Recordings/Discussions
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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 1

Lost work discovered?

Ehud Shiloni
wrote (April 5, 2000):
Excitement again:

I read in today's local paper that Christoph Wolff reported a discovery of a JSB work in the Kiev archive! Supposedly it was composed by Bach before his death with instructions that it be performed at his own funeral service. The music is a re-working of a Johan Christoph Bach piece from 1672 named "Dear God, please awaken us" [free translation...].

Has anyone heard anything about this discovery?

Cor Knops wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Ehud Shiloni) This is what I read:

Bach's forgotten funeral music found in archive BY DALYA ALBERGE, ARTS CORRESPONDENT

THE last piece of music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered in a neglected family archive. Bach had prepared the piece for his funeral.

Lieber Herr Gott, Wecke Uns Auf (Dear Lord God, Wake Us Up) was written by Johann Christoph Bach, the composer's uncle, in 1672 but Bach arranged an instrumental accompaniment to the motet a few months before his death in 1750.

Christoph Wolff, author of The Learned Musician, a biography of Johann Sebastian Bach to be published on April 27, said that no later manuscript bears Bach's handwriting. "It is an extraordinarily expressive piece that gives us an insight into Bach's funeral, about which we basically knew next to nothing beyond that Bach was put in an oak casket and given a free hearse."

The manuscript lay forgotten in a Bach family archive in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. An edition of the composition published in the 1840s made no reference to Bach. Professor Wolff, the William Powell Mason Professor of Music at Harvard University, said: "Kiev never really looked at it. No one saw this striking biographical manuscript. It was selected by Bach and arranged by him in his illness three or four months before his death. He saw his end coming and put his estate in order. He made provisions for his sons and provided for his funeral."

Bach, who was born in 1685, is the most celebrated member of a large family of northern German musicians and composers. Professor Wolff said that in the funeral piece Bach put himself in the context of the family. "He is thinking back to the music of the previous generation in his family and his own children. Feeling that his end was near and wanting to make deliberate contingency plans, he selected a work by his most distinguished ancestor that set to music a traditional prayer text whose words anticipated life after death."

On his 50th birthday in 1735, Bach sketched a family tree with samples of the musical compositions of each member. At his death, nine of his twenty children were still living.

In the funeral motet, Bach created an arrangement for a double choir and wind and string instruments. Professor Wolff said the manuscript reveals that "the ailing old man clearly had trouble writing. The lettering is unwieldy - uneven, stiff, disproportionately large, and disjunct."

Ryan Michero wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Ehud Shiloni & Cor Knobs) This is great news! Thanks for breaking the story to us, Ehud and Cor.

Teldec and Hänssler have some more work to do...

Does anyone know of a recording of this piece, since it has actually been known for a while?

Johan van Veen wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Ryan Michero) Yes, there is a very good recording of motets by members of the Bach family. I give here all the details:

Collegium Vocale Gent; Ricercar Consort
DIR.: PHILIPPE HERREWEGHE
Recorded: December 1982
[Ricercar - RIC 017001]
"Motetten der Bach Familie"

1) Johann BACH: Sey nun wieder zufrieden
2) -: Unser Leben ist ein Schatten
3) Johann Michael BACH: Das Blut Jesu Christi
4) Johann Christoph BACH: Fürchte dich nicht
5) -: Ich lasse dich nicht
6) -: Der Gerechte, ob er gleich zu zeitlich stirbt
7) -: Lieber Herre Gott, wecke uns auf
8) -: Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Friede fahren
9) -: Unsers Herzens Freude

Marten Breuer wrote (April 5, 2000):
< Ryan Michero asked: Does anyone know of a recording of this piece, since it has actually been known for a while? >
Yes, Ryan, it has been recorded by Herreweghe in one of his earlier recordings:

'Motetten der Bach Familie' (label: Ricercar), containing motets by Johann, Johann Christoph and Johann Michael Bach. Nonetheless, I hope Rilling will record it too.

Many thanks again to Ehud and Cor for their exciting news!

