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Tomaso Albinoni & Bach

Albinoni Magnificat

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 4, 2006):
In his artilce on "The Mature Vocal Works" for "The Bach Companion", Robin Leaver notes that new research has revealed that Bach would have been expected to perform concerted settings of the Magnificat on no less than
sixteen occasions each year. We have only one setting by Bach (in two versions D and E flat) but there are fragments and arrangements of other composers' settings, notably Caldara.

Clearly there must have been a library of settings whose scores and catalogue has disappeared. Given Bach's knowledge of the music of Albinoni, I'm wondering if there is any evidence that the Magnificat in B Flat was known in Germany, particularly in Dresden.

Always looking ahead at a possible concert reconstruction of a Bach Vespers for the Tallis Choir of Toronto ...

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 4, 2006):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
>>Given Bach's knowledge of the music of Albinoni, I'm wondering if there is any evidence that the Magnificat
in B Flat was known in Germany, particularly in
Dresden.<<
As you probably already know, what little actual evidence connecting Bach with T. Albinoni is in the form of secular orchestral music, not sacred. This is confirmed in the BWV catalogue:

BWV 946 Fuge in C on a theme by Tomaso Albinoni
BWV 951 Fug in b minor on a them by Tomaso Albinoni
BWV Anh. I, 23 A continuo part for a Concerto in e minor by Tomaso Albinoni

in Wolff's biography and the NBA KBs which have not a single reference to Albinoni in regard to any of Bach's sacred vocal music.

Albinoni rarely left his home in Italy, but did once venture out to present an opera of his in Munich. Dresden was not on this list of very limited stays away from home.

Another indication that Bach may not have been acquainted with Albinoni's sacred music can be found by examining the article on Albinoni in Johann Gottfried Walther's "Musicalisches Lexicon..." (Leipzig, 1732). It is thought that Bach may even have collaborated with Walther in preparing this book, but in any case Bach would have read carefully many articles contained in a book which he sold directly from his house. In the article on Albinoni only his orchestral works Opus 1 - 9 are listed in detail describing what type of compositions might be found in each opus. There is no reference to any sacred choral music nor are his operas even mentioned.

Some very slightly positive information is given in the MGG1 on an article on Heinrich Bokemeyer (1679-1751) [he may have studied with Albinoni in 1701-1702 while on an extended visit to Italy] whose musical activities were centered primarily in Wolffenbüttel/Braunschweig. At his death his estate included in what is now called the "Bokemeyer Collection scores by (including mainly sacred compositions ("Stücke" with Umlaut means "compositions") Christ. Heinr. Aschenbrenner, Albinoni, Albrici, P. Agricola, Allegri, Altrovantini, Alvari, Arconati, Ariosti, Barbieri, Bassani, Bassegio, Battistini, Dietr. Becker, J. Beer, Chr.Bernhardi, G. Bertuch, Bezold, G. Bleyer, Bokemeyer, Bononcini, N. Bruhns, Carli, Cellini, Colonna, Dänner, Druckmüller, Ebeling, Erben, Fedeli, Ferrara, Foggia, Casp. Foerster, J. W. Forchheim, J. W. Franck, Förtsch (ca. 80 Stücke), Gasparini, Gianettini, Grua, Hammerschmidt, Hanff, Heinichen, Horn, R. Keiser, Casp. Kerl, Kesselring, Knüpfer, Kreichel, J. Ph. Krieger, Joh. Krieger, A. Krüger, Kuhnau, Legrenzi, Levini, Lieben, Liebhold, Lollfuß, Lotti, V. Lübeck, J. Fr. Meister, Melani, Meyerhoff, Monari, Monteverdi, Oesterreich (ca. 50 Stücke), Pallavicini, Passarini, della Porta, J. Pezel, Perandi, Pfleger, Pistocchi, Pizzolo, Quaglia, Rosenmüller (116 Stücke!), Sabbatini, Sartorio, Scacchi, Schelle (26 Stücke), Schieferdecker, Steffani, Stradella, Strattner, Telemann, Theile, Torelli, Torri, Joh. Ulichs, Valentini, Vetter Vitali, Viviani, Jakob Weckmann, Matthias Weckmann, Wenzel, Wiering, Wilderer, Witte, Wockenfuß, Zachau, L. F. Zey and many others.

The Dresden connection with Albinoni could probably only stem from Johann Adolf Hasse who spent time in Venice and very became acquainted with Albinoni. Hasse's main interest, however, was Italian opera. It is difficult to find a sacred music connection. In any case, the type of music that Hasse preferred and composed for church was extremely galant and sounded almost the same as his opera music. If Albinoni's Magnificat is polyphonic, Hasse would not have performed it in Dresden. Hasse had stated that polyphonic music sung in the Dresden Court Chapel sounded like the howling of cats "Katzengeheule".

Dima Vinokurov wrote (September 5, 2006):
[To Thomas Braatz] According to M. Talbot in his book "Tomaso Albinoni", apart from Messa a tre voci which was written in his youth, Albinoni is not known to be involved in writing sacred music. The Magnificat in G minor for voices and strings is dated 1720 and survived in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, but it is considered by Talbot to be a spurious work on stylistic grounds.

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 5, 2006):
Dima Vinokurov wrote:
>>The Magnificat in G minor for voices and strings is dated 1720 and survived in the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek, but it is considered by Talbot to be a spurious work on stylistic grounds.<<
Thanks for sharing this important information!

Douglas Cowling wrote (September 5, 2006):
[To Dima Vinokurov & Thomas Braatz] It's too bad ... The setting is quite splendid and would have been admirably suited to Bach's situation. You never know ... (grin)

 

Tomaso Albinoni: Short Biography | Tomaso Albinoni & Bach

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Last update: żNovember 11, 2008 ż01:26:56