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Effusiveness

 

 

Effusiveness in Bach's most mature works

Thomas Braatz wrote (March 13, 2004):
Effusiveness in Bach’s most mature works

OED meanings:

Effusion= an unrestrained pouring forth of sounds, a frank and eager expression of emotions; an ‘outpouring’ of an author’s emotions/feelings (often negative)

Effusive= overflowing, irrepressible, demonstratively expressed

The emphasis here is on expressing one’s emotions unrestrainedly, all of which implies a lack of control (form).

This sounds more like the list member’s wishful thinking about how Bach’s music should be performed in an extremist manner. It has little to do with all the careful planning involved in creating a work such as the Goldberg Variations that demonstrates the use of canons and other rather strict forms of music, hardly the type of composition that could be classed as romantic ‘effusion.’ As far as calling attention to themselves, the polyphonic techniques used are so masterfully controlled that a normal listener is not aware of their intricacy and compositional difficulty.

>>Perhaps we should consider that the last thing Bach worked on, the B Minor Mass (BWV 232), is one of the most excessive and effusive pieces he ever penned. With the possible exception of the two big Passion settings, is there any composition by him that makes grander effects than the B Minor Mass does, or calls attention to itself (or to its creator's skill) more readily?<<

Consider: the ‘Gloria’ from 1733 originated 1717-1723; the ‘Gratias’ from BWV 29 (1731); ‘Qui tollis’ from BWV 46 (1723-1727); the ‘Patrem’ from 1732 originated 1730 in BWV 171; the ‘Crucifixus’ is from BWV 12 (1714); the ‘Et resurrexit’ is from 1717-1723; the ‘Et expecto’ from BWV 20 (1728); the ‘Sanctus’ from BWV 249a (1725); the ‘Osanna’ from BWV 215 (1734); the ‘Agnus Dei’ from 1725.

While Bach may have worked on some parts of the B minor Mass late in life, a large portion of it stems from much earlier periods. Also, listen to the OVPP/OIPP versions of this work and see if they present the ‘grander effects’ referred to here by the list member. In any case, ‘grand’ is not a synonym of ‘effusive.’

Gabriel Jackson wrote (March 13, 2004):
Thomas Braatz wrote:
< Effusion= an unrestrained pouring forth of sounds, a frank and eager expression of emotions; an ‘outpouring’ of an author’s emotions/feelings (often negative)
Effusive= overflowing, irrepressible, demonstratively expressed
The emphasis here is on expressing one’s emotions unrestrainedly, all of which implies a lack of control (form). >
To say that something is "demonstratively expressed" does not asume a loss of control. To say that something is "overflowing" does not assume a loss of control. To say that something is "irrepressible" does not assume a loss of control.

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Last update: ýMarch 20, 2004 ý21:24:17