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If Now Christ Jesus/Fare Thee Well (BWV 227 Nos. VIII and IX SSATB)

The first score in this pdf is from Bach's motet Jesu Meine Freude, BWV 227 Number VIII, So aber Christus in euch ist.

The text of this movement is Romans 8:10-- "If now Christ Jesus lives in ye, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

Bach gets more out of three-part writing than most composers ever get from five- or six-part writing. Movement VIII is for alto, tenor, and bass, and is the first movement in the motet in which the sopranos are tacet.

The second score in this pdf is movement IX, Gute Nacht, o Wesen. It is a chorale fantasy using the lyrics of stanza 5 of the Johann Crueger hymn tune, Jesu Meine Freude.

This movement is scored for soprano I and II, alto and tenor, and is the second movement in the motet in which the basses are tacet. If you listen carefully, you will hear the altos come in with a line from the hymn from time to time, in the midst of all the "fantasy" of the other three parts.

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Fare thee well that errest,
Thou that earth preferest,
Thou wilt tempt in vain.
Fare thee well, transgression,
Hence, abhorred posession,
Come not forth again!
Past your hour, O pride and power,
Worldly life thy bonds I sever,
Fare thee well forever.

English lyrics by Catherine Winkworth, from the German by Johann Frank.

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MP3 sound sample: entire piece (synthesizer/midi).



IF NOW CHRIST - FARE THEE WELL, by J. S. Bach for unaccompanied SSATB choir, comes in a pdf file of 830k, with a five-page score (No. VIII), an eleven-page score (No. IX), and a license page, seventeen pages in all. Performance time should be about 2:25 for No. VIII and about 2:40 for No. IX.


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Last update: 16 August 2017