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Bach Books

Bach Werke Verzeichnis
by Wolgang Schmeider

 

 

Book

1

Bach Werke Vereichnis

Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke

WolfgangSchmeider

Breitkopf & Härtel

Dec 1990

 

Schmeider

Santu De Silva wrote (March 19, 2001):
I'm interested in obtaining a copy of the Bach Werke Vereichnis (did I spell that right?), but don't know where to look for it. I either need this book, or any book with a thematic index of all the bach works. Any ideas?

Gary L. Hoffman wrote (March 20, 2001):
[To Santu De Silva] The title is Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke Johann Sebastian Bachs. It is available from Amazon.de. The cost is 320 DM (about $146).

Kevin Sutton wrote (March 20, 2001):
[To Santu De Silva] You were close on the spelling. Bach Werke Verzeichnis. You should be able to get that through Amazon.com although you will probably have to wait a while for it. It will also be very expensive so be prepared! Good luck.

Alberto Gemin wrote (March 20, 2001):
It was something I always looked for. I actually started writing my own "Bachs" thematic when I was at high school, during boring lessons, but never went past the first 30 themes...

I am about to order it from amazon.de, but since I don't understand a iota of german, I'd like to check with you that it is what I want: a thematic index (musical score) of all the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, possibly with multiple themes per BWV (i.e. one for each movement or section, I suppose the Matthaus Passion will have several pages). Can some connaisseur please confirm this? Many thanks

Zachary Uram wrote (March 20, 2001):
[To Gary L. Hoffman] Wow! Why so expensive? How many pages is it??

Santu De Silva wrote (March 20, 2001):
About the BWV (Thematic catalog of Bach's complete works) Albert writes:
< It was something I always looked for. I actually started writing my own "Bachs" thematic when I was at high school, during boring lessons, but never went past the first 30 themes... >
You know, I'm on the brink of trying something like that just for the cantatas, with the intention of putting it on the web! I think I'm going to give it up.

< I am about to order it from amazon.de, but since I don't understand a iota of german, I'd like to check with you that it is what I want: a thematic index (musical score) of all the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis, possibly with multiple themes per BWV (i.e. one for each movement or section, I suppose the Matthaus Passion will have several pages). >
Well, I once ordered the thing on interlibrary loan. Yes, it has an index of themes (sort of like the things you get in some editions of the 48 preludes & fugues, or Beethoven sonatas) for each movement of each work. It also has a lot of other textual material having to do with the history of it, the disputed works, and the classification scheme.

By all means get it, if you can afford it. I'm asking myself whether I can...

Zachary Uram wrote (March 20, 2001):
[To Santu De Silva]I can't!

Santu De Silva wrote (March 20, 2001):
< About Schmeider's BWV catalog Zachary says: wow! why so expensive? [330 DM] how many pages is it?? >

Lots; around a thousand. (Of course in smaller print they could put it on 50 pages! : )

I think the cost is because it's only ever bought by specialist scholars and by libraries. I don't think they could hope to sell more than 2000 copies of the book. Our college library doesn't have it.

By the way, other books that have some (or more) of the functionality of the BWV are:

(*) A Dictionary of Musical Themes
by Harold Barlow and Samuel Morgenstern ($180) ( c) 1958?

(*) The Oxford Companion to Music,
by Percy M. Scholes ($60) ( c) 1970

The Oxford companion has issued a new edition The New Oxford Companion, which retails for $180 odd, also. I don't know how much better the new book is. Look in the archives of this list and the lists classm-l and the moderated list: mcml.

Gary L. Hoffman wrote (March 20, 2001):
The latest edition is approximately 500 pages. It is cloth bound and comes in a cardboard slip cover. My guess is that, like most academic books, there was a limited press run, thereby making the per unit cost relatively high. This is comparable in price to the Bach Compendium by Christoph Wolff et al. which sells for 180 DM per volume (only 4 of which remain in print) and the new multi-volume Bach-Handbuch published by Laaber-Verlag at 198 DM per volume. By contrast, Bärenreiter has just released quality paperback editions of monuments of German music, including Syntagma Musicum (3 vols.) by Michael Praetorius (98 DM) and Der vollkommene Capellmeister by Johann Mattheson (44 DM). The current exchange rate is $0.46 per DM.

The layout of Amazon.de is virtually identical to that of Amazon.com. Navigating through it is not that difficult. The only problem I have encountered is that it takes 4 to 6 weeks for a book to arrive once it has been sent.

Jean Louis Vigneresse wrote (March 20, 2001):
Actually you may hve the BWV from amazon.de

Bach- Werke- Verzeichnis. Kleine Ausgabe. Bach- Werke- Verzeichnis (BWV, 2a).
Johann S. Bach, Alfred Dürr, Yoshitake Kobayashi

Preis: DM 98,00 EUR 50,10
Taschenbuch (1998) Breitkopf u. H., Wiesbaden;
ISBN: 3765102490

The official work is already separated in several subnumbers and for instance the Matthaus Passion is separated in 2 parts (I Teil and II Teil), each of them having a separe number 1 to 29 for the first part (up to the choral O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde gross and the second part goes from 30 (Aria (alto) Ach, nun ist mein Jesus hin to 68, the final chorus

Another catalogue includes the Zwang one
Zwang, Philippe
Johann Sebastian Bach
Paris, Librairie Honoré Champion, 1990, 243p.
ISBN 2-85203-096-9

some new versions of the BWV are in progress

you may found them on: http://infopuq.uquebec.ca/~uss1010/catal/bacjs/bacjs.html

Kevin Sutton wrote (March 21, 2001):
< Zachary Uram wrote:: wow! why so expensive? how many pages is it?? >
It's not the pages that make a book expensive. The BWV is expensive because it is necessary to keep it in print due to its historical importance, yet very few copies are actually sold each year. It's all about economics, Zach.

Jaime Jean wrote (March 21, 2001):
[To Kevin Sutton] The Schmieder catalogue is pricey indeed - but I can hardly think of a better investment for somebody who is really interested in Bach's work. Once you have it, you don't understand how you had managed to live without it.

Zachary Uram wrote (March 21, 2001):
[To Jaime Jean] Does it come in English for those of us who can't read German?


A scholarly resource, the BWV

Bradley Lehman wrote (December 9, 2004):
The price of the BWV (catalog) is now down to 39 Euros at German Amazon. I've set up a review of this essential book, at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bpl/bwv-review.htm

That's less than the price of a good meal out, or a CD set of the St Matthew Passion....

Bach Books: Main Page / Reviews & Discussions | Index by Title | Index by Author | Index by Number
General: Biographies | Essay Collections | Performance Practice | Children
Vocal: Cantatas BWV 1-224 | Motets BWV 225-231 | Latin Church BWV 232-243 | Passions & Oratorios BWV 244-249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Lieder BWV 439-524
Instrumental: Organ BWV 525-771 | Keyboard BWV 772-994 | Solo Instrumental BWV 995-1013 | Chamber & Orchestral BWV 1014-1080

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Last update: ęDecember 11, 2004 ę13:10:29