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BWV Numbering System

Part 1

BWV - sacred & profane

Jill Gunsell
wrote (May 14, 2000):
Does the order of works in the BWV catalogue reflect the chronological order in which Bach created the works, or merely the order in which they happened to be "filed" in the catalogue?

Not really NOT a propos, I am intrigued by the common content of BWV 213 (Hercules) and the Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248.

Which did he write first?

If BWV 213 came first: given (especially) the voluptuousness of the Lust role in BWV 213, I have a problem with the idea of JSB copying such oh-so-secular content over to a later religious work. (Though it's a moral tale with a happy ending, which perhaps ameliorates the heavy profanity angle.)

On the other hand, if BWV 248 came first: what sort of press would he have got if he "profaned" an established religious work by using its elements as he does in BWV 213?

I would appreciate light in my darkness here.

(Incidentally - and unfortunately - I often find myself eliding the words/images of one with those of the other as I am humming along...)

Michael Lorenz wrote (May 14, 2000):
< Jill Gunsell wrote: If BWV 213 came first: given (especially) the voluptuousness of the Lust role in BWV 213, I have a problem with the idea of JSB copying such oh-so-secular content over to a later religious work. >
Bach had no problem with this. He did this many times.

Roger Brown wrote (May 14, 2000):
(To Michael Lorenz) Indeed it was quite normal for ANY composer of the period. The exact detail escapes me but you may be aware that Händel's "For unto us" - seemingly so quintessentially sacred in its inspiration was in it's original Italian opera form a lovers' duet (2 soprani)

Zachary Uram wrote (May 14, 2000):
(To Michael Lorenz) I see this as a positive work of conversion, turning the secular into sacred. Well done Bach, the Musical Evangelist!

Jill Gunsell wrote (May 14, 2000):
Thanks to Galina for her factual reply - appreciated.

Thanks to Kevin Sutton for his reply - even if it was a little bit harsh on a mere music lover who is admittedly learning (a lot) about Bach, from scratch. We do not all have the advantage of his greater learning.

< Kevin wrote: Oh, come now. With all due respect that is a pretty narrow comment. It's the text that's secular and sacred, not the notes! >
Well, yes, that insight had actually occurred to (even) me...as had this:

< There is a great deal of reused music in many of Bach's works. >
However, I was interested, further, in "what if" people of Bach's own time suffered from the recall-elision I mentioned, when such striking melodies have two opposed connotations, and how Bach, his employers, his audience, his critics, would have dealt with that, given the religious and "music business" environment in which he wrote. So my question - which goes wider than Keith's answer - remains to some extent unanswered.

< Kevin also wrote: Established where? Bach's choral music was rarely heard outside of Leipzig until several years after his death. Most of it remained unpublished for years. >
That is helpful and may mean that my first question need never be posed.

But I am still not sure. Thank you anyway.

And I look forward to learning what Christoph Wolff can add to Schweitzer.

Michael Lorenz wrote (May 14, 2000):
< Jill Gunsell wrote: And I look forward to learning what Christoph Wolff can add to Schweitzer. >
Not that much IMO.

Kevin Sutton wrote (May 15, 2000):
(To Michael Lorenz) You will need to provide more than that. Wolff is very likely the greatest living Bach scholar and is a musicologist by profession. Schweitzer, great man that he was, was an avocational musician and a great deal of research has been done since Dr. S's over 40 year old tomes. It is unfair to a master scholar like Dr. Wolff to dismiss him with a weak one liner.

Michael Lorenz wrote (May 16, 2000):
<< Michael Lorenz wrote: And I look forward to learning what Christoph Wolff can add to Schweitzer. >
< Jill wrote: Michael, you will need to provide more than that. >
Is there's any truth to a rumour -- in connection with the so-called discovery of the Neumeister Choral Preludes -- that the big bad Wolff stole the real Bach from the Krumbach?

And the way Wolff is currently pretending that he personally discovered the Bach manuscripts in Kiev - which is simply not true - also doesn't further my sympathy for him as a scholar.


Silly question regarding Cantata numbering

Thomas Boyce wrote (October 12, 2000):
My "recommended recordings" list has Cantatas 4, 104, 161, etc.

Does this mean "Cantata, BWV 161"?
Not "Cantata no. 33, BWV 161"?

