the Leipzig composer’s name would be immediately recognized. However, Bartók’s planned “B-A-C-H” quotation was not a typical homage to JohannSebastianBach, primarily because he did not quote the relevant pitches, but rather its transpositions
In a memorable letter of 18 March 1926, brought to the attention of Anglophone scholars by David Schneider, Bartók’s second wife Ditta Pásztory described her reaction (obviously also reflecting that of her husband’s) to Stravinsky’s Piano Concerto just after listening to its Budapest premiere with the composer at the piano as being attracted to the machine music but missing in it what she called her “homeland.” In the present article I should like to show that the machine music described as intimidating is no more threatening than a sewing machine, because the inspiration for it was 192Os-style performances of Bach. Furthermore, despite his notorious rhetoric, Stravinsky too aimed at exaltation and catharsis. Parallels between the climaxes in Bartók’s First Piano Concerto and those in Stravinsky’s (especially in the first movement) might reveal the real kinship between the two works. At the same time, Bartók’s obviously different approach to Bach, testified in his few fragmentary recordings, may help us understand the differences of aesthetics between the two composers in their respective neoclassical style showcased in the most important genre for a concertizing pianist.
The paper summarises the lessons and conclusions of a large study of over 100 recordings of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Passions, Brandenburg Concertos and Goldberg Variations issued between around 1945–1976. In the first part it gives an overview of the state of performance practice scholarship in the first three quarters of the 20th century. In the second part it deals with the role of instruments, vocal practices, tempo, ornamentation, rhythm and articulation in creating the style of a performance. It argues that articulation stemming from early instrumental technique and based on the metric organisation of rhythm is the key element of a historically oriented style. This, however, has not been fully recognised during the period. Among scholars only Sol Babitz discussed it at length prior to the mid-1980s while on record it appeared sporadically from late 1960s onwards, but almost exclusively in the performances of Leonhardt and Harnoncourt. 7 figures, musical examples, summary list of recordings referred to in the text.
contrapuntal construction, for example in Variazioni canoniche (1950), based on the twelve-tone series of Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte by Arnold Schoenberg, and furthermore showed the influence of Hermann Scherchen, who intensively engaged in JohannSebastian
– examplary works are listed from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century composers such as Georg Friedrich Händel, Niccolò Jommelli, JohannSebastianBach, Joseph Haydn, Domenico Cimarosa, and Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. 36 In contrast to the named examples
There are also two other violin parts, which are connected to the Waldbauer–Bartók partnership: a part of the B minor Violin–Keyboard Sonata (BWV 1014) by JohannSebastianBach which bears the autograph marking