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Bach-Gounod: Ave Maria for Cello and Piano
Piano Accompaniment, Cello - Intermediate - Digital Download
Composed by J. S. Bach - C. Gounod. Arranged by Colin Kirkpatrick. Praise & Worship, Easter, Wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Funeral. Piano Reduction, Solo Part. 6 pages. Published by Colin Kirkpatrick Publications (S0.728829).
Item Number: S0.728829
This ever-popular piece is often performed at weddings, funerals and many other solemn ceremonial events. It has always been a favorite among instrumental players and often used in recitals or concert encores. This arrangement by Colin Kirkpatrick has been transposed into G major to feature the middle to upper range of the cello. In is ideal for the intermediate cellist who can read tenor clef and can manage a top “b” with confidence. Bowing is shown in the cello part but the fingering in the cello and piano parts has been omitted and left entirely to the choice of the performers.
In 1853, the well-known French composer Charles Gounod added his own melody over a rippling keyboard accompaniment which was a slightly adapted version of the Prelude No. 1 in C major, BWV846, from Book I of J. S. Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, published in 1722. The title of the “combined” piece was Méditation sur le Premier Prélude de Piano de S. Bach. Gounod’s original arrangement transposed Bach’s keyboard part from C major into F major and it was scored for violin (or cello), organ and piano. In 1859, the French music publishing company Jacques-Léopold Heugel brought out a vocal version based on the familiar Latin text. Ave Maria (Hail Mary) is a traditional Catholic prayer addressed to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The version of Bach's prelude which Gounod used included the so-called "Schwencke measure" (m. 27 in this arrangement), a measure (bar) allegedly added by the German composer and pianist Christian Friedrich Gottlieb Schwencke (1767-1822) in an attempt to correct what was considered a harmonic weakness in the original. Whether there actually was a “harmonic weakness” (or possibly an error in the manuscript) remains a matter of conjecture but the fact remains that the most familiar-sounding version of this piece, recorded countless times by both singers and instrumentalists includes this Schwencke measure. It is therefore included in this arrangement.
Some published arrangements show minor inconsistencies in the rhythm of the melody. This arrangement uses the familiar rhythm of the Ave Maria version as it appeared in the 1859 edition.
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