The Essential Bach Choir (Paperback)
What type of choir did Bach have in mind as he created his cantatas, Passions and Masses? How many singers were at his disposal in Leipzig, and in what ways did he deploy them in his own music? Seeking to understand the medium of Bach's choral output, Andrew Parrott investigates a wide range of sources: Bach's own writings, and the scores and parts he used in performance, but also a variety of theoretical, pictorial and archival documents, together with the musical testimony of the composer's forerunners and contemporaries. His research convincingly supports his radical conclusion that the essential Bach choir was in fact an expert vocal quartet (or quintet), whose members were also responsible for all solos and duets. Includes the text of Joshua Rifkin's 1981 lecture on this issue.