Blogs

The Trumpet in the Work of Johann Sebastian Bach

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

The following article is a small analytical contribution of literature for trumpet throughout the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Learn about Gottfried Reiche, the trumpeter who had the fortune of inaugurating most of the composer’s work for this instrument, view the most common trumpets of that time and the connection of factors that allowed an immortal legacy of instrument building during the height of the baroque trumpet era, and what would become of great importance for the future development of this instrument. See, one by one, the cantatas, oratorios, suites and the other sixty-five compositions where the trumpet appears, as well as a brief symbolic analysis and catalogue. This is an enthusiastic perspective, from a trumpeter’s point of view, who admires and rejoices in such works of art; works that are exalted and eternal. There is always a beneficial gift after performing the music autographed by Bach.

The miracle of possibilities

The trumpet in all the work of Bach, the trumpeter Gottfried Reiche and the natural trumpet

It is possible that we, the trumpeters, are the ones who establish the limits of possibilities on our own instruments. When it is say that a piece is not “trumpet-like” (although the notes in that piece may not be within their usual register or may not be very appropriate for the trumpet), perhaps we, the interpreters, limit the possibilities of development and progress of technique on the trumpet. In fact, historically, this very thing has happened. Thanks to the miracle of possibilities, we turned a boorish and dull metal tube into an incredible musical instrument (obviously manufactured within its limitations), an instrument which responds to the wonderful, yet inadequate natural-harmonic series that exists in and of itself through the physics of acoustics — a series which is infinite, it has no theoretical end, yet exists within a succession of tonalities and capable sonorities: that instrument is the natural trumpet (used in the keys of D, C and F). That is, until we arrived at the chromatic trumpet in the middle of the XIX century, where all the assortment of notes within the different tonalities could be reproduced, finally becoming an instrument that equaled others with respect to melodic opportunities.

At the Andalusian Saxophone Days — organized and held in 1998 in Seville (Spain) by the renowned Italica Saxophone Quartet, I was fortunate to hear the words of the excellent French pedagogue, and saxophonist, Jean-Marie Londeix during the conference (a person responsible for the advancement of modern saxophone music), where he proclaimed that for the interpretative development of an instrument (in this discussion he was referring to the saxophone, although his intention was global and transcended the saxophone), three aspects were indispensable. They then had to merge into a whole:

  1. Scientific advancement, at the hands of the constructors and technicians of the instruments themselves, instructed by their own truthful logic and creativity or by the advice of performers of said instrument.
  2. Musical works and the open-mindedness of performers that go beyond current capabilities of the instrument, in addition to their tenacity, thus implementing an interpretative investigation that leads to a leap beyond the boundaries that  would have been almost unthinkable to imagine in the past.
  3. And, as the culmination of this idea expressed by Londeix, the composer’s courage and talent to write phrases in the scores that, due to their technical difficulty, would have previously been unimaginable represent. And I say courage, because there is no doubt one of the people most responsible for the result of a work is the composer himself, whose talent or vision of the future is the sense of musical propagation that may cause a veiled perniciousness or negative criticism.

The trumpet makers

Natural trumpets makers, those who constructed the instruments from the fifteenth century until the early nineteenth, began to organize a guild in the German city of Nuremberg, along with the guild of boilermakers (those dealing with the construction of metal), became independent and created their own corporation in the XVI century (although they maintained their original family entrepreneur spirit of each region), thanks to the numerous requests for trumpets, specifically from the northern region of Germany. The most important families were the Ehe, Haas, Neuschel and Schnitzer’s families. In all these dynasties of builders, there were also interpreter-builders, and made improvements on the sonority, facility and scientific development of the instrument over the centuries, little by little. In the end, this was even beneficial for the progress of musical literature written for the instrument.

La ciudad de Núremberg (xilografía del Liber chronicarum coloreada a mano, 1493)
La ciudad de Núremberg (xilografía del Liber chronicarum coloreada a mano, 1493).
Gottfried Reiche
Gottfried Reiche.

Gottfried Reiche


Gottfried Reiche was a friend of Bach (mentioned by the composer himself in a letter to the City Council on August 23, 1730), a musician of recognized talent during his time, and a virtuoso of the trumpet. Since Bach’s arrival in Leipzig, Germany in 1723 (where Reiche was already established, until the death in 1734), he used Reiche as his first trumpeter. In a certain way, perhaps Bach was inspired to break down certain instrumental barriers and encouraged to write trumpet parts with greater technical difficulty, having a musician that was capable of making these parts a reality, and thus, writing music that ahead of its time. The natural talent that the Reiche presumably possessed made those clarino[1]The upper register of the trumpet, which is called the clarion or clarino register, turns out to be the most complicated to execute — since it requires the instrumentalist to have precise dexterity, tuning and technical control to obtain a credible and well-executed result. voices a reality (in a higher range that allowed the trumpet to perform in a continuous and intrepid, and musical way, therefore music of greater difficulty, especially in the sense of interpretation, that would almost seem to be impossible to execute with full accuracy prior to this era). Understanding this accuracy is a way of understanding the sound and musical temperament at the time. Also adding the control of dynamics, which is even more difficult with passages in the higher register where the trumpeter needs more control as to not cover the solo voice/s. Thus, it is a miracle that a great trumpeter such as Reiche was around, that difficult works could be written on many occasions. Without Reiche, it may have been impossible to write these parts and would not have benefited to the science of the instrument in further generations… And all of this in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries!

