It is by far the longest of the Ordinary texts, and consequently often the longest of the musical settings. In order to keep the music from becoming too long, composers often write music for the Credo that is syllabic one note per syllable , rather than melismatic many notes per syllable. Still, the musical setting of the Credo is long, an there are many points of interest meriting discussion. Setting only two lines of the Nicene Creed, this movement is the focus because it is at the center of the Christian belief system — that Christ was crucified, died, and was buried. In the subsequent movement, we hear of His resurrection, which completes this tenet of Christianity.
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It is by far the longest of the Ordinary texts, and consequently often the longest of the musical settings. In order to keep the music from becoming too long, composers often write music for the Credo that is syllabic one note per syllable , rather than melismatic many notes per syllable.
Still, the musical setting of the Credo is long, an there are many points of interest meriting discussion. Setting only two lines of the Nicene Creed, this movement is the focus because it is at the center of the Christian belief system — that Christ was crucified, died, and was buried. In the subsequent movement, we hear of His resurrection, which completes this tenet of Christianity.
Yet with just these few words, Bach creates a marvelous musical tapestry woven from seemingly disparate compositional and textual ideas. The bass melody is usually heard by itself at the start of the work; in this case, the ground bass appears in the continuo line played in all likelihood by the organ, cellos, and basses while the strings and flutes fill in the harmonies implied by the bass line.
Though Bach writes the bass line in E minor and Purcell in G minor, they are unmistakably the same. The minor key and overall downward movement create a lamenting feel — obviously what Purcell had intended in his setting. Bach, too, clearly intends the somber mood, since Christ hangs on the cross, then dies and is buried during this movement. There are thirteen statements of the ground bass altogether — representing Christ and the 12 apostles, perhaps?
The first eleven statements are identical in the bass, that is. The penultimate statement changes direction two measures from the end: instead of continuing the downward slide, this changes direction, leading back up from C-natural to C-sharp to D, which then resolves to G. This results in the movement ending in G Major, rather than E minor. Why, you might ask, since the text and music are so somber to this point?
You students of music theory might find it interesting to note no pun intended that it is not the bass line alone that promotes this change of key. In fact, an analysis of the supporting choral parts reveals the following pitches at the change of direction: C-sharp, G, E-flat, B-flat.
It usually resolves with the augmented interval here, E-flat and C-sharp sliding outward to an octave, and leads ultimately to the dominant of a key. Bach creates this chord in order to smooth the transition into the new key for the end of the movement:.
This is not the only example of word painting in this movement. Here are some other things of note, in no particular order:. The most common intonation, known even today in the Catholic Church, was the following:. Movement 3 is interesting for its scoring. Bach may very well have learned this technique from Vivaldi, whose works he definitely knew. Movement 4 is also interesting because it, too, has a criss-crossing idea in the orchestra which is present throughout the movement.
This again refers to the Crucifixion, even though the text does not yet mention that event. The vocal entrances again are imitative, with some outlining a triad — could this be another musical representation of the Trinity? Finally, the violins once again in unison play the same criss-crossing rhythmic idea in every measure of this movement. He had no choice? His path was fixed? His death inevitable? Subscribe to our newsletter to get performance announcements, Choir news, and updates about recordings or Bach Choir touring.
Splendid musicianship, rousing choruses, and the sublime voices of the soloists turned grief into joy and sorrow into triumph. What a thrill to hear those punchy, syncopated brass lines accompanying some really polished and vibrant singing. There was a miraculous blend of tone and balance throughout. The effortless virtuosity and stylistic homogeneity of the combined forces in the chapel's stone sanctity, allowed Bach's music to sing out with infectious, exhilarating enthusiasm.
The Bachs [J. B and C. E] could not have been better served, not to mention two English Renaissances, as well as our own time. It went beyond mere intelligent programming and committed performance, enriched by a deep sense of the mutual nourishment of music and faith. If it has flaws, they are like those that distinguish a fine emerald from the perfect clarity of a fake The more than vocalists displayed clean tone, excellent pitch and blend, and kept good tempo even in the most stressful numbers…outstanding, energetic and crisp.
The orchestra was a collection of top freelancers from around the Eastern Seaboard including several from Washington… baritone Dashon Burton, was the standout.
He has a clarion instrument that projects well throughout his range…a splendid dramatic performance. Greg Funfgeld has trained his singers to articulate words crisply, dance lightly when the music must move and blend elegantly. Charles Daniels stands out as a poetic and powerful Evangelist, William Sharp as a warmly inflected Jesus and Julia Doyle as a shining champion of the soprano arias.
The hauntingly beautiful voices of Taylor and Zsigovics—she in her festival debut—melted together like two precious metals, hers of bell-like clarity, his a more complex alchemy, with a sheen like liquid mercury. The conductor, orchestra, soloists, and chorus are eminently capable of the nuances of the rich harmonic texts …spirited and vivacious…It is not likely to get any better than this on this side of the Atlantic.
It also blends seamlessly with the excellent modern-instrument Festival orchestra which Greg Funfgeld conducts with an obvious knowledge of, and sensitivity to, modern performance practice.
The work of the soloists is excellent, too…Excitement, dedication, power—all things that we hear more and more seldom in Bach cantatas—lend distinction to this beautiful and well-produced recording. Greg Funfgeld…has revitalized this Pennsylvania institution, and Dorian is doing well to document its vibrancy in a recording series… genuine honesty and intelligence informs this performance…Funfgeld has forged a fine body of singers and players…tightly disciplined ensemble …rousing spirit and sacred joy aplenty.
This recording will not disappoint. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem gives him all he could have wanted. The Bach Choir gratefully acknowledges and thanks our sponsors and media partners for supporting our organization and the arts.
Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, Factorem caeli et terrae, Visibilum omnium, et invisibilium. Et ex Patre natum ante omnia saecula. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine, Deum verum de Deo vero. Genitum, non factum, Consubstantialem Patri: Per quem omnia facta sunt. Qui propter nos homines, Et propter nostram salutem Descendit de caelis.
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis: Sub Pontio Pilato passus, sepultus est. Et resurrexit tertia die, Secundum Scripturas. Et ascendit in caelum: Sedet ad dexteram Patris.
Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, Judicare vivos et mortuos: Cujus regni non erit finis. Et unam sanctam catholicam Et apostolicam Ecclesiam. Confiteor unum baptisma In remissionem peccatorum. Et expecto ressurectionem mortuorum.
Et vitam venturi saeculi. I believe in one God, Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, All things seen and unseen. Born of the Father before all ages. Begotten, not made, One in being with the Father: Through Him all things were made. For us men. And for our salvation He came down from heaven.
And ascended into heaven: He sits at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory To judge both living and dead: of His kingdom there shall be no end. Who with the Father and Son is adored and glorified: Who spoke through the Prophets.
And in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I confess one baptism For the remission of sins. And look for the resurrection of the dead. And the life of the world to come. Crucifixu etiam pro nobis: He was crucified also for us Sub Pontio Pilato passus, et sepultus est Suffered under Pontius Pilate, and was buried. Want to stay in-the-know?
Mass in B minor structure
Bach structured the work in four parts: . The four sections of the manuscript are numbered, and Bach's usual closing formula S. Some parts of the mass were used in Latin even in Lutheran Leipzig, and Bach had composed them: five settings of the Missa , containing the Kyrie and the Gloria , and several additional individual settings of the Kyrie and the Sanctus. To achieve the Missa tota , a setting of the complete text of the mass, he combined his most elaborate Missa, the Missa in B minor, written in for the court in Dresden , and a Sanctus written for Christmas of
BWV 232 — Credo [Symbolum Nicenum]