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Johann Sebastian Bach and the Myth of Authenticity (Part 1)

by Rosalyn Tureck

From the Rosalyn Tureck Collection,
Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center at Boston University

[Part 1 | Part 2]

"I believe in Bach, the Father, Beethoven, the Son, and Brahms, the Holy Ghost of music." — Hans von Bülow (1830-94)

It is fitting that, with the entry to the new millennium, we be particularly mindful of the death date of one of the greatest geniuses in human history, Johann Sebastian Bach, and to survey from our vantage point the dynamic historical and cultural processes, since his death on July 28, 1750, that shape our view and interpretation of his music and style of thought. The past two centuries and a half have witnessed a fecund period of change with great leaps in new concepts, form and techniques emerging from the musical trinity of composition, performance and scholarship. Since, roughly, the latter half of the 20th century the recipient has been regarded as an active adjunct in a newly integrated relationship in the musical activity and experience. Recipient here includes the interested layman as well as the active professional members of the musical community. Roger Sessions wrote in 1950 "Music is an activity: ... an experience lived through, with varying intensity, by composer, performer and listener alike." [1] The responses of all sectors of the musical community, composer, performer, scholar and layman are now inextricably woven together, for better or worse, into one tapestry that reflects, inevitably, the impulses and directions of our era. That there is conflict and dissonance within this fabric does not invalidate the existence or usages of such a fabric. Further to the celebration of the Bach anniversary, it is incumbent upon us to scan the judgmental formulations that have evolved throughout these past two hundred and fifty years and to consider the conceptual foundations that have upheld claims of authenticity in the representations of his music and thought in both scholarship and in performance. For, recently, the entire fabric representing authenticity has been unravelled. Our contemporary recognition of reception as a crucial element in all our musical judgements, has contributed to querying the established stance of the authentic movement.

Interest in Sebastian Bach's music, which by the end of his life was out of fashion, was slowly rekindled after his death. Moving fairly slowly throughout the next fifty years, this interest gathered momentum in the nineteenth century by way of multifarious publications and performances and by mid-nineteenth century, the injection of systematic scholarly research. Parallel with the focus on scholarly editions and treatises, the performance of Bach's music in the last one hundred and fifty years has undergone various degrees of conformation with, as well as opposition to, each era's conventionally sanctioned fashion of thought.

The resurrection of Sebastian Bach's music entailed the usual varied factors attendant upon resurrecting materials of the past—sifting through manuscripts, the music texts of which represent varying degrees of reliability, the pursuance of historical influences and developments in form and structure, the study of musical media as well as performance manner and techniques. These are among the major fields in the recent history of Bach's relationship with posterity.

One of the main pillars of the twentieth century platform supporting the notion of authenticity has been an unswerving belief in replication as the means to achieve authentic performance in manner, media and Weltanschauung. The presumption that replication succeeds in producing authenticity, in the sense that replication of media and manner produces the replication of the original creative, recreative and receptive, has ruled the approach and mindset of the champions of replication. The unarguably desirable goal of accurately representing the original music text and period media, has received sustained scholarly attention for the last hundred and fifty years with highly productive and positive results, particularly in the last twenty five years. Concern with period media, sonorities and performance manner has undergone, throughout this century and a half, what might be likened to an evolutionary series of adjustments, some surviving, some become extinct, according to newly introduced data or period-friendly mindset. Despite conflict within this scenario, the belief in the achievability by posterity of the 'ur', i.e. authentic sound(s) and performance style/diction/ manner by way of an anterior culture was strongly established by the academic community. Accordingly, replication of media and manner represents the key to the accurate fulfillment of the 'intentions' of the composer.

Before going further it is necessary to clarify the usage of the term "authentic"; it has suffered blanket applications. A distinction must be made between applications of the term. When applied to the uncomplicated condition of a holograph once certified and to diverse, explicit data that emerges as hard evidence, such as a holograph or well documented historical materials, the application is unarguably valid. However, the term "authentic" has also been universally employed for many years to signify the overall projection of a musical work composed in an anterior era. "Authentic" in this sense omits the multiple factors and nuances which are active in that past culture. These require still more complex studies than thoroughgoing research in historical data. In actual fact, performance of music of the past embodies the aesthetic platform and responses anterior and contemporary eras. "Authentic", as applied to contemporary performance, must be then double-sided constituting the complexities inherent in both the explicit and the implicit aspects of each culture within a concentrated totality in which all facets of each culture are equally active and equally contributory. As with "authentic" representing an accurate replication of a musical artwork, the term "ur" has suffered from a similar denotation, largely fanciful, signifying the existence of an absolute and original character, and representing the purest and the best.

