Et incarnatus: an afterthought?
AbstractAldus titel en samenvatting van het artikel dat april 2004 verscheen in The Journal of Musicological Research 23(2004)1, 81-112 (aanwezig te Groningen (UB), Utrecht (UB), Amsterdam (OB) en Den Haag (KB)).
In this article we argue against the current view that the separate choral Et incarnatus of Bach's B-minor mass was an afterthought. Considerations of symmetry, tonal structure and catholic mass-composing tradition, reinforced by observations on the autograph and a musical analysis of the Et in unum duet and its parody indicate that Bach must have planned the independent Et incarnatus from the beginning. We contend that Bach deliberately inserted it in the autograph on an extractable leaf to provide his missa tota with alternative performing options, lutheran and roman-catholic. A supra-denominational performance however, in line with Bach's old-age universalist orientations, avoids the structural and musical weaknesses of both confessional alternatives. A change in the prevailing performing practice seems to be justified.