Harry J. Steinman wrote (April 5, 2000):
Let me see if I understand: Johan Christian wrote the original work; JSB re-worked it...and here I get a little fuzzy: If I understand the stream of email about this, the work was then attributed to one of the children, Johan Christian, I presume, and has been recorded as a JC Bach work. Then it comes to light that it was really JSB. Do I have it correctly?

Xavier Otazu wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Ehud Shiloni) mmm... this is very suspicious... very few months before his 250 years from his death, a work composed when he was very close to death, a very mystic title "Dear God, please awaken us"... mmm...

This smells like a joke from some funny person...

Peter Bright wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Xavier Otazu) In this case I think it is genuine - I have received an email (after a request for information) from Christoph Wolff (Professor of Music & Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University). He is one of our foremost authorities on all things Bach and spent decades tracking the material down. In fact, from earlier news items it seems as if the recovered manuscripts were thought to belong just to CPE Bach (for an example, see the Ukraine Newsstand site at: http://www.brama.com/news/press/990811bach.html. The reason that it is suddenly news now (rather than last year when it was identified), seems to be that Wolff's book has just been published ("The Learned Musician", Oxford University Press), and the media turned two of its pages into a news article.

Ryan Michero wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Xavier Otazu) It doesn't sound suspicious to me at all! You heard about the discovery of the C.P.E. Bach manuscript collection in the Ukraine, right? The Berlin Sing-Akademie inherited C.P.E. Bach's manuscript collection after his death, and it stayed with them until WWII when the Soviet army overtook Poland (where the collection had been put for safekeeping). Read more about it here: http://geocities.com/Vienna/5000/feature/bachmanu.html

Christoph Wolff and a team of researchers have been studying the archives and putting them on microfilm. Wolff had that the majority of the pieces were original manuscripts of C.P.E. Bach and his brother W.F. Bach, and the chances of finding new things by J.S. were very small as most of the known missing J.S. Bach works were never owned by C.P.E. However, the work found is NOT an original work of J.S. Bach but an arrangement of a work by his uncle. This work has been known (and recorded), but it was not known that J.S. Bach did the instrumental arrangement. Wolff and crew found the original manuscript of Bach's arrangement, dating it very close to Bach's death from the paper and J.S. Bach's own failing handwriting.

It makes perfect sense, and it adds to our understanding of Bach's life. Too bad Wolff couldn't write about it in his recently released biography, THE LEARNED MUSICIAN!

Peter Bright wrote (April 5, 2000):
(To Xavier Otazu) Following on from my previous post, this "funny person" (?) has written/edited the following books, amongst others:

The New Bach Reader by Hans T. David (Editor), et al. W.W. Norton Paperback

Bach: Essays on His Life and Music by Christoph Wolff, Harvard University Press Paperback

Driven into Paradise: The Musical Migration from Nazi Germany to the United States by Reinhold Brinkmann (Editor), Christoph Wolff (Editor) University of California Press Hardcover

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician by Christoph Wolff, W. W. Norton & Company Hardcover

The New Grove Bach Family (The New ) by Christoph Wolff, Christopher Wolff

Bach by Christoph Wolff

J.S. Bach's Precepts and Principles for Playing the Thorough Bass or Accompanying in Four Parts

Mozart's "Requiem" by Christoph Wolff, Mary Whittall (Translator) Special Order Clarendon Press Hardcover

Music from "The Andreas Bach Book" and "The Moeller Manuscript" by Robert Hill (Editor), Christoph Wolff Harvard University Press Paperback

The Neumeister Collection of Chorale Preludes from the Bach Circle by Johann Sebastian Bach, Christoph Wolff (Editor) Yale University Press Hardcover

The World of the Bach Cantatas: Early Sacred Cantatas by Christoph Wolff (Editor), Ton Koopman (Editor) Special Order W.W. Norton Hardcover

Sybrand Bakker wrote (April 5, 2000):
No, from the Cor Knops post written by Johann Christoph Bach, the composer's uncle, in 1672 but Bach arranged an instrumental accompaniment to the motet a few months before his death in 1750.

