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Monday, April 11, 2005

Bach- Mass in B minor- Crucifix

The four measure harmonic progression is introduced in the beginning, and is repeated throughout the entirety of the piece without any change. What varies is the elements that occur outside of the bass harmony, especially in the upper voices. In measures 5, the soprano voice first comes in and introduces a short 1&1/2 measure melodic motive. It passes it down through each voice and then back up again, each one overlapping the other. It changes in tonality but maintains the same rhythm and most of the contour through measure 14. This part of the piece is very simple but the passing of voices retains interest. The in measure 15, a new melodic motive is introduced. Material similar to the m. 5-14 repeats is maintained and developed in the duration of the piece, but it is more contrapuntal with mini voices going at the same time, giving a sense of an unrelenting, constant motion (giving the sense of a death march as Jesus carries the cross to the top of the mountain). The treble part of the accompany contains blocked half note chords with constant change in the chord notes, maintaining the same texture throughout the entire piece, again creating this feeling of a march to the top, with no turning away from the suffering that awaits at the top of the mountain. Thank Jesus for continuing to take that walk.

2 comments:

mvittorio said...

Wow. What vivid imagery. This is your interpretation right? That certainly adds to the somber character of the piece.

Martin Buber said...

so do you think the contrapuntal part added variation to the harmonic progression by adding a little harmonic complexity to it?