The Collected Works for Keyboard.
Rampe's editorial method is the same as that for the earlier volume, with the music cleanly printed and nicely laid out for performance. Alternate readings appear in small notes on the corresponding pages of the edition. An appendix contains three additional works (including the famous Meditation faist sur ma mort future), followed by the critical report to complete the volume.
Six toccatas, six ricercars, six capriccios, and six partitas comprise the Libro quarto of 1656, while an additional six capriccios and six ricercars constitute the Libro di capricci e ricercate of ca. 1658. There are no specific organ indications such as registrations, pedal parts, or manual changes in these works, but with the exception of the partitas, which are obviously in a harpsichord idiom, they appear equally suited for performance on either organ or harpsichord. Along with the collection of 1649, these compositions form one of the important groups of keyboard literature of the seventeenth century.
Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-1693), who may have met Froberger in Rome in 1649, was highly esteemed in his day as a performer, teacher, and composer. His Modulatio organica super Magnificat was published in 1686 and contained a thematic catalogue of his unpublished keyboard music. One collection each of instrumental and vocal works was published during his lifetime, but his large output circulated primarily in manuscript, well into the eighteenth century. Adolf Sandberger edited the Ausgewahlte Werke des kurfurstlich bayerischen Hofkapellmeisters Johann Kaspar Kerll in Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Bayern (vol. II/2, Leipzig: Breitkopf & Hartel, 1901). Other sources and compositions, however, have come to light since that time, making a new edition desirable.
The Collected Works for Keyboard, edited by C. David Harris, presents all of Kerll's extant keyboard works, including the first publication of the complete suites. Newly republished are the organ versets, originally planned for but never published in Denkmaler der Tonkunst in Osterreich; a facsimile, now out-of-print, appeared as volume five of Seventeenth-Century Keyboard Music, also edited by Harris (New York: Garland, 1987). Among the sources used by Harris are three important manuscripts unknown to Sandberger: Gottweig, Austria, Benediktinerstift, Musik-Archiv Ms. Kerl 2 (in the hand of Gottlieb Muffat); Bologna, Civico Museo Bibliografico Musicale, Ms. DD/53; and Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Mus. Mss. 5368.
The edition consists of eight toccatas, six canzonas, four suites, eight Magnificat versets, the Capriccio sopra'il cucu, a battaglia, a ciaccona, and a passacaglia. The Toccata qua rta (labeled "Cromatica con durezze, e ligature"), Toccata sesta (marked "per il pedaled'), and the Magnificat versets were definitely composed for the organ. Except for the suites, the remaining compositions might be performed on either organ or harpsichord. Kerll's keyboard works comprise one of the significant repertories of the second half of the seventeenth century, drawing on the heritage of Girolamo Frescobaldi and Froberger, updated to conform to the characteristics of the middle Baroque. The versets represent a more introspective style, while the programmatic pieces continue a tradition dating from the late Renaissance.
The detailed commentary published as a separate volume opens with a substantial biography of Kerll. A section on performance discusses meter, tempo, and rhythm; ornaments and arpeggiation; phrasing and articulation; repeats; and instruments. Harris devotes the bulk of the volume to the critical apparatus, which deals first with the sources, then presents the variants for each work. An appendix contains works attributed to Kerll and void-notation versions of triple-meter passages, followed by a bibliography.
A comparison of the editorial procedures adopted by the two editions for notating textual variants is instructive, since two contrasting methods are represented. Fortunately, neither edition presents conflated versions. For Froberger, Rampe points out that the "autographs are not only documents with virtually no mistakes, but also incomparable examples of superior graphic design and visual effect. Insofar as it was possible within the framework of this edition, we have endeavoured to provide exact copies of the texts and musical scores as they appear in the sources. . . . Problematic passages have been included as they appear in the original, but the annotations provided will give the performer the opportunity to make his own interpretational decisions" (v. 1, p. xiii). The edition thus reproduces the readings found in the autographs, with notational variants from subsidiary sources shown in small type in the margin, enabling the performer to compare variations in readings in one place in the edition.
In the Kerll edition, Harris states that "the edition of each piece (or, where more than one version of a piece is presented, of each version) has been based upon a single source, the principal source. Although for each piece the editor has collated all seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century sources known to be extant, the readings of the principal source have been preferred, except in cases of manifest error and in cases where the evidence of other sources suggests that the reading of the principal source is not authoritative. This policy ensures that the edition represents each work as it was understood by a single copyist and as it would have been available to a performer of the late seventeenth or early eighteenth centuries" (p. xiii). This edition, then, does not present variants with the printed music (except for the Passacaglia) but accounts for them in the thorough critical apparatus. For the Capriccio sopra'il cucu, which has significant differences in its readings, three separate versions are provided. It is difficult to decide which system serves the reader better. In the case of the Froberger edition, it is handy to see all significant versions at the same time, but it does give a somewhat cluttered appearance to the page. In contrast, with the Kerll edition one sees a more elegant and readable layout, but it is necessary to look in more than one place to comprehend all possibilities for performance.
The four Kerll pieces (Capriccio sopra'il cucu, Battaglia, Ciaccona, and Passacaglia) published in the Art of the Keyboard, 2C are extracted from Harris's collected edition, with two pages of introductory material. The suites and toccatas are also available as offprints.
ARTHUR LAWRENCE Manhattan School of Music
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|Article Type:||Book Review|
|Date:||Jun 1, 1997|
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