Bach’s Magnificat

Although the D major version is the one usually performed, Bach originally wrote the Magnificat in E flat major.  It was written for Christmas, and had interpolations of Christmas pieces, including a gorgeous setting of Vom Himmel Hoch and a really rather difficult Virga Jesse.

E flat had particular connotations – three flats symbolising the Trinity.  His St Ann Fugue is also in E flat – he like this key.

However, E flat is a pain for natural trumpets.  No doubt the Leipzig trumpeters whinged, so for the Magnificat’s next airing, he dutifully transposed it down a semi-tone.




Filed under Streams of Consciousness

2 responses to “Bach’s Magnificat

  1. anna

    I had no idea! would love to sing it in Eb – a much warmer key than rather spiky D.

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