Duke of Weimar. It has the usual pattern of such works of a fast introductory movement, a slow middle movement, and a slow concluding movement. It always amazes me when I hear these transcriptions how Bach, who was a great admirer of Vivaldi's music, managed to adapt a piece of music written for strings for the harpsichord. It's so fresh and natural sounding that you'd never know to listen to it that it was a transcription all of the character and brilliance of Vivaldi's  original is presented and is enhanced by the genius of Bach.

The first movement (Allegro) starts with a fanfare followed by the ritornello proper it's a bit unusual amongst Vivaldi's ritornellos as it lacks the restatements throughout the opening material of the opening material and is harmonically straightforward as stays in the tonic key pretty much for all of the time. For the second movement (Larghetto) Vivaldi wrote a beautiful solo melody with piano1 homophonic  accompaniment played by the upper  ripieno strings without bass. The original is lovely and you'd think hearing it that it couldn't be improved but Bach's elaborations of the melody add, in my opinion, considerably to the original while retaining the framing of full groups of homophonic chords with which Vivaldi accompanied so many of his slow movements. The final movement - also marked Allegro, is announced by a lively tune, the final presto of which has the ritornello theme making an appearance in the bass against a background of loud repeated full chords played by the right hand. Bach then takes Vivaldi's bass line and transforms it into passages of brilliant thirty-second notes to bring the concerto to its close. You'll find it below both together with a link to a YouTube search on RV 230 if you're not familiar with the original. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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András Schiff – Bachfest Leipzig 11.06.2010

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January 3, 2016

Bach & Vivaldi Concert – Petits Chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly

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October 11, 2015

The Petits Chanteurs de Sainte-Croix de Neuilly are one of my favourite French choirs if I'm in France and learn that they're giving a concert I make strenuous efforts to attend. The playlist below is them accompanied by the Orchestre le Collège de Musique Sacrée under the direction of François Polgar performing two of Bach's cantatas – BWV 4, Christ lag in Todesbanden and BWV 140, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme together with Vivaldi Gloria RV589 at a concert given on April 7th 2015 at the Church of  Saint Honoré d'Eylau, Paris. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. You'll find the performer information below the videos. Enjoy :-).

mfi

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Tölzer Knabenchor – J.S. BACH – Motet “Fürchte dich nicht” BWV 228 – YouTube

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August 20, 2015

The boys of the Tölzer Knabenchor performing Bach's motet "Fürchte dich nicht" during a Sunday Service at Johanneskirche, Bad Tölz. Organ and continuo Clemens Haudum, the treble soloists are Elias Mädler, (right choir) and Pascal Pfeiffer (left choir) the director was Christian Fliegner. Enjoy :-).
mfi Click here to listen to the music and read the rest of the posting ...

Buxtehude’s Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes and its influence on Bach’s Jesu Meine Freude

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March 19, 2015

Buxtehude's cantata Nichts soll uns scheiden von der Liebe Gottes (Nothing shall part us from the love of God) takes its title and theme from Romans 8: 35-39

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (KJV)

Buxtehude wrote it as a rondo with three couplets for soprano and alto and three for soprano, alto, and bass and his intent was a musical meditation – an aria, that took Paul's text and used as a repeated refrain with the repetitions being separated with strophes that loosely paraphrase the verses listing the various things and powers that are powerless in the face of God's love. It's a lovely piece of music that's well worth listening to both for itself and also because it greatly influenced Bach. You can hear this influence particularly clearly in "Jesu Meine Freude" the outline of which is generally the same with the same alternation of a one refrain leit-motiv, and caplets, and the alternation of homophony and counterpoint. Nor do the similarities stop there listen to how Buxtehude treats the exclamations of "nichts, nichts" and compare it to what you can hear in Bach's composition it's very clearly Bach paying homage to his teacher. Enjoy :-)

mfi

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