a related question asks if there is a specific term for the voicing in Bach's Chorals:

What is the term for the sung voice found especially in Bach's chorale music (eg. Jesu Joy of Man's Desire BWV147)?

I would have said this is the Choral.

But what I am wondering is how we name the instrumental accompaniment of the solo violin in Jesu Joy or the Bassoon Solo in BWV 140 Zion hört die Wächter singen?

I think we could call it: Ornament, Garland or Ritornell.

Other ideas?

(As I'm planning an analysis and introduction "how to learn and teach" this arrangement/setting for piano).

  • Just to nitpick... the instrumental accompaniment isn't limited to solo violin, it's full four-part strings. 1st violin is the triplets that everyone knows; 2nd violin is in a dotted swing rhythm; violas and basso continuo are mostly in quarters, as seen in this manuscript: youtube.com/watch?v=M3DMuLRsr9A. Note when the chorus comes in, their parts are written in between the violas and the continuo (as was typical). Also note the poly-meter: 1st violin part is notated in 9/8, others are in 3/4. Oct 3 '19 at 2:11
  • @Caleb:Yes, it is, of course.But I'm wondering how you would name these sections and how you'd call the kind of ornaments of the Violin tune. Oct 3 '19 at 19:17

In the cantata form as used by JS Bach, these "chorale fantasias" often have an elaborate orchestral introduction. The opening of BWV 244 (the St Matthew Passion) has often been described as such, and both the opening movement and the final movement of BWV 147 Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben fit this pattern.

However, the structure of the chorale fantasia conforms fairly well to a sort of ritornello form, and hence as the opening theme of the movement does return and punctuate the chorale setting itself, to call this theme a ritornello is appropriate.

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