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> Bach / Zacher "A Musical Offering" (BWV 1079), SACD

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Elephantus
post 1/03/2010, 16:20
Сообщение #1


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Bach / Zacher "A Musical Offering" (BWV 1079) SACD

Johann Sebastian Bach
Ein musicalisches Opfer / A Musical Offering (BWV 1079)
in der Realisation von Gerd Zacher / in the realisation by Gerd Zacher (1999)


Bach / Zacher "A Musical Offering" (BWV 1079) , SACD

Гибридный SACD 5.1

Genre: Classical – Instrumental

Barbara Tacke-Laepple - Flauto traverso
Jörg Lengersdorf - ViolinoI
Mirjam Steymans - Violino II
Alexander Scheirle – Violoncello
Gerd Zacher - Cembalo

  1. Ricercar a 3 6'52" Cembalo solo
  2. Canon perpetuus super thema regium 3'19"
    Ensemble
  3. Canon I a 2 1'47"
    Cembalo solo
  4. Canon II a 2 violini in unisono 1'18"
    Violin 1 & 2, Continuo
  5. Canon III per motum contrarium 1'30"
    Ensemble
  6. Canon IV per augmentationem, contrario motu 5'49"
    Flute, Violin 1 & 2, Violoncello
  7. Canon V a 2 per tonos 5'32"
    Ensemble
  8. Fuga canonica in epidiapente 2'52"
    Flute, Violin 1, Continuo
  9. Ricercar a 6 7'52"
    Cembalo solo
  10. Canon a 2, Quaerendo invenietis 2'19"
    Cembalo solo
  11. Canon a 4 4'23"
    Violin 2, Continuo
    Sonata
    Flute, Violin 1, Continuo
  12. I. Largo 6'49"
  13. II. Allegro 7'23"
  14. III. Andante 3'07"
  15. IV. Allegro 4'03"
  16. Canon perpetuus 3'33"
    Flute, Violin 1, Continuo

    Total time: 68'45"

Produzent & Tonmeister / Producer: Gideon Boss
Aufnahme / recording: Pfarrkirche Sankt Leodegar (Church of Saint Leodegar), Niederehe / Eifel
Aufnahmetechnik / Recording staff: Hans-Martin Renz & Caroline Thon


Deutschlandfunk / Gideon Boss Musikproduktion (gb 003, 4260052620038), 2009
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Elephantus
post 1/03/2010, 17:19
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Цитата( К.Розеншильд История зарубежной музыки)
«Музыкальное приношение»

В последнем десятилетии жизни Баха — 40-х годах — его инструментальная и особенно клавирная полифония обнаружила новые черты. Не покидая область жанрово-характерного, напевного мелоса, он стал все чаще возвращаться к старой, более отвлеченной «ричеркариой» теме. Это гармонировало с общей эволюцией образного содержания. Эмоциональная сфера баховской музыки, неизменно высокая и чистая, величаво остывала, утверждалось безраздельное и абсолютное господство интеллектуального начала, Отныне композитор был страстно увлечен решением проблем полифонически-конструктивного плана и обратился к углубленной разработке наиболее изысканных, технологически сложных форм фуги и канона. В этом сказалось воздействие, оказанное на искусство эстетикой рационализма. «Если хочешь судить о произведениях искусства, то сначала обрати внимание на то, что создано разумом», — писал И. Винкельман.

Впервые новая тенденция обозначилась в Четырех дуэтах для клавира, вошедших в третью часть «Klavierübung» (1739). По жанру, складу, фактуре родственные двухголосным инвенциям, эти композиции развернуты в более широкой форме и отличаются значительной изощренностью письма (хроматически насыщенный мелос ритмически причудливого дуэта e-moll, полпфункциональные наложения в дуэте F-dur). Один лишь третий дуэт, G-dur, написан на тему с более или менее выраженными характерно-жанровыми чертами (танец). Тематизм остальных несомненно ричеркарен, а в четвертом дуэте непосредственно близок к «Kunst der Fuge», и ему отвечает чисто линеарный тип полифонического развития.

То, что лишь эпизодически проявилось в третьей части «Klavierübung», получило несравненно более широкое развитие во второй половине 40-х годов в канонах, канонических вариациях («С небесной высоты») и в «Музыкальном приношении» («Musikalisches Opfer») 1747 года. Это произведение возникло в связи с поездкой композитора в Берлин к сыну Карлу Филиппу Эммануилу и посещением Потсдама, где Баху пришлось импровизировать на тему, заданную королем. Вернувшись в Лейпциг, Иоганн Себастьян написал на эту тему серию произведений, объединенных не столько поэтической идеей, сколько общностью стиля. Визит к Фридриху II, меломану, флейтисту и композитору-дилетанту, был лишь внешним поводом: «Музыкальное приношение» создано — об этом свидетельствует его содержание — под воздействием внутренней творческой потребности Баха и ясно выразило эволюцию его метода и стиля в последние годы.

«Королевская тема» чрезвычайно далека от баховского жанрово-характерного тематизма 20—30-х годов; она сочинена в «типовом», абстрактно-ричеркарном стиле того времени, угловата по рисунку, звучит в достаточной мере «деревянно» и вообще мало привлекательна. В любительских кругах такие мелодии сочинялись тогда сотнями. Из «королевской темы» Бах не только извлек все возможное, но достиг результата, казалось бы, совершенно неосуществимого на такой основе. «Музыкальное приношение» — произведение хотя в значительной своей части несколько холодное и рационалистичное, однако импонирует бесспорным величием и художественными красотами. Они-то и вызвали его возрождение в современной музыкальной жизни и, в частности, в советском репертуаре.

В «Музыкальном приношении» тринадцать пьес, в большинстве полифонического склада. Три из них — соната и два канона — имеют обозначения, для каких инструментов они написаны. В остальных инструменты не обозначены вовсе, и эти вещи могут быть исполнены на клавире или камерным ансамблем ad libitum. Объединяющая тональность всего сочинения — c-moll. «Королевская тема» проходит почти во всех частях огромного цикла. Здесь сказалась характерная для Баха в тот период сильнейшая сосредоточенность мысли, стремление извлекать широкие и разнообразные результаты из минимальных, скупо отобранных средств («многое посредством немногого») и особая склонность к полифоническому вариированию.

