Fughetta No. 9 from Twelve Fughettas, Op. 123b
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Any foreign melody that had charm and beauty was stopped at the frontier and pressed into the service of the evangelical service. J'ay cndur6 peiixe et travaulx, tant de clouleur et decomfort, Que faut-il que je fasse pour cstrc on votrc grace? De douletir inoni coaur est si naort s'il ne voit votre face, 20 III. The Origin of the Melodies of the Chorales. Matthew Passion! Even Calvin had to laugh, for the only time in his life when he saw the most frivolous tunes walking along, chastely and devoutly, hand in hand with the lofty poems of David and Solomon, The Huguenot Psalter appeared in its definitive form in As early as Ambrosius Lobwasser, Professor of Law in Konigsberg, published a German version of the Psalms, adapting them to the hundred and twenty-five melodies of the French work, These tunes thus became known, and were at once incorporated in the German chorale books.
Only the shameless curiosity that characterises our boasted historical sense can rejoice at these discoveries, The musician dors not trouble himself about them, and forgets them as soon as they are told to him; for they tell him no more than what he already knew by instinct that all true and deeply-felt music, whether secular or sacred, has its home on the heights where art and religion dwell. Happy are the chorales of whose origin nothing is known!
Both songs appear for the first time in in the appendix to a treatise on the glories of the future life. When the treasures of melody to be drawn upon were at last exhausted, there carne the epoch of the composer. The copious spiritual poetry of the seventeenth century called them to the work. There was scarcely an evangelical musician of that time who did not compose melodies for the church. Almost all the masters whose names adorn the history of polyphonic choral music call for mention also in the history of the origin of the chorale melodies.
And it was with the melodies as with the poems: while a great many of a composer's times were destined to perish, he managed to breathe the breath of eternal life into a few of them, or at any rate into one, which will shine in imperishable beauty in our hymn-books as long as the evangelical hymn exists. The most notable of these writers is Johann Criiger , of St. The most beautiful of his melodies, such as "Jesu mcinc Frcudc", "Schmiicke dich, o liebe Seele", u Nun danket alle Gott", occupy a place of honour in Bach's work; the very first chorale in the St.
Matthew Passion, "Herzliebster Jcsu" is by Criiger. The spirit, however, which dominated music about the beginning of the eighteenth century made it incapable of developing the true church- time any further. German music got out of touch with German song, and fell further and further under the influence of the more '"artistic" Italian melody.
It could no longer achieve that nai"vet which, ever since the Middle Ages, had endowed it with those splendid, unique times. Moreover the secular music that was then flourishing in the towns and at the courts lured it on to new problems, and it could no longer find its sole satisfaction in a self-denying co-operation with religious poetry.
When Bach came on the scene, the great epoch of chorale creation was at an end, like that of the sacred poem, Sacred melodies were indeed still written; but they were songs of the aria type, not true congregational hymns; an inde- finable air of subjectivity pervaded them.
In this matter Bach too was subject to the laws of his epoch. When in Schemelli, cantor at the castle of Zeitz, published through Breitkopf a large hymn-book, con- taining nine hundred and fifty-four numbers, he approached the famous cantor of St. Thomas's church to beg his co-operation. Bach undertook, we are told in the preface to the book, not only to revise the figured basses, but to compose melodies for the hymns that lacked them. Since in this hymn-book, as in the others, the names of the com- posers are not given, we cannot be perfectly sure which or how many tunes are by Bach.
Those, however, which we can ascribe to him.
Works by Composer RHEINBERGER
After Bach, the bonds between the chorale and the sacred song are completely broken. Tlie End of the Creative Epoch. In the epoch of Rationalism, it is true, the melodies were not diluted to the same extent as the text; but there was still a hard struggle until the old melodies were again rehabilitated everywhere, and were no longer jostled in the chorale books by the characterless tunes of the later epoch.
