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Constructing Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) Author(s): Daniel R. Melamed Source: Music & Letters, Vol. 80,

Constructing Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) Author(s): Daniel R. Melamed Source: Music & Letters, Vol. 80, No. 3 (Aug., 1999), pp. 345-365

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image in music history is the Bach family as a dynasty, a long line of

descendants.In the late 1980s, a New York

telephone utility



books on the Bachs


listing more than one thousand

many anthologies

is even more

specific, regarding the

is reflectedin the

professional musicians stretching from Johann Sebastian's distinguished ancestorsto


could assume that concertgoers knew this, if nothing else, about the Bachs in

promoting its 'family' of companies.' The scholarly literaturealso approaches the

Bachs as a clan: witness the Jew

Geiringers and by Young, and a recent genealogy

Bachs.2The modem

Bachs not just as a

family of musicians but of




composers; this view



devoted to

compositionsby representatives of various generations.3

has roots in the even with Johann

eighteenth century-

Sebastian-and has

the attributionof musicalworksto

The perspective of the Bachs as


Emanuel Bach and

certainly with Carl Philipp

had a consequence forthe treatmentof the familyby laterhistorians.With a premium


Bachs, particularly to older members of


the family, even when candidate pieces are

composition, therehas been a specialurgency to

or are

ambiguously ascribed.

more subject to

No older Bach has been

attributional pressure than the man J. S.


son of

(1648-1694), and longtime church and

developed a significantreputation

as a

Bach describedas a

Heinrich Bach, brotherof

court musician in Eisenach. This Bach has

composer, but it rests on surprisingly little evidence. In fact, so great has been the

desire of

century scholarsto identify a composeramong the older membersof the family that

they have, in effect,


of his

great composer in the generation before Johann Sebastian. Johann

occupy an importantplace write

stretchingby three centuriesof admirers.

be a wishful

'profoundcomposer',Johann Christoph Bach



eighteenth-centuryBachs, nineteenth-centurybiographers and twentieth-

constructedthe man

they needed in Johann Christoph.

his work-list largely on the

A close


suggests that many compositions have joined

reputation, and that they

some very good pieces,

reflecta desirefora repertory thatmatcheshis roleas a

Christoph does

in the Bach family of musicians, and he apparently did

but some of his

legacy as a composermay


reason so much attention has been paid to the older Bach family,Johann

The advertisementfor the NYNEX

Corporationreproduced ostensiblefacsimile signatures of Bachs of various often runs in a


generations with the headline 'Ingenuity


Christoph Wolffet at, TheNew




GroveBach Family, London &

Basingstoke,1983; Karl Geiringer & Irene



TheBach Family: SevenGenerations of Creative Genius,London, 1954;

1970; Hermann Kock, Genealogisches LexikonderFamilie Bach,Wechmar, 1995.

Young, The Bachs,1500-1850, London,

example, Music of theBach Family, ed. Karl

Geiringer,Cambridge,Mass., 1955; Orgelwerke derFamilie Bach, ed.

vorJohannSebastian', Archiv419

253-2; 'Geistliche


Musik der Bach-Familie', Laudate91.511.

Hellmann, 2nd edn., Frankfurt,1985; 'Die FamilieBach


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Bach. Starting with Carl Philipp Emanuel's obituary of his father (1754) and Johann

Nikolaus Forkel's study

(published 1873-80) and beyond, Bach biographies

Johann Sebastian's lineage and implying, if not suggestingoutright, that he was the

product of his ancestry.They accountforsome ofJ. S. Bach'sabilities by his genes and

is that the



long been important to biographies of J. S.

typicallybegun by tracing



high point



family and


(1802) and continuing through Philipp Spitta's biography


by his upbringing in a gifted family.4

known, the family's


As is well

S. Bach's collectionand performance of music

own concernwith its



the 'Genealogy


occupation:baker, carpet maker,Stadtpfeiffer,organist,cantor,Raths-Musicant, Stadt-

