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Samuel Barber, "Mutations From Bach" Resources

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), sometimes attributed to Michael Praetorius.

The original tune is first heard as harmonized by Joachim Decker in 1604, and then in Johann Sebastian Bach’s choral harmonization from Cantata No. 23 (1717-1723).

Click to enlarge. Full version of Cantata No. 23 available from IMSLP.

For more higher resolution images, download .pdf version.

Later, the chorale is heard in canon at the twelfth, taken from the Chorale Prelude No. 21 from Bach’s Orgelbüchlein (1708-1717)...

Higher resolution .pdf available from IMSLP.

...then quoted from the recitative section Ach, gehe nicht vorüber, from the earlier Cantata No. 23.

Click to enlarge. Full version of Cantata No. 23 available from IMSLP.

For more higher resolution images, download .pdf version.

The work concludes with a restatement of the original version of the chorale.

This post also appears on umwindorchestra.com.

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© 2019 Brian Coffill