Recordings/Discussions
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Scores: Main Page | Cantatas BWV 1-50 | Cantatas BWV 51-100 | Cantatas BWV 101-150 | Cantatas BWV 151-200 | Cantatas BWV 201-224 | Other Vocal BWV 225-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-524 | Other Vocal BWV 1081-1127, BWV Anh | Instrumental | Chorale Melodies | Sources
Discussions: Scores of Bach Cantatas: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Bach’s Manuscripts: | Part 1 | Part 2 | Scoring of Bach's Vocal Works
Scoring Tables of Bach Cantatas: Sorted by BWV Number | Sorted by Voice | Abbreviations | Search Works/Movements

Scores of Bach's Vocal Works
Part 3

Continue from Part 2

NBA and other references

Bradley Lehman wrote (May 15, 2004):
>>Did Mr. Braatz actually purchase the NBA for $ 35,000 ??? And were these really "spare $35,000 lying around idle" ?? These questions may put this wretched war in a wholly new, entertaining and fascinating perspective, for a change. They may even hint at a way to quench it. Let's, as Deep Throat said , follow the money, and ask Mr. Braatz, did you or didnt you?<<
< I have not kept track of the actual amount of money spent which is definitely much less than the present-day amount indicated. In any case, what does $35,000 really mean over a period of time stretching more than a half century? Consider the devaluation of the dollar and the ever-fluctuating exchange rates! The first volumes were purchased very reasonably at an exchange rate of more than DM 4,20 to one dollar. The most recent issues are quite expensive in comparison, but as a collector wishing to obtain the entire set, which is very close to completion now, I am willing to pay these higher prices. My main motivation for purchasing the NBA? My love of Bach's music and the feeling that I have helped to support the scholarship needed to produce this monumental set. >
The original intent of purchasing them may have been admirable and noble; but the use of these books as weapons is not.

< I only joined these lists in March, 2001, certainly not with the intention of 'showing off' my collection, but rather to deepen my understanding of Bach's music by contributing to the weekly cantata discussions. For this, of course, the NBA scores were/are of immense help in determining just how various conductors/soloists go about interpreting Bach's intentions. >
Watch out for the assumption that Bach's intentions are completely available for sale, at any price, and completely captured by that set of books. Broad Hint: they're not.

Not that this warning has been any deterrent to thrashing others whose understanding of Bach's intentions is better-rounded.

Nor has the warning that any real refutation of a proof involves a lot more than coming up with random facts that appear to contradict someone else's point, in the hope that their entire proof therefore comes crashing to the ground, and in the hope that something else is thereby proven by default. Broad Hint: it doesn't work. Logic is only as good as the people who know how to use it correctly.

< But how will this help to quench 'this wretched war'? How can referring to the work of experts in the field of musicology and Bach scholarship in order to obtain clarification about certain notions and firmly-held beliefs pronounced by a few individuals ensconced in their ivory towers be considered an act of aggression that warrants such defensive (sometimes verging upon irrational) tactics as those being employed against me here? Perhaps you will be able to unravel this mystery? >
There's no "mystery" to unravel here. Excellent reference books are still only as good as the objectivity, discernment, and understanding of the person using them; and the positive purposes for which they're used, which is not (appropriately) to attack or belittle other people who know more than oneself.

Any sufficiently creative and resourceful person can visit a large body of facts as a tourist, collect any clever snippets he fancies while ignoring anything else that's inconvenient (either from ignorance of appropriate connections, or deliberately), and from this grab-bag fashion something that is absolute nonsense.

When such a person then convinces himself that he knows more than real experts do, and that his nonsense makes sense, and that real expertise itself as a process of understanding is nothing more than other people's better marketed but equally groundless garbage, the &*#% hits the fan.

When such a person, in public, attacks others who really know what they're doing, and who have earned credentials through talent and hard work and experience, the &*#% REALLY hits the fan.

That, along with the presumption of teaching (in public) a complete misunderstanding of the material itself while not realizing how badly it's being distorted, because there's no objectivity or discernment of values. How could there be, without any background of real training or experience? So, real mastery of the material is relativized down, as if it's no better than the random imagination of creative people with their own agendas; and real expertise is thereby worth nothing.

Real experts have a duty to protest both the ludicrous allegations and the irresponsibility of the whole venture: the anti-intellectualism, the anti-academicism, the anti-humanitarian treatment, the illogical and faulty and self-serving conclusions. So, we protest this nonsense that is dished out, in all its forms.

That rightful protest, in turn, draws more reckless missiles as the dilettante realizes he's way out of his league, tries to save face, and rationalizes his unacceptable behavior: having deluded himself for long that he's presenting objective information and doing nothing wrong.

According to the posting quoted above, with such (faux?) naivete expressed in its sentences, the perpetrator is still unaware and unapologetic that he's been doing anything irresponsible, profoundly insulting, and a gross distortion of the material he claims to respect and love. Let's see this again:

< My main motivation for purchasing the NBA? My love of Bach's music and the feeling that I have helped to support the scholarship needed to produce this monumental set. (...) NBA scores were/are of immense help in determining just how various conductors/soloists go about interpreting Bach's intentions. (...) How can referring to the work of experts in the field of musicology and Bach scholarship in order to obtain clarification about certain notions and firmly-held beliefs pronounced by a few individuals ensconced in their ivory towers be considered an act of aggression that warrants such defensive (sometimes verging upon irrational) tactics as those being employed against me here? Perhaps you will be able to unravel this mystery? >
That is: he still believes he has Bach's intentions in hand, captured within his understanding, and is acting through love of the material, and providing a balanced and objective summary of reference material, as he tries to nuke everyone who knows more than he does. In his words, it's the experts and not himself who are locked away in ivory towers and insensitive to reality.

In the words of Vonnegut: "So it goes."

I reckon I'll now be labeled (once again) as the bad guy, just for playing the academic defense that is my duty to the material, and just for pointing out that somebody's academically irresponsible and profoundly insulting behavior is deplorable.

In the words of Vonnegut: "So it goes."

Mats Winther wrote (May 15, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< [...] When such a person then convinces himself that he knows more than real experts do, and that his nonsense makes sense, and that real expertise itself as a process of understanding is nothing more than other people's better marketed but equally groundless garbage, the &*#% hits the fan.When such a person, in public, attacks others who really know what they're doing, and who have earned credentials through talent and hard work and experience, the &*#% REALLY hits the fan.
That, along with the presumption of teaching (in public) a complete misunderstanding of the material itself while not realizing how badly it's being distorted, because there's no objectivity or discernment of values. How could there be, without any background of real training or experience? So, real mastery of the material is relativized down, as if it's no better than the random imagination of creative people with their own agendas; and real expertise is thereby worth nothing.
Real experts have a duty to protest both the ludicrous allegations and the irresponsibility of the whole venture: the anti-intellectualism, the anti-academicism, the anti-humanitarian treatment, the illogical and faulty and self-serving conclusions. So, we protest this nonsense that is dished out, in all its forms.[...]
In his words, it's the experts and not himself who are locked away in ivory towers and insensitive to reality. [...] >
(Cough, cough! Groping my way in the gunpowder smoke...) I am reluctant to enter the line of fire in this ongoing war, but on one point I heartily insist that you modify your views. You are advancing an élitist view of music, as if musical education and training are prerequisites of truly understanding music. This is clearly not so.

In fact, in one sense amateurs are at a great advantage compared with the experts. The expert has, more often than not, lost his musical naiveté and tends to immediately dive into the notes. It's hard for him to experience the concert or symphony as a wholeness. A conductor as a spectator always takes notice of the performance and thinks "...the notes don't say that!!...that's a little too slow, etc."