Musicusand so on. But

'composer',describingJohann Christoph Bach as 'ein profonderComponist' and his

brother Johann Michael as 'ein habiler was not an

for just two members of the familyJ.

older membersof

of the musical Bach with Bachs from the

family' he produced in 1735.5This



identifies its

subjects by

S. Bach used the word


in an


occupation or profession in the late seventeenth century.

accomplishment of his ancestors:the

familypride involved, because

(and laterthe publication) of musicalworks helped definea change in roles

J. S. Bach's use of the term reflects





for musicians.

churchor civic servantslike town musiciansor


of musical works.But therewas more than


was not

necessarily important






organists, but becamea


eighteenth-centuryKapellmeisters,city music

The Bach family spans this change. J. S.

it, and his eldest son, Wilhelm

old world as Hamburg

and musical


Bach's father Johann Ambrosiuswas a

town and court musician;Johann


throughout his adult years. Carl PhilippEmanuel, after leaving the

foot in the

independently as a composer

old world behind in his careeras a composer and

Sebastianstartedin this worldand never completely

Friedemann,depended substantially


on it



church music director but also functioned

entrepreneur.Johann Christianleft the


Given the importance of composition to this social advancement, it comes as little

that in C. P. E. Bach's 1774/5 annotations to the



good composer

and a

family genealogy, he

composer, adding

expressivecomposer', and supplementing HeinrichBach's entry


his comments

were addressedto J. N. Forkel, at

Bach as a


certainly awarethat


and critical

appreciation of J. S. Bach.

This was not the only occasionon which C.

P. E. Bach promoted





years earlier, he had begun

of his fatherwith a

family,stressing their compositional


reinforcedhis father's description of Johann Christoph

'This is the

with the remark'Wasa

and he was almost

important to Philipp Emanuel,

would reach a largerpublic and posterity, for they

work on his

of his ancestors.Some 25

discussionof five prominent oldermembersof the

4Mozart and Beethovenstudies have also come to


Harvard University, 1989, andAltbachisches


Neumann & Hans-Joachim Schulze,

S. Bach's genealogy is the 'Ursprung der


emphasize the composers' families, especially their professional-

interpretation of their lives,

but also an inclination to

BachandtheGermanMotet (unpublisheddissertation),

musician fathers.This reflectsa tendency towardsFreudian

explainphenomenal musical talent by parentage.

On the Altbachisches Archiv, see Daniel R.

Melamed, J. S.

Archiv, ed. Max Schneider ('Das Erbedeutscher Musik', i-ii), Leipzig, 1935.

musicalisch-Bachischen Familie', Bach-Dokumente, ed. Werner

Kassel & Leipzig, 1963-72, i/184, with additionalnotes in iii. 647; Eng.


TheNewBach Reader, ed. Hans T. David & Arthur Mendel, rev. & enlargedby Christoph Wolff, New York&

1998, pp. 283-94.

'Dies ist der groBe und ausdriickende Componist'; 'Warein guterComponist, und von munterm Geiste'; see n. 5,



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accomplishments and remarking that there was extant music by

for Johann Christoph Bach, who had also been

singled out by

the invention of beautiful ideas (the

and for composing in a mannerthat was 'galant and singing, to the extentthe taste of

his time allowed', a contemporary value and apparently an attempt to portray him as

a motet in

sixth. C. P. E. Bach also

a 22-voice work, identifiableas the St

ein Streit', which Philipp Emanuel and

praised his music as


forward-looking. He

all of them.7 He

reserved his greatest enthusiasm

his father.He

praised him as strong in the

expression of words and in

latter a good mid-eighteenth-centurycriterion),

illustratedthese characteristicswith a referenceto

Johann Christoph had daringly used an augmented



vocal concerto'Es erhub sich



his fatherhad each

Anotherdocument of C. P. E. Bach'smusical life, his estate catalogue

composers.9 The

J. S. Bach, Wilhelm


of 1790,also

celebrates the Bachs as

function-making known the availability of his


Bach, Johann

anonymous family members grouped under


described these oldest works as

stands out listed in the

Philipp Emanuel's

practical it also lists

Friedemann Bach,Johann Christoph Friedrich

catalogue probably had a

own music for sale-but

Christian Bach, Johann Bernhard Bach, and

of the

catalogue, probably


several older and

the heading 'Alt-BachischesArchiv'.

