scrolling scores

Reading further in Gardiner’s Bach, I’ve arrived at his treatment of Bach’s first cantatas, written when he was in his early 20s. Christ lag in Todesbanden was, Gardiner thinks, “most likely composed for his probationary audition for the position of organist at Muhlhausen” (pg 131). The music itself is very familiar to me, via lots of iterations of Bach’s cantatas on vinyl when we lived in Nova Scotia and there was always music in the house, but I’ve never had occasion to make any study of this or any other cantata. I’m pleased to discover that YouTube has an animated version that allows me to follow along with the text:

Truth to tell, I can’t really grasp the harmonic ideas with both hands, but Gardiner’s description of the parts of the piece makes much more sense to me via the score than through ears alone.

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