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Johann Sebastian Bach: Magnificat in D major, BWV 243

The Magnificat in E-flat majorBWV 243a, by Johann Sebastian Bach is a musical setting of the biblical canticle Magnificat as an extended composition for voices and orchestra in twelve movements. Bach composed the piece in E-flat major, formally a cantata, in 1723, his first year as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, for the feast of the Visitation, and first performed it on the feast day, 2 July. For Christmas the same year, he performed it again with four inserted laudes, songs of praise related to the occasion. The sacred choral work on the Latin text is scored for five vocal parts (two sopranos, alto, tenor and bass), and a Baroque orchestra of three trumpets, timpani, two recorders, two oboes, two violins, viola and basso continuo. In 1733, Bach transposed it to D major and reworked it to the Magnificat in D major, BWV 243, again for Visitation.

 

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