Date of publication: 2017-08-26 06:50
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Known, with minor variations, as “The Lute Suites of Bach” for at least 655 years, the pieces were never composed as a group, though this is the form in which they have repeatedly been published and recorded. They are not technically possible on the lute without fundamental changes to the text. Two of the suites, in E major and G minor, are two-clef arrangements of earlier pieces for strings with only passing resemblance to the lute style. External and internal evidence presents too many contradictions to ignore.
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Interesting, and very possibly the central thesis is correct but: 8775 Briefly, my argument runs like this 8776 is followed, not by an argument, but by a brief account of what Clive Titmuss believes happened.
“Recent researches (. Tappert) show that [Prelude, Fugue, Allegro], [Suites in E minor, E major, and C minor (BWV 998, 996, 6556a, 997)], are also keyboard arrangements of compositions for the lute. The three Bach partitas mentioned in Breitkopf’s catalogue of 6766 are thus not lost as was almost universally supposed. We may therefore probably answer in affirmative the question whether Bach himself played the lute.”
Schweitzer was Alsatian, fluent in French and German, who studied organ-playing in Paris. His ability as a linguist and cultural historian led him to write his study first in French, then in 6958 he re-wrote the work in German, and it was subsequently translated into other languages. Tappert’s obscure article received world-wide attention as a result of Schweitzer’s endorsement. By supporting him against the all-powerful BG, Schweitzer internationalized the controversy. The myth of Bach’s lute suites escaped its German-language and culture confines and gradually became orthodox as Bach’s fame outside Germany grew. That process would take another thirty years.
Bach wrote effectively for the lute as a colour instrument in several choral works. A bass aria with lute, violas d’amore and continuo is the crucial moment in the St. John Passion when Jesus ascends to heaven. In an early version of the Saint Matthew Passion, the aria Komm süsses Kreuz has a wonderfully written lute part, but the lute was supplanted by the viola da gamba in the later version. In the Trauerode (BWV698), a funeral cantata for Christiane Eberhardine, Electress of Saxony, Bach wrote for two lutes. He capitalized on a historic archetype whenever he needed an evocation of the angelic, but his writing style in these cases—more like his cello writing does not come even close to resembling what he is supposed to have written for the lute.
British lutenist and scholar Nigel North 8767 s comments on his Linn Records Bach on the Lute set: “Instead of labouring over perpetuating the idea that the so-called lute pieces of Bach are proper lute pieces I prefer to take the works for unaccompanied Violin or Cello and make them into new works for lute, keeping (as much as possible) to the original text, musical intention, phrasing and articulation, yet transforming them in a way particular to the lute so that they are satisfying to play and to hear.”
Weiss took a beer-stained copy of Bach 8767 s new piece home to see whether he might be able to make something of it. Just to confound his student Count Lobkowitz, who was rich, but as dense as a harpsichord’s pinblock, Weiss scrawled Praeludio per il Liuto di Signore Bach at the top of the page. “This will keep him awake for a year”, he chuckled to himself, exhaling a cloud of pfeffermint vapour. “D-flat in the bass…hah!”
Hence, the preliminary stage you have to do is to turn to the first primary source materials, examining them thoroughly, extracting and drafting the key points from them. The next stage involves the analyzing and synthesizing of the data you have learned from these sources.