Philipp Emanuel himself, proudly

'vortrefflich gearbeitet', a critical evaluation that

document. It is difficultto believe that the older music

may the Bachs overthe

in a mostly dry

catalogue had much commercial value; its inclusion

Bach had championed.



In the firstcritical

have reflected

pride in the compositionalaccomplishments of

years. Forkel's

of the Bach


on their compositionallegacy. Giventhe statementin his preface thatthe works ofJ. S.

Bach represent a 'priceless national patrimony', it is

older Bachs he emphasized their own contributionsto the

name': their

compositionaldaring referring to compositions that illustratedthese traits.He

had had a playing of

the most daring and

C. P. E. Bach's citation of his

E. Bach


particular, Forkelechoed

memberswhom C. P. E.


study of J. S. Bach also began with the family and emphasized the older

study S. Bach'sancestorsand an


unsurprising that in discussing

'honour of the German


Johann Christoph Bach in

and his full-voiced

reported that C. P.

special esteem forJohann the older man's music for

Christoph, and fondly recalled Philipp Emanuel's

him, smilinglypointing out

7 The repertory in his music collectionshows that he believedhe owned music

8 'Besondersist gewesen. Er setzte,

vollstimmig.Wegen des ersternPuncts

so viel es namlichder

eine, vor

welcher er, ausser andern

ZeugniBabgeben:wegen des zweyten Puncts aber, ist ein von ihm


dem Claviere, niemahlsmit

using an augmented sixth is


German Motet, pp.

thanfivereal parts, which

have heard the playing of Johann Christoph, who

artigen Einfallen, schon das


einigenEintrag zu thun, gesetzetesKirchenstiick eben so


by all five. See n. 9, below.


obigerJohannChristoph in Erfindung schiner Gedanken sowohl, alsim

damalige Geschmack erlaubte, sowohl galant und


Worte, stark

singend, als auch ungemein

siebenzig und etlichenJahren von ihm gesetzete Motete, in

Herz gehabt hat, die iibermiBige Sexte zu gebrauchen, ein

der reinsten

merkwiirdig, als dieses, daB er, aufder Orgel, und

weniger als fiinf nothwendigen Stimmen gespielethat';Bach-Dokumente, iii/666. No motet

22 obligatenStimmen, ohne jedoch

known today, and the anecdote has the air of a family story meant to emphasize the

its sources, see Melamed, 7. S. Bachandthe

and clavierwith fewer

any keyboard

On the vocalconcerto'Es erhubsich ein Streit'and


The reportofJohann Christoph'spractice of never playing on the organ

leftno referencesto

died in

apparently refersto improvisation, must havebeen hearsay, becauseC. P. E. Bachcould not

1703.Emanuel was familiarwith vocal worksattributedto

Johann Christoph but

music. When he supplied music by Johann Michael and

Melamed, op. cit., pp. 45-6.

specifickeyboardpieces, and it is possible thathe did not know

Johann Christoph to Forkel, he sent only vocal works. See

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach,

Hamburg, 1790;


des musikalischenNachlassesdes verstorbenen


facsimileedn.: The Catalogof Carl Philipp EmanuelBach's Estate, ed. Rachel W. Wade, New York, 1981.


