J.S. Bach's Magnificat

Classical Academy | Baroque Period | Choral Music | Composers

Johann Sebastian Bach's original idea for his Magnificat had a distinct Christmas feel to it. This major work was initially composed in E flat major in 1723 for its debut at Christmas Vespers in Leipzig. Only after this first performance did Bach revise the work, removing some of the specifically seasonal texts and changing the key to D major to provide better sonority for the trumpets in particular.


Composed for orchestra, five-part choir and up to five soloists, it is a masterful example of Bach's command of the genre of sacred choral music. It is roughly divided into twelve parts grouped in three movements, each beginning with an aria and finished by a distinctive Bach fugal chorus.


Enjoy this wonderful recording of the Bach Collegium of Stuttgart performing the Magnificat.


Don't know your Magnificats from your Missa Brevis from your Requiems? Discover more with our article on choral music. If you're a choral music fan, why not read more about Monteverdi's masterpiece the Vespro della Beata Vergine.