A previously unknown aria by German composer Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered in the eastern German town of Weimar, a researcher said today (June 8).
The handwritten music represents one of the few surviving pieces from Bach’s early period, said Peter Wollny, research director at the Bach Archive Foundation in Leipzig.
“Everything new we find from this period opens up the possibility of new perspectives on Bach,” said Wollny.
The music appears at the end of a book previously thought to have contained only poetry by a local Weimar poet. It was given as a birthday present to the Duke of Weimar in 1713. Bach’s aria was written as an accompaniment to some of the poetry.
A researcher found the manuscript in Weimar’s Anna Amalia Library, which was seriously damaged by fire last September. It survived only because a librarian interested in the book’s unique binding took it to the basement a month before the blaze.
COPYRIGHT: (c) Reuters 2005. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.