Gottfried Reiche was born on February 5, 1667 in Weissenfels (Germany), a city that had a great tradition of trumpet players, from which the famous composer Altenburg[2]The Altenburgs (Johann Caspar, father and Johann Ernst, son) were famous trumpeters from Weissenfels. also emerged. In 1688 Reiche traveled to Leipzig, becoming the Assistant Principal Stadtpfeifer[3]Stadtpfeifer was a multi-instrumentalist, who would play the trumpet, the sackbut, the shawm (a kind of chirimia), the flute and even some string instruments in the case of Reiche. and promoted to Principal Stadtpfeifer in 1706. When the trumpeter Johann C. Genzmer died in 1719, Reiche took his place as Principal Stadtmusicus[4]Stadtmusicus was a municipal musician.. Like the famous trumpeter Johann Christoph Pezel, he also composed turmmusik (tower music) and 122 abblasen-stücken (trumpet calls), of which only one is preserved. It was recovered thanks to a transcription from an oil portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, holding a helical trumpet (a coiled variant of the natural trumpet) in one hand and the music for the the abblasen in the other.

Kept in the municipal archive of Leipzig, the following report of Wednesday, October 6, 1734, appears in Johannes Riemer chronicle[5]Chronicle by Johannes Riemer of the municipal archive of Leipzig. Translating the text consulted “Trad. a.”.:

On precisely this day, the highly skilled and most artistic musician and Stadtpfeifer, Herr Gottfried Reiche, the Leucopetra-Misnicus and senior member of the municipal company of musicians in this place, suffered a stroke as he was going home and dropped dead in the Stadtpfeifer-Allee not far from his house, where he was taken. The reason for this was on account of the enormous strain he suffered the night before, while blowing [the trumpet] for the royal music, his condition having been greatly aggravated from the smoke given off by the torch-lights.

Leipzig en el siglo XVII
Leipzig en el siglo XVII.

Bach’s use of the trumpet

Ultimately, based on the orders of the three priorities exhibited by Londeix (above, and icing on the cake for this trio of pleasant consequences and blessed coincidences), we have the great composer, Johann Sebastian Bach. Much has been written about him and it is almost impossible to disclose any fresh facet of his life or works that has not been resolved or explained in great detail. In relation to what is known, I would like to point out that the father of his second wife was also a trumpet player (Johann Caspar Wilcken and Anna Magdalena, respectively). Bach worked in the courts of Zeitz and Weimar. It is also been documented that his father (Johann Ambrosius Bach) was also a trumpet player. But, per Christoph Wolff’s biography of the composer (the most authoritative and applauded biography of the composer), Johann Ambrosius was mainly a flutist that may have also played the trumpet. In that sense, Johann Sebastian Bach clearly knew the timbre and characteristics of the instrument, even though no reliable historical facts are known of Johann Sebastian himself playing trumpet. At that time, musicians were multi-instrumentalists. But, as everyone now knows, Bach played the organ, harpsichord, viola, violin and voice.

Within his important legacy, Bach wrote sixty-five works where the trumpet prominently appears, and where the literature is developed in a masterful manner. He was in Leipzig from 1723 as a master cantor at St. Thomas Church, until his death in 1750, which coincided with Reiche’s time in Leipzig.

Gottfried Reiche y Johann Sebastian Bach
Gottfried Reiche y Johann Sebastian Bach.

Most of the movements or works where there are trumpets, were written in the keys of C or D, which were the keys used with greater regularity at that time on the natural baroque trumpet, which Bach consequently considered. The case of Magnificat being in E-flat… it was later transposed to the key of D in a second revision. Below is a table with the number of movements or works that are in different keys used by the composer:

Keys Movements
C 24
D 34
F 6
B-flat 5
G 5
E-flat 1

Of the sixty-five works, different types of trumpets and ensembles are used by Bach in rich and varied ways within the different works or movements. The tromba da tirarsi[6]Tromba da tirarsi — Italian (slide trumpet in English — or trompeta bastarda in Spanish), is a trumpet with a sliding rod, such as a trombone, that is attached to the leadpipe of the instrument. It had greater chromatic capabilities than the natural trumpet, where lip correction was commonly used to address nonexistent harmonic notes, but with the da tirarsi were easier, more reliable and functional to perform., especially reinforced the voice of soprano in chorus and chorales, alternating it with the natural trumpet. In many cases, Bach himself pointed out the use of this slide trumpet in the score, and on others occasions it was assumed or consequently interpreted as a natural trumpet, depending on the chromatism. This aspect is somewhat confusing when Bach himself does not indicate the term da tirarsi in the score — this, being the focus among the great, purist interpreters of Bach’s music. It is, at times, unclear that Bach could have used a French horn instead of the natural trumpet or the tromba da tirarsi. In this sense, the Baroque era had a timbrical versatility that caused an ease of adaptation to any existing environment. They were able to change the instrumentation looking for any particular musical color. Although, in Bach’s works (annotated by Bach himself) this instrumental conundrum is usually well indicated. They are only conjectures that appear in only a few works within the literature for trumpet by the Thuringian composer. Roberto Pajares, in his publication History of music in six volumes[7]PAJARES, Roberto: History of Music in Six Volumes. Vol 4: Dynamics and timbre. The instruments. Madrid: Editorial Visión Libros, 2010, p. 225., states:

Perhaps Johann Sebastian Bach thought about this trumpet [da tirarsi] and the interpreter [Reiche] when he writes other complicated trumpet passages, although he does not expressly indicate ‘da tirarsi’. Would Bach sacrifice precise tuning, the addition of pitches outside the harmonic series and as well as easy movement between notes, by choosing the natural trumpet? […] Many of those ‘dissonant’ notes are brief, and it is likely that a right-handed instrumentalist such as Gottfried Reiche could refine them using lip tension on the natural trumpet.

