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Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

Lost Works
General Discussions - Part 2

Continue from Part 1

Unknown Vocal Work by J. S. Bach Discovered

Teri Noel Towe wrote (June 7, 2005):
With thanks to Isabella de Sabata Gardiner for sending this exciting news!

BACH-ARCHIV LEIPZIG

FORSCHUNGSINSTITUT ª BIBLIOTHEK ª MUSEUM ª ERANSTALTUNGEN

June 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNKNOWN VOCAL WORK BY J. S. BACH DISCOVERED

A completely unknown composition by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered at the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, Germany by a researcher from the Leipzig Bach Archive. The discovery was made by Michael Maul in the course of a systematic survey of all central German church, communal, and state archival collections, an ongoing research project begun in 2002 and supported by the Packard Humanities Institute and the William H. Scheide Fund.

The score in Bach’s own hand dates from October 1713 and represents a setting of a strophic aria with ritornello for soprano, strings, and basso continuo composed on the occasion of the 52nd birthday of duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, whom Bach then served as court organist. The twelve-stanza sacred poem with the text incipit „Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn“ (Everything with God and nothing without him), the duke’s motto, was written by the theologian Johann Anton Mylius.

There has been no previous record of, or reference to, this composition. Moreover, in the seventy years since the 1935 discovery of the single-movement cantata fragment “Bekennen will ich seinen Namen” (BWV 200) no unknown authentic vocal work by Bach has come to light.

“It is no major composition but an occasional work in the form of an exquisite and highly refined strophic aria, Bach’s only contribution to a musical genre popular in late 17th-century Germany,” said Professor Christoph Wolff of Harvard University, chair of the Board of the Bach Archive, initiator, and supervisor of the current research project. “I am extremly proud of Michael who is a most resourceful researcher,” he added. “In less than three years he uncovered an unparalleled number of new archival Bach documents, but this is the first time he presented a musical discovery. The overall research project is far from being over and I am quite sure that sooner or later Michael Maul will make news again.”

A facsimile and performing edition of the newly discovered piece will be published in the autumn of 2005 by Bärenreiter-Verlag of Kassel, Germany. The first recording will be prepared by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, this year’s winner of the Bach Medal of the city of Leipzig, for release on his Soli Deo Gloria label.

For further information on the discovery, please contact the Bach-Archiv:
+49-(0)341-137102 www.bach-leipzig.de .

For further information on Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s involvement and the planned recording please contact Simon Millward PR, 020-7490-1591/07990-507-310.

Gary Hoffman wrote (June 8, 2005):
AFP is reporting the discovery of works by Bach and Handel. I have posted excerpts and a link at: http://www.operatoday.com/article/996/works-of-bach-and-handel-discovered

The Bach work consists of a two page composition that he performed in October 1713, for the 52nd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst von Sachsen-Weimar (1662-1728). It is a setting of a religious poem by Johann Anton Mylius.

The Handel work is for soprano and harpsichord that appears to be an alternate version of the cantata "Crudel tiranno Amor" (HWV 97).

Interesting.

Anthony wrote (June 8, 2005):
[To Boyd Pehrson] I would really want to have a look at the work. Perhaps I can sing
that as well. Is there a soprano section?

Boyd Pehrson wrote (June 8, 2005):
[To Anthony] The article tells us the performance edition will be ready this Fall. We all look forward to hearing it soon, and hopefully choirs will obtain the new music as soon as it becomes available. The picture of the autograph score found at the Bach-Archive Leipzig website looks like the piece contains a coloratura soprano aria.

This is very exciting news.

Anthony wrote (June 8, 2005):
[To Boyd Pehrson] The fact is that Bach hates singers. From the unclear handwritten script, I can see that it's going to be quite complicated!

 

'Bach Manuscript found in St. Petersburg'

Tom Dent wrote (September 30, 2005):
http://www.mosnews.com/news/2005/09/29/bachmanuscript.shtml

Not sure what to make of this. It seems to be another manuscript of a cantata that is already known (BWV 199). And even then it is not a newly discovered manuscript, but one that they only just got an expert graphologist to look at.

