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Bach Magnificat Program Notes and Sheet Music

Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Date of Composition: 1723

Instrumentation: Solo voices, choir, and orchestra

Duration: Approximately 45 minutes


Bach's Magnificat is a cantata, or sacred choral work, that sets to music the Magnificat, a song of praise from the Gospel of Luke. The Magnificat is one of the most popular and frequently performed works of Baroque choral music.

Bach wrote the Magnificat in 1723 for the Feast of the Annunciation, which celebrates the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would bear the Son of God. The Magnificat is a setting of the Latin text of the Magnificat, which is a song of praise to God for his mercy and goodness.

The Magnificat is scored for solo voices, choir, and orchestra. The orchestra consists of strings, woodwinds, brass, and continuo. The cantata is in 12 movements, each of which sets a different verse of the Magnificat.


Bach's Magnificat is a masterpiece of Baroque choral music. The cantata is full of beautiful melodies, rich harmonies, and expressive rhythms. Bach uses a variety of musical techniques to create a sense of joy, praise, and wonder.

The Magnificat is a popular choice for performance by choral groups and orchestras. The cantata is also often performed in churches and other religious settings.


Bach's Magnificat has been praised by critics and musicians alike. The cantata is considered to be one of the most beautiful and important works of Baroque choral music. The Magnificat is often performed by choral groups and orchestras around the world.

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