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Now that this has been achieved, the dispute today is as to whether we shall retain the old chorales with the uniform note-values in which we have received them from the eighteenth century, or whether we should restore to them their original rhythmic variety, A definite decision, in- deed, is hardly possible. Bach is concerned in this controversy to the extent that those who advocate the uniform polished form of chorales can plead that, although the opposite tradition had a powerful following all round him, he felt no artistic com- pulsion to revert to the old rhythmic form of the chorale, and so there is no cogent objection, from the purely musical point of view, against the chorale as we have received it from his hands.
Against the enthusiasts for the rhythmic melodies the old master can plead as St. Paul once did against the Corinthians who knew all things so much better, that he too thinks he is possessed by the spirit. Berlin, How was the congregational song introduced into the church service at the time of the Reformation? It is usual to look upon the question as very simple, and to suppose that the people had little by little come to sing the melody while the organ played it.
Did the sacred in- strument really teach the congregation in this way? We may read through all Luther's writings without finding a single place where he speaks of the organ as the Organ and Congregational Singing in Reformation Times. Moreover lie, the admirer of true church music of every kind, gives no directions as to how the organ is to cooperate in the service.
It is really incredible, however, that in the few places where he mentions the organ at all, he speaks of it not enthusiastically but almost scornfully! He does not look upon it as necessary or even desirable in the evangelical service, but at most tolerates it where he finds it already. His contemporaries shared his view. We need not be astonished that the Reformed Church dealt drastically with the organs and banished them from the churches.
In the Lutheran and even in the Catholic churches at that time it fared almost the same. It had always had, indeed, its adversaries. No less a person than St. Thomas Aquinas had declared war on it, not regarding organ music, or indeed instrumental music in general, as calculated to stimulate devotion.
In the sixteenth century, however, complaints against it arose on all sides, and the Council of Trent, , which dealt with all the doubtful questions relating to the church and its service, was com- pelled to enact severe regulations against the erroneous and too prevalent employment of the organ in worship. Jahrhundert Leipzig Rietschel is the first to have thrown a light on this question, since, instead of spinning theories, he lets the documents, church regulations, prefaces to hymn-books, sermons at the dedi- cations of organs, and funeral orations on organists speate for themselves.
The Chorale in the Church Service. The organ preluclised in order to give the tone to the priest, or the choir. It further gave out the liturgical songs and hymns in alternation with the choir, one verse being sung and the next played on the organ. It was never used, however, to accompany the choir. The primitive structure of the organs of that time quite forbade this; their heavy keys did not permit of polyphonic playing, while their crude, untempered tuning made it as a rule impossible to play on them in more than one or two keys.
Since therefore they could not cooperate, the choir and the organ functioned in turns. With the organ employed in this independent way, abuses could not fail to creep in, As the organist was unable to play polyphonically on his instrument, lie was tempted to amuse himself with quick running passages in his preambles to the verses or during the course of these. Still worse was it when he indulged in well-known secular songs, which seems to have been a wide-spread practice. I could with difficulty keep from laughing, for I was not used to such an organ ; I had to make my Gloria in excelsis conform to his Kyrie" It seemed so much a matter of course at that time to substitute the organ for the choir in the liturgy that this clerk, in default of an organ, simply had recourse to the lute!
In the Evangelical -church the rdle of the organ had for a long time now been the same as in the Catholic church. It preambled to the hymns of the priest and the choir and alternated with the latter; only now the congregational song is merely an addendum, to which the organ preambles atid wherewith it alternates. In Wittenberg it preambled to almost all the vocal pieces, whether of priest, choir or people, and shared with the choir in the rendering of the Kyrie , the Gloria and the Agnus Dei.
It means that certain verses are to be played by the organist alone, the congregation being silent. At the same time the caution is given that this must not happen too often, but at the most two or three thaes in the one hymn. Brlanger, p, The Chorale in the Church Service, ''Nuremberg Congregation ordinance" of , At first, and for another three generations at least, there was no question of the organ accompanying the congregational singing.
