Sheet Music: Arioso

from Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe
Alternate titlesSinfonia from Cantata 156
Largo from Harpsichord Concerto No.5 in F Minor, BWV 1056
Opus numberBWV 156
ComposerJohann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyF major
Time signature4/4
Tempo40 BPM
Performance time2:00
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (98 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.7 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (1.8 MB)
Date added2009-08-17
Last updated2009-08-17
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 7.4 (very popular)
Baroque, Concertos, Wedding music


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Monday 17 August 2009

Tune of the Day: Arioso

Sinfonia to Cantata 156 by J.S. Bach

The term arioso, which in Italian literally means ‛airy’, designates a style of solo opera singing between recitative and aria. Arguably the famous arioso ever composed, today's piece serves as the opening sinfonia of cantata BWV 156 by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Bach composed this work at a time when family tragedies were prevalent in his life, and this is evident from the title of the text, which translates as “I stand with a foot in the grave“.

The opening sinfonia in F major, for oboe and strings, originated in a concerto movement, now lost, which Bach subsequently recast as the slow movement of his harpsichord concerto in F minor, BWV 1056. In transcriptions for flute it is often transposed to higher keys like G major or A major, but following our usual policy we preferred to leave it in its original key.