October focus: Clavier-Übung III

Jonathan Ryan presenting the October program
Jonathan Ryan presenting the October program

Our October program was a double feature.  On Sunday, October 09, Tacoma AGO members heard Jonathan Ryan perform Bach’s Clavier-Übung III as part of the Richard D. Moe organ recital series at Pacific Lutheran University.  Then, on Monday, Mr. Ryan spoke on the Clavier-Übung as the program of our October meeting in Kilworth Chapel at the University of Puget Sound.

The program was in two parts, the first being a discussion of the four parts of Bach’s Clavier-Übung, setting the historical context with references to contemporary documents and musical examples.  Mr. Ryan presented musical arguments to support the theory that the Clavier-Übung part III meets the definition of an organ mass.

The second part of the program focused on performance practice, including tempo, registration, and ornamentation.  Mr. Ryan made a point that Bach ‘s use of registration was unusual and controversial in his time, and presented historical references to support unconventional registration.

The handout is attached to this article and available for download.


Leave a Reply