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J.S. Bach as Organist: His Instruments, Music, and Performance Practices cover
  • ISBN: 9780253331816
  • ISBN10: 0253331811

J.S. Bach as Organist: His Instruments, Music, and Performance Practices

by Stauffer, George B.

  • List Price: $49.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publish date: 01/01/2002
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Description
Johann Sebastian Bach showed a more sustained interest in organs and organ composition than in any other field of musical endeavor. As a young man he first won plaudits as a virtuoso on the organ. Later, in Weimar, he used the instrument for forging a new international style, amalgamating French and Italian practices. And in the final years of his life, he returned to the organ to express some of his most poignant thoughts.

In J.S. Bach as Organist, George Stauffer and Ernest May have brought together specialists from six countries to present the latest findings on Bach's relationship to the organ during all periods of his career. The first part of the volume, "The Instruments Used by Bach", opens with Ulrich Dahnert's survey of the organs Bach played and tested, followed by Hartmut Haupt's description of Bach organs in Thuringia. Harald Vogel discusses registration and tuning in North German organs of the period, and John Brombaugh weighs the influence of Bach and his times on twentieth-century organ building. Marie-Claire Alain then makes a plea for an acquaintance with early organs and stresses the importance of historical practices for the present-day performer.

In the second part, "Bach's Organ Music", Christoph Wolff discusses Bach's earliest training and the influence of Reinken, and, in a second essay, the newly rediscovered Handexemplar of the Schubler Chorales. Ernest May surveys the chorale preludes, and George Stauffer categorizes the fugue types in the free organ works. Werner Breig, Friedhelm Krummacher, and Laurence Dreyfus, with a view to Bach as composer, explore his creative progress in, respectively, the "Great Eighteen" Chorales, the stylus phantasticus in thefree organ works, and the concerted organ parts in the cantatas.

The final section, "Matters of Performance Practice", opens with George Stauffer's discussion of Bach's organ registration. Robert L. Marshall then argues for including in the organ repertoire the six "clavier" toccatas and other pieces generally assigned to the harpsichord or clavichord. Luigi Tagliavini describes interpretation problems in Bach's transcription of Vivaldi's "Grosso Mogul" concerto; Victoria Horn investigates French influences in Bach's organ works; and Peter Williams points out difficulties and misunderstandings in Bach's early notation.

With these essays and a new, revised "Calendar of Events in Bach's Life as Organist", this volume brings the study of Bach and his favorite instrument up to date. J. S. Bach as Organist, a book for scholars, performers, and students, sheds new light on one of the most important facets of Bach's creative art.

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