If there were nothing else to support this hypothesis, the audition took place on Easter Sunday, , and Christ lag in Todes Banden is an Easter cantata. But also, this is evidently a display piece — a sequence of variations on a chorale deriving from Martin Luther himself, and a work seemingly devised to rival and exceed a cantata on the same chorale by one of the most esteemed composers of the preceding generation, Johann Pachelbel, who had died the year before. Of course, Bach got the job.
Indeed, the city authorities, knowing their man in advance, did not consider any other candidate. We might think it odd that music about the Resurrection, which any Christian would have to account an occasion for joy, should be in this severe tonality — and odder still that the first violin repeats a falling minor second, evocative of tears and grief, to introduce the chorale theme.
This preludial passage, however, is still in the Good Friday world of death, which the arrival of the chorus, very soon, will turn to Easter. And the key does not need to change, because the tune stays the same, and also the tone, of seriousness. With the chorus comes elaborate counterpoint, surmounted by the chorale melody moving more slowly in the top, soprano line, its phrases like the ribs of vaulting in a high Gothic church, such as St.
Cantata No.4: Christ lag in Todesbanden (Easter Sunday), BWV4
Blaise was and is. John Augustus Roebling was baptized there, and may have remembered the architecture when he came to design Brooklyn Bridge. This big opening chorus takes us into a symmetrical form: chorus — duet — solo — chorus — solo — duet — chorus. The third verse is for tenor, with voluble violin accompaniment. Then comes the central chorus, with close-knit counterpoint almost in the manner of a round and the slower lines of the chorale now in the alto part.
After this is a solo for the bass, with strings, requiring the singer to show agility and poise over a range of almost two octaves. Next soprano and tenor twine together, exchanging positions in canonic interplay.
In he revised the cantata for Leipzig, adding brass instruments and, for finale, a harmonization of the chorale. Sacred words; voices and instruments; canons; simultaneous different speeds: many of the elements are here assembled that will go on into the next work. Reich in the s found his music resonating with traditions from West Africa and Indonesia.
Then he started to wonder what he might learn from a culture to which, as a Jewish musician, he was more directly heir. To find out, he made himself a student all over again — of Hebrew, the Torah, and cantillation the traditional Jewish ways of chanting sacred texts — and set out on another journey, to Israel. Once again he learned a lot. Jean Langlais: Messe Solennelle, Kyrie Langlais: Messe Solennelle, Sanctus Langlais: Messe Solennelle, Benedictus.
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Ultimately, the pieces which they chose witnessed to the unconquerable strength of the human spirit and the indomitable power of hope. Howl Ye 2.
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Conducted by Bart Bradfield, Tidings of Comfort and Joy was chosen as one of the best holiday recordings for by John von Rhein, classical music critic for the Chicago Tribune. According to Lawrence Johnson's glowing review in Fanfare Magazine, "Among the multitude of Christmas discs that one is annually inundated with, this beautifully sung choral program of traditional English carols is a small gem.
Recorded at live concerts, the refined, scrupulously blended singing of the Chicago Choral Artists under the sensitive direction of Bart Bradfield is guaranteed to banish the winter chill. The Truth from Above 2.
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