N E W S L E T T E R              Spring 2001

News · CD Review · Performer's view ·  Book review ·  Select bibliography



On January 19, 2001, Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and German Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder signed an agreement according to which the collection of the Berlin Sing-Akademie with its significant Bach family holdings should be returned to its original home.  In a symbolic gesture, Kuchma handed over to Schroeder an important manuscript with organ works by J. S. Bach.  The inter-government agreement specifies that the return is to take place within three months. The repatriation of the Sing-Akademie collection would represent the first major restitution of trophy materials from World War II.  After its arrival in Germany, the materials will be placed in the Berlin Staatsbibliothek on permanent loan from the Sing-Akademie. 

     In the meantime, a major portion of the collection has been microfilmed in Kyiv, but the filming project, involving nearly one million pages of music, will in all likelihood now be completed in Berlin.  Cataloguing has begun in a joint undertaking involving the RISM offices in Frankfurt and at Harvard, the Leipzig Bach Archive, and the Packard Humanities Institute in Cambridge.  The complete catalogue of the extensive Bach family materials (Die Bach-Quellen der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin) will be published as part of the Bach-Repertorium series.  Once the cataloguing is completed, the collection will be accessible to scholars, both on microfilm (at the Bach Archive, the Berlin Staatsbibliothek, the Academy of Sciences in Kyiv, and the Isham Memorial Library at Harvard), and in the original in Berlin.

     The first modern performances of a significant repertory piece from the newly discovered archive, C.P.E. Bachís Dank-Hymne der Freundschaft, were given in March by The Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, under Christopher Hogwood.  Hogwood chairs the Editorial Board of C.P.E.Bach: The Collected Works, published under the auspices of The Packard Humanities Institute, and the materials for these performances were prepared in conjunction with the edition in-progress.

                                                              Christoph Wolff

New Director at Bach Archive

      Christoph Wolff has succeeded Hans-Joachim Schulze as Director of the Leipzig Bach Archive, effective January 1, 2001.  Dr. Schulze reached mandatory retirement age last year, but stayed on so as to oversee official celebrations for the Bach Year 2000.

     Professor Wolff is currently on sabbatical leave from Harvard University, and will divide his time between Leipzig and Berlin, where he is a Senior Fellow at the American Academy.  Upon returning in his full-time capacity at Harvard, he will continue the directorship of the Bach Archive on an external basis.  This is made possible owing to the prior appointment of Bernhard Hess as managing director with full-time responsibility for administrative, personnel, and financial operations.

     The Leipzig Bach Archive presently comprises three divisions--research institute, events department, and Bach Museum.  It is the research institute that plays the key role in such projects as the Bach-Jahrbuch, the Leipziger Beitr‰ge zur Bach-Forschung, the Neue Bach-Ausgabe, the Bach Compendium, and the Bach-Repertorium.  Wolff will serve as project director for the Neue Bach-Ausgabe (to be completed within the next five years), and two deputies, Dr. Peter Wollny and Dr. Ulrich Leisinger, will assist in keeping the work of the Bach-Repertorium and Bach-Dokumente on track, and in developing new short-term and long-term projects.

     The events department is responsible for the concert and lecture series, as well as the Leipzig Bach Festival and International Bach Competitions.  With the appointment of Robert Levin as President of the International Bach Competitions, the competitions will include performances on historical, as well as modern instruments.

     Wolffís vision for the Bach Museum is that it will adopt more attractive, imaginative, and educational formats in its exhibitions.  He hopes that the extensive reference library will become more accessible, and will play a greater role in shaping future bibliographic control over the vast array of Bach materials.

ABS Houston 2002: Call for papers

    See the notice here.

Book discounts for ABS members

    Information here.

Bach Festivals

    Listed here.

CD Review

J.S. Bach:  The Six Cello Suites, performed on the Viola by Patricia McCarty.  Ashmont Music (No. 6100).

      When I recently took count of the editions of the Bach Cello Suites--a total of 93 since the first one by Louis Norblin in 1824--I had not included all the transcriptions for lute, viola, violin, piano, bassoon, and trombone that Patricia McCarty enumerates in her brief booklet accompanying this two-CD set.  In addition, there are the various editions with piano accompaniment, such as the one by Robert Schumann.  These masterpieces continue to fascinate, and have had more editions--four in the year 2000 alone--than even the Violin Sonatas.  And the same goes for recordings.  (When the thirteen-year-old Pablo Casals first discovered these works in 1889, incidentally, that was the 1866 Gr¸tzmacher edition, not the 1879 Bach-Gesellschaft Edition, as McCarty notes.)

     This resilient music can, of course, be played to good effect on almost any instrument, but what is more important is the musicianship, the conceptual grasp, the interpretation.  I recently heard them played, beautifully, on the double bass, by Edgar Meyer, and I feel that the exchange between players of different instruments can be very fruitful.  As violists have no Bach solo works specifically written for them, they might well borrow repertory from either or both the violin or cello works.  About twenty-five years ago, when William Primrose visited me at the Institute for Advanced Musical Studies in Switzerland, I played for him my then newly completed transcription of the Chaconne, and he, a violist, was full of the most wonderful ideas and insights.  So it is with great interest that I listen now to another violist and what it is she does with a repertory that has been my mainstay for well over sixty years.