Throughout the nineteenth century and the greater part of the twentieth century "correctness" became the password to authentic performance. Born on this wave of correctness the notion of achievable authenticity was validated. But no longer was the representation contained within the uncomplicated definition of "correct"; the nomenclature "authentic", nurtured on "correct", emerged as the overall designation for acceptable performance. However, "authentic" carries multi-leveled connotations, including the implicit assertion of absolute Tightness. As result, it radiates into a conceptual representation. Recently the designation has been transposed from "authenticity" movement to "early music" movement. Within this movement are "ancients, moderns and post-moderns". However, there are grey areas in these categories.

The intensive solidification of the "ur" attitude developed throughout a period of, roughly, the past two centuries, generated the sectioning off of modes of thought, enclosing hermeneutic results within proscribed limits. Extensive crucial areas, inextricably involved in the perception and projection of underlying styles of thought, of expression and performance in past cultures are inevitably omitted within this mindset with its determinate, prescribed limits. In the field of literature one such area was described by Lionel Trilling as "...a culture's hum and buzz of implications ... the whole evanescent context in which its explicit statements arc made. It is part of a culture which is made up of half-uttered or unuttered or unutterable expressions of value ... This alone makes it impossible to settle for mere duplication of the past." [2]

Doubts about the possibility of succeeding in producing a veritable replica of experience and reception with unadulterated exactitude in performance had begun to trickle noticeably through the roof of the academic community by the early 1970's. One powerful projectile that contributed to the expansion of this fissure was the publication in the Polish periodical 'Muzyka', 1967, of incontrovertible evidence that Sebastian Bach was associated with the piano to the extent that he was selling them. The discovery of a receipt of the sale of a Silbermann pianoforte to Count Branitzky, signed unmistakably by Bach certified this as fact. [3] The accepted faith in the adequacy of bare data uncovered so far had placed the piano outside Sebastian's active associations. The piano had been, for most of the twentieth century, tabooed—according to the platform upholding the notion of authenticity established by the academic community—for Bach performance, the harpsichord having been given pride of place for Bach's "keyboard music", with a nod in the direction of the clavichord. However, a sector of the performing world remained in disagreement with certain academic professions, the taboo of pianos for Bach performance being one of them. Such disagreement was by no means "new" as will be shown later in this essay. Here the emphasis and judgment is largely centred upon, and limited by, the instrument. Although it was well documented that Sebastian was acquainted with Silbermann, the instrument maker who pioneered the cause and manufacture of the pianoforte in Germany [3], little more strong data linking him with this instrument had been uncovered. As a result, no principles based on Bach's musical structures, mindset and creative vision were allowed (rightly or wrongly) into the domain of authenticity. Invigorated by fresh, young and querying minds, doubts about the limits imposed by holding the very principle of 'ur' and the performance results, both historically and aesthetically, gradually accrued to the extent that a Symposium on the subject of authenticity was held in June 1990 at the University of California, Berkeley, entitled 'The Early Music Debate, Ancients, Moderns, Postmoderns'. [4]

Already by the 1980's the drift away from the clamour and claims of authenticity on the part of the 'ur' adherents themselves undermined the faith in the generally held platform, of certainty. The terms 'early' music and 'period' instruments took the place of 'authentic'. The decampment from the zone of safety that belief in achieving the very sonorities and performance manner that, say, a Bach produced and heard in the myriad aspects that performance requires, was explicitly expressed by all the scholars who lectured on this occasion. Their contributions on the subject form an unequivocal and even bitter condemnation of the entire 'authenticity' movement. A few brief excerpts illustrate the move away from the old orthodoxy. Professor Joseph Kerman, University of California, Berkeley, who chaired the occasion, in scanning the recent level of performance referred to "authenticity" as "considered a value in itself as well as a promotional bonanza". [5] Laurence Dreyfus (U. of London) stated "...I strongly dissent from the smug air of self-congratulation that seems to crowd current-day criticism on Early Music performance". [6] Richard Taruskin (U. of California, Berkeley) defines his position: "What I've been saying is that what we are doing under the umbrella of Early Music is not historical, never has been historical, and never will be historical because it can't be historical. And it shouldn't be historical". He summed up his talk by saying "Historical verisimilitude is just correctness, and correctness is a very paltry virtue. Correctness is the kind of virtue you demand of students, not of artists." [7]