How did the choir stand with regard to the congregational chorale? Did it take the place of the organ, guiding and supporting the song of the people? The melody alone was noted over the poem, so that the father of the household could give it out to the children and the servants. It contains: thirty-eight hymns. The Choir and Congregational Singing. Q Luther was not only a reformer tut an artist. The logical outcome of bis reforming ideas would have been a remodelling of the church service on the lines of the simple home service, in which case the congregational chorale would have been the only music used in the church.
But, as in most men of genius, there was a fatal side to his greatness that prevented him from thinking out his ideas to their logical conclusion, and made him endow a thing and its antithesis with equal life. He was an admirer of the contrapuntal music of the Nether- lands school. He regarded artistic music as one of the most perfect manifestations of the Deity. Holstein showed in - is simply a preface which he orginally wrote in Latin to Johann Waltlier's Lob und Preis der Mniwlischtvi Kiwst Miisica and ed, Sec Riftschcl, p.
The musician in Luther could not tolerate the banishment of choir and art-song from the church, as many people desired, or the restriction of the choir to leading the con- gregational singing. A licence was thus granted to the art in the Lutheran service ; it took its place in the ritual as a free and independ- ent power.
All the phases of the development of music in general are to be clearly seen in the Lutheran service. Finally, when the motet, under the influence of Italian art, was transformed into the cantata, bringing not only instrumental music but an undisguised opera-style into the church, the service actually came to be interrupted by a sacred concert, which was looked upon as its culminating point, It was at this juncture that Bach came on the scene.
Thus had Luther not been an artist, Bach would never have been able to write his sacred concert -music for church purposes and as part of the church service. What would he have done had he been born in Zurich or in Geneva? At first, then, the congregational chorale was not sup- ported either by the organ or by the choir, but sung umsono without accompaniment, precisely as in the Catholic church at the end of the Middle Ages. We must not over-estimate the number of the congrega- tional chorales that were sung during a service.
Where a choir existed, the congregation took little part in the sing- ing, being restricted to the Credo, sung between the reading of the Gospel and the sermon and perhaps a communion hymn. In Wittenberg so it appears from the account given by Musculus, the congregation as a rule did not sing, but left even the chorales to the choir. In other places, Erfurt, for example, it was customary for the people to sing alternately with the choir between the Epistle and the Gospel, in such a way that the choir sang the sequence and the people joined in with a German chorale appropriate to the time of the year.
Five or six chorales in the year sufficed for this, since the same chorale was used on each Sunday during that particular period, In the churches that had t no choir, more importance attached to the congregational singing, since in that case the Kyrie, the Gloria and the Agnus Dei were sung in the corresponding German chorales.
But here again, as a rule, fifteen or at most twenty chorales, which had been laid down, once for all, for their particular Sundays, suf- ficed for the whole year. There was thus good cause for the attempt that was made, at the end of the first century of the Reformation, Rietschel, p. In the Wiirtemberg court preacher Lucas Osiander published his FUnffzig geistliche Liedef und Psalmen, mil mer Stimmen auf kontrapunkt- weise, fttf die Kirchen und Schulen wi IdMicfien PHrstcntumb Wiirtemberg, also gesetzet, dass eine gantm christliche Gemcin durchaus mitsingen kann" "Fifty sacred songs and psalms, for the churches and schools in the worshipful principality of Wiirtemberg, set contrapuntally in four parts in such a way that the whole Christian congregation can always join in them".
This was the first real chorale book in our sense, except that it was written for the choir instead of for the organ. It was indeed only a half-measure, a false compromise between polyphony and melody. If he wanted polyphony, he should have allowed the whole congregation to sing in chorus in four parts, as was the custom later in Switzerland; on the other hand, if he wished to do without polyphony, he should have lot the choir sing in unison, acting, as it were, as precentor, somewhat in the way the village cantors in his day led the.
