Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23

Thread: That single piece everyone knows.

  1. #1
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,343

    That single piece everyone knows.

    Of course BWV 565 is so well known that scarely a person in the west wouldn't be able to say he/she'd not heard it.

    But, is it really Bach?

    I heard an interesting discussion about the work and there are two schools of thought, both poles apart, obvious one in favour of good ol' Johann Sebastian and one in favour of another (suggests including, but not limited to, Krebs).

    The more I listen to Bach's organ music the more this work, for me, stands out apart from the rest in a very indescribable way. There's something stagnant about his harmonic richness that's almost never apparent in his other great organ works ... it's my humble opinion of course and I don't give a tincker's cuss if you disagree. Simply a point of dicussion.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  2. #2
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Groningen, NL
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Of course BWV 565 is so well known that scarely a person in the west wouldn't be able to say he/she'd not heard it.

    But, is it really Bach?
    Ha! The good old BWV 565 discussion!

    BWV 565:
    Johann Sebastian Bach?
    Johann Heinrich Buttstett?
    Johann Peter Kellner?

    Or even: composed originally for violin?

    Some parts of the Fugue seem to be inspired by a theme of the Fantasia in a minor P 125, of Johann Pachelbel.

    J.S. Bach was scholed by his eldest brother Johann Christoph Bach, who was a pupil of Pachelbel and probably used lots of copies of Pachelbel's music in his teaching. This Fantasia P 125 was not yet published, not even during J.S. Bach's entire life. That's why many believe that a young J.S. Bach might well have been the composer, because of the close relationship between Pachelbel and the Bach family.

    Because of the both North and South German influences in BWV 565, J.H. Buttstett, who was also a pupil of Pachelbel, comes to mind, too. He was an important keyboard composer in his time, like J.S. Bach he was considered as being slightly 'old-fashioned' during his own lifetime, and he is known for combining those northern and southern styles in a contrapuntal way. But I personally don't find the works I've heard from him as impressive as BWV 565.

    Of the Bach pupils, J.P. Kellner is known for adapting much of the Grandmaster's style. I once read that some scholars are almost certain that he's the composer.
    Then it wouldn't be a Stylus Phantasticus, but a Sturm und Drang piece!

    Cast yer votes, ladies & gentlemen.

    (And let's not forget that fourth option: because of the composing style, scholars like Peter Williams assume that BWV 565 is an organ arrangment of a violin solo piece.)

    Oh, btw: I like to listen to BWV 565 very much, but it's my least favourite Toccata by Bach.
    It's a great introduction to free baroque organ music though, who ever the composer might be.
    AFAIK, the first surviving (late 18th century) copies of the piece mentioned Sebastian as the composer. The oldest copy is by Johannes Ringk, who, btw, was a pupil of J.P. Kellner. It wouldn't surprise me if those old sources, if they mention the name of Bach, proved to be more reliable than all those searching and digging 20th and 21st century scholars.

  3. #3
    Ensign, Principal
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Manizales -COLOMBIA
    Posts
    64
    My opinion is that BWV 565 has the characteristics of a truly-genius.youth-organist, who dares to use variations and dissonants and combine them with the regular style music of his time. As far ( and as little) I know, this work fits well in the character, style and youth of J.S.B.

  4. #4
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    203
    Maybe the question to ask is NOT whether it is an "authentic" Bach work, because we'll never know...but what about WHO you think plays it best?
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  5. #5
    Chief assistant to the assistant chief JHC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Nu Zeln
    Posts
    4,963
    Quote Originally Posted by mathetes1963 View Post
    Maybe the question to ask is NOT whether it is an "authentic" Bach work, because we'll never know...but what about WHO you think plays it best?
    I have it on the Hyperion CD of Christopher Herrick on the Metzler organ, Stadtkirche, Switzerland IMO that is a pretty good performance, but I am not an Organist so can really not asses the technical performance

  6. #6
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    203
    I have some of the Herrick recordings including the Toccatas, they are uniformly excellent IMHO. The first recording of BWV 565 I owned back in the vinyl age was Lionel Rogg on the Metzler at St. Peter's Cathedral, Geneva. Excellent performance, but I think it is OOP.
    Last edited by mathetes1963; Feb-04-2010 at 22:14.
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  7. #7
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Poole Dorset UK
    Posts
    4,543
    Mathetes is it this version, it's Rogg but does not specify which organ, you can listen to a sample.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-Prelude...5318157&sr=1-1

    I have a CD of Rogg on the Metzler at St Peter playing Art of Fugue.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  8. #8
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    203
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    Mathetes is it this version, it's Rogg but does not specify which organ, you can listen to a sample.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bach-Prelude...5318157&sr=1-1

    I have a CD of Rogg on the Metzler at St Peter playing Art of Fugue.
    YESS!! I was able to enlarge the back cover just enough to confirm that. Have to put that one on my Amazon wishlist, I hope it's on the USA site.

    Thanks, Dorsetmike!

    EDIT: It is! And at a very reasonable price, too.
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  9. #9
    Commodore con Forza
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    544
    Are we going to get into another composer controversy? Wasn't it someone who called himself "Robert Newman" who a while back was acting as if Mozart never existed? Where do such people come from?

    Nobody alive now ever met these composers, but we have to take it on faith that they were there. Next, we'll have somebody come along and tell us that the St. Sulpice organ wes built by little old men with three arms.

    There are such people as "revisionist" historians, but that doesn't mean they can change what happened. It's all in "interpretation".

  10. #10
    Commander, Assistant Conductor mathetes1963's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    203
    Nobody's pulling a 'Robert Newman' here, that I can see. I just though it was good-natured discussion. Did I miss something?
    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
    -Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750

    "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."
    -Duke Ellington, 1899-1974

  11. #11
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Groningen, NL
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by mathetes1963 View Post
    Nobody's pulling a 'Robert Newman' here, that I can see. I just though it was good-natured discussion. Did I miss something?
    No, you didn't.
    There is no link with mr. Newman.

