|Steve Rasmussen, Ed.||Inventions|
A new catalogue of Bach's work, the Bach=Compendium (4 vols. to date, Leipzig: Peters, 1983-89) employs a categorical numbering system with additional numbers for individual works. It is currently in preparation by Christoph Wolff and Hans Joachim Schulze. Categories are represented by letters. Thus where E=masses, E 2 is the B-Minor Mass of 1733.
The existing volumes of the Compendium cover the vocal
music of Bach; we await the completion of the volumes covering
instrumental music before adding this reference information to our files.
The most pervasive problem of work-identification in Bach's music has to do with the identification of the four-part chorales. Our encodings include only those chorales for which there is a distinct BWV number (BV 253-438). However, many repertory books prepared for students and performers provided a considerably greater number of items with independent numbering systems. Thus, those approaching our data holdings from their other perspectives may have some difficulty in matching up works. Their favored items may be chorales taken from Bach's very numerous cantatas, for this was a principal source of additional items for the expanded list of "four-part chorales".
Bach did not help matters either. He set some of the same chorales as
many as five times, so a mere title-search will not always solve the
problem. We hope to provide a table of concordances for the chorales
utilizing the information in the Bach=Compendium.