I know for fast readers Christian is about the same as Christoph, and you are easily misled if you are not familiar with the ancestors of JSB.

So the work has been recorded (a Capella) as a Johann Christoph work.

Ehud Shiloni wrote (April 6, 2000):
(To Sybrand Bakker) So the work has been recorded (a Capella) as a Johann Christoph work.

I have another recording of this work [other than the one by Herreweghe already mentioned]:
Motets of the Bach Family
Columns Classics #B555015
The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Timothy Brown, Conductor
Recorded July 1995

The Johann Christoph Bach motet, "Lieber Herr Gott", is on track #1, and the duration is 4:05.

The performance is not a-Capella: The choir is accompanied by a small group of instruments - theorbo, bass-violin, organ. I have no idea whether the instrumental part is the one arranged by JSB, or the discovery has to do with a totally unknown version. The box includes a bonus Video-CD where one can watch the choir singing. The CD holds a total of 11 motets by various Bach family composers.


Last Bach's mottetto

Daniotti Flavio
wrote (April 21, 2000): 13:13
Can you give me some information about le last Bach's mottetto discovered in Kijev recently?

John Hartford wrote (April 21, 2000): 17:12
(To Daniotti Flavio) It is by J. Christoph Bach, first cousin of JSB's father Ambosious. I believe it is an arrangement for double choir, wind and strings of Lieber Herr Gott,Wecke Uns Auf.


BBC blurb about that motet (recently found)

Jerry and Judy
wrote (April 27, 2000):
Story dated Wednesday, 26 April, 2000, 23:41 GMT http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/newsid_727000/727183.stm


Bach's last piece

K. Farad
wrote:
What was Bach's last piece?

I've heard that it was art of fugue, BWV 1080, but now I hear that it was "Eins ist Not! ach Herr, dies Eine - Vocal Works - BWV 453" (Written in 1750 according to www.jsbach.org), and somebody else told me that the last one was piece was dictated to his son-in-law, Johann Christoph Altnickol, and that it was a revision of the organ Chorale Prelude, "Wenn wir in hoechsten Noeten sein",(BWV 668a) to the text "Vor deinem Thron tret' ich hiermit".

I'm confused! Which one is it?

Gabriele Vallini wrote (September 9, 2000):
(To K. Farad) The problem is: who really knows??? The fact is that the story of Bach, blind and lying on his bed and dectating "Vor deinem Thron tret' ich hiermit" to his son in law Altnickol (according to Forkel) looks to be only a legend and must be taken as is. According to Wolff, the "Fuga a tre soggetti" that closes BWV 1080 was not left unfinished but the final part was lost (I hope to live as long as I can, if the final section will be still existing somewhere...). This final part should have made the fugue complete adding as fourth subject the original theme of BWV 1080 (this is certain, studies show all the possible combinations between the four themes). I know nothing about BWV 453. I knew, sometime ago, that the last JSB piece was a composition written for his own funeral, around an already existing piece (written by his uncle???) What is the source for this statement, I don't know.

Zachary Uram wrote (August 12, 2000):
(To Gabriele Vallini) I disagree, you automatically discount the historical account as legend. Such presumption! This is totally witin character as Bach. That Bach wrote it and did so in very end of life we do know. That it was on deathbed we don't know with certainty but you should not call the nephew a liar without any evidence. I don't see why you have a hard time accepting this account. This is in same type of mentality that is so ready to discount Bach's works as spurious if they don't "sound right" to that individual.


BBC News - Entertainment - Priceless Bach works return to Germany

Teri Noel Towe
wrote (January 20, 2001):
With thanks to Qais Al-Awqati for sending this item, and to Christoph Wolff for his tenacity in finding the Archiv and then arranging for its return to Germany:

<A
HREF="http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/newsid_1126000/1126194.st

m">Click here: BBC News | ENTERTAINMENT | Priceless Bach works return to
Germany : http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/entertainment/newsid_1126000/1126194.stm</A>

Friday, 19 January, 2001, 15:19 GMT
Priceless Bach works return to Germany

By arts correspondent Jo Episcopo

A collection of manuscripts by the German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons is to be returned to Germany by Ukraine after a long battle for custody of them.

