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On-line Book Review


Dimension: 24.5 x 17.6 x 2.2 cm
TITLE Binärer Satz -- Sonate -- Konzert: Johann Christian Bachs Klaviersonaten op. V im Spiegel barocker Formprinzipien und ihrer Bearbeitung durch Mozart von Maria Bieler.
PUBL. DETAILS Kassel: Bärenreiter-Verlag, 2002. 255p; Hardback. Eur 35,90.
ISBN 3-7618-1562-X
TO ORDER Bärenreiter-Verlag, Heinrich-Schütz-Allee 35, D-34131 Kassel, Germany.
DESCRIPTION An in-depth study on J. C. Bach's sonata op. V from historical, analytical and aesthetic angles. Unaltered edition of her PhD thesis (University of Tübingen, 2000)
WORKS COVERED BWV 809, 812-7, 825, 828, 841-43, 922, 1046, 1066-7, 1069.
READERSHIP Scholars and students working in the field of pre-Classical era, esp. on keyboard works.
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION The discussion of how Bach's concept of binary form is taken up by his younger generations

rom the Bach Studies’ point of view, Johann Christian Bach’s contribution to the early Bach revival movement in the second half of eighteenth century remains much to be researched. In Musikalischer Almanach (1796) Reichardt reports that Christian once confessed ‘my brother [C.P.E.] lives to compose; and I compose to live; he works for others, I work for myself’.
Contents in brief 


I. Johann Christian Bachs Erbe -- Die Formprinzipien der vergangenen Zeit
  1. Der sogenannte Liedtzpus

2. Der Fortspinnungstzpus

II. Johann Christian Bach -- Eine biographische Skizze

1. Leipzig (1735-1750)

2. Berlin (1750-1755)

3. Italien (1755-1762)

4. London (1762-1782)

III. Zur Entstehungszeit der Sonaten op. V von Johann Christian Bach

1. Die Quellen

2. Stilistische Gesichtspunkte

3. Ein Sonderfall: Die Sonate op. V, Nr.6

IV. Die Klaviersonaten op. V von Johann Christian Bach

1. Das Rondo aus der Sonate Nr. 4, Es-Dur -- Der Refrain

2. Das menuett aus der Sonate Nr. 2, D-Dur -- Die erste Reprise

3. Das Andante di molto aus der Sonate Nr. 2, D-Dur -- Die erste Reprise

4. Übersicht

5. Das Andante di molto aus der Sonate Nr. 2, D-Dur -- Die zweite Reprise

6. Das Rondo aus der Sonate Nr. 4, Es-Dur -- Die Couplets

7. Das Minuett aus der Sonate Nr. 2, D-Dur -- Die zweite Reprise

8. Übersicht und Tabellen -- Der gesamte Zyklus op. V

V. Die Konzerte KV 107 von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

1. Übersicht und Tabellen zum gesamten Zyklus KV 107

2. Das Andante aus KV 107/2

3. Das Allegretto aus KV 107/3

4. Das Tempo di Minuetto aus KV 107/1

VI. Schluß: Kommentar zu gängigen formalen und entwicklungsgeschichtlichen Klassifikationen

1. Übersicht

2. Vor-Urteile




how it looks.

In an age in which J.C. Bach’s stature was rising, it became commonplace to accuse him of having abandoned his long and respectable family tradition of musicianship for a flamboyant life-style in London. I for one feel that this was hardly fair, as mastery of fashionable music was a requirement for survival in England.

Setting aside the issue of conscious reaction to his father's music, there are also other issues that the study of Christian Bach can shed light on our better understanding of his father's music, such as his legacy and influence on the next generation of musicians.

This monograph is the author's PhD dissertation submitted to University of Tübingen. In it she observes from various angles how the musical forms changed over the years from the Baroque to pre-Classical eras. Particularly relevant for the Bach Studies are the first two chapters. In Chapter 1, she uses 25 minuets from Bach's works (see 'works covered' in the above summary) to demonstrate her points, breaking them down structurally, harmonically, and motivically for further analysis and discussion.

Chapter 2--a biographical sketch of Christian Bach--is a reliable, up-to-date critical biography. Bieler seems to have done an excellent job here, incorporating many facts that have come to light recently as well as those that were often overlooked and misunderstood (e.g. in which year Christian left Berlin for Italy).

The remaining chapters are case studies on specific pieces, which are not directly relevant to the Bach Studies.

While much of discussion was devoted to analytical details of selected pieces, it is clear that Bieler has distinct contribution to a wider audience: how Bach's concept of binary form is taken up by his younger generations and became the foundation for their formal vocabulary. It is pity that there is no index of works or names provided.

Published on-line on 29 July 2002

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