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noteworthypassages."? In Forkel's account,surviving worksdocumentthe man and his in

praise of Johann

in it.

theory about Germanartistic history and his place



A later Bach

biographer, Philipp Spitta,




Christoph's individualworksto




chapter on Johann Christoph and his brother Johann Michael


culturalexhaustionin the

with a portrait of the Germannation in a stateof

wake of the Thirty Years War, and creditedthese men with its musical revival:

Just as [theirfather] HeinrichBach fostered, in the simplepiety ofhischildlike soul, a spark

ofthat mysteriouspower whichwasdestinedtoraise up thecrushednationtonew

may say

around lay deadand void, wasthebetterselfof theGermannation."


thatthat spirit, whichin themtookthe formof artwhenall


of thesetwo men,

Spitta 'Oratorios'-that is,

went on

to portrayJohann Christoph

Johann Christoph's

as the first German



truly dramaticvocal concertos-and, in this, a forerunner ofJ. S.

forward-looking view continues in

Bach and especiallyGeorg FriedrichHandel. This



which he considered

highest Anh. 159), which he found so


Christoph Bach as a musical genius, an artistof the highest order, and a saviourof

legacy as a composer.

capo air

praise for the motet 'Ich lasse dich nicht' (BWV

advancedthatit could even be the work ofJ. S. Bach.


motets 'seem as

though they might have

to the formof the da

been written yesterday',12 and in his assertionthatthe motet 'UnsersHerzens

among his finest, 'approaches farless nearly

than it does

to the modern sonata form'.13He reservedthe

Germanmusic in a dark


because of the


All these assertionsrestedon his

survivalof the Altbachisches Archiv,Johann Christoph



of vocalmusic.

Johann Michael Bach were reasonably well documentedas


works, there are many

Spittaregarded both as influential composers of instrumentalmusicas

a fundamental

demand for securely attributed works, especially

supply, and this would have importantconsequences.14 Even among the more plentiful


with this repertory comes a vexing problem

carried by severalolder members of the family. Besides

others include J. S. Bach's elder brother Johann

most of his life in Ohrdruf; Johann Ambrosius'stwin

1645-93), who worked mostly in Arnstadt;Johann Christoph(17; 1673-1727), who

spent most of his careerin


any of these, in the absence of

particularfamily member.

Bach' could be the work of

well, but he had

in that so few of their instrumentalworks survived.The

to Johann Christoph, exceeded the


'JohannChristoph Bach'or 'J. C. Bach',


of the ambiguity of the name, which was

our Johann Christoph(13),15 active

Christoph(22; 1671-1721),

brother Johann Christoph(12;

Gehren; and Johann Christoph(13)'s own son (b. 1676). In

to 'JohannChristoph

attributed simply

evidencethat distinguishes them or at least suggests a

10 Johann Nikolaus Forkel, UeberJohannSebastianBachs Leben, KunstundKunstwerke: fur patriotische Verehrerechter

musikalischerKunst, Leipzig, 1802,

know whether they were instrumentalor vocal works.


2. Presumably C. P. E. Bach played these pieces at the keyboard,though we do not

ClaraBell & John AlexanderFuller-


PhilippSpitta, JohannSebastian Bach,Leipzig, 1873-80, i. 41; Eng. trans. by

Influence on theMusic


Maitlandas JohannSebastianBach:his Workand

12 Spitta,

of Germany, 1685-1750, London, 1884-5, i. 40.

i. 128 (Eng.,

JohannSebastian Bach, i. 72 (Eng., i. 74).

Ibid., i. 89 (Eng., i. 90).

14 Spitta even expressed i. 130).

his frustrationat the lack of Johann Christoph Bach's claviermusic. Ibid.,

The numberingsystem formembersof the Bach family derivesfrom J. S. Bach's




in Wolffet

genealogy(see n. 5, above) and is

al., TheNewGroveBach Family.Henceforth, the severalJohannChristophs will be distinguishedby


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This points up a problem: we have seen that 'Johann Christoph Bach' was the

subject of family lore, but which Johann Christoph were the stories about? When

C. P. E. Bach

'this is the great and

reinforcementof his father'scomment

Emanuel's emphasis was on the firstword:'thisis the

annotatedthe genealogyentry for Johann Christoph(13), he wrotethat

expressivecomposer'. This remark is usually taken to be a

('einprofonderComponist'), but I think Philipp

great and expressivecomposer',



implied here has

persisted: good pieces

'JohannChristoph Bach'continueto gravitate towards Johann Christoph

composer. The lexicographer Ernst Ludwig

recognized this

ago, cautioning that 'one has good reason to be careful in


and he meant to clear up ambiguity about which Johann Christoph was a great and

expressive composer.'6


(13), even when other family members of this name are likely or at least plausible