The archive was taken by the Soviet Union's Red Army at the end of World War II. The decision to return the music was announced to coincide with a visit by Ukraine's President Leonid Kuchma to Germany.

President Kuchma formally presented the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, with the first manuscript on Friday.

The Bach archive is described by musical scholars as priceless and irreplaceable.

The collection includes unpublished work by JS Bach himself, although much of it is by two of his sons, one of whom - Carl Phillip Emmanuel - was himself a noted composer.

Scholars say the work provides an important dimension to the study of 18th Century music.

Spoils of war

The story of the Bach archive reads like a Cold War novel. It was moved by the Germans from the famous Berlin Singakademie to Silesia, now part of Poland, to save it from bombing campaigns during the World War II.

But in 1945 the Soviet Red Army took the archive as a war trophy, in compensation for the looting the Germans had carried out in occupied Russia and Ukraine. The documents then fell into the hands of the KGB - the Soviet secret police - and were feared lost for more than 50 years. They were unearthed two years ago in Ukraine's state museum.

The decision by the Ukrainian authorities to return the archive to Germany is controversial.

President Kuchma, dogged by domestic corruption scandals, is keen to forge connections with Western Europe, and particularly Germany, as it is the country's biggest foreign investor.

But many Ukrainians are unhappy about it. A lot of cultural treasures were taken from Ukraine by German troops during World War II. But some have been returned to Russia instead, and Ukrainians argue that they would like to see their art treasures returned to them first.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Related to this story:
New Bach composition discovered (26 Apr 00 | Entertainment) Bach 'would be
tickled' about celebrations (29 Feb 00 | Europe)


New Bach works discovered or not????

Yoël L. Arbeitman
wrote (January 21, 2001):
(To Aryeh Oron) I posted the question on the BRML which is a bipartite question actually. (1) is the claim that the recovered items from the Ukraine contain unpublished JBS items and the silly reaction of P.M Wilson to it on the Haydn list. (2) is the other discussed Motet by JSB discovered in April, 2000, all mentioned herein. Can you supply any response?

Aryeh Oron wrote (January 21, 2001):
(To Yoël L. Arbeitman) The only informatiI know about the lost work of J.S. Bach found in the Kiev archive, comes from discussions about the subject last year. All the messages of those discussions are collected in the following page in the New Archive Site: http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/LostWork.htm

I am not aware of any other Bach work that have been found in the meantime.


Priceless Bach works return to Germany

Charles Francis
wrote (January 19, 2001):
See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/newsid_1126000/1126194.stm

If that doesn't work click on: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/entertainment/

Victor Eijkhout wrote (January 19, 2001):
I like the timeline of his life. At one point it reads "fathered 19 children", as if that also happened in a particular year of his life.

Charles Francis wrote (January 20, 2001):
(To Victor Eijkhout) Yer, I liked that bit too! Liked your signature as well!

Wouter Verhoog wrote (January 20, 2001)::
It is good, that Bach's works return to Germany. God knows what we'll find! Maybe a brand new passion, or his lost cantata's! That would be splended! We probably missing 250 works of Bach, if it isn't more.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 20, 2001):
(To Wouter Verhoog) The details of the archive of the Berliner Singakademie were outlined several times in this newsgroup. Musicology has always been quite aware of the contents of this archive with respect to J.S. Bach, so there will be no sudden surprises and no unknown works will be recovered. Recovered works include works of Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach and Georg Philipp Telemann, amongst others.

Gene Herron wrote (January 21, 2001):
(To Subrand Bakker) I have to wonder what other works of Bach were shuffled about just as the war ended. For example, I've read that the Saxon State Library had a quarter million books taken away by the Soviets. Of that number of seized manuscripts, were there any manuscripts, say of Bach, or Zelenka, or any of a number of other great composers? If so, will they ever surface again?

