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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
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Bach, Johann Sebastian: Chorus: "Höchster, schau in Gnaden an" for Small Orchestra

Chorus: "Höchster, schau in Gnaden an" for Small Orchestra
BWV 63 No 7
Johann Sebastian Bach




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Composer :Johann Sebastian BachBach, Johann Sebastian (1685 - 1750)
Instrumentation :

Winds & String Orchestra

  1 other version
Style :

Baroque

Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
Christen, ätzet diesen Tag (Christians, engrave this day), BWV 63, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the Christmas cantata for the First Day of Christmas, possibly in 1713 for the Liebfrauenkirche in Halle. He performed it again for his first Christmas as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, on 25 December 1723.

The cantata is Bach's earliest extant cantata for Christmas, possibly composed in Weimar as early as 1713. The text of the cantata, which echoes theologians in Halle, suggests that it was composed with Halle's Liebfrauenkirche in mind, in 1713, when Bach applied to be organist of this church, or in 1716, when he was involved in rebuilding its organ. The text is possibly by that church's 'Pastor primarius' Johann Michael Heineccius, who also wrote the libretti for other Bach cantatas definitely written for Halle and had favoured Bach's application for organist at the church as a successor to Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow. Musicologist Christoph Wolff deducts from the "lavish forces" of four trumpets, timpani and three oboes on top of the strings, an unprecedented scoring in Bach's cantatas, that the work was not composed for the intimate Schloßkirche in Weimar. He dates it as 1714 or 1715. According to John Eliot Gardiner, the first performance may have taken place in Weimar in the church of St. Peter und Paul, performed by the combined musicians of the ducal Capelle and the town. The lack of a closing chorale, which closes most of Bach's later cantatas, has raised the question if the work is based on a secular cantata.

The cantata has a festive character but lacks certain features typically associated with Christmas music, such as Pastoral music, angels' song and cradle song, even a Christmas carol or chorale, as Gardiner words it: "The cantata contains none of the usual Nativity themes: no cradle song, no music for the shepherds or for the angels, not even the standard Christmas chorales". The symmetry of the text around the recitative "Nun kehret sich das bange Leid … in lauter Heil und Gnaden" (So now, today, the anxious sorrow is changed … into pure blessing and grace) is reflected in the music. The recitatives lean toward arioso at times, typical for Bach's music in the period. The choral movements show da capo form, but with distinctly contrasting middle sections, which relates to motet style. Wolff describes these movements as "fanfare-like frameworks", a cantabile choral setting contrasting with virtuoso orchestral playing in "secular dance".

Gardiner observes that the first recitative for alto, accompanied by the strings, contains "tortuous passage[s] in which voice and continuo struggle to free themselves from "Satan's slavish chains"". The cantata contains two duets, rare in Bach's cantatas, likely an expression of communal rejoicing which is expressed better in a duet than by a single voice. The second duet is a minuet, illustrating the words "Kommt, ihr Christen, kommt zum Reihen" (Come, you Christians, come to dance). Instead of the usual closing chorale, the cantata ends with a chorus "conceived on the largest of scales", full of energy. The trumpets begin with pompous fanfares, the voices first sing a fanfare, addressing the "highest", then open a permutation fugue which is later expanded by instrumental doubling and counteraction, to express the thanks of the devout souls. The middle section is a second fugue in similar style which ends with a "preposterous collective trill" on the word "quälen" (torment), observed by Mincham as "a passage of extraordinary intensity. The tempo slows, the harmony becomes tragic and chromatic and the whole feeling is that of deepest melancholy at the very thought of Satan’s embrace". Then a da capo of the complete first section ends the cantata on "the original celebratory flourishes of the complete ritornello theme".

In one of the later performances Bach changed the part of obbligato oboe in movement 3 to an organ, writing it himself in the part for the continuo organ.

The cantata in seven movements is festively scored for four vocal soloists (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, four trumpets, timpani, three oboes, bassoon, two violins, viola, organ in a later version, and continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christen,_%C3%A4tzet_die sen_Tag,_BWV_63).

I created this arrangement for Small Orchestra (Bb Piccolo Trumpet, Bb Trumpet, Flugelhorn, French Horn, Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Timpani, 2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Christen, ätzet diesen Tag (5 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2015-07-19


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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Flute
flûte
Flute Arrangements
Sheet music list :
› "2 Alma Redemptoris Mater" for Woodwinds & Strings - Woodwinds and String quintet
› "3 Gradualia" for Winds & Strings - Winds & String Orchestra
› "A Christmas Air" for Flutes & Harp - Flute and Harp
› "A Cup of Tea" Reel for Flute - Flute solo
› "A Dieu Celle" for Woodwind Sextet - Wind Sextet
› "A Pretty Maid Milking the Cow" for Flute, Oboe & Harp - Flute, Oboe, Harp
› "A Swiss Melody" for Flute Quartet - Flute Quartet
› "Abendlied" for Woodwind Quartet - Wind quartet
› "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" for Flute Duet - 2 flutes
› "Ad Te Levavi" for Brass & Strings - Winds & String Orchestra