     It appears, from the catalogs, that at least four other violists have undertaken similar projects for the Bach Year.  McCarty says that she consulted the existing manuscripts as well as current editions.  But with respect to sources, we are faced with the critical fact that Bachís original manuscript is lost.  Perhaps it will surface one day, as did the violin holograph in 1909.  But meanwhile, we performers and editors have to rely on what exists,  i.e., the Johann Peter Kellner copy from 1726, the Anna Magdalena Bach copy from c.1730, two anonymous later-18th century manuscripts, and the Norblin first edition.  For the Fifth Suite we also have Bachís own autograph transcription for the lute.  In text-critical matters, there is still a good deal of personal choice to be made, e.g., with regard to slurring, where it is very difficult to find an ideal solution, and where one must rely upon selection and taste. In contradistinction to many editors, I consider the Kellner copy (which I rediscovered in 1962, after its disappearance in 1938) to be the most interesting source, and that of Anna Magdalena Bach to be the least reliable.  In his recent edition for Schott/Universal (Wiener Urtext Edition 50 133), Ulrich Leisinger has completely disregarded the AMB text, and I am happy to have had the opportunity to correspond with him on this subject.  The English musicologist Matthew Head (JAMS 52/2) makes a comparison between the music books that J.S. Bach prepared for Anna Magdalena, and the keyboard book he made for Wilhelm Friedemann, and urges us to keep in mind that the former were created for within the female-amateur sphere, and the latter, for within the male-professional sphere of music making. Head is mostly concerned with the kinds of pieces in the books, and their organization, but in my view we should take into account the different purposes of musical sources in evaluating their readings. Anna Magdalena was totally inexperienced as a string player, and in her copy of the Cello Suites, I count no fewer than 117 errors, not including slurs.  For these and other reasons, I rely upon her readings only in concordance with the others, but unfortunately, McCarty perpetuates some of Anna Magdalenaís blatant errors.

     Still, listening as a cellist, one finds much to admire.  Everything sounds so easy, and it is obvious that a performance on the viola vitiates many of the problems one has on the cello.  McCartyís playing is superb, her technique faultless.  The CDs were produced over a two-year period, in six widely spaced sessions, one Suite at a time.  I wonder, though, if that is the best way.  As far as comfort and stress management is concerned, it is ideal, but for total involvement, I have my doubts. It is impossible to recreate, six times, an atmosphere that is often difficult enough to reproduce in the first instance, and the production can become urbane and “gutless.”  In the present instance, the Gigues and BourreÈs, especially, could have been more earthy, and slower.  The way McCarty ornaments and varies the repeats is extremely satisfying for its taste and elegance--in particular, in the Sarabande of the Fourth Suite.  But she could just as soon have added more of the ornaments found in the two later-18th century sources.   For  the  Fifth Suite,  with its scordatura tuning  (A lowered to G), McCarty chooses to perform with normal tuning, and it sounds fine, since the altered tuning is really more germane to the cello.  Since the viola is tuned an octave higher than the cello, violists logically play the Suites up an octave.  This works well until they take on the Sixth Suite, and it is then that problems arise.  The Sixth Suite, composed for a five-string cello with added upper E-string, presents most of the writing in alto clef, which naturally appeals to violists.  The pitfall, however, is that Bach also uses bass clef in the lower range, much of which lies below the range of the viola.  Already, at the very beginning of the Prelude (which is in the bass clef), the violist has to play an octave higher, and when one reaches the ninth measure and meets with viola clef, one has the frustration of not being able to proceed sensibly.  One can really only read viola clef at m. 19, after an ungainly octave leap, and even then, not for long.  This, then, is a source of great frustration, in that the viola range is so different from that of the five-string cello, and one simply cannot read the viola clef consistently.  The text, which can certainly be performed without problems on the four-string cello, requires a certain adaptation for the viola.  Bachís composition covers three-and-a-half octaves, and paradoxically, this Suite, though, written largely in alto clef, has to be confined on the viola to two-and-a-half octaves only.  The first half of the Allemande perhaps works best, since only a few of the bottom notes have to be dropped.

     Throughout the Suites, the characteristic idiom is that of the “melodizing of harmony,” wherein Bach succeeds, miraculously, in creating the impression of several voices within one-and-the-same melodic line.  McCarty could have underlined this aspect a little more. Her playing is often too linear, a shortcoming, unfortunately, of many performers.  The recording itself is very good, without too much reverberation, which so often distorts the sound of instruments.  What we have, in sum, is an excellent example of how these great works can sound in a suitable transcription for the very instrument which, according to Forkel, was one of Bachís favorites.

