Tag Archives: viola da gamba

Brahms viola sonata op. 120 no. 2 in E flat major: great compositions/performances


Brahms viola sonata op. 120 no. 2 in E flat major

Piano: Daniel Barenboim
Viola: Pinchas Zukerman
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The viola sonata is a sonata for viola, sometimes with other instruments, usually piano. The earliest viola sonatas are difficult to date for a number of reasons:

  • in the Baroque era, there were many works written for the viola da gamba, including sonatas (the most famous being Johann Sebastian Bach‘s three, now most often played on the cello)
  • in the Classical era and early Romantic, there were few works written with viola specifically in mind as solo instrument, and many of these, like those of the Stamitz family, may have been written for the viola d’amore, like most of their viola works – though it is now customary to play them on the viola; it was more typical to publish a work or set, like George Onslow‘s opus 16 cello sonatas, or Johannes Brahms‘s opus 120 clarinet sonatas in the late 19th century, that specified the viola as an alternate. Two early exceptions were the viola sonatas of Felix Mendelssohn (1824, posthumously published around 1981) and the opus 1 sonata of the composer Ernst Naumann (1832-1910), published in 1854.

J. S. Bach – “Mache dich, mein Herze, rein” BWV 244

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750)

“Mache dich, mein Herze, rein”, Aria (Bass) from Matthäus-Passion, BWV 244, Mov. LXV

Written in Leipzig, 1729 and revised in the same city in the late 1740’s.

1st performance: April 11, 1727 – Leipzig (Earlier Version, possibly as late as Apr 15, 1729); 2nd performance: March 30, 1736 – Leipzig (Later Version); 3rd performance: March 23, 1742 ? – Leipzig (Later Version); 4th performance: 1743-1746 – Leipzig

Soloists: Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; Choir I: SATB; Choir II: SATB
Orchestra: 2 flutes dolce, 2 transverse flutes, oboe, 2 oboes d’amore, 2 oboes da caccia, 2 violins, viola, viola da gamba, continuo

Lyrics for Mov. LXV
German (original)
Mache dich, mein Herze, rein,
Ich will Jesum selbst begraben.
Denn er soll nunmehr in mir
Für und für
Seine süße Ruhe haben.
Welt, geh aus, lass Jesum ein!

English (Translation)
Make thyself, my heart, now pure,
I myself would Jesus bury.
For he shall henceforth in me
More and more
Find in sweet repose his dwelling.
World, depart, let Jesus in!