candidatesas their

almost two centuries

his day therewereseveral


collecting[Johann Christoph Bach (13)'s]works, becausein

composers and organists with his name'.17

Because of this problem, we need to ask how careful people havebeen in assigning

worksto a composer with a big reputation and an ambiguous name. We can quickly

Christoph(13), and the resultsare sobering.(See

autographs and are probablyhis;

unambiguous, but

to 'J. C. bis in den

Thuringian but does


whose context


Bach'. Three more motets

Tod', 'Ftirchte dich nicht') derive directly or ultimately from

survey the worksattributed toJohann

Appendix I,

the detailedform of the attributionin 'LieberHerr Gott' makesit

below.) Two motets are transmittedin

note that 'Der Gerechte, ob er gleich zu zeitlich stirbt'is attributed merely

('Der Mensch, vom Weibe geboren', 'Sei getreu

arguablysuggestsJohann Christoph(13)

not guarantee it. The attribution of 'Herr, nun

as their




lassest du' stems from the

nineteenth-century collector Georg Poelchau, who first wrote and then crossed out


(BWV Anh. 159)

has come to Johann


Christoph(13) only in the

Anh. 163), attributed merely to 'Bachin Eisenach'in the source,

attributionon his score. The attributionof 'Ich lasse dich nicht'

was a

nineteenth-centuryspeculation. 'Merk auf, mein Herz'


last decade. Two more motets from a


wenn ich nurdich habe') are anonymous and were


Aug gesehenhat', 'Herr,

speculatively in the 1980s.


vocal concertos, 'Meine Freundin'was transmittedin a copy byJohann

Christoph (13)'s Eisenach colleague Johann Ambrosius Bach, lessening any ambi-

guity, but the Erfurt copy of 'Herr, wende dich' names 'Christoph Bach'. There are

conflicting attributionsfor 'Ach, daBich Wassers gnug hatte':C.

P. E. Bach's estate

catalogue (and apparently his

Bach. Johann Christoph(13)'s most famous

piece, the 22-voice 'Es erhub sich ein Streit', is attributedto his brother Johann

Michael in an

inventory from Ansbach, and an Amalienbibliotheksourceof unknown

provenance also credits Johann Michael. The town council concerto'Die Furchtdes



hand. 'Wie bist

Among the

sources) named Johann Christoph, but a Diiben

Collectionconcordancenames Heinrich

is anonymous-C. P. E. Bachhazardedno guess-and wasattributedto Johann

by Max Schneiderin 1935 because the

fragmentary source is in his

du denn, o Gott' was listed in the Liineburginventory under 'J. C.

"6 The


of the remarkand the elevationof Johann

Christoph Bach (13)

Christoph Bach (13) to the pantheon are evidentin Max

Schneider'sstatement:'Er Johann

] ist nichtnur dergrofe undausdrickende

Componist, wie ihn schon


Archiv, p. vi. 7 'Indessen hat man Ursache,

mehrere vorziigliche Tonkunstler und

bachische Familienchronik nennt, sondern einer der bedeutendstendeutschen Meister iiberhaupt'. Altbachisches

beym Sammeln seiner Werke

Organisten seines Namens

vorsichtigzuy seyn, indem es in seinem Zeitalter

gab.' Ernst Ludwig Gerber, Neues historisch-

Lexikonder Tonkiinstler,

Leipzig, 1812-14, i. 209.



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Bach'; a workwith this text is much performed underJohann


but its source credits Johann Philipp Krieger, and it may not be the same piece. 'Der

is knownaboutthe lost

'Strafmich nicht'.The two arias'Es ist nun aus' and 'MitWeinenhebt sich an', listed

amongJohann Christoph(13)'s works by C. P. E. Bach, are each attributed merely to 'JCB'.