Bach proposed different works for solo voice, orchestra and trumpet: twelve with a bass soloist, four with tenor, one with contralto and another with soprano. Using the section of three trumpets and timpani, it is the most used resource in the entire orchestra: on one occasion, this ensemble appears to accompany a bass soloist, on another a contralto, and on another occasion a solo instrument (the organ). The work being completely instrumental in nature. In a few other works or movements, just two trumpets appear (only in a single work, accompanying a bass soloist), and three works using four trumpets and timpani (the writing for the timpani is as if another trumpet were being used). As a recap, the format that Bach used most frequently was the solidified section of three trumpets and timpani, with the solo bass voice, which was often accompanied in this manner. The symbolism of this pairing is not lost, most likely due to a metaphor of the Trinity with the use of three trumpets and because Bach generally used the bass voice for the most important character/s in his cantatas. The trumpets would then give greater power and identity to the text being expressed. The following table shows the number of works where he uses the various trumpets and its groupings:

Trumpets used Movements
Tromba da tirarsi 13
Trumpet 10
Trumpet & solo voice 18
Two trumpets 3
Three trumpets 45
Four trumpets 3

In the cantatas and oratorios where the trumpet appears in one of the different works, Bach usually begins using the instrument in the first movement, along with the orchestra and voices (by way of a choir in most occasions), and usually ending with a choir (which sometimes changes into chorus), normally having the trumpet duplicate the soprano voice. Below is a table showing the number of works or movements where the trumpet is introduced, also pointing out the different Baroque musical forms used by the author (sometimes in different sections of the same cantata):

Musical form Movements
Chorale 33
Chorus 65
Aria 24
Dueto 4
Recitative 5
Sinfonia 3
Sonata 1
Aria and Recitative 2
Hallelujah 1
Marcia 1

In regards to the subject matter in the cantatas and oratorios, it should be noted that the themes are often repeated. Bach did write music without repetitions, but as it is well known, symbolism constantly permeated his work. Later, we will see the type of themes in which he used to include the trumpets, although it can also be noted that (at least in terms of religious music) Bach almost always included trumpets in the cantatas written for important liturgical dates; for the remainder of the Sundays called “ordinary time” (Protestants, like Bach, call it “first Sunday after Trinity,” “second Sunday after Trinity,” etc.), trumpets were hardly ever used. This shows that the meaning of the trumpet was the sense of great joy. Almost all of Bach’s works are religious in nature. Even during his time in Köthe. Due to Calvinism (a religion professed by his regent, Prince Leopold), Johann Sebastian was forced to compose instrumental works. Since the religion of Calvinism was more radical than Lutheranism, all music was prohibited during the liturgy (except for a few isolated cases). Paradoxically, Calvinism bequeathed to us Bach’s instrumental masterpieces (biographers point out that almost two hundred works have been lost from the Köthen period… an unparalleled tragedy, if this is the case). The following table shows the perseverance of thematic repetitions that Bach considered:

Thematics Movements
Ascension 3
Saint Michael 4
Election 5
Birthday or saint’s day 5
Easter 4
Pentecost 5
Christmas 4
New year 3

As outlined above, the natural trumpet is an instrument whose resources are limited by its very nature. It is true that the instrument is organic, there has never been another like it — its character is ceremonial and pompous, evokes the wildest of souls and is always used on special and important occasions. There are approximately one hundred Biblical references to the trumpet, a warning that God was to speak after the metallic sounds of the trumpet; with the power to express declarations or mobilization of the people, acclamation, and adoration, among other occurrences. The trumpet particularly appears in the Biblical book of Numbers and in the prophecies of the Apocalypse, with the famous seven trumpets that announce the judgment of mankind. Also, Bach’s contemporaries used the trumpet not only as a compositional resource, but used the same symbology that results in the ceremonial character of the instrument (for example, the Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day, HWV[8]Abbreviation of the German term Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis, the most common catalog of Händel’s works. 76 by Georg Friedrich Händel). In the text of No. 5 of this beautiful oratorio, The trumpet’s loud clangour, relates to the resounding sound of the trumpet to take up arms, thus associating the instrument with war; and in No. 11 of the same composition, the text preludes a beautiful trumpet call that appears to be an eternal warning of the divine creation of the world, expressing the relationship of the harmony, presumably a Pythagorean influence. Perhaps in this sense, Bach transcended music, although he used the melodic and militaristic or ceremonial motifs that relate to the trumpet almost by decree. He also developed the instrument melodically and in an extraordinary way, which was a precedent for later composers, propagating the trumpet’s literature. It is possible that Reiche and his talent could have played an important role in the wonderful aesthetic decisions by the composer, in addition to the progress of trumpet builders, who by this time were already very skilled.

The natural trumpet and its harmonic series:

Serie armónica

A peculiar characteristic of the natural harmonic series is that in each successive octave, the number of notes that are produced naturally, increases with respect to the previous octave, and therefore, intervals appear to be in closer distance, without a finite ending — a mystery of nature. But it turns out that the highest octaves are where the greatest number of harmonics are located, and the most difficult to produce. The notes that appear in black in the image (above, below?) are harmonics that are also produced progressively within each new octave but are, by nature, out of tune (the arrows indicate the tendency of tuning: high or low). Considering these as impure harmonics, in the end, they produce more compositional possibilities. Surely, Reiche executed these pitches accurately through “lipping” and its ease in the clarino register. Both Bach and Reiche set a precedent when it came to increasing the tessitura of the instrument and interpreting it with beauty. And in later generations of trumpeters, this register was developed in a clear and increasingly improved manner. The data suggests that the trumpet was very alive (in development) in this era, and its capacity of sound as well as trajectory were growing. It is the opinion of this author, that Reiche was the person who instituted the greatest example of the instrument. Bach approaches the 16th and 18th harmonics with relative care; in the final choir of Cantata 31, he reaches the 20th harmonic; and in the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, BWV[9]Abbreviation of the German term Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, the most common catalog of Händel’s works. 1047, the clarino register extends to its maximum expression, reaching the 24th harmonic (up to three times in the first movement). Its difficulty, if you do not have the necessary technique and talent, is considered diabolical.