I fear it's the former, but anyway thanks.

Bought Bylsma's Cello Suites today. Worth the money.

Donald Satz wrote (October 12, 2000):
(To Thomas Boyce) Always go by the BWV numbers - so it's BWV 161, etc. Is this a problem?

Jim Morrison wrote (October 12, 2000):
(To Donald Satz) I thought the BWV numbers were the numbers used to catalog the Cantatas.

As in, when we speak of Cantata 140, what we're really doing is omitting the BWV before the 140.

Zachary Uram wrote (October 12, 2000):
(To Jim Morrison) This is true for some but not all.

Jim Morrison wrote (October 13, 2000):
(To Zachary Uram) Okay, I'll bite, which of the Cantatas that have different numbers than their respective BWV numbers.


Newbie Numbering Question


Jim Morrison wrote (October 13, 2000):
After years of listening to Bach's keyboard and concerti work, I've finally turned to the cantatas and I've been amazed at what all I've been missing. My thanks to the others on this list for helping me expand my musical interests.

And now onto the silly newbie question. I'm under the impression that Schmieder took his numbering for the cantatas straight from a pre-existing catalog of the works. Is this correct? If so, does anyone know where I can find out more about that catalog? And does the BWV number always correspond to the cantata number?

PS: I just discovered the Alto/Soprano duet from Cantata BWV 78 and I think it's one of the most light-hearted, smile-inducing, joyous pieces of music that I've ever heard. I have the Rifkin version. Anyone else have a favourite they could recommend?

Sybrand Bakker wrote (October 13, 2000):
(To Jim Morrison) The cantatas have been numbered during production of the complete edition of the Bach Gesellschaft in the 19th century. Their numbering must have been largely based on the findings of Philip Spitta, who wrote a 2-volume biography, which is still in print. AFAIK before the BWV there has never been an official catalog. As the cantata numbering at the time of Schmieder had been around for many decades, he simply took that.

I would like to mention the aria 'Kreuz und Krone sind verbunden - Kampf und Kleinot sind vereint' from cantata BWV 12 'Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen' This shows Bach really knew how to write for oboe. As for a recording of this piece, currently the Cantus Cölln one is absolutely the best there is. I must admit I am a bit prejudiced though, as I know Katharina Arfken, the oboe soloist in this aria. She also plays and teaches renaissance wind instruments, in which capacity I met her in courses for renaissance music. Katharina is a very funny woman, and she is very nice.

Jim Morrison wrote (October 13, 2000):
< Sybrand Bakker wrote: The cantatas have been numbered during production of the complete edition of the Bach Gesellschaft in the 19th century >
Thanks for your help on that.

< I would like to mention the aria 'Kreuz und Krone sind verbunden - Kampf und Kleinot sind vereint' from cantata BWV 12 'Weinen Klagen Sorgen Zagen' This shows Bach really knew how to write for oboe. >
I agree with you that some of the most moving music I've heard has been Bach's slower pieces involving an oboe.

I'm listening to the Suzuki version right now and it sounds quitmoving.

I have only the opening movement (the Sinfonia in F minor) on a CD by Rilling on the Hänssler label and I prefer it to Suzuki's version. In the Rilling edition the oboe is pushed a little further forward in the recording and with less reverberation. Sometimes the oboe seems to get a bit lost behind the strings of Suzuki's recording.

Anyone ever made of listing of some of Bach's greatest works for Oboe? I'd love to see and help out on that. The Sinfonia from cantata BWV 21 also has a nice part for oboe.

At the top of my list would be the Casals lead performance of BWV 1060 a reconstructed concerto for violin and oboe. A friend on another list recently told me about this recording and the adagio, clocking in at what must be a record slow pace of 7:40, has become one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. For me, an incredible moving work. Isaac Stern plays the violin and Marcel Tabuteau plays the oboe. To my ears, this piece works better as an oboe/violin concerto than as a two-keyboard or double violin concerto. In the oboe and violin form the work sounds very much like a wordless duet between human singers.

< As for a recording of this piece, currently the Cantus Cölln one is absolutely the best there is. >
I ordered it a few days ago and judging from what the archives and you say, I think I'm in for a treat.