                                                          Dimitry Markevitch

Performer's View                               

What is Bachís Well-Tempered Clavier?
A Performer's View of WTC II

      My first piano lessons began at age five, and it was not long thereafter that I began to study individual preludes and fugues from the ë48í.  In the 1950s, the Kalmus reprint of Hans Bischoffís Steingr‰ber edition seemed to be the most reliable text.  Bischoffís voluminous footnotes with variants from the extant sources provided a delightful excuse not to practice too intensely:  it was at least as enlightening to try out the alternatives as to deal with the insidious challenges that lurked at every moment in Bachís astonishing preludes and fugues.  The title Kalmus gave to the collection was The Well-Tempered Clavichord--indeed, the word clavier was once synonymous with “clavichord” in the German-speaking world.  This usage, however, postdates the Baroque era, when clavier denoted, in German as in the original French, a keyboard, or, in the case of the organ, a manual, e.g., Bachís designation of some of his organ works “‡ deux claviers et pÈdale”.  Subsequently, its initial consonant modernized from C to K, and clavier designated the pianoforte, as it does in Germany to the present day.

     In calling the ë48í The Well-Tempered Clavier, we dodge the question of identity, for “clavier” is an archaic, vague term whose primary advantage to today's performers is that it confers equal validity upon performance on harpsichord, or on piano.  This ecumenical fact sheds no light upon Bachís intention in choosing that title in 1722.

     Christoph Wolff has shown that Bachís gatherings of his collections Das Wohltemperirte Clavier, the Aufrichtige Anleitung and the Orgeb¸chlein were prompted by the need to show the Leipzig authorities that, despite the lack of a university degree, he could adduce impressive pedagogical credentials (Johann Sebastian Bach, The Learned Musician, 225ff.) . Wolff also discusses Bachís appropriation of Andreas Werckmeisterís term wohl temperirt, and his advocacy of a system, which, to quote Wolff, “enabl[es Bach] to play in all twenty-four keys without losing the characteristic features of individual keys--a loss that occurs if the octave is divided into absolute equal semitones (what was to become a new standard would have been regarded then as a serious drawback).  Bachís primary purpose in writing   The   Well- Tempered  Clavier, then, was to demonstrate in practice the musical manageability of all twenty-four chromatic keys, a system that earlier had been considered only theoretically.” (228-229)

     Viewed in this light, Bachís title promulgates his advocacy of a system of tuning keyboard instruments--the generic word clavier being equally applicable to any member of the family.  Contemplating the music of Part I, it is clear that, whereas most of the collection is eminently playable on the harpsichord, the A-minor fugue can not be executed without a pedal board, and the final A in the bass, sustained over 4Ω measures, requires the organ if the pedal tone is to have more than a theoretical existence.  If the A-minor fugue is almost certainly for organ--and its scale exceeds that of all the other fugues in the collection--it is not likely to be the only work so conceived.  Pedal tones and other organistic devices are to be found in the fugues in C major, C-sharp minor, F minor, B-flat minor, and B minor, for instance.  Preludes and fugues well suited to the intimate character of the clavichord likewise can be readily found; and if one is willing to consider the possibility of one- vs. two-manual harpsichord, a total of four instruments emerge as possible vehicles for Bachís work.  (The lute clavier, a tempting addition, seems precluded, as its range is unlikely to have exceeded that of the lute, i.e.,  f”--an upper limit exceeded by every movement in both volumes of the WTC.)

     If Bach himself did not personally entitle the second part of the collection, Altnickolís designation as "Des Wohltemperirten Claviers Zweyter Teil" surely reflects the content, and perhaps the explicit intention, of the composer.  Musical style had evolved considerably since the assembling of Part I, and instruments were evolving as well.  Bach had come into contact with Silbermannís pianos; if he criticized them, he subsequently endorsed them, and it is far from inconceivable that certain pieces from WTC II might indeed be intended for the piano (a possibility to which Wolff also admits), enlarging the choice of instruments from four to five.

     To see The Well-Tempered Clavier in this light is to propose that performance of the collection on a single instrument--whatever that instrument might be--or in equal temperament, will damage the breadth and character of Bachís concept.  In recording the two parts of the WTC for H‰nsslerís Edition Bachakademie, I decided to put this theory to the test.  The temperament and pitch we used were dictated by the organ we chose (A 415, Werckmeister III).  Although the verities of Chor- and Cammerton would have meant that moving from instrument to instrument would change the pitch, listeners at home would surely prefer two pieces in E-flat and two in F rather than none in E-flat and four in F.

     In choosing specific instruments for a given prelude and fugue, each musician will be guided by a necessarily personal impression of its texture and character.  Some choices may seem more evident, others more obscure.  At times one is tempted to prescribe one instrument for the prelude, another for the fugue; but this ultimately challenges the essence of the structure, in which the one prepares the other.  What follows is an enumeration of the choices made in my recording of WTC II--choices that, in my mind are volatile, and infinitely mutable.  The issue is not to arrive at a decision for all time, but to be astonished anew by the breathtaking invention and variety of Bachís topoi so as to imagine in each case an instrument most ideally suited to their character.


