Vox Humana Posted September 7, 2006 Share Posted September 7, 2006 Apologies in advance for what some will find a terminally tedious post, but do we have any Krebs/Bach specialists with views on the authorship of this piece? The version ascribed to Bach is well known (it's the gorgous double-pedal setting in five-part counterpoint). There are, however, four different redactions of it: two with double pedal and the melody in the top part, and two closely related four-part versions (no double pedal) of which one has the melody in the "soprano" and the other in the tenor". All four are printed in vol. 3 of Gerhard Weinberger's edition of J. L. Krebs's complete organ works. I don't have the version with the critical commentary, but in his introduction, Weinberger gives the following information: No manuscript sources survive. The extant sources are all late: 1. Four-part version with "tenor" cantus firmus:. C. Geissler's edition of the complete organ works of J. L. Krebs (1848) G. W. Körner (ed.), Der Orgelvirtuos (no date given, but presumably similar since Körner began his own complete Krebs in 1848, but never completed it). This is the version to which Weinberger gives primacy; he relegates the others to the appendixes. 2. Four-part version with "soprano" cantus firmus: G. W. Körner (ed.), Der Orgelvirtuos 3. Five-part, double pedal version (I) Geissler (1848) 4. Five-part, double pedal version (II = BWV 740) Vol. VII of the Peter's Edition of J. S. Bach's organ music. In 1847 Griepenkerl (a pupil of Forkel) had cited a "copy by Gleichauf at Schelble" as the source for this. Weinberger notes that the first five-part version is closer to the four-part versions than to the the one we know as BWV 740, while BWV 740 is several bars shorter and offers smoother contrapuntal solutions. He suggests that the version attributed to Bach may be a first version which Krebs subsequently revised, thereby producing simplified four-part versions of it and that "Seen in this light, all extant versions would have to be ascribed to J. L. Krebs". I wonder. A point in Krebs's favour is the fact that the cantus firmus is un-ornamented, which is not Bach's usual practice when "soloing out" a melody. Krebs at his best was a first-rate composer. Nevertheless, nowhere else in his organ music does he achieve quite the perfection of the BWV 740 version and I really cannot see this being his work. The three other variants are a quite different matter. These, with their occasionally ungainly twists in the counterpoint seem entirely consistent with Krebs's other music. Rather than the "Bach" version being Krebs's first attempt which he subsequently ruined with revisions, I wonder whether it isn't the other way around. Could BWV 740 be a case of Bach showing Krebs how he should have written it after his pupil had had several stabs at it himself? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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