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You must be logged in to use this feature. You must have paid membership or be a no cost-registered participant of the Musicalion web page. These participants also get access to their "intern"'-section. Free sheet music for members. If you have fixed a notation mistake, then we would be grateful if you could inform us as such. Please indicate here which file and what have you improved. But since at this time all his works were models of art.

Yet he produced only a work of this kind. Thereafter the Count always called them his variations and he never tired of them, and for a long time sleepless nights meant, Dear Goldberg, do play me one of my variations. Bach was perhaps never so rewarded for one of his works as for this, the Count presented him with a golden goblet filled with louis-dor. Nevertheless, even had the gift been a thousand times larger, Forkel wrote his biography in , more than 60 years after the events related, and its accuracy has been questioned.

The lack of dedication on the page also makes the tale of the commission unlikely. Goldbergs age at the time of publication has also cited as grounds for doubting Forkels tale, although it must be said that he was known to be an accomplished keyboardist. Williams contends that the Forkel story is entirely spurious, arnold Schering has suggested that the aria on which the variations are based was not written by Bach.

More recent scholarly literature suggests there is no basis for such doubts. Rather unusually for Bachs works, the Goldberg Variations were published in his own lifetime, the publisher was Bachs friend Balthasar Schmid of Nuremberg. Schmid printed the work by making engraved copper plates, thus the notes of the first edition are in Schmids own handwriting, the edition contains various printing errors. The term Clavier Ubung had been assigned by Bach to some of his previous keyboard works.

The Musical Offering — The Ricercar a 6, a six-voice fugue which is the highpoint of the entire work, was put forward by the musicologist Charles Rosen as the most significant piano composition in history. This ricercar is also called the Prussian Fugue, a name used by Bach himself. The collection has its roots in a meeting between Bach and Frederick II on May 7,, the meeting, taking place at the Kings residence in Potsdam, came about because Bachs son Carl Philipp Emanuel was employed there as court musician.

Frederick wanted to show the elder Bach a novelty, the fortepiano, the King owned several of the experimental instruments being developed by Gottfried Silbermann. He did so, but Frederick then challenged him to improvise a fugue on the same theme. The public present thought this was just a malicious caprice by the King, intent upon humiliating philosophers, Bach answered that he would need to work the score and send it to the King afterwards. He then returned to Leipzig to write out the Thema Regium, Two months after the meeting, Bach inscribed the piece Regis Iussu Cantio Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta, the first letters of which spell out the word ricercar, a well-known genre of the time.

Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her" - Wikipedia

The thema regium appears as the theme for the first and last movements of Sonata No. Sassoon has compared the theme issued by Frederick II to the theme of an A minor fugue by George Frideric Handel, published in Six fugues or voluntarys for organ or harpsichord. Sassoon notes that Handels theme is much shorter than the Kings, nevertheless, the Ricercar a 6 is longer and incomparably more complex than Handels fugue. The ricercars and canons have been realised in various ways, the ricercars are more frequently performed on keyboard than the canons, which are often played by an ensemble of chamber musicians, with instrumentation comparable to that of the trio sonata.

The Canones super Thema Regium are also played together. The canon per tonos pits a variant of the theme against a two-voice canon at the fifth. However, it modulates and finishes one whole tone higher than it started out at and it thus has no final cadence. Written in the last decade of his life, The Art of Fugue is the culmination of Bachs experimentation with monothematic instrumental works. This work consists of 14 fugues and 4 canons in D minor, each using some variation of a principal subject.

The governing idea of the work, as put by Bach specialist Christoph Wolff, was an exploration in depth of the possibilities inherent in a single musical subject. The word contrapunctus is often used for each fugue, the earliest extant source of the work is an autograph manuscript of the early s, containing 12 fugues and 2 canons. This autograph is typically referred to by its number of P in the Berlin State Library.

Three manuscripts for pieces that appear in the edition were bundled with P at some point before its acquisition by the library. The revised version was published in May , slightly less than a year after Bachs death. In addition to changes in the order, notation, and material of pieces which appeared in the autograph, it contained 2 new fugues,2 new canons, a second edition was published in , but differed only in its addition of a preface by Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg.