The Trio Sonatas of JD Zelenka were found amongst the remnants of that collection by Schoenbaum in the early fifties and could have as easily vanished into Soviet captivity as been left behind to be discovered and cherished.

I have already expressed concerns here that old resentments about war booty, as were mentioned in the BBC report about the return of the Singakademie's collection, might inspire other hypothetical "collectors" in the former Soviet bloc to hold onto their secret collections. Consider reactions of some Ukrainians about their national treasures as you consider motivations to "even things out".

When you consider that some of Bach's manuscripts are already self destructing it is truly frightening to contemplate....

What if there are another twenty or thirty Cantatas, or a lost Passion, or a few rough sketches, sitting rotting in a vault somewhere - and now they'll stay there because if word ever gets out the Germans will wheedle them back? While they slowly molder, "burn" and disintegrate we remain ignorant...

I think the Germans should have taken their time "repatriating" these manuscripts... A little delicacy and subtlety goes a long way. I for one would rather quietly wait another generation, and be content with facsimiles and copies, than to wait forever for a few stragglers to come out of the cold and onto a music stand.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 21, 2001):
(To Gene Herron) IMO, the situation is not that much complicated.

The Amalienbibliothek, containing the far majority of Bach manuscripts, was divided in order to safeguard it. After WWII one half appeared to be in the Western zones, and the other half in the Soviet-zone. The Soviet manuscripts returned to Berlin, the Western manuscripts remained in Tuebingen. After the Wall broke down, the collection was united again in the library of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz in
Berlin.

The manuscripts you seem to indicate (talking about lost cantatas and a lost Passion) were lost before WW-II. It is very unlikely they will ever turn up, and if they turn up in the former Soviet-bloc this will probably not have any relationship with WW-II. Which manuscripts are lost because of WW-II, is, IIRC, known (I would need to dig through several books by Alfred Dürr to come up with a list). This implies for any work which was known before WW-II we know what has happened to it. Quite likely Professor Wolff will scrutinize or have scrutinized all possible manuscripts in public collections. New findings in public collections are IMO not impossible, but extreemly unlikely. Also, in many cases it is known which former Soviet-bloc library owns
manuscripts but refuses to show them.

In the 1970's a special case in point was the Biblitoheca Jagiellonska in Krakow, Poland, which simply refused to show anything, unless they received quite big amounts of dollars.

Gene Herron wrote (January 21, 2001):
< Sybrand Bakker wrote: IMO, the situation is not that much complicated. The Amalienbibliothek, containing the far majority of Bach manuscripts, was divided in order to safeguard it. After WWII one half appeared to be in the Western zones, and the other half in the Soviet-zone. The Soviet manuscripts returned to Berlin, the Western manuscripts remained in Tuebingen. After the Wall broke down, the
collection was united again in the library of the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
in Berlin. >
Ah, thank you. I have to keep in mind that the DDR made an effort to preserve most of the Bach legacy.

< The manuscripts you seem to indicate (talking about lost cantatas and a lost Passion) were lost before WW-II. It is very unlikely they will ever turn up, and if they turn up in the former Soviet-bloc this will probably not have any relationship with WW-II. Which manuscripts are lost because of WW-II, is, IIRC, known (I would need to dig through several books by Alfred Dürr to come up with a list). This implies for any work which was known before WW-II we know what has happened to it. Quite likely Professor Wolff will scrutinize or have scrutinized all possible manuscripts in *public* collections. New findings in *public* collections are IMO not impossible, but extreemly unlikely. >
As you say and emphasize, public collections known before the war. Private secret collections which were private before the war and were not part of the known manuscripts. If such private collections were siezed by the Soviet Government during the Revolution, would their present holders not worry about the German government demanding them back?

Yes, this has nothing to do with WWII, but does have to do with the Russian love of Kultur and secrecy. I was and am concerned with such hypothetical hidden holdings staying hidden because the German government was able to repatriate the Singakademie collection without returning some lost Ukranian treasures - or at least that is the perception. When one holds a couple sheaves of manuscript in secret, perception is as good as fact.

That the known collections were returned only pleases me.