Once again, thanks for your help,

PS: I hope I'm not telling you folks something everybody out there already knows, but I just found a great site that does the best it can at listing the cantatas in chronological order. It's at http://infopuq.uquebec.ca/~uss1010/catal/bacjs/corrbwvz.html

Marie Jensen wrote (April 14, 2000):
< Jim Morrison wrote: (Snip) PS: I just discovered the Alto/Soprano duet from cantata BWV 78 and I think it's one of the most light-hearted, smile-inducing, joyous pieces of music that I've ever heard. I have the Rifkin version. Anyone else have a favourite they could recommend? >
It all... practically yes!... Following our list of discussion every week you will bathe in Bach for the next three years! His music will always be on your mind. Unexpectedly it will pop up and comment your life situations in words and music.

You will never be tired of studying gems from this treasure box. Without putting performers names on I can recommend for a start: BWV 11, BWV 12, BWV 21, BWV 26, BWV 32, BWV 35, BWV 36, BWV 42, especially the fantastic alto aria, BWV 43, BWV 49, BWV 51!, BWV 68!, BWV 105, BWV 110!!, BWV 114, BWV 130, BWV 147, BWV 161, BWV 166, BWV 169, BWV 182, BWV 198 and BWV 202.

A cantata a day keeps the shrink away!

PS Welcome to the list. I look forward to read your contributions!

Jim Morrison wrote (October 15, 2000):
< Marie Jensen wrote: (Snip) His music will always be on your mind. Unexpectedly it will pop up and comment your life situations in words and music. >
You know what? I've found this to be true. I've come to love working Bach into my conversations, my home, my car, my work. His music does add radiance in my life. I hope this doesn't sound too fuzzy-headed, but I find my mind breaths easier when I listen to Bach. Brushing close to such a genius makes me feel better. I listen to Bach to encounter greatness.

Thanks for the list of recommendations. I should probably come out right now on the list and say I'm all for different types of performances of Bach's work. I like Rifkin, Thomas, Gardiner, Jürgens, Richter. I make a point to try to accept what the conductors and performers are trying to do and relax and see where they can emotionally move me to. Sometimes when I'm in the mood, I like Rifkin's light-footed, deeply textured cantatas. But at other times when I'm in the mood to hear a glorious surging wall of beauty, I play Gardiner's version of the Mass.

My single favourite cantata disc at the moment probably has to be Jürgens Teldec CD of BWV 198, BWV 158, and BWV 27, though I know that as my understanding and appreciation of the cantatas increases I'll stop thinking in those global (discus?) terms and focus more on individual cantatas and movements therein.

< A cantata a day keeps the shrink away! >
Great comment. See above. I agree.

Thanks for the welcome.

(PS: I'm a big Gould fan and I've been surprised to see that no one talks about Rifkin and Parrott's OVPP method in relation to Gould's "lean" Bach recordings. Rifkin and Gould also share interests in modern music, both made early significant piano recordings of overlooked music (for Rifkin it was Joplin's music, for Gould the famous 55 Goldbergs) as well as having championed controversial performances of Bach which downplay the overly dramatic gestures in favour of smaller scale dynamics that allow for a better presentation of the contrapuntal aspects of Bach's compositions. Of course, they part ways in that Rifkin defends his method on historical grounds and Gould was simply out to make music however he wanted. Just my thoughts on the issue which I would love to discuss more with anyone. Looking forward to learning more about the cantatas from you.)

Jim Morrison wrote (October 15, 2000):
I'm sorry if I'm being too much of the new guy on the list and flooding you with emails, but I think I need to clarify something from a post I just made.

I certainly have preferences for specific recordings, and some performances of Bach's music I can't stand. I simply try, but sometimes fail, to tone down those strong negative opinions down when discussing the works. Different musicians on different days have different aspects of the music they want to emphasis and I think much is gained by trying to listen to the recordings on their own terms, by what they want to offer us.

I like Herreweghe's recordings as well as Rifkin and Jürgens's and Gardiner's.

I've found that my tastes change and works that I thought I'd never listen to again get into regular rotation on my CD player.

I'm listening to Prohaska's version of 'Jesu, der du meine Seele' (BWV 78) right now and I expected to enjoy it more than I am (though I do like it), considering the high recommendations I've seen of it. But my on personal tastes are clearly more sympathetic with Rifkin's concept of the cantata, esp. the lighter touch in the SA duet. (I think the big organ sound is given too much prominence in the Prohaska recording and that Rifkin makes a great decision to bring the string playing up in the mix and to employ a less imposing organ.)