Первая пьеса — ричеркар (напомним, что это слово обозначает полифонию изысканного стиля) — представляет трехголосную фугу, написанную в импровизационно-свободной манере. Вторая пьеса — двухголосный бесконечный канон, образуемый движением сопрано и глубокого баса (спутник). В конце пьесы заключительное построение отсутствует, мелодические линии «поворачивают» к своим вступительным интонациям, и движение возобновляется сначала: замыкает свой круг. «Тема короля» проходит в среднем голосе (у альта). Далее следует группа «Различных канонов на королевскую тему». Третья пьеса — canon cancricans — ракоходный канон на два голоса. В баховском уртексте мелодия написана лишь для одного верхнего голоса (в сопрановом ключе). Опрокинутый ключ в конце пьесы означает, что нижний голос одновременно ведет ту же линию от конца к началу, строго воспроизводя в этой последовательности все интервалы и ритмические фигуры. Четвертая пьеса — двухголосный канон в приму, написанный Бахом, как это обозначено в уртексте, для двух скрипок. Второй, имитирующий, голос вступает на второй четверти второго такта. Тема «Приношения» проходит в басу. Пятая пьеса — канон двухголосный. «Королевская» мелодия — у сопрано, каноническую же имитацию ведут контрапунктирующие ему голоса. Средний — в сопрановом ключе. Нижний (спутник) — в альтовом — исполняет мелодию в обращении (всякое нисходящее движение превращается в восходящее и наоборот, причем все интервалы остаются неизменными). Условный показатель этого — опрокинутые знаки альтерации при ключе. Шестая пьеса. Верхний голос (скрипичный ключ) и нижний (теноровый) исполняют канон — своего рода контрапунктическое окружение главной темы. Верхний (спутник) имитирует в ритмическом увеличении (удвоенными длительностями) и одновременно в обращении, которое обозначено перевернутым ключом и бемольными знаками. В среднем голосе (альтовый ключ) «королевская тема» проходит в фигурационном варианте. Седьмая пьеса — двухголосный канон на контрапунктирующую мелодию у тенора и баса (Бах выписывает только последний). Тема «Приношения» проходит в партии альта. Бах органично соединил здесь свой линеарный стиль 40-х годов с гармоническими приобретениями кётенского периода. Тема в новом фигурационном варианте непрерывно модулирует в мелодически смежные тональности вверх и возвращается в c-moll, образовав в своем движении целотонный ряд с, d, е, fis, gis, b, с. Бах и здесь выступает как смелый провидец гармоний будущего. Это новаторство сочетается со стремлением обобщить и слить воедино огромный опыт полифонических школ разных стран и эпох: колорирование заданной темы в манере немецких мастеров XVII века, формы канонической имитации и даже символически зашифрованные обозначения этих приемов и форм, унаследованные от фламандской школы эпохи Возрождения. Восьмая пьеса — фуга на ту же тему. Верхние голоса (у Баха выписан только «вождь» в сопрановом ключе) образуют строгий канон в квинту. Спутник обозначен старофранцузским ключом. В басу, ведущем свободно контрапунктирующую мелодию, тема фуги появляется лишь однажды в репризе перед заключительным построением. Девятая пьеса — ричеркар — редкая в полифонии свободного письма шестиголосная фуга, огромная и в то же время чрезвычайно сжато изложенная, — «игра ума» в блестящем и несколько сухом стиле. Как и предыдущие пьесы, она может быть исполнена на клавире, органе или камерным ансамблем (например, две скрипки, альт, гамба, две виолончели) ad libitum. Десятая пьеса — канон для альта (вождь) и баса (спутник) на фигурационный вариант темы. В начале текста — на фламандский манер символическая ремарка автора: библейское изречение «Quaerendo invenietis («Ищите и обрящете!»). Время вступления спутника не указано, его находит сам исполнитель, причем шифр может быть раскрыт в четырех различных решениях. Одиннадцатая пьеса — четырехголосный канон на новый вариант темы. Выписана партия одного только верхнего голоса в еврофранцузском ключе. Время и интервалы вступлений для трех остальных не обозначены («Ищите и обрящете!»). Очевидно, канон строгий, и мелодическая линия остается неизменной для всех имитирующих голосов. Эта вещь особенно красиво звучит в смешанном ансамбле для струнных и духовых (например, скрипки или гобои; виолончель или фагот).

Двенадцатая пьеса составляет единственный в «Музыкальном приношении» цикл — Трио-сонату в четырех частях для скрипки, флейты и basso continuo (виолончель или гамба с чембало), как это указано самим композитором. Соната значительно отличается от других пьес «Приношения» и по стилю стоит ближе к более ранним сочинениям (начала 20-х годов). «Королевская тема» и здесь остается общей основой, хотя Бах интерпретирует ее очень свободно и временами отходит далеко от оригинала. При полифонической насыщенности фактуры, в сонате ясно выражены гомофонные черты, особенно там, где вновь раскрываются образы мягкой, задушевной лирики и напряженного драматизма. Первая часть — Largo в старинной двухчастной форме, канонический дуэт флейты и скрипки на аккордовом сопровождении — интонационно очень близка большому хору из написанной одиннадцатью годами ранее кантаты «Останься с нами, вечер близко». В певучей мелодии лишь смутно угадываются контуры главной темы «Приношения». Вторая часть сонаты — фугированное Allegro c-moll на гомофонном сопровождении, в энергичном и блестящем концертном стиле. «Королевская мелодия» в качестве контрастной темы появляется в середине формы в первоначальном варианте и проходит всего шесть раз: по одному в верхних голосах (в тонике) и четырежды — на манер старинного Cantus firmus'a, в басу (t, d, t, d). Третья часть — Andante Es-dur — мелодически родственна первому ричеркару «Приношения». Это — другая лирическая страница цикла, еще более контрастная благодаря светлому гармоническому колориту, изысканно-тонкому рисунку мелодии, чисто гомофонному изложению и обильным мягким задержаниям. Эти черты неожиданно сближают Andante с немецкой музыкой чувствительного стиля второй половины XVIII века (Ф. Э. Бах и другие). Ф. Вольфрум говорит о «благоухающем растении, которое разрослось здесь из тематического зерна». В финале сонаты — Allegro, c-moll, «тема приношения» полифонически разработана в жигообразном мелодико-ритмическом варианте (метр 6/8)- Это Allegro — точно так же явственный отзвук баховского стиля прежних лет.

Тринадцатая, и последняя, пьеса — приложенный к сонате бесконечный канон для флейты, скрипки и basso continuo на новый, последний вариант «королевской темы». Здесь, не в пример предыдущим канонам, выписаны все голоса. Спутник (скрипка) имитирует тему в обращении. Кроме свободно контрапунктирующего нижнего голоса (виолончель или гамба), композитор присоединяет сюда развитую партию чембало в гомофонном складе. Это придает пьесе, заключающей «Музыкальное приношение» особый смысл: она как бы синтезирует стилевые черты, с одной стороны, Трио-сонаты, и с другой — составляющих первую половину сочинения линеарно-полифонических форм.



Цитата( Буклет)
В воскресенье, 7 мая 1747, Иоганн Себастьян Бах, „Хормейстер и музыкант " Церкви Св. Фомы в Лейпциге, в Потсдаме, где второй его сын, Карл Филипп Эммануил, в течение  десяти лет служил цимбалистом, посетил Короля Пруссии, Фридриха Великого. Во время ежедневного концерта камерной музыки тем же вечером, Бах играет на фортепиано импровизацию к мелодии, предоставленной Королем. На следующий день он исполнял ее органное переложение в Церкви Хайлигайст (Heiliggeist) в Потсдаме и позже, тем вечером, продолжает выступление импровизированной шестиголосой фугой на свою собственную тему.

После возвращения в Лейпциг Бах сначала записывает импровизированную музыку из Потсдама - ричеркар с тремя голосами. А затем решает написать большую композицию, посвященную Фридриху Великому. Музыкальное Приношение - коллекция из тринадцати частей, каждая основанная на теме Короля (Тема Реквиема, также известная как Soggeto Reale), было закончена и издана в конце сентября 1747. Эта „королевская тема" стала основой для двух ричеркаров (на три и шесть голосов), четырехчастной трио-сонаты для флейты (собственный инструмент Короля), скрипки и баса-континуо, и набора канонов, сформировавших монотематическую коллекцию композиций, которые Бах представил позже Королю, подарив ему специальную копию с посвящением.

По различным причинам фактический порядок отдельных композиций оставался спорным в течение долгого времени. Новые и совсем недавние исследования, подтверждающие предыдущие (включая, найденное Урсулыой Кёркендейл (Ursula Kirkendale) в 1980 соответствие Музыкального Приношения  Institutio oratoria, учебнику риторики торжественной речи Маркуса Фабиуса Квинтиануса (Fabius Quintilianus) – I век н.э.), подтверждают порядок, уже определенный для законченных работ Баха, такой же, как установленный, если быть точным, экспертом Баха, Филиппом Шритта (Philipp Spitta).

