St. Matthew’s Passion by Bach Name of student Student number Institution Course Professor Date Introduction J.S. Bach was a Germany composer of the baroque musical era. in spite of the fact that Bach was a greatest baroque composer, he was not very much known and was only recognized in organ performance…
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The music was text bound and therefore difficult to measure because of its spiritual and expressive intensity. Bach was counterpoint master as he used all baroque era musical language resource with ease. He could combine Germany intricate counterpoint, French rhythmic dances and graceful melodies of Italy in a single composition. Some of his work include Christmas oratorio which include St. Matthew Passion and ascension cantata (six cantatas) (Robin, 1999). Master of St. Matthew Passion It is an oratorio written by Bach for orchestra, choir and solo voices. Matthew’s gospel chapter 26 and 27 are set into music with arias and chorale that are interspersed throughout the musical text (Robin, 1999). Composition The setting of Bach’s passion present chapter is in 26 and 27 of Matthew’s biblical text in a simple manner by use of recitative. In addition, latest poetic texts are set by ariaso and aria movements which explain various biblical events in a narrative form (Robin, 1999). Lyrism and monologue are used to present the state of mind of the characters that are involved. St. Matthew Passion has the following aspects: a) Double-choir which originate from double-choir motets. b) Chorales are used extensively and appear and are found in four parts as an arias extension. In polyphonic movements which are large, chorales appears as cantus firmus. This quite evident in the finale of the first movement Mensch, bewein dein’ Sunde gro?. Chorale cantus firmus is also used in opening chorus, as Kommt, ihr Tochter, helft mir klagen where soprano in ripieno create harmonic and polyphonic anxiety, singing O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig verse (Robin,1999) The oratorio is a twelve score concertato with eight soloists performing in two choirs(Robin,1999). Furthermore, extra parts have two bass and single soprano voices in the bit parts which include Peter, Pilate Wife, High Priests, and Judas with another section for soprano in ripieno. vocal ensembles has three voice parts (three basses, three tenors , three sopranos and three altos and residual which has two parts that provide soloists ( Concertists) for the composed cantatas together with other vocal works. Secco recitative is used in the gospel narration with continuo accompaniments (Robin, 1999). Words describing various characters are sung in recitative form. Apart from Jesus, other named parts, include two ancillae(maids),two witness, Judas, two high priest, peter and Pilates’ wife. Arias are often assigned to character soloist who sings with the choir(Robin,1999). In addition, a pair of soloists sings the two duets which concurrently represent two speakers. Turba (Crowd) are passages for many speakers and is sung by either one or two choirs. There is special treatment for the words of Jesus Vox Christi. This is by creation of accompagnato recitatives which are accompanied by continuo and orchestral string section by use of long notes that are sustained and stressing specific words (Robin, 1999). Instruments St Matthew Passion has a setting of two orchestras and two choirs and it include two Gamba, two flutes, and two oboe and basso continuo. Instruments create a particular mood in arias for example Aus Liebe will mein Heiland sterben which is #49 soprano arias where there is no security as a result basso continuo and string absence (Robin, 1999). Compositional style Recitatives create a mood
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