What does this have to do with BWV 161? Nothing. Sorry, I don't have that cantata. I think you can tell I'd be talking about it if I did. :)


Proper way for "BWV" to be listed

Patrick Pope
wrote (January 31, 2001):
In preparing my program and program notes for an upcoming degree recital, I am curious as to how the abbreviation for Bach Werke Verzeichnis (BWV) should be notated. In most cases, it is capitalized with no punctuation between. However, I have seen instances where the acronym is simply bwv (lowercase). What is the universally accepted method (or more importantly, what is the scholarly method)?

Thanks for your help. You can respond privately, and I will post a list of pertinent responses.

Jaime Jean wrote(January 31, 2001):
(To Patrick Pope) Don't know about scholarly, but since all three words are capitalized, I guess the correct abbreviation should be uppercase too. That's the way it appears more often and the closer you'll get to universally accepted.

In the past, another abbreviation for BWV was S, for Wolfgang Schmieder who wrote the BWV catalogue. This abbreviation is now obsolete.

Daniel E. Abraham (Musicologist & Director of Choral Activities, American University; Music Director, The Bach Sinfonia - Bethesda, Maryland) wrote (February 1, 2001):
(To Patrick Pope) All caps with no period. What ever else you have come across is absolutely incorrect.

Kevin Sutton wrote (February 2, 2001):
(To Patrick Pope) It isn't a matter of being scholarly, rather it is a question of grammatically correct German. There are no periods in German abbreviations, and the letters are all capitalized because they all represent nouns, which are always capitalized in written German.


BWV Means…?

Kevin M. Quinley
weote (January 12, 2002):
This may be a very basic question, but what does BWV mean when appended or referenced to a piece of Bach music? Who assigns these numbers and what is their significance?

Wim Jan wrote (January 12, 2002):
[To Kevin M. Quinley] This may be a very basic question, Basic questions are often answered in a FAQ, a list of frequently asked questions. alt.music.j-s-bach also has a FAQ which is located at: http://www.bachfaq.org/

But what does BWV mean when appended or referenced to a piece of Bach music? Who assigns these numbers and what is their significance?

See <http://www.bachfaq.org/bwv.html>.

Mark Slater wrote (January 12, 2002):
BWV= Bach Werke Verzeichnis . The catalog was compiled by Wolfgang Schmieder and the BWV numbers are sometimes referred to as Schmieder Numbers.

Ben Crick wrote (January 12, 2002):
Short answer: BWV = Bach Werke Verzeichnis (Index of Bach Works). The BWV Catalogue was complied in 1950 by Wolfgang Schmieder.

Arbitrary numbers are assigned to each work, not in chronological order, by categories:

Sacred and secular Cantatas : BWV 1-222
Large choral works : BWV 225-248
Chorales and sacred songs : BWV 250-524
Organ Works : BWV 525-748
Other Keyboard Works : BWV 772-994
Lute Music : BWV 995-1000
Chamber Music : BWV 1001-1040
Orchestral Music : BWV 1040-1071
Canons and Fugues : BWV 1072-1126

The BWV numbers assign a unique identifying tag to each of JS Bach's compositions.

Compare the Köchel Verzeichnis for WA Mozart's works (the K numbers).

Howard HH wrote (January 13, 2002):
[To Ben Crick] Recently (1990s?) a revised edition was issued.

< Arbitrary numbers are assigned to each work, not in chronological order, by categories: >
BWV 1-222 follows the numbering in the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe (BGA--"Bach Society Edition," publ. ca. 1850-1905ish), the huge collected edition issued during the 19th century. Like the Fanno (Fanna?) catalogue of Vivaldi works publ. Ricordi, Schmieder was compiling a "guide" to the BGA.

There was so little research in Bach chronology back in 1950, a chronological ordering was impossible, although Schimieder attempts a chronologucal table. Back then Canata BWV 4 (Christ lag inTodesbanden) was considered a late cantata, whereas we now know it to be an early one.

