Crucifixus etiam pro nobis sub Pontio Pilato; passus, et sepultus est.

He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate; suffered, and was buried.

Another chorus, this time for SATB and in triple time and in the form of a passacaglia, or chaconne, or ground bass. (This is where the bass part repeats itself throughout the movement on a loop (in this case a pattern of four bars) whilst the music above is different on each repetition.) The choir are accompanied by strings, which generally play on the upbeat and downbeat, and two flutes which generally play on the second and third beats of each bar, making for a kind of conversation in which the pairs of instruments continually interrupt one another. The ground bass is a chromatically descending pattern from the tonic to the dominant followed by a falling fifth back to the tonic. It is extremely similar (coincidentally) to the one used by Purcell for Dido’s Lament at the end of his opera Dido and Aeneas; the aria which Dido sings immediately before she dies of a broken heart. The word crucifixus is set exclusively to a falling phrase which sounds like sighing. For the final four bars the instruments drop out, leaving just the voices and continuo – isolated and alone – as one would be in a burial chamber. This music is parodied from a cantata which Bach wrote in Weimar in 1714; as such it is therefore the oldest music which has been identified in the Mass. 

Et resurrexit tertia die, secundum scripturas, et ascendit in cœlum, sedet ad dexteram Patris. Et iterum venturus est cum gloria, iudicare vivos et mortuos. Cuius regni non erit finis.

And the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father. From thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the living and the dead. 

Whose kingdom shall have no end.

This is the end of the second section of the Symbolum Nicenum when the section is considered as a threefold structure, and is a huge SSATB chorus with trumpets and timpani. The movement is in triple time and is carefully structured. The opening section sets the text as far as the word scripturas. There follows an orchestral passage where the brass are rested before the next part of the text is set as far as the word Patris. Another instrumental section leads into a very demanding passage for the bass soloist before the final sentence is set as a fugal passage for the choir, again accompanied by full orchestra.

Et in Spiritum Sanctum, Dominum et vivificantem: qui ex Patre Filioque procedit. Qui cum Patre et Filio simul adoratur et conglorificatur: qui locutus est per prophetas. Et unam, sanctam, catholicam et apostolicam ecclesiam.

And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and giver of life: who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. Who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified: who spake by the prophets. And in one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.

Another movement very much in the Galant style, this time for two oboes d’amore, and the bass soloist. Again compound time is used and again the music feels like a Siciliano. The oboe parts alternate between moving in parallel motion and imitating one another.

Confiteor unum baptisma in remissionem peccatorum.

We acknowledge one baptism 

for the remission of sins.

A fugal chorus (SSATB) which has two different melodic ideas; firstly a phrase which steps up and then jumps an octave on the word Confiteor, and then a motif built on falling patterns started in the tenors and passed through the other voices on the words in remissionem. The voices are again given centre stage, and no instruments are used here except for the continuo. This movement returns to the old stile antico style and the voices create a strict tapestry of counterpoint over the moving bass continuo line. Midway through the movement Bach introduces the original Gregorian plainsong melody – firstly in the basses, then spreading discreetly through the altos, and finally, in augmentation, in the tenor part. The harmony in the final two bars is extreme – possibly the most forward looking of all of Bach’s harmony. Nicholas Kenyon describes it thus: “… here Haydn’s representation of chaos meets Mozart’s Dissonance Quartet with an almost Mahlerian intensity. It is as if the moment of waiting for the resurrection is to last for an eternity.”