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On November 30, 2002, the concert of "Gloria Ensemble and Choir Vol.10" will be performed. Here is the information of the concert. I belong this group as a harpsichord player. The piece in this year is the whole of J. S. Bach's Mass in B-minor (BWV 232)! It is famous and one of the greatest works of Johann Sebastian Bach! Of course, it needs Basso Continuo's activity and it is heavy work! ... What are waiting for us ? Please read the following...
NOTE : I divide "Gloria Diary 2002" as the following;
It is very humid and hot. Today is the day of "the 2nd combined training". I once thought that I would tune my harpsichord. But it is useless because the hall where we would train is conditioned to cool. The difference of temperature between the hall and outside makes my instrument out of order. I decided that tuning should be after my arrival to the hall. I arrived to the hall one hour before the training would be started. And I began to tune my instrument. It is out of order. There are strings about 80 different from "right" pitch. It is almost semitone! I continued my tuning and it was finished about 10 minutes before the training.
Ms. Mitsuko Sakamoto joined us as an organ player. I feel it is better than the situation where there is only harpsichord as continuo keyboard.
The scene which I was impressed was "Quoniam tu solos sanctus(For you alone are holy.) This is only piece that uses horn in "Mass in B-minor"(It was "Corno da caccia"(hunting horn) in J. S. Bach's period.)
The player of horn is Mr. Sadao Ueno. He makes good sound with high-tension. It is very nice! My performance was affected his sound. Great! This music is nice "Prelude" before "Cum sancto spiritu"(With holly spirit).
I feel that I made advance of my reading this music. But it is not still enough. Especially, the middle section of compound ternary form, I still do not recognize the progress of harmony. It has complex chord progress and modulations.
In addition, the violin part in the 2nd piece of "Kyrie", that is, "Christe eleison"(Christ, have mercy) is not still good. But I have something like sympathy about this. The articulation of violin part is very complex in "Christe eleison". Let me show in the following music sheet.
The articulation is directly related with "bowing". Perhaps, the way of bowing has not been well known in all number of violin parts. And please see complex "interval number" in basso continuo. It shows that this piece has complex progress of chord and modulations. In addition, continuo introduces the figure of the beginning of this piece of the violins in the 10th bar. So we understand that continuo is important role in this piece. This "Christe eleison" is "light" music just after long fugue of the 1st "Kyrie". But we should be careful in playing it. It has complex articulation in violin part, complex chord progress and modulation, and importance of continuo.
The other pieces adapted in today's training was "Confiteor unum baptisma" (I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins) and " Et expecto resurrectionem mortuorum" (and I look for the resurrection of the dead), which are in "Symbolum Nicaenum" (Creed of Nicaea), and the beginning of "Sanctus"(Holy, (God, Lord)). These are still "reading music sheets" and we should study much more.
And there were remarkable actions. Some players of instruments added the training of chorus, and some chorus singers sought full score to study. I think that these actions are very good "to know each other".
There are many recordings of J. S. Bach's Mass in B-minor. But I had have only one CD, which is conducted John Eliot Gardiner. It is not enougth. So I bought anther compact disk of Mass in B-minor conducted by René (Rene) Jacobs.
Just after buying, I opened the package and started to listen.
The sound is "softer" than the CD by J. E. Gardiner. The sound of chord is somewhat like of "Romantic study". But each part can be clearly listened and I can distinguish each part. Especially, the pieces which has fugal structure, I can listen not only fugal theme but also counterpoint very clearly. I was surprised.
The package of CD says that the chorus is "RIAS-Kammerchor, Berlin" (RIAS chamber chorus, Berlin). I also surprised its united voices. Sometimes it becomes difficult to judge "chorus" or "solo singers". Probably it is very important to unite voices in chorus in performing Mass in B-minor.
The performance of "Credo in unum Deum"(I believe in one God) in "Symbolum Nicenum"(Creed of Nicaea) in this CD mostly surprised me. This piece starts as the following music sheet.
