The composer of the song must have been Michael Praetorius. This composition has got some specific elements of oratorio and operand concerto. These are the most important and significant features which Michael Praetorius utilized in his other compositions as well.
As a matter of fact, the opera element is observed in the middle section of the song which is referred to as the arias, whereby musicians display expressively their feelings in the song as well as reveal their attitude to it . The listeners are easily moved by the arias’ section as they relate to situations and similar events expressed in the song. The concerto element is evident from the unity of the instruments and the voices .The harmony represented in this piece is considered to be influenced by religion.
This sphere of life was very important and influential that time, that is why it defined the concertos works with grouped soloists who widely used the harpsichord and other instrument to create the song effect. Oratorio element dominates the song since the composer put emphasis on religion as the subject matter. The oratorio element distinguishes this song from staged operas since it does not incorporate the acting section.
The theme of the song is highly relevant to the religious populace as it enhances a connection of the believers with their supreme being. The song, initially played only in religious grounds, has attracted a greater population as persons learn to embrace religion now. Songs are among the major communicative devices being used in modern ages to educate and pass messages as they are entertaining and have greater power of the spoken words. The emotions in this song are vividly expressed allowing the listeners to connect with the song. The harmonious integration of tones and the theme ensures the listeners attention and focus is drawn towards the song. The rhythmic flow is cannot be easily predicted increasing the listeners anticipation of the progress and desire to keep listening for an in-depth understanding of the content. The qualities of this composition similar to those of Bach and Handel pieces are; change in intonation and the utilization of the homophonic structure in creation of the song texture.
George Frideric Handel widely studied the styles of song compositions and advocated greatly on the compositions of operas and oratorios, elements evident in the study compositions. Johann Sebastian Bach was greatly involved in religious composition structures and had great harmonics and melodies. Bach and Handel are among the major forces behind the success of the Baroque music which was used as a benchmark to measure the effectiveness of proceeding compositions. The composition of study has greatly relied on the works of Bach and Handel especially in change of tones and incorporation of the homophonic structure and spectral fusion of sounds. The tones in the study compositions vary symmetrically from the first cadence to the last cadence where a prolonged period marks the end of the composition.
Similar to the works of Bach and Handel, the study composition has utilized the homophonic structure to enhance the texture of the song. The sounds vary throughout the song in harmony ensuring listeners’ interests and attention is maintained.
Observations evident in the song include the following song characteristics
The composer incorporated the classical type of variations in the song.
The song progressed symmetrically with a voice leading effectively maintaining the harmonic theme. The composer maintains a clear phrase structure ensuring the listener interestingly relates to the theme of variations. The theme is of ternary form with contrasting intonation variations. The first part of the song has an open cadence. The second section has immense harmonic details that progressively transits to the final section of the song in a hierarchal aspect. The final cadence provides a considerable release that marks the end of the song.
The composer utilized the homophonic structure. The listener focuses on a stream of varied voices throughout the song that harmoniously produce desired sounds.
The composer layered the sound streams in such a way as to keep the listener interested and keen on song integration a texture referred to as homophonic. The sound quality is of Spectral fusion nature since it consists of a number of integrated components forming a single sonic entity attributed to a single real or imagined source as described by Risset (1991).
The first cadence begins with evident harmonic sound of a harpsichord. Music notes varied at different sections of the song due variations in instruments played. String instruments ensure listeners interest in the song is heightened as the song draws to climax, since the melody grows sweeter and mellower. The composer rhythmically incorporated more instruments as the song progressed to give the desired notes and ensure effective articulation of harmony and melody.
He further emphasized on a single melody and bass line giving the song an interesting flow. The technique of playing the instruments is highly developed and the performance is desirable. Implications of study indicate the use of an orchestra to play the instruments, an idea borrowed from the Baroque music by Bach and Handel.
Risset, Timbre et. synthese des sons. Le Timbre, metaphore pour la composition.
(Ed).IRCAM/Christian Bourgois: Paris, 1991. Print.