The real reason is quite different, and must be sought in the fact that in the meantime German church music had shaken off the influence of the purely contrapuntal music of the Netherlands school, and had fallen under that of the Italians, in which the melodic style began to dominate the contrapuntal. From he was organist and choir-master in his native town; in he was called by the Electoral Prince to Dresden, His constitution, however, was already almost ruined by consumption.
He died the 8th June in Frankfort, whither h had accompanied his master to the assembly of princes. In he became Cantor at Weimar; his death in was a great loss to art. Matthew Passion of his was also published at Erfurt. Thomas's church in Leipzig, He died in In any case the composers themselves, in spite of the fine practical suggestions as to congregational singing that they put forward in their prefaces, thought only of the choir when composing, as is shown by their counterpoint, which, with all its simplicity, becomes richer and more and more in the style of the motet.
Only on thing is clear from their remarks, that so far as they are concerned they are merely experiuwnttag, See also Rietschel, pp. But if only we could hear them even as choral works! When will Ilie time come when these treasures are exhibited each Sunday in our church services? The attempts to have the singing of the congregation led by the choir were made abotit the end of the sixteenth century and in the first decade of the seventeenth.
By the middle of the seventeenth century the question is settled by the organ assuming this r61e. In appears the Tablature-book of Samuel Scheldt, with a hundred chorale harmonisations intended for the accompaniment of the congregational singing. The sacred instrument had in the meantime been made more practically fitted for polyphonic playing, and endowed with such fulness of tone that it overwhelmed the small and weak choirs of that time.
Whereas hitherto it had accompanied the choir, which supported the singing of the congregation, its powerful tone now made it possible for it to assume the lead. But again we cannot be sure of the date at which the organ began to support the choir in the chorale, or when it began to cooperate with the choir in general. This was certainly not the case before the beginning of the seventeenth century, Vulpius, Praetorius, Eccard and the others appear to know nothing of it.
A uf atte Feste und Sonntage durchs gantze Jahr. In Theophilus Stadc, organist of St. How small Frescobaldi, the organist of St. In addition there are liturgical pieces, such as the Kyrie, Gloria, Magnijicat, and the Psalmus sub cowmunione "Jesus Christus unser Hciland", which are all treated in the same way. It is only lately, when the works as well as the names of these men have become known to us, that we have been able to estimate these powers.
Special reference may be made to Alex. Gttilmant's Archives des Mattres da I'orgm, which up to the present have contained the compositions of Titelouxe, A. Raison, Roberday, L. Coupcrin, Boyvin and Dandricu. A study of these works gives one the impression that Bach knew more of them, and was more influenced by these composers, than is generally supposed, These publications, that supply one of the most important chapters in the history of organ, music, should be available in every library. How long the custom, testified to in all contemporary tablatures, of rendering vocal pieces on the organ alone, still lasted after the process of decay had once set in, can no longer be ascertained.
When we consider the extremely numerous arrangements by Bach of the chorale "Allein Gott in der Hdh sei Ehr", we are inclined to think that even down to his day there persisted, tinder certain circum- stances, the practice testified to by Scheldt, of the organ responding to the Gloria intoned by the priest at the altar. As to the position of the congregational singing in Bach's time, we have only conjecture to go upon. One thing at any rate had been achieved, the number of the hymns affiliated to the service had considerably increased.
Each Gospel had one or more of these allotted to it, so that the same ones were always sung on a particular Sunday. They were called the Cantica de tempo? The cantor selected them himself without consulting anyone else. Congregational Singing in Bach's Time. Whether the congregation took possession of all these hymns and took an active and hearty part in the singing of them is, however, another question. It is well known that Mattheson and the famous Hamburg musicians thought nothing at all of the congregational chorale, and in general refused to recognise singing of this kind as music.
