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Bach's Ornaments Author(s): Robert Donington Source: The Musical Times, Vol. 112, No. 1536 (Feb.

, 1971), pp. 130-131 Published by: Musical Times Publications Ltd. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/956329 . Accessed: 31/05/2011 14:15
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example of the latter type is an extensivesetting of O Lord, rebuke me not (Psalm 6) in which whole sections are repeated note for note with the same text, without any indication that different singers take over. Of similar magnitude is a setting of of Tye's work.8 compressedimitation is reminiscent At the otherend of the scale is a simplebut beautiful setting of Voce mea (Psalm 142), characterizedby short but poignantphrases. The canticles receive varied treatment.There is anotherBenedictus, this timein a metricalantiphonal includesthe only exampleof setting. The Benedicite coloration found in this source. The Magnificat
s Since writing this article I am indebted to Dr. Anthony Langford for pointing out a concordance ascribed to Tye in BM Add Ms 30480-4.

Deus misereatur nostri (Psalm 67) in which the

setting uses close imitationto impressiveeffect, and the firstsetting of the Nuncdimittisis notablefor its varietyof textureeven withinthe confinesof so short a piece. Laterin the books therearepieces for eight voice-parts;among these is another Nunc dimittis and a second Te Deum. Only a fractionof the musicin the Lumleybooks can be mentionedin a brief surveysuch as this. It is evidentfrom the variedformsand styleswhichthis manuscripthas to offer that it has perhaps been underestimatedas a source ot7 post-Reformation liturgicalmusic.
This month's Music Supplement, Tallis's 'Benedictus' (believed to be previously unpublished)for three men's voices, has been edited by Judith Blezzard from the Lumley part-books in the British Museum.

Letters

to

the

Editor
THE BRODERIPS

BEETHOVEN'S PITCH

I welcome Graham Hooper's clarification of the Broderiprelationshipsbut I am afraid that Baptie is no more reliable than other referencebooks on the birth date of Edmundof Wells. William, organist of Wells Cathedral, and his wife Marthadid not have any childrenin 1712, and the fact that their last two sons (born in 1725 and 1727) were both called Edmund seems to indicate that the 1712 one did not survive(if in fact he was ever born) any more than the 1725 one did. This leaves only the 1727 Edmund, who presumably Cheltenham G. H. TOULMIN becameorganistof St James'sBristol in 1746 at the age of 19. FrancisFane Broderipwas the brotherof Edmund ALAN TYSONwrites: of New Street, Wells (probably an attorney) and Mr Toulmin is ratherkinder to Wegelerthan he is had-as far as I can see-no close relationshipwith to me! The passage in the Notizen(p.36) is at any any earlier Edmunds. rate a well-knowncrux. Wegelersays: (1) the piano Wimborne BETTY MATTHEWS was a semitone too low for the wind instruments; (2) Beethovenimmediately got the otherinstruments to tune to a B flatinsteadofto anA; and (3) heplayed his part in C sharp. The best discussionof the probBACH'S ORNAMENTS lems that is known to me is by Franz Kullak (1881) in the preface to his edition of the concerto. His I think my answerto Kenneth Holland'sinteresting 'solution'-that Wegeler meant that the orchestra query (Nov MT, p.1107) about quintuplets, septuned to the piano'sB flat (whichof coursesounded tuplets,etc as waysof notatingsuggestedrealizations like an A)-is really the neatest and is the same as for baroque ornaments would be that what he the one offeredby Mr Toulmin. But other'solutions' rightly calls 'an irregularrhythm, practically unhave been proposed; Theodor Milller-Reuter,for measurable'is reallyjust about the nearestone can instance, thought that Beethoven raised the pitch get on paper to suggest the unmeasuredflexibility of the wind by a semitone and then played the B so many ornamentsgot then, and should get now, in performance. flat concerto in the key of C. The whole point is that Wegeler was in Vienna 'You must not try to divide the trill exactly note for note, but only try to make it rapid', wrote only from about October1794to the middle of 1796 Frescobaldiin 1614. 'Althoughthe trillsaremarked (Notizen, p.xii). He then returnedto Bonn; if his memory was sound and the concerto that he heard regular . . . they are nevertheless to begin more was indeed the C major one, that must have been slowly than they finish', wrote Couperina century later, in 1716. 'Thereis no need to make all trills completed and performedno later than the middle with the same speed', wrote Quantz in 1752. of 1796-a date which some have considered too early. Leopold Mozart in 1756 recommended trills of differentspeeds to match the mood of the piece, Shostakovich has written music for a film of King Lear directed adding that 'the acceleratingtrill is used mostly in by Grigory Kozintsev. cadenzas'. Ornamentswritten out in baroquesources, from Alan Bush's 70th birthday has been celebrated by the Workers' Music Association with the publication of seven choral songs virginalists' MSsat the start of the era through 'written by him between 1931-1948; five have texts by the comviolinists' treatises at the end of it, are frequently munist poet Randall Swingler. Songs of Struggle is available in their note-count. Examplesmay unmathematical from WMA, 236 Westbourne Park Rd, London Wl1, price 7s 6d. 130

Alan Tyson had better provide himself with a orchsuitably flattenedpiano and a strong-minded estra, and try to reconstruct the events of 1795 If a of the C major (Dec MT, p.1197). performance concerto is to take place, he will find that, first, he will have to play the orchestraa B flat (on the keyboard), instead of an A, to tune to, and secondly, he will then have to play the solo part in C sharp (on the keyboard). Wegeler'sstatementis perfectly clear and no doubt accurate; any confusion is entirely Mr Tyson's.

