The text that was used was based on a hymn by Johann Rist. The scoring for this cantata is transverse flutes, 2 oboes, 2 violins, cello, violone, viola, and continuo with organ. For the singing it is scored for four soloists a Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass, and then a 4-part Chorus. It is in the key of g minor and it has 7 movements.
For the first movement which has the form of a Passacaglia which is a harmoniously complete eight measure melody with the emphasis on the theme which can even appear in the treble as it does. In this movement the theme primarily and initially appears as a descending chromatic bass. It is sung by full chorus and the mood is very somber because they open up about how Jesus dies the bitterest death and how it grieves the people of the church. Bach employs the ritornello in the first movement because it is in the form of a Passacaglia. He sets himself up later to have another ritornello later in the piece.
For this piece the chorus is the role of the people of the church. The second movement which is the most famous part of the piece is an aria duet with the soprano and alto. In which the soloist are people begging for forgiveness and help from God. As the sign melodically up a scale they are saying “Our voices are raising to beg thee for succor” which is the main point of this aria. Since Bach marked the violone is “staccato e pizzicato” this movement is very light and crisp and so must the singers be in the style of playing as well.
The ending in what seems to be almost un-Bach like in which a cannon in the many repeats of “o Jesu” and “zu dir,” and the coloraturas on “erfreulich. ” It ends with the beautiful effect of final “zu dir” as they say we are for you. In the third movement which is a recitative for the tenor as he characterizes himself as a sinner and a wanderer and as he does so the music echoes his musings. For example, the first two lines appropriately “wander” harmonically. The tenor’s line jumps about chaotically, leaping especially high on the word “weit,” meaning wide.
In addition, the organ’s unnerving chords strike in odd places, making the singer seem truly out of sync with his accompaniment. Just so, as the sinner wanders about through life he moves out of synchronization with God. This is also a very somber movement as it is showing that you must repent to God. For this movement it is once again for the tenor but this time it is an aria. The text of this movement points to the purge of our sins through Christ’s suffering. In the flute passages we can imagine the ‘crossing off’ of man’s guilt with the linear, scale-like passages and the relieved heart that jumps for joy.
An element of word-painting occurs when in this G minor aria there is a change to major on the words, “macht mir das Herze wieder leicht. ” This makes you believe that there is still hope for the sinning to repent to God. For the fifth movement which is Bach’s second recitative but this time it is for the bass. In this movement it demonstrates similar patterns in its narrative voice, although I believe this recitative is tonally much more pleasing than the first. This recitative is rich in chromaticism.
The secco changes to a complicated accompagnato style. Using as an accompaniment all the strings, this recitative is reminiscent of Bach’s passions. There are wide interval jumps to increase the expressive power of the words, and also many sudden changes in tempo: vivace – adagio – andante. The indication, “con ardore,” (in the vivace section) increases the dramatic effect. The chorale melody is cited at the end of the movement this is an exact musical quote from the chorale. It is showing the many struggles of man but man can find strength in God.
In this movement which is an aria for the bass it is more like a concerto for bass voice and oboe with the insertions of tutti passages for the strings. It seems that the bass is the same person as in the recitative before. In this movement Bach achieves an 8-measure regular type introduction by doing an A to B to A to B to C section. The end of this section has an apparent Da capo with the voice participating in the unchanged ritornello, after which the instrumental ritornello concludes the movement. In the last and very short movement which is a full tutti with chorus.
As the open up the movement with saying “Lord, I trust thee, help my weakness” as the church people are putting their faith and trust in God to help them. Throughout the piece he have had motional unrest and now it is unified in the final chorale. It is amazing in how much detail Bach put in this piece in just a short amount of time. The music was always very clear for what mood it was setting and how he used the instruments as part of the story as well. It is a great piece from start to finish and told a very important story to the Catholic religion.
Social justice/social action essay
Social justice/social action essay.
Identify a social justice issue related to sexual or gender diversity.
Further attachments for a reading to be submitted.
Must be APA format
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