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Clara Schumann's Bach Book: A Neglected Document of the Bach Revival

Author(s): Russell Stinson


Source: Bach, Vol. 39, No. 1 (2008), pp. 1-66
Published by: Riemenschneider Bach Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41640571
Accessed: 06-12-2017 13:49 UTC

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Lithograph of Clara and Robert Schumann by permission of the Gesellschaft
der Musikfreunde in Vienna.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book:
A Neglected Document
of the Bach Revival

Russell Stinson

reception of Bach's organ works in the nineteenth century, I


A was reception few wassurprised
surprisedyears
to readofinago,a bookBach'bysArthur
to readSchanz
whiletheorgan
follow-in a completing book works by in Arthur the a nineteenth monograph Schanz the century, on follow- the I
ing statement about the Prelude in A Minor, BWV 551: "A piano
reduction of this litde played work, prepared by an unknown arranger,
probably Czerny, was published in 1834 by C. F. Peters . . . and is
contained in a Bach anthology once owned by Clara Schumann, now
in the possession of the Riemenschneider Bach Library."1 I was
actually more distressed than surprised by Schanz's mention of Clara's
"Bach anthology," having devoted an entire chapter of my book to
Robert and Clara Schumann. How could I have overlooked such a
source when it was so close at hand?

Seeking confirmation, I turned to Sylvia Kenney's catalogue of


the library's holdings, finding there a brief description of the same
edition cited by Schanz but nothing about Clara Schumann or her
Bach anthology and no indication that a piano transcription of any
kind was involved.2 Unfazed, I next scanned Kenney's catalogue for
any other references to Clara. By far the most intriguing was one to a
"pamphlet-volume of eleven items formerly belonging to Clara
Schumann,"3 presumably the same volume mentioned by Schanz.
Oddly enough, the only data provided by Kenney regarding the
contents of this source is that it begins with the Goldberg Variations.

1 Arthur Schanz , Johann Sebastian Bach in der Klaviertranskription (Eisenach: Karl Dieter
Wagner, 2000), 27.
2Sylvia W. Kenney, Catalog of the Emilie and Karl Riemenschneider Memorial Bach Library
(New York: Columbia University Press, 1960), 220.
3Ibid., 54.
1

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2 Bach

Elsewhere in h
additional prints
strongly suggest
immediately tha
been owned by
Robert's person
either Robert o
allow for a bette
also observed th
Bach organ wor
concert pianist.
Schumanns, I wo
these materials as well.

Happily, all these questions were answered quite spectacularly in


the affirmative during a trip to the Riemenschneider Bach Library in
June 2006. I found there, first of all, that all eleven items listed by
Kenney are bound together into a tome of almost two hundred pages
(catalogued as К 550) and measuring approximately 10 x 13 inches
(see Figure 1). Glued into the upper left corner of the volume's cover
is a tiny square of paper inscribed with the number "1 ," indicating that
the item was probably the first of several such volumes from a private
music library. The volume is in good condition, except for its
deteriorating spine, but the four-page appendix to the print of the
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, in which the editor (F. C. Griepenkerl)
discusses issues of performance practice, is missing.4 It is easy to
understand why these pages were removed, for they were incorrecdy
bound between two facing pages of music instead of at the very end.
Stubs of both leaves are still intact.

4On this appendix, see Ulrich Leisinger, ed Johann Sebastian Bach : Chromatische Yantaste
und Fuge BWV 903 mit Frühfassung BWV 903a und der aus Umkreis Forkels überlieferten
Fassung (Vienna: Wiener Urtext, 1999); Karen Lehmann, " 'Eines der vortrefflichsten
Kunstwerke, die aus deutschem Geist entsprossen sind' - Zur Rezeption von Bachs
Chromatischer Fantasie und Fuge im Zeitalter Mendelssohns und Schumanns" in "Zu
gross, t(u unerreichbar" - Bach-Reiçeption im Zeitalter Mendelssohns und Schumanns , Anselm
Hartinger, Christoph Wolff, and Peter Wollny, eds. (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel,
2007), 357-66; and NBA V/9.2 ( Sechs kleine Praeludien / Einzeln überlieferte Klavierwerke
T)y KB (Uwe Wolf, 2000), 159.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book з

Filed with the volume is a carbon-copy excerpt of a letter


22 April 1937 from G. Mensching (an associate of the Swi
publisher Hug & Co.) to Albert Riemenschneider. In
translation, the letter reads as follows:

You wish [to know] some details about the Bach volume that I s
you and about its previous owner, Clara Schumann. I knew t
daughters of Robert and Clara Schumann, who earlier lived
many years in Interlaken: Marie and Eugenie Schumann. Marie d
a few years ago. Eugenie is still alive and about two months
celebrated her 85th birthday. During the war the two sisters wis
to sell part of their library, and the Hug company purchased th
[materials], including the Bach volume that you own today. On
when Marie Schumann was visiting with me in Interlaken, s
made sure to inform me that the performance markings found
the volume stem from the hand of her mother, Clara Schuman

Thus, after Clara's death in 1896, this source remained


possession of her family. During World War I, it was so
Zurich firm of Hug & Co., who in turn sold it to Dr.
Riemenschneider, probably around the time of Mensching's letter. But
what of its earlier provenance? To judge from Mensching's letter,
most of the inscriptions found in the volume are by Clara, but it soon
became clear to me that the vast majority of them are actually by her
husband.6 Robert's hand appears in all the prints except that of the
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and on approximately forty pages,

5The original text reads: "Sie wünschen etwas näheres über den Bach-Band den ich
Ihnen sandte und über dessen frühere Besitzerin, Clara Schumann, zu erfahren. Ich
kannte 2 Töchter von Robert und Clara Schumann, welche früher viele Jahre in
Interlaken lebten, Marie und Eugenie Schumann. Marie ist vor einigen Jahren
gestorben, Eugenie lebt noch und feierte vor etwa 2 Monaten ihren 85. Geburtstag.
Während des Krieges wünschten die beiden Schwestern einen Teil ihrer Bibliothek
zu verkaufen und die Firma Hug hat diese übernommen. Darunter befand sich auch
der Bach-Band welchen Sie heute besitzen. Marie Schumann machte mich bei einem
Besuch, den ich ihr damals in Interlaken persönlich machte darauf aufmerksam, dass
die in dem Band enthaltenen Vortragszeichen von der Hand ihrer Mutter, Clara
Schumann, herrührten."
6Albert Riemenschneider's description of this source as merely an "unusual volume
. . . which belonged to Clara Schumann and which contains her personal marks made
during a study of these works" suggests that he, too, was unaware of any markings
by Robert Schumann. See Riemenschneider, "The Bach Library at Berea, Ohio,"
Notes 8 (August 1940): 39-47, especially 43.

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4 Bach

suggesting that h
Clara inherited th
and by whom (th
assembled into t

As Table 1 dem
systematically, a
of his music libr
the Ciavierübun
preludes, three
same numerical o
the only ones no
in С Minor and Toccata in D Minor, which, as we shall see, he
considered opera dubia. All were published by C. F. Peters in the city
of Leipzig, where Schumann lived for over fifteen years.

