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The Thematic Catalogue of the Music Works of Johann Pachelbel.

The Thematic Catalogue of the Music Works of Johann Pachelbel. By Jean M. Perreault. Edited by Donna K. Fitch. Foreword by Christoph Wolff. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press. [viii, 411p. ISBN 0-8108-4970-4. $80.] Illustrations, appendices, bibliography.

The challenges confronting an author compiling a thematic catalog of any composer are daunting. To establish bibliographic control over any musical corpus, questions of authenticity and the location of both manuscripts and early printed editions must be explored. Such were the challenges facing Jean M. Perreault in compiling the first catalog of the instrumental and vocal works of Johann Pachelbel. Perreault has made a valuable contribution for any-one wishing to explore German instrumental or vocal music from the generation immediately preceding Johann Sebastian Bach. The present catalog is not perfect, but it is an important contribution. As Christoph Wolff points out in his brief "Foreword," "When it comes to musicians prior to the generation of Bach and Handel, we are not blessed with serviceable catalogs that help us to gain an overview, let alone bibliographic control, of the output of quite a number of major musicians" (p. [ix]). The present work was largely completed prior to the author's sudden death in 2001. Donna K. Fitch, Perreault's stepdaughter and a former colleague at the University of Alabama at Huntsville, did the final editing for publication.

The finished catalog includes a total of 528 works (421 for keyboard instrument, 89 choral/vocal works, 16 chamber works, and 2 instructional works) arranged alphabetically by title and assigned a catalog number. The alphabetical order is word by word. Each entry includes the location of manuscripts identified by RISM sigla, library manuscript number, and folio or page number within the manuscript. All manuscripts are listed in a column on the left-hand side of the page. On the right-hand side is a column listing published versions. Incipits are included for each identified work. For large-scale works, subordinate movements or sections are each given an incipit and a sub-number to identify the work and from which section the incipit is taken. For example, 416.2 identifies the fugue portion of the Prelude and Fugue in E minor given the catalog number 416. The incipits use as many musical staves as are needed to accurately portray the work. Continuo figures are included if found in either a manuscript or an early printed edition. Variant incipits, in a smaller font, are included if the variant version is from a published source. The titles are based either on the underlying text for vocal works, chorale melody, or form titles based on the Library of Congress subject headings, qualified by medium of performance and key, or ecclesiastical mode.

According to the introduction, the author had three goals in compiling the catalog: to determine the exact size of Pachelbel's compositional output or "corpus;" to determine the best verbal method (i.e., title) for identifying each work; and to settle problems of identifying works with similar titles or groups of works with titles derived from the same text. The catalog assigns numbers to any work published during the composer's lifetime, or that appears in a manuscript that can be accurately dated up to one hundred years after the composer's death and can be ascribed either without question or with partial agreement that is fully documented. Works that are attributed to Pachelbel in some sources, but broadly accepted as the work of another composer are included, but without either a work number or an incipit and with a note identifying the generally accepted composer. A work ascribed to Pachelbel that has been questioned but is generally accepted as a work by Pachelbel is given full documentation with the note "Ascription Questioned."

In addition to the main body of the catalog, the author has provided a number of chapters and appendices to clarify the work. The "Introduction" discusses Pachelbel's public image, and also includes a short history of the publication of Pachelbel's works (only twenty-four were published during the composer's lifetime). "The List of Pachelbel's Musical Works" serves as an introduction to the catalog itself, listing how the catalog is organized and defining the methodologies used. Following the catalog proper is a chapter "An Essay on the Authorities," and a listing of all the manuscripts referenced in the catalog, arranged by country, city, and library. "The List of Published Versions" is arranged alphabetically by the identifying code used in the catalog proper for the published version of the works. The six appendices cover "The Magnificat-Fugues, the Ecclesiastical Modes, and Modern Tonality," and "Index of Variant Work Titles" referencing variant work titles with the established work titles found in the catalog. An "Alphabetical Index of Works by Forms and Besetzungen," an "Index to Movement and Section Titles of Choral/Vocal Works," an "Index of Variant Manuscript Codes/Names," a listing of "Dates (1679-1705) on Manuscripts/Published Versions," and a list of the "Works of Questioned Ascription" are also included. The catalog concludes with an annotated bibliography.

It is immediately evident that Perreault has made an important contribution. As Wolff expresses in his introduction, future scholars will undoubtedly build upon this work to refine even further our knowledge about and understanding of Pachelbel's musical output. It is already evident, however, that there is much more than the ubiquitous "Canon" (no. 37 Canon and Gigue for three violins and continuo in D major). More manuscripts will undoubtedly surface. A quick check of RISM A/II online revealed a number of manuscripts not included in the present catalog. In each case, the holding library is listed in the catalog, but additional works are now listed in RISM. Perreault worked entirely from either printed sources (including facsimiles) or microfilms. He describes the work as "absolutely secondary, even tertiary" (p. [9]). Now that the preliminary work has been done, more manuscript studies, including work on watermarks and scribal hands, will further refine our knowledge of these works.

In recent years two other lists of Pachelbel's works have been published: a list by Ewald von Nolte and John Butt, "Johann Pachelbel," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2d ed. (London: Macmillan, 2001), 18:853-55; and, more recently, a listing by Michael Belotti in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Personenteil, 2d ed. [Kassel: Barenreiter, 1999-, 12:1506-17]). Both have chosen to list the works by performance medium and form, and separate doubtful and lost works into separate categories. A detailed comparison of these listings is outside the scope of this review. One example, however, will demonstrate some of the questions that remain. Perreault lists three chorale prelude settings of Es woll' uns Gott genadig sein (Nos. 118-120). No. 118 is located in four different manuscripts at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz; No. 119 is found only in a manuscript once in the library of Professor Max Seiffert and now presumed lost; No. 120 is found only at the Herzogin Anna Amalia Bibliothek, Weimar, and is labeled as "Ascription Questioned." The New Grove lists two setting under "Organ Chorales, Fugues." There is no setting listed under either Doubtful or Lost Works. The new MGG includes only one setting under Choralfughetten. Based on the library ascription for the manuscript, this is Perreault's number 119.

I have one reservation about this work. The author acknowledges that this is a work based primarily on secondary and even tertiary sources. He does not, however, attempt to make judgments concerning attribution based on the sources used. The volume is a compilation of the work of numerous other scholars concerning the works of Pachelbel. A philosopher by training and a librarian and cataloger by profession, Perreault uses his analytical and bibliographic skills to bring organization to the catalog. Nonetheless, Perreault has included a number of chapters and indexes in expository prose. The writing style is often very dense and the reader will often find the author's train of thought difficult to follow. For example: "Any work that occurs in any manuscript (from the composer's time up to a hundred years or so after his death) and that is ascribed-without-question to Pachelbel, or to him with only partial agreement as to the authenticity/spuriousness of that ascription, is accepted prima facie as something of which the reader needs to know" (p. 9).

The work was published as completed at the time of Perrault's death in 2001. The editor, who admits she is not a Pachelbel scholar, did not rewrite these sections (Donna Fitch, e-mail message to Robert Follet, 18 November 2004). I can certainly understand the decision not to edit these chapters without being able to consult the author. The more I have worked with this volume, however, the more I have come to realize there is a wealth of valuable information in these chapters that would justify taking extra time to clarify them for users of the catalog.

Should libraries purchase this catalog? Certainly. I hope the appearance of a thematic catalog for the works of Pachelbel will stimulate further research in the area and lead us to a greater understanding of Pachelbel and his contemporaries.


Peabody Conservatory of Music

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Author:Follet, Robert
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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