[f_minor] It's Vivaldi Always Vivaldi

Karl Berry karl at freefriends.org
Fri Jul 30 19:26:54 EDT 2010

    J.S. Bach was severely reprimanded by his cousin for copying out Vivaldi
    scores while the family was asleep...Somebody please help me with this!

The "moonlight manuscript" is discussed on pp.44-46 of Christoph Wolff's
opus, JSB: The Learned Musician, which I'll just summarize.

The story comes to us from JSB's obituary; presumably JSB himself told
his children the story, and they included it in the obituary.  The
composers mentioned there are Froberger, Kerl, and Pachelbel (not
Vivaldi).  The reprimand was from his (considerably) older brother
Johann Christoph Bach (not to be confused with the son Christoph; there
are several Johann Christophs ... anyway ...), who was one of the
biggest influences on JSB's life, musical and otherwise.  The other
tidbit is that the ms being copied 

  ... was kept in a cabinet whose doors consisted only of
  grillwork. Now, with his little hands he could reach through the
  grillwork and roll the book up (for it had only a paper cover);
  accordingly, he would fetch the book out at night, when everyone had
  gone to bed and, since he was not even possessed of a light, copy it
  by moonlight.  In six months' time he had these musical spoils in his
  own hands.
    [from the JSB obituary]

GG had it easy, as far as score acquisition goes :).


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