Dimension: 23.5 x 15.8 x 3.3 cm
in the database
||Eighteenth-Century Music in Theory and Practice: Essays
in Honor of Alfred Mann. Edited by Mary Ann Parker. (=Festschrift Series,
||Stuyvesant: Pendragon, 1994.x + 337p. US$54.
Press, PO Box 190, 52 White Hill Lane, Hillsdale, NY 12529, USA.
||A fine collection of fourteen scholarly essays in the
field of "18th-century studies" plus the dedicatee's own biographical account
and his bibliography.
||BWV 12, 232-36, 244, 530, 825, 1001-6, 1080
||Not only those scholars specialised in the above works
by Bach but also others who are interested in the music of Baroque and
||All Bach articles are important.
Alfred Mann needs no introduction:
as a distinguished scholar of international reputation on 18th-century
musical theory (esp. fugues), his service to Bach scholarship has also been
widely recognised, particularly as an excellent translator and an advisor
the Journal of Riemenschneider Bach Institute.
At a glance, this Festschrift seems to reflect a diverse interest of
the dedicatee whose expertise ranges from the late Baroque to early Romantic.
There are four articles on Bach (including one on CPE), three on Handel,
one Fux, one Mozart, two Schubert, and three general, non-composer-specific
There is a strong sense in the volume in that each contribution is carefully
prepared to pay tribute to the achievement of the dedicatee, despite the
fact that two are reprint of already published items (viz. those by Buelow
and Federhofer, although the latter is a translation of the item previously
published in German, and strictly speaking it is not a reprint). Frequent
reference to Fux’s Gradus (which Mann did an excellent translation)
is evident in several articles, and Knapp’s contribution—written in the
form of an open letter to the dedicatee—is perceived to be just that. The
inclusion of the dedicatee’s own autobiography (which is quite extensive:
pp. 289-328) and his list of works adds right savour to the book as well. Why his
extensive list of translations is omitted from the bibliography is a mystery,
however: it is true that translations are considered less important in
terms of research output; but how many of us appreciate Mann’s excellent
Probably the most stimulating and thought-provoking writer is Neumann who
discusses a performance aspect of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for
unaccompanied violin from the viewpoint of source studies. In it he suggests
what a performer can glean from Bach’s autograph and demonstrates how to
deal with various problems therein. His systematic approach is powerful;
the extensive use of facsimile examples is also illuminating. While much
of his argument is sound, he seems to have fallen into a pitfall by wrongly
interpreting one particular source evidence: on p. 21 he argues that ‘Bach
wrote a clear flat sign before the B’ at bar 10 of Sarabanda of the D minor
Suite. The notation in question is, in my view, definitely ‘unclear’; this
is more likely to be an unfortunate slip in Bach’s part, and although Bach
could have clarified it, he somehow failed to do so, which is in fact not
uncommon to encounter when examining Bach’s autograph.
'"Et Incarnatus" and "Crucifixus": The Earliest and Latest
Settings of Bach's B-Minor Mass' by Christoph Wolff
'Some Performance Problems of Bach's Unaccompanied Violin
and Cello Works' by Frederick Neumann
'Performing Problems in Handel's Operas' by J. Merrill Knapp
'Handel: Some Contemporary Performance Parts Considered'
by Watkins Shaw
'Harmonic Patterns in Handel's Operas' by Ellen T. Harris
'Johann Joseph Fux and Equal Temperament' by Hellmut Federhofer
'On the History of Musical Instruction in the Austrian Baroque'
by Eva Badura-Skoda
'Towards a Close Reading of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach' by
'The Influence of Harmonic Thinking on the Teaching of Simple
Counterpoint in the Latter Half of the Eighteenth Century' by David Beach
'A Bach Borrowing by Gluck: Another Frontier' by George J.
'Mozart Through His Piano Students' by Mario R. Mercado
'Music as an Analogue of Speech: Musical Syntax in the Writings
of Heinrich Christoph Koch and in the Works of Schubert' by Walther Dürr
'Archaic and Contemporary Aspects of Schubert's Alfonso
und Estrella: Issues of Influence, Originality, and Maturation' by
Thomas A. Denny
'The Transition from Baroque to Romantic: A Study in English
Provincial Music-Making' by Percy M. Young
'A European at Home Abroad: An Autobiographical Sketch' by
'An Alfred Mann Bibliography' by Michael R. Dodds
The opening article is an important conbribution by Christoph Wolff, whose
life-long interest in Bach’s B Minor Mass is recently culminated in an
excellent edition by
This article can be seen as a companion to his other article ‘The Agnus
Dei of the B Minor Mass: Parody and New Composition Reconciled’ published
in his book Bach.
Essays on His Life and Music (Harvard Univ. Press, 1991); although
his approaches are similar in both articles, revealing fascinating set of
revisions Bach carried out in his last years, he examines a different portion
of the work from a slightly different angle, and hence there is no significant
overlap of contents.
a fine collection
of scholarly essays
The remaining Bach article is by Buelow who makes an interesting observations
on Gluck’s borrowing on Bach’s gigue from the Partita No.1 in B-flat
in Iphigénie en Tauride. Although such historical issues
as how Gluck aquainted Bach’s Partita require further extensive research
(e.g. Handel’s awareness as well as ownership of Bach’s published works
should be looked into as a matter of top priority), his conclusion that
Gluck’s Bach borrowing was his way of paying
homage to the master of Baroque is revealing.
The title of Federhofer’s article is somewhat misleading: he actually
approaches the subject from a much wider angle encompassing Rameau, Bach,
Mizler, Kirnberger, Türk, etc. His view that Fux and his Viennese
colleagues considered the equal temperament as practical tuning method,
and further that Bach and Mizler most likely considered it suitable in
practice is particularly noteworthy, which is in line with Rasch’s
theory of 1985.
This is a fine collection of scholarly essays in the field of eighteenth-century
studies that every university library should have on its shelf. Occasional
typographical errors, less than adequate quality of music examples and
the lack of index are a very few criticisms that I have.
Published on-line on 2 April 2001