September is the ninth month of the year. And so the #ClassicsaDay team decided to make the number the theme. For September 2018, the challenge is to post classical works that have to do with the number nine. I chose to alternate between nonets, opus nine compositions, and works with a catalog number of nine.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata “Es ist das Heil uns kommen here?” BWV 9
Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis(BWV) organizes Bach’s music by category first, then chronologically. BWV 1 through 224 are the cantatas. So BWV 9 isn’t the ninth work Bach wrote, just the 9th cantata. BWV 9 was written between 1732 and 1735. It’s based on the Lutheran hymn “It is our salvation come here to us.”
Franz Lachner: Nonet in F major (1857)
Lachner was an important composer and conductor of the 19th Century. Lachner wrote in a style influenced by both his friend Schubert and his hero, Beethoven. His nonet follows the instrumentation established by Spohr, of a wind quintet plus 1 of each type of stringed instrument: violin, viola, cello, and contrabass.
Ludwig van Beethoven: String Trio in D major, Op. 9 No. 2
Beethoven completed the three Op. 9 string trios when he was 28. At the time, he considered them his best works. They were published in Vienna in 1799.
Heitor Villa-Lobos – String Quartet No. 9, 1945
Villa-Lobos wrote 17 string quartets over the course of his career. No. 9 was completed in 1945 in Rio de Janeiro. Musicologists have cited a number of influences for the work: Haydn, Stravinsky, Berg, Bartok. Bottom line, it’s simply Villa-Lobos.
George Onslow – Nonet in A minor, Op. 77a (1848)
Onslow (1784-1853) was a French composer of English descent, a contemporary of Berlioz and Meyerbeer. Most of his substantial catalog is chamber music. His nonet also exists as a sextet for winds and strings.