Jesus, Joy of Mans Desiring
Composer: Johann Sebastian Bach
Instrument: Percussion Quartet
Duration: 5 min.
Arranged by Michiko Noguchi
Performing Artists: Tatsuo Sasaki, Kyoko Murakami, Baku Nakata, Shino Machida & Michiko Noguchi
One of J.S. Bach’s most popular works, ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ is the chorale which closes the first and second sections of the Cantata for the Feast of the Visitation of Mary. BWV 147 ‘Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben’ (Heart and Mouth and Deed and Life) composed by Bach in 1723, when he was the Cantor at the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. The Chorale expresses Maria’s joy at giving birth to Jesus.
All Bach repertoire was arranged for the purpose of recording the CD "Back to Bach" which was released in November 2017 in Tokyo.
The repertoire performed by marimba players today are mostly modern original pieces. However it is very important to get to know classical music, especially that of Bach. It is my wish to to make marimba ensemble more popular and provide music which is not too difficult technically, yet contains high artistic quality. This was my motivation to release this Bach series, Music,and CD. The title "Back to Bach" reflects this wish, and repertoire on the CD was performed by world renowned marimba performers.♪ iTunes :http://qq1q.biz/JT5D
Note: This quartet can be played on two marimbas (5.0 Octave and 4.0 Octave Marimba). Mar. 1 can be replaced with xylophone. The arranger suggests Marimba 1 to use a bit harder mallets for the triplets notes, playing with light touch.
The other parts use yarn wrapped softer mallets in order to create the difference of the sound between Mar. 1 and others.
This quartet can be played on two marimbas (5.0 Octave and 4.0 Octave Marimba). Mar. 1 can be replaced with xylophone.
About the composer +
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around 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 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.
Review (Percussive Notes, June 2020)
This arrangement of J.S. Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” is for marimba quartet or three marimbas and xylophone. Michiko Noguchi’s arrangement stays very close to the original work, with the addition of roll indications and a ritardando at the end. The Marimba 1/Xylophone part carries the melody throughout the work, and therefore Noguchi recommends harder mallets with a light touch for that part. The other three parts logically split the harmony and bass lines.
There is no tempo indication, so this arrangement could work at a variety of skill levels. I appreciate the use of two mallets throughout; it’s an important skill that often gets overshadowed by the allure of four mallets. Like much of Bach’s music, this arrangement is a great means for students to work on shaping, tone quality, touch, sticking, mallet choice, balance, and many other musical areas. I highly recommend this work for high school and undergraduate students.
—Joseph Van Hassel
Front Cover graphics and layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
Engraving: Michiko Noguchi
Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
Copyright © 2018 Michiko Noguchi