But he overlooks the heart behind the music, the wholeness (holiness) of the work. This is what is sacrificed when training oneself excessively in music. One becomes a narrow specialist and very often looses the feeling. Everything becomes technique and observance of intricacies.

What is most important in order to truly comprehend music is a kind of wholeness of personality, a maturity of personality. For instance, a neurotic personality like Glenn Gould sometimes makes the impression of a musical idiot, despite the fact that he is extremely well-trained. Sometimes he doesn't even show the faintest understanding of rhythm. Any Negro in the remotest part of Kongo is much superior.

 

The NBA as a weapon

Thomas Braatz wrote (May 17, 2004):
My Alleged Use of “the NBA as a Weapon.”

This accusation (although referring here specifically to the NBA and NBA KBs, it can also be more widely applied to other texts/sources as well) should cause some readers on these lists to pause and wonder whether we are beginning once again to reach such a point in man’s history where it has become ‘dangerous’ for normal individuals without specialized training to read, study, and disseminate information from books considered to be a prerogative of musicologists and specialized musicians with performance degrees. It would appear that the efforts of some of the latter are expressly geared toward thwarting any information coming from these sources in this manner by characterizing such disseminated information as ‘negative,’ ‘counterproductive’ and violently subversive.

At this point only certain ‘aggressive’ individuals are being singled out as ‘possessors of books’ who have no inherent right to possess them. Any reports taken from their contents should not be taken seriously as only ‘card-carrying’ experts can really know and understand their contents properly.

One can almost surmise the next step which will be that any statements based upon knowledge gained from such books, even without possessing them directly, will be soundly and summarily denounced as heresy until they have been ‘properly’ interpreted to conform with the prevailing, popular, musicological tradition.

For all I know, it may already be the case, that non-music university students have a limited access, or perhaps no access whatsoever, to these books pertaining to the specialized field of musicology relating to Bach.

What possible reasons could some of these arrogant musical scholars/musicians have to consider the NBA to be a ‘weapon’ when not placed into the hands of a select few who deem themselves to be ‘in the know’ about these matters?

1) They fear knowledge which might expose their own lack of knowledge

2) Having their own lack of knowledge exposed places into question the musical education in which they have invested considerable time and money

3) They much prefer to have other less-knowledgeable, less musically-experienced people place faith in their ‘experiential prowess’ rather than objective criteria provided by experts (such as those who compiled the NBA) who have with greater expertise in these matters spent much more time examining first-hand evidence)

4) They wish to control all aspects of the currently popular mode of performance practices by not allowing anything else to surface that might otherwise undermine their efforts without first having placed their imprimatur upon it

5) They wish to silence all criticism (even as it might appear in the NBA) so that only positive information that supports their current mode of thinking may flow in their direction and enhance their reputations

I am certain that others on these lists can add to this list which is, after all, only a list of conjectures. As yet, however, I have not read any reasonable response which would explain how I might have used the NBA as ‘a weapon in attacking’ a response (regarding BWV 562) which was erroneous in the least. My response was simply a clarification of details necessary to form a conclusion which happened to be the opposite of another conclusion that had been arrived at after insufficient consideration of the subject matter at hand.

John Pike wrote (May 17, 2004):
[To Thomas Braatz] I have no objection to people buying, reading and analysing thoroughly the NBA and books of scholarship. I envy those who can afford to buy them and then have the time to read them. I admire Thomas greatly for its efforts in so doing. It is also fine to quote the experts who wrote the books. What is NOT acceptable is to think that the view of one expert is writ in stone and that the views of other experts are therefore wrong. It is unacceptable to be offensive about others who hold a different view. It also inappropriate to think that because you have read x number of books, that you know it all. Others will have read even more widely and a university education DOES confer additional benefits. Experts at university help one to critically appraise the stuff one reads, to sift through it, to use the information sensibly etc. Moreover, someone may have read all the books but it is only with many years of experience of performance that any of this makes sense at all. Only with that experience can the theory be put into its proper perspective.

Johan van Veen wrote (May 17, 2004):
[To John Pike] Thanks! You hit the nail on the head.

 

Bach performing editions

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 15, 2004):
Neil Mason wrote:
< It has been a great boon in recent years to have vocal scores available on CD Sheet Music. Full scores and orchestral parts do not seem to be so readily available, but perhaps I am mistaken and would love to hear that I am wrong! >
Hello Neil, welcome!

What about the recent issues by Carus-Verlag? They are an excellent performing edition, Urtext in the music with German sung text and a decent English translation interleaved. Some of the cantatas are only in vocal score (so far) while others have complete performance materials, all quite low-priced: http://www.carus-verlag.com/index.php3?BLink=ID3e6222f0c6248
Their editorial policies: http://www.carus-verlag.com/index.php3?BLink=ID3e6228bdefa57

See also: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com
searching for "carus bach".

I have no affiliation with either of these companies, other than being a satisfied fan of their work. SheetMusicPlus is a great place to order music books, with quick service and low prices and wide selection. And I've performed from some of these Carus editions, finding them very clear and easy to use, and with good page-turn places also. (Baerenreiter is also good, of course--either in their regular series or their reprints from the Neue Bach-Ausgabe--but more expensive.) The vocal scores aren't larded up with 19th century bass octave doublings in the keyboard reductions...much cleaner and easier to work from than the older editions are.

As for parts, if you're working from the old Bach-Gesellschaft or any of its knock-offs (Dover Publications, or the "CD Sheet Music", or free stuff copped othe web somewhere), there are a couple of problems: (1) the scholarship being 100 years out of date, and (2) the need to assemble your own performance parts by photocopying from score and then cutting/pasting pages for each player, anyway. It ends up being more time-consuming and less readable than starting from Carus or Baerenreiter. As a conductor you'll probably want to insert some markings of your own, anyway, before you hand out the parts...so, why not start from the Carus if it has the cantatas you want?

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (November 16, 2004):
Bradley Lehman wrote:
< What about the recent issues by Carus-Verlag? They are an excellent performing edition, Urtext in the music with German sung text and a decent English translation interleaved. Some of the cantatas are only in vocal score (so far) while others have complete performance materials, all quite low-priced. >
I've heard good things about Carus - after all, the NBA doesn't have performing editions for every cantata either...

< As for parts, if you're working from the old Bach-Gesellschaft or any of its knock-offs (Dover Publications, or the "CD Sheet Music", or free stuff copped off the web somewhere), there are a couple of problems: (1) the scholarship being 100 years out of date, >
There is that... I suppose one can hop over to the musicology department at a nearby university and have a look at the NBA or some other suitable edition in full score to check things out, if one is concerned...

< and (2) the need to assemble your own performance parts by photocopying from score and then cutting/pasting pages for each player, anyway. >
That's unless the ensemble has a policy of performing from the full score :D My folks make their own judgment about what to do with their parts, and I suppose it depends in some measure on the length of the piece and on the size of the ensemble required for a given aria. A lot of them did paste up their own parts for the concert we did yesterday (by way of celebrating our group's first birthday and my 40th :) ), but when we do stuff for smaller ensembles, they normally don't - we all perform from the full score.

< It ends up being more time-consuming and less readable than starting from Carus or Baerenreiter. As a conductor you'll probably want to insert some markings of your own, anyway, before you hand out the parts...so, why not start from the Carus if it has the cantatas you want? >
Funny you mention conducting. It's something very new for me - the ensemble for this performance was a bit larger than usual, my trumpeter said, you know, we could use a conductor, then... something just sort of happened at subsequent rehearsals and I just sort of metamorphosed into a conductor - all the while singing the solo parts to the arias... I joked that it was a good thing we were performing up in the choir loft, so that the audience couldn't see what I was doing up there LOL If anyone has any words of wisdom as I make my way in this new area, please do speak up...

