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Holiday Teaser


Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT

In the light of the BBC's blockbuster Bach bash, I suggest the following to mull over whilst sitting by the fireside during the holiday season.

 

What would have been the future of European music had Buxtehude's daughter been born more alluring?

 

Seasons Greetings to everyone.

 

NJA

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I suppose we have to assume Bach wasn't already married by the time he went to Lubeck. But suppose he'd married Buxtehude's horse - err, daughter, I mean - then succeeded Buxtehude in 1707:

  • Having considerable artistic freedom in the bourgeois, liberal and comercial atmosphere of Lubeck, he develops purely instrumental works on an ever-increasing scale for performance at the Abend-Musiken. He becomes the father of the symphony, writing 104 of them in total. In his organ recitals, he becomes known for his improvised multi-movement "symphonies" lasting up to 45 minutes. Some of these works he commits to paper, and twelve have come down to us.
     
  • He is able to tour Europe as an organ virtuoso and symphonist. He visits all the major capitals of Europe, including London, where his symphonies and operas are greeted with wild enthusiasm, and where he makes the acquaintance of Renatus Harris and Christopher Wren.
     
  • In 1727, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's invite Bach to take up the post of organist following the death of William Croft. Bach consents, on condition that he can have a new organ built. Bach invites Gottfried Silbermann to build an instrument based on Harris's scheme of 1712. The organ has six manuals and pedals and 102 speaking stops. It is substantially intact to this day. A German organ becomes a "must have" for any self-respecting church. Snetzler builds an instrument of 90 stops at the west end of Durham cathedral. There is no insular period in English organbuilding.
     
  • William Boyce studies with Bach. He takes the symphony to unprecedented heights. Some of his symphonies last 90 minutes, and involve huge forces including vocal soloists, choirs and organ. His eighth symphony is performed in the Ranelagh rotunda; there are alleged to be 1000 performers.
     
  • In 1745 Bach becomes professor of music at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Trinity College. He holds these posts until his death in 1772. Composers from all over Europe flock to Cambridge to study. Famous alumni include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Verdi and Richard Strauss.
     
  • In the mid 1800's, the second Cambridge School, founded by Brahms, experiment with twelve-tone music. Richard Strauss becomes noted for the economy of his works, some of which are as short as a dozen notes. His entire output can be performed in a single concert.
     
  • Shortly before his death, Bach donates his collection of manuscripts to the Wren Library at Trinity College. They include not only all his own compositions, but hundreds of works by Buxtehude, including the oratorios, and many works by Reincken, Scheidemann and Tunder, many of which would otherwise have been lost.
     
  • In the twentieth century, Dutch organ enthusiasts flock to England to hear the fine west-end instruments in the great English churches, especially those at Winchester (Snetzler), Lincoln (Hildebrandt), York (Silbermann) and King's College, Cambridge (Gabler) in addition to those at Durham and St Paul's already mentioned.

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I suppose we have to assume Bach wasn't already married by the time he went to Lubeck.  But suppose he'd married Buxtehude's horse - err, daughter, I mean - then succeeded Buxtehude in 1707:
  • Having considerable artistic freedom in the bourgeois, liberal and comercial atmosphere of Lubeck, he develops purely instrumental works on an ever-increasing scale for performance at the Abend-Musiken.  He becomes the father of the symphony, writing 104 of them in total.  In his organ recitals, he becomes known for his improvised multi-movement "symphonies" lasting up to 45 minutes.  Some of these works he commits to paper, and twelve have come down to us.
     
     
  • He is able to tour Europe as an organ virtuoso and symphonist.  He visits all the major capitals of Europe, including London, where his symphonies and operas are greeted with wild enthusiasm, and where he makes the acquaintance of Renatus Harris and Christopher Wren.
     
     
  • In 1727, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's invite Bach to take up the post of organist following the death of William Croft.  Bach consents, on condition that he can have a new organ built.  Bach invites Gottfried Silbermann to build an instrument based on Harris's scheme of 1712.  The organ has six manuals and pedals and 102 speaking stops.  It is substantially intact to this day.  A German organ becomes a "must have" for any self-respecting church.  Snetzler builds an instrument of 90 stops at the west end of Durham cathedral.  There is no insular period in English organbuilding.
     