C Major.  I chose the organ because of the omnipresent suspensions in the prelude, which are a hallmark of the polyphonic style and should be palpable to the ear.  The pedal tone at the end also suggests use of the organ.  The fugue works on all of the potential instruments, but performance on the organ provides a necessary reminder that the instrument is as effective for witty energy as it is for sustained utterance.

C Minor.  As often proves to be the case in this collection, the choice of instrument is mandated less by the fugue, which works well on all of the proposed instruments, than by the prelude.  This is the first of many dance movements--a binary piece with repeats.  A descendant of Bachís two-part inventions, it is an ideal candidate for the double-manual harpsichord, because one can change registration in the repeats.

C-sharp Major.  The prelude harkens back to WTC I; its succession of decorated chords, leading unexpectedly to a joyous fugato, gives less of a mandate to a specific instrument than does the fugue--a playful, expressive piece without any austerity, and therefore eminently suitable for the clavichord.

C-sharp Minor.  For recreating the vicissitudes of both component movements--resigned and contemplative on the one hand, passionate or vigorous on the other--the dynamic nuances of the fortepiano seem ideal.

D Major.  This is a trumpet-and-drum key, and the piece starts with a trumpet fanfare.  The organ offers the typical registrational colors for this purpose, though the challenges  of  performing  the  running  sixteenths  on  a tracker organ might discourage adoption of this choice.  If the harpsichords crisp execution provides an equally plausible alternative for the prelude, the organ seems the ideal choice for the calm, balanced, ricercar-like fugue.  Another typical hallmark of an organ composition is in the cadences in the relative minor, F-sharp, and in the minor-tinged dominant that enables a change in registration.

D Minor.  The two-part texture mandates hand crossings, which are easy to play on a double-manual harpsichord, but which can be just as successfully performed on a the fortepiano, where contrast of coloration easily keeps the voices well-defined.  The fugue theme has two contrasting motives--rising triplets and a descending chromatic lament.  I find the colors of the fortepiano ideal for this purpose.

E-flat Major.  The prelude is composed in lute style; there is an obvious connection with the Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro, BWV 998, both in content and key. Even if Alfred D¸rr quite rightly terms the fugue theme a “catchy street tune,” I consider it an organ fugue.

D-sharp Minor.  With the prelude, we return to the realm of two-part inventions in binary dance form.  On balance, I think it suits the harpsichord, especially because, by performing the prelude on two manuals, the two voices can maintain their independence, and exchanging the manuals means that, as in the C-minor prelude, the repeats may be performed with coloristic variety.

E Major.  The prelude is a three-part invention, again a binary piece with repeats.  In contrast, the fugue is a masterpiece of the style antico, with stretti, diminution, and the other accoutrements of this style.  I recall that, as a student in Louis Martinís solfËge class at the Chatham Square Music School in New York, we sang this piece as a choir--which worked wonderfully.  The pedal points in the prelude confirm the pieceís suitability for the organ.

E minor.  The mood of the prelude, a two-part invention, recalls the Third Partita, BWV 827.  As for the fugue, Bach may never have written a more spirited piece.  Because the drive gathers force as the tension builds up, I opted for the dynamic possibilities of the fortepiano.

F major.  If the prelude, with its chain of flowing pseudo-chords, would be wonderful on the organ, the shower of thirty-seconds at the end might be less fortuitous there.  The clavichord, with its guitar-like sound, offers the same particular enjoyment of the flowing eighths as the merry fugue that seems to whiz by.

F Minor.  The prelude is a harbinger of the empfindsamer Stil. The “una corda” stop, found on the Silbermann piano, is ideal for its delicate pathos.  The drama of the kinetic fugue is above all a performance experience rather than a contemplative one.  Here, as in the fugue in A-flat major, the fortepiano seems to offer better possibilities than the harpsichord. 

F-sharp Major.  Because the prelude owes its character less to color and more to the pomp and drive of its dotted figures, the single-manual harpsichord is an appropriate instrument.  The large-scale fugue is equally well accommodated by a single register.

F-sharp Minor.  Whereas the prelude has an expressive, improvised character, the triple fugue covers a wide spectrum of emotions, from the syncopations of the main

F-sharp Major.  Because the prelude owes its character less to color and more to the pomp and drive of its dotted figures, the single-manual harpsichord is an appropriate instrument.  The large-scale fugue is equally well accommodated by a single register.

F-sharp Minor.  Whereas the prelude has an expressive, improvised character, the triple fugue covers a wide spectrum of emotions, from the syncopations of the main theme and the filigree second theme, to the flow of the third.  Along with the fortepiano, the clavichord has the ideal sensitivity and flexibility for this purpose.

G Major.  It is the flamboyant prelude, whose binary form offers the usual exchange of registration, which points to the choice of two-manual harpsichord.  If the fugues loose counterpoint and banter are well served by the harpsichord, other choices are scarcely precluded.