From this we may conclude that it did not occupy a prominent place in their churches, and that they, for their part, did nothing to encourage it. It must have been the same in other towns that had celebrated choirs. The cantata that sacred concert intercalated in the service absorbed all the interest, and the art-song, as at the beginning of the Reformation, had once more triumphed. We do not know whether things were better in this respect in Leipzig than in other towns. The truth is that no remark of Bach's has come down to us to show that, in contradistinction to his contemporaries, he felt any particular interest in congregational singing.
In his Passions, at any rate, he does not desire its co-operation, in spite of the splendid r61e that he assigns to the chorale in those works. If is highly probable that in Bach's time the singing of the Leipzig congregations was not so good as is commonly supposed. The Chorale Preludes before Bach. Whether the problem has been really solved by allowing the organ to support the congregational singing is doubtful. The method has, established itself, because it is practical, But the ideal is not congregational singing of this kind, directed by, and dependent on, the organ; the true ideal is free and confident unaccompanied singing, as in the congregational singing of the Middle Ages and of the first Reformation period.
Perhaps that complete and unfettered cooperation of organ, choir and worshippers was, in its way, an ideal, towards which we shall some day aspire more than we do now. I, 96 etc. How this preludising was carried out until the time of Scheldt we do not know, since no compositions of this kind have been preserved, None even of Scheldt's have come down to us. But from his time to that of Bach the most notable German masters of the organ dedicate their powers not to free composition but Samuel Scheldt. The three great masters in this field are Pachelbel, Bdhm and Buxtehude.
We cannot, indeed, say that in technique they created anything new beyond Scheldt. In this respect, indeed, organ music has on the whole not gone beyond the Halle master even to the present day; nor can we imagine how it is ever to be done. Scheldt was one of those men whose penetrating intelligence, when a new world opens out before them, darts f through it at once from end to end, with the clearness and swiftness of light.
In his polyphonic chorale verses for the organ he saw himself faced by the problem of making the melody stand out clearly in performance, with a special tone-colour, not only in the soprano but also in the alto, tenor and bass; and at a glance he surveyed all possible solutions, and embodied his knowledge in those famous pieces which, speaking generally, contain everything that we can imagine in the way of employing the manuals and pedals in con- formity with their special qualities.
The alto can also, in special circumstances, be played with four parts on the Rttchpositiv, but the discant must be taken on the upper manual with the right hand, and the tenor and the bass on lie pedal in two parts at the same time, but it must be particularly arranged so that the tenor does not go higher than c, since the d is seldom found on the pedals, and they must also not be set widely apart from, each other, only an octave, or fifth, or third, for otherwise we cannot fully span such intervals with the feet.
But this is the finest and most suitable style of all, to play the alto on the pedal ; the knack and dexterity however are in 42 V. In the third decade of the seventeenth century he speaks of the playing of two obbligato parts on the pedal as quite a matter of course, and thinks that every organ should have a four-feet pedal stop, so that the organist may be able, under any circumstances, to play a middle part with the feet!
The path was now traced out for the organ players, and, what in the first place was almost more important, for the organ builders. Middle German and North German organ music outdis- tanced that of the Romans and the Southern Germans almost at a bound. It was reserved for them, however, to create the various forms of the chorale prelude. Each the registering and the colouring in the organ, and knowing how to make good use of four or eight-feet tones. In he became organist at St. Sebald'a, in his native town of Nuremberg.
He died in Tabulaturbuch geistlichw Gesdnge D. The chorale prelude as a whole thus consists simply of separate fugues, which are held together by the fact that their themes, taken in succession, form the melody of the chorale. It is the form of the chorale prelude as we have it, for example, in the two great arrangements by Bach of Aus tiefer Not VI. This style was very largely cultivated at that time, Pachelbel exercised an influence upon central Germany that cannot easily be over-estimated. He was not a genius; he was not even always clever, and his art is not free from a certain stiffness and formality.