Критический анализ Музыкального Приношения Баха строится Цахером на полной экспертизе работы, включая ее композиционную структуру, практическое исполнение и исторический прием. Здесь, Цахер показывает историю неверных истолкований и привлекает внимание к нескольким давно забытым фактам относительно реальных примечаний к канонам и их точной интерпретации. Свой опыт в эстетике, музыкальном языке и композиционных традициях исполнения, он применил в исследовании и обнаружил важные значения и смысл в примечаниях Баха. Эти усилия действительно предоставили ему свободу пересмотреть и дать иное толкование работе Баха, обращаясь к эстетике, традициям и практике исполнения, чтобы достигнуть и предложить новые подходы для слушателей и для исполнителей.

Реализация Цахером работы Баха спасло Музыкальное Приношение от статуса знаменитого, хотя полностью неправильно понятого шедевра. Можно рискнуть, сказав, что Цахер стремится защитить композиционные разработки Баха от сложившегося ранее прочного и, достаточно устойчивого представления как интерпретация простой дилетантской работы.

Именно чилийский дирижер Хуан Пабло Искиердо (Juan Pablo Izquierdo) (в настоящее время дирижер Филармонического Оркестра Карнеги Меллона в Нью-Йорке), вдохновил Цахера "заново продумать" Музыкальное Приношение. Цахер, в последующем, посвятил свое исполнение произведения Искиердо со следующие припиской:

Dedicado a
Juan Pablo Izquierdo por su iniciativa que я convidó hacer Ло quo hice.
Эль 30 de junio del 2000.
Gerd Zacher

Посвященно
Хуан Пабло Искиердо за его инициативу, вдохновившую меня сделать то, что я сделал.
30 июня 2000
Герд Цахер

Дальше в буклете, детальная статья Цахера представляет работу Баха, как цикл с ясно оправданным порядком, симметрией, пропорцией и логикой. Он воспринимает канон, для выражения основного в искусстве полифонической композиции, одновременно включающем три измерения времени: прошлое, настоящее и будущее. Согласно Цахеру, каноны в Музыкальном Приношении не только служат составными компонентами цикла, но также и составляют само сердце всей его  структуры, раскрывая семантику каждого для самоосмысления. Кроме того, Цахер преуспевает в расшифровке загадочных примечаний Баха для канонов и предлагает их повторение и реструктурирование с изменением инструментальных комбинаций. Кроме того, каждый голос канона не только присоединяется, но также и заканчивается в своем собственном времени, раскрывая структуру и расширяя горизонты иначе по-видимому закрытой композиционной формы.

Цахер приближается настолько, насколько возможно близко к вроде неприкосновенной структуре, раскрывая отдельные детали композиции. Он достигает результата своим опытом  композитора, теоретика, музыканта, органиста и импровизатора, расшифровывая полностью именно идеи композитора. Надежная своей экспертизой и во избежание возможных фривольностей в будущем, работа отмечена тщательным количеством примечаний, как для каждой трели, так и в рекомендациях музыкантам, чтобы избежать спешки там, где замысел требует иного. Структурно, он освобождает композицию от жестких традиций и ограничений, предоставляя слушателю удивляться новизной работы.

Работы Цахера объединяет поразительные новые теории с просвещенной практикой инструментального исполнения. Она приводит к новой и долгожданной концепции композиции, исполнения и интерпретации, и создает побуждающую музыку, которой мы будем продолжать всегда учиться.

Ювал Шейкт (Yuval Shaked)


Музыкальное приношение не часто записывается, а в хай-резе это вообще единственная запись. Давно, на рубеже восьмидесятых Мелодия выпустила отличный двойной альбом Приношения в исполнении Ягудина, Фейгиных и Жукова. Он и стал для меня в неком роде точкой отсчета, с ним и сравниваю настоящее издание. А оно другое, ну совсем, во всем. Бах только в трио сонате и заключительном каноне расписывает инструментовку. А так, кто все произведение на клавесине исполняет, кто в малых составах. Ягудин (флейта)и Ко, отталкивались от стилистики Сонаты и выводили на первый план флейту. Это ее звук первичен был, к нему и привык. А Цахер, органист и композитор, последнее время записывающий современных авторов, ставит в основу клавесин. Причем, клавесин с достаточно жестким звуком. Меняет акценты, и видоизменяет всё континуо. Оно у него не барочное становиться, а скорее из ХХ века. В итоге всё произведение стало не ярко барочным, как было у Ягудина, а сдержанно строгое, даже хмурое со знакомой простой мелодией. А кульминационный шестиголосый ричеркар совсем не узнать. Его Цахер исполняет соло на клавире, в совершенно скупом стиле. Предложенную концепцию этого произведения еще осмыслять нужно. Но по звуку, его представлению работа удалась, причем именно в многоканальном плане. Запись велась в соборе почти вплотную к инструментам. Из-за этого четко локализованный в пространстве перед вами клавесин расползается при игре вширь. А вот звук остальных инструментов, при как бы заторможенном их звучании, расползается над вами и вокруг вас, подчеркивая их присутствие и одновременно располагая к себе. Диск легко слушается и в фоновом режиме, создавая аскетическую строгую обстановку. Без МК остается только сухость и сумрачность, и, естественно, доселе незнакомо представленная знакомая мелодия.
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Elephantus
post 1/03/2010, 23:54
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Цитата( Буклет)
Gerd Zacher
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH'S „MUSICAL OFFERING"


MOTIVE

Why yet another version of Bach's „Musical Offering"? Because an irretrievable loss of tradition has meant that all editions to date have gaps and errors (up to and including the Neue Bach-Ausgabe of 1974 by Christoph Wolff, published by Bärenreiter, which is still regarded as authoritative). This has placed the work in a continuing shadow of incomprehension, just as much among musicologists as the musical laiety. Respect in itself does nothing to help the matter, if it is based on misty intuitions rather than musical grounds. Only through hearing can it be truly awakened - an opportunity that is all too seldom given.

The work consists largely of canons, so that it might almost be called The Art of Canon. Yet, following a procedure still in use today, Bach notated almost all these canons as a single voice, and marked the entry of the second voice with particular signs. This notation has wrongly been called "hermetic" (veiled, forming a puzzle or secret). Evidently a full score was expected of Bach. But why should he write one, since both voices follow the same written line? He clearly did not wish to spoil the pleasure involved in the practical realisation, from which things can also be learned. This process is still familiar in today's practice of canon-singing, when for example the instruction is given for each voice to sing the melody three times.

The other problem is that in Bach's time many different sorts of canon existed, and also a supporting theoretical method of canonic instruction. Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1591-1652), drawing on the basis of Gioseffo Zarlino (1517-1590), transmitted the method to all his students, so that it passed via Johann Adam Reincken (1643-1722) to Bach. (The Latin title of the 8th. movement makes specific reference to this.) This ancient and very comprehensive tradition of the canon was to break off after Bach's death, and was already lost in the next generation.

Thus even expert scholars following later were helpless when confronted with this work. They misunderstood Bach's instructions, either giving them only a partial realisation or else not taking them seriously. Frustration led them to regard the canons as mere decoration, or as fillers for the gaps between the larger musical forms of ricercar and trio sonata - or even as purely theoretical exercises not intended for performance.