G Minor.  The fugue, like the prelude (in the frame of a French overture), is austere, majestic, immense, with an uncompromising theme that consists of a sequence interrupted by rests and followed by an insistent repeated note.  The unvarying, uncompromising character of both pieces is well served by eschewing coloristic distractions:  I prefer single-manual harpsichord.

A-flat Major.  The prelude is one of the towering masterpieces of the set.  It provides an ideal demonstration of Bachís exploration of the structural ramifications of the tonal system, visiting virtually all the related keys (E-flat, F minor, B-flat minor, D-flat major--only C minor is missing) in a contemplative, speculative approach that elevates musical architecture to a depiction of the cosmos itself.  The fugue, transposed by Bach from F major to A-flat major to fit into the collection, displays a parallel construction.  The choice of fortepiano enables inflection not only of the various keys according to their character and differing sound (in non-equal temperament), but of the transitions that connect them.

G-sharp Minor.  Another binary prelude, with dynamics prescribed by Bach.  These can be well executed on the double-manual harpsichord; indeed, the changes of manual may be carried out in greater detail here than in the other binary preludes.  This allows Bachís notation to be realized with great variety, in coordination with his musical ideas.  The two-manual harpsichord likewise allows the use of registration changes to underline the fugueís tripartite structure--first subject, second subject, and the triumphant combination of the two.

A Major.  The character of the prelude unmistakably recalls that of the First English Suite.  In contrast, the fugue shows Bachís modern side.  The texture of the fugue seems effortless, as if Bach thought it unnecessary to prove himself, again, the master of counterpoint--the genius of this music is concealed by a light touch and understatement, a perfect vehicle for the clavichord!

A Minor.  The prelude stretches chromaticism to and beyond the confines of tonality within a rhythmically jaunty, and therefore all the more unsettling frame.  The fugue is one of Bachís most audacious and intense pieces, its coiled, bull-headed energy anticipating the Romantic character piece.  Here, the choice of the fortepiano seems obvious.

B-flat Major.  Frequent hand-crossings--with sequences where the roles of the hands are reversed midway--show that Bach wanted to teach this skill to his pupils.  However, I do not opt for the double-manual harpsichord to express the change of hands in these sequences by changing registration (I believe that Bach wanted to encourage the player to simulate such a change of position with skill), but rather, only to liven up the repeats.  The calm, somewhat galant fugue is less clearly intended for a specific instrument, but works well on harpsichord.

B-flat Minor.  The choice of the organ emerges from the majestic fugue, though the prelude seems well served by that instrument.  Even if an alternative might seem possible for the prelude alone, I do not believe that one should challenge the integrity of prelude and fugue by changing instrument in between. 

B Major.  The prelude is pleasant and conversational.  The melody of the middle section would be easier to play with one hand, but Bach probably composed it for two to develop coordination in his pupils.  Though the fugue alludes to the stile antico, the pair of movements is unsuitable for organ because of the low B in the final chord of the prelude. The single-manual harpsichord proves a successful vessel for the set.

B Minor.  The fugue is a gigue, which provides an ending to WTC II that is as joyful as that to the first part is somber and dramatic.  Here, a variety of potential choices beckons.  On the other hand, the constant motivic interchange between the hands in the prelude suggests performance on two-manual harpsichord, in which the individual character of the two ideas can be reinforced.

                                                                    Robert Levin

 Quotations from CD liner notes (revised by the author) are used with permission, H‰nssler Classic, 2000.

Book Review

 Die Quellen Johann Sebastian Bachs.  Bachs Musik im Gottesdienst, ed. Renate Steiger (Heidelberg: Mantius Verlag, 1998), 463 pp.

      This book contains twenty-nine papers which were initially presented at the 1995 Symposium of the Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft f¸r theologische Bachforschung, an organization devoted to the dual disciplines of theology and musicology in Bach research.  In an introductory article, editor Renate Steiger lays out some methodological presuppositions in the work of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft: that Bach recognized and understood the metaphors and theological content of the texts he set; that his librettists took for granted a broad learning on the part of readers (familiarity with languages, scripture, catechesis, and hymnody); and that these texts, however remote to modern sensibility, furnish a compositional starting point in Bachís vocal music.  Her consideration of the theological sources in Cantata 172, Erschallet, ihr Lieder, serves well as a backdrop to the entire Symposium.  Central to the discussion of the cantata are its textual allusions to various biblical expressions concerning the gracious “dwelling within” of God--a concept that is particularly noteworthy because it was articulated by Bach himself, in his Calov Bible marginal annotations

     A number of articles deal with the influences of antiquity.  Andreas Funke provides an overview of the role that the study of classical authors played in preaching.  Using as a prime example J. M. Meyfartís early application of classical rhetorical principles to the German language, Johann Anselm Steiger shows how the revitalization of preaching in the Reformation era led to the biblicization of classical rhetoric, and raised the study of speech to a new level within education, and within the society-at-large.  In an English article, Willem Elders traces rhetorical structures and figures back to Lasso, Josquin, and Dufay; particularly interesting is his discussion of a Dufay motet in which the musical-rhetorical formulation corresponds to one of the earliest rhetorical applications--the arguing of a legal case.