     
  • William Boyce studies with Bach.  He takes the symphony to unprecedented heights.  Some of his symphonies last 90 minutes, and involve huge forces including vocal soloists, choirs and organ.  His eighth symphony is performed in the Ranelagh rotunda; there are alleged to be 1000 performers.
     
     
  • In 1745 Bach becomes professor of music at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Trinity College.  He holds these posts until his death in 1772.  Composers from all over Europe flock to Cambridge to study.  Famous alumni include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Verdi and Richard Strauss.
     
     
  • In the mid 1800's, the second Cambridge School, founded by Brahms, experiment with twelve-tone music.  Richard Strauss becomes noted for the economy of his works, some of which are as short as a dozen notes.  His entire output can be performed in a single concert.
     
     
  • Shortly before his death, Bach donates his collection of manuscripts to the Wren Library at Trinity College.  They include not only all his own compositions, but hundreds of works by Buxtehude, including the oratorios, and many works by Reincken, Scheidemann and Tunder, many of which would otherwise have been lost.
     
     
  • In the twentieth century, Dutch organ enthusiasts flock to England to hear the fine west-end instruments in the great English churches, especially those at Winchester (Snetzler), Lincoln (Hildebrandt), York (Silbermann) and King's College, Cambridge (Gabler) in addition to those at Durham and St Paul's already mentioned.

 

Very interesting. Just a quick question:

 

Why did Bach live for another 22 years? It can't have been on account of our world-beating NHS, as it hadn't been conceived yet.

 

Possibly because, having married Buxtehude's daughter who, apparently, had a face like a bag of spanners (I didn't know this as I never met her), he didn't go on to have thirteen children?

 

John

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Guest Nigel ALLCOAT
I suppose we have to assume Bach wasn't already married by the time he went to Lubeck.  But suppose he'd married Buxtehude's horse - err, daughter, I mean - then succeeded Buxtehude in 1707:
  • Having considerable artistic freedom in the bourgeois, liberal and comercial atmosphere of Lubeck, he develops purely instrumental works on an ever-increasing scale for performance at the Abend-Musiken.  He becomes the father of the symphony, writing 104 of them in total.  In his organ recitals, he becomes known for his improvised multi-movement "symphonies" lasting up to 45 minutes.  Some of these works he commits to paper, and twelve have come down to us.
     
     
  • He is able to tour Europe as an organ virtuoso and symphonist.  He visits all the major capitals of Europe, including London, where his symphonies and operas are greeted with wild enthusiasm, and where he makes the acquaintance of Renatus Harris and Christopher Wren.
     
     
  • In 1727, the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's invite Bach to take up the post of organist following the death of William Croft.  Bach consents, on condition that he can have a new organ built.  Bach invites Gottfried Silbermann to build an instrument based on Harris's scheme of 1712.  The organ has six manuals and pedals and 102 speaking stops.  It is substantially intact to this day.  A German organ becomes a "must have" for any self-respecting church.  Snetzler builds an instrument of 90 stops at the west end of Durham cathedral.  There is no insular period in English organbuilding.
     
     
  • William Boyce studies with Bach.  He takes the symphony to unprecedented heights.  Some of his symphonies last 90 minutes, and involve huge forces including vocal soloists, choirs and organ.  His eighth symphony is performed in the Ranelagh rotunda; there are alleged to be 1000 performers.
     
     
  • In 1745 Bach becomes professor of music at the University of Cambridge and a fellow of Trinity College.  He holds these posts until his death in 1772.  Composers from all over Europe flock to Cambridge to study.  Famous alumni include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Berlioz, Brahms, Verdi and Richard Strauss.
     
     
  • In the mid 1800's, the second Cambridge School, founded by Brahms, experiment with twelve-tone music.  Richard Strauss becomes noted for the economy of his works, some of which are as short as a dozen notes.  His entire output can be performed in a single concert.
     
     
  • Shortly before his death, Bach donates his collection of manuscripts to the Wren Library at Trinity College.  They include not only all his own compositions, but hundreds of works by Buxtehude, including the oratorios, and many works by Reincken, Scheidemann and Tunder, many of which would otherwise have been lost.
     