 

New member looking for some help

Gerry wrote (June 16, 2005):
...locating instrumental parts for the Cantatas. Does anyone out there know of one particular website that offers free downloadable pdf. parts and scores for all or most of the them?

thanks in advance...

gerry in cincinnati ohio

Hendryk Oesterlin wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Gerry] I forget to mention some good scores in Capella *.cap format: http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de/

Gerry wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Hendryk Oesterlin] thanks so much Hendrik; I will try both these sites again in a few days when they may be up and running.

Bradley Lehman wrote (June 16, 2005):
[To Gerry] Not free, but low cost: for a clean and reliable recent edition of the performance parts, it's always worth a look at Carus-Verlag to see if they've got to a particular cantata yet: http://www.carus-verlag.com/

And many/most of those are readily available in the US by mail order from: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/

Cara Emily Thornton wrote (June 16, 2005):
The sites Hendrik mentions, to the best of my knowledge, have only full scores - not performance materials (except maybe vocal scores). I suppose in principle one could paste-up from the full score, but that is tedious, and it won't work for the organ part, because normally the continuo part is not realized in the score (which is fine if your organist realizes BC at sight, and not so fine if he/she doesn't) Then again, there's always Finale for that problem, if you have the time - indeed, that might even be faster than pasting-up for the other parts too. But still not ideal. I too have my antennae trained on the further progress of this discussion, as the only way I have found so far to get actual ready-made parts is not at all free, especially if the item has to be express shipped from abroad...

For what it's worth

 

Compilation: Online Bach score; and a further question. [CHORALIST-L]

Margot McLaughlin wrote (November 10, 2005):
Dear friends,

What a wonderful group you are! I had three replies to my request, from the other side of the world, within about an hour of my asking the question. Here's the information, for anyone who wants to know:

FREE choral music downloads (for scores that are in the public domain): http://www.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Online Digital Music Stores (they charge a fee for the download):
http://www.sunhawk.com
http://www.everynote.com/

There's also Sheet Music Plus: http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/
and Amazon: www.amazon.com

I omitted to say in my original request that I need a REALISED continuo for the work (Bach's "Lobet Den Herrn", BWV 230), as I will be performing the work with an organist whom I won't meet unti the first rehearsal, and I don't know how skilled they are at realising a basso continuo. The sources quoted above all had either no continuo part, or the continuo was not realised.

Meanwhile, also within the hour of my request, I was lucky enough to find a print version of the work, complete with realised continuo, so my problem is solved. However, the bigger-picture problem remains - where to find online digital vocal/choral scores of Baroque works with the option of having my choice of the following:
- basso continuo - bass line only (with or without figures)
- realised continuo

Any ideas anyone?

Thank you again,
Margot McLaughlin
Director, Macquarie University Singers
NSW Australia

Margot McLaughlin wrote (November 11, 2005):
Dear all (again!),

I've had several more helpful replies to my request for an online digital source of Bach scores with realised continuo. No more please - the problem is solved. The best source ended up being http://www.handlo-music.com/ and I do recommend folk having a look at it.

 

NBA years

Continue of discussion from: Cantata BWV 33 - Discussions

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 14, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>The final touch, the pocket score with Leonhardt (Brown Box LP) is NBA, which appears to have started
with
BWV 32.<<
As your sentence seems to imply: "The NBA started with BWV 32" [the fact is that the NBA began with the
Advent cantatas BWV 61, BWV 36, BWV 62 and BWV 132]. Perhaps you meant that the Leonhardt Brown Box LP 'appears to have started with BWV 32'?

Not many of the cantatas had been issued by the NBA when the Leonhardt cantatas were recorded and issued.
Did Leonhardt choose only from among those cantatas for which an NBA score existed?

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 14, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] Perhaps you can help with thanswer. I have the first nine volumes of Brown Box LPs, through BWV 34. In vol. 9, I noticed that the score indicates NBA I/21, c. 1958, for BWV 33. I checked BWV 32, NBA I/5, c. 1974. These are the two conducted by Leonhardt. BWV 31 and BWV 34 are conducted by Harnoncourt, no source for the score indicated for BWV 31, but BWV 34 indicates NBA I/13, c. 1959. From this bit of evidence, it does not appear a choice by Leonhardt.

Incidentally, I am not at all familiar with NBA, I rely on you. The dates and volume numbers look a bit suspect, but that is what is printed on the pocket score.

I recall reading a note in recent months (I can recover the reference, if it is important), that there was a change to NBA scores about this time in the recording of the H&L series. Perhaps I misread it, or it was misstated, and what was meant was that NBA scores were used, and included with the LP's, when available. From what I have, it looks like this began with BWV 32, in the midst of vol. 9.

To tell the truth, I had forgotten the reference, until I got the recording and score out to listen to BWV 33. Now that we are discussing it, I am interested in the details. What were the scores used by H&L, and included with the LPs? I'll bet there are people on list who have the whole set! Speak up.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 14, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I have the first nine volumes of Brown Box LPs,through BWV 34. In vol. 9, I noticed that the score indicates NBA I/21, c. 1958, for BWV 33. I checked BWV 32, NBA I/5, c.1974. These are the two conducted by Leonhardt. BWV 31 and BWV 34 are conducted by Harnoncourt, no source for the score indicated for BWV 31, but BWV 34 indicates NBA I/13, c. 1959. From this bit of evidence, it does not appear a choice by Leonhardt.<<
The NBA published BWV 21 in 1981, BWV 31 in 1985, BWV 32 in 1975, BWV 33 in 1958 and BWV 34 in 1959.

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 15, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] Thanks for the help. I am continuing on-list in the hope that someone who has more of the LP set with scores may be able to help out. I have checked the scores for H&L vols. 1 to 8 (BWV 1 to BWV 30), none are indicated as NBA. This is consistent with my recollection of a reference that said H&L started using NBA scores about vol. 9 (specifically BWV 32, it appears). The reference is not what I hoped it might be, the 1985 Penguin Record Guide, which says only that H&L began using NBA scores as they were published, without further detail.

BWV 1 to BWV 30 were recorded from 1971 to 1974. Is it possible that no NBA scores were available for this sequence, in that time period? I apologize for the imposition. I can see NBA volume references (but not dates) in the BWV thematic index, and I am unable to discern any chronologic relation in the NBA volume numbers.

I realize this is a picky detail. But, perhaps a bit of useful discographic information not otherwise available. And certainly not the most picky post ever on BCML. Not by a longshot.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 15, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
>>I can see NBA volume references (but not dates) in the BWV thematic index, and I am unable to discern any
chronologic relation in the NBA volume numbers.<<
See: http://www.baerenreiter.com/html/completeedi/gabach.htm#serie1
[Make certain to get the entire URL on one line]

Raymond Joly wrote (August 15, 2006):
[To Ed Myskowski] I would suggest inquiring whether the copyright situation was the same for the old and the new Bach-Ausgaben.

Aryeh Oron wrote (August 15, 2006):
Ed Myskowski wrote:
"I realize this is a picky detail. But, perhaps a bit of useful discographic information not otherwise available. And certainly not the most picky post ever on BCML. Not by a longshot."
The info of the publication years of the NBA volumes (vocal works only) is available at the BCW.
See: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef-NBA.htm

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 15, 2006):
<< The NBA published BWV 21 in 1981, BWV 31 in 1985, BWV 32 in 1975, BWV 33 in 1958 and BWV 34 in 1959. >>
< I can see NBA volume references (but not dates) in the BWV thematic index, and I am unable to discern any chronologic relation in the NBA volume numbers. >


A handy external list of the NBA publication dates is here at their advertisement: http://www.baerenreiter.com/html/completeedi/bach.htm

It also tells which volumes have come out in revised editions since the originals: http://www.baerenreiter.com/html/completeedi/gabach.htm

Contents of the individual volumes: http://www.baerenreiter.com/html/completeedi/nbainhalt.htm

And the price of the volumes, which can lead toward score-idolatry as it's such a large monetary investment.... ["If it's this expensive, it had better be nearly perfect, and performers ought to follow every little blessed detail to the letter of the law or risk public ridicule on the internet...never mind the role of improvisation and the normal stylistic license of musical performance...and never mind the fact that musicianship is a process, and so is editing, and that a conflationary edition from multiple sources (both scores and parts) yields somebody's sanitized/idealized version that never really existed in practice, and that it keeps changing in light of revision and new findings anyway...and that no notation is ever a complete record of the nebulous phenomenon called 'composer's intentions'...."]