Regarding correctness, Curt Sachs, one of the most prolific and respected authorities of the musicological community in the second quarter of the 20lh century wrote "The purpose was not so much to be complete as to be correct, and to replace those numerous unreliable editions which left out, added and altered Recording to the personal taste of the 'editor' or to the contemporary mode." [8] Here he is referring to the edition of Bach's collected works researched and published by the Bach Gesellschaft, founded in 1850,of which Robert Schumann was a sponsor. This edition, comprising forty-six volumes, was the first systematic collection of Sebastian's ouevre to be researched by scholars, the accomplishment of which took 50 years. Begun in 1850, the first centenary of Bach's birth, and finally completed in 1900, Brahms rated this edition as one of the two greatest achievements of the l9th century, the other being the formation of the German Confederation. Curt Sachs goes on to say "Correctness also became more and more the password for the performance of ancient music... It would be wronging the men who were responsible for the attitude to reproach them with sterile literalism. Correctness to them was neither orthodoxy nor pedantry. Their point was to be faithful, not to "history but to art." [9] Sachs characterises correctness as becoming "more and more the password for the performance of ancient music". Although he touches on a distinction between "history" and "art", his emphasis on correctness not only reflected the attitude that was by then pervasive in the musicological community; it encouraged the stance of correctness as an overall protective blanket representing aesthetic validity in all areas of musical media, performance and reception of music of a past era. Accordingly, replication, indissolubly linked with its partner 'correctness', constitutes the key to the true production and experience of a great musical art of a past era. Taruskin's stance, which today reflects the view of an increasing number of musicologists and performers, represents a crucial breakaway from the notion that great art emerges from 'correctness', even holding that correctness obstructs the emergence of great art. Taruskin's explicit assertion puts one in mind of a similar attitude of rejection expressed by the editors of the Folger Shakespeare Library edition of Shakespeare's works. Upbraiding the anti-Shakespeareans, they write: "The author of their favourite plays, they imply, must have had a college diploma framed and hung on his study wall like the one in their dentist's office ...They forget that genius has a way of cropping up in unexpected places and that not one of the great creative writers of the world got his inspiration in a college course." [10] Shakespeare himself put the case, as usual, most succinctly of all: "art made dumb by authority" in Sonnet LXVI. Picasso said (in a documentary film made in his later life): "I have been accused of many things but the worst that I could be accused of is that I have a theory".

Reference to a Shakespeare or a Picasso deals, of course, with the creative vision. Reference to the recreation of a product of the creative vision that emerged from a past era must involve, unarguably, as deep and extensive a knowledge of the text sources as well as form, structure, media and performing habits of that time. Nevertheless, a great deal more—less tangible and never explicit—transpires in the living organism of a culture such as (he underlying style of thought, the sense of form and structure and their implications, innumerable nuances and aesthetic associations, which, in their own time, are assumed unquestioningly rather more unconsciously than with explicitly acknowledged awareness. These form a far different area from those that are traceable, namely, the formal and structural inheritances and identifiable contemporary influences and practices of a period; clearly these constitute (he data that can be extracted in researching activities. A fuller examination of the vital, multi-layered area that seeds the implicit is outside the scope of this essay but in connection with the dynamic processes inherent in the contemporary judgemental formulations regarding what is judged to be "authentic", valid in recreation, and acceptable to current recognised authority, the tonic energy of these elements inherent in both a past culture and the current one must be indicated here. This domain merits equal investigation and contemplation as that which has been lavished for two centuries upon explicit factors operating within a past culture. Elusive as it is to an anterior culture, we do have access to this domain in our own culture.

The platform of replication has been profoundly but tacitly nourished by developments far removed from performance and scholarly efforts and beliefs in the world of music. Technologies based on precise replication, developed in the nineteenth century, such as photography and which have achieved such extraordinary results as in current photography, film, recording of sound, fax machines and the near miraculous capacities in precision of computer technology have had a profound influence upon assumptions underlying the developing thought of the last hundred years. The notion that replication of media and maimer was fully achievable by posterity through objective research and that an authentic copy of text, sonority and performance manner was thereby fulfilled, had been viewed by the greater part of the academic and musical community as the unarguably correct, unassailable stance. Mechanical replication does succeed in producing exact, accurate copies; the faith in uncovering the 'ur' of an antecedent human art has been based on a similar principle, omitting the multiple complex layers of thought and sensibility that constitute the underlying building materials and edifice that are inherent in every work of art.