Still, the fact that there is one more confirmed Bach autograph may have slightly more musical significance than the bestowing of an award bearing the name of Classic FM...

Thomas Braatz wrote (September 30, 2005):
Tom Dent wrote:
>>Not sure what to make of this. It seems to be another manuscript of a cantata that is already known (BWV 199). And even then it is not a newly discovered manuscript, but one that they only just got an expert graphologist to look at.<<
The NBA KB I/20, with BWV 199 picked apart in great detail, does not know of any Bach autograph score of BWV 199 that may have gone unnoticed until it turned up almost a century ago and still was not recognized as a Bach original score. Often the NBA editors can refer to just when and where such a score, particularly of an already known cantata came up for sale or auction back in the late 18th or early 19th century and disappeared entirely.

In the instance of the complicated history of BWV 199 with 4 different states or versions and only the original Weimar score with its corrections (and even a sketch of a revised mvt. also written on it), the editors, based on similar experiences where Bach did not prepare a new score, but simply kept modifying the parts as needed as he moved from Weimar to Leipzig, could reasonably assume that no other autograph score would have to exist.

For almost every cantata, the NBA lists "Verschollenene Quellen" ["Sources that have been lost and would reasonably be expected to be among the original performance materials."] There is no missing autograph score.

However given the complexity involved with the performances of this particular cantata, there could be a reason why Bach has a "Partiturskizze" of the final mvt. (actually, not on the autograph score, but on the back of the "Viola obligata" part from the 1st Weimar performance. The question might be raised whether this 'score sketch' of one mvt. was but the interim stage leading to a new revised score to be used in Köthen, but when Bach came to Leipzig, the complications of the pitch problems inherent in using a Köthen score (which Bach may have prepared) may have caused him to return to the original Weimar score for a repeat performance in Leipzig (or he may simply have lost it or presented the new score as gift to the Köthen court.) In any case, there is no reason to believe that Bach could not once again work from the original Weimar score once he was in Leipzig. Also, he kept producing new parts so that the experts can trace4 different performances (2 in Weimar, 1 in Köthen, and the parts for any repeat performance in Leipzig of which there may easily have been more than one. In Leipzig, 5 parts were necessarily added to take care of transposition problems.

What value could there be in seeing Bach's clean copy autograph score of the 3rd Köthen stage of the repeat performances. There are still some problems having to do with Kammerton pitch which was used in Köthen and Chorton in Weimar. The existing parts have revealed some things, but there is still more that needs to be learned about this Köthen stage. The last mvt. sketch is 'bare-bones' (no text, no ornamentation, articulation, no figured bass, etc.) Remarkably the NBA editors comment that they suspect that this sketch was (for whatever reason which they can not figure out) not based directly upon the original Weimar score which we still have (in Copenhagen.)

Ludwig wrote (October 1, 2005):
[To Thomas Braatz] How did this come to Russia and is it in the National Russian Libary??? Was it stolen in WWII by Russian Soldiers as some other things were and just now surfacing???

 

Survey of all German archives and other Bach "scores hunting"

Juozas Rimas wrote (March 23, 2006):
I've found out from http://www.jsbach.org/bwv1127 that a "systematic survey of all central German, communal and state archival collections, a project initiated and supervised by Prof. Dr. Christoph Wolff, Chairman of the Board of the Bach-Archiv, Leipzig" is under way.

Is there more information online about this project in English?

Does the project imply searching all extant archives of any documents in Germany? How much of the work is done?

Have Leipzig archives been checked first, taking into account that two annual cantata cycles are missing and they're from JSB's Leipzig period? Where in time and place, according to scholars, the "thread" leading to these two cycles ends?

I'm also interested in the general results of research by "team led by Christoph Wolff, professor of music and dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, who had been searching for the lost Bach music scores for over two decades"
(a quote from http://www.huri.harvard.edu/)

Have any new works by JSB have been found in the Sing-Akademie collection dioscovered in Ukraine in 1999?