=====

Additionally fine (and more recent) Bach-performing editions are also available from Carus and some other publishers. Here's Carus:
http://www.carus-verlag.com/
http://www.carus-verlag.com/index.php3?BLink=GeistlicheChormusik
http://www.carus-verlag.com/index.php3?BLink=Bach

It's always worth a comparison, in addition to consulting the NBA and Bach-Gesellschaft and others to see why details are different. And that's never merely assuming that the NBA represents Immutable Truth. Music is a process. Musical composition often leaves a messy string of diverging versions, as pieces continue to be revised and "composer's intentions" continue to change or adapt to different situations. Any editorial choice is a choice. Any performance choice is a choice. Healthy Baroque-styled performances include a spirit of improvisation and discovery, and a freedom to phrase things or slightly alter rhythms/notes as analysis and/or the inspiration of the moment and/or the acoustics of the hall might indicate. Obviously it helps to start from a clean and reliable text on the music stands, but that's all it is: a start on the process of finding convincing interpretations.

Bradley Lehman wrote (August 15, 2006):
< The info of the publication years of the NBA volumes (vocal works only) is available at the BCW.
See:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Ref/IndexRef-NBA.htm >
That's good, but it's missing the years of revised editiwhen the same volumes were reissued. Compare: http://www.baerenreiter.com/html/completeedi/gabach.htm

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 16, 2006):
Danger in too much license [was: NBA years]

Bradley Lehman wrote:
>>And the price of the volumes, which can lead toward score-idolatry as it's such a large monetary investment....<<
Strangely enough there seems to be no score-idolatry when these volumes are accessed through a library by other musicians and scholars (musicologists). The notion that private ownership of the NBA promotes blindness on the part of the owner can only emanate from an individual who projects his own personal biases on a situation which he is incapable of judging objectively because he is much more intent upon overemphasizing a musician’s freedom to improvise and disregard Bach’s meticulous markings. It is much easier for a musician specializing in Baroque music to follow a number of precepts emphasizing that a Bach score is simply an outline on which to base a musician’s free flight of fancy than it is to study the NBA KBs carefully on one’s own. Today numerous Baroque music specialists wander far from Bach’s intentions as he recorded them in his scores and original parts when they, in their performances, deviate in numerous ways from the NBA score. It is evident that, as most recorded performances of cycles of Bach’s cantatas are done in quick succession (Leusink and Gardiner, but not Suzuki), not much time, if any at all, can be devoted to a careful study of the KB for each cantata (if they are even using the NBA at all). This means that with a serious lack of preparation and rehearsal time for a given work, the conductors and musicians are left to their own devices based upon previous training which may easily be fraught with performance practice notions not necessarily in concordance with Bach’s. No small wonder then that a trumpeter will introduce a “Terztriller” or that Brad Lehman will emphasize stylistic license as normal for a well-trained musician performing Bach's music. Proclaiming the idea that Bach’s score as given in the NBA is not the truth but only a guideline is very appealing to an artist who is unwilling to acknowledge Bach’s genius as recorded in his notation. Compared to other musicians/composers in his day, Bach, as has been discussed before at great length in this forum and supported by documentation that displays his guiding hand, was much more meticulous in setting down what he considered to be his idea of good taste in applying coloraturas, embellishments, articulation, etc. than most other famous composers of his time. It is a presumption for musicians today to consider numerous ways in which they can display their own musical abilities and fantastic imagination before they have thoroughly mastered Bach’s indications. There is always (and will always be) a certain degree of individual expression that needs to be present for any moving performance, but this is tempered by the notion that the individual performer is subservient to Bach’s genius and is grateful to Bach that he has provided such a marvelous vehicle to express musical beauty and human emotion. By telling other musicians and listeners not to take Bach’s intentions too literally (the NBA being currently the best record of these at the present time), the pretensions of some Baroque specialists become evident. Such present-day artists put themselves above Bach and expect accolades from their listeners in return. Whether performances by artists displaying this type of attitude toward the material they are ‘recreating’ with great license for listeners today will withstand the test of time is quite doubtful in that present-day and future listeners will come to recognize that Bach’s good taste in music is far superior to that which reflects only the temporary inclinations of a decade or a half-century.

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 16, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< By telling other musicians and listeners not to take Bach’s intentions too literally (the NBA being currently the best record of these at the present time), the pretensions of some Baroque specialists become evident. >
At the risk of driving my micro armored fighting vehicle (disguised as Civic hatchback) into a minefield, isn't there middle ground here which is in fact, most accurate?

(1) NBA is not ultimate truth, best current scholarship.

(2) The performer is free to take whatever position they (he or she, we need that word) wants with respect to best current scholarship.

(3) Only real problem, and even then only short term, is if the performer misrepresents their position, re current scholarship. Truth will out, pretty quickly. Because people like us will scratch at it, with no other reward than truth.

One of the most innovative performances I have seen was a guy who called himself the US Steel Cello ensemble. He made gallery size standing sculpture from sheet steel, which could be played on edge with a cello bow. He had a colleague who transcribed Bach solo cello works for saxophone (you probably saw this coming). Naturally, they saw the fit, and played together.

Was it authentic? Arthritic maybe, the US Steel guy was about as old (then) as I am (now)

Memorable? About 20 years ago. I remember like it was yesterday.

Ed Myskowski wrote (August 16, 2006):
I previously wrote:
< One of the most innovative performances I have seen was a guy who called himself the US Steel Cello ensemble. >
The guy was (still is, I hope) Robert Rutman.

Chris Kern wrote (August 16, 2006):
< Today numerous Baroque music specialists wander far from Bach's intentions as he recorded them in his scores and original parts when they, in their performances, deviate in numerous ways from the NBA score. >
So you accept the scholarship of the people who made the NBA scores, but not the scholarship of the people who do the performances? Do you think that the scholars who produced the NBA would agree with that?

It's not possible to do a performance with no "deviations" at all because the NBA scores almost never give any tempo indications, have hardly any dynamics, only have sporadic articulation and phrasing marks, sometimes omit figures on the bass line, and simply give little indication of how the music is actually to be performed.

The NBA doesn't tell us whether a movement that appears dance-like in character is supposed to be played as a dance, or whether the dance elements are supposed to be suppressed as much as possible (just as an example). This sort of thing can only be determined through further scholarship beyond what's written in the scores.

< By telling other musicians and listeners not to take Bach's intentions too literally (the NBA being currently the best record of these at the present time), >
Except that you disagree with the NBA as well on some points, like the shortened notes in the secco recitatives of BWV 244. It really seems like you just use the NBA scores as a justification for your insulting posts.

Thomas Braatz wrote (August 16, 2006):
Chris Kern wrote:
>>So you accept the scholarship of the people who made the NBA scores, but not the scholarship of the people who do the performances? Do you think that the scholars who produced the NBA would agree with that?<<
When the 'scholarship of the people who do the performances' (we are speaking here, I assume, of 'world-class' performances that have been recorded and fairly widely distributed) reveals that it is ignorant of or has disregarded the scholarship involved in producing the NBA scores, then some serious questions should be raised about this manner and style of musicianship. Alfred Dürr, one of the major contributors and also editors of the NBA, can only point out from his experience as a major scholar where some current performance practices differ from what he has found in his research; thus, he would, at least in regard to some matters, disagree with "the scholarship of those who do the performances" (see below).