The notion of authenticity is, of course, not new. The authenticity movement in the field of music, musicology and performance did not spring up, fully formed, Venus-like, in our historically minded 19th and 20th centuries. An exhaustive study of its history is beyond the scope of this article; however, a brief scan of its appearance and its reign in past eras is essential in order to perceive clearly the roots of the modern notion of authenticity, its relevance and applications in the kaleidoscopic changing hues of successive cultures and, particularly, in the 20th century focus upon the contemporary faith in replication which reached into all areas of musical activity and emphatically in the performance and reception of Johann Sebastian's music.

The notion of authenticity has always been founded on the concept of a pure original. In modern Western culture the term 'ur', from the German, represents the keystone that upholds the edifice upon which 'pure, original' relies. To begin with, the modern German 'ur' representing 'origin', its corollary being, or interpreted as being, 'authentic', has, in itself, a history. The great authority on languages and their history, L. A. Holford-Stevens [Leofranc Holford-Strevens?], has kindly provided me with the following comments on its origins: "Ur, which in Old High German functions as a pr[e]position like Gothic 'us' and Old Norse 'or', is indeed related to 'aus', being derived from an extended form 'uds'; the final -s became -z. which in West and North Germanic developed to 'r'. The notions of 'origin' and 'ancient' are firmly established even in the medieval period."

Among the influences from which Western culture drew sustenance, the notion of 'original' associated with 'ancient' and 'best' held sway in early cultures. Hesiod, the father of Greek didactic poetry of the eighth century B.C., wrote of successively declining ages, golden, silver and bronze, the golden relating to the original and most desirable state. "In the beginning the immortals who have their homes on Mount Olympus created the golden generation of mortal people," [11] Ancient legends, associating the first state of the world and of human beings with the purest/best, are present in many early cultures. The impulse to hark back to 'original' forms, structures and practices emerges periodically in both ancient and modern cultures.

To leap to our comparatively recent historical attempts to reproduce the art of a past culture—ith the approach to the 17th century, the glance backward to classical Greek culture which exerted a powerful influence upon European thought and art also profoundly affected musical creativity. In brief, one main channel of musicians' efforts at that time lay in the direction of emulating classical Greek principles and style of song and drama. The Greek rhapsodists, chanting/singing their tale with an accompanying instrument such as the lyre, were regarded as a model for achieving authentic emulations of their era. Besides the inevitable filigree of a thousand years of accrued influences, these early 17th century musicians were arguing for authenticity in reproducing the 'authentic' classical style. However, the mindset and sensibilities of their own time, provided quite other stylistic impulses and results. A fundamental mistake was made in their supposed replication of a music of the past; however the mistake was fruitful. The irrepressible sensibilities of their own musical history and aesthetic environment combined with their backward look tended to generate a new harmonic idiom from which blossomed new forms and structures, the development of figured base, the harmonic idiom, and the forging of new-born Western opera.

In the mid/late 18th century Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768) called for a renewed return to classical principles and style. Gluck (1714-1787), indeed, manifests this influence in his music. Rousseau called for a return to the past purity of humankind antecedent to the corrupting influences of civilisation, that is, to the pure, 'ur' human being. Ideas that propel the thought of a culture such as those of Rousseau or Winckelmann are not isolated; they cannot be contained within the realm from which they have sprung or be preserved within marked-out territories and categories of scholarly disciplines or creative activity. Relating to the backward look, historical concern was already pervasive by 1770, the birth year of Hegel, who emphasised, to a greater degree than previous thinkers, the relatedness of human life and endeavour to history.

The call to return to and to represent what was judged original infiltrated not only general trends of thought in the late eighteenth century. The specific contemporary realistic needs of the practice and presentation of music in the late 18th century required it. This period came face to face with tangible, practical conditions inevitably co-related and enchained which are inherent in the attempt to recreate musical masterworks of the past. In order to do so music scores of dead composers had to be located, sources selected and published, with performances dependent on these. Traversing a virtually parallel path with the growing vigour of the very concept of 'pure/original', technology enters the scene in the form of printed music. The swift proliferation of music publishing firms in the late eighteenth century radically increased the distribution of printed notetexts to the music profession and the musical lay public. Commercial public performance, which was already beginning to enter popular social life in Sebastian's lifetime, radiated in all directions. Bach was himself involved in directing a series of public concerts with the Collegium Musicum of St. Thomas Kirche at Zimmermann's Coffee House in Leipzig, in the 1730's. [12] Sociological changes influenced directly and indirectly by the liberating forces of the Enlightenment, released access to musical performances previously limited chiefly to the elite, to the bourgeois populace in the form of commercially sponsored events. Mozart's triumphant tours were not limited to court performances; they coincided with the rising tide of public performance. Karl von Weber, whose posterior fame is attached chiefly to his compositions, was a brilliantly successful touring performer on the piano, well before the 19th century arrived.

