Arioso BWV156a by Johann Sebastian Bach
Grade 2 Early Intermediate
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity.
The term Arioso, which in Italian literally means ‛airy’, designates a style of solo opera singing between recitative and aria. Arguably the famous arioso ever composed, today’s piece serves as the opening sinfonia of cantata BWV 156 by Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach composed this work at a time when family tragedies were prevalent in his life, and this is evident from the title of the text Ich steh mit eninem Fuss in Grabe, which translates as “I stand with a foot in the grave“.
The first part (50%) of BWV156a. In the Key of G Major.