The multitudinous markings by Schumann in this volume, which


we will refer to as Clara's "Bach book," provide fascinating new
documentation about his reception of Bach's keyboard music (for a
complete list, see the Appendix). In their orthography, they closely

7On Schumann's catalogue, see Russell Stinson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works
from Mendelssohn to Brahms (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), 98-100; and
Bodo Bischoff, "Das Bach-Bild Robert Schumanns" in Bach und die Nachwelt ' Band 1:
1750-1850 , Michael Heinemann and Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen, eds. (Laaber:
Laaber- Verlag, 1 997), 421-99, especially 482-85. The tides entered by Schumann into
this catalogue (a modern copy of which is found at the Robert-Schumann-Haus,
Zwickau, catalogue no. 5678- A3c) correspond closely to those found in Table 1.
Listed under the heading "Bach," they read as follows: Préludes et Fugues pour l'Orgue.
Livre I. II. III.; Exercices. Oeuv. II. (Variations); Oeuv. III (Préludi p. l'Orgue); chromatische
Phantasie; Toccata et Fugue p. l'Orgue. № 2. 3.; and Fantaisie pour l'Orgue. The publication
dates given in Table 1 are taken from NBA V/2 {Zweiter Teil der Klavierübung, Vierter
Teil der Klavierübung, Vierzehn Kanons BWV 1087), KB (Walter Emery and Christoph
Wolff, 1981), 107; NBA IV/4 ( Dritter Teil der Klavierübung), KB (Manfred Tessmer,
1974), 26; NBA IV/ 5-6 ( Präludien , Toccaten , Fantasien und Fugen fur Orgel), KB (Dietrich
Kilian, 1978-79), 261 ; NBA V/9.2, KB, 223; NBA IV/7 {Sechs Sonaten und verschiedene
Ein^elwerke), KB (Dietrich Kilian, 1988), 193; NBA V/9.1 {Toccaten), KB (Peter
Wollny, 1999), 79; and Lehmann, "Zur Rezeption von Bachs Chromatischer Fantasie
und Fuge," 358. The print of Part 3 of the Ciavierübung contained in Clara's book
lacks the four "duets," BWV 802-5, which were published separately at the time.
8In the early nineteenth century, the Goldberg Variations were published as Part 2
rather than Part 4 of Bach's Exercices pour le claveän, which of course is French for
Ciavierübung.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 5

Table 1: The contents of Clara Schumann's Bach book

Contents of print Title of print Date of print

Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 Exercices pour le clavecin par 1


{Ciavierübung, Part 4) J. S. Bach. Oeuv. II.

Ciavierübung, Part 3 (BWV 552/1, Exercices pour le clavecin par ca. 1815
669-89, 552/2) J. S. Bach. Oeuv. III.

Prelude in A Minor, BWV 551 Prelude et fugue pour l'orgue ou ca. 1832
le piano- forte composé par J. S.
Bach. No. I.

Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Prelude et fugue pour l'orgue ou ca. 1832
BWV 541 le piano- forte composé par J. S.
Bach. No. II.

Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, Prelude et fugue pour l'orgue ou ca. 1 832
BWV 535 le piano-forte composé par J. S.
Bach. No. III.

Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, Chromatische Fantasie fur das 1 820


BWV 903 Pianoforte von Johann Sebastian
Bach.

Fantasy in С Minor, BWV 906 Fantaisie pour le clavecin ca. 1815


composée par J. S. Bach No. I.

Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572 Fantaisie pour l'orgue ou le 1 832-33


pianoforte composée par
J. S. Bach. No. II.

Toccata in D Minor, BWV 913 Toccata per clavicembalo ca. 1815


composta dal Signore Giov.
Sebast. Bach. No. Щ.

Toccata and Fugue in F Major, Toccata et fugue pour l'orgue ou ca. 1832
BWV 540 le piano- forte composée par
J. S. Bach. No. II.

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor Toccata et fugue pour l'orgue ou ca. 1832
("Dorian"), BWV 538 le piano-forte composée par
J. S. Bach. No. III.

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6 Bach

match how Sch


composer taken
practice.9 For e
here is a bracke
imitation, whet
brackets appear
imitative statem
Part 3 of the Cia
schrei ich zu dir
chorale tune to a
in augmentation
constant use of
addition to each
roughly forty fu

Schumann also s
instance, in mea
sharp, while in t
is printed errone
d to indicate tha
settled (correcdy
wrote above the
question mark
corresponding
continued, at die
made many such
obvious typograp

In the followi
Heiland," Schum
or editor but, s
furnished a pitch

9For facsimile repr


Stinson, The Recepti
Bild Robert Schum
Gerd Nauhaus of th
ing and deciphering
10In other works, S
"x" (see Appendix)

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 7

for the right-hand voice, sixteen-foot for the left-hand voice), an


the upper two he indicated a particular division of the organ: for
left-hand voice, the "Hauptwerk" or main division, abbreviat
Schumann as HW' and for the right-hand voice, the "Oberwer
secondary division located in the main organ case above the H
werk, abbreviated as 0W.n It is probably no coincidence that
same pitch designations appear in the original print of Bach's simi
constructed Schübler chorale, "Wo soll ich fliehen hin."

Far more extensive are the organ registrations supplied


Schumann for the Prelude in A Minor - the print of which, to r
Arthur Schanz once and for all, in no way represents a piano
scription and thus presumably has nothing to do with Carl Czern
for in this instance he prescribed particular stops for all but the f
and final section of the work (see Figure 3).12 Indeed, Schu
entered at the start of each of the other sections a whole series of
names, indicating, quite sensibly, registration changes from sect
section. These registrations, found in measures 1,12, 32, and 39,
the most detailed of any inscribed by Schumann in his personal
of Bach's organ works. The first such series, which is only f
visible, reads Pr. 8, Щ14, Sfl8, V. d.g. 8, Oct. 4 (Principal 8', Rohr
4', Spitzflöte 8f, Viol di Gamba 8f, and Octava 4% while the s
(V. d.g. Oct. 4 / weg) indicates the cancellation of two of these sto

"These inscriptions read as follows: beneath the word "Pedale" in the work hea
4 Fuss , above the right-hand voice in measure 1, 8 Fuss OW.; and beneath the
hand voice in measures 6-7, HW. 16 Fuss. The inscription 4 Fuss appears on th
page, beneath the first note of the pedal voice.
12For the fifth section (beginning in measure 75), which recalls the figuration
first, Schumann may have returned to his opening registration. Figure 3 also
that Schumann analyzed the double fugue that begins in measure 39 by reg
bracketing both subjects. (The significance of the symbol to the left of the firs
note in measure 41, which is in an unknown hand, is unclear.) Because BW
actually contains two fugues, in addition to three toccata-like sections, I refer
work as a "prelude" rather than "prelude and fugue," in contrast to how i
originally published (see Table 1).
Immediately to the left of the first series is an inscription beginning with two l
(possibly "R. S." for "Robert Schumann") and continuing with 242 N 9 , dou
a citation of this work as the ninth number ("Nr. 9") in volume 3 of the P
edition of Bach's complete organ works ("Edition Peters 242," published in
Similar inscriptions in this same unknown hand appear at the beginning of th
two prints contained in Clara's book, those of BWV 541 (241 N 2) and BWV

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8 Bach

The third series


Salidonal 8 , indi
a registration o
series reads (16 f
Lieblich Gedack
apparendy felt t
stark chords fo
texture of the d

Unfortunately
any of the organ
what inspired hi
possibility shoul
as an organist. O
organ lesson,"
teacher at this t
have had a parti
more, the regis
delicate (for a Ba
Whatever his mo
far more serio
believed.