HerrZebaoth'is attributed merely to

'Sign.Bach', and nothing

Among the instrumental music, the 44 preludes are



in the

attributed, as are the

Neumeister collection are

are subject to some doubt. Four variationsets are

Christoph(13). Two, the Aria Eberliniana (attributed to 'Joh. Christoph Bach org.')

hand of Johann

the Sarabandewith



is attributed

certainty to Johann Christoph(13)

is small. A surprisingproportion of the attributionswere made in the nineteenthand

twentieth centuries,

room for doubt. Many those made

Johann Christoph (13)'s

eighteenth-century attributionsleave

Preludeand Fugue BWVAnh. 177.The chorale

likely to belong to Johann Christoph(13), but in principle

traditionallyassigned to Johann

'J.C.B.'), are transmittedin the

an incomplete

set in B flat, now lost.18A fourth,

knownin incomplete formfromthe so-called

eighteenth- or possibly early

and a set in A Bach


minor (attributed to Gerberowned


twelve variations, is

manuscript, and in complete form in a late


in a convolute manuscript assembled by Georg Poelchau.'9 It

to 'J. C. Bach' in each source.20

we can ascribewith

Overall, the numberof pieces

and severalseventeenth-and


probably influenced by



reputation, including to 'Johann Christoph Bach'-to


Christoph(13).21 In our evaluationof Johann

distinguish his

of his

that we have a corpus of securely attributed works, we are on thin ice in making


for keyboard that are their


of German music, the

likely candidate for the composer of the pieces, another

ambiguity of his name, and the difficulty of making stylistic

assignedplace in the history

traditionallyassigned to Johann Christoph Bach (13).

significance is not clear

members of the Bach

family. Any of 'J. C. Bach' or even 'J. C. B.'-is

say nothing

without some evidence pointing us in the directionof Johann

Christoph(13) as a composer, we need to

documentedin the Bach family) fromthe

proposition). And because it

reputation(well much shakier

compositionallegacy (a

to decide whetherdoubtful compositions are his.


The difficulty is illustrated by two famous compositions


strength of his reputation as a composer,


history, we

comparisons. An equally Johann Christoph Bach,

turns out to have been as little considered


as Johann

the one in A minor attributedto

Christoph(13) was championed. The works are two variationsets for

'J. C. B.' knownfroma manuscript now in the

Zurich Zentralbibliothek; and the 'Aria

18 Loc. cit., cited

19 The

by Spitta,Johann Sebastian Bach, i. 120 n. 42 (Eng., i. 130 n. 160).

first source, compiled c.1703-4


by Johann Christoph Bornss, is lost, but photographs survive as

Preussischer Kulturbesitz,Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-ArchivFot Bu 124.


See Robert Hill, TheMdller Manuscript andtheAndreasBachBook:Two

theCircle of the roung

115n. 20and p. 168.Hill further suggests

170) that Bomss's copying of this work represents a connection,together with a concordanceand the overlap of six

assertion dependspartly on the identity of

Johann Christoph

portrait said to representJohann



Johann SebastianBach (unpublisheddissertation), Harvard University,1987,p.


composers, with the copying


activitiesof Johann Christoph Bach (22). This

Bach to whom the variousworksare attributed.


Perhaps we should add to the work-lista bourr6ewith text that appears in a

Christoph(13), reproduced

Domling, New Haven, 1984, 58.

21 One wonders whether

designation, to distinguish himself fromotherswith

in Johann SebastianBach: Life, Times,Influence, ed. BarbaraSchwendowius&

Johann Christoph(13) adopted


long form of his signature, with title and Eisenach

the same name.


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Eberliniana pro dormente Camillo' attributedto 'Joh.

mitted in a manuscript now in the Bachhaus,Eisenach.22(See Appendix II, below.)

