Author Topic: Bach's Bungalow  (Read 80359 times)

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Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2007, 11:26:02 PM »
Yeah, I know the feeling.

But hey, that is possible, is it not? :)

Well, I did already know of doubts about the authenticity of Bach authorship being expressed by some.
In the meantime I also already googled on the issue ;D (but thanks!), and found no evidence of a general, widely held sentiment that this is not by Bach. So my points still stands. This cannot be dismissed as a piece by Bach through a "everbody thinks so" kind of statement.

The article on Wikipedia is quite interesting and give us reason to assume that all things considered the evidence weighs in Bach's favour. If a Bach scholar like Christophe Wolff thinks it's Bach (he wrote a great Bach biography btw), and my ears tell me the same message - I'll take it for Bach. :)

BTW whoever wrote it, it still is and would be a tremendous piece of music - no matter how "popular" it is. I suspect it's status as a Bach icon, plays an important factor is this story. Similar doubts could easily be cast over other works by Bach - but now that wouldn't exactly create the same kind of stir, would it? 8)
 
Q
« Last Edit: September 17, 2007, 12:46:20 AM by Que »
À chacun son goût.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2007, 06:08:22 AM »
BTW whoever wrote it, it still is and would be a tremendous piece of music - no matter how "popular" it is.

Yep, I don't understand how that fugue could be considered anything other than a musical wonder...
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2007, 09:10:11 AM »
Well, I did already know of doubts about the authenticity of Bach authorship being expressed by some.
In the meantime I also already googled on the issue ;D (but thanks!), and found no evidence of a general, widely held sentiment that this is not by Bach. So my points still stands. This cannot be dismissed as a piece by Bach through a "everbody thinks so" kind of statement.

Well, I just thought: I'm going to throw the cudgel through the chicken coop. ;D

Quote from: Que
The article on Wikipedia is quite interesting and give us reason to assume that all things considered the evidence weighs in Bach's favour. If a Bach scholar like Christophe Wolff thinks it's Bach (he wrote a great Bach biography btw), and my ears tell me the same message - I'll take it for Bach. :)

Yes, I chose that English Wiki-article on purpose. To me, it is still Bach, because somewhere inside I just fail to believe it is not! It's Bach's most popular tune, and I love it since my childhood days.
But the word of Christoph Wolff isn't holy. And, also, I believe that there were a lot of other baroque composers capable of writing very good stuff. They're somehow downgraded, because Bach nowadays is believed to be one of the greatest of all time. But Bach himself had great admiration for a lot of his contemporaries, and was inspired by them. Let's give them some credit! Why wouldn't Kellner be able to write such a fugue? Are his other works that bad? Do we really know his other works, BTW?

Quote from: Que
BTW whoever wrote it, it still is and would be a tremendous piece of music - no matter how "popular" it is.

Yeah, agreed.

Quote from: Que
I suspect it's status as a Bach icon, plays an important factor is this story. Similar doubts could easily be cast over other works by Bach - but now that wouldn't exactly create the same kind of stir, would it? 8)

No, probably not. But on the other hand, any piece in Bach's handwriting (or, at least, a part of it) seems to be able to give people the craziest ideas. Are there still people trying to prove that BWV 246 (Lukas-Passion) could be a youth work of J.S. Bach?
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Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2007, 09:40:41 AM »
I believe that there were a lot of other baroque composers capable of writing very good stuff.

Ya? Name one.

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2007, 09:48:12 AM »
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Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #45 on: September 17, 2007, 10:07:34 AM »
I suspect it's status as a Bach icon, plays an important factor is this story. Similar doubts could easily be cast over other works by Bach - but now that wouldn't exactly create the same kind of stir, would it? 8)

Bullseye, Q...




Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

DavidW

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #46 on: September 17, 2007, 02:33:18 PM »
Quote from: Marc
I believe that there were a lot of other baroque composers capable of writing very good stuff.

Quote from: Josquin des Prissy
Ya? Name one.

Quote from: Marc
Stravinsky.

I knew it! Stravinsky has a Tardis! ;D

Don

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #47 on: September 17, 2007, 03:36:19 PM »
Well, I just thought: I'm going to throw the cudgel through the chicken coop. ;D

Yes, I chose that English Wiki-article on purpose. To me, it is still Bach, because somewhere inside I just fail to believe it is not! It's Bach's most popular tune, and I love it since my childhood days.
But the word of Christoph Wolff isn't holy. And, also, I believe that there were a lot of other baroque composers capable of writing very good stuff.

Yes, many others wrote "very good stuff".  The problem is that the work in question is much better than very good.  I can't think of anyone who could have composed it other than Bach.

Offline Josquin des Prez

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #48 on: September 19, 2007, 09:21:42 AM »
Stravinsky.

This would be a great answer if the subject at hand wasn't organ music, not baroque as a whole. 

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #49 on: September 19, 2007, 10:46:57 AM »
This would be a great answer [....]

Thanks! :)

Quote from: Josquin des Prez
[....] if the subject at hand wasn't organ music, not baroque as a whole. 