I have heard that the melody firstly appearing tenor and imitated other voices and violins is a quotation of "Credo" of Gregorian chant.
In the recording by J. E. Gardiner, it was strongly performed. The quarter notes in continuo are also performed with marcato in his recording. But R. Jacobs's performance is very different from it. The "seven part of voice" - chorus of 5 parts and violin of 2 part - are treated softly such like "the world of the music by Palestrina (Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina"). I firstly amazed, but "Credo in unum Deum" was written with "ancient style". So it is natural way to perform this "Palestrina style".
This "Jacobs's Edition" has many difference from "Gardiner's edition". I will this recording carefully.
Now, listening two recording CD's of "Gardiner's edition" and "Jacobs's edition", I have one problem. My problem is for "Et in terra pax hominibus" (And on earth peace to men of goodwill) in "Gloria".
J. S. Bach used fugal development in his composing of "Et in terra pax hominibus". The theme of this fugal development is different in "Gardiner's edition" and "Jacobs's edition".
The difference can be shown in the word of "hominibus". Let me show it.
As you can see, there is dotted note in "Gardiner's edition", but there is not in "Jacobs's edition". Which is right? I try to answer this question although I am an amateur and don't have enough knowledge or "items". It may be reckless :-P. Please allow me to do such reckless analysis.
Firstly, I watch the figured bass of continuo.
We can see that the first note and the second note are eighteenth notes and figures (numbers) of continuo are same point of these eighteenth notes.
If these "interval number" is correct, fugal theme should be parallel to basso continuo with 6th interval, i.e., the soprano part cannot have dotted notes.
Then, can we judge "Gardiner's edition" to be wrong? No. "Jacobs's edition" has another problem. Please see the following music sheet. It is the appearance of theme in the second soprano in E-minor. Obeying "Jacobs's edition", I suppose that there are no rhythm of dotted note in the fugal theme.
We can find that there are "parallel fifth" between the second soprano and bass emphasized by continuo. "Parallel fifth" is famously forbidden in theory of harmony. If there is a rhythm with dotted note, it can be avoided. But J. S. Bach was sometimes "indulge" for the parallel fifth. The fugal theme without dotted note may have been J. S. Bach's consideration.
My answer about this problem is --
"I give up. I cannot answer for about this problem!"(Bomb!)
I hope please let me know which is "right".
It is still hot. I cannot believe this hot day will be stopped in the next autumn. Today's "combined training" is scheduled to start at 6:00 p.m. But I arrived the hall to train 5:00 p.m. in order to adapt my harpsichord to the environment of the training hall. And I want to eat light supper neighbor from the training hall. During I was eating dishes, the conductor Mr. Kataoka came to enter. We talk about the difference of "Gardiner's edition " and "Jacobs's edition" with each other.
And I gave him printed this web page. (He does not have his Internet environment.). He said, "Thank you very much. I am looking forward to reading the pages about the next day." Uum, was it his pressure to update this web page?
Today's training is from the beginning of the 1st "Kyrie", going through "Gloria", and "Symbolum Nicaenum" (Creed of Nicaea) and reached to the end of "Sanctus" (Holly, God, Holly Lord) without few rest. I somewhat tired.
Now, for about today's training, please let me tell two items. The first one is "My preparation or analysis agrees the indication of Mr. Kataoka's consideration". The second one is "The section where I cannot understand how to perform X-( ).
Let me write the former. Please allow I will be proud myself :-).
The music is "Gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam" (We give you thanks for Your great glory). It begins as follows. It can be called one types of "double fugue" (fugue which has two themes.)
Mr. Kataoka's indication was,
"This music rises from about the 27th measure, cool down in the neighbor of the 33rd measure and goes to the climax from the 35th measure."
I think it is very reasonable indication. "Gratias" is performed in my CD's (by Gardiner and by Jacobs) like Mr. Kataoka's indication.
