December 07, 2005

Gratuitous Musickal Posting (TM)

I am very happy this afternoon, thanks to the news that BBC3 will be kicking off its "Bach Christmas" programming starting December 16, and which it is describing as "Every note, night and day":

The composer's entire surviving body of work will be performed by some of the world's greatest musicians including specially recorded performances by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Angela Hewitt, Philippe Herreweghe and Ton Koopman.

(Koopman, by the way, is superb IMHO. Gardiner used to do excellent work too, although he's known around my family these days as "John Eliot Full-Of-Himself".)

Aaaaand, as an extra bonus, the Beeb has already posted a Bach Advent Calendar, with choice treats for each day. Click on over.

Yips! to Chan S. for spreading the word!

UPDATE: Hmmm...I wonder if they'll include this in the playlist? A while back, I happened to write about a rather unusual piece of which I have a recording, the Trio Sonata in C, BWV 1037. But when I pulled it out a while ago, I idly glanced at the liner notes and was startled to see this:

The authenticity of a number of works (including several heralded for their accomplished fugues), has been questioned in recent years. The C Major Trio, BWV 1037, containing as its second movement a familiar and justly celebrated double fugue, is one such work. This trio sonata was originally thought to have been composed, like the double concerto [for two violins], by Bach during his appointment as court composer in Cothen (1717-23). Now, however, four German manuscripts have been found that attribute the trio to Johann Gottlieb Goldberg. On this basis, it is believed to have been composed more probably by this same Goldberg who began his studies with Bach in 1737 and whose name is forever attached to the master's illustrious variations of 1742. In any event, the instrumental trio sonata was a genre that Bach largely avoided and further questions of attribution hover over the few other works of this kind that occur among his ouevre.

No wonder it sounded a bit off the path to me. Not that I like the piece any less for knowing that Bach probably didn't write it.

Oh well, at least there is no question about the composition of his Christmas Oratorio, of which I have always been immensely fond.

UPDATE DEUX: A bit of background on the confusion over attribution of this piece.

Posted by Robert at December 7, 2005 01:30 PM | TrackBack

Bach's Trio Sonatas are some of the most devilishly difficult works to play on the organ. First I've heard about any dubious provenance about any of them. On the other hand, I've long known that scholars question the authorship of the famous Toccata and Fugue in d minor. At the very least, they make a persuasive case that it was not originally conceived for the organ (more likely the violin).

Posted by: JohnL at December 7, 2005 03:14 PM

Now that would be interesting to listen to, far more so than Leopold Stokowski's wretched uber-orchestration.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at December 7, 2005 05:10 PM