Considering the dates of composition for BWV 31 and BWV 1047, Bach was not in Leipzig at the time — although, it is true that the first cantata was performed again on two subsequent occasions, when the composer and trumpeter were in the city. Regarding BWV 1047, it was presumably played by Johann Ludwig Schreiber, a trumpeter from the Köthen court. As for Reiche, the distinguished historian Don Leroy Smithers says[10]SMITHERS, Don: Bach, Reiche and the Leipzig Collegia Musica. Amherst, Massachusetts: Historic Brass Society Journal. Vol. 2, Fall 1990, p. 30. the following:

We may reasonably suppose that Reiche did, in fact, play the second Brandenburg Concerto under Bach’s direction with the Collegium Musicum at one or another of the venues where he is known to have performed with that ensemble.

In addition, it was usual at that time for foreign instrumentalists to reinforce musical groups from neighboring towns. It is very possible that Reiche interpreted this work in Weimar or perhaps in another city without removing the initial merit of Herr Schreiber.

Following some guidelines of the organist and writer Albert Schweitzer in his book Bach: The Musician-poet, where he studies of Bach’s symbology in his compositions, and based on the publication of Daniel Vega Cernuda’s Bach: Complete Repertoire of the Vocal Music, we will briefly assemble a few examples from all the trumpet music of the composer, and also other nuances that are characteristic, cataloging them on formal level, structurally and “trumpet-wise”, pointing out only where the instrument appears.

 


Sacred cantatas


 

Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 5

Transl.: Where shall I flee. Cantata for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, 1724

  • No. 1 (chorus) for tromba da tirarsi — reinforcing the voice of soprano, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (aria) for trumpet, solo bass, two oboes and orchestra. As Daniel Vega points out: “The trumpet seems to reflect the agitation of the military, which the text alludes to, adding touches of a militaristic nature and where the quavering silence is the silence with which is asked to be silenced.” Here we have the characteristic and symbolic metric of the trumpet in this aria:

BWV 5

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Meine Seel erhebt den Herren, BWV 10

Transl.: My soul magnifies the Lord. Cantata for the feast of the Visitation, 1724.

  • No. 1 (chorale) for tromba da tirarsi — reinforcing the voices of soprano and alto in a sequenced way, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (duet) for trumpet, solo alto and tenor, two oboes y continuo.

  • No. 7 (chorale) for tromba da tirarsi — reinforcing the voice of soprano, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen, BWV 11

Transl.: Laud to God in all his kingdoms. Ascension Oratorio, 1735.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 11 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12

Transl.: Weeping, lamenting, worrying, fearing. Cantata for Jubilate, the third Sunday after Easter, 1714 (Bach reworked it in 1724).

  • No. 6 (aria) for trumpet — in the form of chorale, solo bass and continuo.

  • No. 7 (chorale) for trumpet, oboe, choir and orchestra.

Es erhub sich ein Streit, BWV 19

Transl.: There arose a war. Cantata for Michaelis, the feast of Michael, the archangel, 1726.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, taille, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (aria & chorale) for trumpet — in the form of chorale, with a melody that appears in the Passion according to St. John, solo tenor and orchestra.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20

Transl.: O eternity, you word of thunder. Cantata for the first Sunday after Trinity, 1724.

  • No. 1 (chorale) for tromba da tirarsi — reinforcing the voice of soprano, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

  • No. 8 (aria) for trumpet — which appears in the form of a fanfare, along with the solo bass, solo bass, three oboes and orchestra. The text of the piece itself says “Wake up, before the trumpet sounds, that from your graves, horrified, shall call you to judgment before the judge of all the world!”. Without a doubt, one cannot be more explicit when it comes to instrumentation, although one could also understand through the text a trombone is referenced.

  • No. 11 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21

Transl.: I had much grief. Cantata for the third Sunday after Trinity, 1714.

  • No. 11 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, oboe, choir and orchestra.

Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir, BWV 29

Transl.: We thank you, God, we thank you. Cantata the annual inauguration of a new town council — when this is indicated, it means that they are taking possession of the new Council in the City Hall of Leipzig, which at that time was a free city and depended on the court of Dresden, 1731.

  • No. 1 (sinfonia) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes and orchestra.

  • No. 2 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 8 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 2. Trumpets and timpani emphasize the endings of the first and last phrases, thus giving greater interest to the text.

Freue dich, erlöste Schar, BWV 30

Transl.: Rejoice, redeemed flock. Cantata for the feast of John the Baptist, 1737.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani — presumably added later, and not by Bach’s hand, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 12 (chorus) identical to No. 1.

Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubiliert, BWV 31

Transl.: Heaven laughs! Earth exults. Cantata for the first day of Easter, 1715.

  • No. 1 (sonata) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, taille and orchestra. It is instrumental, a fanfare for the entire orchestra at tutti, and therefore no chorus.

  • No. 2 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, taille, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 9 (chorale) for trumpet, three oboes, taille and orchestra.

O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe, BWV 34

Transl.: O eternal fire, o source of love. Cantata for Pentecost Sunday, 1740-46 (at its conception, it was a wedding cantata, dated 1725-26).

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 41

Transl.: Jesus, now be praised. Cantata for New Year’s Day, 1725.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 6 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen, BWV 43

Transl.: God goes up with jubilation. Cantata for the feast of the Ascension, 1726.

Part I:

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Part II:

  • No. 7 (aria) for trumpet, solo bass and continuo.

  • No. 11 (chorale) for three trumpets — first and second reinforcing sopranos, and the third trumpet reinforces the altos — & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei, BWV 46

Transl.: Behold and see, if there be any sorrow. Cantata for the tenth Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for tromba da tirarsi, two recorders, two oboes da caccia, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 3 (aria) for tromba da tirarsi, solo bass and orchestra.

  • No. 6 (chorale) for tromba da tirarsi — reinforcing sopranos, two recorders, two oboes da caccia, choir and orchestra.

Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen, BWV 48

Transl.: Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me. Cantata for the 19th Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 3 (chorale) in which the trumpet reinforces the soprano voice, as in other occasions.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 3.

Nun ist das Heil und die Kraft, BWV 50

Transl.: Now is [come] salvation and strength. Cantata for Michaelis, the feast of Michael, the archangel, ca. 1723.

Only an initial chorus has been preserved for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen!, BWV 51

Transl.: Exult in God in every land! Cantata for the 15th Sunday after Trinity, 1730.

  • No. 1 (aria) for trumpet, solo soprano and orchestra. It is written as a concertante between the trumpet (with a very virtuosic intervention) and solo soprano; Bach’s eldest son, Friedemann, added a second part of trumpet and timpani that gave more pomposity.

  • No. 5 (aria) the same lineup as No. 1. It is an Alleluia, the last number of the cantata, with the same instrumentation as the first.

This work is of great importance in the literature of the trumpet.

  • No. 1 with the addition of Friedemann Bach:

Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 59

Transl.: Whoever loves me will keep my word. Cantata for Pentecost, 1723.

  • No. 1 (duet) for two trumpets & timpani, solo soprano, solo bass and orchestra.

Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63

Transl.: Christians, engrave this day. Cantata for the First Day of Christmas, 1716.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for four trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 7 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

This cantata, along with the BWV 119, are the only ones that use so many trumpets.

Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen, BWV 66

Transl.: Rejoice, you hearts. Cantata for the Second Day of Easter, 1724 (it is believed that it comes from a secular cantata, in 1718).

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet — with a very difficult role, solo alto, solo tenor, solo violin, two oboes, choir and orchestra..

Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele, BWV 69/69a

Transl.: Praise the Lord, my soul. Cantata for the twelfth Sunday after Trinity (BWV 69a), 1723; it was later reworked for the inauguration of the town council at church (BWV 69), 1748.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 6 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Wachet! betet! betet! wachet!, BWV 70/70a

Transl.: Watch! Pray! Pray! Watch! Cantata for the second Sunday in Advent (BWV 70a), 1716; it was later reworked for the 26th Sunday after Trinity (BWV 70), 1723.

Part I:

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet, oboe, choir and orchestra. The trumpet represents the coming of Jesus.

  • No. 2 (recitative) for trumpet, solo bass, oboe and orchestra. The trumpet, with powerful fanfare, demonstrates the majesty of Jesus.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1. The trumpet reinforces the soprano.

Part II:

  • No. 9 (recitative) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra. The trumpet sings a chorale.

  • No. 10 (aria) the same lineup as No. 9.

  • No. 11 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1. Again, the trumpet reinforcing the soprano.

Gott ist mein König, BWV 71

Transl.: God is my King. Cantata for the inauguration of a new town council at church, 1708.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two recorders, two oboes, organ, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (aria) for three trumpets & timpani, solo alto and organ. The trumpets and timpani in a fanfare style, with the alto.

  • No. 7 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten, BWV 74

Transl.: If a man love me, he will keep my words. Cantata for Pentecost, 1725.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, solo violin, two oboes, oboe da caccia, choir and orchestra. It has the same structure as the duet of BWV 59, but performed with a third trumpet.

  • No. 8 (chorale) for trumpet — reinforcing sopranos, two oboes, oboe da caccia, choir and orchestra.

Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75

Transl.: The miserable shall eat. Cantata the first Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

Part II:

  • No. 8 (sinfonia) for trumpet — like a chorale — and orchestra.

  • No. 12 (aria) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra. The triplets of the instrumental part represent joy and jubilation in the dialogue between the soloists.

Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes, BWV 76

Transl.: The heavens are telling the glory of God. Cantata for the second Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

Part I:

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (aria) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra.

  • No. 7 (chorale) for trumpet — which first shows the phrases of the chorale and then joins the choir and reinforces its voices, choir and orchestra.

Part II:

  • No. 14 (chorale) for trumpet, choir and orchestra. Almost identical structure that the chorale No. 7 of the same cantata.

Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren lieben, BWV 77

Transl.: You shall love God, your Lord. Cantata for the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

  • No. 1 (chorale) for tromba da tirarsi, choir and orchestra. In this movement, a clear aspect of the symbolism of Bach appears, exposed by Daniel Vega: “It participates ten times [the trumpet], spaced by interventions of the choir and instrumental ritornello, singing the chorale Dies sind die heil’gen zehn Gebot [These are the holy Ten Commandments].”

  • No. 5 (aria) for tromba da tirarsi, solo alto and continuo.

Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80

Transl.: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. Cantata for Reformation Day, 1724.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra. The trumpets were added by the son of Johann Sebastian — Friedemann. On such an important day for the Protestants, the fact that Bach did not originally write trumpets in this cantata is possibly due to a reused cantata from the Weimar era, where the composer did not have good trumpet players, or because Reiche was sick. Today the version with mentioned masterful addition of Friedemann Bach is usually interpreted.

  • No. 5 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Es reisset euch ein schrecklich Ende, BWV 90

Transl.: A horrible end will carry you off. Cantata for the 25th Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

  • No. 3 (aria) for trumpet — although the instrument is not stipulated in the score, it is presupposed by the writing, being able to understand also that it is written for horn, solo bass and orchestra.

Ihr werdet weinen und heulen, BWV 103

Transl.: You shall weep and wail. Cantata for the third Sunday after Easter, 1725.

  • No. 5 (aria) for trumpet, two oboes d’amore, solo tenor and orchestra. Here, reaching the height of joy, the trumpet carries the singing voice with majestic and martial writing.

  • No. 6 (chorale) for trumpet — reinforcing sopranos, traverso, two oboes d’amore, choir and orchestra.

