Flashcards in Performance Practice Deck (33):
What is Helmuth Rilling's famous quote about performance practice?
Summarized? It's good that we have original instruments and original performance practices, but unfortunate that we have no original listeners.; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
How many singers were likely used for the St. John Passion?
four concertists, four ripienists, and two others for small roles; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
How many singers were likely used for the St. Matthew Passion?
eight plus a few extras for dramatic roles and hymn melodies; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What are the major differences between Bach's choirs and modern performers of his work?
His were all male, including boys and adult falsettists, different vocal training, different physiology; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
In relation to the audience, where would the original performers have been?
Standing behind or beside the congregation; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
Liturgically, when would Bach's passions have been performed?
Vespers on Good Friday; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What originally happened between parts 1 and 2 of a passion?
Sermon of up to an hour in length; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What is the definition of a chorus in 18th century concerted music?
A movement where all of the solo singers from other movements sing simultaneously, even if only one on a part; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What is a ripienist?
A singer (or instrumentalist) who joins the featured performer for reinforcement at specific points, often at the discretion of the director, not the composer; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What was the role of a concertist singer?
To sing ALL vocal lines, both solo and ensemble; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What is most noteworthy about the parts for Maid, Pilate, and Servant in Bach's St. john Passion?
They are separate parts, with all other movements marked tacet; thus, not all available singers sang every chorus, and some singers were designated to sing certain things, but not others.; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What is significant about arias in the St. Matthew Passion?
They are divided among both choirs, implying two sets of concertists; Melamed, Hearing Bach's Passions
What is a major problem with the "sharing copies" argument?
There are no indications on the concertist's part where ripienists should join and/or not join. No tutti or solo markings.; Parrott, Essential Bach Choir
In the Entwurff, Bach suggests that there be 2-3 singers on a part. Why?
This letter describes his choir from an organizational perspective, not from a performing perspective. These were pools of personnel from which he could pull sufficient singers for any given performance. This is especially important given disease and death among singers.; Parrott, Essential Bach Choir
According to Parrott, what was the purpose for the Entwurff?
To highlight the organizational difficulties Bach faced, not to instruct them in musical performance practice.; Parrott, Essential Bach Choir
What was the most commonly hired voice part to join the school's singers?
bass singer (and violinist); Parrott, Essential Bach Choir
Describe typical orchestration for a cantata.
There really isn't one. But a general guideline is 4-pt vocal soloists, usually with ripieno with 5-pt strings (in many combinations); Wolff, World
What are the preferred wind instruments in cantatas?
Sackbuts and trombones; Wolff, World
What instruments only occasionally occur in cantatas?
recorders, flutes, and oboes; Wolff, World
What did CPE Bach say regarding organ and harpsichord?
organ for big movements, harpsichord in more restrained movements (aria/recit); Dreyfus, JAMS Su79
What performance indication supports the use of both organ and harpsichord in the cantatas of JS Bach?
tacet indications in organ parts, even in secco recits; Dreyfus, JAMS Su79
What might have played during tacet organ sections/movements?
Harpsichord; documentary evidence suggests that there were two, and Bach often played and directed from the harpsichord; Dreyfus, JAMS Su79
When else might the harpsichord have played?
Anywhere there are also figures present, along with the organ; Dreyfus, JAMS Su79
During what years did Bach experiment with continuo differentiation?
1723-1730, roughly; Dreyfus, JAMS Su79
How were issues of balance different in Bach's time?
Different instruments; unseen performers could move about the loft; 1 Whittaker
When were Leipzig cantatas performed?
Either two whole cantatas, one after the gospel and one after the sermon, or a single cantata split into halves in the same places; Durr Cantatas
Describe Bach's ideal organ stop for continuo playing.
8' gedekt, from wood, not metal; Wolff, World
What change did Bach request regarding the bass stops for continuo organ playing?
Replace 8' trumpet with 16' fagott so it could be more delicate; Wolff, World
Where were most of Bach's Leipzig cantatas performed?
Almost equally in St. Thomas and St. Nicolai churches; Smithers, Original
What is often missing from performance parts?
accidentals, corrections, tempo, solo/tutti, articulations, dynamics, etc.; Smithers, Original
What is the purpose of a ritornello in Baroque music?
similar to the exposition of a sonata, it presents the chief musical material in an orderly way; Alwes, CJ 11/00
What is the general gist of Alwes' article on ritornellos?
ritornellos give the conductor a guide to look for repetitive material, making rehearsals more efficient; Alwes, CJ 11/00