“J. S. Bach and the musical instruments of his time”

Biennial meeting of the American Bach Society
Yale University, New Haven, 24-26 April 1998

Hosted by the Department of Music, the School of Music, the Institute of Sacred Music,
and the Collection of Musical Instruments

The American Bach Society, an organization of scholars, performers and lovers of the music of J. S. Bach, will hold its biennial meeting at Yale University, 24-26 April 1998. The conference will explore the topic "J. S. Bach and the musical instruments of his time," and will be hosted by the Department of Music, the School of Music, the Institute of Sacred Music, and the Collection of Musical Instruments.

There will be four sessions of scholarly papers and lecture demonstrations, discussing new research on harpsichords, flutes, mandoras, trombones, and trumpets in Bach's time, as well as aspects of Bach's music for these instruments. There will be exhibitions of rare Bach manuscripts and printed editions from Yale collections and of instruments of Bach's time from the Collection of Musical Instruments, a performance of Bach's chamber music on antique instruments, and a performance of his St. John Passion with a period-instrument orchestra.

* Starred items in the following tentative program will be open only to registered conference participants.


Friday, April 24

1:00 Session 1, Dwight Chapel

Welcome:George B. Stauffer, president, ABS
Ellen Rosand, chair, Department of Music
Robert Blocker, dean, School of Music
Margot Fassler, director, Institute of Sacred Music

Chair: Matthew Dirst (University of Houston)

  • Opening address: Joshua Rifkin (Cambridge, Mass.), "Bach's violins"
  • Robert Hill (Staatliche Musikhochschule, Freiburg), "Vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen": J. S. Bach en vogue? (paper and performance)
  • *5:00-6:30 Reception/exhibition, Beinecke Library

    "J. S. Bach and his circle: highlights from the Yale Library collections"

    8:00 Concert, Battell Chapel

    J. S. Bach, St. John Passion BWV 245
    Yale Camerata/Arcadia Players

    Saturday, April 25

    9:00 Session 2, Sudler Hall

    Chair: Laurence Libin (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

    • John Koster (Shrine to Music Museum, Univ. of South Dakota), "The scaling and pitch of stringed-keyboard instruments in J.S. Bach's environs"
    • Andreas Kilström (Eskilstuna, Sweden), "The musical potential of Mietke harpsichords"
    • Ulrich Leisinger (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig), "Idiomatic keyboard writing in J. S. Bach's concerto transcriptions"
    • Gerhard Stradner (Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente, Vienna), "Musical instruments for the early 19th-century Bach revival in Vienna"

    *12:00 Lunch/business meeting

    2:00 Session 3, Sudler Hall

    Chair: Kerala Snyder (Eastman School of Music)

    • Peter Wollny (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig), "A newly-discovered Bach autograph from the Weimar period"
    • Mary Oleskiewicz (Duke University), "Bach, Quantz, and the transverse flute: interrelationships and influences"
    • "Music for flute and keyboard from the Dresden, Berlin, and the Bach circles"
      Mary Oleskiewicz, traverso David Schulenberg, keyboard
    • David Schulenberg (Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill), "The Sonate auf Concertenart: a modern invention?"
      Response: Jeanne Swack (Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison)

    *5:30 Concert, Collection of Musical Instruments

    "Music on instruments of Bach's time"
    Richard Rephann, Carole Lieberman, Kenneth Slowik

    *6:30 Reception/exhibition, Collection of Musical Instruments

    "Musical instruments of Bach's time"

    *9:30 Reception/Gramophonade

    Teri Towe (North Kingstown, RI), "A concert of recordings on organs associated with J.S. Bach"

    Sunday, April 26

    9:00 Session 4, Sudler Hall

    Chair: Russell Stinson (Lyon College)

    • James Tyler (University of Southern California), "The mandora (alias the calichon): an important German continuo instrument of Bach's time"
    • Alexander Silbiger (Duke University), "Bach and the chaconne"
    • Thomas Huener (East Carolina University), "Tromba emblematica: the rhetorical role of the trumpet in the works of J. S. Bach"
    • Charlotte Leonard (Laurentian University), "Bach's use of the trombone: paradigm lost"