He had, however, a real sense of the dignity of the organ, and communicated it to his pupils. That was his greatest service. We must remember that in Scheidt, as in Frescobaldi, a secular conception of organ music as an art exists side by side with the religious conception of it. Even the Tablatura nova bears traces of this dualism, for it impartially gives varia- tions upon secular songs and upon chorales. With Pachelbel this impartiality disappears for ever from German organ music. If the average level of German organ playing in Bach's time was higher than any that has been attained since, it was entirely owing to Pachelbel, As a type of that generation of organists we may mention Johann Gottfried Walther, Bach's colleague at Weimar, whom Mattheson, the Hamburg author, called "Pachelbel the second".
The manuscript is in the Grand-ducal Library at Weimar. Examples of Pachelbel's chorales will be found in Ritter and Commer. Bd, II. Two of them, by an error of transmission, were included among Bach's works. They are, indeed, written in a correct organ-style, that at times shows considerable richness of invention.
The chorale preludes of Johann Christoph Bach , organist at Eisenach, and Johann Michael Bach , organist at Gehren, the uncles of John Sebastian , also give us an idea of the thorough capabilities of the organists of PachelbeFs generation. The chorale melody the bond that should hold together the separate fughettas, cannot really give them intrinsic unity.
In the last resort they amount to no more than a string of fragments, The chorale prelude of the Pachelbel type is, indeed, really conceived on choral lines. When the words arc added to the melody, the two together weld together the separate fugal movements into an effective whole.
In the chorale choruses in Bach's cantatas that are constructed on the model of Pachelbel's chorale preludes. In Pachelbel's chorale pre- ludes, where the melody is deprived of the words, this is not , which contains very valuable articles upon the music and musicians of his day. His great collection of chorale preludes by all kinds of composers is also important.
Wo may also mention Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau died , of the Lieb- frauenkirche in Halle, the teacher of Handel, and jfohann Kuhnau , Bach's predecessor in the cantorship of St. Thomas's Church, Leipzig. This was perceived by the composers of the time, who con- sequently felt themselves justified in elevating the fughcttas upon the first lines of the chorale to the status of in- dependent compositions. It may be taken as certain that a number of the surviving chorale fughettas of Paclielbel upon the first lines of the chorale originally belonged to complete chorale preludes, and were first separated from the whole by the copyist, for reasons of a practical nature.
He is under the influence of the "coloristic" style of the school of Sweelinck. His favorite method is to break the chorale melody up into luxuriant coloratura, and to keep this rich and flowing paraphrase moving about over a simple harmonic ac- companiment of a more or less free nature. He has nothing of Pachelbel's formal dignity; his works are all life and movement. John's Church in Liineburg, which post he filled until his death in , Eighteen of his chorales have been preserved.
Examples will be found in Commer, Ritter, A, W. He had the latter engraved on copper. The melody, as in Bohm, moves about in color ature of all kinds, while the accompaniment, which is more in PachelbeFs style, is constructed out of the motives of the separate lines of the melody. He uses the double pedal a good deal. Great as is the technique and the virtuosic ability shewn in these two works, from the musical point of view they are unsatisfactory. Everything is calculated merely for outward effect.
The melody is tormented to death, and the heater feasts on the dexterity of the torture. In the simple ones the melody goes its way quietly, just embellished here and there with a few ornaments, and accompanied by interesting and always ingenious harmonies. Bach's chorale preludes upon Herzlich thut mich verlmgen V. The toc- cata was afterwards brought by Frescobaldi to the highest per- fection it ever reached in Italy, In Georg Muffat'd celebrated Apparatus musico-orgamsticus we see the art of which he is the last great representative coming to a standstill, Bach and his Predecessors.
Bach's chorale prelude on Ein feste Burg VI. From the formal standpoint they performed their task to the full, since they worked out rigorously all the possible types of the species. There are three of these. In the first, the whole prelude is constructed out of the motives of the melody, in which case the latter is not altered in any way, but runs through the whole as a cantus firmus. This is the "motivistic" method of PachelbeL In the second, the melody is broken up into arabesques, that climb and wind like a flowering creeper about a simple harmonic stem. This is the "coloristic" method of Bohm.
