Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

By: Johann S. Bach
For: String quartet
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Composer
Johann S. Bach
Year of composition
1723
Arranger
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
2 minutes
Genre
Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

Johann Sebastian Bach's sacred Cantata No.147 "Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben" (BWV 147) (Heart and Mouth, Deeds and Life), was written for the feast of the Visitation of the Virgin Mary and first performed in its final definitive form in Leipzig to mark the feast day, July 2, 1723. Much of the work originated during the composer's tenure as Konzertmeister in Weimar, where upon his appointment in 1714 he also assumed responsibility for the provision of a new cantata each month for services held in the Duke's chapel. In its earliest form (BWV 147a), this cantata was intended to be given on the fourth Sunday of Advent, 1716. This version contained four main arias and an opening chorus, but no recitative sections, three of which were added later, along with the great chorale, which brings each of the main sections to its close. The autograph of the Leipzig version survives intact, but all except the opening movement of the first version has perished. Interestingly, the composer's original design for the Advent feasts at Weimar would have been considered entirely unsuitable by the church authorities in Leipzig, who had forbidden the performance of all concert music during this period of the liturgical year. Bach managed to overcome this restriction by incorporating references to the "Magnificat" (Luke 1:39-56) into the score, thus tailoring the cantata specifically to the Feast of the Visitation.

The final version begins with an elaborate chorus in C major, in which the celebratory tone is established by the fanfare-like opening section for orchestra. The vocal parts are in fugal form, with the entries staggered from the upper register to the lowest in succession, and later this ordering is skillfully reversed when the bass voices are heard first of all at reprise. A tenor recitative accompanied by strings alone is followed by an alto aria in the key of B minor, in which the oboe d'amore has a prominent obbligato role. The major aria of Part I is given to the solo soprano. As Nicolas Anderson has written, "Bereite dir, Jesu, in D minor with violin obbligato constitutes a lyrically expressive high point in the work. There is a beguiling innocence about the vocal line, while that of the violin, predominately in triplets, provides an ecstatic accompaniment." Part I concludes with the famous chorale known in English as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring."

This arrangement is for standard string quartet, with an optional bass part for use with string orchestra.

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Si. Mi chiamano Mimi, from "La boheme", Sleepy Sidney, The Barber of Seville - Overture, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 1. Grave - Allegro, Symphony No.29 - 4. Allegro con spirito, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 1. Allegro, Brandenburg Concerto No.3 - 2. Adagio - Allegro, Sonata "Pathetique" Op.13 - 2. Adagio cantabile, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 2. Rondeau, Sonata in A, KV 331 - 2. Menuetto and Trio, Ave Maria, Op.52 No.6, Song to the Moon, from "Rusalka", La Damnation de Faust - Rakoczy March, Swan Lake - Dance of the Cygnets, Symphony No.25 - 2. Andante, Water Music Suite No.2 in D, Song Without Words No.30 - Spring Song Op.62 No.6, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 1. Allegro, The Holly And The Ivy, Song Without Words No.45 - Scherzo Op.102 No.3, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 4. Bourree I and II, Pavane, Op.50, Orchestral Suite No.3 - 4. Bourree, Habanera from "Carmen", God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen, Birthday Minuet, Kinderszenen, Op.15 No.11 Furchtenmachen (Frightening), Children's Corner, No.6 The Golliwog's Cake-Walk, The Nutcracker - Overture, 16 Songs for Children, Op.54 No.6 Legend ("When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child"), Slavonic Dance, Op.72 No.2, String Serenade - 2. Waltz, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 3. Adagio, Habanera from "Carmen", Gradual, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", The Merry Wives of Windsor - Overture, O Christmas Tree, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 7. Badinerie, In Dulci Jubilo, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 6. Theme and variations, We Three Kings, Serenade No.10 , The Amazon Rag, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 3. Sarabande, The Blue Danube Waltzes, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 "The Wedding March", The Cannon Ball Rag, Symphony No.29 - 3. Menuetto, Deck The Halls, The Gladiator March, The High School Cadets, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Nocturne, The Manhattan Beach March, The Stars And Stripes Forever, Trio No.1, Brandenburg Concerto No.5 - 3. Allegro, O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fidelis), Trio No.3, Who Let The Cows Out?, Who Let The Cows Out? - For Sax Quartet (AATB), Sextet: Chi mi frena, from "Lucia di Lammermoor", Semper Fidelis, Radetzky March, Op.228, Preludes, Book 1 No.8 - The Girl With The Flaxen Hair, Piano Sonata No.14 "Moonlight" - 2. Allegretto, O soave fanciulla, from "La boheme", Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix, from "Samson et Dalila", Minute Waltz, Op.64 No.1, Lullaby, Lohengrin - The Bridal Chorus, Largo al factotum, from "The Barber of Seville", L'Estate ("Summer") - 2. Adagio, Presto, L'Estate ("Summer") - 1. Allegro non molto, L'Autunno ("Autumn") - 3. Allegro, King Cotton, Key-Stone Rag, I Got The Blues, Holberg Suite - 2. Sarabande, El Capitan, Duet: Sous le dome epais, from "Lakme", Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 3, Concerto for Two Violins "L'estro armonico" Op.3 No.8 - Movement 1, Chanson Triste, Op.40 No.2, Chanson de Matin, Canon in D, Brook Green Suite - 3. Dance, Bethena - A Concert Waltz, Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", Anvil Chorus, from "Il Trovatore", A Thousand And One Nights, A Cyclone in Darktown, A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 - Scherzo, The Flight of the Bumble Bee, Once in Royal David's City, Symphony No.29 - 1. Allegro moderato, Babes in Toyland - March of the Toys, Unto Us A Child Is Born, Rosamunde - Ballet Music No.2, Silent Night, Serenade No.10 "Gran Partita" - 2. Menuetto; Trio 1; Trio 2, Angels We Have Heard On High, William Tell - Overture, I Saw Three Ships, Symphony No.40 - 1. Allegro molto, Brandenburg Concerto No.6 - 2. Adagio ma non tanto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.7, O come, O come, Emmanuel, Symphonie Fantastique - 2. Un Bal, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 1. Overture, Away In A Manger, Orchestral Suite No.2 - 5. Polonaise and Double, Solomon - Act III, Sinfonia "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba", Symphony No.40 - 2. Andante, Auld Lang Syne, The Coventry Carol, Symphony No.25 - 4. Allegro, Water Music Suite No.3 in G, Carmen - Act 1: Prelude, Symphony No.40 - 3. Menuetto, Slavonic Dance, Op.46 No.8, O Little Town Of Bethlehem (1), Brandenburg Concerto No.2 - 1. Allegro, O Holy Night and 1812 Overture

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