< Sacred and secular Cantatas : BWV 1-222
Large choral works : BWV 225-248
Chorales and sacred songs : BWV 250-524
Organ Works : BWV 525-748
Other Keyboard Works : BWV 772-994
Lute Music : BWV 995-1000
Chamber Music : BWV 1001-1040
Orchestral Music : BWV 1040-1071
Canons and Fugues : BWV 1072-1126

The BWV numbers assign a unique identifying tag to each of JS Bach's compositions.

Compare the Köchel Verzeichnis for WA Mozart's works (the K numbers). >
Köchel is much more of a composer catalogue with fuller information than is given in the Schmieder "guide."

By the way, using "S" numbers is generally frowned upon, because S is also the German abbreviation for page, and might cause confusion. Poor Schmieder, if he'd changed his name to Zchmieder, we'd all refer to Z numbers.<g>

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 13, 2002):
[To Howard HH] Z is already in use for the works of Henry Purcell. You cannot say there was little research in Bach chronology before 1950. Philipp Spitta in his 2 volume biography (appeared somewhere 1875 and is still in print) researched all Bach cantata manuscripts. No doubt Schmieder just used the dates by Spitta. During WW-II the manuscripts from the Amalienbibliothek were divided in two halves and moved to a safe location outside Berlin. After the war one location appeared to be in the Western zones, and one in the Soviet-zone. The Western part ended up in Tuebingen, the Soviet part returned to Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR Because of this musicologists were forced to completely recatalogue and sort out all those manuscripts. Doing so, Spitta was found to be wrong on several basic grounds - He didn't differentiate between watermarks on the recto and the verso side of the paper. - He assumed Bach always completely used one lot of paper before starting on a new one - He mistakingly identified one of the most importants Kopiists, with a handwriting very similar to that of Bach, as Anna Magdalena. - He also assumed Carl-Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann posessed complete cantatas (by which I mean score and parts). Duerr and von Dadelsen have shown us Wilhelm Friedemann must have posessed more parts than scores, so his lot was pretty useless. The Koechel catalogue is completely different by nature, because Mozart himself started to catalogue his own works, and Koechel simply had to expand that. Neal Zaslaw even once discovered a formula to use on the K number to derive the year of composition. The formula seems to hold true for all works after the Paris symphony. (K 297)

Howard HH wrote (January 14, 2002):
< Sybrand Bakker wrote: Z is already in use for the works of Henry Purcell. >
It stands for Zimmerman, not Zchmieder. These abbreviations aren't used exclusively. K kan stand for Köchel (Mozart) or Kirkpatrick (D. Skarlatti). Isn't there another K for some other Komponist, too.

< You cannot say there was little research in Bach chronology before 1950. Philipp Spitta in his 2 volume biography (appeared somewhere 1875 and is still in print) researched all Bach cantata manuscripts. No doubt Schmieder just used the dates by Spitta. >
Schmieder probably realized how inadequate was Spitta's work that he rejected it. But I haven't compared the two. Not until Dürr and Dadelsen do we have in-depth studies of Bach's vocal works.

< During WW-II the manuscripts from the Amalienbibliothek were divided in two halves and moved to a safe location outside Berlin. After the war one location appeared to be in the Western zones, and one in the Soviet-zone. The Western part ended up in Tuebingen, the Soviet part returned to Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR Because of this musicologists were forced to completely recatalogue and sort out all those manuscripts. >
I don't think they were <<forced>> to do so, since the original card catalogue survived.

< Doing so, Spitta was found to be wrong on several basic grounds >- He didn't differentiate between watermarks on the recto and the >verso side of the paper. - He assumed Bach always completely used one lot of paper before >starting on a new one - He mistakingly identified one of the most importants Kopiists, with >a handwriting very similar to that of Bach, as Anna Magdalena. - He also assumed Carl-Philipp Emanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann posessed complete cantatas (by which I mean score and parts). Dürr and von >Dadelsen have shown us Wilhelm Friedemann must have posessed more parts than scores, so his lot was pretty useless. >
Huh? In many cases the original parts are more important than the score. The parts might incorporate Bach's "final thoughts" when the work was being rehearsed. Too often original parts are ign, and much important information is lost.

