Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Kirkendale, Warren. "More Slow Introductions by Mozart to Fugues of J. S. Bach?" Journal of the American Musicological Society 17 (Spring 1964): 43-65.

A group of fugue arrangements for string trios and quartets, known as K. 405 and K. 404a by Mozart, and the anonymous arrangements of the Berea/"Kaisersammlung" manuscript are based on the fugues from J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. The authorship of these arrangements, along with some of their anonymous slow introductions, has always been in question. A historical investigation indicates that Mozart is the most probable author. Around 1782, Mozart regularly attended Baron Gottfried Van Swieten's Sunday chamber music sessions, in which only Handel's and Bach's music were performed. Mozart arranged Bach's fugues for these events. It was also around that time that Mozart studied Bach's fugues with enthusiasm. Mozart is also known for adding slow introductions to arrangements of his own compositions; examples include the piano fugue K. 426, later arranged for strings (K. 546), and many other works. Further studies of the manuscript copy, musical style, texture, and harmonic language make even a stronger case for Mozart's authorship. Mozart's involvement in these pieces cannot be denied until another composer is proven to be the author.

Works: Mozart: Five Fugues K. 405 (44, 46-47, 50-53), Four Preludes for String Trios K. 404a (44, 46-57, 62-65), Berea/"Kaisersammlung" manuscript (47-57, 60-63).

Sources: J. S. Bach: Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, in C Minor (44, 47), D Major (44, 46, 51), E flat Major (44, 46, 52, 53), D sharp Minor (44, 50, 51), and E Major (44, 52).

Index Classifications: 1700s

Contributed by: Tong Cheng Blackburn

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