Description

    Johann Caspar Bachofen's Popular Collection of Sacred Songs

    Johann Caspar Bachofen. Musicalisches Halleluja, Oder schöne und geistreiche Gesänge, Mit neuen und anmuthigen Melodeyen begleitet, und zur Aufmunterung zum Lob Gottes, Im Truck übergeben von Johan[n] Caspar Bachofen, V. D. M. & Cant. der Kirchen und Schulen. Achte und privilegirte Auflag. Zürich: Getruckt in Bürgklischer Truckerey, 1767. Eighth edition (first published in 1727). Small thick octavo (7.75 x 4.5 inches; 197 x 114 mm.). [8], 880, [7, "Register"], [1, publisher's advertisement for works by Bachofen] pages. Signature collation: [pi]4 A-Z8 Aa-Zz8 Aaa-Iii8 ):(4. Lacking leaf Pp1 (pages 593/594), supplied in photocopy. Engraved frontispiece depicting "Musica," a winged female figure playing the organ, with three putti sitting beside her playing the cello, violin, and recorder. Woodcut musical notation. Typographic head-pieces, decorative woodcut tail-pieces.
    Early nineteenth-century (Pennsylvania German?) calf over thin wooden boards, possibly rebacked at an early date with black scored calf. Original leather strap with brass studs across the foot of the spine (the studded leather strap across the top of the spine is lacking). Covers ruled in blind, with delicately chased brass cornerpieces and centerpieces with bosses. Lacking clasps, anchor plates, and straps. Inserted at the front is a hand-drawn, hand-colored, and hand-lettered Fraktur bookplate or reward of merit, with text reading: "Dieses / Halleluia / dem vil Ehr / und Tugendsamen / Jüngling [illegible] v. / Arms Von [illegible] / 1816."
    The binding is worn, with several small scratches or scuff marks, but has been cared for, and all of the cornerpieces and centerpieces are present. Rear board a bit bowed; spine rubbed along the front joint and chipped at the top, with a short tear; fore-edge lightly foxed. Text quite browned in places, and soiled from heavy use. Dampstaining in the inner margin of the first four leaves, heaviest on the title; additional mostly marginal dampstaining in several places. Small stain in the upper margin from F8 to H7 (pages 95-126). Worming to the front pastedown and continuing in the outer margin through the first eleven leaves (through page 12), including the engraved frontispiece and title; a few additional minor wormholes in the text on P6 to Q3 (pages 235-246), touching a few letters. Small tear to the lower gutter margin of the engraved frontispiece, just entering image, repaired on the blank recto, with the repair extending onto the verso of [pi]4 (pages vii/viii). Small piece torn from lower edge of Iii8 (pages 879/880); a few additional minor marginal paper flaws. Despite the flaws, this is still a very attractive copy.
    Early ink signature on front free endpaper: A. Bertogg. Small bookseller's ticket on rear pastedown: "William Salloch / Pines Bridge Road / Ossining, New York." From the library of John Carroll Collins, with his booklabel on front pastedown and on front free endpaper.
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    Swiss composer and music pedagogue Johann Caspar Bachofen (1695-1755) grew up in Zürich, and studied at the cathedral school, the Collegium Humanitatis, and (from 1715) the theology class, earning the title V.D.M. (verbi divini minister) in 1720. In 1711 he joined the collegium musicum at the chapter house, and in 1715 he became a member of one that met at the German School. In 1720 he became a singing teacher at the lower grammar school. In 1742 he was appointed to the important position of Kantor at the Grossmünster, the most important cathedral in Zürich; at the same time he became director of the chapter house collegium musicum. "In 1739 he had also assumed the role of Kapellmeister at the German School, thus combining several of the most important musical posts in Zürich. Bachofen's significance in the history of Swiss music lies primarily in the exceptional popularity of some of his works. His music was criticized, even by his contemporaries, for deficiencies of construction, harmonic language and melodic development; but his most important collection of [over 600] sacred songs, Musicalisches Hallelujah, appeared in no less than 11 editions between 1727 and 1803, and became one of the favourite songbooks for popular music-making in the home. As the preface of the Musicalisches Hallelujah makes clear, Bachofen's works were specifically intended for domestic use. He broke away from the tradition of four-part writing (in the manner of Goudimel's psalms), and most of his settings are in three voices. The continuo part, presumably to be played on the home organ, also constitutes the vocal bass, and there are two soprano parts which frequently cross. Solo songs with organ are inserted to fill gaps on the printed pages resulting from publication in separate parts, with each three-part song beginning a new page. Bachofen is also important for his pedagogical work, in particular his expansion of the collegia musica, the centres of the day for German Swiss music and the predecessors of the future concert institutions. He also published a Musicalisches Noten-Büchlein (Zürich, n.d.), designed to provide the beginner with a 'theoretical conception of the art of music and song in a short time'" (Peter Ross in Grove Music Online).



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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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