     Two articles address the reception history of mysticism.  Ann Matter contends that the love duets in Cantata 140 (with texts from the Song of Songs) are given an “anagogical-apocalyptical” interpretation by Bach and his librettist, thereby departing from the more traditional, sentimentalized view.  In a somewhat inconclusive study, Werner Braun compares Bachís “Echo” aria in the Christmas Oratorio with counterparts by Mattheson, and Keiser, and with a libretto possibly penned by Johann Kuhnau, and Braun notes the individual and paradoxical qualities in Bachís setting.

     Six articles deal with historical Lutheran perceptions of music.  Martin Petzoldt discusses the historical and theological background in Cantata 194, Hˆchsterw¸nschtes Freudenfest, written for an organ dedication at Stˆrmthal, noting that its principal textual theme--Godís “dwelling within”--was actually more commonly employed in services and sermons related to the dedication of church buildings.

     Kazuhiro Fujiwara argues that Werckmeister temperament theory rests upon the Augustinian concept of the unitas and upon the idea of a tempered (Platonic), as opposed to an imperfect (Christian) universe.  Helmut Lauterwasser lists categories of sources for the formulation of a “conception of music” in the German Baroque--theology books, published sermons, prefaces to musical publications, etc.--and provides examples within each category.  Thomas Schlage discusses a 1623 sermon by Johann Saubert called “SeelenMusic,” which proposes an allegorization of the four voice parts, subsequently adopted by other writers:  the Holy Spirit (represented by the altissimus [alto]) leads true faith (the bass), through prayer (discant) to a God-pleasing life (tenor).  The author stresses that while Saubert was strongly influenced by Johann Arndtís writings (with their emphasis on heartfelt faith and moral living), and published this sermon to encourage individual piety and to preserve pure teaching, his (Saubertís) work must not be regarded as an anticipation of pietistic preaching, despite apparent similarities.  (It is significant that other authors, including Renata Steiger and Elke Axmacher, also take pains to disassociate the devotional and mystical themes in Bachís texts from Pietism and from pietistic influence.)  Werner Braun looks at contemporary musical responses to Saubertís theologically determinate hierarchy of the voice parts.  He recounts that one Johann Beer, a 17th century court alto, defended Saubertís observations on purely musical grounds, and he reproduces and discusses two musical settings of a sixteen-line poem that appeared on Saubertís title-page (of which a facsimile can be found in Renate Steigerís opening article).

     On the basis of a statistical study of Bachís cantatas, Ludwig Prautzsch  suggests  symbolic  meanings  for  the Visitation after the German Reformation, showing how Lutherís shift to a Christological focus--in making the feast a celebration of the Magnificat--is reflected in several Bach works.  In a concise, but fact-filled English study, Robin  Leaver surveys liturgical chant forms in Bach, and of special interest is Leaverës observation regarding Bachís creative use of an aural uncertainty between the identity of “Tone 1” (used in both the Kyrie and Agnus Dei), and tonus peregrinus (used in the Magnificat and in the benediction response).  In an article of more national interest, Knud Svendsen writes briefly about the reception of Bachís sacred music in Denmark and recounts efforts to integrate Bachís music into Danish church services.

     In the closing section of the book, …dith Weber introduces a little-known repertory--16th and 17th century academic music drama originating from East of the Rhine.  The author shows that these dramas with musical insertions grew out of a humanistic interest in the classics on the one hand, and Reformation-era aspiration toward edification on the other.  Albert Clementís article is a short prelude, only, to his full-length work on the structure and sources of Clavier¸bung III, which has since been published by Edita Almares Verlag (1999) under the title Der Dritte Teil Der Clavier¸bung von Johann Sebastian Bach:  Musik-Text-Theologie.  Greta Konradtís contribution is also short--an abbreviated version of a paper describing some “historia,” located, since 1989, in East Germany, which, with Schelleís Christmastime Actus Musicus, suggest a bridge between Sch¸tz and Bach.

    As the reader may infer, many of the articles in this volume represent “works in progress,” and it is unfortunate that the book includes no index to the Bach works cited.  Though many of the articles may leave the reader wishing for more definite conclusions, or more direct connections with Bach, the collection as a whole amply demonstates one of the guiding premises of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft, and indeed, of Bach research itself:  that it is never enough to study only the notes.

                                                                       Mel Unger

Select Bibliography

This selection of new Bach publications is compiled by Yo Tomita,  whose exhaustive online Bach Bibliography of over 16,500 items can be accessed at (Note: new publications already cited in the ABS Newsletter for Spring 2000 have not been included here.)

