»Bach manuscript discovered in Saxony-Anhalt«

An important event a 273 year old Bach manuscript is discovered
2013-06-07
Bach used the same paper for this transcript as for the second part of the »well-tempered clavier«. 
 
PD Dr Peter Wollny, a Bach researcher for the Bach Archive in Leipzig discovered in March 2013 an unknown manuscript from around 1740 from Johann Sebastian Bach in the Archives of the Heinrich-Schütz-Haus Weißenfels in Saxony-Anhalt. It is a transcript of the mass »Missa canonica« by the Italian composer Francesco Gasparini (1661-1727). Gasparini created the four-part mass around 1705 in Venice. 
 
In 1713 Bach travelled to Sachsen-Weißenfels for a guest concert with his first worldly cantata for the occasion of the birthday of the Prince Christian Sachsen-Weißenfels. Bach appreciated the high musical quality of the prince’s court chapel so that he gave further guest concerts in the following years at the court of Weißenfels. Hof. From 1729 Johann Sebastian Bach was named chapel master of Hochfürstlich Sachsen-Weißenfels by the Prince. Bach carried out this duty as well as his duty of Thomaskantor in Leipzig from that city.
 
The transcript of the mass belongs to Bach’s later period in which he conducted professional further development by studying the works of other masters. We know that Bach was intensively preoccupied with the mass as it is shown in the canon treatment in his later works such as »Musical Offering« and the »Art of Fugue«. 
 
Bach extended the mass in his transcript with string and wind instrument parts.
 
The news of this find so important for art history was like a gift for me. A further possibility to marvel at Bach’s brilliant works.