>>It's not possible to do a performance with no "deviations" at all because the NBA scores almosnever give any tempo indications, have hardly any dynamics, only have sporadic articulation and phrasing marks, sometimes omit figures on the bass line, and simply give little indication of how the music is actually to be performed.<<

Tempi

To be sure, the NBA scores do not have metronome tempo markings which present-day musicians have come to expect as a given; however, a conductor should not therefore ride rough-shod over his vocalists in an effort to provide an instrumentally-just-barely-possible or an overly slow tempo that he hopes will engage and entertain his audience. There is nothing to be gained by having an excellent vocalist like Kurt Equiluz, for example, just barely survive a performance when a more reasonable tempo would have produced a much better result.

Dynamics

"Hardly any dynamics" is certainly an overstatement. There are numerous NBA scores that show Bach's dynamics (as with articulation and phrasing, this is not possible when only the autograph score survived since Bach provided these indications mainly in the original sets of parts). What is interesting with Bach's dynamics is that a notion has arisen among instrumentalists that these markings simply indicate when a vocal soloist (or a group of vocalists) begins or stops singing. A 'p' does not mean 'piano' just as a whole note in a secco recitative does not mean what it says, but rather that it must be truncated. It is important to keep asking the musicians who believe in this type of performance practice which renders meaningless what Bach notated in his scores and parts:"Do you really believe Bach put down notes and indications which do not mean what he said they did?" or "Why is the obvious (a whole note held out for its full value or a 'p' means 'piano' which must be somewhat softer than the section or notes not so indicated) so difficult for some of these Baroque-music-specialist performers to accept?"

Articulation and Phrasing

One glance into either Albert Schweitzer's "J. S. Bach" Vol 2 (Ernest Newman translation, Dover, 1966) or John Butt's "Bach Interpretation: Articulation Marks in Primary Sources of J. S. Bach", Cambridge University Press, 1990, will convince almost any reader that these markings are not "only sporadic", but that when we do have the original sets of parts from which the performances were played, Bach meticulously checked and corrected the copy, and then added all the necessary indications which included the above as well as the figures for the 'figured bass'.

>>The NBA doesn't tell us whether a movement that appears dance-like in character is supposed to be played as a dance, or whether the dance elements are supposed to be suppressed as much as possible (just as an example). This sort of thing can only be determined through further scholarship beyond what's written in the scores.<<
This has already been done. If only more scholars and musicians would study and take seriously some important descriptions of playing styles given by Mattheson, for instance, who insists that the tempo and characteristics of a court dance (as actually danced at court) are not the same as when played as chamber music! Mattheson then goes on to distinguish church-music style as being still different from both of the former: more serious since it is devotional in nature. The same music based on a dance form (as in the case of secular cantatas performed at court and later parodied as a church cantata) would be played and sung differently according to the venue in which the performances took place.

>>Except that you disagree with the NBA as well on some points, like the shortened notes in the secco recitatives of BWV 244. It really seems like you just use the NBA scores as a justification for your insulting posts.<<
Neither I, nor Alfred Dürr for that matter, disagree with what the NBA presents regarding the secco recitatives in BWV 244. As background for this, let me offer the following:

There exist in Bach’s own handwriting, indications stemming from a group of continuo parts [B 20-B22 – a numerical identification of the parts according to the NBA - Staatsbibliothek Berlin P 25 St 110 ] which change the notation of long notes (often tied and held over from one measure to the next) in the original 1729 version of the score as well as the 1736 calligraphic autograph score to an abbreviated, shortened form of accompaniment. There is an apparent conflict/contradition between Bach's intentions over a period of years which had favored the long-note notation. Unfortunately, all the critical continuo parts that were used for these performances (1729 and perhaps even the one in 1736) were destroyed and replaced by the final set which is described as follows:

The continuo part B 21 is a doublet copied from B 20 which is autograph. The notation in B22 (no watermark is recognizable) was copied by Copyist 2, perhaps Gottfried Heinrich Bach. Alfred Dürr, who prepared the NBA II/5 and NBA KB II/5 (BWV 244) for publication personally, points to a number of possibilities which have nothing to do with the general prescription to follow an undocumented, or at least unclear, tradition in performing all secco recitatives in this manner. Dürr indicates that these parts may have originated at a later date in the 1740s for a repeat performance when Bach may have been facing changed conditions that prompted him to modify these and a few other parts as well. These parts may not have been part of the original set prepared in 1736. Dürr does not think that this late modification should be taken as Bach’s final intent, but rather only as a temporary solution to a temporary problem(NBA KB II/5, pp. 52-53 and 139-140). Another reason for the change may have been to provide a greater contrast between the held chords (Jesus’ ‘halo’) in the strings when Jesus speaks/sings and the accompaniment to the Evangelist’s part which immediately precedes it (Introduction “Zur Edition” NBA II/5, p. VIII). This is a frequently occurring pattern in BWV 244, and unlike the secco recitatives in the cantatas which are most frequently independent movements, the Evangelist and continuo often have only a few measures (in movement 2 there are hardly 3 measures before the upper strings enter, in movement 4e – only 2; sometimes there is only a single measure for the Evangelist and continuo). For the sake of unity, Bach may then, for this particular repeat performance of the Passion, have made this change and then expanded this procedure to all the other sections of secco recitatives sung by the Evangelist as well.

 

Unwarranted NBA criticism

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 23, 2006):
I am making an exception here by posting both to the BCML and the BRML since this thread began on the BCML but now focuses on BWV 988 (Goldberg Variations) as well including a mention of modern performances thereof:

>>With the exception of an important but obscure 1992 Festschrift article, I am not aware of anyone addressing the issue of Bach's fermatas in the Goldberg Variations. I also am not aware of any performer, other than myself, who has acknowledged Bach's groupings in commercial recordings or live performances. Most performers use a separate track for each variation separated by a pause and often unrelated tempos, which obliterates the coherence and unity Bach intended. Although some well-meaning artists have at least attempted to make performance groups, their arbitrary groupings have nevertheless been incorrect. For example, Andras Schiff divides them into groups of five. The only true way to honor Bach's intentions is to use just one track for each performance group, such as Variations 3-5, 6-8, 9-10 and 11-12. The main reason virtually all performers--even historically informed scholar-performers--have not realized Bach's groupings seems to be editorial. Unfortunately, most editors have tried to "correct" Bach's "inconsistencies" by adding fermatas where Bach did not indicate them. Even thesupposedly most up-to-date and authoritative scholarly edition, the Neue Bach Ausgabe, edited by Christoph Wolff, includes a fermata after every variation (for which Wolff gives no explanation in the critical notes). This clearly is irresponsible editing. If a musicologist of the stature of Wolff has failed to recognize the importance of Bach's fermatas, then it comes as no surprise that artists of the stature of Gould and Schiff have failed to recognize them either. Most performers simply have been working from faulty editions.<< Cory Hall, "Bach's Goldberg Variations Demystified," American Music Teacher Apr.-May 2005.

Here is a typical example of unfounded criticism of the NBA (a critical Urtext edition) which is caused by the author's inability to read or understand the NBA KBs correctly. The established goals of the NBA are printed at the beginning of each volume: "Zur Edition". The author of the above excerpt is Cory Hall who teaches music and humanities at St. Petersburg College (Florida). He earned a B.M. degree in piano from California State University-Sacramento, M.M. in piano from the Eastman School of Music and D.M.A. in piano and M.M. in musicology degrees from the University of Kansas. He currently is writing a book titled Breaking the Bach Tempo Code: Tempo and Duration in the Music of J.S. Bach.