And I have founded that this indication can be lead from music score. From the 27th bar in the score, "the 1st theme of double fugue" is introduced in the order of bass, alto, tenor and soprano. Just after the introduction of theme in soprano, this goes out from chorus and played by two trumpets.
The following music sheet is from the 31st measure, where two trumpets introduce theme.
Please watch this music sheet carefully.
These suggest the above Mr. Kataoka's indication.
Most remarkable instrumentation is the behavior of timpani introduced on the 35th measure.
In J. S. Bach's "Mass in B-minor", the timpani are tuned and fixed with D and A. So they cannot perform "main melody". But from the 35th measure in "Gratias", we can find that timpani try to trace the theme on bass. In this section, the set of timpani is not only "drum" but also "melody instrument" making unison with bass. It means that the theme in bass part from the 35th measure should be performed dignifiedly. So the beginning of this piece, bass part should start with saving its energy.
Mr. Kataoka gave us another indication.
"There are no rest between 'Crucifixus'(He was crucified) and 'Et resurrexit'(And He was resurrected)."
This indication also can be lead from the score.
At first we read the word of "Crucifixus".
Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato, passus et spultus est. (For our sake He was crucified under Pontio Pilato, He suffered death and was buried.)
While, "Et resurrexit" begins with the following words.
Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum Scripturas (And He was resurrected on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;)
These two sets of words -- the former mentions "death" and the latter mentions "the Resurrection" -- are opposite of each other. And the latter subsequently occurred to the former. The feeling of "the stream of time" is required to tell these sentences. So it is need to combine these two.
Mr. Kataoka's indication can be understood only reading words. It is not interesting for amateur music performer. So let me show what music J. S. Bach made.
Firstly, I show the beginning of "Crucifixus"(He was crucified).
"Crucifixus" is on the ostinato ofContinuo's chromatic figure. It is called "lament bass". It is repeated thirteen (!) times and mixed chorus develops various motions. Now, our object is to see the contrast and combining between "Crucifixus" and "Et resurrexit". Now I show the border of these two pieces in the following music sheet.
We can find that the main contents of the music of "Crucifixus" is end on the first note of the 49th measure. In the 48th measure, "A" appears and there is progress of "Subdominant - Dominant - Tonic". It is possible to stop "Crucifixus" at this point.
But J. S. Bach used an idea. After the 48th measure, the music is only of chorus and of continuo. The chord progress from 48th bar to the end is different from before 47th bar. And "Crucifixus" ended with tonic chord of G-major. "Tonic of G-major" is equal to "Subdominant of D-major". So we can conclude that there is a chord progress of "IV (Subdominant) → I (Tonic)". This skilled control of chord tightly combine "Crucifixus" and "Et resurrexit".
Of course, J. S. Bach made "contrast" between "Crucifixus" and "Et resurrexit". We can easily see it in instrumentation. Three trumpets, one set of timpani, two oboes, and the 1st soprano - all of these makes gorgeous sound and they are not used in "Crucifixus". And "D-major" is bright key of celebration. (It is deeply related the sound of open string of instruments of violin family.)
So I conclude that the aim of Mr. Kataoka's indication of,
"There are no rest between 'Crucifixus' and 'Et resurrexit'."
is "to make tight combination of these two and to emphasize contrast between these two".
The above is the point where my preparation or analysis agrees the indication of Mr. Kataoka's indication, i.e., my "success". The next is the series of my failure. (Bomb!)
The above was "to be proud myself". But in this section I will show my failure. I would NOT like to show my failure. So I will write as short as possible.☼O=(--;)
The first is in "Laudamus te"(We praise You). J. S. Bach wrote exquisite music for "Laudamus te"(We praise You) using instrumentation of soprano solo, solo violin, and strings with continuo. It starts as the following.
And the following is the place of "my failure".
