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TITLE Eighteenth-Century Music in Theory and Practice: Essays in Honor of Alfred Mann. Edited by Mary Ann Parker. (=Festschrift Series, No.13)
PUBL. DETAILS Stuyvesant: Pendragon, 1994.x + 337p. US$54.
ISBN 0-945193-11-4
TO ORDER Pendragon Press, PO Box 190, 52 White Hill Lane, Hillsdale, NY 12529, USA.
DESCRIPTION A fine collection of fourteen scholarly essays in the field of "18th-century studies" plus the dedicatee's own biographical account and his bibliography.
WORKS COVERED BWV 12, 232-36, 244, 530, 825, 1001-6, 1080
READERSHIP Not only those scholars specialised in the above works by Bach but also others who are interested in the music of Baroque and Classical eras.
RESEARCH CONTRIBUTION 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 to BACH, 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 articles.

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 contribution?

  • Preface
  • Editor's Introduction
  • '"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 Peter Williams
  • '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. Buelow
  • '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 Alfred Mann
  • 'An Alfred Mann Bibliography' by Michael R. Dodds
 a fine collection of scholarly essays
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 Peters. 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.
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.

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

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