In spite of its revisions, the edition of contained a number of glaring editorial errors. The majority of these may be attributed to Bachs relatively sudden death in the midst of publication, the anomalous character of the published order and the Unfinished Fugue have engendered a wide variety of theories which attempt to restore the work to that state originally intended by Bach. The Art of Fugue is based on a subject, which each canon. In the order in which occur in the printed edition of , the groups.

Contrapunctus I, 4-voice fugue on subject, play principal subject or play whole contrapunctus 2. Contrapunctus II, 4-voice fugue on subject, accompanied by a French style dotted rhythm motif. The dotted rhythm, enhanced by these little rising and descending groups, suggests what is called French style in Bachs day, Contrapunctus VII, a 4 per Augmentationem et Diminutionem, Uses augmented and diminished versions of the main subject and its inversion.

Double and triple fugues, employing two and three respectively,8. Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her — Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her is a hymn text relating to the Nativity of Jesus, written by Martin Luther in The date is confirmed in Bachs autograph manuscript, the next performance was not until 17 December by the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin under Eduard Grell. The Christmas Oratorio is a sophisticated example of parody music. The author of the text is unknown, although a likely collaborator was Christian Friedrich Henrici, the work belongs to a group of three oratorios written towards the end of Bachs career in and for major feasts, the others being the Ascension Oratorio and the Easter Oratorio.

All parody earlier compositions, although the Christmas Oratorio is by far the longest and most complex work, the oratorio is in six parts, each part being intended for performance on one of the major feast days of the Christmas period. The piece is presented as a whole or split into two equal parts. The total running time for the work is nearly three hours. Bach abandoned his practice when writing church cantatas of basing the content upon the Gospel reading for that day in order to achieve a coherent narrative structure.

Bach removed the content for the Third Day of Christmas, Johns Gospel and that Bach saw the six parts as comprising a greater, unified whole is evident both from the surviving printed text and from the structure of the music itself. The edition has not only a title—Weihnachts-Oratorium—connecting together the six sections, as John Butt has mentioned, this points, as in the Mass in B minor, to a unity beyond the performance constraints of the church year.

The oratorio was written for performance on six feast days of Christmas during the winter of and , the original score also contains details of when each part was performed. It was incorporated within services of the two most important churches in Leipzig, St. Nicholas, as can be seen below, the work was only performed in its entirety at the St. Part IV is written in F major and marks the furthest musical point away from the opening key. Bach then embarks upon a back to the opening key, via the dominant A major of Part V to the jubilant re-assertion of D major in the final part.

The music represents a sophisticated expression of the parody technique. Bach took the majority of the choruses and arias from works which had written some time earlier. It was composed in and is in twelve movements, Bach revised the work ten years later, transposing it from E-flat major to D major, and creating the version mostly performed today, BWV The work is scored for five parts and a Baroque orchestra of trumpets, timpani, oboes, strings. The work was first performed in Leipzig in , in May that year Bach assumed his position as Thomaskantor and embarked on an ambitious series of compositions.

The Magnificat was sung at vesper services on feast days, and, according to recent research, Bachs setting was written for a performance on 2 July, for Christmas the same year, he performed it at the Nikolaikirche with the insertion of four seasonal movements. As a regular part of vespers, the canticle Magnificat was often set to music for liturgical use, Bach, as some of his contemporaries, devotes individual expression to every verse of the canticle, one even split in two for a dramatic effect.

In a carefully designed structure, four movements are evenly distributed.

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They frame sets of two or three movements sung by one to three voices, with individual instrumental colour, the work is concluded by a choral doxology, which ends in a recapitulation of the beginning on the text as it was in the beginning. In Bachs Leipzig period, Magnificat is the first major work on a Latin text, Bach composed the Magnificat in , his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, music director of the main Lutheran churches in the city.

He applied for the post in Leipzig on 7 February , in April he was accepted for the post, which he assumed on the first Sunday after Trinity, presenting a new cantata in 14 movements, Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV75, on 30 May. The canticle Magnificat, one of three New Testament canticles, has long been a part of the liturgy in daily vesper services.

After the Reformation, Martin Luther kept the Magnificat in the liturgy and he provided a German translation of the canticle, Meine Seele erhebt den Herren. However, the Latin text was also permitted in Lutheran worship, the canticle was often set to music. Contemporary extended settings include works by Heinichen and by Vivaldi, Bach had an audience familiar with the text and its background. Johns Day and St. Michaels Day, and the vespers before the feast days.