Schumann took an abiding interest in the authenticity of works


ascribed to Bach, and in Clara's book we find him refuting or at least
questioning Bach's authorship of two well-known harpsichord pieces:
the Toccata in D Minor, BWV 913; and the Fantasy in С Minor, BWV
906. In both cases Schumann scrawled his doubts in red pencil on the
title page of the print close to where the word "Bach" appears,
possibly his way of ferreting out "dubious" compositions as he

(242 N 5), with the number 241 referring to volume 2 of the Peters edition, published
in 1844. On the Peters edition itself, see NBA IV/5-6, KB, 262-63.
14Stinson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works, 77 and 91; and Peter Krause, "Carl
Ferdinand Beckers Wirken fur das Werk Johann Sebastian Bachs," Beiträge %ur
Bachforschung 1 (1982): 85-95, especially 91. Becker's personal copy of BWV 551,
housed today at the Leipziger Städtische Bibliotheken, contains no registration
markings (or performance markings of any kind) that might indicate a kinship to
Schumann's copy of the work. Becker's copy is listed in Peter Krause, Originalausgaben
und ältere Drucke der Werke Johann Sebastian Bach in der Musikbibliothek der Stadt Leipzig
(Leipzig: Musikbibliothek der Stadt Leipzig, 1970), 76.

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Clara Schumann's Bach book 9

prepared the catalogue of his music library (see Figures 4 and 5).
the tide page of the toccata, he wrote zweifelhaft ob von Bach ("do
whether by Bach"); on that of the fantasy, schwerlich von Bach ("h
by Bach"). Alas, Schumann was wrong on both counts, as there is
a shred of documentary or stylistic evidence against Bach's autho
of either work. In fact, the C-minor fantasy survives in not one
two autograph manuscripts, which makes its authenticity especia
unassailable.15

Schumann can have doubted the authenticity of these works


on stylistic grounds, and it is safe to say he would have cons
neither as exemplifying Bach's absolute mastery in the rea
counterpoint. To quote Bach's first biographer, Johann Nic
Forkel, the toccata "is a very early and imperfect piece" (and
seems vastly superior to the A-minor organ prelude just disc
which constitutes a pale imitation of Buxtehude's style).16 The fan
conversely, is a product of Bach's maturity as well as one o
composer's most modern creations, complete with hand-crossing
the manner of Domenico Scarlatti. Indeed, Schumann may
mistaken the piece for one of Scarlatti's sonatas, which also t
employ the same binary form. Perhaps he regarded the fantasy ex
as he did Scarlatti's sonatas: "brief, pleasing, and spicy" but lacki
substance.17

Two other prints from Clara's book containing annotations by


Robert Schumann preserve two of Bach's most popular organ works.
In the case of the Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541,
Schumann entered into the fugue two sets of markings, one in regular
pencil and one in red pencil, aimed at correcting typographical errors
and clarifying aspects of the texture (see Figure 6). For instance,
starting on the second beat of measure 27, he wrote beside the bass

15See the discussion of this work in David Schulenberg, The Keyboard Music of J. S.
Bach , second edition (New York and London: Routledge, 2006), 152-58.
16On the toccata, see George B. Stauffer, ed., The Forkel - Hoffmeister & Kühnel
Correspondence: A Document of the Farly 1 9th -Century Bach Revival (New York: C. F. Peters,
1990), 43; and Schulenberg, The Keyboard Music of J. S. Bach , 106-108.
Schumann commented on Scarlatti's sonatas in his essay "Aeltere Claviermusik,"
published in the 14 May 1839 issue of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and reprinted in
Robert Schumann, Gesammelte Schriften , 4 vols. (Leipzig: Georg Wigand, 1854),
3:90-95.

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io Bach

voice Ped. and cont


that in the context of four-voice texture the bass voice is to be
pedaled rather than played by the hands. Likewise, for the long
manualiter episode in measures 39-51, he added rests for the missing
bass voice. (He did the same for the soprano in measures 53-59.)

More problematic than any missing rests in this print are the six
statements of the fugue subject that begin with an extra eighth note
(measures 35, 52, 59, 72, 76, and 79), an error that robs the theme of
its anacrusis. Schumann corrected the first three of these statements,
each time substituting an eighth rest. In measure 77 he also corrected
two wrong pitches in the fugue subject (and saw fit to inscribe the
correct pitches in the right margin), while in measure 80, beat two, he
cancelled an erroneous sharp on f ', which forced him to add a sharp
on this pitch at the very end of the bar.18 Quite likely, Schumann did
not detect all these mistakes on his own but had been advised of them
by his illustrious colleague (and fellow Bach fanatic) Felix Mendels-
sohn, who in 1 840 wrote an indignant letter to the publisher citing all
the mistakes in the G-major fugue. To quote from Mendelssohn's
letter:

Your Excellencies will receive herewith the corrected copy of the


Prelude and Fugue in G Major by Seb. Bach. You will be amazed
at the number of mistakes ... In particular, there are a number of
mistakes in the fugue which I would immediately have corrected at
my own risk even without knowing the piece at all or owning a
copy of it, and with regard to which old Bach would have taken you
to task quite severely: you have his subject beginning with an extra
eighth note once on page 7, twice on page 8, and even three times
on page 9, and give it altogether dreadful middle voices and
harmonies underneath, especially in the last two systems. If you can

18Two mistakes here undetected by Schumann occur in measure 76 of the tenor


voice, last note, which is notated a step too low, and measure 77 of the pedal line,
which contains an erroneous natural sign on the third note (f). The long squiggly line
drawn by Schumann in the margin at the very end of the fugue is his version of a
delete mark and refers rather emphatically to the sharp in measure 80 of the alto
voice, second note (observe the sharp symbol placed beside the line). He used the
same marking in his personal copy of Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier (Robert-
Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 10552-D1/A4, vol. 1) to delete the editor's
(Carl Czerny) octave doublings of the bass voice toward the end of the C-minor
fugue.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 1 1

do anything by way of apology to the honorable fellow, I would be


obliged.19

Finally, Schumann suspected that the fugue subject had also been
botched in the tenor voice of measure 37, where, on the third beat,
and for the only time in the movement, two eighth notes in
descending-fifth motion are replaced by an eighth note and stepwise
sixteenths. Although the surviving sources show this reading to be
authentic - it agrees entirely with Bach's autograph, except for the
erroneous tie in the soprano voice - Schumann notated the subject
here in its original state and scribbled in the right margin NB. warum
nicht der Stimme gan^treu ("Nota Bene: why is this voice not completely
true [to the subject?]").20 Considering that the original version of the
subject poses no problems with any of the accompanimental voices,
Schumann's skepticism is understandable.

Of particular interest are Schumann's markings in the Toccata


and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540, and not just because he seems to
have appropriated the work as a compositional exemplar, for his
annotations in the toccata correspond exacdy to an article on musical
typos that he wrote in the year 1841 in his capacity as editor of the
Neue Zeitschrift fur Musik.2 1 The article contains the following commen-
tary:

19Rudolf Elvers, ed., Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: A Ufe in letters (New York: Fromm,
1986), 245-46. The page numbers referred to by Mendelssohn are plainly visible in
Figure 6.
43ach obviously changed the subject here for the sake of parallel tenths with the
soprano. For a facsimile edition of the autograph manuscript, see Hans-Joachim
Schulze, ed., Johann Sebastian Bach: Präludium und Fuge in G-Dur BWV 541 (Faksimile
nach dem Autograph der Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesit^in Berlin) (Leipzig: Neue
Bachgesellschaft, 1996).
"Ueber einige muthmasslich corrumpirte Stellen in Bach'schen, Mozarťschen und
Beethoven'schen Werken," Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 15, no. 38 (9 November 1841):
1 50-51 ; reprinted in Schumann, Gesammelte Schriften , 4:59-66. The first of Schumann's
Six Studies for Pedal Piano , op. 56, appears to be a direct copy of the canon that begins
Bach's toccata. Another work from Clara's Bach book that seems to have served
Robert as a compositional model is the Fugue in E-flat Major (BWV 552/2) that
concludes Part 3 of the Ciavierübung (compare this fugue to the last of Schumann's Six
Fugues on BACH , op. 60). For further discussion, see Stinson, The Reception of Bach's
Organ Works , 91-93.