This second piece and its source are well known;the workwas edited for the Bach-

Gesellschaftin 1940,

its source in 1992. Both

musician in Ohrdrufand

think that he is the obvious candidateas

teacher.23One might

has been a strong bias

alone anything as good as these variations.

againsthim, extending to a reluctanceto

Christoph Bach org.' trans-

and the Neue Bachgesellschaftpublished a handsomefacsimile of

manuscripts are in the hand of Johann Christoph Bach (22),

J. S. Bach's elder brotherand


composer, but there


as the composer of anything, let

Johann Christoph (22) was long known primarily

M6ller Manuscript, two anthologies


of the youngJ. S. Bach.24In a

previously shadowy figure

be ascribedto him.25In

at all. This is not forlackof


as the

person with whom the

music that document his

orphanedJ. S. Bach lived between the ages of ten and fifteen.In recent years, Hans-

Schulze has identifiedhim as the copyist and assemblerof the AndreasBach


Book and

collecting and copying

biographicalstudy, Schulze painted a fuller picture of


compositions could

compositions attributedto 'JohannChristophBach', as we

have seen, but the many

musician with that name. Schulze inclined forvariousreasonstowards Johann

our two sets of keyboardvariations, but cautionedthat this should not be taken as a

stylisticstudy that rules

out Johann Christoph (22) and shows the pieces

music of Johann Christoph(13).26 This proves to

to be consistent with the known


of keyboardrepertory and thatarecrucialsourcesforthe music


acknowledged an important gap: no musical

do not knowwhetherhe composed

fact, we

pieces have automatically been assigned to the older

Christoph(13)'sauthorship of

not impossible, as the

premiss. He suggested that we should instead undertakea

be difficultif

survey of Johann Christoph(13)'s work-list

repertory with which to compare them. All we can do is

the variationswere factorsthat have led

and ask whether it is


shows, because we do not have a secure

investigate when and why

should also look at the

assigned to Johann Christoph(13). We


from attributionsto

the sources.

Johann Christoph(22), their copyist,

plausible that the younger man composed this kind of piece at

time suggested by



of the variation sets have remarkablehistories. Philipp

biography was published




GeorgNageli, in whose 1854

owned both at the time the firstvolume of his Bach

he probablyacquired them fromthe collectionof Hans


cataloguethey appear. How Nageli acquired them we do

dated 1802

not know, but the A

minor variationscontain a Johann Christian Bach of


Halle, the so-called

documenting their sale on behalf of

Clavier-Bach, who also owned the

first page is reproduced in Hill, The

MollerManuscript andtheAndreasBach Book, p.

Variationen fur Cembalo, ed. Giinter Birkner,Zurich, 1973; Eisenach, Bachhaus,, olimAA 1, headed 'Aria

EberlinianaI pro dormenteCa= -

reproduced and the work published in Johann ChristophBach,

der Neuen

Eberlinianaprodormentecamillovariata (1690). Faksimileder Handschrift imBachhausEisenachmiteinemNachwortvonClaus

Oefner, Leipzig, 1992.The watermarkin the


22 Zurich,Zentralbibliothek, MS Q. 914,

headed 'AriaJ: C: BachJ: C. B.'; the

596, and

the work publishedinJohann

ChristophBach, Aria a-mollmit15

millo, Ivariataa j Joh. I Christoph Bach org. I Mens. Martao. 1690.'; the first page is

Aria Eberliniana, ed. Conrad Freyse('Veroffentlichung

Leipzig, 1940, and the whole reproduced in Johann Christoph Bach, Aria

paper of both manuscripts is reported as an A


A minor

with trefoilin Hill, op. cit.,

im 18. Jahrhundert, Leipzig, 1984, p. 52 n. 170.

manuscriptspredate the Moller Manuscript and the

Book, p. 115.


114, and

Hans-JoachimSchulze, Studienzur

23 RobertHill considersthatboth the Eberlinianaand


Book, that is, beforec.1704: TheMoler Manuscript andtheAndreasBach

24 Schulze, Studien zur

25 Hans-Joachim Schulze, 'Johann

Bach-iberlieferung,pp. 52-6; see also Hill, The Miller Manuscript andtheAndreasBachBook.