Unser Mund sei voll Lachens, BWV 110

Transl.: May our mouth be full of laughter. Cantata for Christmas Day, 1725.

  • No. 1 (chorale) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, three oboes, choir and orchestra. The basis of this piece is the overture of Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069, without the repetitions of each section.

  • No. 6 (aria) para trompeta —que aporta el tema—, bajo solista, dos oboes, oboe da caccia y orquesta.

  • No. 7 (coral) para trompeta —que refuerza a la soprano, nuevamente—, dos flautas traversas, dos oboes, oboe da caccia, coro y orquesta.

O Jesu Christ, meins lebens licht, BWV 118

Transl.: O Jesus Christ, light of my life. It is a sacred motet intended for funerals, 1736-37.

Appearing in the score — in addition to an oboe, three trombones, choir and orchestra — two litui, which are trumpets of Etruscan origin, especially used in the Roman Empire. Curiously, these trumpets were used as a symbol in the College of Augurs — priests of ancient Rome who practiced official divination — distinguishing them as a priestly body. Along with the three trombones that are specified in the score, and that also symbolizes the Trinity (but not with a festive character since it is a funeral music), there are the two litui that represent the body of priests and used by Bach for the first and only time (referencing what has been found to date). Its character is minor, almost non-existent in the trumpet literature of Bach.

Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn, BWV 119

Transl.: Praise the Lord, Jerusalem. Cantata for the inauguration of a new town council at church, 1723.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for four trumpets & timpani — with a triumphant and jubilant character, two flutes, three oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 4 (recitative) for four trumpets & timpani, solo bass, two flutes, two oboes da caccia and continuo. Here, the fanfare of trumpets & timpani opens and closes each declamation, symbolizing the nobility of the city.

  • No. 7 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille, BWV 120

Transl.: God, You are praised in the stillness. Cantata for the inauguration of a new town council at church, ca. 1742.

  • No. 2 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani — with a fanfare character, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort, BWV 126

Transl.: Sustain us, Lord with your word. Cantata for the Sexagesima Sunday, the second Sunday before Lent, 1725.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 6 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Herr Jesu Christ, wahr’ Mensch und Gott, BWV 127

Transl.: Lord Jesus Christ, true Man and God. Cantata for the Sunday Estomihi, the Sunday before Lent, 1725.

  • No. 4 (recitative and aria) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra. This movement is based on the text “Wenn einstens die Posaunen schallen” [When one day the trumpets sound]. With great strength and drama, the trumpet stands out with martial sounding material.

Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein, BWV 128

Transl.: On Christ’s ascension into heaven alone. Cantata for the feast of the Ascension, 1725.

  • No. 3 (aria and recitative) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra. This movement has a bright and jubilant character, represented by the ternary compass (the Trinity) — a very common occurrence in Bach’s symbology.

Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott, BWV 129

Transl.: Praised be the Lord, my God. Cantata for the Trinity Sunday, 1727.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, traverso, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV 130

Transl.: Lord God, we all praise you. Cantata for Michaelis, the feast of Michael, the archangel, 1724.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, traverso, three oboes, choir and orchestra. This piece describes the warrior character of St. Michael as protector and rival of Satan.

  • No. 3 (aria) for three trumpets & timpani, solo bass and continuo. It is a unique piece in its instrumentation, since the bass is accompanied by the fanfare of three trumpets & timpani.

  • No. 6 (chorale) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra. Here, the fanfare highlights the ends of the phrases, giving them more emphasis and intention.

Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren, BWV 137

Transl.: Praise the Lord, the mighty King of honor. Cantata for the twelfth Sunday after Trinity — and possibly for the inauguration of a new town council at church, 1725.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 4 (aria) for trumpet — sounding the jovial melody of the chorale, solo tenor and continuo.

  • No. 5 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen, BWV 145

Transl.: I live, my heart, for your pleasure. Cantata for Easter Tuesday, 1729 (two movements would be added at the beginning of this cantata, originally a five movement work, after the death of Bach. Presumably, the second movement would be a re-elaboration of the first movement of the Telemann’s Cantata TWV 1:1350, and would also include a trumpet).

  • No. 3 (aria) for trumpet — with the character of tutti, solo bass, traverso, two oboes and orchestra.

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147/147a

Transl.: Heart and mouth and deed and life. Cantata for Advent (BWV 147a), 1716; it was later reworked for the Marian feast of the Visitation (BWV 147), 1723.

Part I:

  • No. 1 (chorale) for trumpet — with a wonderful melody, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 6 (chorale) for trumpet — reinforcing the soprano, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Part II:

  • No. 9 (aria) for trumpet — which stands out in the dense polyphony with martial majesty and a variety of scales, solo bass, two oboes and orchestra.

  • No. 10 (chorale) with which the cantata ends, an instrumental copy of No. 6.

Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens, BWV 148

Transl.: Bring to the Lord the honor due His name. Cantata for the 17th Sunday after Trinity, 1723.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for trumpet — which is part of an instrumental sinfonia, choir and orchestra.

Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg, BWV 149

Transl.: One sings with joy about victory. Cantata for Michaelis, the feast of Michael, the archangel, 1728-29.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra. This was originally the finale chorus to BWV 208, a secular cantata in which the text was changed.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1. The trumpets & timpani only play on the final cadence, during the word “ewiglich” [eternally].

Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm, BWV 171

Transl.: God, as Your name is, so is also Your praise. Cantata for New Year’s Day, 1729.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra. All the instruments are doubling the choir voices except the first trumpet, which has an important theme.

  • No. 6 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1. This music comes from BWV 41.

Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!, BWV 172

Transl.: Ring out, you songs; sound, you strings! Cantata for Pentecost Sunday, 1714.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani — representing royalty, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 3 (aria) for three trumpets & timpani, solo bass and continuo.

Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen, BWV 175

Transl.: He calls His sheep by name. Cantata for the third day of Pentecost, 1725.

