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. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 91-95 Published by: Oxford University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/734817 . Accessed: 08/11/2012 12:46
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indeed necessary. Fascimile of the Bach. Johann Sebastian. because of the problematic arrangement of its source. susceptible to varying interpretations different by editors. The Peters edition places the unbound facsimile pages (30 of them printed) loosely in a pocket.00. the execution the task] did not succeed as well as [of such an excellent theme demanded. Leipzig. a facsimile is justified. A facsimile would enable the reader to visualize immediately the arrangement of its unbound horizontal and vertical folios and bifoliosmuch more easily than a verbal description could allow. it would not have tacitly transformedsix of the folios into three bifolios. have achieved firmoutlines soon after Bach's return [from Potsdam]'.) When the notation of a source is problematic or ambiguous for the modern reader. Christoph Wolff. normally the last part of a literary or musical work to be written. so that the reader can test the editor's interpretations against the original.five pages could hardly show the identical pattern of spots and smears. 1977. with few notational problems. Why would a composer print the dedication of his work aftercompletingonly the first piece of the cycle? Bach's words. the same half-tonenegative has been used on two different bifoliosforfive different pages. in the paragraph immediately preceding. As far as the printingis concerned. are clear enough: . . these two bifolios were reproduced from copies in Munich and Leipzig respectively. On the other hand. which mentions the 'single leaves' (and. ed. original edition. then. forlack of necessary preparation. It is curious that he believes that the dedication. for it was printed in a complex and unconventional format. If. as stated in the preface. four of them blank and one with a line-image superimposed fromanother negative. and in a less legible manner. likewise the five-pagepreface in German and English. . fromthe memorable audience with Frederickthe Great on 7 May 1747 and Bach's three-partimprovisation on the king's theme to the newspaper advertisement of 30 September announcing the publication of the completed work. that 'the expanded project in the sense of a multipartite monothematic instrumentalwork must. has been subject to more misunderstandings than any other major composition of a major composer. after all.REVIEWS OF MUSIC BWV 1079. Also. creating a discrepancy with the text of the preface. when he wrote it on 7 July. (Peters. by an innocent ruse apparently intended to reduce costs. Musikalisches Opfer. Professor Wolff begins his preface with a brief summary of the historical circumstances. refers only to the three-part ricercar and that Bach. Leipzig. refersto the bifolios as 'folios'). this edition has only minor defects. If the facsimile were to show the original arrangement of folios and bifolios. This would be no small convenience for the study of a work which. incidentally. ?38. 'still had no clear conception of the whole extentof the work'-especially when we have read. 1747. Thus editions of major medieval manuscripts have oftenincluded not only a transcriptionand commentary but also a facsimile. I then resolved and promptly undertook to workout 91 . But the is original edition and unique source of Bach's Musical Offering a special case. oftenprovide little more information than a good critical edition. facsimiles of relatively recent sources.
in all the others the fold is cut open. . as Wolff would believe. 'the layout . but also misleading-a far cry fromobjective Grundlagenforschung. thus formingtwo 'fascicles'. and 'make known to high-sounding words 'musical offering'.. but not theirsequence (indicated by the lettersA to E. could hardly be regarded as 'customary'. retained here forsimplicity'ssake) or their combination into three 'fascicles'. . bifolios for the three separate parts) the second. Mizler's remark that Bach showed him only the firstricercar at the beginning of July carries no weight. and a vertical bifolio (D) would serve as a 'cover' for horizontal folios (E). Speculations such as this 'fascicle' theory are not only flawed. four horizontal folios) the third.. printingand finallypublishing an advertisement.a testimony eloquent in immodestlyto only one of the thirteenpieces but everyword. Such a confusion of signatures.and perfectly then make it known to the world. We must. one horizontal bifolio) and B (ricercar a 3 and three horizontal folios) would formthe first'fascicle'. 