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J.S.Bach "OB." "Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" BWV 614

9 years ago1K views

Gilberto Guarino plays (temperament: Werckmeister III/A=443)Bach's short chorale prelude BWV 614, one of the three ornamental works inserted in "Das Orgelbüchlein".
"Das alte Jahr vergangen ist" may well be understood as evoking the transitoryness of human experience.
Composed in the key of A minor, it employs "passus duriusculus" (twice up; twice down), as if the composer was eagerly endeavouring to convey the sense of the inevitable, at the same time suggesting a subtle inversion of time flow. It is inquiring and disturbing... Life is transitory, the old year has passed away, but consciousness stays aware of it...
The masterpiece ends up in a kind of defying "interrogation mark", which is achieved thanks to the use of "figura suspirationis", both in the soprano and alto parts, moving up through emphatic parallel motion.
Sebastian seems to pose a question that rises, rises, and rises, and... is never answered (the trillo seems obviously not to gain a suffix...)
Actually, Bach's musical mind was absolutely beyond limits.

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