Chorale prelude — In music, a chorale prelude is a short liturgical composition for organ using a chorale tune as its basis. It was a predominant style of the German Baroque era and reached its culmination in the works of J. The liturgical function of a prelude in the Baroque period is debated. One possibility is that they were used to introduce the hymn about to be sung by the congregation, usually in a Protestant, although it was typically a polyphonic setting, the chorale would be plainly audible. There was sometimes an obbligato line above or below the melody, as an independent genre, the chorale prelude began with the works of Dieterich Buxtehude,48 of which are listed as extant in New Grove II.

Numerous examples also exist from the 19th and 20th centuries, including some by Johannes Brahms, works in the form continue to be composed in the present day. Most of the chorale prelude form is a theme and variation with a long A where the voices retrograde, invert, probably, the earliest record of a melody used in chorale prelude by Johann Sebastian Bach is his arrangement of Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ.

This melody appears in a manuscript c,, in the city of Celle. Later, it appears with a text by Martin Luther, printed in the hymnal Eyn geystlich Gesangk Buchleyn in Wittenberg in In , the book of Gotha, Germany, had already printed the melody of Gelobet seist du. Soon after, in , Bach was requested by the Duke of Saxe Gotha to present a musical passion, however, in a singular style, the chorale prelude first appeared in the works of Dieterich Buxtehude, and includes 48 extensive compositions.

Besides Bach, Johann Pachelbels music is of importance, with many of his chorale preludes elaborating upon the Protestant melodies of Middle. The important point is that they not to fit, but they do. Works such as these continue to be produced such as Helmut Walchas four volumes. Reger composed, among others,52 Chorale Preludes, Op. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In June he entered the Society for the Musical Sciences He presented to the Society the chorale "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her" completely worked out, and this was afterwards engraved in copper.

Williams , pp. Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans. Printed during the composer's lifetime: Compositions for organ , keyboard and lute by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach Twelve Little Preludes. Retrieved from " https: Bach was dissatisfied with the standard of singers in the choir and he called one of them a Zippel Fagottist 2. It was often used in the Hippodrome in the capital of Constantinople 6.


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Human beings could learn about God only through divine revelation, he believed and he later attributed his decision to an event, on 2 July , he was returning to university on horseback after a trip home 7. Johann Sebastian Bach set the first stanza of Vom Himmel hoch as one of four laudes added to the Christmas version of his Magnificat and he also used the melody three times in his Christmas Oratorio 8.

The railway station has two entrance halls, the eastern one for the Royal Saxon State Railways and the western one for the Prussian state railways In , the city, occupied by the forces of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, was besieged by the army of Imperial general Albrecht von Wallenstein, the city declined after the war and recovered its importance only in the 19th century, when it grew as an industrial centre This might be a homage to Buxtehude, who had written similar partitas and whose music, in the ornamental chorale, a form invented and popularized in Northern Germany by Scheidemann, the chorale melody is taken by one voice in an elaborate and highly embellished form Works by or about Philipp Spitta at Internet Archive The countersubject is written in invertible counterpoint at the octave or fifteenth, for example, when the note G sounds in one voice above the note C in lower voice, the interval of a fifth is formed, which is considered consonant and entirely acceptable Double and triple fugues, employing two and three respectively,8 Johann Sebastian Bach set the first stanza of Vom Himmel hoch as one of four laudes added to the Christmas version of his Magnificat and he also used the melody three times in his Christmas Oratorio Bach took the majority of the choruses and arias from works which had written some time earlier Michaels Day, and the vespers before the feast days Johann Ambrosius Bach, Bach's father.

St Michael's pictured in lower right. The Wender organ Bach played in Arnstadt. St Germain Auxerrois 1. Modern replica of the Aquincum hydraulis from AD. A typical modern 20th-century console, located in St.

J. S. Bach: Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her, BWV 248/9 [046] (Orgel)

Luther as a friar, with tonsure. A posthumous portrait of Luther as an Augustinian friar. Luther's theses are engraved into the door of All Saints' Church, Wittenberg. The Latin inscription above informs the reader that the original door was destroyed by a fire, and that in , King Frederick William IV of Prussia ordered a replacement be made. Adoration of the Shepherds , Augsburg , around Leipzig in the 17th century. New City Hall of Leipzig, built in Leipzig old town from above Augustusplatz with Leipzig Opera House, around Old fortifications of Nuremberg.

