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My First Cantata / Guitar Transcriptions

Harry J. Steinman wrote (July 28, 2001):
[Reply to a message from Nagamiya Tutomu under the thread ‘My First Cantata’] The XO (BWV 248) is one of my favorites also... especially the sinfonia to the 2nd cantata and the alto aria in the same cantata. I've always felt that the sinfonia would be wonderful transcribed for a guitar.

Aryeh Oron wrote (July 29, 2001):
[To Harry J. Steinman] Are you aware that there is a complete CD dedicated to Music from Bach Cantatas arranged for solo guitar and chamber orchestra? It is performed by Christopher Parkening (guitar) and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra with Paul Shure (leader). The details of the recording appear in the Bach Cantatas Website in the following page: . Alas, the CD, charming as it is, does not include any movement from CO!

Kirk McElhearn wrote (July 29, 2001):
[To Harry J. Steinman] Geez, Harry, what time do you wake up? :-)

Harry J. Steinman wrote (July 29, 2001):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks, Aryeh, for the suggestion. I've long enjoyed Parkening's work and his Bach but somehow this recording escaped my attention.

One of the more interesting transcriptions I've run across recently is the Orchestral Suites performed by Paul Galbraith and his Brazilian Guitar Quartet (Delos 3254).

But I still dream of hearing the sinfonia of the second cantata of the Christmas Oratorio transcribed for guitar. Ah well...


Transcribing Arias

Adam strange wrote (January 15, 2004):
Quick question,

Is it bad form to transcribe cantata arias from their original key to make it suitable for other voices for solo performances and or recitals? Likewise is it allowed to take arias up or down the octave to allow the opposite gender to sing them as well? If not, does anyone know of any good alto arias that shows off agility as well as tone. The tenor aria from BWV 83 (movement 3) is perfect if transcribed up, however, before i do that i want to make sure i'm not breaking any "Don't disturb the dead" rules or anything like that. ANY input would be greatly appreciated.

Bradley Lehman wrote (January 15, 2004):
[To Adam Strange] Bach transposed pieces all the time, to suit circumstances and sound good. And pitch wasn't even the same from town to town, anyway.

I'd say the only way to make sure the music stays dead and undisturbed is to treat it rigidly.

Permission enough?

Matthew Neugebauer wrote (January 17, 2004):
[To Adam Strange] Transposing of arias, as well as choral movements, is (from what I can see) a part of the normal parody process that was common with the time, and especially with Bach. The problem lies in changing the tone quality, as the orchestral accompaniment was usually written to suit the colour of the voice. If you will be performing it with piano accompaniment however, I see no problem with it, but others may.

How about the alto aria from the same work? Looking at the score it seems to require a fair bit of agility, despite the fact that the given tempo is slower.

Just my CD2 cents

Jason Marmaras wrote (January 17, 2004):
[To Adam Strange] A suggestion could be Bleibe doch, Nr. 4 from BWV 11 "Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen is quite an elaborate and agility-requiring Aria, inspite of the slow tempo I would deduct from the mood (and from the resemblance to the BWV 232 Messe h-moll Agnus Dei (Nr.26) Aria).

Perhaps the well-known "Bereite dich Zion" from BWV 248 Weinachts-Oratorium could also serve, although I didn't check out the difficulty of the Tenor aria you suggested (insufficient research again, I pray you forgive it).


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Last update: ýJune 4, 2008 ý19:31:02