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FRONT COVER OVERVIEW
Dimension 32.0 x 25.0 x 1.6 cm
TITLE J. S. Bach: Messe h-moll. Mass in B minor. BWV 232. Partitur / Score. Herausgegeben von / Edited by Joshua Rifkin. (Breitkopf & Härtel Partitur-Bibliothek. Nr. 5363)
PUBL. DETAILS Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel (2006) xviii + 273 pp. Price: 79,18 euros.
ISMN M-004-21170-0
TO ORDER Breitkopf & Härtel, Walkmühlstrasse 52, 65195 Wiesbaden, Germany.
SUMMARY
DESCRIPTION A long awaited critical edition of this seminal work by Joshua Rifkin, in which he carefully reconstructs Bach's original text that were made almost unreadable by his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel.
WORKS COVERED BWV 232.
READERSHIP Musicologists and serious performers.
RESEARCH 
CONTRIBUTION
Rifkin reconstructed the version of J. S. Bach by carefully removing C.P.E.Bach's modifications.

I

t has been known for some time that Joshua Rifkin was to produce his own edition of Bach’s B-minor Mass, the work with which he established himself as a rigorous scholar. This is the edition, which was published in November 2006

As anticipated, the ‘Preface’ is informative and written in both German and English. There Rifkin outlines what he has done in this edition: ‘it maintains a strict distinction between the earlier Missa and Part I of the Mass as Bach ultimately left it in his autograph score; and second, that it reproduces Part II in a form that eliminates so far as possible the interventions of C. P. E. Bach (p. XII)’ by carefully studying both the revisions entered in the autograph score and the readings of the surviving copies made after Bach’s death. It is his detailed study of these copies that provided him with the tools to reconstruct several layers of revisions which C. P. E. Bach entered into his father’s autograph.

J. S. Bach: Messe h-moll. Mass in B minor. BWV 232. Partitur / Score. Herausgegeben von / Edited by Joshua Rifkin. Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel (2006) xviii + 273 pp.
'Rifkin sets a new standard for us to discuss what Bach wrote and what he did not'

The score itself is beautifully laid out. Though infrequent, his editorial additions are noticeable, which supplements, in Rifkin’s view, what Bach should have entered to make clear his intentions. There are also occasional footnotes, which immediately draw our attention to those important textual problems and uncertainties that performers should always be aware of. There are numerous other issues which are less immediately relevant to the performers: they are dealt with in the ‘Kritischer Bericht’ (pp. 254-273, in German only). They are nonetheless important for us to learn what the editor considered in this edition.

With this edition, Rifkin has set a new standard for us to discuss what Bach wrote, and what he did not.

Published online on 28 April 2007