Product details

ortus organum
om245 / Volume 9
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Sinfonia d-Moll (BR-WFB: C7)
Fassung für Orgel von Rüdiger Wilhelm
ISMN 979-0-502341-06-0
Soft cover, spiral binding, V+13 pages
incl. VAT plus shipping costs 16,50 EUR

The two-movement Sinfonia in D Minor (BR-WFB: C7, Fk 65) belongs to a group of only eight multi-movement compositions for strings by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710–1784), some of which are reinforced by oboes and bassoon and/or a pair of horns. In addition to the four strings and basso continuo the Sinfonia stipulates only two flutes. In the introductory Adagio – the strings play „con sord. e sempre piano“ – the obbligato flutes often have to execute sustained notes. The second movement, Allegro e forte, does not specify whether the flutes continue to participate. The piece is transmitted in an autograph score at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz (shelf number: D-B, Mus. ms. Bach P 325) as well as in other manuscripts (score and parts) copied by various scribes.[1] The autograph bears the following title: Sinfonia â 2 Travers: 2 Violini, Viola et Basso di W. F. Bach.
According to Peter Wollny[2] the style, two-movement structure and transmission suggest a date of composition around or after 1740 in Dresden. The piece may have been intended for performance during mass at the Catholic Hofkirche as a so-called Gradual symphony. Bach was employed from 1733 to 1746 as organist at the nearby Lutheran court church of St. Sophia. The scarcity of genuine organ works by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach – only a small number of fugues and chorale settings may be safely attributed to him[3] –, the assumption that the Sinfonia may have been intended for liturgical use, and its close affinity to the movement pair of prelude and fugue typical of the organ repertoire have induced the editor to venture preparing an arrangement for organ.

By the preface by Rüdiger Wilhelm (translation Stephanie Wollny)

[1] Vgl. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. Thematisch-systematisches Verzeichnis der musikalischen Werke (BR-WFB), ed. Peter Wollny (= Bach-Repertorium II), Stuttgart, 2012, p. 130 f.; Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Gesammelte Werke, Band 6 (Orchestermusik III: Sinfonien), ed. Peter Wollny, Stuttgart, 2010; separate edition: Peter Wollny (ed.), Wilhelm Friedemann Bach: Sinfonia in d (= Stuttgarter Bach-Ausgaben), Stuttgart, 2012; Martin Falck, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. Sein Leben und seine Werke mit thematischem Verzeichnis seiner Kompositionen und zwei Bildern, Leipzig, 1913, pp. 123 f., 165; David Schulenberg, The Music of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (= Eastman studies in music 79), Rochester, NY, 2010, pp. 160–163.
[2] See BR-WFB: C7 (p. 130) and the prefaces to the editions cited in footnote 1.
[3] Cf. Pieter Dirksen, “Zum Umfang des erhaltenen Orgelwerks von Wilhelm Friedemann Bach”, in: Wilhelm Friedemann Bach und die protestantische Kirchenkantate nach 1750, ed. Wolfgang Hirschmann and Peter Wollny (= Forum Mitteldeutsche Barockmusik 1), Beeskow, 2012,391–412; Rüdiger Wilhelm, “Wilhelm Friedemann Bach als Organist”, in: op. cit., pp. 413–428.


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