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Samuel Barber: "Mutations from Bach"

November 6, 2015

Mutations from Bach

Samuel Barber

Born March 9, 1910, West Chester, Pennsylvania

Died January 23, 1981, New York, New York

Instrumentation: Orchestral Brass Section and Timpani

Duration: 6 minutes

Composed: 1968

 

Samuel Barber, Mutations from Bach

Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Marin Alsop, conductor

 

Mutations from Bach, compiled and arranged for brass ensemble and timpani by Samuel Barber, is made up of a short sequence of transformations of the plain-song, Christe, du Lamm Gottes (Christ, Thou Lamb of God). The original tune is first heard as harmonized by Joachim Decker in 1604, and then in Johann Sebastian Bach’s harmonization from Cantata No. 23 (1717-1723). Later, it is heard in canon at the twelfth, taken from the Chorale Prelude No. 21 from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (1708-1717), then quoted from the recitative section Ach, gehe nicht vorüber, from the earlier Cantata No. 23. The work concludes with a restatement of the original version of the chorale.

 

Original Source Materials of Christe, du Lamm Gottes:

 - Joachim Decker, Christe, du Lamm Gottes

 - J. S. Bach, Cantata 23 - (Christe, du Lamm Gottes begins on p. 117), BWV 23

 - J. S. Bach, Orgelbüchlein, Chorale Prelude No. 21, BWV 619

 - J. S. Bach, Cantata 23 - (Ach, gehe nicht vorüber begins on p. 104), BWV 23

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