     
  • In the twentieth century, Dutch organ enthusiasts flock to England to hear the fine west-end instruments in the great English churches, especially those at Winchester (Snetzler), Lincoln (Hildebrandt), York (Silbermann) and King's College, Cambridge (Gabler) in addition to those at Durham and St Paul's already mentioned.

 

And of course somebody called Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy in the next century displayed the genius of a guy from Halle called Handel who played and composed for many years at a church in Leipzig.

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In the light of the BBC's blockbuster Bach bash, I suggest the following to mull over whilst sitting by the fireside during the holiday season.

 

What would have been the future of European music had Buxtehude's daughter been born more alluring?

 

Seasons Greetings to everyone.

 

=====================

 

 

a) There would almost certainly have been a "Mattheson Passion." :P

 

:P Bach and Handel would have met and may well have been found brawling in the local tavern; assuming that the never married Handel was straight.

 

c) The Anna Magdelena Bach book would never have been written

 

MM

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Let's continue this imaginative thread.

 

Bach meets with Johannes Snetzler, Samuel Green, and England (the builder)

He discovers the Open Diapason.

Afterwards he composed six big "Organ Sonatas for Open Diapason alone" :P

 

Two century later the only accepted organ type is the late baroque english one,

soft and sweet and without Pedals.

 

Best wishes,

Pierre

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THE KUHDORF AN DEN TROCKENFUSS ORGAN

 

After having composed his six sonatas for Open Diapason alone Bach came back to Germany to give some recitals, only to discover his sonatas could not be played on german organs, so crude and coarse the Prinzipals were, not intended at all to be used without at least the half of the complete chorus.

 

He then managed a meeting between his best friends Hildebrandt and Green for a contract he got in the Kuhdorf village, a little settling in the middle of nowhere, heu, a big forrest in central Germany near the belgian border, in the Eifel area.

 

Here is the original contract, with its peculiar nomenclature:

 

HAUPTWERK

 

Doppel offene Diapazohn 16'

Quintadehn 16'

Offene Diapazohn 8'

Spitz Floete 8'

Gedeckte Diapazohn 8'

Princzipal 4'

Spitz Floete 4'

Twelffte 2 2/3'

Fifftihnt 2'

Sesquialter 2 Fach

Mixtur

Cornet

Bombart 16'

Trumpett 8'

 

SCHWELLBARES OBERWERK (Enclosed in a swellbox)

 

Doppel gedeckte Diapazohn 16'

Offene Diapazohn 8'

Dühlssiana 8'

Unda-Maris 8'

Hohl Floete 8'

Gedeckte Diapazohn 8'

Princzipal 4'

Gemshorn 4'

Twelffte 2 2/3'

Fifftihnt 2'

Wald Floete 2'

Siebzehnte 1 3/5'

Scharff

Cornet

Vox humana 8'

Hautpoy 8'

 

RÜCKPOSITIV

 

Offene Diapazohn 8'

Gedeckte Diapazohn 8'

Viol di Gambe 8'

Dühlssiana 8'

Vagara 4'

Rikorter 4'

Nassat 2 2/3'

Fifftihnt 2'

Rauschpfeife 2 Fach

Mixtur

Fagott 16'

Krehmonah 8'

 

PEDAL

 

Offene Diapazohn 16'

Violon bass 16'

Subbas 16'

Octav 8'

Violonbass8'

Octaven bass 4'

Octava 2'

Mixtur

Posaune 32'

Posaune 16'

Trompet bass 8'

Clarin bass 4'

 

The romantic buiders refused to alter this instrument, so sweet and beautifull it was.

Halas in 1948 the Orgelbewegung-maniac Helmut Bornefeld had a heart attack after having discovered "this thing". He recovered only when the last pipe had been melted to make Scharffdoppelterzzimbeln stops with the metal.

Today the Bornefeld-designed instrument is still there, with thirty mixtures and two stopped 8' as foundation. Opened in 1949, it was designed to play Bach...

 

Happy christmas!

Pierre

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