Publications with questionable ascriptions to composers and versions of original compositions by careless copyists or based on uncertain sources were common at this time. [13] Besides the need for textual accuracy in publication the central interest that fired confrontation with the problems of reproducing music texts of composers, dead or alive, from certified autographs or dependable manuscript copies arose, not from a desire to study and emulate the forms, structures, style of earlier glorious eras for fresh creative purposes; it was due, rather, to the growing practical need to reproduce accuracy of note texts for purposes of performance and teaching. For, at that moment in the late-eighteenth/early-nineteenth century when publishers were bustling with enthusiasm in their efforts to outdo each other in producing music publications in quantity and varying degrees of quality in order to supply the rocketing demand by touring performers, teachers and students, the spectre of inaccuracy appeared in full clarity. The significance of this distinction of interest—in performance and teaching rather than emanating from creative impulse—is paramount in understanding the development and establishment of the 20th century authenticity orthodoxy.

One of the earliest recorded manifestations of the modern emphasis on presenting the original music notetext appears in the correspondence of the publishing firm Hoffmeister and Kühnel with Johann Nicolaus Forkel, whom we honor as the first biographer and early protagonist of Johann Sebastian. He was also an avid collector of music manuscripts. Hoffmeister and Kühnel, newly established in 1800 as a partnership, wrote to him in regard to continuing their project just begun, of publishing a collection of Bach's music, concentrating on the keyboard works. This communication precipitated the beginning of a four-year association in which Forkel took over the position of editor and principal advisor for their Bach publications.

Forkel's initial reply demonstrates at the outset a preoccupation with correctness by voicing his complaint about the inadequacy of their sources. "A scholar who wants to publish an edition of one of the classics ... may include only the best readings in his edition. Why didn't your editor do likewise? Whatever you choose, you will have to proceed carefully everywhere if you do not wish to include misprints or slips of the pen ... But send me your copies before you have them engraved. For I give you my word that otherwise you always run the risk of publishing incorrect things." [14] This sample of Forkel's correspondence with Hoffmeister and Kühnel provide posterity with a documented platform for the thrust and development of Western musicological research and conscientious music publication.

Forkel went on to supervise Hoffmeister and Kühnel's Bach editions according to his best judgements of the 'original' Bach version, (although he was not always correct, but that's a topic, again, beyond the scope of this essay) until 1804 when the firm broke up their partnership. Supported by his biography of Bach [15], his acquaintance with two of Bach's most distinguished sons, Carl Philipp Emmanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann and his collection of their father's manuscripts, these editions stamped Forkel as the ultimate authority on Sebastian's life and works. Forkel led the way towards expanding concern with autographs and certified reliable manuscripts, but he also was eloquent on the subject of Bach's stylistic manner in performance. [16]

In 1819, the then young music publishing house, C. F. Peters published Sebastian's keyboard composition, the Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, (BWV 903) edited by a student of Forkel, Friedrich Conrad Griepenkerl, based on the music text of Forkel's manuscript copy as published earlier by Hoffmeister and Kühnel. Griepenkerl made copious changes and additions, however, to Forkel's notetext and added detailed performance instructions and essays. "Overladen" was Griepenkerl's own modestly apologetic description of these in his Notes contained in this edition. [17] However, all instructions as well as note text were presented as being inherited directly from Sebastian Bach, handed down thru the generations via Bach's sons and their students. His patently recognisable sincere faith was founded on his certainty of unassailable authenticity, as asserted on the title page: "New edition with directions for its true interpretation, these having been transmitted from J.S.Bach to W. Friedemann Bach, from them to Forkel and from Forkel to his students." [18]