 The Neue Bach-Ausgabe

Bach, Johann Sebastian. Kantaten zum 2. und 3.Weihnachtstag (BWV 40, 121, 57, 64, 133, 151). Edited by Alfred D¸rr, Andreas Glˆckner, Klaus Hofmann, Uwe Wolf and Peter Wollny. Serie I, Band 3.1, Neue Ausgabe s‰mtlicher Werke. Cassel and New York: B‰renreiter, 2000.

________. Kantaten zum Sonntag nach Weihnachten (BWV 152, 122, 28). Edited by Klaus Hofmann. Serie I, Band 3.2.

________. Varia: Kantaten, Quodlibet, Einzels‰tze, Bearbeitungen (BWV 150, 203, 209, 524, 127/1, 1088, 1083). Edited by Andreas Glˆckner. Serie I, Band 41.

________. Lateinische Kirchenmusik, Passionen: Werke zweifelhafter Echtheit, Bearbeitungen fremder Kompositionen. Edited by Kirsten Beiflwenger. Serie II, Band 9.

________. Sechs kleine Praeludien; Einzeln ¸berlieferte Klavierwerke I. Kritischer Bericht. Edited by Uwe Wolf. Serie V, Band 9.2.


Bossuyt, Ignace. De Missae breves (BWV 233-236) van Johann Sebastian Bach. Peer: Alamire, 2000.

Bouman, Johan. Musik zur Ehre Gottes: Die Musik als Gabe Gottes und Verkundigung des Evangeliums bei Johann Sebastian Bach. Giessen: Brunnen, 2000.

Daniel, Thomas. Der Choralsatz bei Bach und seinen Zeitgenossen: Eine historische Satzlehre. Kˆln: Dohr, 2000.

D¸rr, Alfred. Johann Sebastian Bachís St John Passion: Genesis, Transmission and Meaning. Translated by Alfred Clayton. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Emans, Reinmar, ed. Der junge Bach: “weiln er nicht aufzuhalten.” Erfurt: Erste Thuringer Landesausstellung, 2000.

Forkel, Johann Nikolaus. ‹ber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke. Edited by Claudia Maria Knispel. Berlin: Henschel, 2000.

Geck, Martin. Bach: Leben und Werk. Reinbek: Verlag Rowohlt, 2000.

Heinemann, Michael, ed. Das Bach-Lexikon. Laaber: Laaber-Verlag, 2000.

Jena, G¸nter. Ich lebe mein Leben in wachsenden Ringen: Die Kunst der Fuge von Johann Sebastian Bach. Gedanken und Erfahrungen eines Interpreten. Eschbach: Verlag am Eschbach, 2000.

Jira, Martin. Musikalische Temperaturen und musikalischer Satz in der Klaviermusik J. S. Bachs. Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2000.

Ludewig, Reinhard. Johann Sebastian Bach im Spiegel der Medizin. Persˆnlichkeit, Krankheiten, Operationen, ƒrzte, Tod, Reliquien, Denkm‰ler und Ruhest‰tten des Thomaskantors. Eine allgemeinverst‰ndliche Pathographie. Grimma: Edition Waechterpappel, 2000.

Moroney, Davitt. Bach: An Extraordinary Life. London: The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, 2000.

Moser, Dietz-Rudiger, ed. Bach in Bayern. Beitrage zu einer Geschichte der Rezeption Johann Sebastian Bachs im oberdeutschen Raum. Munich: Humbach & Nemazal, 2000.

Nies-Berger, Edouard. Albert Schweitzer and the Bach Edition - Memoirs of a Collaboration. Stuyvesant, NY: Pendragon Press, 2000.

Overstolz, Christian. Ein Stilles Credo J. S. Bach: Pr‰ludium und Fuge in A-Dur aus dem Wohltemperierten Klavier I. Basel: Schwabe, 2000.

Petzoldt, Martin. Bach-Almanach. Ereignisse und Kurzgeschichten f¸r Jeden Tag. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2000.

Petzoldt, Martin. Bachst‰tten: Ein Reisef¸hrer zu Johann Sebastian Bach. Frankfurt am Main and Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 2000.

Sackmann, Dominik. Bach und Corelli: Studien zu Bachs Rezeption von Corellis Violinsonaten op. 5 unter besonderer Ber¸cksichtigung der “Passaggio-Orgelchor‰le” und der langsamen Konzerts‰tze. Munich and Salzburg: Katzbichler, 2000.


Ahrens, Christian. “Eine Registrieranweisung des Bach-Sch¸lers Doles.” Ars organi 48/2 (2000): 76-79.

Benary, Peter. “Die motivgepr‰gten Accompagnati in Johann Sebastian Bachs Matth‰us-Passion.” Musiktheorie 15/2 (2000): 99-106.

Bˆhme, Ullrich. “Die neue Bach-Orgel der Thomaskirche Leipzig.” Ars organi 48/2 (2000): 68-71.

Brino, Paola. “Le fughe per liuto di J. S. Bach. I: Fuga in Do minore BWV 997.” Il Fronimo 28/111 (2000): 45-52.