Today almost no-one knows any longer that canon is the highest form of polyphony in respect of the independence of the voices. For here, while one voice is located in the present the other one is enacting the past still, or the future already! This gives rise to the most extreme independence of voices, often with quite contrary aspirations in a single moment, called polyphony. At the same point of time one voice can be high and the other low, one can be loud, the other soft, one urging onward, the other holding back - yet all of this still elastically related within itself and carefully coordinated (without hierarchical submission or fusion to a single entity). The emphasis should thus fall not on uniformity in the flow of sound, but on the surprising diversity of the new-emerging and the unforeseen at every moment.

A further ground for repeated misunderstandings was this: Bach in this work named the first canon and the last one 'perpetuus' - meaning perpetual, unending. If this applies for the beginning and end of the series of canons, should it not apply for all the others that lie between as well? In the whole opus there is only one concluding sign (fermata) affixed to a canon - found at the end of the „Fuga canonica in Epidiapente", hence at a central point of the cycle (this point of division might be comparable with the "Ouverture" in the middle of the Goldberg Variations). The implication is that none of the other canons actually has a conclusion that is sanctioned by Bach himself - or in any case that they must allow for the possibility of continuations into an open-ended space. The forced and tacked-on endings found in every previous performing edition rob the audience of this particular open quality. In doing so, they even destroy the cyclic character of the work, the relaxed pace of its continuity, the handing-over process from one movement to the next.

If these canons aspire to be unending or continuous ("perpetui"), we must remind ourselves that Leibniz had long since invented the calculation of infinity, (based on Archimedes, who in his method of exhaustion was each time compelled to realize a border-crossing to the infinite). There are many who would maintain that such intentionally crafted fragments, such as are also found in literature, were a later invention of Romanticism. But what of the question mark itself? Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote (1605-1615), a book rediscovered and translated into German for the first time by the Romantics, teems with fragmentary elements. Or again: what of the Baroque Phrygian cadence (the 'half-cadence' in the minor key)? Although it had the name „cadentia dissecta" (cut-off cadence), composers regularly liked to use it as Interrogatio or Quaestio.


THE LARGE FORM

The design of the overall form is one of the most commanding aedifices in musical history. It is clearly represented in the four packages of the first printing, as soon as one has discerned their logical ordering. Thus the two ricercars are printed in transverse format, as was the usual practice of the time for keyboard instrument, whereas the chamber music sections (cycle of canons and trio sonata) appeared in vertical format, as individual parts and without any full score. The contents are disposed in 16 movements, as follows:





    1. Sheaf in transverse format




  1. The three-voice Ricercar with an acrostic as heading, and with it the




  2. „Canon perpetuus super Thema Regium" as presentation and motto for the whole
    2. Sheaf in vertical format
    „Canones diversi super Thema Regium"




  3. Canon 1 (cancrizans) - the numbers 1-5 come from Bach himself -




  4. Canon 2 a 2 Violini: in unisono




  5. 5 Canon 3 per Motum contrarium




  6. Canon 4 per Augmentationem, contrario Motu




  7. Canon 5 (ascendente Modulatione) - end of Bach's numbering 1-5 -




  8. Fuga canonica in Epidiapente (with the concluding sign of the fermata)
    3. Sheaf in transverse format




  9. Ricercar a 6, with the two succeeding special canons - namely:




  10. Canon a 2 "Quaerendo invenietis" (Puzzle canon)




  11. and the only Canon a 4 (= 2 x 2 voices) as Double-canon
    4. Sheaf in vertical format
    Sonata a Traversa, Violino e Continuo:




  12. Largo, 3/4




  13. Allegro, 2/4




  14. Andante, C




  15. Allegro, 6/8, with the succeeding




  16. "Canon perpetuus" (in a double mirror canon and with continuo bass)





Each of the two large parts of the form is made up of an opening, a core, and a concluding piece.

Openings: Both parts begin with a large ricercar written in transverse format (movements 1 and 9), immediately followed by a smaller, concentrated canonic segment, as a quasi-motto or musical headline to the succeeding movements (2 and 10/11). That the ricercars and their succeeding motto-canons belong together is shown simply by the fact that Bach had them printed in the same sheaf.

Core sections: the two substantial central sections can readily be described as cycles within a cycle, since in each case a set of movements is involved. The first is an unusual suite of canons (movements 3-7), which Bach himself numbered "No.1-5". The later set is a four-movement trio sonata (movements 12-15). Both cycles within the cycle maintain a balance in the temporal unfolding, provided the canons are correctly deciphered and realised in performance.

Concluding pieces: all that went before is summarised and completed at the end of each part. The „Fuga canonica" (movement 8) is, as its title suggests, the sum of fugue and canon, looking back to the first ricercar and bringing it into a grand summary with the accumulating canonic cycle. Its fermata sign, the first and only one in the work, marks the ending of the first large formal part. The mirror canon following the sonata (movement 16) is then the sum of sonata and canon. It could indeed be regarded as the fifth movement of the sonata, since it is found on the same final page, in the same scoring with the stylistically appropriate continuo bass. Its ending, and with it that of the entire cycle, remains open.

The proportions of the large form reveal themselves as follows:
8 + 8 = 16 movements
among these are 10 canons (16:10 = 8:5)
or 8 + 5 = 13 pieces (the Sonata being taken as a whole)
This is a typically Bachian geometric and cabbalistic ordering.

A striking feature is the absence of any school-fugue in four voices with soprano, alto, tenor and bass. In the Art of Fugue, written and published at about the same time, four-part fugue is the consistent factor almost throughout. But here it is specifically avoided. This refusal is established as a kind of theme, so to speak, from the outset with the three-part ricercar. Thus the Musical Offering becomes the opposite of the Art of Fugue - the contrary art, of avoiding fugue elegantly and with charm.

The canons do form a counterweight to this fugal avoidance, being in themselves the precondition of all forms of fugueing. Only the „Fuga canonica" (movement 8) summons forth the appearance of a fugue, but proceeds throughout its course in two-part canon with obligato bass. The adjective „canonica" is used not to stress the technical skill of the composer, but merely notes the special limitation that this fugue has in relation to other fugues. It dispenses with its normal freedom. It is true, however, that the conclusion requires special contrapuntal skill, when the theme finally makes its appearance in the bass.


SCHOENBERG'S OBSERVATION

The last comment gives me the occasion to report a surprising piece of tradition, on account of its music-historical significance. An unpublished manuscript by Josef Rufer from January 1966 originated from a series of radio broadcasts
for Schoenberg Week, which Juan Allende-Blin assembled for the Third Program of the North German Radio in Hamburg. Rufer's contribution bears the title „Arnold Schoenberg - the Music-Thinker" (the recording has since been erased). It contains the following account of one of Schoenberg's teaching classes:
Цитата
„Bach [Schoenberg said] must have had a deep insight into the hidden secrets of the relationships of notes. This had enabled him - in contra-distinction to the theorists of the contrapuntal style - to build up the various themes of The Art of Fugue from dissected chords. Just as he knew the reverse: what to do and what to avoid in order to invent a theme that would not be suitable for contrapuntal treatment. This knowledge had been passed on by Bach the teacher to his pupils, in particular to his son [Carl] Philipp Emanuel Bach. And hence Schoenberg proposed a startling thesis: that this son of Bach was the inventor of the "royal theme" ascribed to Frederick II. That on the orders of the king he had constructed a subject that resisted Bach's artistry - since it did not permit any canonic imitation at all. Therefore the wonders of the Musical Offering had been generated by counter-subjects, counter-melodies and other additions. Bach would assuredly have recognized the nasty trick, and perhaps for this reason used the peculiar title Musical "Opfer" - a word that is here understood with its German double-meaning: as 'offering' and also as 'victim' of a grand seigneurial joke by Frederick the Second. With this the king had set a well-prepared trap for Bach's so widely renowned art of improvisation.

