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Re: Bach Editor

+AD4-Is there any information if Bach wrote ALL his pieces without editing them,
+AD4-ie took a piece of note paper and wrote everything straight onto it and put
+AD4-the paper aside making no fixes or changes?

Just the opposite: Bach revised his work often, as well as rearranging it
for other instrumentation.  Some of his surviving manuscripts show the
revision process (with new notes added between other notes, or in margins).

There were of course no photocopiers or carbon paper: if you wanted a copy
of something, you either wrote it out yourself by hand or hired somebody to
do it from your instructions and drafts.  Changes could be made during the
copying, either deliberately or accidentally.  Examples are the French
Suites, the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue, and the Inventions/Sinfonias:
copies that come to us through Bach's students have some substantial
differences.  The existence of a clean copy should never be taken to mean
that there were no drafts or revisions leading to it+ACE-  It just means that
somebody was good at writing copies.

The early versions of the Partitas +ACM-3 and +ACM-6, the Art of Fugue, and the
+ACI-French Ouverture+ACI- are all +ACo-very+ACo- different from the published versions.
They are interesting glimpses into what Bach was thinking as a composer.
The Christmas Oratorio and the Mass in B Minor are built from recycled
material.  (Take a piece about Hercules, change the words and some other
details, and now it's a piece about Christmas.)  There's a completely
different early cadenza for Brandenburg +ACM-5, too.

There is a piece in Anna Magdalena's notebook composed by Francois Couperin:
Bach wrote it out with a simplified notation (faster to write, and easier to
sight-read).  He could of course explain during lessons what the intention
and original notation was, and explain which notes Couperin had specified to
be held longer.  There was therefore no need to make an exact copy.

There also exists a copy of the Goldberg Variations in which Bach
hand-corrected the published version.  See especially +AF8-Bach: Essays on his
life and music+AF8- by Christoph Wolff.

Bradley Lehman