Johann Sebastian Bach, popularly known as Bach, was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist, and was regarded as the supreme composer of the Baroque and one of the best of all time. His contributions are secular works for the choir, orchestra and solo instruments. Though he didn’t introduced new forms and he enriched the German style of music through a contrapuntal technique and adaptations of rhythm, forms and textures from other countries such as Italy and France. His musical style arose from the influences of the South German, North German, Italian and French music.
During his time, Bach was popularly known on being on one extreme end of the spectrum, notating almost majority of the details of his melodic lines, particularly in his fast movements. He preferred dense contrapuntal textures which allowed lesser margin for the variation of his musical lines. Bach’s contrapuntal textures have the tendency to be more cumulative than those of other composers before and nowadays. Noticeably, his harmony tends to use a brief ‘tonicisation’ or a subtle reference to another key that lasts only a few beats at the longest. He also favored the supertonic to add color to his musical texture.
Mass in Minor B Mass in B Minor is a complete musical setting in Latin Mass by Johann Sebastian Bach. This was one of Bach’s last works before his death in 1750. This musical setting is a composition of the music that Bach had made before. He divided the work in a score of four parts of the Latin Mass that was given each title page of their own. These are the Kyrie, Gloria, Symbolum Nicaenum or Credo and the group of Sanctus, Hossana, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. In total, the work consists of 27 sections. Kyrie The Kyrie which means “O Lord” has three parts as used in Mass in Minor B.
The first was the Kyrie eleison (Lord, have mercy). It is a five-part chorus in B minor consisting of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Second was the Christle eleison, a duet in D major with obbligato violins. The duet was in Soprano I and II. Last was another Kyrie eleison but this time with four-part chorus only in F# minor, consisting of a Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass. Gloria The structure of Gloria or Gloria in exelcis Deo (Glory to God in the highest) composed of nine movements with the largely symmetrical structure and Domine Deus in the center.
First movement was Gloria in excelsis, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major in 3/8 time. The music appears also as the opening chorus of Bach’s Cantata Gloria in excelsis Deo, Second was Et in terra pax, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major. Third was Laudamus te, an aria of Soprano II in A major with obbligato violin. Fourth was Gratias agimus tibi, a four-part chorus of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major. Fifth was Domine Deus, a duet of Soprano I and Tenor in G major, marked Andante common time.
The sixth movement was Qui tollis peccata mundi, a four-part chorus of Soprano II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in B minor in 3/4 time. Seventh was Qui sedes ad dexteram Patri, an Aria for Alto in B minor with obbligato in 6/8 time. The eight movement wasQuoniam tu solus sanctus, an Aria of Bass in D major with obbligato in 3/4 time. And last but not the least was the Cum Sancto Spiritu, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major in 3/4 time. Credo Also known as Symbolum Nicaenum, Credo also had nine movements with symmetrical structure, and the crucifixion at the center.
The first movement was Credo in unum Deum, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in A mixolydian. Second was Patrem omnipotentem, a four-part chorus of Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major. Third movement was Et in unum Dominum, a duet of Soprano I and Alto in G major. Fourth was Et incarnatus est, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in B minor. Fifth was the Crucifixus, a four-part chorus of Soprano II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in E minor, in 3/2 time. The sixth part was Et resurrexit, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major in 3/4 time.
Seventh was Et in Spiritum Sanctum, an Aria for Bass in A major in 6/8 time. The eight movement was Confiteor, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in F# minor. Last but not the least was Et expect, a five-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto, Tenor and Bass in D major. Sanctus, Hossana, Benedictus and Agnus Dei The fourth part was a combination of Sanctus, Hossana, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. Agnus Dei is a Latin term which means Lamb of God. In the musical setting, this part composes of six movements. First was Sanctus, a six-part chorus of Soprano I, II, Alto I, II, Tenor and Bass in D major, in 3/8 time.
Second was Hosanna, a double chorus with four parts both, in D major in 3/8 time. Third movement was Benedictus, an Aria for Tenor with flute obbligato in B minor in 3/4 time. Fourth was another Hosannna . Fifth was Agnus Dei, an Aria for Alto in G minor with violin obbligato. And last was Dona nobis pacem, a four-part chorus in D major. The Mass in Minor B was frequently performed was not played during Bach’s lifetime. Though there are some scholarly debates and arguments with the motivation of Bach to pursue its kind structure during that time, most composers believe that the Mass in Minor b was one of Bach’s best compositions of all time.
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