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Year: Edition: 1. Publisher: Delphi Classics. Language: english. Pages: Series: Delphi Great Composers Book 3. File: EPUB, 6. Download epub, 6.
J. S. Bach - The Complete Guide
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All translations are mine unless otherwise indicated. For those interested in checking the original passages relating directly to the Bach family, these are collected in the first three volumes of Bach-Dokumente see the bibliography.
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I have occasionally included crucial German words within my English translations. Otherwise I have mostly chosen to include facsimile pages from the Notebooks as figures. Anna Magdalena Bach, title page of Notebook of D-B Mus. Bach P Front cover of Notebook of Georg Heinrich Ludwig Schwanberg, title page of J. Martin Jarvis, Written by Mrs. Cover designed by Christa Moffitt. Courtesy of Endeavour Press. Bach P [p.
Meissen, c. Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession no.
Jacob Matham, Unequal Pair with Fool , after Courtesy of bpk Bildagentur and Staatliche Kunstsammlung Dresden, inventory no. C — Kroch Library, Cornell University, shelfmark arW Anonymous, Portrait of Barbara Kluntz , c.
Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks
Inventory no. Anders and Art Resource, NY. Bach, Unschuld! Johann Kuhnau, Sonata no. Bach, Doch weichet, ihr tollen, vergeblichen Sorgen! BD — Bach-Dokumente.
Compiled and edited by Wolfgang Schmieder. New York: Norton, Scholarly apparatus provided for each volume of the scores of the NBA. Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, She is remembered today as the second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach, whom she bore thirteen children between and A talented professional musician, if only fully active in that capacity for two years in her early twenties, she appears not to have left behind any compositions of her own; a written legacy would in any case have been extremely rare for women of the period. For the last century and some she has instead been known for two musical Notebooks that bear her name.
Unlike the volume, the second Notebook is almost completely intact. In contrast to the Notebook of , no title page seems to have been deemed necessary for that of the three-letter monogram makes for a proud and sufficient declaration of her identity and ownership. The blank Notebook was likely made by a Leipzig bookbinder, and it has been assumed that Johann Sebastian ordered the volume and gave it to his wife, perhaps for Christmas, for their third wedding anniversary, or for the birth of their third child, Christian Gottlieb.
Once again, the first works to be encountered on opening this Notebook are keyboard suites by Johann Sebastian. They are even more ambitious than those in the collection: the first third forty-one pages of the volume is taken up by the two keyboard Partitas no. These little things would have served her leisured enjoyment but also could have been used by her for teaching her stepchildren and later her own children, both male and female.
They could even have been danced to at home as part of instruction in an important skill for male children being trained as professional musicians and for girls from a family that appears to have harbored social aspirations. The lone exception is a four-part harmonization, Dir, dir, Jehova BWV , inscribed by Johann Sebastian on four staves, the format suggesting performance by a family chorus; but a solo version, notated in just two parts, is also included. The Notebook holds a number of youthful pieces by C.
Bach as well as a few early essays and exercises in composition by some of his younger siblings. There is no real justification for depriving her, as has often been done, of prime agency in the assembling of, or one might even say, authoring of the Notebook. In the bibliography to this book I have used the approximate designation of editor I also considered curator to describe her role in the creation of these volumes, but she was more than that. If the first Notebook was for her, the second might be thought of as being by her—not as composer, but as the person who curated the volume according to her tastes, duties, and desires and then used its contents in ever-evolving ways from until her death thirty-five years later.
In the present study, I examine Anna Magdalena as a historical figure and try to come to a closer understanding of some of the cultural meanings of her Notebooks and their music, both in their own time and in ours. Born in to a musical clan in the Saxon town of Zeitz, twenty-five miles south of Leipzig, the city where she would die fifty-nine years later, Anna Magdalena Wilcke became a well-paid professional singer at the age of twenty, before she acquired the married name that would bring her worldwide posthumous fame. From the start of her marriage, her skill as a singer—one that had real monetary value and prestige in the musical economy of Lutheran Germany—complemented, and competed with, her duties as wife and mother, those roles with which her name would become synonymous.
In spite of the popularity of the oft-anthologized pieces from her Notebooks and her status as spouse of the great Bach, Anna Magdalena remains a liminal presence in music history, although scholarly interest in her has grown somewhat since the tricentenary of her birth in The pride she took in her calligraphic skill proclaims itself from the title page of the Notebook with its exuberantly elaborate rendering of her new name.
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This earliest dated instance of her writing makes for a stunning debut, one replete with decorative curlicues flowing from the elegantly formed roman letters that were often favored for titles of pieces and for title pages as opposed to the gothic script of cantata texts and letters ; flourishes ornament the Bs and two of the letters of her middle name, presumably the one she was called by. It was a skill the pair would put to good and frequent use through their coming decades together: for the occasional, and apparently urgent, completion of performing parts for the cantatas given weekly in the churches of Leipzig; for the frantic preparation of the presentation copy of the first two sections of the B Minor Mass BWV , brought to Dresden in the summer of and submitted to the new elector in search of an honorary court title for the Thomascantor ; for parts for the St.
Matthew Passion BWV , a funerary motet BWV , and one surviving secular cantata BWV a ; and for presentation copies of some of the most prized works composed by her husband, manuscripts that were dear to the ethical and practical needs of the family. Whereas her cantata copies are impressive testaments to domestic multitasking, the entries in her personal Notebooks and her careful preparation of copies of important collections served very different ends.
Some of these manuscripts were meant for teaching purposes or for sale these categories were not at all exclusive of one another. Most famous of all her copies were the solo works for violin and cello given—or, more likely, sold—to a former student and friend of the family, Georg Heinrich Ludwig Schwanberg, who proudly noted on the title page he made for the collection that they were written [out] by Mrs.