In the third the melody forms the core of a free fantasia, as in the chorale fantasias of Buxtehude. Bach found these main types and the intermediate forms already in existence. He created no new ones; even Brahms and Reger, modern as they are, have not done so, for. The only difference between Bach and his predecessors is that he did what they could not made something more than form of them.
The more we try to see into the development of things, in any field whatever, the more we become conscious that to each epoch there are set certain limits of knowledge, before which it has to come to a halt, and always at the very moment when it was apparently bound to advance to a higher and definitive knowledge that seemed just within its grasp.
The real history of progress in physics, philosophy, and religion, and more especially in psychology, is the history of incomprehensible cessations, of conceptions that were unattainable by a given epoch, in spite of all that happened to lead it up to them, of the thoughts it did not think, not because it could not, but because there was some mysterious command upon it not to.
They could not see that the chorale prelude, really to answer to its title, must be born not only out of the melody but out of the text. As the pre-Bachian masters of the chorale movement harmonised only the melody, not the text, the inspiration Bach and his Predecessors, 49 of their chorale preludes is a purely musical one, owing nothing to poetry.
No matter how ingenious their ideas may be, they never flow from the text. In Buxtehude everything is interesting. On closer investigation, however, we discover that these reminiscences of the text are more or less accidental, and that lie was as little concerned as the others deliberately to take the poetry as his starting-point. Thus all they did was really only pioneer work. Perhaps we should not know that it was only such, if the greater spirit had not come after them, who, almost before he had ceased to be their apprentice, comprehended, with the intuition of genius, that the true chorale prelude must bring out the poetry that gives the melody its name, and prepare the hearer not only for the melody but also for the contents, a spirit, too, who had the secret of making tones speak.
In no other art does the perfect consign the imperfect to oblivion so thoroughly as it does in music. Early painting retains its own artistic charm for all time. It deals with nature, with reality, and renders it, no matter how awkwardly, with a primitive truth that makes so direct an appeal to the spectator of all epochs that he himself looks at the scene with the child-like eyes of those early artists. Music, however, does not depict the external universe, but is the image of an invisible world, which can only be expressed in eternal tones by those who see it in its whole perfection and can reproduce it as they have seen it.
Anything less than this pales and fades in the course of time, even to unrecognisability. It may indeed be of historical interest, as the record of an aspiration towards a goal; but it has lost the power of giving direct artistic satisfaction. Schweitzer, Bach. The Cantata and the Passion before Bach, This is the experience of everyone who has been affected by the chorale preludes of Buxtehude and the other old masters. At first he is amazed at the artistic treasures he has discovered; when, however, he goes further into them, a more sober mood comes oyer him.
He realises that he has been looking at them comparatively, i. Thus the chorale preludes of the composers before Bach are finally, for the modern admirer who wishes to do them justice, and even more than justice, no more than what they are in themselves, forms that they created for the greater master who was to come after them, so that he might find them when he needed them, and make living things of them. S Bach, Vol. L Leipzig, The Older Church Music.
Marienkivche und die Abend- musiken m Lubeck; Leipzig, Jahrhunderts; Leipzig, The works of the composers mentioned in this chapter have almost all been published in the Denkmater der Tonkunst, In the history of the cantata there are two questions to be considered, a liturgical one and a musical one. How did it come about that in the evangelical church service a sacred concert should be inserted between the reading of the Gospel and the sermon, that is to say, precisely in the place where one would least expect a musical interruption of this kind?
This is the liturgical question. The musical question is concerned with the evolution of the old purely vocal motet into the cantata of Bach's time, with its arias, recitatives, and rich instrumental accompaniment. In order to understand how the cantata won its place in the church service we must begin at the new arrangement of worship in the Reformation epoch.