I must admit I wasn't really thinking about organ music only. But I was a little cautious, because I remembered your rather negative remarks about Händel in another thread (had something to do with (fe)male voices in opera), and Händel would be the first composer I'd think of as one of those baroque fellers that were capable of writing good stuff. So I thought: let's not mention him. :-X

But, just organ, let me think.... I've been listening to organ music lately, composed by (for instance) Buxtehude, Böhm, Bruhns, Krebs and CPE Bach, and I've been enjoying it very much. Also I've been to concerts where vocal music was performed, composed by Keiser and Fasch. Also much better than I expected beforehand.

JS Bach is my favourite composer, and although I'm really only an enthousiastic layman, from the first time I heard his music I felt that something very special was happening. I was about twelve/thirteen years old then, and started to listen to other baroque composers, too, on the radio. But Bach remained my favourite: it seemed like there was much more happening. One had to listen to it again and again, and still one could discover something new. Every 'voice' or 'part' was as important as the other one, or so it seemed. That's why I preferred his music as a youngster, compared to (f.i.) Telemann and other baroque composers. As a result I started to neglect them completely.

Now, I'm old, and bored :P with life (and myself :'()), and now I'm listening to some of these composers and thinking: hey, they're not Bach, but they're still capable of writing good stuff! Let's rediscover them!

And I'm having good fun with it. I've also rediscovered the organ and harpsichord, because for ages I preferred the piano. Years and years ago a teacher of mine said: so, you like Mahler, eh? Let's wait some twenty years, when you're old and grey, and then you want nothing else but Renaissance, Baroque and 18th century music. Just a matter of time.
He's almost proven right. I want my organ and I love my harpsichord. But when the snow is falling, and the city lamp-posts are burning, I still long for my Lied der Nacht.
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Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #50 on: September 19, 2007, 10:57:39 AM »
Marc, thanks for a very enjoyable and at times even poetic post!  :)

I'm in a similar fase - now I nearly explored all Bach, I'm branching out into unknown territories of the baroque.  Beyond Bach, so to speak...! ;D

But I do not consider myself old ....yet 8)

Q
À chacun son goût.

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #51 on: September 19, 2007, 11:24:27 AM »
But I do not consider myself old ....yet 8)

I'm not that old, either. It's just me: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen. :D
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Offline Que

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #52 on: September 19, 2007, 11:36:48 AM »
I'm not that old, either. It's just me: Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen. :D

Ah...great cantata.... :-*

Q
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Offline Frellie

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2007, 07:29:55 AM »
The best Bach cantatas are the most incredibly beautiful music my ears ever have had the bliss to encounter.

Not every cantate is as inspired as those undeniable highlights like BWV 4, 22, 78, 106, et cetera. But when Bach had an off-day, he was still better than most of his colleages.

Beware, though, because there has been a tendency among a certain group of malicious conductors to make the terrible mistake of thinking that Bach wrote his cantatas and passions for one voice per part. This curious misunderstanding has been growing eversince a dubious publication by Joshua Rifkin appeared, around 1981. McCreesh, Junghänel and Rifkin himself are famous for conducting these one-voice-per-part-performances. Usually, these interpretations have a lot of merits, but they fail horribly in being true to Bach's wishes. It simply contradicts the whole aesthetic of baroque music.

The Koopman-cycle is about the closest you can get to authenticity. The sublime Suzuki-cycle is essential for those who favor sheer beauty to authenticity. You gotta love it. For most cantatas Suzuki delivers angel-like performances. One wonders: can this get any more beautiful? Somewhere in between appears the cycle by Gardiner, who sometimes makes shocking musical interpretations, but is experienced enough to deliver outstanding performances overall.

Forget and throw away Harnoncourt/Leonhardt. For some change, buy cantata-cd's by Herreweghe.

Useful advice for everybody who, like me, once made the grave mistake of buying the complete Brilliant-cycle by Leusink: remove the front and back covers, throw away the cd's, and use the empty jewel cases to replace broken ones.

The 'whig head' rules.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2007, 11:58:19 AM by Frellie »

Offline (: premont :)

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2007, 07:35:55 AM »

... the terrible mistake of thinking that Bach wrote his cantatas and passions for one voice per part. This curious misunderstanding has been growing eversince a dubious publication by Joshua Rifkin appeared, around 1981. McCreesh, Junghänel and Rifkin himself are famous for conducting these one-voice-per-part-performances. Usually, these interpretations have a lot of merits, but they fail horribly in being true to Bach's wishes. It simply contradicts the whole aesthetic of baroque music.

Why, if I may ask?
Tiden læger alle sår,
heldigt nok at tiden går.

Larry Rinkel

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2007, 08:00:14 AM »
Why, if I may ask?

For one thing, there is a document Bach submitted to the Leipzig council around 1730 where he explicitly stated that 3 voices to a part are the minimum he considered desirable for choral works. For another, if OOVP is adopted, the distinction between choral and solo movements disappears. I have it also on anecdotal evidence from a friend that when Rifkin did the B minor mass in live performance OOVP, the singers were all complaining about the stress to their vocal cords.