< Also, in many cases it is known which former Soviet-bloc library owns manuscripts but refuses to show them. In the 70s a special case in point was the Biblitoheca Jagiellonska in Krakow, Poland, which simply refused to show anything, unless they
received quite big amounts of dollars. >
What has happened since then? Any news? Especially since Poland is now pretty open.

As for what was in private hidden collections which were destroyed in the firebombings in Thuringia and Saxony, especially Dresden - as an American I can only apologize after the fact on my own behalf. There is nothing to be done about it now, though I think a change in attitude about the utility of such barbarism is in order. Perhaps if people are reticent to do such things in the future then this destruction was not in vainafter all.

There is also the remote possibility that some Bach manuscripts may have ended up in private hands in the United States, where not a small number of Germans emmigrated. I am sure that this has occured to others here and is hopefully the subject of a quiet search.

However the most likely place for lost works was, as one musician whose name escapes me mentioned, to wrap lunches for the Thomaners after Bach's death, perhaps to light gas lights or fires.. or simply tossed into the trash. Oh, yes, the firebombings were a far worse tradgedy because of massive loss of human life, but in the long term sense, in terms of manuscripts, the results between the two modes of destruction were the same. I fear that we have lost some sources of joy forever.

The contrast between thoughtless destruction and the summit of creation typified in Bach's works... what tension and irony.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (January 23, 2001):
(To Gene Herron) Your last paragraph contains an interesting remark. Generally works composed in such a capacity remained property of the employer. One of the first things a successor would do is clean out the manuscripts of his predecessor, and retain only what he could use. BUT: In Bach's case the Thomasschule didn't show any interest and they only retained the manuscripts of the motets. The rest was divided between Carl Philipp Emmanuel and Wilhelm Friedemann, however in an inconsistent fashion. Dürr proves the score for a cantata could end up with one brother and the parts with the other one and vice versa. As it is more tedious to write parts from a score than a score from parts, and Wilhelm Friedemann actually performed his father's cantatas, he seemed to have sold the music for which he didn't posses the complete parts. Dürr has reconstructed which music ended up with which brother. The estate of C.Ph.E was bought by Johann Friedrich Reichardt who bequeathed it to the Amalienbibliothek.

Charles Francis wrote (January 21, 2001):
< Wouter Verhoog wrote: it is good, that Bach's works return to Germany. God knows what we'll find! Maybe a brand new passion, or his lost cantata's! That would be splended! We probably missing 250 works of Bach, if it isn't more. >
The following link may be of interest to you:
http://www.bach-cantatas.com/Vocal/LostWork.htm

Charles Francis wrote (January 23, 2001):
Apparently there's at least one "new find"! Sketches at the end of a W.F. Trio have only recently been identified as a counterpoint contest between W.F. and father. It seems many of the 5000 manuscripts have not been examined by Bach scholars since the 1st world war.


Additional information on the return of the Berlin Singakademie Archives

Teri Noel Towe
wrote (February 2, 2001):

I have been recovering from a bad chest cold, and I am behind on reading the postings to the lists. I therefore apologize if this information, which was forwarded to me by the superb 'cellist James Kreger, is redundant.

In a message dated 1/29/01 12:58:16 AM Eastern Standard Time, JB Kreger writes:
The German Press and Information Office informs:

Return of "war trophies"

During his visit to Berlin on 19 January 2001 Ukrainian President Leonid Kutchma presented Chancellor Gerhard Schrder a volume of handwritten scores by Johann Sebastian Bach taken from archive materials removed to Kiev in the wake of the Second World War. A protocol was signed regarding the return of the complete Bach archive.

The return of this material is based on an internationally agreed obligation for both sides to give cultural objects removed as a result of war back to the respective other side.

In doing so Ukraine is continuing to pursue a path based on European legal traditions; like Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan it is among the leading proponents of a policy on the return of cultural objects based on international law.

What is involved is the long lost musical estate of Johann Sebastian Bach's second son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, which was rediscovered in Kiev, where it is preserved as part of the music archive of the Berlin "Sing-Akademie"; the material was discovered by Harvard Professor Christoph Wolff in the department of literature and arts of the Kiev State Archives in June 1999.

