Bach, the Orgelbüchlein

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Schirmer Books, 1996 - Music - 208 pages
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This is the first book-length study of the Orgelbuchlein. Aimed at a broad readership of performers, scholars, and listeners, this lucid and absorbing book examines the collection from a wide range of historical and analytical perspectives.
Stinson begins by discussing Bach's reasons for compiling the Orgelbuchlein set and his original plans to create a comprehensive hymnal consisting of 164 chorales. The second chapter examines Bach's compositional process in this work - an issue largely untouched by previous commentary - and leads into a consideration of the music in its historical context, with attention to each of the three main types of chorale found in the collection: the melody chorale, the ornamental chorale, and the chorale canon.
At the center of the book are three chapters surveying the forty-six individual compositions that make up the Orgelbuchlein. Here Stinson illuminates the structure of each piece and traces Bach's concept of the organ chorale as it evolved through the composition of the early, middle, and late pieces found in the set. The book concludes with a discussion of the work's hitherto unexplored reception history, from the eighteenth century to the present day.

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Contents

THE ORGELBUCHLEIN PROJECT
1
COMPOSITIONAL PROCESS
35
THE MUSIC IN ITS HISTORICAL CONTEXT
59
THE EARLY CHORALES
77
THE MIDDLE CHORALES
101
THE LATE CHORALES
133
RECEPTION
145
ICH RUF ZU DIR HERR JESU CHRIST
169
TRANSCRIPTIONS OF ORGELBUCHLEIN
175
Notes
181
Bibliography
189
General Index
200
Index to Cited Works of Bach
206
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Russell Stinson is associate professor of music and college organist at Lyon College.

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