Whatever likelihood one might grant to this thesis, as original as it is ingenious - it rests on such profound insights into the secrets of counterpoint, and at the same time is so characteristic of Schoenberg's imagination and manner of thinking that it cannot be omitted from this portrait of him."


What Rufer does not transmit is the compositional justification for Schoenberg's observation. Preceding the opening three-voice ricercar is an acrostic, attached to it by Bach. When examined more closely, it formulates what is perhaps a concealed statement of reservation. I decipher it in the way indicated below, by relating the beginning of the quotation to Frederick II, and the second part, following the word "and", to Johann Sebastian Bach:

Frederick II
RIC
Regis Iussu Cantio
On the King's command a song

Johann Sebastian Bach
ERCAR
Et Reliqua Canonica Arte Resoluta
and the remainder with canonic art resolved

The question is: what is the remainder? Did something remain unachieved? Unsolved? Was the King's wish to hear a fugue on the subject - and raising the stakes higher still, a six-voice fugue - a meaningful wish, one that could somehow be justified? For the King's theme cannot enter into canon with itself, is therefore unsuitable for the concentrated climactic point of a fugue, the so-called stretto.

The investigations that these questions imposed on Bach (research = ricercare) led to an entire compositional outcome in the Musical Offering that is astounding. It reveals itself especially clearly in the famous second Ricercar à 6 (movement 9). The ricercar starts out like a regular fugue, with an exposition of all six voices and closing section. But in the second part some further developments seem not to be realisable. All six voices do return to the theme, yet these entries draw ever further apart from each other. They deliberately avoid the situation of a stretto - the particular thing that the theme is incapable of. In its place, the intermezzi bring into the gaps between entries all kinds of developments and stretti of individual measures from the theme, in as far as they permit it. In this way stretti are certainly not lacking, yet they never take in the theme as a whole, always smaller extracts - with a total effect of density and concentration in a high degree. The succession of events is indeed a wholly different one from that expected of a fugue, yet the complete theme resumes its role from time to time, and over and over, as a bracket that holds together all that is flying apart. The theme's immediate surroundings each time, both before and after, always contain fragments of itself. With such a formal framework Bach answers the resistance that the "royal theme" had placed in the path of his artistic craft. He is not concerned to pillory the theme's shortcomings at any price, rather to demonstrate the way in which it can be made meaningful and viable, even while relinquishing the convention of the stretto.


THE CANONS

The deciphering of the canons represents a problem over which generations have come to grief - whether from compositional misunderstanding or philological misunderstanding. For one is clearly dealing here with exponential extension or intensification of canonic procedures. Let me give just a few examples:

First there is (in Bach's „Canon 1", here movement 3)

retrograde of the retrograde,

which does not generate the original prime form. For when the retrograde runs backwards on itself, what results is only its temporally reflected image by means of memory. Simply returning from their attained location, the original time-points are exchanged between the hands, and thereby turned backwards on the same footprints - creating not an invalid but an emphatic progression.

Then there is (in Bach's „Canon 4", here movement 6)

augmentation of augmentation

as a permanent, uninterrupted, self-surpassing progression into the most extreme slowness of all three voices - far beyond the reach of any Baroque adagio (for there is no mention of ceasing).

There is (in Bach's „Canon 5", here movement 7)

rising of rising

up to far beyond an octave, which is here actually only an augmented seventh c / b-sharp. For the upwards movement was wrongly always interpreted as a whole-step, but the expression „per tonos" does not originate from Bach. The canon („à 2") runs at the fifth above - not at the whole-step but instead reaching all twelve tone-levels via the circle of fifths, and ever onwards... (until the limits of hearing).

In the puzzle-canon („quaerendo invenietis", here movement 10), there is

inversion of the inversion,

in which the time-points of entries drift to and fro, and thereby make the required process of „seek and find" perceptible to the listener as well. The new entries are regulated by the rest that corresponds to the opening distance between entries. With its help, the change in hearing occurs, in that the inversion in one voice is laid bare, which then takes over the lead.

In the only four-voice piece (movement 11) there is

canon of the canon.

It is situated in a distance of two octaves from itself (which also corresponds to the entire range of the given melody), and consists of a high and a low two-voice canon (2 x 2 = 4 voices).

The final canon („perpetuus", movement 13) summarizes many such aspects by means of a

mirror of a mirror

- expressly drawing them together again, as in the perspective of an infinite mirror.

Previous solutions gave no consideration to any of these canonic involutions, even though they arise from the most straightforward and logical thinking. Thus a whole dimension is missing from the decodings - one that must have been important to Bach.

In the following I will take the canons in their original order and describe their solutions, which are actually quite simple and obvious.

2nd Movement

This "Canon perpetuus super Thema Regium" still forms part of the opening of the work, being the introduction of the "royal theme" for the whole chapter of canonic treatments. The canon scrolls itself in veneration around the theme in the middle voice, like a celebratory garland above and below. The theme itself, however, serves only as an axis (cantus firmus), taking no part at all in the canonic event.

In my version this movement is also the introduction to the ensemble. By constant changes in instrumentation, the canon's continuous self-renewal along its path is made audible. The rests and phrasings in the individual voices allow for such a disposition.

3rd Movement

Bach labelled this crab-canon as „Canon 1" in the five-movement group that now ensues. Its crab form is indicated only by the mirroring clef at the end, without any further title that points to its means of realisation. So here the real work begins in the displacement of time, in this case even in contrary directions, forwards and backwards at the same moment. That is to say: time flowing past is not yet actually the state of things, since it remains directionless in a kind of all-presentness. The first canon is thus the location in which time itself is gradually constituted.

False is the seemingly elegant solution whereby the piece lasts for just half a minute. Firstly, a movement of a mere half-minute would seem quite out of proportion in such a long total cycle. And secondly, it assumes that the listener has a memory that can compare beginning and end of the piece on a single playing. Yet that is exactly what many musicologists demand of the poor listener. By such a procedure the talented auditor is deprived of precisely the moment when the voices turn back on their own tracks, thus losing the perceptible crab movement and the actual pleasure involved in the same steps taken backwards in the same voice.

4th Movement

With the Canon No. 2, as Bach titles it, the learning process of the introduction broadens out, and time acquires a forwards flow through displacement of the material. Yet no canon would be clearly audible throughout its course using a doubling of the same instrument („due Violini"). Bach surely wishes to demonstrate another matter, much more important for canonic understanding. It is as if something that was originally contemporaneous has now been pushed apart and unfolds as something successive. The displacement occurs at the distance of one measure. The two players of the violins should thereby strive to imitate each other so faithfully (in the Baroque it was called "aping") that they become interchangeable. Bach ensures the coherent through-listening that is still required with his imaginatively-placed staccato signs and small phrasing slurs. These articulate the intertwining material, imaginable by the listener as being originally and potentially a single simultaneity, and relate it intensively to itself in the short-term memory.

5th Movement

After establishing that time has a direction, and then allowing time to unfold by displacement of the single sound („unisono"), the third canon (in Bach's numbering) makes conscious the rise and fall of melody by means of contrary motion. The progression (or here the "pedagogical step") is thus related to the order of the canons. Displacement in the temporal terrain was already introduced - now comes the displacement in tonal space, which is the mirroring of the melody. To demonstrate this, Bach utilizes the advantage of the melodic minor scale. It contains the descending note sequence c / b-flat / a-flat / g, but in ascent g / a / b / c. The two can occur almost simultaneously in canon. And so the direction of motion always remains recognizable by the quality of the intervals (semitone below as a-flat / g or semitone above as b / c).

In rigorous fashion, b-flat and b-natural collide in the third measure, but it barely strikes the ear. The reason that it really must be played as such, however, is not (as some scholars plead in excuse) the authority of Bach, to be faithfully obeyed, but simply the requirement to make audible the contrary motion („per Motu contrario"). Further: the so-called harmonic minor scale knows nothing of this distinction between rising and falling, thus Bach avoids it here.

6th Movement

Each of the two following canons bears a handwritten Latin dedication on the border of the royal printed copy (perhaps in Bach's own hand). And so for this fourth canon (in Bach's numbering) time is again brought to the fore: "may the fortunes of the King grow with the growing note-values" (per Augmentationem, in magnification). The next progressive step is thus the divergence of the two voices in terms of rhythm and tempo.

The scholars wonder how far the process should be driven; and some of them allow the augmentation to run for just half a statement. In doing so, they cite the case of the „Canonic Variations - Vom Himmel hoch" (BWV 769), despite the fact that Bach was never in the habit of repeating himself in faithful accord to his own recipes. I am of the opinion, though, that he in no way desired to wish the King an interrupted good fortune....

The constant expansion takes shape in this canon as follows: the augmented canon voice, when embarking on its next passing through, becomes the new valid norm, in that it is turned upside down and its syncopated displacement is straightened out (this displacement alla zoppa is called for by the notated entry symbol and is generally not recognized as such). The augmentation thus finally becomes true to its tonal source, and as a result can carry above itself the next canonic enlargement, (which in turn is inverted and shifted in syncopation, as at the beginning).

The consequence of this is an expanding relation of the pulse to the notated durations: in the first pass the pulse applies to the quarter-notes, in the second to the eighth-notes (as a Baroque "Adagio"), in the third to the sixteenth-notes, and so on. There is no need to be afraid of excessive slowness - since Bach employs a wide range of durational values from the shortest to the longest, so that a variety in tempo is always ensured. The mounting slowness of the whole, however, does afford an additional, interesting view into Bach's workshop: one experiences the way the dissonant progressions must force their way quite gradually past the ear.

In my version, the canon ends in a purely human way: when the flute no longer has sufficient breath. (The harpsichord can play no part here in any case, since its sound dies away much too quickly.)

7th Movement

The inscription "and may the renown of the King rise with the rising keys" refers to an equivalence with the registral placement of the notes. Wrong is the heading "per tonos", which does not come from Bach and implies that the canon should rise by whole-tone step - which people have believed to be a legitimate reading of the upper voice. What is at play, however, is a two-voice canon (Bach: „à 2") imitated at the fifth above (as the clefs imply). Even the Royal Theme as an autonomous third voice must submit to this law. Its key is raised in accordance with the following rule:
the 2 measures of the beginning are in c minor,
the 3 middle measures are in any case in g minor (from g chromatically downwards to d),
the 3 last measures of the Theme are then in d minor.
The modulation thus takes place within the Royal Theme. In the context of the canon all tonal degrees are revealed in rising fifths - as it were, stacked over each other.

To break off the rising renown of the King would be impertinent. It was well known in those times that hyperbole had to have its place in a eulogy. But breaking off is fundamentally wrong in musical terms, if one imagines that in reaching the higher octave one has arrived back in c minor. No circle has been closed at this point: in fact the key (going by the path that has been taken) is b-sharp minor. Or if one really wishes to bend one's thoughts back to c minor, then it is precisely at this stage that the rising starts to become conscious as a variation of sound-colour by means of the neighbouring octave above.

But where and how to stop? In my version: when the flute, the last remaining player, whistles in its absolute highest register and nothing more is possible. And yet the arrow of will and intention still points on further...

8th Movement

This movement, as „Fuga canonica", no longer carries a numbering by Bach. Here, then, the core cycle of five canons ends in his view, and we enter the space of an independent and provisional conclusion in the middle of the Opus.

The title stems literally from the tradition of Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck. I quote from „Werken van Jan Pieterszn Sweelinck, Deel X., de ,Compositions-Regeln' (according to the teaching notes of Jan Adam Reincken), 1901 's-Gravenhage und Leipzig, Editor Dr. H. Gehrmann":

Reincken writes: „Fuga (or Canon)
in Epidiapente above at the fifth",
Bach writes: „Fuga canonica in Epidiapente"

Interestingly, canon and fugue are still identical in meaning for Sweelinck. The canon at the fifth, which we already encountered in the preceding 7th movement, is now employed as the fugal answer. The two canon voices always maintain a separation ten measures apart (since the theme cannot form a canon with itself): eight measures of theme and two bars of animated connecting interlude. Right at the end stands the only fermata (concluding sign for the canon) of the cycle (apart from the conventional da capo ending-sign in the trio sonata),
because this canonic fugue is intended to have a formal rounding-off. All preceding canons ended openly, as if they wished to keep going. But here the first part of the Opus concludes with the sum of canon and fugue. The initiating "ricercar" joins with the equally-weighted "fugue" to form a frame around the canonic cycle numbered by Bach.

10th Movement

For this puzzle canon the challenge thrown up is "Seek and ye shall find" (Matthew Chapter 7, verse 7). It is the first time that the royal theme enters into stretto with itself. This only becomes possible through the literal inversion. The opening rest must also be incorporated into the canon - only then do the stretti become recognizable as they are initiated. The rest is there flanked on each side by the head of the theme - yet before the rest this head is the original prime form, while after the rest (only seemingly in the identical register) it is the inversion of the inversion. The change occurs in that the inversion in the lower voice is released by the longer rest, and so takes over the lead.

Wrong is the view, still widely in circulation, that there are two different solutions. Both belong to one and the same musical course of events, inclusive of the rests. (This formal duality is already expressed by "seek" and "find".) That is to say, one time the prime order leads the canon, and one time the inversion has the lead. What should be heard, as the Motto states, is the uncertainty of seeking and the confirming experience of finding. Bach is thus addressing not merely the theoretical decipherer at the work-table, but just as much - and of decisively more importance - the hearer of the chamber music, the one who by listening goes through the actual experience - of seeking and of finding, and this several times over.

11th Movement

For the first and only time a canon is titled „à 4". Since all previous canons, however, were according to Bach „à 2", it can only be a matter of 2 x 2 canons here. The canon between the two upper voices is imitated in the depths by the canon of this canon in the two lower voices. Wrong is the view that, with the large remove between upper voices on the one hand and lower voices on the other, they lie too distantly from each other in registral space. They are exactly two octaves apart. But that is also the range of the given vocal line; gradually it fills up the entire gap. One Baroque figure was specifically called longinqua distantia („the somewhat long distance"). Here it is carried through in an ordered fashion.

16th Movement

In the original printing of the instrumental parts for the Trio Sonata, the final canon appears right at the bottom of the last page, as if it were the fifth movement of the sonata. The titles of these five movements follow each other in identical writing and manner of interpolation, as „Largo, Allegro, Andante, Allegro, Canon". In the two solo parts for flute and violin the additional word „perpetuus" appears for the Canon. Repeat signs are also present at its open ending. The figured-bass numbers in the continuo part are continued in the same style that prevailed since the beginning of the sonata. Thus this canon is both the concluding movement of the sonata and the summary of the entire opus.

By real inversion the minor triad is transformed into a major triad and vice versa. But that is a consequence of chromaticism (within the theme itself), which always means a transformation of the third. We know that Bach liked to finish a minor-key chorale with a surprise major triad. Since this canon is unending, however, Bach cannot allow himself any final chord, but rather has transferred the major triad into the interior of the canon throughout, and this by means of the real mirror inversion.

Bach also wished to demonstrate that this theme, which (in Schoenberg's words) "does not permit any canonic imitation at all", can nevertheless be wrought into a complete canon with itself. This, however, only comes about thanks to a variety of departures from the royal dictate, such as inversion, chromatic accidentals, elaborations and rhythmic transformations, omission or replacement of the theme's final bars, even transposition at the end. Yet all of these are methods that have previously played a role at various stages of the cycle - and therefore perform a retrospective summary.

To this is added the mirror of the mirror, when the real inversion (from the opening of the theme) is also turned around on its own head. What emerges is some of the boldest music, with parallel status of both major and minor modes at the same time, and further, bringing into play all the chromatic half-steps. The dense and often unusual numbers of the figured-bass point out the situation.

In similar fashion to the „Fuga canonica" (movement 8), which formed the sum of fugue (= Ricercar) and canon, this final canon presents the sum of its preceding elements: sonata (being its fifth movement) and Canon perpetuus.

Just as each canon has begun with a single voice, precisely because it aspired to become a canon, so it ought to be un-threaded here at the end. Any cessation would be a violation of the title „perpetuus", and thus must somehow be played and heard as non-actual, as an invitation to further thought, as an arrow into the distance...

All these canonic involutions have been either avoided or else never considered in previous decodings, even though they arise in the simplest and most logical way. And hence the traditional, commonly accepted readings lack a whole dimension that must have been important for Bach.


THE TWO RICERCARS

Off to the side from the canons the great-dimensioned musical pieces take place. Yet the greatness of the canons lies in their concentration. Each of the two ricercare initiates a large formal section constituting a half of the opus. As their title implies, they represent a "researching" of the Royal Theme's potential.

The first of the two ricercare clearly reproduces an impression of the improvisation that Bach delivered in Potsdam at the King's command. Yet on that occasion it is still likely to have been in four voices. The reduction to three voices and the change of title (instead of „Fugue" now „Ricercar") carry with them a critique by Bach of the royal suggestion. The most significant factor is that three-voice writing is now at play, for that was regarded in those times as the more contrapuntally difficult to execute (with four voices one could comfortably fall back on rules of continuo bass realisation, which were based on chord progressions). The large form of this Ricercar, though, has its basis in cabbalistic data. The impression that such statistics create is of complete freedom of movement, since one can hardly identify them as a listener. I will outline some of them.

The movement has 185 = 5 X 37 measures. The number 37 in the Cabbala is an expression of the transitory or of ceasing (in Luther: „all is vain"). The number 37 also corresponds to the Hebrew letters of which the word Hatita (= searcher) consists. Yet all of this is of no direct use to hearing, in the way that we understand it today, although it can be an appropriate reason for respect.

In fact the movement's disposition accords to these numbers of measures. Only certain deviations from the scheme take place, so that the ear is presented not with the „ordo naturalis" but with its modification „ordo artificialis". These are the measure groupings:





Ordo nat Deviation ordo artif. Formal Function
I37=37 Exposition (measure 1)
II37+12=49 Counter Exposition (m.38)
III37-9=28 Announcement of conclusion (m.87)
IV37-11=26 Diminution (m.115)
V37+8=45 Reprise (m.141)

Parts II and V are main sections built from extensions, Parts III and IV are reduced to subsidiary sections. The deviations amount to 20 measures in each case (12 + 8 for the growth, or 9 + 11 for the decrease).

Impressive is Bach's awareness of all sorts of in¬termezzi. He always had completely clear formal functions under his control. Let me list some of them for this movement:

Connecting episodes within the exposition, postlude to an exposition (m.31, 129), prelude to a new exposition (m.38, 87), framing material around a climax (m.76 with 82), modulatory play or digression (m.80, 103), pedal-point or consolidation (m.105, 180).

Bach did not demand what we call today structural hearing. These things are installed within the piece itself and make their point even without being recognized. What counted for Bach was in any case „varietas", the constantly changing stamp of the music, and thereby the wholeness among all the diversity.



For those who would like to follow the process more closely, I set out here a simplified overview of the second Ricercar. It is based on a division into six sections, which offers itself through the total number of measures: 103 - 1 = 102 measures. I make the subtraction because the last measure of the theme itself no longer belongs to Subject (Dux) but to Answer (Comes), as is proven in measure 5. From this results a numbering of 102 = 6 x 17 measures.


I (measures 1-17)

m.1591317
Alto Discant II Tenor II Tenor I2 joining measures
Dux Comes Dux Comes halved at m.17

II (measures 18-34)

m.18192529
joining measures Discant I Bass postlude of 11 measures
continued Dux Comes halved at m.34 = 2x17

III (measures 35-51)

m.35404548
postlude interlude prelude Tenor II
continued on measure 3 on measure 1 Comes (seventh entry to the exposition)
here m.51 = 3 x 17

IV (measures 52-68)


m.52586266
Intermezzo Alto Intermezzo Discant I
on measure 2 affinal f minor inversion tertian E-flat major
halved at m.68 = 4 x 17

V (measures 69-85)



m.6970737983
Discant I3 joining measures Tenor I postlude prelude
continued peregrin b-flat minor (similar to m.29)
(similar to m.45)
(in place of b-flat major) here m.85 = 5 x 17

VI (measures 86-103)

m.869099103
Discant II long intermezzo Bass
Comes (similar to m.52) Dux End








Legend:
I the first four entries, at the end bunched together in joining measures.
II the two outer voices complete the vocal ensemble of 6 voices; the postlude
à 6 follows.
III three sorts of Intermezzi and a surplus 7th entry (Comes); end of the first half
of the Ricercar (m.51).
IV after the preceding g minor (Comes), now follows f minor und E-flat major (the
only entry of the Theme in the major); Theme divided.
V Theme completed (having been divided in the middle), then peregrin b-flat
minor (by which the minor is emphasized and becomes valid again);
thus the familiar postlude in 6 voices can follows, now (at m.82) ending
on the subdominant.
VI symmetrical concluding section: long intermezzo framed by Comes and Dux.
affinal
tertian
peregrin
fifth or third below
third above
second below


THE SONATA

In the opening movement „Largo" (movement 12) only the opening phrase of the Royal Theme is quoted - it pulsates in the bass, cut up into eighth-note attacks. This fragmented quotation finds its continuation only in the other slow movement, „Andante" (movement 14). There the first phrase is also recalled in passing, but with a diminished fifth replacing the perfect fifth and as part of a transition -therefore erased as a theme, or made doubtful. But then the chromatic conclusion of the Theme emphatically asks the way to the ending. In this manner, distributed across the two slow movements, the fragmented Theme is still present, and indeed is employed as a large unifying bracket.

The Allegro in 2/4-time (movement 13) first introduces the completely new main theme of the Sonata (that is not the royal one). And after its full exposition a second exposition begins. This does at last contain the Royal Theme, yet initially it remains hidden in the continuo bass, like a kind of accompaniment. It should also not be unduly emphasised there, as its mere presence suffices to influence the whole harmonic fabric. Only gradually in the course of the movement does it emerge upwards, until at the beginning of the recapitulation it appears for a single time as the highest element of all in the flute (as if the King were playing it himself). Then it sinks back down again.

