HIGH DEFINITION PIANO ANTHOLOGY

“Sechs kleine Präludien aus der Sammlung Johann Peter Kellner”


“Sechs kleine Präludien aus der Sammlung Johann Peter Kellner”
[Six Little Preludes from the collection of Johann Peter Kellner]

 

01. ...(Without Title)... BWV 939 in C Maj. (n. 01 of Six Preludes)
02. ...(Without Title)... BWV 940 in D Min. (n. 02 of Six Preludes)
03. ...(Without Title)... BWV 941 in E Min. (n. 03 of Six Preludes)
04. ...(Without Title)... BWV 942 in A Min. (n. 04 of Six Preludes)
05. Præludium BWV 943 in C Maj. (n. 05 of Six Preludes)
06. Prelude BWV 999 in C Min. (n. 06 of Six Preludes)

 

The Six Little Preludes from the collection of Johann Peter Kellner, are another collection of short pieces for the piano. The first four (BWV 939 - 942), have no title and many doubts have been raised regarding their authenticity. Frequently, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach's name (1710-1784), first born of Johann Sebastian, or Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s name (1714-1788), Johann Sebastian’s second son, have been mentioned as the possible composers of these short works.

The Prelude BWV 943 was transcribed by Johann Nickolaus Mey (?-?), a friend of Johann Peter Kellner. Mey created several handwritten copies of concerts adapted by J.S. Bach for the harpsichord or organ, which, in turn, were transcriptions by J.S. Bach of concerts for various instruments by other composers, many of whom were Italian.

Mey wrote on his copy: “Praeludium in C by Johann Sebastian Bach”, which, given his expertise, is, without doubt, true.

On the title page of the last one, BWV 999 is written, “Prelude in C Min for lute by Johann Sebastian Bach”, and the first page of the copy is signed by Johann Peter Kellner. The prelude, despite opening in C minor, and having the unique feature of ending in the dominant key of G, is often performed on the lute as the introduction to the fugue in G Min, BWV 1000, which is also for the lute. As regards the preludes numbering from BWV 939 to 999, I was able to consult the main source, thanks to the Digitization Project of Bach’s works in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin [Berlin State Library], which made available the manuscript listed as P 804.

Here too, in some cases, I have recorded different versions of the same piece by comparing editions containing different handwritten copies.

 

To see Johann Peter Kellner's copy:

 

Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz,
Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv:
[Berlin State Library - Prussian Cultural Heritage, Music Department with Mendelssohn archive]

 

BWV 940, 941, 939:

A. D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 804, Faszikel 53
B. Manuscript


BWV 942 (preceded by BWV 927):

A. D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 804, Faszikel 53
B. Manuscript


BWV 943:

A. D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 804, Faszikel 2
B. Manuscript


BWV 999:

A. D-B Mus. ms. Bach P 804, Faszikel 19
B. Manuscript

 


Tullio Forlenza