But I have no intention of "throwing away" any of the CDs in the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt set. They have their flaws, but I'd choose those interpretations over the too-beautiful Suzuki style.

Offline Marc

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2007, 12:16:19 PM »
Hmmm ... but for what ensemble was the Mass in b minor composed? Leipzig or Dresden (with a catholic court)? The title page of the performing score is believed to be written by the Dresdner Gottfried Rausch, who also assisted the Dresdner court composer Jan Dismas Zelenka. Compared to the amount of forces Bach was used to in Leipzig, the Dresdner Capella was known to be a larger consort . So .... was this piece really meant to be OVPP?

IMHO, the big issues in the OVPP discussions in Bach cantatas are related to the problem of concertists and ripienists, and the problem of copy sharing. In the case of copy sharing it is very well possible that there were both concertists and ripienists. The concertists sang both in the choir parts and in the solo pieces, and in the choruses they were joined by the ripienists. The number of original cantata scores that are still available nowadays only survived in OVPP. This would mean (for instance) that the ripienists were standing on the right and the left of the concertist, and were watching the score with him. (I think this is what Wolff and Koopman think is historically right.)
But we know that Bach complained about not having enough good singers. So some scholars think that in many cases he was forced to perform his cantatas in OVPP, and that this is the real reason why the the original scores only survived in OVPP. They believe that the amount of 16 or 12 good singers that Bach is writing about, had to be divided over the four Lutheran churches in Leipzig. (I think this is what Rifkin and Parrott believe.)

BTW: as far as I understand, in the non-OVPP theory, the concertists both sang the choir and the solo parts, which means that they had - indeed - a tough and busy singing job. So, as far as I'm concerned, the fact of an anecdotical evidence in the 20th/21st century "[....] when Rifkin did the B minor mass in live performance OOVP, the singers were all complaining about the stress to their vocal cords[....]" is no historical proof for the fact that the (rather shorter) Bach cantatas couldn't possibly be meant to be OVPP.

I would also like to add another thing. Most scholars (including Rifkin and Parrott, I believe) are searching for the historical truth. Composers wrote their music for the amount of musicians available, not for the amount they were somehow wishing for. So, when Rifkin and Parrott say: Bach wrote his cantatas mainly for OVPP ensemble, this doesn't necessarely mean that Bach himself was extremely happy about that. They only try to give a historical description, not a prescription. But sure, they believe their assumptions are right, and that's why they want to perform these works in the same amounts of forces that Bach used. Personally, I don't see there is anything wrong with that. The problem is though: there are some followers of HIP-theories who are more R.C. than the pope. It somehow becomes a religion for them, and they call every freethinker a sinner. Unfortunately, this attitude is not very helpful for creating an interesting discussion, IMHO.

And one thing keeps puzzling me: if they really want it to sound as historically authentic as possible, why don't the sctrict OVPP-believers use (good) boy sopranos (and altos) for their ensembles?

Well, that's all, folks!
(For today, that is.) ;D
I'm off to bed. I think my last choice of music today will be BWV 8 Liebster Gott, wenn werd' ich sterben?. ;)
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Offline Frellie

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2007, 12:19:28 PM »
Why, if I may ask?

Thank you, Larry, for providing some arguments. A short word about the baroque aesthetic: Bach may not have been Händel, who would've been most happy when he could have blown up Westminster Cathedral with a thunderous chorus from the Messiah, but Bach also wanted to impress people (and God) with his opening and closing choruses. When sung by four voices, they don't sound impressive, they sound pious at best. Baroque music is about the best way to demonstrate and evoke an affection/emotion. Some sorrowful arias are meant to make you weep softly, and some choruses are meant to make you want to jump from your chair and sing along for the greater glory of God, or the Queen for that matter. Those parts are meant for a choir that can make an impression.

But I have no intention of "throwing away" any of the CDs in the Harnoncourt/Leonhardt set. They have their flaws, but I'd choose those interpretations over the too-beautiful Suzuki style.

I can understand. Personally, I find too little beauty in the H/L-set. The combination of Koopman and Suzuki works best for me. With some excursions to Coin, Herreweghe and Gardiner.

Don

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2007, 11:08:29 AM »
Thank you, Larry, for providing some arguments. A short word about the baroque aesthetic: Bach may not have been Händel, who would've been most happy when he could have blown up Westminster Cathedral with a thunderous chorus from the Messiah, but Bach also wanted to impress people (and God) with his opening and closing choruses. When sung by four voices, they don't sound impressive, they sound pious at best.

That's just a personal opinion.  Mine is that they can easily sound impressive and not pious.

A little less rigidity might be in order.  I am quite happy that versions are available in both OVPP and larger forces - the best of both worlds.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 11:10:37 AM by Don »

Offline Bonehelm

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Re: Bach's Bungalow
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2007, 05:21:08 PM »
Bach is insanely good.

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