There are only soprano solo and continuo in these bars. So continuo player should decide chord according to figured bass. But there are many modulations and strange chord progresses in this section. Frankly saying, the chord progress in this section is too complex for me to play! I should study in this section more.
It is the "first failure". I would not like to explain any more about this.
I will explain the next one. It is in "Et resurrexit"(He was resurrected).
The instrumentation of this section is "bass chorus, strings and continuo". But strings are not important. They are helping the chord of continuo.
So I can say that the instrumentation is in reality only 2 parts, i.e., "bass chorus and continuo".
The latter half has serious problem. Although this music is 3/4 meter, there are region with 4/4 meter (indicated with red sign). Before grasping chord, I am confused this complex meter.
I have heard that this section is difficult for bass of chorus. But also it is difficult for bass of instrument (= continuo). Bass singers! Shall we suicide with me? (← Stupid!)
Today is the date of the fourth "combined training". It is still hot and humid and I have been somewhat tired from this weather. x-(
The program of today's training is from "Et incarnatus est"(He became incarnate) in "Credo or Symbolum Nicenum"(Creed of Nicaea)" to "Dona nobis pacem"(Grant us piece). This was the first time to train the last-half of this Mass. Let me write down some notification I found.
"Et resurrexit"(He was resurrected.) shows a typical style of baroque concerto and it is similar to many movements in Bach's concertos. (I have already shown the music sheet of "Et resurrexit" in August 4.) Its "concerto style" is so familiar for me that I exceeded the speed! If it were my solo concert, the damage might be small. However, I am a member of "Gloria Ensemble". My exceeding of the speed influenced all members of cello and double bass. It is my dangerous point! x-(
"Sanctus"(Holly (Lord)) begins as the following.
We should be careful for the dynamic of this piece. Especially, the word "sanctus" should be performed with
However, there are difficult cases to do it for the chorus. I worry that it is hardly possible for the chorus parts singing as the following music sheet.
I consider that "Instruments should help SANCTUS."
Especially, basso continuo including cello and double bass is almost exactly tracing "sanc-tus" except for just before "Pleni sunt coeli et terra in gloria ejus"(Heaven and earth are full of his glory), that is, from the 46th measure shown in the following music sheet.
So I feel that basso continuo's dynamics in the notes corresponding brings good effect to the chorus. I will try the next training and after.
Additionally saying, instrumental bass part (including me) should be careful in triplet from the 46th measure. We tend to exceed the speed. (^^;)
In "Sanctus", it is needed to help the chorus not only the first half, but also the last half, i.e., "Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria ejus"(Heaven and earth are full of his glory) with fugal development. Let me show the beginning 35 measures. It is from the beginning of fugue to the completion of introductions of the fugal theme.
You can see that the accompanying instruments are only basso continuo with cello and double bass until the 72nd measure where bass of chorus introduces the theme of the fugue.
This fugue, next "Ossana", and the first piece of "Gloria", i.e., "Gloria in excelsis Deo" are characterized with 3/8 meter. J. S. Bach used this "3/8-meter" in various instrumental movements as the following.
Roughly saying, we can say that these music has the character of some kinds of baroque dance music EItalian corrente or French passpied etc. I do not know how to express with singing, but I can express it with clavier (keyboard instrument). In addition, the fugue of this "Pleni sunt coeli" is not choral but instrumental. It is typical "Spielfuge"(German word which means "fugue to play with instrument"). I feel it is difficult to express the atmosphere of 3/8 only in chorus. I do not say that chorus should express the feeling of baroque dance music. Nevertheless, helping chorus from instrument -- especially from continuo with cello and double bass.
Today's training included "Ossana"(Hosanna), "Benedictus"(Blessing), "Agnus Dei", and "Dona nobis pacem"(Lamb of God). We have read all pieces of this Mass. From now on, we should "read between the staff"; that is, to notice expression, to consider and care the dynamic, and articulation etc. We should pay effort more than the training until today.