Brino, Paola. “Le fughe per liuto di J. S. Bach. II: Fuga in Mi bemolle maggiore BWV 998.” Il Fronimo 28/112 (2000): 43-47.

Charlier, Claude. “Analyse stylistique de la partie central de la fantaisie pour orgue en sol majeur, BWV 572/2 de J.S. Bach.” Líorganiste 32/126 (2000): 47-49.

Charlier, Claude. “Bien comprendre toutes les fugues de J. S. Bach.” Líorganiste 32/125 (2000): 3-8.

Charlier, Claude. “LíinterprÈtation des fugues de J. S. Bach.” Líorganiste 31/123 (2000): 107-125.

Dirksen, Pieter. “Het Auteurschap van Praeludium en fuga in f (BWV 534).” Het Orgel 96/5 (2000): 5-14.

Fabian, Dorottya. “Musicology and Performance Practice: In Search of a Historical Style with Bach Recordings.” Studies in Musicology (Budapest) 41/1-3 (2000): 77-106.

Graubart, Michael. “Decoding Bach 1: Emotion or Meaning?” The Musical Times 141/1872 (2000): 8-12.

Heidrich, J¸rgen. “L¸beck, 27. bis 30. April 2000: Internationales Symposion ëBach, L¸beck und die norddeutsche Musiktradition.í” Die Musikforschung 53/4 (2000): 459-460.

Hugli, Pierre. “Jean-Sebastien Bach, mort il y a 250 ans: Musicien díeglise ou musicien de cafe?” Revue Musicale de Suisse Romande 3 (Sep-Nov 2000): 2-9.

Jerold, Beverly. “Pedal Technique in Early Music.” The American Organist 34/10 (2000): 82-85.

Junod, Philippe. “Die Farben in ein System bringen wie die Noten: Bach aus der Sicht von Malern.” Dissonanz 63 (Feb. 2000): 18-25.

Kellner, Herbert A. “Gˆttliche Unit‰t und mathematische Ordnung: Zahlenalphabet und Gematria von A. Werckmeister bis J. S. Bach.” ÷sterreichsche Musikzeitschrift 55/11-12 (2000): 8-16.

Kellner, Herbert Anton. “Die Kunst der Fuga. J. S. Bachís Prefatory Message and Implications.” Diapason (May 2000): 15-17.

Kellner, Herbert Anton. “Johann Sebastian Bach and Die Kunst der Fuge.” Diapason (March 2000): 13.

Konrad, Ulrich. “Aspekte musikalisch-theologischen Verstehens in Mariane von Zieglers und Johann Sebastian Bachs Kantate ëBisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namení BWV 87.” Archiv f¸r Musikwissenschaft 57/3 (2000): 199-221.

Krones, Hartmut. “Das weiterleben der Kirchentonarten im Oevre Bachs.” ÷sterreichsche Musikzeitschrift 55/4 (2000): 8-22.

Krones, Hartmut. “Eine Passion - Gesch‰fte mit Bach.” ÷sterreichsche Musikzeitschrift 55/6 (2000): 4-5.

Marissen, Michael. “Perspectives on the ëSt John Passioní and the Jews.” The New York Times, 2 April 2000.

Melamed, Daniel R. “Bach Revived: If Wishes Were Passions.” The New York Times, 2 April 2000.

Morana, Frank. “Bach in America, American Bach Society Biennial Meeting.” The American Organist 34/7 (2000): 49-53.

Oleskiewicz, Mary. “Bach, Quantz, and the Flute.” Traverso 12/4 (2000): 13-15.

Prautzsch, Ludwig. “Der Cornettino in der Kantate Christus, der ist mein Leben von Johann Sebastian Bach.” Musik und Kirche 70/2 (2000): 112-113.

Schleuning, Peter. “Bach und die Natur. Beobachtungen an den Brandenburgischen Konzerten.” ÷sterreichsche Musikzeitschrift 55/4 (2000): 23-35.

Sherman, Bernard D. “Bachís Notation of Tempo and Early Music Performance: Some Reconsiderations.” Early Music 28/3 (2000): 455-466.

Stauffer, George B. “Beyond Bach the Monument, Who Was Bach the Man? The New York Times, 2 April 2000.

Tomita, Yo. “Bach Reception in Pre-Classical Vienna: Baron van Swietenís Circle Edits the Well-Tempered Clavier II.” Music & Letters 81/3 (2000): 364-391.

van Pelt, William T. “New Directions in American Organ Research: Sterzing Organ in Eisenach.” Tracker 44/1 (2000): 3-4.

Videla, Mario. “La Biblia personal de J. S. Bach.” Musica e investigacion 3/6 (2000): 135-42.

Williams, Peter. “Stop Press: Some Questions About J. S. Bach and his Organ Music.” The Musical Times 141/1870 (2000): 34-40.

Williams, Peter. “Sui generis: Some Fashionable Uses to which Bach is Put.” The Musical Times 141/1871 (2000): 8-15. 

© 2001 by The American Bach Society.
All rights reserved.