< The Koechel catalogue is completely different by nature, because >Mozart himself started to catalogue his own works, and Koechel simply >had to expand that. >
It only covers works in the last ten years for Mozart's life. Can't remember, but Mozart's own catalogue starts about K. 380. I'm not even certain Köchel had access to Mozart own catalogue, which is not complete. I think Köchel was more indebted to Otto Jahn, whose library contained copies of almost everything Mozart composed. Wasn't Otto Jahn the compiler of the C.M.von Weber catalogue?

< Neal Zaslaw even once discovered a formula to use >on the K number to derive the year of composition. The formula seems >to hold true for all works after the Paris symphony. (K 297) >
That's just a neat parlor trick.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 14, 2002):
< Howard HH wrote: Huh? In many cases the original parts are more important than the score. The parts might incorporate Bach's "final thoughts" when the work was being rehearsed. Too often original parts are ignored, and much important information is lost. >
According to Dürr, Friedemann performed several of his father's cantatas. He claims if you have the parts it is pretty simple to write down a score (which you also not necessarily need), but if you have to write down the parts again that is pretty cumbersome.

Howard HH wrote (January 14, 2002):
[To Sybrand Bakker] Yes, of the sons of Bach, Friedemann would seem to be the one most congenial to JSB's music, and I would expect that he'd opt for the parts in order to perform the music. Cerainly J.C. Bach would have little interest. I wonder if he was disinherited. I don't recall any Bach scores than came down through him. But I think some exciting things of his are in the cache of manuscripts discovered recently in Kiev. When all that material is studied, we'll probably see yet another face of JSB and his sons.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 14, 2002):
[To Howard HH] You can safely forget about that, at least for J.S. Bach, as his manuscripts in the library of the Berlin Singakademie were catalogued way before they ended up in Kiev due to war circumstances. Christoph Wolff has stated several times there were no new manuscripts by J.S. Bach in the Kiev library. Also the manuscripts were divided between W.F. and C.P.E. Bach, J.C didn't get anything at all in the first place. This can easily be verified in the (New) Bach Reader.

Howard HH wrote (January 14, 2002):
Yes, Dehn made a handwritten catalogue of the works of J.S.Bach, but not of the works by other composers represented in the Singakademie library. And although the JSB works are known by_title from Dehn's handwritten listing, the actual scores were not studied. So some surprises surely await us.

Margaret Mikulska wrote (January 14, 2002):
[To Sybrand Bakker] No, you can't safely forget that, even though the JSBach output isn't there. The whole Alt-Bachisches-Archiv is there, and that collection gives an insight into what JSB chose from his ancestors output, what he might have or had performed. This is non-negligible, the more so that only about half of the Alt-Bach.-Archiv was known before this discovery (the Seiffert edition from the 1930s), and even that edition gave few clues about the manuscripts themselves (paper, watermarks, handwriting, etc.). Now we have it all and in the form of a genuine primary source: original mss.

And the discovery will certainly show us another face of the older sons: there are quite fascinating things there. Passions by CPE, whose existence we knew only from the widow's catalog - those were important works, far more important than most of his symphonies or concertos; other large vocal works by CPE. That is the stuff that counts. CPE's songs which he collected for publication, everything prepared by the author himself. CPE's catalog of piano sonatas (or all piano works, I don't recall) which was possibly the beginning of a planned catalogue of his own works (over a decade before Mozart's Verzeichn?s), with - if I recall correctly - his own annotation that he destroyed the earliest piano works as unsatisfactory to him. And so on.

Just wait till all is truly catalogued and available for research.

Charles Francis wrote (January 15, 2002):
[To Margaret Mikulska][ My understanding is that the entire collection was examined before WW1, but not by the specialists one might wish for today. For example, careful hand-writing analysis of the sketches at the end of a W.F. Trio has resulted in the recent discovery of a counterpoint contest between W.F. and J.S Bach!

Tom Hens wrote (January 14, 2002):
< Howard HH wrote: Yes, of the sons of Bach, Friedemann would seem to be the one most congenial to JSB's music, and I would expect that he'd opt for the parts in order to perform the music. Cerainly J.C. Bach would have little interest. I wonder if he was disinherited. >
In financial terms, he actually ended up with a bit more of Bach's possessions than his brothers. One third of the estate went to Anna Magdalena, the remaining two-thirds were divided equally between the surviving children from Bach's two marriages. However, Johann Christian had already been given several keyboards while his father was still alive, and the older brothers apparently thought those ought to have been included in the calculation of the value of his part of the estate as well. Since several witnesses, including Anna Magdalena, testified that he had been given these instruments well before Bach died, they didn't get their way.

