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Exploring Bach's B-minor Mass

Christoph Wolff, Robin A. Leaver, Janice B. Stockigt, Szymon Paczkowski, Michael Maul, Ulrich Siegele, Melvin P. Unger, Ruth Tatlow, Uwe Wolf, Tatiana Shabalina, Ulrich Leisinger, Anselm Hartinger, Katharine Pardee, Jan Smaczny
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  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107007901


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About the Authors
  • The B-minor Mass has always represented a fascinating challenge to musical scholarship. Composed over the course of Johann Sebastian Bach's life, it is considered by many to be the composer's greatest and most complex work. The fourteen essays assembled in this volume originate from the International Symposium 'Understanding Bach's B-minor mass' at which scholars from eighteen countries gathered to debate the latest topics in the field. In revised and updated form, they comprise a thorough and systematic study of Bach's Opus Ultimum, including a wide range of discussions relating to the Mass's historical background and contexts, structure and proportion, sources and editions, and the reception of the work in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In the light of important new developments in the study of the piece, this collection demonstrates the innovation and rigour for which Bach scholarship has become known.

    • A systematic study of Bach's B-minor Mass by the leading scholars in the field, summarising the achievements of scholars in the past while also offering new directions of research
    • Demonstrates the use of new methodologies and techniques as a model for Bach scholarship in the future
    • Readers will gain an appreciation of how musicological research has progressed
    • The inclusion of numerous music examples, illustrations of musical sources and historical documents makes it a valuable reference book
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Exploring Bach's B-minor Mass is commendable for its scope and clarity, for the ways in which it engages and builds upon prior research on the Mass, and for the new insights it reveals into our understanding of the B-Minor Mass. Leaver, Tomita, and Smaczny have provided us with a significant new body of scholarship on this 'perpetual touchstone for Bach research'.' Mark A. Peters, Notes

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107007901
    • length: 341 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.86kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 67 music examples
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Historical Background and Contexts:
    1. Past, present, and future – perspectives on Bach's B-minor Mass Christoph Wolff
    2. Bach's Mass: 'Catholic' or 'Lutheran'? Robin A. Leaver
    3. Bach's Missa BWV 232I in the context of Catholic Mass settings in Dresden, 1729–1733 Janice B. Stockigt
    4. The role and significance of the Polonaise in the 'Quoniam' of the B-minor Mass Szymon Paczkowski
    5. 'The Great Catholic Mass': Bach, Count Questenberg and the Musicalische congregation in Vienna Michael Maul
    Part II. Structure and Proportion:
    6. Some observations on the formal design of Bach's B-minor Mass Ulrich Siegele
    7. Chiastic reflection in the B-minor Mass: lament's paradoxical mirror Melvin P. Unger
    8. Parallel proportions, numerical structures and harmonie in Bach's Autograph score Ruth Tatlow
    Part III. Sources:
    9. Many problems, different solutions: editing Bach's B-minor Mass Uwe Wolf
    10. Manuscript score No. 4500 in St Petersburg: a new source of the B-minor Mass Tatiana Shabalina
    Part IV. Reception:
    11. Haydn's copy of the B-minor Mass and Mozart's Mass in C Minor: Viennese traditions of the B-minor Mass Ulrich Leisinger
    12. A 'fairly correct copy of the mass'? Mendelssohn's score of the B-minor Mass as a document of the Romantics' view on matters of performance practice and source criticism Anselm Hartinger
    13. The B-minor Mass in nineteenth-century England Katharine Pardee
    14. Bach's B-minor Mass: an incarnation in Prague in the 1860s and its consequences Jan Smaczny
    Appendix 1
    Appendix 2.

  • Editors

    Yo Tomita, Queen's University Belfast
    Yo Tomita is Professor of Musicology at Queen's University Belfast. His publications include essays in The Piano in Nineteenth-Century British Culture (ed. Therese Ellsworth and Susan Wollenberg, 2007) and The English Bach Awakening: Knowledge of J. S. Bach and his Music in England 1750–1830 (ed. Michael Kassler, 2004). His research focuses on Bach studies, manuscript studies, piano education, text-critical analysis using artificial intelligence techniques, and the development of computer software and tools for musicology.

    Robin A. Leaver, Queen's University Belfast
    Robin A. Leaver is Honorary Professor at Queen's University Belfast. Former president of the American Bach Society, he has written over twenty-five books, including 'Goostly psalmes and spirituall songes': English and Dutch Metrical Psalters from Coverdale to Utenhove, 1535–1566 (1991), Liturgy and Music: Lifetime Learning (with Joyce Ann Zimmerman, 1998) and Luther's Liturgical Music: Principles and Implications (2007). His current research involves several projects on Bach studies.

    Jan Smaczny, Queen's University Belfast
    Jan Smaczny is Sir Hamilton Harty Professor of Music at Queen's University Belfast. He has wide-ranging research interests, particularly in relation to the impact of earlier music, including that of Bach, on composers of the Romantic era. Author of two books, The Daily Repertoire of the Prague Provisional Theatre (1994) and Dvorak's Cello Concerto (1999), he has contributed articles to a number of publications, including The Cambridge Mozart Encyclopedia (2006). His co-edited volume, Wagner and Dvorák, will be published in 2013.


    Christoph Wolff, Robin A. Leaver, Janice B. Stockigt, Szymon Paczkowski, Michael Maul, Ulrich Siegele, Melvin P. Unger, Ruth Tatlow, Uwe Wolf, Tatiana Shabalina, Ulrich Leisinger, Anselm Hartinger, Katharine Pardee, Jan Smaczny

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