Bach - Crucifixus

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  • Created by: sharvey08
  • Created on: 30-04-14 14:10

Context within work, genre

Context within work, genre

  • From the creed section of the mass
  • Central bit of the text
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Text and text setting

Text and text setting

  • Minor key prevails until the last few bars
  • the nature of the bass sets the mood - Chromatic descending low mood.
  • The melodic live emphasises the mood - e.g. The vocal line desends
  • The parts descend in order.
  • The ground bass is repeated 13 times
  • The text at the very end is about the christ being buried - very low tessitura (word painting)
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Melody and Rhythm

Melody and Rhythm 

  • Vocal melody at the start uses short phrases which descends
  • The second melodic idea at figure H uses chromatic intervals and an awkward augmented 2nd interval (UP)
  • The alto part uses the same interval
  • Very dramatic writing in the vocal lines 
  • Long phrases - "etiam pro nobis" hard to manage
  • Bar 25 lost of chromatisicm adds to the overall mood
  • Awkward shapes in the soprano part
  • The phrase lengths apart from the opening are long and angular
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Tonality and Harmony

Tonality and Harmony

  • E minor (The Tonic)
  • Descending chromatic bass results in chromatic chords conveys the mood
  • The bass line is harmonised differently
  • Bar 2 diminished 7th, bar 3 not quite a diminished 7th chord
  • Soprano comes in on "crucifixus" on a suspension (preparation, clash, resolution)
  • Alto part very poignant
  • Suspensions are common
  • Bar 17 - Bach sometimes alters the harmonisation of this ground bass. For example he chose to use E major rather than the tonic E minor.
  • Chromatically alters the chord bar 24 - moves from a bright b major chord to an a minor chord
  • False relations - bar 25/26, false relation between the soprano and the bass
  • the last statement moves to G major - representing the ressurection. 
  • Changes the direction of the bass.
  • Moves to the new key through an augmented 6th
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Texture

Texture

  • The introduction is melody and accompaniment
  • The chords have a chordall texture
  • When the vocals enter the texture becomes immitative
  • There's some sequential movement of that idea
  • Most of the entries are immitative
  • Contrapuntel texture
  • More monophonic passage from bar 29
  • At figure D theres an immitative texture and uses similar shapes but this time they're inverted.
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Structure

Structure

  • Through composed structure
  • The piece is structured through the ground bass
  • 4 bar introduction (instrumental)
  • Second vocal phrase repeats the same idea from the first vocal phrase
  • Largest phrases from bar 13, vocals overlap with the bass.
  • Ground bass bars 1 - intro
  • Ground bass heard 13 times.
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