< I don't recall any Bach scores than came down through him. >
What would a fourteen-year old have done with scores of church music? The keyboard or other instrumental music he had a practical use for and which his father had used to teach him he no doubt already owned in printed or manuscript copies.

Margaret Mikulska wrote (January 14, 2002):
< Howard HH wrote: Yes, of the sons of Bach, Friedemann would seem to be the one most congenial to JSB's music, and I would expect that he'd opt for the parts in order to perform the music. Cerainly J.C. Bach would have little interest. I wonder if he was disinherited. >
No, why?

< I don't recall any Bach scores than came down through him. >
He was 15 or so when his father died. WF was 40 and CPE, 36. No wonder they got the music.

< But I think some exciting things of his are in the cache of manuscripts discovered recently in Kiev. When all that material is studied, we'll probably see yet another face of JSB and his sons. >
The stuff from Kiev contains fascinating material by CPE Bach, some by WF, and the Alt-Bachisches Archiv, among other things. I haven't hear anything about J.Chr. Bach there. Judging from the way the Sing-Akademie collection was put together over the years, I doubt there is much if anything there by J.Chr.Bach, but of course I can't be sure. The works by J.S.Bach, though, were sold by the Sing-Akademie to the Royal Library in Berlin (in the 19th century) and therefore were not in the collection that ended up in Kiev (and is now back in Berlin). There are only some small but interesting items related to JSB, such as the countrapuntal games/exercises written jointly by WF and his father, or the motet "Lieber Herr Gott, wecke uns auf" by one of other Bachs, reorchestrated by JSB, with what is probably the last example of writing in Bach's own hand. Basically, J.S. Bach's works were regarded in the 19th century as the only important part of this collection, so they were sold to a very respectable library; the rest was gathering dust on the shelves. It's almost suprising that they didn't throw the rest away.

Margaret Mikulska wrote (January 14, 2002):
< Howard HH wrote: [...] It stands for Zimmerman, not Zchmieder. These abbreviations aren't used exclusively. K kan stand for K?hel (Mozart) or Kirkpatrick (D. Skarlatti). Isn't there another K for some other Komponist, too. >
Fux. As if had not enough work with Mozart, Köchel catalogued also Fux's works.

< [Sybrand] The Köchel catalogue is completely different by nature, because Mozart himself started to catalogue his own work, and Koechel simply had to expand that. >
Oh, no, you really have no idea about the work that went into compiling the KV. And what do you think Waldersee, Einstein, and Weinmann-Giegling-Sievers were doing? (Not to mention Neal Zaslaw now). If you ever seen any of the editions, I can't understand how you can call all this work "just expanding". It's quite insulting to Köchel to say this, in particular that when he had to guess - which was quite often - his guesses were often better than those of the editors of the further editions. It's absolutely amazing how well he did, having no "model" of a real scholarly catalog, no predecessors.

KV is different from BWV most in that KV is chronological (except for appendices) and BWV is ordered by genres, as you of course know. The existence of Mozart's own catalogue has nothing to do with the nature of KV. It was Nissen who was naive enough to think that it'd be enough to take Mozart's catalogue, add the remaining works, and come up with a nice catalogue for his biography.

< It only covers works in the last ten years for Mozart's life. Can't remember, but Mozart's own catalogue starts about K. 380. >
K 449, Pno Cto in E flat, Feb 1784. Hence about seven, not ten. Not even 1/3 of Mozart's output.

< I'm not even certain Köchel had access to Mozart own catalogue, >
Yes, he did. The "Verzeichn?s aller meiner Werke" was published by Andr?in Offenbach at least once, in the early 19th century. Andr?a nd then one of his heirs had the autograph. It is true that having the last ca. 180 works catalogued by Mozart himself (not always accurately) helped K?hel a lot, but he still had to deal with the preceding ca. 450, as well as fragments, sketches, doubtful works, arrangements, spurious works, etc.

