One Tradition – Many Interpretations


Performance practice issues in the organ works of J.S. Bach varied greatly at the beginning of the twentieth century. Many organists turned into editors and published their personal view of Bach’s œuvre in editions that contained detailed instructions for performance in the preface and/or the music itself. In the first part of this paper, I will compare the general features of the Bach editions by Marcel Dupré, Louis Vierne and Albert Schweitzer/Charles-Marie Widor, all of them leading representatives of the French (and Alsatian) organ school. The second part will explain the specific implications of the respective editorial policies and practices at the example of the “Prelude in e minor”, BWV 548.