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12 Bach

In the grand and sple


voices move above a
it possible that this
he has allowed a num
with the canon. Sim
piece in the corres
clarification of anot
My readers will no
comparing this wit
lower, they will fin
measures are compl
and 3]; these may be
second and third m
could settle the matt

In annotating his
Schumann changed
introductory canon
and inscribing a no
Three times, thou
readings.24 In mark
solo, he determine
absent from the fir
fehlen ywei Takte
transposition"). Th
second statement o
(Schumann drew v
which facilitated h
mistakes in the se
example, he drew

translation based on K
(New York: Pantheon
Schumann mistakenly
23These passages occu
revisions), and 133 (wh
passage in the right-ha
on the last left-hand n
diagonal line beneath, a
At any rate, Schuman
and first revision in m
gesellschaft edition of

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 13

measure 135, which should read e instead of c. Six bars later,


top of page 6, he wrote stimmt nicht mit dem Vorigen ("agrees no
the preceding"), but, as he admitted in his article, he could
"clarify" why the two statements offered such different readin
this point.

Schumann presumably did not realize that almost all the discrep-
ancies between the two statements of the pedal solo involve matters
of pedal compass, for the Peters print is based on a manuscript in
which the pedal part of the entire toccata was rewritten to accommo-
date a pedalboard that did not rise above c' This circumstance was
not common knowledge until 1845 (four years after Schumann's
article), when, in volume 3 of the Peters edition of Bach's complete
organ works, the movement was first published with its original pedal
part, one that ascends quite remarkably all the way to f '25 Whoever
rewrote the part - the best candidate is Bach's pupil J. T. Krebs - did
so primarily by transposing passages down an octave,26 but in the two
statements of the pedal solo he simply omitted all measures contain-
ing notes above cf, including, of course, the two measures cited by
Schumann.

Predictably, the musical consequences of this surgery were less


than favorable. By removing measures 58-59, for example, the
arranger not only shortened Bach's opening phrase from four to three
bars but also curtailed the stepwise ascent on downbeat notes from
the tonic to the dominant pitch (F to c*). In the second statement of
the pedal solo, the arranger excised a segment of nine bars (measures
1 56-64) and, in an attempt to join up the resulting fragments, inserted
two bars of his own devising and refashioned measure 155 in their
image. This routine sequence is a poor substitute for Bach's triadic
springboard to f '

Schumann may have entered a host of markings into these prints,


but he left well over a hundred pages completely unmarked, a
situation that could be taken as a sign of his lack of interest in their
contents. This, however, is to ignore other sources that document
both his interest in and outright admiration of the music. Take, for

25NBA IV/5-6, KB, 404-408 and 674.


26The sixteenth note on ď that remains in measure 274 is obviously an oversight.

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14 Bach

instance, the Gold


one mark on thes
glowingly about how
teenager, and in h
unique "physiognom
later, when he rece
the Bachgesellschaft
published in 1853),
instruct the player t
have studied and pla

Two other volum


revealing on this p
Choral-Vorspiele fìir
which Schumann marked three chorales from Part 3 of the Ciavier-
übung that are completely uninscribed in the print of this collection
contained in Clara's book.30 Likewise, in the individual prints of the
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue and the Toccata in D Minor (BWV
913) contained in Clara's book, Schumann merely registered his
doubts about Bach's authorship of the toccata. But in his personal
copy of volume 4 of the Czerny-Griepenkerl edition of Bach's
complete harpsichord works,31 he corrected many typographical errors
in both works and marked every fugai statement in the Chromatic
Fugue.

27See, respectively, Bischoff, "Das Bach-Bild Robert Schumanns," 422; and the
installment of Schumann's essay "Pianofortemusik" published in the 20 December
1842 issue of the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and reprinted in Schumann, Gesammelte
Schriften , 4:201-204.
28Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 10734-D1 / A4, vol. 3. Schumann's
inscriptions on page 295, which contains the latter half of variation 23, read über die
Linke (measures 18-19) and über (measures 27 and 28).
29Clara also inscribed numerous fingerings into this edition, which surely means that
she at least practiced the Goldbergs - definitely Bach's most virtuosic keyboard
work - even though there is no record that she ever played them in public.
^Stinson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works , 77-78. Schumann entered organ
registrations for the F-major setting of "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr" and the large
setting of "Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam," and he bracketed every canonic
phrase of the large setting of irVater unser im Himmelreich."
31 Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 1 0552-D 1 /A4, vol. 4.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 15

Clara Schumann's hand appears in five different prints contained


within her Bach book. Her markings pertain mosdy to the perfo
mance rather than the analysis of the music, in accordance wi
Mensching's letter to Riemenschneider. Significando they also te
to involve the adaptation of organ music to the piano. Clara inscribe
in this way the F-major toccata; the Fantasy in G Major, BWV 5
(also known as the "Pièce d'Orgue"); and, from Part 3 of th
Ciavierübung, the large setting of "Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan
kam."32

To begin with the chorale, the fingerings and hook-like symbols


indicating hand distribution that appear throughout this score agree
entirely with authenticated examples of Clara's music script and
correspond closely to her personal copy of the Well-Tempered Clavier
(see Figure 8). 33 Interestingly enough, Clara marked this piece in much
the same way in her personal copy of the Bachgesellschaft edition of
Bach's complete works.34 Her interest in the work also helps to

32The other two prints containing markings by Clara are those of the Prelude and
Fugue in G Minor, BWV 535 (to be discussed shortly), and the Chromatic Fantasy
and Fugue, to which she added fingerings and ornaments, in addition to changing a
few pitches. As early as 1837, while still a teenager, Clara was urged by her fans to
play this work, but it did not enter her concert repertoire until the mid- 1850s.
Presumably one reason for her hesitation was the exceedingly bold style of the
fantasy - in which Bach combines toccata-like figuration, keyboard recitative, and
chromatic modulations - a movement she described in 1 841 as "a chaos of passages"
that gave her "no musical pleasure." See Bischoff, "Das Bach-Bild Robert
Schumanns," 438 and 444; and Gerd Nauhaus, ed., The Marriage Diaries of Robert &
Clara Schumann (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993), 54.
33Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 6003-D 1 / A4, vol. 3. The analytical
markings found in BWV 685, the rather complex fughetta on this same chorale that
immediately follows (see conclusion of Figure 8), are entirely in the hand of Robert
Schumann. Specimens of Clara's music script may be found in Valerie Woodring
Goertzen, "Setting the Stage: Clara Schumann's Preludes," in In the Course of
Performance: Studies in the World of Musical Improvisation , ed. Bruno Netti (Chicago:
University of Chicago Press, 1998): 237-60.
^Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 10734-D1/A4, vol. 3 (the same
volume just cited in conjunction with the Goldberg Variations). Clara seems to have
taken over her husband's subscription to this edition upon his hospitalization (1854)
and death (1856). She then evidently bequeathed the set of forty-odd volumes to her
pupil Fanny Davies (1861-1934), who, in turn, bequeathed it to the Robert-
Schumann-Haus. For this information, I am indebted to Thomas Synofzik.
Presumably, it was Davies who in the score of "Christ, unser Herr" entered

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16 Bach

explain why Joha


edition, chose to an

Clara must have be


be the only Bach o
the music lends it
thing, the flowing
symbolic of the Jo
organ; played suff
study. In addition,
to the pedals) soun
surrounded on eit
perhaps not so unli
with a "thumbed"
played the chorale
measure 31 , where
out the tune as a l
dexterous pedaling

Another point to
unser Herr" is tha
Witness this rep
Schumann's in the

Schumann once re
organ chorales by
Stimme" [from the
how to play the pe
deftly and quickly
handled like short g
I sustained the peda
practice, my executi
Schumann was plea
was wont to perfor
was very adept at p

numerous small circles


35Stinson, The Reception
36Friedrich Gustav Jans
(Leipzig: Breitkopf & H
Bach's Organ Works , 89.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 17

Dörffel is here describing a technique whereby the left hand jumps


much as an octave-and-a-half from a grace note to a tenor chor
note played on the beat by the left thumb. In negotiating the tenth
between the bass and tenor voices in measures 8-9 of "Christ, un
Herr," Clara may well have resorted to this technique herself.

