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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
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Bach, Johann Sebastian: Aria: "Ein unbegreiflich Licht" for Cello & Strings

Aria: "Ein unbegreiflich Licht" for Cello & Strings
BWV 125 No 4
Johann Sebastian Bach




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

String Quintet : 2 Violins, Viola, 2 Violoncellos

Style :

Baroque

Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin (With peace and joy I depart), BWV 125, is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed the chorale cantata in his second year in Leipzig for the Feast of Purification.

Luther's chorale in four stanzas is a paraphrase of this canticle, "With peace and joy I depart in God's will". Luther phrased each verse of the canticle in one stanza. An unknown librettist kept the first and the last stanza and paraphrased the inner stanzas in four movements. Movement 2 takes Luther's second stanza as a starting point and relates Simeon's view as an example on how to look at death. Movement 3 comments the complete text of Luther's second stanza in recitative. The allusion to "light for the heathen" from the Gospel and the hymn is seen related to "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). Movements 4 and 5 are derived from the third stanza, 4 relates to Paul's teaching about God's grace, "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God" (Romans 3:25), thus declaring the Lutheran teaching of justification "by grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone" even more clearly than Luther's song.

The opening chorus begins with a concertante ritornello, in which the flute and the oboe play opposed to the strings. A motif in triplets rises a fifth, related to the first interval of the chorale tune. The soprano sings the cantus firmus in Phrygian mode in long notes. The lower voices participate in the instrumental motifs for lines 1, 2, 3 and 5, but lines 4 and 6 are treated differently. In accordance to the text, "sanft und stille" (calm and quiet) and "der Tod ist mein Schlaf worden" (death has become my sleep), they are performed softly (piano), in homophony, chromatic, and modulating to distant keys.

The alto aria is richly ornamented and accompanied by the flute and oboe d'amore, on a calm foundation of repeated notes in the continuo, marked "legato". The phrase "gebrochene Augen" (broken eyes) is pictured by a broken vocal line, flute and oboe d'amore play dotted rhythm to the "almost trembling declamation" of the voice. In the bass recitative with chorale, the chorale tune is unadorned but for the last line, "im Tod und auch im Sterben" (in death and also in dying), where the music is extended by two measures and coloured in chromatic and rich ornamentation. The elements recitative and chorale are unified by a motif in the strings, called "Freudenmotiv" by Alfred Dürr, which "always indicates an underlying mood of happiness". The closing chorale is a four-part setting.

Julian Mincham relates the opening movement to that of Bach's later St Matthew Passion. It is similar in its motifs in triplets, density of counterpoint, and is in the same key of E minor, shared by the Crucifixus of his Mass in B minor which he derived from the 1714 Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12 (Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing). Mincham concludes: "death, sleep, a journey of departure, peace and consolation are some of the intertwined themes and images. Bach is always at his most creative and imaginative when dealing with such complexities".

The cantata in six movements is scored for three vocal soloists (alto, tenor, and bass), a four-part choir, horn, flauto traverso, oboe, oboe d'amore, two violins, viola, and basso continuo.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mit_Fried_und_Freud_ich_ fahr_dahin,_BWV_125).

I created this arrangement of the second Aria "Ein unbegreiflich Licht" (An unfathomable light) for Cello & Strings (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht (5 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2015-07-26


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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Viola Arrangements

Viola Arrangements
Sheet music list :
› "Joy to the World" for String Quartet
› 'Élégie' for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "3 Chants Sacrés" for Viola & Piano
› "Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ" for Viola
› "Albinoni's Adagio" for Viola & Harp - Viola and Harp
› "All They That See Him Laugh Him to Scorn" for Horn & Strings
› "All Through the Night" for Violin, Viola & Harp
› "Allemanda" from the Partita for Violin No. 2 for Viola - Viola
› "Alma Redemptoris Mater" for String Quartet
› "Am Tage Aller Seelen" for Viola & Harp