Focusing on the following excerpt from the above passage: >>Even the supposedly most up-to-date and authoritative scholarly edition, the Neue Bach Ausgabe, edited by Christoph Wolff, includes a fermata after every variation (for which Wolff gives no explanation in the critical notes). This clearly is irresponsible editing. If a musicologist of the stature of Wolff has failed to recognize the importance of Bach's fermatas, then it comes as no surprise that artists of the stature of Gould and Schiff have failed to recognize them either. Most performers simply have been working from faulty editions.<< it should be pointed out that the 'missing' information that Cory Hall seeks is indeed included in the "Leseartenverzeichnis" on pp. 115-188 of the NBA KB V/2 where each missing fermata is accounted for precisely along with any other variants or omissions. This information is accurately presented and the reason for inclusion of missing fermatas is based upon two factors: 1) attempting to be normative, consistent; 2) evaluating what 25 original and early printed copies with their additional markings or variants indicate, examining Anna Magdalena Bach's handwritten "Aria" (Klavierbüchlein - 1725) and examining an additional 13 early manuscript copies - mainly 2nd half of 18th century but possibly early 19th century as well. Mr. Hall should realize that the task facing Christoph Wolff was much greater than that which any other previous editors had experienced in preparing BWV 988 for a printed edition. In the same article, Cory Hall goes on to state, for instance: >>To my knowledge, one of the only editions that reproduces Bach's fermatas correctly is Peters, edited by Kurt Soldan. This is the edition I happened to have used from my first encounter with the work Popular editions such as Henle and NBA both incorrectly reproduce Bach's fermatas. Gould used the Kirkpatrick edition, which also is incorrect.<<

Each of the editions mentioned elsewhere in Hall's article, even his favorite Peters-Soldan edition[Edition Peters 4462 (1937] to which he seems to have a sentimental attachment, is based upon a very limited selection of original sources that needed to be studied and compared. Soldan used only 3 sources, Kirkpatrick (1935) only 1, the Henle-Steglich edition (1962) only 3 as well. All of these editions, based upon a very limited overview of other sources, supply an extremely limited critical commentary. The NBA edition is the first to include in its considerations Bach's "Handexemplar" which includes as well the various canons (BWV 1087) based upon the first 8 bass notes of the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988).

It would appear that some American musicologists, through a lack of experience with very detailed critical reports or through a lack of understanding of what a critical report really contains, are unable to find necessary information in the NBA KBs which are an integral part of the NBA critical Urtext edition. An NBA performance edition is not the same as the original NBA, as has been recently pointed out (even different editors are involved as Alfred Dürr indicated). These musicologists are quick to ascribe serious faults and label such a critical Urtext edition as part of a 'Romantic notion' which lacks real substance and scholarship. It is unfair for them to criticize in their publications what they deem to be shortcomings on the part of the NBA and its editors if these musicologists themselves have not honestly searched for the information which does exist in these volumes when used properly before blaming the NBA editors of being irresponsible and of producing a 'faulty edition'. Simply because the NBA was justifiably criticized for one of its earliest volumes (NBA II/1 containing BWV 232 - Editor Friedrich Smend -1954), a problem that has been rectified by issuing a separate volume NBA II/1a (2005), there is no reason that all the remaining volumes of the NBA should appear to be under a cloud of guilt by association. Likewise, just because some other Urtext editions are criticized or unduly lauded in regard to their authenticity or their standards of scholarship, this does not mean that the NBA needs to suffer the same criticism regarding what it lacks or what it should include. It is the evidence of thorough scholarship of the NBA that sets the standard for all other editions to follow. It would appear, in this instance at least with Cory Hall, the blame for irresponsibility lies with an American musicologist, and not with the NBA and its editors.

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 24, 2006):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< I am making an exception here by posting both to the BCML and the BRML since this thread began on the BCML but now focuses on BWV 988 (Goldberg Variations) as well including a mention of modern performances thereof:
Here is a typical example of unfounded criticism of the NBA (a critical Urtext edition) which is caused by the author¹s inability to read or understand the NBA KBs correctly >
I think we have here the world's only NBA fundamentalist.

Yogesh wrote (September 24, 2006):
Sometimes I get to see some pointy fermatas, especially for the lower stave. What do they mean? How is it different from those usual normal round fermatas?

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 25, 2006):
Pointed Fermati? [was:Unwarranted NBA criticism]

Yogesh wrote:
>>Sometimes I get to see some pointy fermatas, especially for the lower stave. What do they mean? How is it different from those usual normal round fermatas?<<
Is this in reference to an autograph score by Bach or a part which he personally copied? If so, what is its manuscript catalogue number? Name of work? BWV #, if possible?

Personally, I have never seen these "pointy" fermati in any of the Bach facsimiles that I have come across. The German musical tradition leading up to Bach used the rounded fermati of the same standard type/appearance going all the way back to 1480 (the earliest I could find). Only Heinrich Schütz attempted and failed to change this mainstream tradition by using short vertical lines (also understood as breath marks) as substitutes for the fermati. For more on all of this look up, if you have not already done so, the discussion of fermati on the BCW at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Topics/Fermata.htm

 

Capella Scores of Bach's Vocal Works

Aryeh Oron wrote (September 24, 2006):
Tobias Schölkopf, webmaster of Tobi's Notenarchiv: http://www.tobis-notenarchiv.de/ approved presenting the Capella scores of Bach's vocal works from hiwebsite at the Bach Cantatas Website (BCW).

In the absence of the full BGA scores (due to copyright of the PDF files) and the NBA scores (still protected by copyright) I hope that the Capella scores will do. The main problem is that these scores are not complete yet. For many works only several mvts. are presented. I hope that in time more and more files would be added.

You can find them all through the Index to Scores pages of the BCW, starting at: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/index.htm
To view or print the Capella scores you need Capella Reader, which can be freely download according to the simple instructions at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/Cap.htm
[you can find a link to this page near the link to every Capella score presented at the BCW]

In the Index to Scores pages you have also links to the reduced Vocal & Piano Scores of the Sacred Cantatas BWV 1-199, and the Scores of the Chorales. Please notice that the pages of the Cantatas and the Other Vocal Works pages (the orange area at the header of each page) have not yet been updated to include links to the new Capella scores. I need some time to accomplish this task, but eventually it will be done.

 

BGA Scores on the BCW

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 4, 2009):
I have good news for you.
After a long delay I have received at last an official permission to present on the BCW the BGA scores, which had been digitalized by the late Fred Steltner.
All the BGA scores of Bach's vocal works are now available on the BCW, linked from the Index to Scores pages and the Cantata main pages. Links to the BGA scores of the other vocal works would be added soon.

Paul T. McCain wrote (February 4, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Many thanks Aryeh for this good news.

Douglas Cowling wrote (February 4, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Wir danken dir!

Drew (BWV846-893) wrote (February 5, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Many, many thanks -- this is such a gift. And a big improvement from the vocal & piano reductions.

Although BGA links to all the cantatas are available on the "Scores" page, I noticed that a number of links are missing from the individual cantata pages. For instance, the following cantatas have the title "Score BGA" but no live link:
81, 14, 144, 84, 181, 126, 125, 157

Again, many thanks for your hard work,

Julian Mincham wrote (February 5, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] This is excellent. Well done for your persistance and work in downloaing the scores. I have been looking through some and comparing them with my Barenreiter volumes.

One question: is it possible to download sections of these scores to copy for use in srticles or general teaching puroses? In other words what is precisely the copyright situation?

Paul Farseth wrote (February 5, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] You are wonderful, Aryeh!