Clara's markings in the F-major toccata and G-major fantas


encompass a wide range of performance indications, not on
numerous fingerings and hand-distribution markings but a
dynamics and an array of added notes. Still, in neither work do the
indications amount to a full-blown transcription; rather, they illustr
various techniques of adaptation. The most common of these is t
duplication of the pedal voice at the lower octave, which is both
idiomatic technique for the piano and an effective simulation of 16-
foot pedal stops.

Apropos of the toccata, it bears mentioning that Clara marke


this movement somewhat similarly in her personal copy of th
Bachgesellschaft edition of Bach's complete works.37 There, however
she entered merely a few fingerings and hand-distribution indication
an obvious sign that the more thoroughgoing markings in her Bach
book are later. The publication date of this volume of the Bach
gesellschaft edition provides a terminus post quem of 1867.

The concentration of markings in measures 1-51 and 84-135


shows that Clara's greatest concern in adapting the toccata to t
piano was how to maintain the two lengthy pedal points accompany
ing the two statements of the introductory canon, a problem that w
only exacerbated by her tendency to duplicate these already lo
pitches at the lower octave (see Figure 7). Of course, the constant us
of the damper pedal aided significandy in this process, but so d
regularly restriking the pedal-point notes and having the right han
play both canonic voices. In the first nine bars, for instance, Cl
began with a left-hand octave that she held for five beats, th
restruck on the third beat of measure 2, no doubt along with a ped
change. At the end of measure 5, she again restruck the pedal-point
note on the third beat, even though this time she could just as easil

37Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau, catalogue no. 6003-D1/A4, vol. 15.

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18 Bach

have waited until t


not to supply any
6,thereby lessenin
syncopation is em
somewhat shorter
beat, she presuma
her left hand until
pedal-point note a
hand.38 However, t
for the last three notes of the lower canonic voice show that when the

spacing between the two voices was wider than a sixth, she also played
certain notes of this voice with her left hand.39

Rather different performance instructions, represented by the


letters "1" and "r", are found in measures 271-79 (where this print,
incidentally, offers a corrupt reading), for these letters pertain, quite
surprisingly, to organ playing: they unquestionably denote which foot
plays the pedal line. The first note so marked is to be played initially
with the left foot (finks); then, as the note is held, it is transferred to
the right foot (rechts).40 In the second set of letters, the right foot
rather awkwardly crosses under the left, suggesting that the heel of the
foot is to be avoided. Strangely enough, Clara also notated fingerings
for the pedal line here, thereby indicating how the same passage could
be played with the left hand or the feet.

Clara Schumann might have been one of the greatest pianists of


the nineteenth century, but she is not generally known to have been
an organist, let alone one skilled enough to tackle a virtuosic work like
Bach's F-major toccata. It has long been documented, though, that
Clara played both the organ and the pedal piano (a wholly independ-
ent instrument placed on the floor under a grand piano), especially
between 1840 and 1856, the years of her marriage to Robert

38As will be discussed shordy, the added notes in measure 7 are in a hand other than
Clara's.

39Such vertical strokes are a regular feature of Clara's personal copy of the Well-
Tempered. Clavier.
40 All the notes of the pedal line here are down-stemmed, which distinguishes them
from the notes of the left-hand voice.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 19

Schumann.41 Furthermore, according to a recently published lett


from Clara to the organist Theodor Kirchner, written in 1862, sh
regarded this very toccata as an ideal vehicle for improving one'
organ technique. Having arranged for Kirchner to receive a peda
piano from the singer Julius Stockhausen, Clara offered him thes
words of encouragement:

Yes, dear, it will really be worthwhile for you to have this pedal
piano. Stockhausen also said how easy it will be for you to give
some organ concerts with him here in the Rhineland, but you will
have to properly play works by Bach. I am convinced that if you
regularly practice an hour every day, without exerting yourself, just
on the pedal piano, you will be completely confident.

I mean, you must always have in your fingers a few of Bach's most
significant works, for example, the Pastorale in F Major, and after
that the Toccata in F Major and the Fugues in [B] Minor and G
Minor . . . and many others that I can't recall at the moment. You
can be sure that if you study the pieces every day for half a year,
you can truly perform wherever you want.42

One inference to be drawn from this excerpt is that Clara played


or at least practiced these same pieces herself, if only as pedal
exercises. In addition to the F-major toccata, they included the
Pastorale in F Major, BWV 590, Bach's only composition by this
name, and two fugues. That in В minor was presumably the latte
movement of the Prelude and Fugue in В Minor, BWV 544, whos

41Stdnson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works , 84 and 90-91; and Barbara Owen, T
Organ Music of Johannes Brahms (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 7-10.
42"Ja wirklich, das können Sie, Lieber, es ist doch recht viel werth, wenn Sie das Ped
haben. Stockhausen sprach auch davon, wie leicht Sie hier am Rhein mit ihm einige
Orgelconcerte geben könnten, nur müssten Sie einige Sachen von Bach recht sch
spielen. Ich bin überzeugt, wenn Sie regelmässig eine Stunde jeden Tag üben, ohn
Anstrengung, nur auf dem Pedal, erreichen Sie gewiss volle Sicherheit.
Ich meine, Sie müssten einige der bedeutendsten Sachen Bach's, also zum B. das
Pastorale in Fdur, dann darauf die Toccata in Fdur, [h]moll - gmoll Fugen . . . un
manches was mir nicht gleich einfällt, immer in den Fingern haben, und können
gewiss, studieren Sie die Sachen ein mal ein halbes Jahr täglich, dann können Si
wahrlich spielen wo Sie wollen." Letter of 2 November 1862. See Renate Hofman
Clara Schumanns Briffe an Theodor Kirchner (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1996), 107-10
Hofmann's transcription reads "bmoll," but Bach composed no organ work in th
key. It follows that Clara penned the extremely similar lower-case letter "h" instead

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20 Bach

prelude Clara feat


other fugue was m
Clara's Bach book h
same movement. A
statement of this f
with a right-left su
In measure 51, thou
her feet crossed a f

Turning to the G-
in this work relate
middle Grave sectio
symbols indicating
would play with th
pedal line at the l
worked the dampe
hand (although t
difficulties in this
Clara also notated
highlight the rema
measures 157-71.
continuing with tw
151, and ending wi
added dynamics giv
decided to begin pl
the reduced textu
section of the fant
hook-like symbols
resumed playing th
conjunction with th
commences.

43See the collection of Clara's recital programs at the Robe


Zwickau, catalogue no. 10463-A3. Listed on two of her prog
Bach's "Praeludium H-Moll aus den 6 Praeludien und Fug
unambiguous reference to the so-called Six Great Preludes
543-48. The only B-minor work in this collection is BW
involvement with these pieces, see also Stinson, The Reception of
77 and 80-81.

