Joorie Lee October 10, 2011 Topic: J.S. Bach’s Cantata#91 BWV 91 In Leipzig, J.S. Bach as the church chief musician wrote 27 cantatas for Christmas day . Cantata # 91 BWV 91 represents the first. (http://baroquemusique.org) Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ (All praise to Thee, Jesus Christ by Richard Stokes), a chorale cantata was first performed in 1724 …
It will be shown how Bach used the different orchestration techniques to illustrate the differences of emotion and the development of the life of Jesus. There are the use of voices, instrumentation and the use of the words of the Cantata to bring this beautiful piece together. The words of the Cantata were taken from the writings of Martin Luther. In the 16th century, he based his liturgical melodies partly on melodies from the middle ages in the 14th century. It is not known who wrote some of the hymn. One must note that Germany was not a Catholic country. The leise or (hymn) "Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ" was used to replace psalm chorals before sermons at Christmas time.(www.bach-cantatas.com So it was an appropriate title for Bach to use. Bach uses three of the verses. "Jesus was born as a human being and became the Son of God. He is eternal as he is humble as he was born from flesh and blood. We should thank him eternally." He adds an additional 2 verses at the beginning and end (2,3,2). The cantata tells a story of Jesus birth thus the Christmas Cantata. There are 6 movements but 7 verses. Each movement is attached with the use of Kyrie Eleison as the last phrase. The orchestration is typical for his Cantatas - chorus, strings, 3 oboes, 1 bassoon, 3 trumpets, continuous and 1 oboe de cacia) The use of trumpets and oboes was to give contrast to the voices in color, texture and tonal variation. The beginning is a time of praise and joy with the birth of Jesus. In the Overture, there is an long instrumental introduction. The opening choral sings "Gelobet seist du Jesu Christ". The instrumentation introduction is intertwined with the choral. This differs from the heavy choruses of composers like Handel in the Messiah. The horns intertwine with the strings and the voices to show the joy of the birth and Mary and the angels. The choral sings a three note motif which is then used to unite the Cantata The first part as other verses end with the common use of Kyrie Eleison or in German Kirieleis (Our Lord). The 2 techniques are used to join the movements: the use of the Kyrie Eleison and the second point is the music technique of using a motif which is first introduced by the choral in the first verse and then used to join each of the verses. In line 4 and 5, it is used by the choral. The second movement is sung with a soprano recitative answered by a soprano choral (4 out of the 5 phrases) showing Jesus, the son of God is still in bodily form. The strings are used with the continuous only. Bach joins the last phrase with the word Kirieleis to be sung. Jesus has divine power. In the composition, accompanied recitative movement is used in and this is because we are able to get the emotions that are relayed and also the tonal variation are able to depict the support to the song and also the different voices that are used shows and proves that it is not dry but accompanied recitative. The three note theme is carried on by the strings. The third movement start to give form to the Cantata: instruments, recitative, instruments. The oboe introduction will trills and the bassoon are used as an accompaniment. The tenor comes as a solo but sings with the instruments. The constant movement of the instruments gives life. Jesus is maintaining life from Mary in the manger. The three note motif is repeated by the bass but the rhythm is jumpy. Is he the son of ...
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(J.S. Bach'S Cantata 91 Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 Words)
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