Aryeh Oron wrote (February 5, 2009):
Drew wrote:
Although BGA links to all the cantatas are available on the "Scores" page, I noticed that a number of links are missing from the individual cantata pages. For instance, the following cantatas have the title "Score BGA" but no live link: 81, 14, 144, 84, 181, 126, 125, 157"
I am in a process of updating the main cantata pages. So the links to the BGA Scores in these pages are being added gradually.

Julian Mincham wrote:
"One question: is it possible to download sections of these scores to copy for use in articles or general teaching purposes? In other words what is precisely the copyright situation?"
The copyright of these files is described at the page:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/IndexScoresSources.htm

If you want to use the files fur purposes beyond that, please contact me off-list.

Julian Mincham wrote (February 5, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] many thanks.

Drew (BWV846-893) wrote (February 6, 2009):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thanks for the clarification. I misunderstand your original message, I think -- I was under the impression that you had already completed posting the links on the main cantatas pages, and thought that the missing links might be an anomaly.

Thank you, again, for your assiduous work in getting these scores on the BCW. It's wonderful to see the individual lines -- they help elucidate Bach's contrapuntal genius.

 

BGA and NBA Bach notation practices

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 6, 2009):
I recently encounted in my reading the matter that when the BGA was compiled there were instances where slurs were placed across barlines that were not in the original Bach scores. This led me to become curious about what other types of notation adjustments the Romantic period compilers might have added to scores for publication or performances.

Thanks in advanced if anyone has commentary on this matter.

Neil Halliday wrote (February 7, 2009):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
>I recently encounted in my reading the matter that when the BGA was compiled there were instances where slurs were placed across barlines that were not in the original Bach scores.<
Are you referring to slurs or ties? Slurs indicate phrasing, and may or may not carry across bar lines, regardless of any later editorial additions [I can't see why Bach would have omitted a slur across a bar line if his phrasing required it]. OTOH, the ties across bar lines typically connecting continuo notes in secco recitatives are a separate matter; obviously Bach would have inserted these ties (regardless of any convention that such a note should only be briefly sounded).

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 7, 2009):
[To Neil Halliday]
Well, it could be either, and you make sense with what you say above. I have never compared NBA and BGA scores, say of a single cantata to see what differences might exist. That's something I hope to do before long over at ASU...they do have the NBA, but I had not looked at it because I was laboring under the impressing only the BGA was there. But someone I know told me where to look since the card catalog online had not turned up the full information. Anyway, my idea here was to find someone or several people who might have had experience with both scores and have them tell me in advance what differences I might find so that I would be more aware.

Perhaps there would be a difference on things such as staccato markings, but I don't really know...just as a possible example.

Thanks for your comments.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (February 7, 2009):
Jean Laaninen wrote:
< Perhaps there would be a difference on things such as staccato markings, but I don't really know...just as a possible example. >
Typically for any Urtext edition, there is a listing of changes made in the introductory notes, especially if things are added to the final edition that were not present in the surviving sources. If you see ties/slurs that weren't in a particular source, maybe there were in another one that has turned up since the BGA was compiled. But usually editorial additions are notated with hashed/dashed slurs/lines and or brackets around new accidentals or footnotes at the bottom of the page will have some explanations too.

Good luck

Jean Laaninen wrote (February 7, 2009):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] Thanks Kim. I have some Urtext editions of piano Bach works that give information on ornamentation practices.

I'll have fun better understanding some of these details as I go along.

 

Bach Digital?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 22, 2009):
Are there any Bach manuscripts online yet at the Bach Digitial website? Hasn't this project been underway for almost ten years? I've looked around today and I couldn't find a single manuscript reproduction there, but it's not a very intuitive website either, so it could have been me.

Douglas Cowling wrote (August 22, 2009):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] What's the URL of the site?

Evan Cortens wrote (August 22, 2009):
[To Douglas Cowling] The URL is: http://www.bach-digital.de/

Kim, I have it on good authority that all the manuscripts have been digitized and are sitting on a computer waiting to be hooked up to the internet. At this point, the only hold is the website itself, and that's supposed to be ready "any day now."

That preview button did just appear recently, but it seems that though the catalogue is up, images aren't yet available.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (August 22, 2009):
[To Douglas Cowling] http://bachdigital.uni-leipzig.de

 

Cantata Scores in Finale Format

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 17, 2011):
Mark Ellis has prepared a number of cantata scores in .mus format (readable by Finale). As well as providing a useful version of the score, the cantatas can be 'performed' by the computer, helping to answer questions about tempo and ornamentation, and also for conducting/choir training purposes. Mark has also prepared analytical and historical notes.

Linked from the main page of Cantata BWV 1 on the BCW: http://bach-cantatas.com/BWV1.htm
you can find:
- Score in .mus format & in PDF format (next to sub-title Finale in the box Scoring, sub-title Finale)
- Notes in PDF format (in the box Commentary, "Ellis")
Explanation is given at the page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/Finale.htm

I hope to have more soon.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (June 17, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] Absolutely fantastic ;)

That's such a great thing to have on the website. Thanks very much Mark! ;)

Douglas Cowling wrote (June 17, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] Thank you Mark. This is hugely valuable.

Evan Cortens wrote (June 26, 2011):
[To Douglas Cowling] When I view the PDF generated from Finale, it reports that it doesn't have the music font, and everything looks very strange... Is this just a problem on my end?

I've viewed this PDF: http://bach-cantatas.com/Finale/BWV1-Score.pdf in both Adobe Acrobat, and Chrome's built-in reader...

Thanks!

Anne (Nessie Russel) wrote (June 26, 2011):
Evan Cortens wrote:
< When I view the PDF generated from Finale, it reports that it doesn't have the music font, and everything looks very strange... Is this just a problem on my end? >
Works fine for me. The cover page is in a fancy font. The rest is clear.

Evan Cortens wrote (June 26, 2011):
[To Anne (Nessie) Russell] I wonder, if I might ask, do you have Finale installed? The cover page for me is in a blocky font that I wouldn't describe as fancy, so perhaps font substitution happened there too... The notes all look sort of ghostly, and the clefs, time signatures, and key signatures don't show up at all (just as black dots).

Glad to hear it's only my problem!

Uri Golomb wrote (June 26, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] I have the same problem. I don't have Finale installed on my computer, but the whole point of PDFs is to make the file available to anyone!

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 26, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] Please take a look at the Explanation page: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Scores/Finale.htm
and follow the installation instructions.
The page is linked from the main page of Cantata BWV 1 Finale:... [Explanation]

Evan Cortens wrote (June 26, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron] The instructions on the explanation page appear to apply only to the opening of the .MUS files within Finale itself; I don't have Finale, so this isn't something I've tried to do. Rather, I've just tried viewing the .PDF files, in two separate readers. Also, the only files the explanation page says you need are the figured bass font, and the alto clef. In fact, the alto clef is the only clef that is appearing correctly! (In the margin to the left of the staff, indicating the original clef.)

I think the issue here is that the Finale music font (and, it seems, the blackletter font used for the title page) has not been embedded within the PDF itself. This means that the file appears fine if you already have those fonts installed (which is my guess for Anne), but appears incorrectly if you don't (the case for Uri and myself).

Since I don't have Finale, I downloaded Finale Reader, the free application that allows you to view .MUS files. In this, the music looks exactly right, and when I print to PDF, the resulting file appears correct. The difference is that, when I go into Document Properties, and select "Fonts" (in Acrobat), the EngraverFontSet (Finale's music font) says "Embedded Subset" next to it... i.e., the font itself has been included in the PDF.

All this to say: the PDF's need to be generated to embed the fonts used in them, as most people do not have the Finale music font installed. (The Finale .MUS files themselves are just fine.)

Best, (and my thanks to Mark for his great work!)

Anne (Nessie Russel) wrote (June 26, 2011):
Yes, I have a Finale program installed on my computer, but as Uri mentioned the whole point of PDF is to make the file readable to everyone.

