Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Stevens, Jane R. "The 'Piano Climax' in the Eighteenth-Century Concerto: An Operatic Gesture?" In C. P. E. Bach Studies, ed. Stephen L. Clark, 245-76. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988.

Denis Forman's claim that J. C. Bach transferred certain stylistic devices of opera to his piano concertos is an uncritical assumption. In his study of Mozart piano concertos, Forman argues that the virtuosic solo passage which occurs at the end of the first solo section--the "piano climax"--is essentially a musical device particular to da capo aria, conceived and developed in opera first and transferred to concerto later. He believes that this transfer was first made by J. C. Bach, in two of his concertos published in 1763, which subsequently influenced young Mozart. A study of the keyboard concertos of C. P. E. Bach shows that he used a similar kind of cadential passage as early as the 1720s, under the influence of J. S. Bach and contemporary Italian opera composers. Transferring musical devices from one genre to another is an oversimplified theory. Knowing that J. C. Bach studied with C. P. E. Bach, it is equally unlikely that J. C. Bach discovered the "piano climax" in the aria and simply transferred it to an instrumental genre.

Works: Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 25 in C Major, K. 503 (245-52), "Se il tuo duol" from Idomeneo (253-54); J. C. Bach: Keyboard Concerto in B-flat Major, Op. 1, No. 1 (255-56), Keyboard Concerto in F Minor, Op. 1, No. 2 (257-58, 260-61), "Trafiggero quell core" from Allesandro nell'Indie (259); Vivaldi: Concerto in G Minor, Op. 4, No. 6 (263-65); C. P. E. Bach: Keyboard Concerto in E-flat Major, H. 404 /Wq. 2 (264-67), Keyboard Concerto in B-flat Major, H. 413/Wq. 10 (267-68); Hasse: "Corre al cimento ardita" from Armino (267-69); C. P. E. Bach: Keyboard Concerto in A Major, H. 411/Wq. 8 (270-71), Keyboard Concerto in C Minor, H. 441/Wq. 31 (273-75).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Tong Cheng Blackburn

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