^he markings in measure 35, which represent an attempt to correct what is in fact
a completely accurate reading, are in an unknown hand.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 21

There is overwhelming evidence, circumstantial and other


that Clara's efforts to transcribe the F-major toccata and G-
fantasy for the piano involved Johannes Brahms, who was not o
Clara's most esteemed colleague for the last forty years of her lif
her closest friend as well. For one thing, and as mentioned e
these two pieces happen to be the same two Bach organ work
Brahms most often performed as a concert pianist.45 In stark con
over her long (and exceedingly well documented) career, Clara is
known to have played either the toccata or the fantasy a single ti
any of her piano recitals.46 It is even more suggestive that c
analytical markings found in Clara's copy of the fantasy corresp
closely to ones made by Brahms in his largely unknown study s
of the Grave section of the work.47 For example, in both sou
diagonal or vertical stroke frequendy appears above the bar line
precedes the final note of a phrase, a method commonly u
Brahms in his compositional sketches and drafts to mark p
endings.48 Brahms's score contains three times as many of
markings, but the twelve found in Clara's copy occur on exacdy
same measures (measures 41, 49, 59, 68, 76, 87, 95, 105, 118
142, and 158). Also in accordance with Brahms's manuscript a
pitch corrections in measures 109 and 157. Similarly, regard
who inscribed the word Thema in measure 131 and the letter "v" in
measure 142 to designate statements of the opening whole-note
theme, both passages are among the relatively few retained by Brahms
in his analysis.

45Brahms also played the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543; the Pastorale in
F Major; and the Concerto in D Minor after Vivaldi, BWV 596. See Stinson, The
deception of Bach's Organ Works , 126 - 41 ; and Renate and Kurt Hofmann, Johannes
Brahms ab Pianist und Dirigent (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2006).
^Over a thousand of Clara's recital programs are housed today at the Robert-
Schumann-Haus, and they document her performances of various Bach organ works:
the Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543; the Prelude and Fugue in В Minor,
BWV 544; the Prelude and Fugue in E Minor, BWV 548; the Pastorale in F Major;
and a G-major prelude and fugue for organ, probably BWV 541 .
47This manuscript constitutes a reductive analysis by Brahms. See Stinson, The
Reception of Bach's Organ Works, 147-49 and 177-81.
^George S. Bozarth, "Synthesizing Word and Tone: Brahms's Setting of Hebbel's
'Vorüber/" in Brahms: Biographical, Documentary and Analytical Studies , ed. Robert Pascali
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), 77-98, especially 90-91.

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22 Bach

Another "Brahms
of tiethe
be upper
the suspended nin
time as the root o
suggests Brahms's
consult the Brahm
Bach's suspensions
pointing to the tied
the preparation, th
possible effect to t
Grave section, perh
for the entire section.

The most compelling evidence of Brahms's presence here,


though, is provided by all the added notes found on the last two pages
of Clara's copy, that section of the print containing the third and final
section of the fantasy. Clara certainly did not insert this material, nor
did Robert Schumann.50 Rather, this is a hand in which downward-
stem ledger-line notes are regularly drawn with the stem connected to
the ledger line rather than the note head. Not only is this is a distinc-
tive feature of Brahms's handwriting, but the overall script here agrees
closely with Brahms's autograph manuscripts.51 In the face of all this
evidence, one can only conclude that Brahms entered this material
himself.

49Florence May, The Ufe of Johannes Brahms , 2 vols. (London: Edward Arnold, 1905),
1:17. For a similar report by another Brahms pupil - who happens to have co-owned
the volume that is the subject of this essay - see Eugenie Schumann, Erinnerungen
(Stuttgart: Engelhorn, 1925), 146-47. As unpublished research by James Brokaw and
Russell Stinson has shown, cancelled ties are a common marking in the harpsichord
volumes of Brahms's personal copy of the Bachgesellschaft edition of Bach's
complete works, housed at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, Vienna.
50A representative sampling of Robert Schumann's autograph manuscripts may be
found in Ernst Burger, Robert Schumann : Eine Lebenschronik in Bildern und Dokumenten
(Mainz: Schott, 1999).
51Numerous specimens of Brahms's music script are found in Christiane Jacobsen,
Johannes Brahms: Leben und Werk (Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1983). The excerpt
from the Brahms Violin Concerto found on page 137 of this compilation is a
particularly close match to the added notes under discussion here.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 23

Although these added notes seem at first glance to constitute an


added inner line for the left hand, if played simultaneously with th
printed thirty-second notes, they lead to dissonances more characteri
tic of, say, Schoenberg than Brahms or Bach. This is but o
indication that the material inscribed by Brahms was meant as
alternative rather than an adjunct to what Bach originally composed
As shown in Table 2, Brahms's basic methodology was to rewrite the
printed figuration with the nonharmonic tones removed, there
creating pure triads and seventh chords (in so doing, he frequen
used the note heads of the printed notes, which explains why th
material was not crossed out). Brahms may have been particular
motivated in this regard by various chromatic nonharmonic tones i
the opening six measures that sound downright odd, even if they d
reflect acciaccatura practice.52 But he was interested in more than ju
a reductive analysis, for the triads and seventh chords are oft
arpeggiated for over two octaves, in the tradition of bravura pia
playing. In more specific terms, Brahms's figuration evokes t
technique of fast, perpetual-motion arpeggios in the right ha
supported by left-hand octaves (and in this regard, it is significant t
this section of the print lacks the heading lentement found in moder
editions). Moving largely by step and tending to extend no farth
than a tenth, Bach's arpeggios - to use the term loosely - simply ha
less virtuosic potential.

Somewhat frustratingly, Brahms's markings also represent


skeletal framework for a transcription that may never have been ful
notated. His tendency in the first two bars was to inscribe a complet
six-note arpeggio for each new chord, but starting in measure 1
only the first three notes are given. When, in measure 193, Bac
harmonic rhythm accelerates from two to eight chords per bar, th
frequency of Brahms's arpeggios increases as well, and this phenom
non is observable until the end of the score. Still, measures 194, 197
and 200 were left blank.53

52On both of these points, see Peter Williams, The Organ Music of J. S. Bach , sec
edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 170.
Except for a pitch correction (from g to b) on the downbeat of measure 200.
markings in the middle of measure 197 appear to be in a hand other than Brahm
they are also dubious on musical grounds.

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24 Bach

Table 2: Notes add


Fantasy in G M

Measure Notes1 Pitches

186 1-6 e - bb- e1 - g' - Ьи - g"


186 25-30 f* - ď - f' - a' - d" - a"

187 25-30 g.c'-e'-g'-c"-^

188 1-3 a-c'-e'

188 13-15 g-c'-e'

188 25-27

191 1-3 d-b-ď

191 25-27 e -с' -e*

192 1-3 d-a-ď

192 7-12 e - с"' - e' - g' - d" - g"


192 13-15 f - ď - f*

194 1-6 с - f* - с' - ď - a' - d"

194 7-12 В - g - b - ď - g' - d"

194 13-18 B-e-b-c'-e'-c"

1A11 the notes involved belong to the sextuplet


by Bach to the hands. Pitch corrections are
which originally read b; measure 1 95, note 2,
d; and measure 195, note 3, which originally
have been sharped.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 25

Measure Notes Pitches

194 19-24 A - f* - a - c1 - f* ' - c"

194 25-30 A - {* - a - b - f* - b'

194 31-36 G-e-g-b-e'-b'

194 37-42 G - e - g - a - с"' - a'

195 1-6 F*-c-f-g-b-g'

195 13-18 E - c" - e - g - c"' - g'

195 25-30 D - Bb - d - g - c"' - g'

195 37-42 D-G-Bb -d-g-c"'

197 7-12 D-G-d-e-g-ď

197 13-18 D-A-d-f-a-ď

197 19 D

198 1-3 D-A-c

198 7-9 D -G- В

198 13-15 D - G - Bb

198 19-24 D-F'-A-f-a-f"

198 25-27 GG - D - G

198 31-33 D - В - d

198 37-39 D - d - g

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26 Bach

Also noteworthy
practice, is the fact
ing a pitch that a
pitch in question
measures 191-200
measures 195-98. A
arrangement had
lower octave, start
octave (DD) would
would have remaine
figuration resolves
three more Ds.