Map of Nuremberg, Autograph manuscript of first page of last movement of organ sonata 5, BWV Covering page for the autograph manuscript of the organ sonatas, written some years later by the musician Georg Poelchau. Silbermann Organ — in the Sophienkirche , where Wilhelm Friedemann Bach became organist in Sophienkirche , Dresden, The interval of a fifth inverts to a fourth dissonant and therefore cannot be employed in invertible counterpoint, without preparation and resolution.

Example of a false answer in J. The false entry occurs in the alto, and consists of the head of the subject only, marked in red. It anticipates the true entry of the subject, marked in blue, by one quarter-note. Respuesta tonal en la fuga. The Christmas Oratorio German: The Mystical Nativity by Sandro Botticelli. Birth of Christ Georges de La Tour: Adoration of the shepherds Angels at the nativity c.

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The court chapel at the Schloss in Weimar where Bach was court organist. The organ loft is visible at the top of the picture. This late 15th-century Flemish miniature shows the Annunciation to the shepherds. Rembrandt The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, Abraham Bloemaert Manner of - Announcement to the shepherds c. The book of hours is a Christian devotional book popular in the Middle Ages.

Book of hours, Paris c. Miniature of the Annunciation , with the start of Matins in the Little Office , the beginning of the texts after the calendar in the usual arrangement. Even this level of decoration was more rich than that of most books, though less than the lavish amounts of illumination in luxury books, which are those most often seen reproduced. A full-page miniature of May, from a calendar cycle by Simon Bening , early 16th century.

The lavish illusionistic borders of this Flemish book of hours from the late s are typical of luxury books of this period, which were now often decorated on every page. The butterfly wing cutting into the text area is an example of playing with visual conventions, typical of the period. Among the plants are the ''Veronica'' , Vinca , Viola tricolor , Bellis perennis , and Chelidonium majus. The butterfly is Aglais urticae.

The Latin text is a devotion to Saint Christopher. Mainz Old Town view from the citadel November View north along the Rhine with the old Winterhafen in the lower left, the other port facilities further north. Remains of a Roman town gate from the late 4th century. The only surviving portrait of Buxtehude, playing a viol , from A musical party by Johannes Voorhout This is Buxtehude House. The spire of St. Olaf's is in the background. Thomaskirche is a Lutheran church in Leipzig, Germany.

Statue of Johann Sebastian Bach at the Thomaskirche. Bach's grave beneath the floor of the choir sanctuary of the church. Paulineraltar, the back side. The Paulinerkirche, view from the west, Thomaskantor Cantor at St. Thomaskirche , one of four churches for which the director of music was responsible, in Leipzig Nikolaikirche um In the case of the earlier harpsichord work, however, the variations are written over a fixed bass line, while BWV is based on a melody.

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During this period Bach had been criticized vociferously by the Danish composer Johann Adolph Scheibe for producing music that was too old-fashioned, abstract and artificial. Scheibe had described Bach's output as "altogether too much art" and had referred to the canons as outmoded follies "Thorheiten". However, despite the logic of the canon that underlies the Canonic Variations, Bach succeeded in producing a work which, far from being abstract and severe, was imbued with an affect of "beauty" and "naturalness", quite modern for its time and in keeping with the spirit of galante music.

Combining complex counterpoint with the spiritual associations of Advent and Christmas, Bach's harmony and keyboard technique produce a musical style "at times strangely new, at others very approachable" yet "elusive enough to prompt admirers to search outside music for suitable expressive metaphor.

Various stylistic elements in the Canonic Variations recall the compositions of Bach's predecessors and contemporaries. The running figures in the first variation can be found in Toccata No. The galant figures of the free line in the third variation are similar to those promoted by Joachim Quantz in his treatise on flute playing.

The elaborate ornamentation of the fourth variation uses many devices from his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach 's treatise on keyboard technique , ; the final pedal point harks back to those of the chorale preludes of Dieterich Buxtehude , for example in his setting of "Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verdebt", BuxWV The walking pedal-bass beneath the canon at the beginning of the fifth variation is similar to Georg Friedrich Kaufmann 's setting of "Vom Himmel hoch" in his Harmonische Seelenlust c.