< which is not > complete. I think Köchel was more indebted to Otto Jahn, whose > library contained copies of almost everything Mozart composed. >
Jahn's assistance was very important, that's for sure. Actually, Jahn himself planned to compile a catalogue of Mozart's work and this was one of the reasons why he collected so much material. (The biography was of course another reason.) When he found out that Köchel had already started working on the catalogue, Jahn made all his materials available to Köchel, and Köchel dedicated his catalogue to Jahn. The story was even longer. Originally, Jahn planned to write a biography of Beethoven and collected materials for it. Then he realized that he can't really understand Beethoven without doing research on Mozart. And also on Haydn. So he collected materials on Mozart and Haydn. Eventually he realized that it would be impossible for him to write all three biographies. He gave up on Beethoven and gave his materials to Thayer; he also gave up on Haydn and gave his materials to Pohl; he just kept Mozart to himself (except for making the materials available to Köchel).

< Wasn't Otto Jahn the compiler of the C.M.von Weber catalogue? >
No, it was F. W. J?ns (1871). There were limits to what Jahn could do .


BWV Means…? (another question)

Robin Crag
wrote:
Is there any logic behind the cantata numbers for the cantatas (they are the same as the BWV numbers for the same works, as someone just said). Obviously they are not chronological, they're not in order of the church year either. So what is the order?

Tom Hens wrote (January 15, 2002):
[To Robin Crag] It's the order of publication of the Bach Gesellschaft edition, starting in 1850, nothing more. They simply numbered the cantatas sequentially as they published them. Since a lot of editors worked on that huge project, the numbers only reflect things like the availability of manuscripts, how quickly some particular editor worked, which cantata of a bunch he'd been given to work on he decided to start work on first, etc. In other words, it's completely random.


BWV list anyone?

Kirk McElhearn
wrote: (March 1, 2002):
Does anyone have a good BWV list in either text or Excel format? I need a list with the full titles of the works (such as Prelude and fugue in D major, or Choral XXX).

Can anyone help me out?

Juozas Rimas wrote (March 1, 2002):
[To Kirk McElhearn]
Try: http://www.jsbach.org/completenumberall.html

Also, I have a pdf file (230KB) with the full BWV list (German titles/subtitles/instrumentation) on my site: http://www.geocities.com/oboerimas/bwv_complete_data.pdf


What "belongs to the BWV list"?

Eitan Loew
wrote:
Today I received the disk "Lesser-known Harpsichord Works" (The Bach Collection BACH 732). The first piece is Prelude in a minor Bass Passus from "Clavier-Büchlein" for W.F. Bach, 1720. I have 2 questions:
1) What does it mean "Bass Passus"?
2) Do the "Clavier-Büchlein" pieces belong to the BWV list?

Thanks,

David Glenn Lebut Jr. wrote:
[To Eitan Loew] I have seen both the NBA score and a score (I have) of Kalmus and also the Urtext(Henle) editions of the Klvierbuechlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach from 1720 and also the Klavierbüchleinen fuer Anna Magdalena Bach from 1722 and 1725. My (theory here) read as to your first question is as follows: in some works in these collections, the bass part was either fragmentarilly written out or not at all. My theory is (based on some reading of the KK from the NBA edition and the Forwards from the other two editions is that the Präludium a-Moll BWV 931 is one of those cases. As to question 2, all the Klavierbuechlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach pieces do belong to the BWV list. The thing is, though, that many of them exist in the BWV list in altered forms. For example the Präamblen und Phantasien that make up the bulk of the Klavierbuechlein from pp. 59-85 (Kalmus numbering) and pp.96-124 exist as BWV 772-801 (with the exception of BWV 782, which was left out of the Klavierbüchlein).

Another example is the Präludien that consist pp. 28-47. These could be later found as the Präludien of 11 of the Präludien und Fugen that make up erster Theil des Wohltemperierte Klavier.

Bradley Lehman wrote (November 8, 2003):
[To David Glenn Lebut Jr.] Rather than guessing "what belongs to the BWV list", why not just go look at it? It is an approximately 500-page book compiled principally by Wolfgang Schmieder, and has gone through several updates with help from others. It has incipits of all the pieces (to help readers distinguish titles that are similar), and bibliographic resources. The most recent edition is the paperback one from 1998. http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/3765102490



Continue on Part 2


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Last update: ýMarch 3, 2006 ý10:18:30