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Musical Offering, Volume 1

Volume 1: Ricercari for Harpsichord (Pianoforte)

By Johann Sebastian Bach

Solo piano (or harpsichord) - SMP Level 7 (Late Intermediate)
Volume 1: Ricercari for Harpsichord (Pianoforte). Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). Edited by Christoph Wolff. This edition: urtext edition. Stapled. Barenreiter Urtext. Baroque. Collection. With introductory text and manuscript facsimiles (does not include words to the songs). BWV 1079. 21 pages. Baerenreiter Verlag #BA05154. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag (BA.BA05154).

Item Number: BA.BA05154

ISBN 9790006465859. 9x12 inches. Key: C minor. Preface: Christoph Wolff.

In May 1747 Bach appeared before Frederick II in Potsdam and improvised on a theme proposed by the king himself, playing a Silbermann pianoforte. In all likelihood the three-voice Ricercar reproduces this improvisation in polished form. The six-voice Ricercar was supplied later in response to the king’s request for a „fugue in six obligato parts“ as Bach only felt capable of improvising such a fugue on a subject of his own choice. This new edition of the two ricercars from The Musical Offering has been revised and enlarged on the basis of the latest Bach scholarship. It contains not only the printed version of the six-voice Ricercar but the autograph version as well. Rounding off the volume are a complete facsimile reproduction of the manuscript, facismiles of Bach’s dedication in the printed edition, and a preface discussing the work’s origins and performance. This definitive volume was edited by the internationally renowned musicologist Christoph Wolff, currently professor at Harvard and world-famous for his many Bach discoveries and insights.

About Barenreiter Urtext

What can I expect from a Barenreiter Urtext edition?

- A reliable musical text based on all available sources
- A description of the sources
- Information on the genesis and history of the work
- Valuable notes on performance practice
- Includes an introduction with critical commentary explaining source discrepancies and editorial decisions

- Page-turns, fold-out pages, and cues where you need them
- A well-presented layout and a user-friendly format
- Excellent print quality
- Superior paper and binding


About SMP Level 7 (Late Intermediate)

4 to 5-note chords in both hands and scales in octaves in both hands.

  • Ricercar a3  C Minor
  • Ricercar a6  C Minor
  • Ricercar a6 (Earlier Version)  C Minor
  • Ratings + Reviews

  • 3

    Pittsfield, MA
    Difficulty Level:
  • March 28, 2018 Could be better

    I was hoping that Bach would know—of all composers!—how to compose an authentic, Italian-styled Ricercare, but, alas, Bach does not. Unlike Frescobaldi, Froberger (his student), and even the German, Steigleder, (among others)...What this is is a piece that is like most of Bach’s fugues. So...

    if you want fugal writing this is for you. But if you’re looking for a genuine Ricercar look elsewhere, like the composers I mentioned above.

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