Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Ceballos, Sara Gross. “Sympathizing with C. P. E. Bachs Empfindungen.” Journal of Musicology 34 (Winter 2017): 1-31.

C. P. E. Bach’s final composition, C. P. E. Bachs Empfindungen, a chamber sonata arrangement of his Free Fantasia in F-sharp Minor, Wq. 67/H. 200, can be understood through the philosophies of sympathy posed by Bach’s contemporaries. This reading emphasizes the added violin as an integral figure in the work: the sympathetic reader. Across disciplines, notions of sympathy can be described as a “common thought pattern” in eighteenth-century Germany, and Bach’s own writings suggest he was at least familiar with these ideas as they related to his music. While Bach’s solo fantasias had the character of intimate diary entries, the accompanied sonata was a genre that favored sociability. This can be seen musically in how the violin interacts with the keyboard in Empfindungen. The keyboard part remains basically unchanged from the solo Fantasia for the majority of Empfindungen while the violin sympathetically reinforces the harmonic motion and motives, never duplicating the keyboard part. Empfindungen proceeds to adapt another Bach sonata for its conclusion, the unpublished Sonata in B-flat, Wq. 65.45/H. 212. Throughout the work, Bach demands a great deal of attention and sympathetic listening between performers, exemplifying his ideas on musical performance expressed in Versuch. The relationship between composer, performers, and audience modeled in Empfindungen not only mirrors ideas of literary sympathy, but also suggests a change in the way composers relate to their public.

Works: Carl Philip Emanuel Bach: C. P. E. Bachs Empfindungen, Wq. 80/H. 536 (22-31)

Sources: Carl Philip Emanuel Bach: Free Fantasia in F-sharp Minor, Wq. 67/H. 300 (22-26), Andenken an den Tod (24-26), Keyboard Sonata in B-flat Major, Wq. 65.45/H. 212 (26-28)

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Matthew Van Vleet

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Musical Borrowing and Reworking - - 2024
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