Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Buelow, George J. "A Bach Borrowing by Gluck: Another Frontier." In Eighteenth-Century Music in Theory and Practice: Essays in Honor of Alfred Mann, ed. Mary Ann Parker, 187-203. Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon, 1994.

Christoph Willibald Gluck used a theme borrowed from the gigue of Bach's Partita No. 1 in B-flat major in three of his own operas. Of Gluck's biographers, only Anna Amalie Abert notes that Gluck used the first part of Bach's gigue. Gluck was probably attracted by the gigue's agitated character, its leaping melodic line, and its repeated dissonant appoggiaturas. In the three arias in which this theme is used, the characters are suffering from an emotional crisis. Gluck adds an ornamented upbeat to Bach's theme, and uses a section of the theme in the bass line. The extent of Gluck's adaptation makes this a true borrowing, rather than a "paraphrase" as Klaus Hortschansky argues.

Works: Christoph Willibald Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride, "Je t'implore et je tremble" (188, 192-95, 198-203), Telemaco, "S'a estinguer non bastate" (195-96), Antigono, "Perchè, se tanti siete" (189).

Sources: Johann Sebastian Bach: Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV 625 (188, 189-91, 194); Christoph Willibald Gluck: Telemaco, "S'a estinguer non bastate" (189, 195-96).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Felix Cox

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