Graduates Versus Oligarchs
Covering the Economy: February 28: International Trade

Cultural Consumption and Identity in 18th Century Germany

Gerry Feldman invited Michael North to come up from his temporary home base at the Getty Museum to talk:

Cultural Consumption and Identity in 18th Century Germany : Monday, February 27, 2006 Time:4:00PM Speaker:Prof. Michael North (Professor of History Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University, Greifswald) Location:201 Moses: Description:The lecture will discuss culture and consumption and the issues of luxury and taste in Germany at the turn of the nineteenth century...

Absolutely fascinating. The nugget that fascinated me the most was this. I think I understood it properly:

If, in the late eighteenth century (if you were rich--solidly bourgeois) you wanted to get the score of a piano sonata by Karl Philip Emmanuel Bach, it was easy: C.P.E. Bach sold subscriptions and partnered with publishers to make money off of selling scores. He was, among other things, an intellectual property entrepreneur. On the other hand if, in the middle of the eighteenth century, you wanted to get the score of one of Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg Concertos... you needed to know and be owed a favor by the Kapellmeister of some small princely state who knew and was owed a favor by the Kapellmeister of Frederick the Great and so had a copy of the score that could be recopied by hand. C.P.E. Bach was in lines of business that J.S. Bach was not.

I suppose this explains why we have only the St. Matthew and St. John Passions. Surely J.S. Bach wrote St. Luke and St. Mark Passions too, didn't he?

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