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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
6431 sheet music
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Bach, Johann Sebastian: Chorale: "Zwingt die Saiten in Cythara" for String Quartet

Chorale: "Zwingt die Saiten in Cythara" for String Quartet
BWV 36 No 4
Johann Sebastian Bach



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

String Quartet

Style :

Baroque

Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
Schwingt freudig euch empor (Soar joyfully upwards), BWV 36,[a] is a church cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach. He composed it in Leipzig in 1731 for the first Sunday in Advent, drawing on material from previous congratulatory cantatas, beginning with Schwingt freudig euch empor, BWV 36c (1725). The Gospel for the Sunday was the Entry into Jerusalem, thus the mood of the secular work matched "the people's jubilant shouts of Hosanna". In a unique structure in Bach's cantatas, he interpolated four movements derived from the former works with four stanzas from two important hymns for Advent, to add liturgical focus, three from Luther's "Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland" and one from Nicolai's "Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern". He first performed the cantata in its final form of two parts, eight movements, on 2 December 1731.

The cantata is unique in Bach's church cantatas in its structure of arias combined with chorale instead of recitatives. Performed one week after Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, it shows Bach's emphasis on the chorale even beyond his second cycle of chorale cantatas, begun in 1724.

The opening chorus is opened by a ritornello, dominated by two contrasting motifs: the strings play a short rising figure in triplets, the oboes d'amore play an expansive melody. As in the secular model, the movement is in two similar parts, each consisting of two contrasting sections, "Schwingt freudig euch empor zu den erhabnen Sternen" (Soar joyfully upwards to the exalted stars) and "Doch haltet ein!" (Yet stop!). The bass voice, the lowest register, enters first, followed by the tenors, altos, and sopranos. This ascending sequence also reflects the text: "soaring aloft", literally "swinging upward".

All three settings of the stanzas from Luther's chorale are different, beginning with a duet for soprano and alto for the first stanza. The voices are doubled by the oboes d'amore and render the text in sections of different length, with sixteen measures for the final "Gott solch Geburt ihm bestellt" (that God had ordained such a birth for Him). Alfred Dürr notes the expressiveness of the music, especially in leaps of sixths on the urgent request "nun komm" (now come), syncopated rhythm on "des sich wundert alle Welt" (over whom the whole world marvels), and daring chromatic on the final line. The tenor aria reflects "Die Liebe zieht mit sanften Schritten" (Love approaches with gentle steps) with oboe d'amore as obbligato instrument, "the traditional musical symbol of love", alluding to the concept of Jesus as the bride-groom and the Soul as the bride, which is also the base for Nicolai's hymn that closes part I in a "rousing four-part harmonisation".

The bass aria beginning part II, "Willkommen, werter Schatz!" (Welcome, worthy treasure!) shows "echoes of the first movement" and avoids a regular da capo structure. The bass voice is the vox Christi, addressing the bride. The welcoming gesture from the secular cantata seems appropriate for the expressed sentiment. The next hymn stanza, "Der du bist dem Vater gleich" (You who are like the Father), the sixth stanza from Luther's hymn "dealing with the sins of the flesh and Christ's mission to redeem humankind", is marked "molt' allegro". The tenor sings the chorale melody unadorned as a cantus firmus, but the oboes d'amore play with "the urgent surging of semi-quaver activity". Dürr sees the expression of "Kampf und Sieg des Gottessohnes" (fight and victory of the Son of God) over "das krank Fleisch" (weak/sick flesh) of man. Gardiner compares it to a trio sonata movement. He terms the last aria "a berceuse of pure enchantment" and compares it to the "echo aria" from part IV of Bach's Christmas Oratorio. The text "Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen" (Also with muted, weak voices) is illustrated by a muted (con sordino) solo violin. The closing choral, the final stanza of Luther's hymn, "Lob sei Gott dem Vater ton" (Praise be to God, the Father) is a four-part setting.

The cantata is scored for four soloists—soprano, alto, tenor and bass—a four-part choir, two oboes d'amore, two violins, viola and basso continuo. It is structured in two parts of four movements each. Its interpolation of chorus and arias with chorales is unique in Bach's cantatas.

Source: Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwingt_freudig_euch_em por,_BWV_36).

I created this arrangement of the second Choral: "Zwingt die Saiten in Cythara" (Strike the strings of the Cythera) for String Quartet (2 Violins, Viola & Cello).
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Schwingt freudig euch empor (9 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2015-10-21


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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