Bach Perspectives, Volume 9

Bach Perspectives, Volume 9: J. S. Bach and His Contemporaries in Germany

Edited by Andrew Talle
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 168
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/j.ctt3fh4gn
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  • Book Info
    Bach Perspectives, Volume 9
    Book Description:

    This provocative addition to the Bach Perspectives series offers a counternarrative to the isolated genius status that J.S. Bach and his music currently enjoy. Contributors contextualize Bach by examining the output, reputation, and compositional practices of his contemporaries in Germany whose work was widely played and enjoyed in his time, including Georg Philipp Telemann, Christoph Graupner, Gottlieb Muffat, and Johann Adolf Scheibe. Essays place Bach and his work in relation to his peers, examining avenues of composition they took while he did not and showing how differing treatments of the same subjects or texts resulted in markedly different compositional results and legacies. By looking closely at how Bach's contemporaries addressed the tasks and challenges of their time, this project provides a more nuanced view of the musical world of Bach's time while revealing in more specific terms than ever how and why Bach's own music remains fresh and compelling. Contributors are Alison Dunlop, Wolfgang Hirschmann, Michael Maul, Andrew Talle, and Steven Zohn.

    eISBN: 978-0-252-09539-9
    Subjects: Music

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. PREFACE
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Andrew Talle
  4. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. “He Liked to Hear the Music of Others”: Individuality and Variety in the Works of Bach and His German Contemporaries
    (pp. 1-23)
    Wolfgang Hirschmann

    Does it make sense to compare Bach with his German contemporaries? The question has been asked before, and it is usually answered in the negative. In 1997, for example, Martin Geck wrote in the preface to his collection of essays on Bach’s orchestral works:

    Can one understand Bach’s orchestral music without itsorganizing background, without sideward glances atcontemporarieslike Georg Philipp Telemann, Christoph Graupner, Johann Friedrich Fasch, Carl Heinrich Graun or Johann Samuel Endler? On the one hand [ . . . ] the topics and composers in question clearly belong together with Bach. On the other hand, such...

  6. Aesthetic Mediation and Tertiary Rhetoric in Telemann’s VI Ouvertures à 4 ou 6
    (pp. 24-49)
    Steven Zohn

    While visiting a recent exhibition of Meissen porcelain in Dresden, a relatively unassuming figure caught my eye.¹ This charming representation of what the exhibition’s curators titled “Actors as a Musical Shepherd Couple” was modeled by Johann Joachim Kaendler (1706–75), who upon completing work in February 1744 described it as “a very exacting small shepherd group, divided up and ready for molding. The shepherdess playing the lute sits under green trees next to the shepherd, who is singing from sheet music; both are most elegantly tricked out.”² As previous commentators have noted, the shepherdess is outfitted in the latest fashions...

  7. Bach, Graupner, and the Rest of Their Contented Contemporaries
    (pp. 50-76)
    Andrew Talle

    Music scholars have long recognized the value of comparing settings of the same cantata texts by Bach and his German contemporaries. Examining the ways in which multiple musical minds chose to set the same words can throw the styles of each into sharp relief. Philipp Spitta devoted eighteen pages of his 1873 Bach biography to comparing settings of an Erdmann Neumeister text by Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann (1681–1767):Uns ist ein Kind geboren(bwv 142 [regarded today as spurious] and tvwv 1:1451) andGleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt(bwv 18 and tvwv 1:630).¹ He more...

  8. The Famously Little-Known Gottlieb Muffat
    (pp. 77-119)
    Alison J. Dunlop

    Gottlieb Muffat (1690–1770) is regarded today as the most successful composer of keyboard music of J. S. Bach’s generation to have worked in Vienna. His reputation is based on (1) the corpus of extant works, which is significantly larger than those of his Viennese contemporaries, including his teacher J. J. Fux (ca.1660–1741); (2) the dissemination of Muffat’s music during his lifetime; (3) his financial success; and (4) G. F. Handel’s extensive borrowings from his music—all of which will be discussed in greater detail below. Yet in spite of his eminence, little is known of Muffat’s life.¹ Although...

  9. Bach versus Scheibe: Hitherto Unknown Battlegrounds in a Famous Conflict
    (pp. 120-144)
    Michael Maul

    On May 14, 1737, Johann Adolph Scheibe (1708–76), a twenty-nine-year-old music theorist and composer in Hamburg, published aSendschreiben(“letter”) describing the experience of a fictional musician with twelve living composers.¹ Only two of the twelve—Johann Adolph Hasse and Carl Heinrich Graun—were identified by name, chiefly because Scheibe had nothing but praise for them. Many of the journal’s readers, however, were able to recognize one of the remaining ten composers as Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann Abraham Birnbaum (1702–48), a professor of rhetoric at Leipzig University, took offense at Scheibe’s rather critical remarks on Bach’s style and...

  10. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 145-146)
  11. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 147-152)
  12. Back Matter
    (pp. 153-158)