  • No. 6 (aria) for two trumpets, solo bass and continuo. This is an aria da capo, in which the trumpets reinforce section A — when the text says “Jesus hat euch zugeschworen, Dass er Teufel, Tod erlegt” [Jesus has sworn to you that he will vanquish the devil and death].

Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister, BWV 181

Transl.: Light-minded frivolous spirits. Cantata for the Sexagesima Sunday, the second Sunday before Lent, 1724.

  • No. 5 (chorus) for trumpet, traverso, oboe, choir and orchestra.

Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, BWV 190

Transl.: Sing a new song to the Lord. Cantata for the New Year’s Day, 1724.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes, choir and orchestra. It is a festive introduction in which the first trumpet sings supremely.

  • No. 7 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1. It is very similar to BWV 41, with the fanfare of trumpets & timpani in the endings of the phrases.

Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191

Transl.: Glory to God in the Highest. Cantata for Christmas Day — although it cannot be guaranteed that it is a cantata; its music comes from the Mass in B minor, written in 1733 for the court of Dresden, 1745.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 3 (chorale) the same lineup as No. 1.

Dem Gerechten muss das Licht, BWV 195

Transl.: The light shall [ever rise again] for the righteous. Cantata for a wedding, 1737.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 5 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Gott ist unsre Zuversicht, BWV 197

Transl.: God is our confidence. Cantata for a wedding, 1736-37.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

 


Secular cantatas


 

Geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde, BWV 201

Transl.: Swift, you swirling winds. Secular cantata without a specified destination — it is a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged probably written for the first concert of a Collegium Musicum series that Bach began to direct in Leipzig, 1729.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani — they represent the turbulent winds that have to calm down so that they do not disturb the hearing of the song, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 15 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Zerreisset, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft, BWV 205

Transl.: Destroy, burst, shatter the tomb. Secular cantata — a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged — composed for the birthday of the popular university professor, August Friedrich Müller, 1725.

It has wonderful instrumentation, since it was meant to be performed outdoors. Above all, it is written for many winds, perhaps symbolizing the fact that the main protagonist is Eolo, the Greek God of Wind.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two horns, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra. In this movement, the power and the force of winds is sought to represent Eolo.

  • No. 2 (recitative) for three trumpets & timpani, solo bass, two horns, two flauti traversi, two oboes and orchestra.

  • No. 11 (aria) for three trumpets & timpani, solo bass, two horns and continuo.

  • No. 15 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Schleicht, spielende Wellen, BWV 206

Transl.: Glide, O sparkling waves and murmur softly. Secular cantata — a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged — composed for the birthday of Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, 1734.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 11 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten, BWV 207

Transl.: United discord of quivering strings. Secular cantata — a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged — composed for the election of Dr. Gottlieb Kortte as professor of Roman Law at the University of Leipzig, 1726.

  • No. 1 (marcia) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, taille, choir and orchestra. With martial form and drumming, it constitutes the third movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1, transposing it from the key of F to the key of D to introduce the trumpets and a different orchestration.

  • No. 2 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

  • No. 7 (ritornello) for two trumpets, solo soprano, solo bass, two oboes, taille and orchestra.

  • No. 11 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Tönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten!, BWV 214

Transl.: Resound, ye drums! Ring out, ye trumpets! Secular cantata — a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged — composed for the birthday of Maria Josepha of Austria, Electress consort of Saxony, 1733.

Later, this music was incorporated almost entirely in the first part of BWV 248.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani — beginning with a fugue, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 7 (aria) for trumpet, solo bass and orchestra.

  • No. 9 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen, BWV 215

Transl.: Praise your good fortune, blessed Saxony. Secular cantata — a musical drama, not unlike an Opera, but unstaged — composed as Festmusik für das kurfürstlich sächsische Haus (Festive music for the court of the Electorate of Saxony), on the anniversary of the election of Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, 1734.

It is meant to be interpreted outdoors, hence the instrumentation.

  • No. 1 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

  • No. 8 (recitative) for three trumpets & timpani — which are related to the war, solo soprano, solo tenor, solo bass and orchestra.

  • No. 9 (chorus) the same lineup as No. 1.

Daniel Vega, in his publication on the already mentioned vocal repertoire of Bach, says this about the cantata and what happened (I quoted Reimer’s chronicle in its entirety at the beginning of this article): “An unfortunate event clouded the brilliance of the act: Gottfried Reiche, the excellent, first trumpet of Bach — which is alluded in his memorandum — suffered a stroke the following day in the middle of the street and died. It was attributed to the effort of hasty and intense rehearsals, the interpretation outdoors (autumn in Leipzig coming in is often very cold) and the suffocating and noxious smoke of the torches […], says the Reimer.”

 


Other sacred music


 

Mass in B minor, BWV 232 (1724-33)

The trumpet appears — always in the formation of three trumpets & timpani — in four parts of the mass:

Gloria:

  • No. 4 (Gloria in excelsis Deo).

  • No. 6 (Gratia agimus tibi — which is a copy of the choir No. 2 from BWV 29).

  • No. 11 (Cum Sancto Spiritu).

Credo:

  • No. 12 (Credo in unum Deum).

  • No. 16 (Et resurrexit).

  • No. 19 (Et exspecto — where Bach repeats thematic material from BWV 120: his choir No. 2, but varied).

Sanctus:

  • No. 20 (Sanctus).

  • No. 21 (Osanna — an adaptation of an initial chorus of a lost cantata that was also reused in BWV 215).

  • No. 23 (Osanna — like previously).

Agnus Dei:

  • No. 25 (Dona nobis pacem — a copy of the Gratias agimus tibi, already quoted from the same mass, but with a different text).

Sanctus in C major, BWV 237 (1723)

Only one number is conserved for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra.