Having established that Brahms made numerous inscriptions on


the last two pages of this print, it is tempting to look for his hand also
on the preceding four pages, those containing the Grave section of the
fantasy. As previously mentioned, Clara inscribed onto these pages a
large number of hook-like symbols indicating hand distribution; she
entered various dynamics as well. We may feel confident, too, that it
was Clara who marked twelve different phrase endings (see earlier
discussion), since in every instance a vertical stroke was used, in
contrast to Brahms's practice of a diagonal stroke. In addition, she
made NB markings in measures 39, 53, 71, and 133, the first two of
which indicate precisely where the music moves beyond G major for
the first time.54 But this still leaves unaccounted for a host of
extremely small added notes, found mosdy on the lower system. In
measure 140 these symbols comprise left-hand chords, suggesting
harmonization as a way of elaborating the material. For the most part,
however, what is involved is the repetition of a single pitch, either at
the same pitch or the lower octave (see measures 38, 59-60, 76-78,
88-89, 99, 106, 123, 131, 159, and 169). 55 While perhaps intended
primarily to compensate for the piano's relative inability to sustain

54Clara also made NB markings in the F-major toccata (in measures 206, 208, and
369), but their significance is unclear.
55In measure 169, and for the only time in the work, the added note duplicates the
top right-hand pitch at the upper octave (observe the whole note on ď" on the
second beat, which is immediately to the right of an added FF* for the left hand),
perhaps to enhance the climactic effect of the ascending two-octave pedal scale in
measures 157-71.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 27

pitches, these added notes sometimes also produce mild syncopatio


by means of a dotted half note on the second beat, and mo
prominently in measure 123, where a simultaneous octave is notated.
The lower note here (E) happens to be wholly consistent wit
Brahms's distinctive way of drawing downward-stem ledger-line note
and is therefore a good indication that all these added notes are in hi
hand.56

Concerning the first section of the fantasy, neither Brahms nor


Clara made any annotations in it for the obvious reason that the music
transfers to the piano exacdy as written: there is no pedal part, nor are
there any sustained pitches. Playing Molto vivace (which equates to the
heading Tm vitement found in modern editions), and using a light
touch, a pianist can create a sparkling effect with these monophonie,
non-stop sixteenths. A distincdy "clean" piano sonority may easily be
obtained, too, because the close spacing between the hands allows for
legato playing without the use of the damper pedal. But starting in
measure 29, the damper pedal would have been used more or less
until the very end of the piece, a conclusion that is based not only on
musical common sense but also on Clara's hand-distribution mark-
ings. In this connection, it is worth pointing out that Brahms was
accused of overpedaling in one of his performances of the fantasy,
particularly in the thickly-textured Grave section:

Herr Brahms uses the pedal rather a lot, something he is admittedly


forced to do by many otherwise unmanageable chords and legati in
wide leaps etc. Still, his playing, as commanding as it is full-voiced,
sometimes loses thereby in transparency, and runs together. That
was especially the case with the Bach fantasy, originally for organ
(G major, edition of the organ works by Griepenkerl and Roitzsch,
volume 4, number 11). In the transcription of organ works for
piano, Herr Brahms possesses astonishing power; his excellent
legato even in the most full- voiced sections and his mastery of large
sonorities stand him in especially good stead there, and with their
help he knows how to create the closest possible organ effect on
the piano.57

56The only other instance of a downward-stem ledger-line note in this section of the
fantasy occurs in measure 88. There, the stem connects to neither the ledger line nor
the note head, but its overall appearance agrees with Brahms's script.
57Stinson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works , 134.

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28 BACH

Did Brahms also an


On the basis (again) o
ing to his distinctive
six such notes are p
Moreover, the enorm
measure 132 looks su
chord added to mea
fantasy. Whether he
source is an issue h
markings as well as,
words, whether a par
often impossible to d
note heads. Nor can it be ascertained which of the two corrected
Robert Schumann's pitch annotations in measures 1 9-21 or added the
two missing bars at measure 58. Whatever the case, this insert is an
important key to performance practice, since it shows clearly that the
pedal solo is to be duplicated at the lower octave.

From all of this evidence a scenario emerges in which Brahms


was counseling Clara on how to play these two works at the piano,
drawing on his own vast experience.58 This scenario is also supported
by the fact that Brahms advised Clara (just as she advised him) on
various musical matters throughout their long friendship, including,
in the case of three of her husband's Six Studies for Pedal Piano , op. 56,
the transcription of pedal-piano works for the pianoforte.59 No doubt
her main concern in this enterprise was the pedal part of the original,
which she frequendy dealt with, as in the case of the two Bach organ
works, by duplicating pitches at the lower octave. With regard to the
F-major toccata, Clara was surely inspired to transcribe this piece
because of the great success Brahms had enjoyed with it on his piano
recitals. In one of her letters to Theodor Kirchner, she reported on
the "enthusiasm" generated by Brahms's rendition of the toccata

58Perhaps, then, the cross-outs of various added notes and hand-distribution


markings on the first three pages of the toccata show Clara revising her work on the
basis of Brahms's advice.
59Nancy B. Reich, Clara Schumann: The Artist and the Woman , revised edition (Ithaca
and London: Cornell University Press, 2001), 330-31 . In 1 896, after receiving detailed
suggestions from Brahms, Clara published her arrangements of the second, fourth,
fifth, and sixth Studies.

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 29

when he performed it in 1862 on the occasion of his Vienna debut.60


Furthermore, Clara must have been present nine years earlier when
Brahms, at the tender age of twenty, thrilled a private audience
Düsseldorf with his "powerful and masterful" rendition of the
toccata, having traveled to the city expressly to meet the Schumanns.6
She probably always associated Brahms with this work.

Obviously, the single most significant aspect of Clara's Bach book


is that it preserves, in a very fragmentary state, Brahms's piano
arrangements of two of J. S. Bach's most beloved organ works. Long
considered lost, these transcriptions may now be reconstructed an
performed, even if Brahms never fully notated either of them.62 In
more general terms, the volume sheds much new light on how three
of the leading musicians of the nineteenth century responded
performers, theorists, and critics to the model of Bach's keyboar
music. This neglected document of the so-called Bach revival is

60Letter of 5 December 1 862. See Hofmann, Clara Schumanns Briefe an Theodor Kirchner
123-24. By mentioning the toccata in this letter, Clara was also undoubtedly, an
rather coyly, continuing her efforts to convince Kirchner to learn the work himse
(see Clara's letter to Kirchner of 2 November 1862, discussed earlier).
61Stinson, The Reception of Bach's Organ Works , 126-27. It should also be mentione
that early in 1 856, Brahms wrote to Clara asking whether he should play "the F-maj
piece by Bach" at an upcoming concert. Almost certainly, he was referring to the
major toccata, which would mean that by this date Clara had heard him play the wor
See Berthold Litzmann, Clara Schumann - Johannes Brahms: Briefe aus den Jahren
1853-1896 , 2 vols. (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1927), 1:165. Another watershed
Clara's reception of the toccata may have been a concert on 24 January 1860 at the
Kassel Hoftheater in which she played her husband's Piano Concerto and which also
featured the premiere performance of Heinrich Esser's orchestral transcription of t
toccata. The printed program of this concert is catalogued as No. 531 in th
collection of Clara's recital programs at the Robert-Schumann-Haus, Zwickau.
62Only the transcription of the F-major toccata is listed in Margit L. McCorkl
Johannes Brahms: Thematisch-bibliographisches Werkver^eichnis (Munich: G. Henle, 198
667, and under the rubric of "Lost Arrangements of Works by Other Composer
Any attempt to reconstruct Brahms's arrangement of the toccata must also take int
account the published transcription by his friend Julius Röntgen, since Röntgen
transcription was probably modeled after how Brahms played the work. See Stinso
The Reception of Bach's Organ Works , 1 32-33; and Schanz,/. S. Bach in derKiaviertranskrip-
tion , 507. A very "Brahmsian" feature of Röntgen's transcription is the use of hemiola
phrasing and note-beaming in the opening pedal solos - the sixteenths are ofte
notated as two groups of three notes each - both of which are also regularl
duplicated at the lower octave, in accordance with the markings in Clara's Bach book
Röntgen, though, makes relatively little effort to maintain the initial pedal points.

