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Bach's last work? (fwd)

Wow this is fantastic! I hope someone will record this!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 20:50:37 +0100
Subject: Bach's last work?

from the Guardian (British newspaper):

Manuscript of Bach's last work found in Kiev

David Ward
Wednesday April 5, 2000

A manuscript of Johann Sebastian Bach's last work - written for his own
funeral as his eyesight was failing - has come to light in Ukraine.
The discovery, by an American academic, comes in time for the 250th
anniversary of the composer's death in July, an event to be marked by
celebrations around the world.
The work is not entirely original. It is an arrangement for double choir,
wind and strings of Lieber Herr Gott, Wecke Uns Auf (Dear Lord God, Awaken
Us) composed in 1672 by Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Sebastian's uncle.
It was presumably sung at Bach's funeral and burial in the churchyard of
the Johannis-Kirche in Leipzig on July 31 1750, when he was given an oak
coffin and free use of a hearse. Bach had died, worn out from service to
the church and his patrons, three days previously at the age of 65.
In his biography of Bach to be published by Oxford University Press this
month, Christian Wolff, the William Powell Mason professor of music at
Harvard, told how he found the work in a Bach family archive in Kiev.
He described the motet as extraordinarily expressive. "He is thinking back
to the music of the previous generation in his own family and his own
children," he said. "Feeling that his end was near and wanting to make
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."
The manuscript is the work of an old man who had trouble forming his
letters. The writing is "uneven, stiff, and disproportionately large".
His career produced a catalogue of more than 1,100 works, including about
300 sacred canatas of which 200 survive.

> On Wed, 5 Apr 2000, Michael Lorenz wrote:
> >
> >
> > a) His correct name is Christoph Wolff
> > b) He wasn't the man who found it.
> >
> > The usual Guardian trash.
> Hi Michael,
> Oh, well who did find it?

The librarians at Kiev.


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