Ah Golgotha - No 69 from Bach's St Matthew Passion
- An extended accompagnato recitative in an arioso style for contralto
- Story of Jesus hanging on the cross
- Obligato oboe de caccia - plaintive, sorrowful tone. Continues throughout with a repeated pattern which is like a wail
- Plaintive tone of contralto - richer than soprano yet still able to produce high, sighing effect
- Organ used - more appropriate for sorrowful mood than harpshicord
- Use of cello pizzicato broken chords - unique use of instrumenation (late baroque), could represent drops of blood
- Use of diminished harmony, eg. on 'shame and scorn must perish'
- Melody is fluid and expressive, createds a sighing effect due to being fairly disjunct eg. downward leap on 'ah gologtha'
- Unrestrained - close to speech however perhaps closer to singing than usual recitative, hence 'arioso style'
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The Death of Christ - 71 from Bach's St Matthew Pa
- Secco recitative
- Evangelist played by soprano, Jesus by bass giving Jesus the more powerful tone
- Swapping of roles like dialogue - Jesus speaks the hebrew 'Eli, Eli, Lama ...' and evangalist translates, 'My god, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?' . The different voices help mark this out.
- Very thin accompaniment, Jesus usually has a halo of strings but it is not there in this piece, to represent his death/dark hour
- Dissonance, flattened notes (Db and Fb in Eb maj) on words 'there was darkness all over the land'
- Choir in homophony represent mocking crowd, 'He calleth for Elias' syllabic and forceful with driving semiquaver string accompaniment (becomes accompagnato briefly)
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Christmas recitatives from Handel's Messiah 14a-15
- These recitatives for soprano move the story along, linking choruses 'For unto us a child is born' and 'Glory to god in the highest'
14 a 'There were shepherds abiding in the field'
- Simple secco, uses chords I and V in C with tonic pedal
14 b 'And lo, the angel of the lord came upon them'
- Accompagnato (aka stromentato)
- F major - bright, calm, heavenly major key
- Strings in high register and just cello for continuo
- Driving semiquaver string rhythm - beating of angels' wings
- Glistening, bright sound of violins' E string
- High, disjunt movement in the voice, arch shaped vocal line peaking at 'and the glory of the lord'
- leaps on 'and lo' (perfect 5th), 'lord' (perfect 4th), 'glory' (major 6th)
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Christmas recitatives from Handel's Messiah 15 and
No 15, 'and the angel said on to them'
- Back to secco
- Dominant lift from A major to E major 'to all people'
- Ends in F#m and uses a diminished chord - a sense of unease/mystery
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