Subject Area: Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach likely made considerable use of the imitative nature of organ sounds when selecting registrations at the organ. A study of Bach’s written evaluations of various organs and the specifications of organs with which he was familiar enables a general assessment of his expectations regarding organ construction and capabilities. The few registration examples attributable to Bach are considered in the light of documented registration practices of some of his contemporaries and in the context of other relevant constraints and influences of the time. We explore the possibilities for using this accumulated knowledge from Bach’s day to aid in the application of the imitative quality of organ sounds to the modern interpretation of Bach’s organ works.2013 0-7734-2913-1
A radical new level of scrutiny of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Musikalisches Opfer
which has been and continues to be the most controversial single composition he ever wrote and perhaps the single most mysterious and frustrating work anyone ever composed.2001 0-7734-7599-0
The Art of Fugue (Bach’s last work) presents many problems for scholars and performers, chiefly in its instrumentation. This edition includes commentaries on all movements (14 fugues and 4 canons), as well as suggested cadenzas for the Canone alla decima, a comparative study of nine available keyboard completions of the final fugue, and a discussion of the B-A-C-H motive as found in the Art of Fugue. The book is also a keyboard edition with a new approach to suggested pedal parts, which can be used by pianists and harpsichordists as well as organists.2016 1-4955-0516-2
This work examines a specific technical and expressive means by which the various ecclesiastical modes persisted and were integrated into compositional practices of the tonal period, from the time of Bach through to the early twentieth century.
It is demonstrated that a technique of integrating modes into tonal music is not through the use of melodic or harmonic materials, but through modulation. Modulations can be drawn from and limited to those keys which derive from chords that exist in the modal scale of the final key of a composition. This leads to what can only be referred to as a kind of pseudo-diatonic chromaticism. Modulations are limited by a diatonic scale, but that scale is distinct from the major-minor scale system which characterizes the surface level musical activity of a composition. Hence the modulations are chromatic according to a given key, but individual keys visited are limited by a very traditional set of diatonic relationships among themselves.1992 0-7734-9820-6
Suggested trinitarian symbolism of `Contrapunctus XIX' is compared to the established trinitarian symbolism of the great Eb major (St.Anne) fugue, B.W.V.552/2, and suggested trinitarian symbolism of the C# minor fugue of `Well-tempered Clavier' (I,4). Concludes that `Contrapunctus XIX' is a hymn to the Holy Trinity which Bach may have deliberately left unfinished because of an irregularity in the symbolism of the three persons of the Godhead which was the musical-metaphoric equivalent of the heresy of Montanus.2012 0-7734-2591-8
This book is based around reports from people who have listened to certain pieces of sacred music (that is, pieces with a liturgical text or biblical allusions) and have said that hearing the music is itself an encounter with the divine. While relating to the music, these people find that relating to the music is a relation to God. The music as such becomes inaudible, and disappears into an encounter in which they address and are addressed by God, or the Risen Christ, or the Eternal Infinite.
The book’s project is to elaborate on these reports, first by dwelling on the meaning of “relation” then by drawing parallels between the reports and the writings of Martin Buber on the I-Thou relation and its contrast to the I-It experience, and finally by describing the salient aspects of the music in order to specify just what is this hearing that is a relating, an encounter.
Although many pieces could have been chosen as examples of this kind of hearing and this kind of spirituality, the book takes only three so that it can describe them in considerable detail and depth. These pieces : Three Movements from Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, the resurrection music from Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and Oliver Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time