'which commendably permitted a comparative autopsy of the collated extant copies of this printto appear. then. The unsuspecting reader might be delighted with this 'customary 92 . such opening of uncut signatures is customary. firstcanon bifolio cover and three unit C (trio sonata and second canonperpetuus. engraving. decisive new understandingscould be the reviewer. brief but magnificent. has been forcedto conclude that the 'autopsy' has only produced yet more indecisive misunderstandings. Unfortunately.not a 'mutilation'. lacerating the content and diverging 900. The root of the is problem. perpetuus. states. numbered canons and thefuga canonica. and forgood reason: only here are there three separate instrumentalparts that need to be held together. [my italics]. In the book trade. led to As Wolffcorrectly numerous speculations and controversial conclusions'. in three fascicles.units A (title page and dedication.with the fold along the top as it leftthe printingpress. .7 July to 30 September is little enough for this work. But he believes that in conjunction with his edition of the work in the Neue Bach-Ausgabe.By an imperfectanalogy with this cover. that Wolff (not Bach. (In comparison with these words. This resolve has this very royal theme more now been carriedout as well as possible. so that title and dedication can be bound as successive pages. within which the loose leaves or folios respectively were held together by the title wrappers'. Correct is Wolff's distinctionof fiveprinter'sunits. and units D (the five one vertical bifolio) and E short. mailing again. thefuga title-page by the first interruptedby the six-part ricercar and the two enigmatic canons canonica (insertion of E in D).. But can that be? None of the extant copies is bound in this manner. leading to unsolvable difficulties. leave the dedication as it stands.) And Wolffagain continues with a disclaimer: 'Nevertheless the compositional work must have been completed soon after'. . Did not Bach write the entirecycle in order to 'work out' the royal theme? For the introductory ricercar alone he would never have used the 'consecrate'. . Everyone who publishes music knows how much time is needed formailing. for the loose folios of B and E respectively.aftertestingthis achieved forthe firsttime'. Wolffimagined that the bifolios A and D must also have served as 'covers'. Only unit C was provided with bifoliocover. According to his arrangement. (ricercar a 6 and two enigmatic canons. of the original print . In only one copy does unit A still exist as a bifolio. In this 'customary trade copy' ('handelsiubliches Exemplar') the dedication would be separated fromthe two pieces of the cycle (insertionof B in A). as stated) 'arranged the print . not referring presenting the whole. the world'. substantial claim.
attributedby David to an insensitive engraver. p.probably his youngerbrother (Wolfgang Wiemer.1867). Cf. The Bach-Gesellschaft Offering had publishedthe workin the sequence suggested Spitta:ABDEC. 122). 9). In thefaceofthisconfusion. M. Journalof the American xxxiii (1980). the above arrangement would concludethecyclewitha ricercar. Gerber.Gottingen. 'Ordnungsprinzipien den Originaldrucken 1967. appears here. pp.g.five a canons. 403 f. MusicalQuarterly. but because itis thelastunitin score.Second. 407. 125.like Wolff.: ricercar 3. yet compulsory and concedes that 'its conceptionoperates as a closed unity'. however.it would concludetheworkwiththeone canon whichis notin thekeyofthecycle. 157 f. 40-46.). repeatedly changehis mind about theorderofits pieces?The preface now returns theverdict to that 'the MusicalOffering not represent cyclicalworkwhichrelieson a does a orderof movements. 122): notwanting 'waste' paper. Wolff interprets as 'an infallible it sign that Bach cherishedno cyclic intention'(KB. of sincebased on subjective aesthetic criteria-favour 'symmetrical' patterns (David.e.not because E marks the end of the entirecycle. 'New Researchon Bach's MusicalOffering'. VIII/1 (Kassel.. to the preferred rearrange canons evenwithin singleprinter's the thattheengraver not had units. e.'Bach composedthosecanonsin orderto fill to up the space which would [otherwise] remainempty'afterthe larger pieces.because of its unique length(78 bars). now ascribed to the composerhimself. His prefacedoes not reveal Musicological Society. 93 . The numerousrearrangements the cycle-all of them arbitrary.sonata. a prelude(the i. This uniquely unartisticmotive. T. p. NeueBach-Ausgabe.UnitC was notsuitablefor this. thisfugue cannotbe regarded a counterpart canons as to of four and five bars in a 'symmetrical' pattern. p.1977. compounded by the 'fascicle'theory. The lvii (1971). 1974) and Kritischer Bericht(henceforth KB) (1976). 72. Why. does he new 'solutions' (KB.Die wiederhergestellte inJohann Ordnung Sebastian Bachs Kunst Fuge. 1969. over half of them by Wolff alone ('Der Terminus "Ricercar" in Bachs Musikalischen Opfer'. but nine canons and a lengthy(canonic) fugue.pp. But by H. With one exception(Peters. Wolfftherefore designatesthisunitwiththe last letter. Schiibler'ssignature E. fivecanons. Wolffpropagates David's implausiblenotionby asserting that some canons were placed accordingto 'considerations printing of technology' (KB. 125)? Did subsequentlycontinueto construct Bach publishhis workand then. Geck. 90 n.If E wereindeed thelast unit.Insteadoftaking thisas an indication thatE does not belongat theend.trade copy' if he did not know that since the 1920s nearly30 different cyclic arrangements have been advocated. Thereare severalthings a wrong withthissequence. it is not to be played as such'.unlessthe'numerous conclusions' speculations are to understood includehis own. quotedin an addendumsheet to Wolff's facsimile edition)-a factthatescaped Wolff's 'autopsy'. the printer's unitsof the Musical were left intact until the 1920s. pp. ed. then. likemanyothers. ricercar 6. in Bachscher Werke'. Schiublerbut by an apprentice. because it consistedof separatepartsand because halfofit was engravednot by J. eventually he finds 'veryclearthattheidea ofa it sophisticated to cyclicstructure be realizedin a cyclicalperformance has to be rejected' ('New Research'. Wolff). Bach did notwritetencanons. Bach-Jahrbuch. der Wiesbaden. David (1937).assuming followed the sequence intended by the composer. G.pp. 106.First. and controversial this.Bach-Interpretationen. forit concludedwiththe signature of the engraverJohann Georg Schiibler.in addition to theviolenceit does to thesource. p. is David believedthatunitE markedtheend.
Quintilian. Wolff still adheres to the notion of symmetry by designating the sonata as the central unit (C) and fascicle (II): 'It is irrefutable that Bach. 124. but on the otherhand it is not. the most relevant authority for Bach's work. But even if the number of canons did correspond to the number of the Ten Commandments. what relevance would that have in this secular work? Here again. even in American political conventions.) These correspondences are not few and vague.Conscientious musicians. the fullyinstrumented. Bach's unit C. by framing the sonata with the two ricercars.will obviously be reluctant to attempt still another subjective rearrangement. But afterabandoning any cyclic concept. forit is preceded in the facsimile edition by only two pieces and followed by nine. He made Society. to mention court protocol.six-part ricercar was in fact writtenas an internal prelude. movements can one suggest. in the middle-contrary to all multi-movement. incidentalis effect to make the Musical Offering ly. 1-44. 'symmetry'. and throwthe accumulated ballast overboard. Musicological American of the in the visual sense. 'New Research'. unfolds in time. music. that the sum of the canon movements (ten) possesses symbolic qualities' (KB. p. fromBembo to Bach'.iv. afterso many different of course. Society. not in space. likewise. its form is linear. 88-14 1). as described in Quintilian. in half a dozen publications on the Musical Offering within a decade. unit C is to be in the 'centre'.from the earliest to the latest. though without knowing why it was correct.23) 'cavendum ne descrescat oratio' (and to this day. p. as Bach intended it. to introduce the second half of the cycle). but numerous and concrete.stronglyaffective not principles of rhetoricaldispostio. When the editor. oftenwitty. sonata.learned fromthe wisdom of Classical antiquity ('The oratoriaof Quintilian'. What are we to make of these endless problems? What sequence of 'solutions'? We must. (In 1738 Johann Matthias Gesner. admonished (IX. could not be followed by anticlimactic music. continually brings such fundamental contradictions (matched only by categorical pronouncements). cf. An article by this reviewer has demonstrated how Bach. published a commentaryon this importantclassic. Journal xxxii (1979). returnto the original edition. Musicological of American Journal the correspond precisely to the parts the thirteenpieces of the Musical Offering of the forensic oration.and can be traced not only in every 94 .) Third. p. finally presenting the royal flautist and his entourage. like oratory. see Warren Kirkendale. Spitta and the editor of the BachGesellschaft indeed went to this source and presented the correct sequence. (On the preludial functionof ricercars. Wolffbecomes inextricablytangled in his circular thought:on the one hand. intended a certain symmetryin the sequence of fascicles in the original print. can the editions in the Neue Bach-Ausgabeand in facsimile be regarded as authoritative? Their unperformable(and thus. having been told so emphatically that the work has no particular order of movements. 'The formof publication of the original print is congenial to the structure of the work as a whole'. Bach's friend and rector of the Thomas-Schule. the Institutio Source of Bach's Musical Offering: xxxiii (1980). 125). yet (in the next paragraph) 'every sequential arrangement of the movements is necessarily an interference with the plan of the original printing' (KB. like other composers in the humanist tradition. with a long footnotein praise of Bach. to help bring musicology into disrepute with performers). 'symmetry' would place the climax of the work. the most important orator speaks at the end). Fourth. 'Ciceronians versus Aristotelians on the Ricercar as Exordium. does not exist in acoustical categories. 404).