Aryeh Oron wrote (June 29, 2011):
[To Evan Cortens] The problems were reported to Mark Ellis and I am glad to inform you that the PDF of Cantata BWV 1 has just been replaced:
http://bach-cantatas.com/Finale/BWV1-Score.pdf
Linked from: http://bach-cantatas.com/BWV1.htm

Mark Ellis wrote to me:
"Yes, that's spot on, I'd forgotten to embed the required fonts. I have now done this for the attached PDF file - could you replace the original? Thanks. I've checked it on a spare computer (which did not have Finale installed) and it also opens fine on my Kindle - although the full page view is rather small. I have taken the opportunity to increase the resolution to 600dpi, which just sharpens the print up a bit, while not creating a vastly larger file.
Thanks for your support here (and to the readers who commented)."

Evan Cortens wrote (June 29, 2011):
[To Aryeh Oron & Mark Ellis] This is excellent news! Again, thanks to Mark for all his great work on this, and it's great that the PDFs now work even if you don't have Finale installed.

 

OT: new editions of Bach works on the way?

Bruce Simonson wrote (January 16, 2012):
Forgive me if this has been discussed elsewhere.

Over the years, I have considered purchasing the Barenreiter study score set (https://www.baerenreiter.com/en/sheetmusic/product/?artNo=TP2004), but have dithered.

I use the scanned version of Bach Gesellschafft and vocal piano reductions (here on the cantata website, and elsewhere), and (typcially) Hannsler for performances. Turns out our libraries here don't have the hardbound Barenreither on the shelf.

Naturally, I am interested in more recent scholarship, if it exists. I think I've heard that there is new work being done on the works of Bach.

Here are my questions:

1) Are there new editions of Bach's works in the pipeline? If so, what are the details (schedule, availability, cost, etc)?

2) Anyone seen a good resource or deals on the above-mentioned study scores from Barenreiter?

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 16, 2012):
Bruce Simonson wrote:
< Naturally, I am interested in more recent scholarship, if it exists. I think I've heard that there is new work being done on the works of Bach. >
I know John Gardiner commissioned new editions of the Bach cantatas. I forget who was in charge of that project. And I don't know if they were ever published.

Evan Cortens wrote (January 16, 2012):
Bruce Simonson wrote:
< Naturally, I am interested in more recent scholarship, if it exists. I think I've heard that there is new work being done on the works of Bach.
Here are my questions:
1) Are there new editions of Bach's works in the pipeline? If so, what are the details (schedule, availability, cost, etc)? >
While the Neue Bach Ausgabe (NBA, the series published by Bärenreiter) is technically complete, I believe they are planning to issue revised versions of a couple of the older volumes. (When a series takes 50+ years, standards and practices inevitably change over time, and a few of the older volumes don't match up with the newer ones.) That said, these volumes will continue to be quite expensive. In their originform, an individual volume plus critical report can run as high as EUR 200. The study score set is dramatically cheaper, of course.

I'm unaware myself of any entirely new edition of all of Bach's works underway. However, if history can be our guide, we should be due to start a new one c. 2050.

Henner Schwerk wrote (January 16, 2012):
[To Evan Cortens] yes, for example the h-moll mass has been made as a new version by Bärenreiter.

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 16, 2012):
Evan Cortens wrote:
< While the Neue Bach Ausgabe (NBA, the series published by Bärenreiter) is technically complete, I believe they are planning to issue revised versions of a couple of the older volumes. >
I wonder if they'll ever follow the example of the Mozart Edition and make the volumes accessible online for free.

Evan Cortens wrote (January 16, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I wonder if they'll ever follow the example of the Mozart Edition and make the volumes accessible online for free. >
Agreed, that would be wonderful! It was due to the generosity of the Packard Humanities Institute (which also funds the C. P. E. Bach: Complete Works edition) that the NMA, via the Mozarteum, was able to make all of their volumes available for free, online. Unless PHI is planning to do this for Bach, I don't know of another philanthropic organization that would be willing to fund it.

The difficult thing for the NBA is that a lot of the older volumes are out of print, so unless you're lucky enough to live close to a major university library that has the volumes from the 50s and 60s, they're impossible to get a hold of. More reason to make them available online, I say, since I'd guess any possible profit on the older volumes has long been made.

William Hoffman wrote (January 16, 2012):
IMHO there is still a ways to go. The separate organ chorales are being compiled (NBA IV/10), there are other NBA Kritische Berichte (Critical Commentaries) due and if the Bach performers and scholars could agree on alternate versions of organ chorales, outlined in the unfinished Bach Compendium K series, as well as works associated with Bach performance. Then there will be new editions of the St. Mark Passion (BWV 247), based on new text discoveries, realizations that, like the "Double (Oboe-Violin) Concerto, BWV 1060," are source-critically-based. Then, we need editions not only of the Stoezel cantata cycles but also the Johann Ludwig Bach and Telemann works Bach performed as well as new editions of other works Bach performed.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 16, 2012):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Then, we need editions not only of the Stoezel cantata cycles but also the Johann Ludwig Bach and Telemann works Bach performed as well as new editions of other works Bach performed. >
Working on it (well the Stölzel) Just saying. ;)

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 16, 2012):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Then, we need editions not only of the Stoezel cantata cycles but also the Johann Ludwig Bach and Telemann works Bach performed as well as new editions of other works Bach performed. >
Is anyone working on a modern edition of Bach's hymn book, the "Neue Leipziger Gesangbuch"? It was constantly used by Bach's choir for chorales and Latin polyphony.

I'm presently researching a concert which will reconstruct a Lutheran mass for Christmas Day in St. Thomas, Leipzig, from the early 17th century. The music will include works by Bach's predecessors Johann Hermann Schein and Seth Calvisius.

The early baroque repertoire is literally fantastic -- polychoral perversity everywhere! I was interested to run across a double-choir (SSAT/ATTB) setting of the Latin Lutheran mass by Michael Praetorius in his "Musarum Sioniarum"of 1607. I was intrigued that Praetorius sets not just the Kyrie and Gloria of the so-called "Lutheran Missa Brevis", but the Credo, Sanctus (in its shortened Lutheran format without Benedictus) and Agnus Dei.

Although there is no specific connection to Bach a century later, it does show that the full Latin "Catholic" mass was part of the Lutheran tradition in which Bach was formed.

The scores can be downloaded at: http://www3.cpdl.org/wiki/index.php/Missa_a_8_%28Michael_Praetorius%29

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (January 16, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< Is anyone working on a modern edition of Bach's hymn book, the "Neue Leipziger Gesangbuch"? It was constantly used by Bach's choir for chorales and Latin polyphony. >
If there is a source somewhere, I'd consider it. But lord. I have such a full plate already ;)

Douglas Cowling wrote (January 16, 2012):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< If there is a source somewhere, I'd consider it. But lord. I have such a full plate already ;) >

There must be a facsimile or scan of it somewhere. I'd love to see it.

William Hoffman wrote (January 16, 2012):
[To Kim Patrick Clow] There is a microfilm at the Sibley Library, Eastman School of Music. Also, there was a special facsimile edition but I can find nothing more about it. The best current source are the recent NBA KB Cantatas that provide a modern version of the specific chorale source.

Ed Myskowski wrote (January 18, 2012):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< I'm presently researching a concert which will reconstruct a Lutheran mass for Christmas Day in St. Thomas, Leipzig, from the early 17th century. The music will include works by Bach's predecessors Johann Hermann Schein and Seth Calvisius. >
Why is this thread labelled Off Topic? Clearly not so.

I guess we are familiar by now with folks like Schein, as well as Schütz and Scheidt (did they all go to the same school?), but who is Seth Calvisius?

 

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Last update: ýAugust 21, 2012 ý12:27:14