The Reception of Bach's Organ Works from Mendelssohn to Brahms

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $16.56
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 73%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $16.56   
  • New (6) from $25.00   
  • Used (4) from $16.56   


In this penetrating study, Russell Stinson explores how four of the greatest composers of the nineteenth century—Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms—responded to the model of Bach's organ music. The author shows that this quadrumvirate not only borrowed from Bach's organ works in creating their own masterpieces, whether for keyboard, voice, orchestra, or chamber ensemble, but that they also reacted significantly to the music as performers, editors, theorists, and teachers. Furthermore, the book reveals how these four titans influenced one another as "receptors" of this repertory and how their mutual acquaintances—especially Clara Schumann—contributed as well.
As the first comprehensive discussion of this topic ever attempted, Stinson's book represents a major step forward in the literature on the so-called Bach revival. He considers biographical as well as musical evidence to arrive at a host of new and sometimes startling conclusions. Filled with fascinating anecdotes, the study also includes detailed observations on how these composers annotated their personal copies of Bach's organ works.
Stinson's book is entirely up-to-date and offers much material previously unavailable in English. It is meticulously annotated and indexed, and it features numerous musical examples and facsimile plates as well as an exhaustive bibliography. Included in an appendix is Brahms's hitherto unpublished study score of the Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572. Engagingly written, this study should be read by anyone at all interested in the music of Bach or the music of the nineteenth century.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Stinson presents a well-focused study of a narrow field, making the book attractive to amateur musicians and Bach enthusiasts." —Music and Letters

"The chief strength of the monograph, as one might expect from Stinson's earlier books, is its detailed discussions of musical texts and their transmission." -James Garratt, University of Manchester

"This fascinating study combines history, biography, and musical analysis in revealing the signal importance of J. S. Bach's organ music in the lives and work of Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms. Conversely, it defines the crucial role of these four masters in the Bach renaissance of the 19th century. Stinson's splendid book is absorbing, eminently readable, and arguably the most impressive contribution yet to the growing field of Bach reception."—Robert L. Marshall, Sachar Professor of Music emeritus, Brandeis University

"Stinson takes us on a stimulating and often surprising journey through countless sources recording the infectious enthusiasm that Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, and Brahms felt for Bach's organ music. Many of these materials, together with the insights that Stinson derives from them, are entirely new, and throughout we gain a vivid impression of what it must have been like to encounter Bach's organ music for the first time. Stinson's book will surely teach us that music from that past need not be relegated to an exhausted, mummified state, and that our changing perspectives—just like those of these nineteenth-century pioneers—furnish us with the enduring potential to experience it afresh and thereby stimulate our own creative potential."—John Butt, Gardiner Professor of Music, University of Glasgow

"This book will captivate you and hold your attention as it takes you on a journey into the minds and lives of four early receiveres and promoters of the Bach tradition." —CrossAccent

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195171099
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/6/2006
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Russell Stinson is the Josephine Emily Brown Professor of Music and College Organist at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas. He is the author of J. S. Bach's Great Eighteen Organ Chorales (Oxford, 2001), Bach: The Orgelbüchlein (reissued by Oxford, 1999), and The Bach Manuscripts of Johann Peter Kellner and His Circle.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Youth / The Grand Tour / Young Adulthood / The Leipzig Bach Recital /
The Final Years)
Chapter 2: Robert Schumann (Leipzig / Dresden and Beyond)
Chapter 3: Franz Liszt (The Traveling Virtuoso / Weimar / Transcriptions / Relationship with A. W. Gottschalg /
The Master Teacher)
Chapter 4: Johannes Brahms (An Overview / Brahms as a Scholar of Bach's Organ Works / Theoretical Sources
/ The Influence of Spitta's Bach Biography / Brahms's Inscriptions in the Organ-Music Volumes of the Bachgesellschaft Edition / The Marking of Themes and Motives / The Marking of Musical Form / The Marking of Rhythmic, Harmonic, Melodic, and Contrapuntal Irregularities Comparative Readings, Suggested Readings, and Corrections / The Marking of Ornamentation / Fingerings / Miscellaneous Annotations / Brahms as Scholar-Composer: the Eleven Chorale Preludes, op. 122 . )
Appendix: Johannes Brahms's Study Score of the Fantasy in G Major, BWV 572
Literature Cited

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)