Luther did not banish the Mass from the service, but retained it, cutting out only the offertorium, the essentially Catholic act of sacrifice, and substituting the sermon for it. The Cantata and the Passion before Bach. But in the churches that had choirs this did not happen, since Luther himself had thought it desirable to retain the Latin choral song, at all events at first. In this he was partly influenced by the consideration that the Latin song would be a salutary exercise in that language for the young. From the time of Luther to that of Bach, these great musical pieces were common to both Protestant and Catholic services.
Bach himself copied out a number of Italian church-compositions, the copies have come down to us not because he had no better way of employing his time, but because they were to be performed on Sundays at St. Thomas's Church. Thus the distinction between Protestant and Catholic church-music, of which we hear so much, had not made its appearance at that epoch. What was inevitable under the circumstances now happened : the German hymns, in keeping with the German sermon, aimed at expressing the character of each Sunday. In the Introit, that Latin antiphonal song between the priest and the choir, the hymns could find no place of entry.
In the Gradual. How strong the tendency was to give the German hymns the imprint of the ecclesias- tical season is shewn by the fact that in the course of the second half of the sixteenth century each Sunday had allotted to it once for all its two or three hymns. A hymn- book published in is entitled Geistliche Lieder nach Ordnung der Jahreszeit ausgeteiU "Spiritual Songs distrib- ttted according to the Order of the Season".
Thus by the side of the German sermon on the Gospel for a given Sunday there sprang up a kind of parhelion, in the form of a sermon in music. Whatever docs not come within the range of its rays is lost in shadow. Musicians suddenly became conscious of a greater task before them than for ever writing fresh music to the statutory hymns of the Mass; there were new poems on the Gospel to be set to music year by year. The effect of this freer church music on them was to make them practically indifferent to the statutory musical portion of the service.
The same Kyrie or Gloria could be sung every Sunday, so long as the motets bearing on the sermon were new and expres- sive. So it came about that even in the churches where the art had its due place, the Mass was given wholly in figurate music only in rare cases, on high Feast-days, Ordinarily they were satisfied with "musicising" the Kyrie and the Gloria. They took more pleasure in composing new motet -texts than in turning into tone again and again, with deadly contempt, the woefully unmusical Nicene Creed, They would rather write a whole year's sermon-music than one complete Mass.taylor.evolt.org/teguk-citas-gratis-benissa.php
The Gospel Music. In this he was only following the instinct of Protestant church-music since the middle of the sixteenth century. The first important cycle of Gospel settings appeared in This ecclesiastical art was free, bound by no tradition and cramped by no convention.
The task it had set itself, of expounding the Gospel in music, was so great and so admirable that all the progress in music the whole world over seemed appointed only to bring German evangelical music nearer to its goal. In his whole life he could not recollect having had one completely healthy day. As a pastor in Silesia he saw the desolation wrought by the Thirty Years' War there. In the person of this youth, German art itself crossed the Alps, Instead of two years he re- mained 'four.
His teacher was Giovanni Gabrieli, who had such an affection for him that on his dying bed he be- queathed a ring to him. Gabrieli died in ; Schtitz accompanied him to the grave before returning home, His other teacher was Monteverde, the creator of the old Italian opera, by whose instruction he benefited again in when he spent another year in Venice. These two masters between them gave German art, which was now sitting at their feet in the person of Schtitz, just what it needed for its renaissance.
From Giovanni Gabrieli it learned a new polyphony. While Germany was still under the influence of the animated but slender counterpoint of the Nether- lands school, and lacked the power to develop it further unaided, the three great Venetian masters Andrea Gabrieli , his nephew Giovanni Gabrieli , andClaudio Merulo liad evolved a style which was at once bolder and more singable than that of the northern school.
Each separate voice really sings, is a musical personality. This new style was developed simul- taneously in organ music and choral music. Giovanni Gabriel! This oldest Italian opera must be absolved from the censure that Wagner pronounced upon the later one.