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Bach, Johann Sebastian Johann Sebastian Bach
Germany Germany
(1685 - 1750)
6924 sheet music
7607 MP3
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Organ - orgao Sheet music Organ solo Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach, Johann Sebastian: Chorale Partita: "Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen" for Pipe Organ

Chorale Partita: "Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen" for Pipe Organ
BWV 770
Johann Sebastian Bach

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

Organ solo

  1 other version
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Arranger :
Publisher :
Johann Sebastian BachMagatagan, Mike (1960 - )
Copyright :Public Domain
As organist at Weimar, Johann Sebastian Bach was charged with providing a harmonic underpinning for the singing of Lutheran chorale tunes chosen for each day. Bach wrote out many of these harmonizations, in part as instruction for younger composers (they are still used for this purpose). A derivation of this practice, Bach's conception of the organ chorale, as manifested in the chorale preludes, dates from 1713 -1714, about the time he became familiar with Vivaldi's concertos.

In all his chorale arrangements, Bach took inspiration for the style and atmosphere from the words of the hymn on which his composition was based. But the main role in his chorale partitas seems to be given to pure pleasure in playing and inventiveness. For his variations on ‘Sei gegrüsset, Jesu gütig’, he literally pulls out all the stops. For over twenty minutes, he explores the harmonic, rhythmic and stylistic possibilities of the melody forming the base of the piece. The art of variation was already considered old-fashioned in Bach’s day. But Georg Böhm, the organ virtuoso with whom the fifteen-year-old Bach became acquainted during his schooldays in Lüneburg, was a master of variation. Through Böhm, Bach also came into contact with Reincken, and through him with Buxtehude, who were both composers with a flair for the art of variation. There was much that Bach could learn from these masters, but the challenge of variation must have held particular appeal for the young composer. It was not just conceiving of the most varied and sophisticated series possible, but also the virtuoso interpretation of that series that provided the opportunity of rivalling his idols.

The chorale partita (BWV 766-770) is a special form of chorale arrangement, as the chorale (or hymn) serves as the starting point for a series of variations. The art of variation was at its peak in the seventeenth century. Usually, a folk song was taken as the starting point for a series of variations that increased in difficulty and speed. The genre was not restricted to keyboard instruments. The blind Dutch recorder and carillon player Jacob van Eyck was also a master in the art, for example. The five compositions by Bach bearing the name of chorale partita do not come from a single source, nor are they dated, but it is supposed that they originated in his teens and may have been revised later on.

The terms "Partita diverse," "partite diverse," "chorale partite," and "chorale variations" are fairly interchangeable and refer to a set of variations on a church chorale prelude or organ chorale. These, in turn, are terms that refer to a solo organ presentation of a Lutheran chorale melody (in whole or in part), rooted in the idea of playing the melody of a hymn before the congregation was to sing it, in order to familiarize them with the tune. Church organists of Bach's caliber often improvised on these familiar chorale themes and sometimes preserved their improvisations as sets of variations.

Bach's set of variations on Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen, BWV 770, is an extremely early work, possibly even dating from the Arnstadt period (Williams). The 10 variations show the clear influence of Böhm, particularly his partita on “Ach wie nichtig.”The work bears various indications for performance on the organ, though these were likely added later (not by Bach), and the writing is generally more idiomatic to the harpsichord than organ. The piece is easily translated to the organ however, particularity one in a more intimate setting than most church organs. The first variation is a five part harmonization of the chorale, and the following seven variations follow fairly typical partita forms. The ninth and tenth differ from the others both in length and in the tempo indications they bear (Adagio and Allegro, respectively). The final variation in particular obscures the chorale melody with complex figuration and virtuosic writing not found in the works of Böhm or Pachelbel, and more akin to the freer chorale fantasia. The innovative use of the partita form, as well as the already apparent skill for counterpoint has led Peter Williams to consider this piece “one of the composer's first masterworks.”

Source: Allmusic ( %C3%BCnder-machen-chorale-partita-for-organ-bwv-770-bc- k93-mc0002356587).

I created this transcription of the Chorale Partita (BWV 770) "Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen?" (Oh, what should I, a sinner, do?) for Pipe Organ.
Source / Web :MuseScore
Sheet central :Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen (2 sheet music)
Added by magataganm the 2016-11-20

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This sheet music is part of the collection of magataganm :
Pipe Organ
Church and Pipe Organ Arrangements
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