Magnificat in D major, BWV 243 (1733)

The first version of this work (BWV 243a) is from the year 1723 and is in the key of E-flat major. The trumpets were included in the second version only, which was transposed to the key of D major, a more appropriate key for natural trumpet, due to its color.

The following numbers of the Magnificat in D were written for three trumpets & timpani, two flauti traversi, two oboes, choir and orchestra:

  • No. 1 (Magnificat anima mea).

  • No. 7 (Fecit potentiam).

  • No. 12 (Gloria Patri).

Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248 (1734)

Divided into six parts and dedicated to the first three days of Christmas, New Year’s Day, First Sunday of the New Year, and the Day of Epiphany of the Lord. The trumpet appears in parts I, III and VI.

In the first part (BWV 248/1), dedicated to the first day of Christmas:

  • No. 1 Jauchzet, frohlocket! [Shout for joy, exult!], chorus with three trumpets & timpani.

  • No. 8 Grosser Herr, o starker König [Great Lord, O mighty King], aria for solo bass and trumpet.

  • No. 9 Ach mein herzliebes Jesulein! [Ah little Jesus dear to my heart!], choral with three trumpets & timpani.

In the third part (BWV 248/3), dedicated to the third day of Christmas:

  • No. 1 (No. 24) Herrscher des Himmels, erhöre das Lallen [Ruler of heaven, hear our inarticulate speech], chorus with three trumpets & timpani. Here the trumpets express the joy that is reinforced with the 3/8 time signature.

And in its sixth and last part (BWV 248/6 — it comes entirety from a first version, since the previous versions were a musical reprieve of the BWV 214), linked to the feast of the Epiphany:

  • No. 1 (No. 54) Herr, wenn die stolzen Feinde schnauben [Lord, when our arrogant enemies snort with rage…], chorus with three trumpets & timpani, which again show magnificence and majesty.

  • No. 11 (No. 64) Nun seid ihr wohl gerochen [Now you are well avenged], chorale with three trumpets & timpani. It is in this last number that the first trumpet starts the melody (of great technical difficulty — played in an energetic and cheerful way, in the clarino range, with very committed intervallic jumps).

Easter Oratorio, BWV 249 (1725)

Premiered on April 1, 1725, is a copy of the cantata BWV 249a, composed for the birthday of Christian, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels, which was premiered on February 23 of the same year, but with different text.

  • No. 1 (sinfonia) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes and orchestra. This instrumental piece has two movements: Allegro and Adagio, which suggests that it is a remnant of a revised concerto.

  • No. 3 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, solo tenor, solo bass, two oboes and orchestra. The trumpets & timpani suggest that it could be an adaptation of the third movement of the remainder of the previously mentioned concerto.

  • No. 11 (chorus) for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes, choir and orchestra. It is the last movement of the work and seems a gigue.

 


Instrumental music


 

Suite No. 3 in D major, BWV 1068 (1730)

Written for three trumpets & timpani, two oboes and orchestra:

  • No. 1 Ouverture.

  • No. 3 Gavotte I y II.

  • No. 4 Bourrée.

  • No. 5 Gigue.

Suite No. 4 in D major, BWV 1069 (1730)

Written for three trumpets & timpani, three oboes and orchestra:

  • No. 1 Ouverture.

  • No. 2 Bourrée I.

  • No. 3 Gavotte.

  • No. 5 Réjouissance.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F major, BWV 1047 (1721)

Presented to Christian Ludwig, Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt. With three movements (the trumpet does not play in the second movement), this concerto grosso is created as a pyramid with three peaks, where the string instruments are juxtaposed with soloists (violin, flute, oboe and trumpet) and at the zenith, a single most important soloist emerges — the trumpet, which reaches registers that border the virtuosic limit of its range.

  • No. 1 (Allegro).

  • No. 3 Allegro assai.

 

Conclusion

As an epilogue to this writing, please note that Bach usually portrayed the trumpet as a symbol of joy and jubilation. Thanks to his great work, the participation of trumpeters like Reiche and together with the hard work in brass research, the trumpet evolved for the benefit and good of the music, and therefore for the artistic heritage of humanity, thus favoring the miracle of possibilities that sometimes seem to be a divine or magical gift.

Ref.

1 The upper register of the trumpet, which is called the clarion or clarino register, turns out to be the most complicated to execute — since it requires the instrumentalist to have precise dexterity, tuning and technical control to obtain a credible and well-executed result.
2 The Altenburgs (Johann Caspar, father and Johann Ernst, son) were famous trumpeters from Weissenfels.
3 Stadtpfeifer was a multi-instrumentalist, who would play the trumpet, the sackbut, the shawm (a kind of chirimia), the flute and even some string instruments in the case of Reiche.
4 Stadtmusicus was a municipal musician.
5 Chronicle by Johannes Riemer of the municipal archive of Leipzig. Translating the text consulted “Trad. a.”.
6 Tromba da tirarsi — Italian (slide trumpet in English — or trompeta bastarda in Spanish), is a trumpet with a sliding rod, such as a trombone, that is attached to the leadpipe of the instrument. It had greater chromatic capabilities than the natural trumpet, where lip correction was commonly used to address nonexistent harmonic notes, but with the da tirarsi were easier, more reliable and functional to perform.
7 PAJARES, Roberto: History of Music in Six Volumes. Vol 4: Dynamics and timbre. The instruments. Madrid: Editorial Visión Libros, 2010, p. 225.
8 Abbreviation of the German term Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis, the most common catalog of Händel’s works.
9 Abbreviation of the German term Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, the most common catalog of Händel’s works.
10 SMITHERS, Don: Bach, Reiche and the Leipzig Collegia Musica. Amherst, Massachusetts: Historic Brass Society Journal. Vol. 2, Fall 1990, p. 30.

Leave a Reply

Advertisements
Advertisements
Advertisements