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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bach Crucifixus

The piece begins in e minor. The progression repeating progression is played in the first four bars of the piece. Up till measure 15 we have a main melodic motive that is passed from voice to voice focused on the word crucifixus. It is two half notes followed by two quarter notes followed by a half note. It happens 8 times, all in different keys and slightly different intervalic changes. Then in mesaure 13 it is inverted a bit and elongated. Here in measure 15 the meat of the piece begins as Bach has now firmly established "crucifixus." There is now a sense of development and expository nature with much counterpoint. In the bars following bar 15 the word crucifixus is passed, still, amongst the choir but this time in straight half notes. In bar 20 we see more quarter notes arising creating almost some mellisma-like melodies. Bar 25 is almost a combination of the quarters and halves. At 30 there is much congruity of rhythm. Beginning in bar 37 the texture thins again. The word crucifixus is the focus as it inhabits another melodic motive. This time it is augmented. As the voices echo this the texture begins to get thicker and thicker and each line then operates independently creating a very thick and busy texture yet still remaining somewhat transparent. In bar 49 we feel the beginning of the terminative section. As the rhythm is more uniform throughout the ensemble and the texture is quite thick, ending in G major.

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