The archive was moved from Berlin to Ullersdorf Castle in Silesia in 1943 to protect it against bomb attacks; from there the Soviet authorities had it taken to the Soviet Union. Its most important focus is the 18th century, particularly the repertoire of the Royal Prussian Orchestra and the Royal Opera in Berlin from the period of Frederick the Great, including works by the brothers C.H. and J.G. Graun, by the brothers G. and F. Benda, as well as by Telemann, Hndel, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Of particular importance among the materials found is the Bach collection, formerly believed lost, consisting of about 400 manuscripts by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, 17 manuscripts of works by Johann Sebastian Bach, 29 by his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, as well as the "Old Bach Archive" consisting of 27 manuscripts. Some of these works have never been published. The rediscovery of this archive material has once again opened up irreplaceable historical resources to musicologists.

Sebastian Mundt sebastian@mundt.com


Sing-Akademie (Kiev)

Guillermo Bracheta
wrote (April 4, 2001):
Do any of you know where to find updates about the findings of the former Sing-Akademie in Ukraine? Any help will be greatly appreciated

Margaret Mikulska wrote (April 6, 2003):
[To Guillermo Bracheta] The main update in the last couple of months was that the Ukrainian authorities agreed to return the collection to Berlin. There were press releases in German newspapers; I may have some of them saved.

One of the major works from the collection, CPE Bach's "Hymn of Thanks and Friendship", was premiered in Boston last month. It was regarded as lost.

By now, the collection should be already catalogued, so in due course one may be able to find out what's there.


Ukraine to return Bach music

JSB1441 wrote (September 19, 2001):

KIEV, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Ukraine said on Wednesday it would return to Germany a priceless archive of music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach's family that was seized by Soviet troops during World War Two.

"The government decided to hand over the archive to Germany under the process of the mutual return of wartime cultural trophies between our countries," Ruslan Pyrih, head of the State Committee for Archives, told Reuters.

The archive was owned by Bach's second son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, who lived from 1714 to 1788 and served as a court musician to Prussia's Frederick the Great, accompanying the flute-playing monarch.

It includes about 500 works by Bach's family members. Some of them have never been published.

In 1943, the Germans evacuated the archive from Berlin to Silesia (now part of Poland), out of range of Allied bombers. After the Red Army pushed back the Germans, the collection was hidden in the Soviet Union by the KGB secret police.

It was eventually moved to the Ukrainian capital Kiev and tracked down in 1999 by U.S. and Ukrainian scholars after two decades of searches.

Pyrih said the archive could be handed over during Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's visit to Ukraine, expected later this year.

Sybrand Bakker wrote (September 19, 2001):
[To JSB1441] Is this news? This the find Christoph Wolff made over a year ago!

Yawn


Wolff Lecture online

Doug Cowling wrote (December 1, 2004):
John Pike wrote: < I've been reading a fair amount recently about the rediscovery of the Berlin Singakademie archive in Kiev and its subsequent return to Berlin. >
A few years ago there used to be a very good streaming lecture by Wolff online from Harvard. It descreibed hi involvement in the negotitations to move the mss. Does anyone know if its archived somewhere on the net?


Riccardo Nughes wrote (December 1, 2004):
[To Doug Cowling] http://athome.harvard.edu/dh/wolff.html

John Pike wrote (December 1, 2004):
[To Cowling] Yes. It was still there a few months ago. A lecture at Harvard. very good. There is a printable version as well. Type Wolff into Google and you will get it.

John Pike wrote (December 1, 2004):
[To Riccardo Nughes] Other good sources of information are: http://www.huri.harvard.edu/pdf/Grimsted_Bach_Back.pdf

and an article which Christoph Wolff wrote for the musicological journal "Notes" in December 2001. You may need to pay to access it but I used free trial membership of: http://www.highbeam.com/library/index.asp?
to read it.



Continue on Part 2


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Last update: June 8, 2005 09:24:11