Margaret Mikulska wrote (March 23, 2006):
Juozas Rimas wrote:
< Have any new works by JSB have been found in the Sing-Akademie collection discovered in Ukraine in 1999? >
No, because all the works by JSBach owned by the Sing-Akademie were sold to the Royal Prussian Library sometime in 1860s or thereabout. Already then, they were regarded as very valuable. The rest was not.

There are only bits and pieces such as, IIRC, Bach's new instrumentation of a motet by one of his relatives or counterpoint puzzles written together with (and for) WF Bach.

 

Missing Music (was: Bach/Chalemeau)

Continue of discussion from: Bach and Chalemeau [General Topics]

William Hoffman wrote (July 8, 2008):
With all due respect to Christoph Wolff, whose book, JSB:TLM, our University of New Mexico graduate seminar dissected one semester, one of my few reservations about the most thorough, revealing and stimulating study-biography is the premise about lost music. Re. Köthen, Bach purchased music and paper from the Court fund. He had scribes, copyists, and librettists like Hunold, also paid from Court funds. It was for Court performance and the Royal library, and quite a collection, according to Wolff and others: vast amounts of regional music and copies of French and Italian masters. I believe that Bach's manuscripts were Royal property. Alas, all was lost, except the music Bach had the foresight to take with him.

Friedrich Smend was the first Bach scholar to go to Köthen and part the curtains. He was also the first to challenge Spitta's dating of the chorale cantatas and to look at the parodied "lost" St. Mark Passion. Yes, Smend made serious errors, especially with his NBA edition of the Mass in B Minor (what a parody work that is!).

And Wolff follows and eclipses Smend in his willingness to challenge established wisdom and cast a wide net.

Kim Patrick Clow wrote (July 8, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
< I believe that Bach's manuscripts were Royal property. Alas, all was lost, except the music Bach had the foresight to take with him. >
Thanks for that information. During the seminar, was there any mention of when the library seems to have been lost? Usually inventories would take place after a death, to settle an estate, and I know Bach's patron died not long afterwards. As I mentioned earlier, it's amazing and frustrating that the records survive for the paper purchase orders, but not the music itself.

Thanks again

William Hoffman wrote (July 9, 2008):
Kim Patrick Clow wrote:
< Thanks for that information. During the seminar, was there any mention of when the library seems to have been lost? Usually inventories would take place after a death, to settle an estate, and I know Bach's patron died not long afterwards. As I mentioned earlier, it's amazing and frustrating that the records survive for the paper purchase orders, but not the music itself. >
William Hoffman replies:
The most accessible source remains Smend's Bach in Köthen, especially the 1985 edition (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis MO), English translation by John Page, and edited and revised with extensive annotations by American Bach scholar and writer Stephen Daw (Bach, the Choral Works, 1981).

Here is Daw's final footnote: "E94. As Smend himself pointed out, the 1768 catalog of music held in the Schloss library (printed by Rudolph Bunge in BJ, 1905) can have but little representative bearing on the Hofkapelle's activities 50 years earlier - especially since the ingredients had mainly been published since 1723 and the Kapelle had been dissolved in 1754." Leopold's brother and successor, August Ludwig, died in 1755.

The primary documentary source are Köthen court financial records (payments from the treasury) including musical activities, purchases, salaries and special payments, similar to the records kept in Weimar. Wolff (p.208) lists Bach's return visits to Köthen for "guest performances" in 1724, 1725, 1728, and 1729, during which he continued to serve as a court composer. Bach certainly had ample opportunity to access the Schloss library.

Wolff's claims in Chapter 7, Capellemeister in Cöthen, "well over 350 compositions," mainly instrumental music (p.200) on the basis of costs for paper and binding. Wolf observes in Footnote 19 (p.487): "The manuscript inventory of the music library at the neighboring ducal castle of Zerbst offers welcome insight into the rich and diversified repertoire maintained at a small court. The instrumental genres represented on twenty-four densely filled pages include" concertos, overtures, symphonies and sonatas, from inventory dated March 1743.

