Bach BWV1043 again

Edited: May 24, 2020, 9:52 AM · I checked quickly last night and saw a 10-year-old thread, so perhaps it's time for another, although I'd be surprised if there hasn't been one in the intervening time.

I have Andrew Manze's Baerenreiter, but I'm not convinced by it.
Are you?
What's the next best text?

Replies (18)

Edited: May 24, 2020, 11:38 AM · I have never used that edition. Can you specify why you find it unconvincing?

If you go to IMSLP, you can find C.P.E. Bach's ms. of it. That is probably as authentic as you will find anywhere. You can compare it to Manze's version and see what you think.

May 24, 2020, 2:10 PM · There is a manuscript in the library at Krakow. Not sure if it is by CPE, or one if his parents. Nevertheless, a very cool thing to see.
Edited: May 25, 2020, 7:51 AM · The thing I don't like about Manze is the large quantity of pedantic bowing instructions (in the v2 first movement part), which are unnecessary in places and self-contradictory in others and disagree with Oistrakh. In measures 5 and 6 EVERYBODY upbows that second half-note (minim), but Manze insists on down-bowing it and then following it with a redundant upbow instruction! It only really makes any sense if the upbow mark in measure 5 is a misprint for a downbow mark, but this isn't the only place where Manze treats the music in the same way.

In measure 66 it goes GAGABb (on the D and A strings, for those who don't have the music), and the first A is marked as open, not the second. This is proof that misprints are possible. If you are going to be instruction-heavy and sometimes have the instructions misprinted, then that's a recipe for disaster.

May 25, 2020, 7:35 AM · Having said that, I see there was a new edition last year, whereas I have the 2003 edition.
May 25, 2020, 8:23 AM · None of that sounds redicoulous if your going from a HIP perspective as manse obviously is. And having one note open and one closed. Is an old trick to add variety to a phrase. Manse would likely never do the same thing as Oistrakh as they had such different views on style.
May 25, 2020, 8:59 AM · Remind me what HIP means?
May 25, 2020, 9:19 AM · Historically informed performance
Edited: May 25, 2020, 9:48 AM · I did find it once, then forgot what it meant. Now if you google it, it's some brand new fear women have been told to have of "violin hips". (what about cello hips or double bass hips?)

If Historically Informed means ignoring the likes of Geminiani, then isn't it rather begging the question, or do people believe that they can isolate Bach from his milieu?

I chose to ignore Manze for the following reason: -
in order to downbow all the long notes, you have to wiggle towards the heel a lot of the time. That involves risking emphasising the off-beats.
If you play the second minim on the upbow, then working your way towards the middle of the bow afterwards risks emphasising the on-beats, which is more historically informed, if you like.
That's me. When I'm better, maybe I'll decide to bow it differently.

May 25, 2020, 11:18 AM · @Gordon - the bottom line is that you do what works for you. I suspect that if you looked at CPE's manuscript copy on IMSLP, you would not find up and down bow notations, although you would find slurs. So, if you are interested in HIP, the main thing is to do the slurs. Someone can correct me if I am wrong, but I suspect there were not many Baroque conventions about up-bow-down-bow issues. Anyhow, Oistrakh was a Romantic, not a HIP devotee, but he understood the music at a level which few of us could achieve, and his Bach recordings are superb. You could do worse than follow his lead, even he does not conform to Manze's purist HIP standards. Ultimately, you have do what seems to work best for you. Good luck!
May 25, 2020, 11:19 AM · My previous teacher is somewhat a HIPP performer, and he is rule of down bow (at beginning of bars and stronger beats in the bar)
May 25, 2020, 12:01 PM · @Jake - I think your teacher is probably right to the extent that down bow is favored for the beginning of bars. After that, it probably depends on several factors having to do with rhythm and notation.
May 25, 2020, 12:25 PM · Exactly Tom ^_^
Edited: May 25, 2020, 3:12 PM · Thank you Tom for the tip about the C.P.E. Bach manuscript. I find the slurs in there quite similar to the Peters edition (that I own). So I wonder why so many HIP performances don't play them. Whom do you trust if not C.P.E.? He was the son and he is on record having expressed great respect for the music of this father.

One observation that does not quite answer the question: I find in Bach a lot of passages where bow management is tricky. He seems to have liked patterns such as "3 slurred 1 alone" or even "7 slurred 1 alone" (in the Bourrée of the E Major Partita) repeated a number of times. I always tend to end up at the tip of the bow and have to be very careful about bow use if I want to get through the passage and continue the music naturally. I have such problems very rarely in any other composer's music.

And one last point: We can't "isolate Bach from his milieu" as you put it. But Bach on his own seems to have "isolated" himself in some ways. He is really different from his contemporaries. His use of harmony differs from everyone of his colleagues, he almost always wrote embellishments out diligently (and tyrannically if you want to look at it that way!) like nobody else at the time (just check the slow movements of the solo pieces or the concertos--and in his harpsichord music he does even more of it!), also his sonatas for violin or viola da gamba and obligato "Clavier" represent him inventing a whole new genre.

May 25, 2020, 3:33 PM · Remember that in baroque music the choice of bowing is to a significant extent controlled by the bow itself, if it is a baroque bow that is being used. Note that a baroque bow behaves differently to the modern Tourte bow.

I use a baroque bow for music of the Baroque period, and prefer it for most post-baroque music up to the end of the 18th century.

May 25, 2020, 4:39 PM · Stephen, if you are thinking of Anna Magdalena, she was not one one of CPE's parents. I don't know of any manuscript copying that Maria Barbara did, but please, someone more knowledgeable, if I'm wrong, shoot me down.
May 26, 2020, 9:29 AM · @Albrecht - with the bowings, one thing to remember is that at least in Bach's ms. of the S&Ps, it is sometimes quite unclear which notes Bach intended to include in slurs. Looking for consistency to try to decipher these slurs also seems dicey; Bach does not appear to have been consistent. Perhaps the slurs in CPE's copy of BWV 1043 are clearer/easier to interpret, and he may have had better insight into some of his father's more ambiguous slurs.

@Trevor - you point about the Baroque bow is excellent. One can get some sense of the Baroque bow by holding a regular bow several inches above the frog towards the tip. Obviously not a substitute for the actual Baroque bow, but something to give some insight.

Edited: May 29, 2020, 4:24 AM · Thankyou for your comments. I am going to print them out and keep them.
After I posted, I had a heart attack and spent two days in hospital, and I remembered my post as being dumber than it turns out to have been, so in the meantime I had been fearing the kind of criticism I was attracting in my absence! I have ordered both the Peters/Oistrakh edition and the 2019 Manze Baerenreiter edition.
May 29, 2020, 4:32 AM · That's scary to hear Gordon about the heart attack, glad you seem to be back, take care!!

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