AP: Previously unknown Bach work discovered---
BERLIN - A previously unknown work by Johann Sebastian Bach has turned up in a crate of 18th-century birthday cards removed from a German library shortly before it was devastated by fire last year, researchers said Wednesday.More about the piece:
Experts say the work for soprano and string or keyboard accompaniment, composed for a German duke's birthday, is the first new music from the renowned composer to surface in 30 years.
Researcher Michael Maul from the Bach Archiv foundation found the composition, dated October 1713, in May in the eastern city of Weimar. The Leipzig-based foundation said there was no doubt about the authenticity of the handwritten, two-page score.
"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 Christoph Wolff, the foundation's director and a professor at Harvard University.
Bach composed the work for a solo soprano, to be accompanied by strings or a harpsichord, to mark the 52nd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxony-Weimar, whom Bach then served as court organist, the foundation said.I hope I get to hear it some day.
The soprano was to sing a 12-stanza poem beginning with the duke's motto "Everything with God and nothing without him" written by the theologian Johann Anton Mylius.
The work was Bach's only known strophic aria, in which several stanzas are set to the same music, and the precise date made it valuable to researchers studying the development of the German composer's style, the foundation said.
It was not clear if it was played at the time, but the foundation said English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner is preparing to record it.
Gardiner last month received a medal in recognition of his performance of Bach music from the Saxony city of Leipzig, where Bach was cantor of St. Thomas Church for 27 years.
Do you like Bach? If yes, what piece is your favorite? I adore the Brandenburg Concertos.
More at the Bach-Archiv Leipzig and J.S. Bach.
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