Martin Geck (JSB:Life and Work) in his section on Köthen (pp. 96-114) says: "Bach was not a prolific [instrumental mus) composer, rather, he tended to concentrate on just a few projects and models over a period of time" (p.108). Geck, who has extensive German sources listed in his bibliography, considers another Bach at Köthen myth (p.107): "Until a few years ago it was taken for granted that most of Bach's orchestral compositions originated in the Köthen period.. Then he cites Wolff's "comprehensive thesis" that such works which have no handwritten versions prior to 1723 must have been composed later, especially for the Collegium musicum.

Meanwhile, I am currently researching Bach's extensive composition of "drama per musica" cantatas (serenatas), especially in Köthen and Leipzig, for pending discussion.

Stephen Benson wrote (July 9, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Meanwhile, I am currently researching Bach's extensive composition of "drama per musica" cantatas (serenatas), especially in Köthen and Leipzig, for pending discussion. >
Be sure and keep us up-to-date on your progress. I, for one, and I'm sure I speak for many on the List, look forward to your submissions.

Douglas Cowling wrote (July 9, 2008):
William Hoffman wrote:
< Wolff's claims in Chapter 7, Capellemeister in Cöthen, "well over 350 compositions," mainly instrumental music (p.200) on the basis of costs for paper and binding. >
We know the annual schedule for music for a cantor in Leipzig. Has anyone reconstructed the court calendars in Weimar, Köthen and Dresden so that we have an idea of the recurring occasions when new secular music was expected? Name days? Accession celebrations? Memorial commemoratons? New Year's?

William Hoffman wrote (July 9, 2008):
Douglas Cowling wrote:
< We know the annual schedule for music for a cantor in Leipzig. Has anyone reconstructed the court calendars in Weimar, Köthen and Dresden so that we have an idea of the recurring occasions when new secular music was expected? Name days? Accession celebrations? Memorial commemoratons? New Year's?. >
William Hoffman replies
Yes (sources from Wolff JSB:TLM). In Weimar, because of the rivalry between the two co-reigning dukes (Wilhelm Ernst and Ernst August), homage and birthdays were generally ignored. Still, we have four works with texts by court poet Salomo Franck. Bach began with tafelmusik, Cantata BWV 208, for the birthday of the Weissenfels Prince in 1713. In less than three months at the beginning of 1716, four cantatas were presented: a wedding cantata (text only), for Ernst August and Princess Eleonore Wilhelmine of Anhalt-Cöthen, January 24; memorial cantata, BC B-19 (text only) for Prince Johann Ernst, April 2; Cantata BWV 208 repeated for Ernst August's birthday, April 19 (with just a name change); and a birthday cantata (text only) for the new Duchess; May 18.

At Cöthen, 1717-1723 (Wolff's Table 7-2), we have Prince Leopold's birthday, December 10; and the annual New Year's Day serenata for his realm. Christian Friedrich Hunold provided texts to Bach serenatas for the birthdays of 1718-20, and the New Year's Day, 1720. Some 12 secular works probably were presented, nine are documented.

For Leipzig, we have (Wolff's Table 10.5) annual name days and birthdays for the Dresden Court monarch, 1727-1742, as well as coronation and homage cantatas, for a total of 15 extant works.

 

Lost Works: General Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2 | Das Alt-Bachische Archiv - Cantus Cölln

Recordings & Discussions of Other Vocal Works: Main Page | Motets BWV 225-231 | Mass in B minor BWV 232 | Missae Breves & Sanctus BWV 233-242 | Magnificat BWV 243 | Matthäus-Passion BWV 244 | Johannes-Passion BWV 245 | Lukas-Passion BWV 246 | Markus-Passion BWV 247 | Weihnachts-Oratorium BWV 248 | Oster-Oratorium BWV 249 | Chorales BWV 250-438 | Geistliche Lieder BWV 439-507 | AMN BWV 508-523 | Quodlibet BWV 524 | Aria BWV 1127

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Last update: ýJuly 10, 2008 ý19:42:00