Butler has examined the surviving manuscripts in detail to determine the manner in which the Canonic Variations were composed and published. A similar process was determined by Breig The only sources were Balthasar Schmid's engraving and Bach's autograph manuscript, a much larger collection referred to as P In addition there were further manuscripts of Bach, used for rough working and sketches, which have not survived.

Only in , after a year had elapsed, was Variatio IV engraved.

The Canonic Variations seem to have been composed, not necessarily in their final form, in or at least for the New Year's Fair of In the engraved version the first three variations, written in annotated form, could not be performed directly from the copy, since only one part of the canon was provided, the other having to be worked out "with the pen at home". For variations 1—3, the annotation of canons involved suppressing the second canonic entry, so that the scoring becomes a puzzle, sometimes referred to as an "enigma" or a "riddle".

As Breig speculates, it might have been that the first three variations initially comprised some form of presentation; one suitable festive occasion, appropriate for such a performance, would have been the baptism of Bach's grandson Johann August, celebrated in early December The engraved version was also probably devised to minimize page turns and economize on space, so the combination of these factors speaks against any particular significance in the order of the movements.

It is also not clear which of the remaining two canons was prepared specially for Mizler's Society. The exuberant Canon with Inversions Variatio V builds up to a cumulative climax, but originally did not contain the passing reference to the BACH motif in its closing bars. In the autograph manuscript, it becomes the central variation, comparable to the role played by the central large-scale sixteenth Goldberg variation. This variation in three separate sections was engraved after variations 1—3; it might have been intended to be placed between the 2nd and 3rd variations; and with four variations now at Bach's disposal, that marked a new stage in Bach's development, with the flourish in Variatio V starting to gain a sense of finality.

The calmer Augmentation Canon Variatio IV , on the other hand, similar to the thirteenth Goldberg variation, has a clear reference to the BACH motif in its 39th bar, its anguished harmonies resolved peacefully by the final pedal point. Because of continual reworkings, it is now believed that Bach never intended there to be a final fixed version.

In particular, commentators have pointed out that although the order of the variations in the autograph version gives it a certain aesthetic symmetry, the order in the engraved version might be more appropriate for performance. During a period of roughly 20 years of research, the musicologist Tatlow has developed her own theory of numerology and proportion with reference to Bach's compositions.

Based on what she has termed "proportional parallelism," Tatlow has described three uniform features: In the first part of Tatlow's book, there is an account of the eighteenth century from the viewpoint of musical theory and theology. The second part illustrates specific works or collections of works, including a detailed and lengthy discussion of the five variations in BWV with six carefully tabulated figures. Below are the first, second and last fifteenth verses of the Christmas hymn Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her by Martin Luther , published in , with the English translation from of Catherine Winkworth.

The two part canon is derived from the first and last lines of the cantus firmus. Despite the "enigmatic" notation for the printed version in the canon, Bach's musical style gives the impression of simplicity, gracefulness and beauty: The falling scales have been interpreted as representing Christ's descent from Heaven to Earth, a reference to the text of the last verse. The repetition in the text "glad tidings of great joy" iines 2—3, verse 1 provides a similar repetition for the music in the canon.

The involved semiquaver passages with octave imitations, along with the slowly progressing harmonies, create an effect of resonant and echoing solemnity. Bach avoids monotony and lack of pace by modulating into the minor, followed by a brief G-major passage in the third line of the cantus firmus. The graceful introductory ritornello is recapitulated before the last line of the pedal cantus firmus, played in the tenor register with an 8' stop.

The two part canon is based on the first and second lines of the cantus firmus. The compact imitative passagework follows the same scheme as Variatio I, but now with the canon at the fifth. Again the antiquated "puzzle" notation for the canon in the printed version belies the modern "natural" style, with pleasant writing and graceful slurs, The imitation follows a different pattern, less expansive with a shorter scale, the two distinct motifs answering in turn.

The secondary motive emerges from a semiquaver figures on parallel thirds: The articulation of both the print and autograph versions give a calmer impression of the semiquavers in Variatio II than in Variatio I. From the last quaver of bar 4, suspensions start to appear in Variatio II; further on, Bach's suspensions in the descending scales also hint at the beginning of Variatio I.

As in Variatio I, there is a recapitulation of the opening ritornello—but now in syncopation with faster note values—before the last line of the cantus firmus, which is it at the same registration. The spirited rising scales above the closing pedal point are in contrast with the falling arpeggios at the end of Variatio I.