Facsimile of the autograph for score. The blue. and (iii) we knowJoachim was unwilling to mark this score. confirmthat this work was indeed done forthe printingprocess. Johannes. when defending Bach againstJohann Adolph Scheibe in 1739. D. there are instructions to the engravers in two hands: 95 . As well as being the fullexpression of Brahms's composition. together with some elucidation and correctionof the orchestral parts. The dark-red ink with a fine pen is in the hand of Robert Keller (the arranger of Brahms's music and assistant to the Simrock firm). and it shows the publisher's edition-number on page 1). preferring emend a separate solo part to or interleave suggestions in the score. p.Leipzig. 77. Washington. Duncan McKim formaking the facsimile possible (as also presumably for its very reasonable price) and the Library of Congress staff for undertaking the project. as are many of the grey pencil-marks. $50. For those who no longer know what to do with this edition some good news remains: since the pages are loose. that Bach had 'perfect knowledge of the parts and merits which the working out of a musical piece has in common with rhetoric'. but (i) it is not at all characteristicofJoachim's hand. We have to thank a bequest of Mrs. 997). the score served as conductor's copy (many of Brahms's crayon marks make dynamics visible to himselfin this capacity-he conducted the premiereof the concerto on 1 January 1879).detail of the music but also in the literary inscriptions. Apart fromSimrock's 'Sofort' on the first page. The dark-red ink printing instructions. since it is the working (and only) pre-publication score and shows us much interesting informationabout the genesis of this great piece. 1979. it is easy to salvage the expensive investment by rejecting the 'three-fascicle' arrangement and putting the folios and bifolios in the order already accepted by Spitta and the Bach-Gesellschaft. The colour key is much more than an index. others emendations) and finallyas engraver's copy (it shows plate-divisions in all movements. The colour key suggests the writingis Joachim's. as a text for experiment and revision (some of Brahms's markings are question-marks.and that Brahms asked forthe solo part in the score to be corrected in accordance with a separate part. URSULA KIRKENDALE Brahms.00. Foreword by Jon Newsom. corresponding with the pagination of the firstedition. (Library of Congress. 1745. W. The facsimile is provided with a 'colour key'.and 'one admires theirclever application in his work' (reprinted in Scheibe. we know from the Brahms-Simrock correspondence that Keller did much work on the preparation of the Violin Concerto for the printers. Introduction by Yehudi Menuhin. rather a piece of source criticism. The Leipzig rhetorician Johann Abraham Birnbaum had good reason to say. But the preface will have to be rewritten. Concerto Violin.Op.. red and orange pencil-marks are Brahms's. an introduction by Yehudi Menuhin and a foreword by Jon Newsom.) The autograph score of Brahms's Violin Concerto is an excitingobject for scholars. (ii) this was not the kind of work Brahms would ask Joachim to do. Critischer Musikus. But it is over-cautious in some of its judgements and does not distinguish all the hands at work in the manuscript or all the uses to which the document was put.C.
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