Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. Bach’s compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which approximately two hundred survive. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth. Bach’s abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Charles-François Gounod (1818 – 1893) was a French composer, best known for his Grand Operas, most famously ‘Faust’, written in 1859 and his ‘St Cecilia Mass’ written in 1854. However possibly his most performed work is his arrangement of the latin text Ave Maria based on a work by Bach.
You can listen to a computer realisation of the score while following the music below:
Performances of this arrangement should use EITHER vibraphone or marimba, NOT both – this is at the conductor’s discretion depending on the availability of instruments and the ability of the player.
All accompanying brass players require cup mutes; however given the sparse nature of the scoring, muting is at the discretion of the conductor depending on the acoustics of the performance space.
There is an optional cut from bars 33-47, to be made at the discretion of the soloist (this is a reprise not in the Gounod original and is there mainly to allow the soloist a brief rest before the conclusion of the piece).