    But there are links with a.o. the famous Bach biographer Philipp Spitta (1841-1894), who f.i. thought that the fugue was relatively weak compared to lots of other authentic Bach fugues (waves of tones that do not relate in any way to any theme in the piece). Spitta mentioned also the 'relationship' of BWV 565 with works by Pachelbel and Buttstett.

    So, the discussion about BWV 565, its plusses and its minors, is at least more than a century old. This can happen with pieces of which the original manuscript has gone lost.

    Roger Bullivant mentioned the very unlike-Bach-character of the piece in his book Fugue (1971).
    And there's Peter Williams, a scholar who wrote a famous article about BWV 565 and its authenticity back in July 1981, in the Early Music magazine. He suggested a.o. the violin source.
    More recent contributors to the discussion are scholars like Rolf-Dietrich Claus and organist John Butt.
    And, not to forget: in Gerhard Weinberger's recent integral of Bach's organ works (label: CPO) it is catalogued as a 'dubious and/or spurious work'. Also, in lots of 'normal' cd-booklets, which aren't written by mr. Newman, the doubt about its authenticity is mentioned.

    I'm definitely not a scholar, and also not an organist. I'm just an interested and enthousiastic layman. I couldn't believe the 'gossip' when I first heard about it. But after that I got to listen to a lot of other Bach (organ) works.
    If BWV 565 is concerned: I really love to listen to this spectacular piece, but, compared to dozens and dozens of other compositions by Bach, I find it not very interesting. But I'm still not convinced that it's not by Bach. To me, it sounds like a very young Bach, a budding genious so to speak, willing to exploit the instrument entirely, inspired by some of his beloved composers and predecessors like Buxtehude and Pachelbel.

    My favourite recording of BWV 565 is probably by Daniel Chorzempa, at the Flentrop organ of the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk, Breda, Netherlands.
    I also like Lorenzo Ghielmi at the Ahrend organ of the San Simpliciano Cathedral, Milan, Italy.
    Other personal faves: recordings by Thiemo Janssen (Arp Schnitger organ, Norden, Germany), Stefan Johannes Bleicher (Holzhey organ, Weissenau, Germany), Ewald Kooiman (Müller organ, St. Bavo Haarlem, NL) and Gustav Leonhardt (Müller organ, Waalse Kerk Amsterdam, NL).
    I prefer the piece performed with a kind of youthful bravado and 'no nonsense' feeling, preferably in a straightforward way of playing.

  12. #12
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso Dorsetmike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Poole Dorset UK
    Posts
    4,543
    How about this version by Rogg on the Silberman at Arlesheim

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_IeO...eature=related

    Glorious.
    Cheers MIKE.

    How many roads must a man walk down ... ... before he admits he's lost?

  13. #13
    Admiral of Fugues Contratrombone64's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    5,343
    Interesting how "young Bach" is used here, I really can't describe if I could tell if a piece was "young" or "old" Bach. Unlike, say, with Mozart or even Haydn.
    I'm not an atheist and I don't think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn't know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God.
    —Albert Einstein.

  14. #14
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Groningen, NL
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by Contratrombone64 View Post
    Interesting how "young Bach" is used here, I really can't describe if I could tell if a piece was "young" or "old" Bach. Unlike, say, with Mozart or even Haydn.
    Sure, we don't know real childhood work of JSB.
    So: 'young' and 'mature' mean different things than, say, when Mozart is the subject.

    With Bach's organ music you can take the risk to 'gamble' , because a lot of his work for this instrument is written by a 'young' Bach (Weimar period and before).

    Apart from that: although I understand what you're saying, especially helped by your comparison with Haydn & Mozart, I think that there is certainly a development with Bach's composing, too.

    When organ music is concerned: there are some chorale preludes with dazzling interlude passages, and they are certainly a young man's work. Let's say: the young man that confused the churchgoers of f.i. Arnstadt with his strange chorale accompaniments.

    When the free pieces are concerned: lots of his 'youth' Preludes/Toccatas are in 3 (or even more: BWV 566) parts: Praeludim - Fugue - Postludium. In this, Bach certainly was inspired by predecessors like Buxtehude and Böhm. Also these works sound more free and loose: spectacular, rhapsodic, more pedal solos. The 'mature' works are more refined, more majestic and striking, pedal parts more integrated in the entire piece, and Bach got rid of the 17th centurial habit by ending with the postludium.

    Of course, this is just general talk.

    But listen f.i. to BWV 531 (young Bach) and BWV 547 (mature Bach), both in C Major.

    To me, it depends on my mood if I prefer the young or the mature Bach. One thing I can say for sure: I like them both very very much!

  15. #15
    Commander, Assistant Conductor Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Groningen, NL
    Posts
    170
    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetmike View Post
    How about this version by Rogg on the Silberman at Arlesheim

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_IeO...eature=related

    Glorious.
    I think this performance is part of his [OOP] Bach organ integral for Harmonia Mundi.
    It's a good version, IMO. Rogg has delivered some fine Bach playing over the years.
    But this one isn't necessarily a threat for my faves so far.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Does this piece of music suit this poem?
    By moonbeam5432 in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Aug-15-2008, 22:26
  2. The Sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti
    By Todd in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: Jun-12-2008, 02:42
  3. From the Street, 1.X.1905
    By Todd in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Sep-01-2005, 22:32
  4. Barcarolle in F Sharp Major, Op 60
    By Todd in forum Classical Music Forum
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Aug-31-2005, 06:11

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •