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01 July 2018

33. Off the deep end

With this twelfth post, it is time to retire my logo for the
My plan (starting in December 2016) was to start each month for a year with a Bach post.  Life got in the way of that, so it has taken me eighteen rather than twelve months to complete.  In any case, this will not be the last Bach post.  As I have already written, the pre-history of this blog was a Bach episode; more than that, as I have been acquiring cheap secondhand copies of the critical reports of the Neue Bach-Ausgabe in the last two years (now 56 and counting), I expect to return to Bach textual issues for years to come.
For this post, though, I want to puzzle over some of Bach's impossible notes.  I dont mean notes that are unplayable (that is, that the technique that is required is truly prodigious, like Schoenbergs claim that he was willing to wait for evolution to produce a violinist with a little finger long enough to play his concerto properly), but rather notes that are beneath the range of the instrument.  For most instruments, its difficult to say there is an upper limit to the range; along comes a player who can top it.

One of these impossible notes has puzzled me for yearsthe low B in b. 94 the Pièce dorgue (a.k.a. Fantasia in G Major), BWV 572.  It is a note which did not exist on the pedalboard of any organ Bach is known to have played.  (Linked here is a great resource about the organs of Bachs milieu, and also access to free recordings of the whole corpus on preserved instruments of Bachs time.)
BWV 572, bb. 8995a; SOURCE:  cropped scan of NBA Ser. IV Bd. 7 (ed. D. Kilian, 1984), p. 133. 
Indeed, that B doesnt exist on any pedalboard I have ever played either.  Apart from some old English organs that might have pedals down to the G below, or French instruments extending down even to F (pedalboards which are, to say the least, rather different animals than those in Germany), you would need something like the Marshall & Ogletree international touring organ made for Cameron Carpenter to play Bachs low B as written.  Carpenters is an instrument that figuratively goes up to eleven (. . . and literally goes down to G).
The extended pedalboard of Marshall & Ogletree Op. 8 (2013); SOURCE: photo cropped from Cameron Carpenter’s website; my highlighting added.
SOURCE:  P 288 Fas. 2 f. 3r; cropped from Bach-Digital
No manuscript of BWV 572 survives in Bach's hand.  Most, but not all, of the early copyists transmit the low B apparently without question.  Johann Peter Kellners copy moves the B up an octave [at right]an emendation to a text that seemed to him manifestly erroneous?  (Kellner is known to have taken liberties with the texts he copied.)  My sense when I play this piece is that some sort of rhythmic articulation is needed in the bassline on the midpoint of that bar, so that I will at least strike the B again (as Kellners copy indicates) if not actually to add another 16 stop in the pedal (to suggest the effect of the lower octave).

The Kellner copyindeed all of the eighteenth-century copies, and Bachs default layout in his organ workstransmits the work on only two staves (rather than the three staves we expect of organ music now).  Often these sources will indicate Ped. at certain points, although the absence of the instruction to play on the pedals need not imply that an organist wouldnt use them.  I am intrigued, though, to see the suggestion in Breitkopf & Härtel’s new edition of the organ works thatdespite the title Pièce dorgue, transmitted in many early sourcesthis music may have been originally intended for the harpsichord, which by Bachs time generally had a compass extending down to the G or F below the bottom C of the organ [p. 18].  The five-part writing is playable with two hands alone (albeit awkwardly at times), butin my hands, anywaybecomes unplayable at about b. 178.

Peter Williams (p. 170) reports the startling fact that this low B is not unique in the texts of Bachs organ works.  It appears, for example, in Kellners copy of the C major transposition of the E Major Toccata, BWV 566and doubtless it is the downward transposition that explains its presence there.  Indeed, Kellner writes the B almost apologetically in parenthesis, and doubled the octave above [below left, for example].  A low B is called for in the manuals in a copy (also Kellners?) of the C major Toccata, BWV 564, where it is the last note in the final cascading figure before the final chord [below right].  In that instance it makes good musical sense; it just cant be playedeven by Cameron Carpenter (unless he took the whole piece up a half-step--a gimmick he has been known to use).

SOURCE:  cropped scans of two pages from D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 286: (L) from Fasc. 3, BWV 566 bb. 209b210a, cropped from Bach-Digital; (R) from Fasc. 5, BWV 564/iii bb. 140-41, cropped from Bach-Digital
What makes the unapologetic presence of an impossible low B in BWV 572 so perplexing is that at two other moments in the same piece Bach ostensibly writes his way around notes that were unavailable to him on the organ.  For example, the climax of the movement is a prolonged march up the pedalboard, both beginning and ending with a deceptive motion from D to E.  The top E was not within the compass of the majority of organs Bach knew.  Is it significant that he deftly avoids it in b. 172?
BWV 572, bb. 157175; SOURCE:  cropped scan of NBA (as above), p. 135; my highlighting added.
Maybe, but not necessarily.  Satisfying as it is to play that long scale up, I find something even more satisfying about the leap down in b. 171:  it suggests that a cadence is imminent (in a way that just another whole note would not), yet once more the resolution is avoidedand the downward leap enables Bach to reach the lowest(?) note of the pedal (b. 175) pretty quickly by means of another scale down.  The overuse of the word awesome has made it trite, but I think this is a passage that deserves the adjective in its truest sense.  Whether or not the high E was available to Bach, he has made a virtue of not calling for it here, and brings the manual tessitura down at precisely the same moment, so that it can expand outward again.

This expansion happens over a long dominant pedalpoint, and again the register change in the pedal appears as if Bach might be avoiding an impossible note:
BWV 572, bb. 176185; SOURCE:  cropped scan of NBA (as above), p. 135; my highlighting added.
Marienkirche in Rötha; SOURCE:  www.blockmrecords.org
Because of the economic use of the so-called short octave, many German instruments in Bachs time lacked the rarely-needed bottom C-sharpand sometimes the D-sharp as well.  (The huge pedal pipes were, after all, the most expensive to build.)  This might explain Bachs leap up an octave in b. 184 . . . or then again it might not, as the octave motion again intensifies the advance of a cadence which is then rudely interrupted.  In any case, the low C-sharp is not thereas, for example, it is not on this 1722 Silbermann pedalboard [at right].  Curiously, though, the earliest known copy of BWV 572a copy made by Bachs cousin Johann Gottfried Waltherhas a low D whole-note throughout b. 184, even though the ensuing C-sharp is thus a dramatic leap up.

Browsing through the sets of performing material for the much-revived early cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21, I note that the various sets of performing material are inconsistent about this sort of problem:  in an early version, a cello and organ are both given a non-existent low B-flat [top row, left and right respectively, the last note in the images]; in a later transposed version, the copyist of the cello part (transposed up) has an erroneous D when C would have been reachable [bottom row, leftthe wrong note is circled]; and a copyist of a basso continuo part (transposed down for Chorton pitch) replaced corresponding non-existent low A-flat up an octave [bottom row, right].
SOURCE: Composite of original parts for BWV 21/viii b. 14 (and context) all in D-B Mus.ms. Bach St 354 (sigla from the NBA Ser. I Bd. 16 critical report  linked to corresponding Bach-Digital image): top left A12; top right A13 (autograph); bottom left A19; bottom right A26
For a bona fide example in which Bach was compelled to devise a creative solution to accommodate a melody that would otherwise go below the range of the instrument consider these two versions of the conclusion of the opening ritornello of the Deposuit from his Magnificat.  In its original version (BWV 243athe Magnificat in E-flat), the unison violins end powerfully on their lowest note, the open G; when the work was revised in a downward transposition to D major (BWV 243), the needed low F-sharp wasnt available, so Bach conceived a dramatic swoop up two octaves in compensation:
SOURCE:  composite of cropped scans from NBA Ser. II Bd. 3 (ed. Alfred Dürr, 1955); top, BWV 243a (p. 46); bottom, BWV 243 (p. 108)
The cantata Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange?, BWV 155, yields a puzzle that would truly flummox us if we lacked contextual evidence.  In the bassoon obbligato for the second movement duet (a movement that always has me thinking that Horace Rumpole is about to enter), at one point Bach reaches down for a low G, fully a minor third below the B-flat that is conventionally the bottom note of the instrument.  Notice herethe very last note of the top staffthat in the autograph score Bach has taken pains to clarify what note he has written, marking it G directly above the note with the three ledger lines:
SOURCE:  f. 2v. of D-B Mus.ms. Bach P 129, the autograph score for BWV 155/ii bb. 3437, cropped from Bach-Digital
You can find references here and there positing a semi-contrabassoon,but that instrument as such is unknown for Bach.  (There is an extant Thuringian contrabassoon dating to 1714, but much of this solo is too high for it.)  Nonetheless, as Bruce Haynes has emphasized, Bach consistently distinguished the Fagotto from the Bassono by key/pitch . . . [with] the latter a m3 lower (p. 139).  The Bassono is thus, if not a semi-contrabassoon, in effect a sub-bassoon. Although the NBA volume for BWV 55 makes no comment at all regarding any of this,  the curious low G in the passage above must be a consequence of that most vexing subject, the difference between Kammerton und Chorton pitch.  It would help, of course, if the original performing parts for this cantata survived to confirm this; in this case they dont, but in another pre-Leipzig cantata, BWV 31, we have woodwinds parts notated a minor third higher than the rest of the ensemble.  (BWV 150 is preserved with a similar transposing bassoon line in a score apparently copied from parts.)  BWV 55 must thus have been conceived for a low-pitch bassoon so that the sounding G (in terms of the rest of the ensemble) would be just its bottom B-flat.  The highest note of the solo, the sounding D (two and half octaves higher), would be then just the high Fhigh but well within the normal playing range of the instrument.  Problem solved.

Or not.  None of this answers the most important question for the player hired for the gig:  How do I play this?  The advice in the NBA regarding BWV 31 seems almost absurdly obvious:  die zu tief liegenden Töne . . . des Fagotts müssen durch Stimmknickung umgangen werden  (p. vi). Roughly you have to get around the bassoon notes that are too low by tampering with [more literally bending] the part.  So we bend the truth just a bit.  My guess is that only the conductor needs to be told that.

01 June 2018

32. Père et fils (or, “WTF-horn?!?”)

One day in a music history class in the autumn of 2016 (shortly after launching this blog), my students and I were huddled around a study score of Jacques Iberts Divertissement.  It is a piece I like very muchtrès amusant.  Ibert derived the suite from some incidental music he wrote for a 1929 production of Labiches hilarious Un chapeau de paille dItalie (a stage production directed by René Clair, following hard upon Clairs silent film adaptation of 1928).

There werent very many students in that class, so we all had a serviceable view of the score, despite its fairly small dimensions.  I had assigned them the second movement, Cortègealthough it must be the most riotous cortège in the repertoire.  Compare, however, what we saw on the page
SOURCE:  scan of Ibert Divertissement (Durand, 1931, reprint n.d.), p. 17.


with what we heard from the CD recording I had chosen for themYan Pascal Torteliers 1992 Chandos recording with the Ulster Orchestra [Chandos 9023]:


[I am very grateful to Chandos Records Ltd. for permission to use this excerpt for this post.]

I had heard this recording many times before.  I am generally partial to Mr. Torteliers recordings.  (Among his very many fine accomplishments, I would recommend particularly his recording of Guilmants Symphony no. 1 for organ and orchestra (with organist Ian Tracey and the BBC Philharmonic) [Chandos 9271].  It is a work that seldom gets played, but it gets a splendid airing on that disc, andas it exists in two rather different versions (organ solo and organ with orchestra)it will probably emerge sooner or later as the topic of a post on this blog.)

As I say, I had heard this recording many times, but apparently not with the score at hand.  That morning in class I exclaimed, Where is that horn part coming from?  As my students put it (in the vernacular), WTF?

Soon after class, I pulled a few other recordings off my shelves, but none of them had this extra horn line.  (This figure happens twice:  Reh. 6, and then again at Reh. 10 up a half-step; the horn part seemed the same in both places on the Tortelier recording.)  There was nothing in the Chandos liner notes to indicate that this recording featured a new edition of the score.  Anyway, I mentally filed it away to explore later.

Returning to it about two months ago, I was just as mystified as before.  I investigated getting the performing materials on perusal to see if anything useful was there; but, as the US distributor is Boosey & Hawkes, that effort proved prohibitively expensive.  Moreover, a more recent recording from Chandosan excellent one with Neemi Järvi conducting the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande [CHAN 5168]clearly manifests the text as printed in the Durand score.

 [Again my thanks to Chandos Records Ltd. for permission to use these recorded excerpts for this post.]

I have not laid my hands on an item catalogued in Worldcat as a neue auflage apparently issued by Durand in 2012, butas will be seen belowit wouldnt have solved the mystery even if it is a new edition rather than just a reprint.  (It may well just be a re-setting using music notation software; no editor is listed.  Ive complained about that sort of thing before on this blog, with the Glazunov Saxophone Concerto as my example.)

I decided it couldnt hurt to try to contact Mr. Tortelier directly, but what exactly was I asking him?  I thought it best to transcribe what I thought I heard the horn playing, and I enlisted some other keen ears to give it a go.  Here is what I could convince myself I heard:
SOURCE:  my attempt to transcribe the rogue horn part at Reh. 6; I thank my colleagues Paul Rawlins and Michael Bratt (both University of Mary Washington) for their willingness to tackle the same problem.
I then sent what I had to Mr. Torteliers agent and wondered if I would get any reply.  A few weeks later it came, revealing that the source of this interpolation was his father, the esteemed Paul Tortelier (1914-1990), cellist, composer, and conductor.
Indeed the passage at Reh 6 for 8 bars as well as the one at Reh 10  for another 8 bars have an added and indeed optional horn part counterpoint which was added by my father Paul Tortelier and is none other than the main theme of rehearsal 2 ( trumpet pianissimo ) and tutti forte at 4 but in this instance it is funnily clashing with the same tune played  in augmented values on trumpet and flute.
To answer your question and sum it up, my father is to blame for that and I assume it should be heard on his own recording with the English Chamber Orchestra.   [email of 28 April 2018]
Once he mentioned the melody at Reh. 2, I saw why the second bar of my transcription had been naggingly familiar.  Here is Ibert's tune there (third staff, trumpet in C):
SOURCE:  detail of scan of Ibert Divertissement (Durand, 1931, reprint n.d.), p. 12.
Moreover, Mr. Tortelier was kind enough to provide a scan of his score, with the interpolated part neatly added in his fathers hand:

SOURCE:  Durand score p. 17 with Paul Tortelier's interpolated horn part in manuscript (by courtesy of Yan Pascal Tortelier, email 6 May 2018); for the parallel passage at Reh. 10, see this page. 
SOURCE:  Tortelier père et fils recording
Tchaikovsky in London in 1973, from EMI's 1981
Grand Echiquier reissue.
I havent actually been able to locate any recording of the Ibert conducted by Paul Tortelier, and it may be that he performed it thus without ever actually committing it to disc.  There is something charmingly audacious about this additionin a way showing a loyalty to the impish style of the composer even while departing from fidelity to the text as such.  I am glad that Tortelier fils shared his father's inspiration with a wider audience.  It is a remarkable moment, and when I now listen to other recordings the original text seems... well, not bland, but at least a little lacking.

All this prompted me to wonder, though, what other contrapuntal Easter eggs (to borrow a gaming term) are lurking on recordings of standard literaturewhether intentional interpolations by the conductor or as pranks by the players.  As a continuo player, I have in my realizations occasionally introduced a snippet from another work as a sort of countermelody.  (I have found that the phrase Way down upon the Swanee river works particularly well.)  I imagine others have amused themselves in similar ways.  I would be happy to add an addendum to this post if readers can point me to other examples.

01 May 2018

31. Einmal anders

I think I can remember the exact moment that I first heard the Prelude to Bachs E Major solo violin Partita (BWV 1006), and with the help of the Internet Movie Database, I can determine the precise date:  6 March 1986.  I see that it was a Thursdaywhich it must have been, as it was at 9 p.m. on Thursdays that WGBHs series Mystery (then hosted by Vincent Price) aired on South Carolina Public Televisionand it was must-see viewing in the Kuykendall house.  On that evening in March, the segment being broadcast was The Red-Headed League in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes production (Granada Television) starring the late, lamented Jeremy Brett.  And in the middle of that episode there is a reenactment of Dr. Watson's account (in the 1891 short story) of a Sarasate recital at St. Jamess Hall, to which Holmes goes because "I want to introspect":


But I remember being puzzled.  I knew that piece already from a recording featuring organist E. Power Biggs, on which he was playing the Sinfonia from Cantata no. 29, Wir danken dir, Gott:

For this post, the penultimate installment of my slowly-progressing
I want to consider a few instances where Bachs reworking of a text took it so far from its original version (to the extent that we can actually know the original) that with just one version before us we would never be able to guess another.  This is surely such an example.  The solo violin prelude (Bachs autograph is dated 1720) seems complete, idiomatic, and perfect in itself; and yet Bach returned to it around 1729 and transfigured itallocating the moto perpetuo to solo organ, and then conceiving a four-part string  texture around it as part of a wedding cantata (BWV 120a).  Not stopping there, he then expanded it yet again to add oboes, trumpets and timpani for BWV 29 (1731).  The new orchestral texture has a motivic integrity of its own, with new ideas that seem like they were all there from the start, but are nowhere implicit in the original violin solo.  Thus I knew the third version first, but the first versiononce I heard itseemed entirely natural.  I am even tempted to go a step further:  because of its novelty to me as I heard it then, the earlier version seemed superior.

Were accustomed to all manner of cover versions, where one artist takes the work of another in order to recreate it in a new style, putting their personal stamp on it.  (I borrow the title of the post from Franz Hasenöhrls ingenious quintet arrangement of Richard Strausss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streicheyet again, in a different way.)  But here Bach was covering himself.  His stylistic mastery was so wide that he could put his personal stamp on both.  What kind of mind was this that would transform its own product so completely that it becomes something new, utterly coherent in itself, without any hint that it wasn't alway thus?

Another example that I first came to know entirely in its later (it would seem) version is the Triple Concerto (BWV 1044) in A minor for flute, violin, and harpsichordthe same combination of instruments featured in the fifth Brandenburg concerto (BWV 1050).  I remember hearing it for the first time sometime when I was in high school, when I bought a mid-price disc on which the concerto served as filler material, supplementing a reissue of two of the orchestral suites in a recording by Trevor Pinnock.  As the opening ritornello played, I recall thinking Why havent I heard this piece before?  When we got to the slow movement, I thought ... but I have heard this piece beforethis is one of the organ trios:
SOURCE:  (l.) Organ trio in D minor, BWV 527/ii from NBA Ser. IV Bd. 7, p. 35; (r.) Concerto for flute, violin and harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044/ii from NBA Ser. VII Bd. 3, p. 142.
And, once I read the liner notes, I discovered that the outer movements were also reworkings of other materialthe curious Prelude and Fugue in A minor (BWV 894).  Although it is impossible to establish the chronology with absolute certainty, it seems that the concerto is the transfiguration of earlier material rather than vice versa.  That said, the solo keyboard prelude is a remarkable workmore like a concerto, in my opinion, than his Italian Concerto (BWV 971), having not only a ritornello construction, but also the virtuoso outbursts so characteristic of some of his other keyboard concertos.
SOURCE:  excerpt of BWV 894/i, from NBA Ser. V Bd. 9.2, pp. 56-57.
(Actually, I had originally expected this post to be about just this first movement of BWV 894, but I will have to return to it some other time.  Its textual complications  would take too much time to write up at the moment, and time is at a premium at the end of the academic term.)

Among the remarkable examples of Bach's redeployment of his ideas are the missa settings compiled in the late 1730s and 1740a, drawing largely upon cantata movements of the 1720s, now retexted.  A chart in the critical report of the relevant NBA volume is a handy visualization of Bach's sources for the four missae, BWV 233-236:
SOURCE:  Emil Platen and Marianne Helms, eds., Kritischer Bericht for NBA Ser. II Bd. 2 (1982), p. 16.
Of all of these reworkings, two are particularly striking to meand yet again I had become familiar with the second versions (Latin missa) before I knew the first (German cantata).  Both examples are re-texted with the Latin Gloria in excelsis Deo / et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis:  Glory to God in the highest / and on earth peace to people of good will.  In both cases there is a marked change in the musical setting reflecting a distinction between the heavenly realms (in excelsis) and those below (in terra)but this change was already part of the cantata source material that Bach was reusing.

Example 1:  Gloria from the A-major Missa (BWV 234) and the sixth movement of cantata Halt im gedächtnis Jesum Christ (BWV 67)

In the cantata, placid, triple-meter sections accompany a single bass singing Friede sei mit euch (Peace be with yall, as this Southerner feels compelled to translate it), while the bustling 4/4 sections set the other three soloists pleading for Jesus to deliver them from all manner of anxiety.
SOURCE:  beginning of BWV 67/vi, from NBA Ser. I Bd. 11.1, pp. 43-45.


In the mass, the opening ritornellowhich in the cantata had received no textnow accompanies the the in excelsis text, while the 3/4 section (which had been about peace from the first) is now et in terra pax.  It is very effectiveand all the more astonishing for not having been originally conceived that way.
SOURCE:  beginning of BWV 234/ii, from NBA Ser. II Bd. 2, pp. 17-19.



Example 2:  the G-major Missa (BWV 236) and the opening chorus of cantata Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild (BWV 79)

This is a very similar exampleand rather than taking up space with scans, I will just embed two recordings.  In the cantata, the initial vocal entrance on fairly long note-values (where we first hear the text Gott der Herr) contrasts markedly with all the activity of the unusually long ritornello that has preceded it.  In the mass, that ritornello is merged with the in excelsis clause, so that the long note-values become (as above) an apt setting of et in terra pax.  It is hard to for me to grasp that it hadnt always been thus.



The transfiguring capacity of Bachs genius boggles the mind.  With such examples, it is reasonable to try to look behind any oddity for what might have been a source version.  Surely the most notorious example in this regard is the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565), which may be the most universally recognizable work of all organ repertoire.  Rather like that of Beethoven's fifth symphony, the opening gambit of BWV 565 is known to wide swaths of people who would otherwise claim no familiarity with classical music.  Of course, they may well not associate it with J. S. Bach.  In popular culture it seems associated with the movie cliche of the mad organist... which inevitably brings me back to Vincent Price, even if he was a late-comer to this particular parade:
SOURCE:  Vincent Price as Dr. Anton Phibes in The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971); this still from Trailers from Hell
His character plays a tiny bit from the opening of BWV 565 in the sequel, Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972).
It seems fitting, though, with Vincent Price now before us, that I confront a musicological mystery:  what lies behind the text as we now know it of BWV 565?  There is no autograph in Bachs hand, but a manuscript from about 1740 in the hand of Johannes Ringk (1717-78)a tangential connection to Bachputs the work in the larger Bach circle, and it is attributed explicitly to J. S. Bach on Ringk’s title-page.  So it may actually be by Bach, but it is a curiosity in many respects and certainly an outlier among his organ works.  Peter Williams (pp. 155-159) has enumerated the oddities (form, style, a curious simplicity, texture, idiomatic plurality, and harmonic idiosyncracies), as well as some possible explanations.  So is the work a transcription for organ of a string original?  Certainly many violinists have been happy to stake claim to it as a show-piece.  (Google it.)  Most of these [re-?]transcriptions are transposed up a fifth to A minor, to suit better the range of the violin.  On viola or cello D minor works wellallowing, of course, for the other modifications to an unaccompanied string instrument.  Alternately, might the work just imitate string writing?  (A legitimate complaint from singers is that Bach writes for the voice as if it were a violin.  Actually, he tends to write for everything as if it were a violin.  The solo parts of Brandenburg Concerto no. 2 are a locus classicus in this respect.)  When Ringk attributed the work to Bach, did he think Bach was the arranger or the composer?  And to what degree has the arrangerassuming there was oneimproved upon the source text?

None of these questions about BWV 565 bother me very much.  I enjoy multiple texts, different translations, various takes on things.  The piece can be great on the organwhether in the rather staid style of E. Power Biggs or the flamboyant approach of Virgil Fox, or in any number of interpretations in between or beyond.  It can be compelling on electric guitars or the accordion; the harp or the glass harmonica.  In that way it reminds me of some of the issues Ryan Bañagale brings up in his study of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Bluethe almost gravitational pull the work exerts to bring all manner of interpretive artists into its orbit.  Consider that Stokowskis orchestration of it was given pride of place in Disney's 1940 Fantasia.  (I prefer Henry Wood’s.)

Even if I dont listen to it very muchand almost never play itBWV 565 is a larger-than-life work.  It has a cultural presence far out of proportion to its significance among more than a thousand BWV numbers.  But when it comes down to it, a host of creative interpretations of BWV 565 are not as interesting to me as Bachs own covers I discuss above, the product of a single mind.  Bach doesnt even seem to have called attention to the transfigurations he enacted.  All in a days work, I guess.