In the last movement of the Trio Sonata (movement 15) is found the most drastic proof of the Royal Theme's character of "permitting not a single canonic imitation" (as Schoenberg pointed out). The 6/8 measure refers distantly to a gigue, which at that time was a favoured form of finale in fugal treatment. That is the case here too. While displaying similarities with a fugue, the movement is termed by Bach's simply "Allegro" - because of the ultimate failure to produce the expected stretto between flute and violin.

In the last third of the movement the crisis takes place. It is exactly the point in time at which the aforesaid stretto would be expected. The theme is actually in eight bars. I presume that its elaborated shape from the outset of this movement is connected with this last demonstration. For the interrupting rests now form part of the theme. It is, however, held together by two hexachordal runs (six-note scales), which frame it - rising in the first measure of the theme and falling in the last. At the crisis, then, in the sixth measure of the flute the impossible canonic imitation enters with the violin. It is really as if the violin were interrupting the flute while it was speaking. But in order for the situation to come off more or less acceptably, the flute must fold over its last thematic measure. This procedure at that time was given the musical-rhetoric term „amputatio". The violin afterwards brings a completed ending to the theme. The failure of the stretto is now followed by three powerful deceptive cadences, in order to document what had happened. Even the measure proportions give expression to the dilemma:
38+ 38 + 37 = 113 measures.
Thus the lost measure is once again referred to. The form reveals itself as incomplete and deceptive, despite all the conventional power of persuasion.

As already stated, the Sonata is followed by the final canon (movement 16) as if the canon still belonged within it. The process of double-mirroring is known to nearly everyone who has played around with two mirrors. In the one mirror the viewer sees his / her own mirror image, hence with the two sides turned around. In the other mirror the viewer can restore this mirror image and see the self now seemingly correctly at the sides. It remains, however, a mirror image of the mirror image, and bears only similarity to the original - is not the original, but remains an image. In Baroque mirror cabinets such things could be played with as a form of pleasure. The theme of eternity of the canon is played with in the Musical Offering as with an infinite mirror, as a suggested eternity.

INTERPRETATION

It must surely be taken as understood that the music of Bach showed awareness of Baroque tempo curves and Baroque loudness curves, as every architecture contains stylish curves. Unfortunately, these are rigorously suppressed by many performers of early music. This view is false. For music is language in articulated segments. Cadences ("fall of tones") articulate its sonic speech in well-calculated proportions, just as in verbal speech the end of a thought is marked by a written full-stop or an acoustic drop of the voice. Our voice grows somewhat slower or deeper of its own accord in order to signal a certain conclusion. From Frescobaldi, whose music Bach knew and regarded highly, we can read the following words, in the foreword to Book I of Capricci, Canzoni und Ricercari, published in 1626 in Venice:
„In the cadences let the player hold back somewhat,
before he attacks the following segment"
or
„It is seemly with certain dissonances to hold back and to arpeggiate, in order that the following passage may appear more ingenious".

This might suffice as an indication of the approach to tempo in general. It is transmitted
that one of Bach's pastors praised him for playing "very rhythmically". This can never have been meant metronomically, but only: in what an animated way Bach dealt with rhythm, how he treated it as a component of his sonic discourse such that one noticed it musically, one was not merely rocked to rest but stayed alert.

Regarding musical intensities: working in Dresden from 1747 as director of the opera was Nicola Porpora, also the teacher of Farinelli in Naples, the rival of Handel at the London opera house, and the composition teacher of Haydn in Vienna. Through his student's student, Isaac Nathan, his singing exercises concerning dynamics were published for the first time in 1823. They are still available in print today in „Grove's Dictionary of Music" (Fifth Edition, London 1966) under the title „Voice Training". They contain the most wonderful and difficult envelope curves for crescendo and decrescendo of many kinds.

Since all music in the Baroque had to comport itself vocally (Bach: „in order to attain a cantabile manner of playing"), the sense of these old singing exercises applies by trans-ferral to all kinds of instrumental playing. This observation can even be attested by the case of the ceiling paintings of Baroque churches, with their perspective effects and their swelling forms. Why should not what was valid for the eye have validity for the ear? Whether in the area of agogics or of dynamics, music can always be quick and slow, loud and soft in richly nuanced ways. Do we want to amputate the Baroque of its thrilling curves?

THE DEDICATION

Johann Nikolaus Forkel transmitted the report of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, given after the visit to Potsdam with his father. When the King heard that Father Bach had arrived, he interrupted his flute concert to greet the guest. We know that the King introduced Bach to his collection of „Silbermannische Fortepianos", which he was to try out. Forkel describes the scene further:
Цитата
"After (Bach) had for a while played some tests and fantasies, he requested of the King a fugue theme, so that he could immediately carry it through without any preparation. The King admired the learned manner in which his theme was developed on the spur of the moment without any preparation, and now expressed the wish, presumably in order to see how far such an art could be driven, to hear a fugue with six real voices as well. Since, however, not every theme is suited to such a fullness of voices, Bach


chose another one and realized it, to the greatest astonishment of all present, in a manner that was as magnificent as it was learned, as he had done before with the theme of the king."

As the sum result of this text of mine, the point to bear in mind is: that Bach avoids in the printing the word fugue, because the Royal Theme permits no stretto, and thus is unsuitable for fugueing. „Fuga canonica", as stated, is a conscious and deliberate restriction of the concept of fugue! And „ricercar" means simply the exploration of a given potential. „Sonata", however, is the opposite of fugue (as later musical history proves). The reason for this refusal can be deduced with the necessary fineness of feeling from Bach's Dedication:
Цитата
"To obey Your Majesty's command was my most subject obligation. I soon observed, however, that owing to lack of necessary preparation the realization would not succeed in the fashion that such an excellent theme required. I therefore came to the decision, and conjointly pledged myself, to make a more perfect working-out of this right royal theme, and thus to make it known in the world."

The sovereign joke of Frederick the Great was accordingly answered a few weeks later, with a masterly and ingenious joke retour by Johann Sebastian Bach.

(August 2008)

English translation: John McCaughey
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Sergesha
post 2/03/2010, 00:13
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Ну давайте уже убирать портянки под спойлер. Но невозможно же уже так. Господа. Ну никакого колёсика мышки не хватит. Ну пожалуйста. Это ведь не сложно убрать эти кучи никому ненужных тегов и мало кому нужный английский текст под спойлер?


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mm
post 2/03/2010, 12:54
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Явно перебор... как минимум, свой отзыв нужно на первое место.
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Elephantus
post 2/03/2010, 16:48
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На счет колесика, это из железняковской серии про уставший караул, справа еще слайсер есть. Все ненужные "портянки" уже находились по спойлером красного цвета. Я обычно добавляю материал исходя из того, что сам хотел видеть если бы заинтересовался диском. Статья же Захера из буклета - концептуальная, по иному прочтению Приношения. И дело не только переставленных нескольких композиций, оно действительно совсем по другому исполняется. В нете этой статьи нет, фактически она есть сокращенное изложение его книги с этим исследованием. Можно было бы дать на языке оригинала, немецком, но я исходил опять же из того, что мне проще читать. Отделять ее от диска бессмысленно, другое Приношение в ближайшие годы не предвидится.


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Посадил дед репку. А она не выросла. (Не сказка)
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