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30 Bach

therefore a musi
important Bach sou

63I would like to express


their help in the prep
handwriting, thanks ar
Katrin Eich, Wm. A. L
counsel and for allowing
Clara Schumann, I th
Schumann-Haus, Zwick
the Riemenschneider B

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 31

Abbreviations

BWV Bach- Werke- Verzeichnis. Wolfgang Schmieder, Thematisch-


systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke Johann Sebastian
Bachs (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1950; revised edition,
Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1990).

KB Kritischer Bericht (critical report of the Neue Bach-Ausgabè)

NBA Neue Bach-Ausgabe.Johann Sebastian Bach : Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher


Werke (Kassel: Bärenreiter; Leipzig, VEB Deutscher Verlag
für Musik, 1954-2007).

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32 Bach

Appendix

Markings by Robert Schumann in


Clara Schumann's Bach Book

Work and Pagination Location and Description of


[Page numbers refer to the individual MARKING
prints, not the book as a whole.]

Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (page variation 9, measure 1 1 ,


13) voice - note changed from eighth
to quarter

Prelude in E-flat Major, BWV 552/1 measure 49- quarter note on c'
(pages 3 and 10) added to empty fourth beat of mid-
dle voice; measure 172, beat 3, bot-
tom voice - flat on f cancelled

Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, imitative statements of main theme


BWV 669 (pages 12-13) bracketed, with inverted statements
marked entgegen (" contrary to");
notes of chorale tune proper
marked with a small "x"; measure 9,
beat 1 - natural sign on a ' added to
top voice

Christe, aller Welt Trost, BWV 670 imitative statements of main theme
(pages 14-15) bracketed, with inverted statement
in measures 43-45 marked entgegen ;
notes of chorale tune proper
marked with a small "x"

Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist, BWV 671 notes of chorale tune proper
(pages 1 6-19) marked with a small "x"
Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit, measure 9, beat 2- second alto
BWV 672 (page 1 9) note changed from b to a
Christe, aller Welt Trost, BWV 673 imitative statements of main theme
(page 20) bracketed

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 33

Kyrie, Gott Heiliger Geist, BWV 674 measure 8, beat 1 - tenor and ba
(page 21) notes (printed a step too high)
changed to b and d, although bass
note should have been changed to
a; measure 31, beat 1 - sharp on g'
added to soprano

Wir glauben all an einen Gott, BWV measure 4, beat 1, sopran


680 (page 37) on c" cancelled

Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam, statements of fugue


BWV 685 (page 49) countersubject bracketed (see Fig-
ure 8)

Aus defer Not schrei ich zu dir, measures 1-22 (= Stollen of chorale
BWV 686 (pages 50-51) tune) - imitative statements
bracketed

Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir, (see Figure 2 and earlier discussion)
BWV 687 (pages 53-54)

Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV (see Figure 2 and earlier discussion)
688 (pages 54-55)

Fugue in E-flat Major, BWV 552/ 2 measure 74, beat 4, middle voice -
(pages 61-63) natural sign added; measure 75, top
voice - natural sign on beat 4 can-
celled, natural sign added on beat 6;
measures 88-1 1 6 - all statements of
original fugue subject marked

Prelude in A Minor, BWV 551 (see Figure 3 and earlier discussion)

Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV (see Figure 4 and earlier discussion)
541

Prelude in G Minor, BWV 535/1 last measure - last alto note


(page 6) changed from sixteenth to quarter

Fantasy in С Minor, BWV 906 (see Figure 5 and earlier discussion

Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572 between measures 1 64 and 1 65 - t


(page 7) added to top voice (see Figure 10)

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34 BACH

Toccata in D Minor, B

Toccata in F Major, BW

Fugue in F Major, BW
(pages 12-15) bracketed and marked with a small
"x"; measure 120, top voice - last
note changed from f " to e"; mea-
sure 137, beat 1 - to indicate voice
crossing, stem of tenor note
changed from upward to downward
and stem of bass note changed
from downward to upward

Toccata in D Minor, BWV 538/ 1 measure 56, beat 2, alto - flat on


(pages 6 and 8) cancelled, even though print reads
correcdy here; measure 84, beat 1,
tenor - note cancelled because of
missing sharp

Fugue in D Minor, BWV 538/2 measures 1-4, alto - first four bars
(pages 9-1 4) of fugue subject bracketed; measure
24, beat 3, tenor - tr added to pro-
vide trill on penultimate note of
fugue subject; measure 43, beat 1,
alto - first note of fugue subject
marked; measure 175, beat 3, alto -
second note changed from a ' to g'

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 35

Figure 1 . The front cover of Clara Schumann's Bach book

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36 Bach

Figure 2. "Aus tiefe

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 37

Figure 2, ctd. "Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir," BWV 687, mm. 4

"Jesus Christus, unser Heiland," BWV 688, mm. 1-15

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38 Bach

Figure 3. Prelude i

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Clara Schumann's Bach book 39

Figure 3, ctd. Prelude in A Minor, BWV 551, mm. 31-51

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40 Bach

Figure 4. Toccata

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 41

Figure 5. Fantasy in С Minor, BWV 906, title page

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42 Bach

Figure 6. Fugue in

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 43

Figure 6, ctd. Fugue in G Major, BWV 541/2, mm. 44-63

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44 Bach

Figure 6, ctd. Fugu

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 45

Figure 7. Toccata in F Major, BWV 540/1, mm. 1-55

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46 Bach

Figure 7, ctd. Tocc

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 47

Figure 7, ctd. Toccata in F Major, BWV 540/1, mm. 103-48

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48 Bach

Figure 7, ctd. Tocc

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 49

Figure 7, ctd. Toccata in F Major, BWV 540/1, mm. 205-54

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50 Bach

Figure 7, ctd. Tocca

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 51

Figure 7, ctd. Toccata in F Major, BWV 540/1, mm. 308-60

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52 Bach

Figure 7, ctd. Tocca

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 53

Figure 7, ctd. Toccata in F Major, BWV 540/1, mm. 400-38

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54 Bach

Figure 8. "Christ, uns

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 55

Figure 8, ctd. "Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam," BWV 684, mm. 21-

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56 Bach

Figure 8, ctd. "Christ

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 57

Figure 8, ctd. "Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam," BWV 684, mm.

"Christ, unser Herr, zum Jordan kam," BWV 685

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58 Bach

Figure 9. Fugue in

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Clara Schumann's Bach book 59

Figure 9, ctd. Fugue in G Minor, BWV 535/2, mm. 37-58

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60 Bach

Figure 10. Fantasy

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 61

Figure 10, ctd. Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572, mm. 16-39

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62 Bach

Figure 10, ctd. Fan

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 63

Figure 10, ctd. Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572, mm. 96-138

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64 Bach

Figure 10, ctd. Fan

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Clara Schumann's Bach Book 65

Figure 10, ctd. Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572, mm. 186-93

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66 Bach

Figure 10, ctd. Fan

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