including on pp.534-7 enough to last most of us a lifetime;in fact if you don't like blinking,it is better not to look. In J. S. Bach and elsewhere, ornaments written in regular rhythm are common enough. What baroque specialists like Walter Emery and myself are tryingto suggestis approximately how they may be played, on grounds of good evidence and good musicianshipalike. Kenneth Holland's solution to the musicexamplein his letteris certainlynot wrong, but it is not very good: being regularlymeasured,it would not really sound like an ornament. Walter Emery'ssolution is, I think, as nearas one can get in notation to the unmeasuredirregularityneeded in performance,to have the really ornamentaleffect and informality. of spontaneousness Of course,I quite agreethat 'fromthe performer's point of view this is a vital matter'. May I suggest is flexibility ? that the best starting-point
Yale ROBERT DONINGTON

be consulted in my Interpretation of Early Music,

WIDOR'S TOCCATA Researching into Widor's Airborne Variants is highly diverting. In my copy, the first of each two quavers in bars 1-8 has an accent sign: from my estimate of Widor's magisterialstyle of playing, I infer that these accents are also agogic, and this I have taught to others-only to find that my neighbour's Urtext has no accents and no sfz markings later on. I have crotchet 100: I admit that my RFH recording is nearer 120; but at 6.30 a.m., after a night of waiting, that was only human frailty!
London W5 RALPH DOWNES

SUSAN LONGFIELDAWARD On the 27 August last, Susan Longfield, a singer much loved in musicalcircles, died of cancerat the tragicallyearly age of 35. She was well known to choralsocietiesall over the countryand also to radio and televisionaudiences. She was the possessornot lovely soprano voice but also only of a particularly of a beautifuland radiantpersonality. That these were widely recognizedwas borne out by the largeaudienceattendinga concertin Salisbury Cathedral dedicated to her memory and by the hundredsof friends and admirerswho paid tribute to her at a MemorialServicein London; a service unlikelyto be forgottenby any of them. A more permanentmemorial,however,is to take the form of an annualawardat the GuildhallSchool of Music and Drama whereshe receivedher student training. The School has welcomed this proposal and the award will be made for soprano oratorio singing. There are, we know, many people who would wish to subscribeto this purposeand contributions 'The Susan may be sent to the HonoraryTreasurer, Longfield Memorial Award Fund', Lloyds Bank, R. Section, 6 Pall Mall, London, SW1.
ARTHUR PERCIVAL, ALLEN EDMUND COMPTON, BLISS, E.G. SIMPSON, WALTER K. STANTON

BROADCASTORGAN MUSIC Listening lately to BBC broadcast organ music, I have become increasinglyaware of the confused jangle of overtones, especially of the harmonicsat the 17th. Rebuilt organs, as well as new organs, seem to be the culprits. It may be that we have gone too far in strivingfor piquanteffects. On the other hand, what may appearto the builderand performer as properlyscaled and voiced and registeredin the tonal environmentof the building, may be reproduced differentlyin transmissionover the radio-placing of microphonesclose to sources of sound could account largelyfor this. What are unnoticed harmonics become disparate and discordant harmonies. In any case I personallyfeel that the trend towards over-emphaticupper partialshas gone too far and the enthusiasms of certain practitioners need to be tempered with more moderation. I know this is an emotive subject but it needs to be aired.
Cheltenham LAURENCE HUDSON

CHILDREN'SCONCERTS I refer to ArthurJacobs'snotice of a Robert Mayer Concert in your Januaryissue (p.59). He deplores the choice of music of this century in the whole series of concertswhich 'mightall have been picked for such concerts20 yearsago'. We are now making the programmesfor next season. Will Mr Jacobs please suggest what new music he thinks we ought to play? I should be most grateful. But I warnhim that it must be music of proven value. If it is not, why should we subjectchildrento it ? (I remember that, shortly after the last war, we were told that it was a disgraceto the nation that the symphoniesof a certain composer were not played. His name? Karl AmadeusHartmann-and where do you hear his music now?) With this, Mr Jacobs links the criticismthat my talk at the concerts is avuncularand that I wear a frock-coat. I do not see why 'avuncular'should be used in a deprecatorysense. The average age of the audienceis 10 plus and it would be silly for me to be other than an older, but friendlypersonof the sort who knows what he is talkingabout. (Recently some Glasgow childrensent me a postcardof good wishes, starting'Dear Uncle Trev' and ending 'with love from'. I was delighted, for it showed that I had their affection.) As to the morning dress. Children come from long distances to these concerts-one coach starts at 6.45 a.m. If Mr Jacobs set in Huntingdonshire out at that hour, he would expect it to be for an occasion,as indeedit is for the children. The Festival Hall, for a start. It may not hold much glamourfor Mr Jacobs, but it certainlydoes for our audiences. In what garb, then, does he think the orchestraand I ought to appear? Sweatersand jeans? No; each concertis a specialoccasionfor thesechildren(would and it is vitallyimportant it wereso for all audiences), that each should be so. Each is a special occasion for me, too: and so I put on my best rig. But, Mr Jacobs, let me have your suggestionsfor next season.
London S W1 TREVOR HARVEY

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