Another major link with faith in certainty about Sebastian Bach's 'intentions' is revealed in a correspondence between Goethe and Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832). Appointed director of the Berlin Singakademie in l800, Zelter achieved fame in this position and, as a protagonist of Sebastian Bach's music, exerted a historically significant influence upon the spread of interest in it, particularly through his weekly performances of Bach's cantatas. Besides awakening his musical contemporaries to this extraordinary art, Zelter brought Bach to the attention of Goethe. Zelter's explication of what he considers the true 'ur' state of Bach's music is contained in one of his early letters to Goethe, on April 8, 1827: "...old Bach with all his originality ... could not escape French influence, especially that of Couperin. ... One can, however, dissociate him from this foreign element; it comes off like a thin froth and the shining contents lie immediately beneath. Consequently I have arranged many of his church compositions solely for my own pleasure and my heart tells me best that old Bach nods approval just as the worthy Haydn used to say "yes, yes, that is what I wished." [19] Zelter seemed to have no doubts that he was succeeding in achieving a version more 'ur', i.e. authentic, than Bach himself. But, inevitably, Zelter finds himself confronted with difficulties in restoring Bach's compositions to what he considered to be their true, pure state. A few months later, on June 8, he writes to Goethe: "What I calledSebastian Bach's French froth (Zelter's term is 'frizzlings') is not so easily skimmed off.' [20]

Zelter's chief enduring popular fame is associated with the profound impression made upon Mendelssohn on becoming acquainted with Bach's music at Zelter's Singakademie. This association led to the historic performance of Bach's St. Matthew Passion on March 11, 1829 in Berlin, conducted by Mendelssohn. Judged by today's values in scholarship the truncated version of Bach's score, the size of the orchestra and chorus and, surely, Mendelssohn's stylistic manner would today be strongly disapproved of as being far removed from any relation to the ur-text and 'ur' performance of Johann Sebastian's music. However, Mendelssohn was well aware of what he was doing; he gambled on producing a performance that would arouse a profound immediate response in the sensibilities of his generation. The near-hysterical success of this performance fulfilled his own ardent dream of providing a strong impetus for an increased recognition of Sebastian Bach's ouevre and genius.

The time was becoming ripe for an extensive systematic effort to collect Sebastian's manuscripts and sift through the numerous copies of varying degrees of reliability. Throughout the first half of the nineteenth century, commercial publishers still reprinted scantily researched manuscript copies or earlier editions, unmindful of copyist's errors. Unstudied public performances and teaching of Bach's music were based on these editions. By 1848, however, serious musicians had worked with his music and given thought to its representations in historical texts and contemporary performance to the extent that fresh opinions were being formed on the basis of their concentrated studies and experience in performance and teaching. It was in this year that a public discussion took place by way of an exchange of letters written by two of the most influential figures in the professional music world of the period, one of which was Griepenkerl, himself, and the other, Adolph Bernard Marx (1795-1866).

Marx was musical mentor to Mendelssohn during a significant formative period of Mendelssohn's creative activity and after their relationship was broken off Marx continued to be a leading figure in the music world. Griepenkerl's eminent position and his powerful continuous and extensive influence upon musical thought and practice did not prevent the younger Marx and the generation of Griepenkerl's latter years from rethinking the conventional dogmas implanted by their musical forbears. One of the earliest, possibly the first, public exchanges regarding authenticity in Bach performance initiated by major figures in the music world, appeared in 1848 when Marx's views on the subject were expressed in a letter to the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, published January 19, 1848, entitled "Sebastian Bach's Chromatische Fantasie: A Few Remarks by A. B. Marx." [21]

Marx's opening remarks contain a clear allusion to Griepenkerl's claims of authenticity in the statement on the title page of the Griepenkerl's 1819 edition quoted above: "It is said that Bach passed on to his pupils, and they on to us..." etc. Marx then contributes an instance of Bach performance which illustrates the opposite of the authenticity stance and, in the process of doing so contributes to posterity a priceless, graphically verbalised exposition of a Bach performance by the musician who proved to be the most influential keyboard composer and performer of the 19th century: "Franz Liszt in his demonic style is so highly regarded that he need not be bothered to understand a single work more or less correctly. He stormed through the Fantasie and Fugue [22] as in a bacchanalian intoxication (the Fugue twice as fast as it is usually played—or can be played); he doubled the bass in the Fugue almost throughout, and added to this storm in tone unexpected sforzandi ... now in this voice, now in that, which had the effect of random lightning flashes in a night sky, bursting all the more into the foreground than they were indicated by the Fugue's structure."


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