Christoph Bach (1671 bis 1721),

"Organist und Schul Collega in Ohrdruf",

Johann SebastianBachs erster Lehrer',Bach-Jahrbuch, lxxi (1985), 55-81.


Ibid., p. 78.


This content downloaded from on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:52:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

Keyboard Book for WilhelmFriedemannBach.It is


who was his teacher.27The

for many years within the Bach family.28


thathe receivedthat volume, the

minor variationsand


also the Eberlinianavariationsfrom Friedemann,

variation manuscripts thus appear to havebeen transmitted

copyist as Johann Christoph


(22) is a relatively


But we need to ask whether

one other

The identificationof their

recent development.29 The reigning (and only) opinion for years was Spitta's,

called the

decisive statement,

and closed: an autograph


score, that of the motet 'LieberHerr Gott, wecke




manuscripts'autographs'-that is, of Johann Christoph(13).30 This was a

question of authorship was implicitlyopened

because with it the

is in the hand of the


Johann Christoph(13)'shandwriting. He did identify

uns auf', as an autograph, but it is



in a hand

differentfromthat in the two keyboardmanuscripts.3 I suspect

keyboardmanuscripts were autographs because he

assumedthat the

to a

assignment of the attributionsto

priori that the pieces were composed byJohann Christoph(13).32 In any event, thereis

no earlier


A twistin the history of the AriaEberliniana manuscript has probably contributedto

the continued acceptance of the attributionto Johann Christoph Bach (13). The


occupies a house once said to beJ. S. Bach's birthplace, and the composition has long

been championed by directors of the museum. The first modem edition was by

particularcomposer;Spitta's Bach biography of 1873is the

Johann Christoph(13).

is now one of the treasuresof the Bachhausin Eisenach, a museum that

'distinctively Eisenach composition'.33 The

to mark the 350th

1992 by

of the birth of Johann

museum, Claus Oefner, who

facsimile issued in


was edited by


Conrad Freyse, who wrote that Eisenach was the fitting place for a manuscript

containing a

a later director of the

Christoph (13)

the Neue

27 The informationhere is

largely summarizedfromAria a-moll, ed. Birkner, and Aria Eberliniana, ed. Freyse. Both

are listed in the 1854 auction catalogue of the Nageli collection, where the Eberlinianavariationsare

Bach-Uberlieferung,p. 37 n. 114, and Raymond




Philipp Spitta (Johann Sebastian Bach, i. 128 n. 41; Eng., i. 130 n. 159). The A minor variations, though not fully

traceable, are known to have

Bach-Uberlieferung,p. 38 n. 115;

(1981), 127n. 23.

Uberlieferung,p. 38 n. 116, citing

Bach', Bach-Jahrbuch, iv (1907),

directly from Spitta's son.

158. The Aria Eberliniana manuscript ended up in the Eisenach Bachhaus, perhaps

Max Schneider, 'ThematischesVerzeichnisder musikalischenWerke der Familie

Spitta retainedthe manuscript of the AriaEberlinianaat leastuntil 1889; see Schulze, StudicnzurBach-

Rochester, NY?', Bach-Jahrbuch,Ixvii

(Eng. only), i. 130; Schulze, Studienzur

attributedto Johann Ernst Bach; see Schulze, Studienzur

'Neues zum MusikaliennachlaBvon Hans

GeorgNageli',Bach-Jahrbuch, lxxxii (1996), 45. Bothwereowned by

passed to Wilhelm Kraukling; see Spitta, ibid.

and idem, 'SebastianBachs Choral-Buchin

28 Max Schneider

('Thematisches Verzeichnis',p.

158)hypothesized that they had a connectionto the Altbachisches

Archiv.Cf. Schulze, Studienzur Bach-Uberlieferung,p. 38.

29 DietrichKilian firstidentifiedthe hand of the variationsas


that of the principal

scribeof the AndreasBach Book

Bach's elder brother.See Schulze,

and Moller Manuscript, and Schulze

Studienzur Bach-Uberlieferung,p.

pp. 3-6. On the possible reasonsforthe overlookingofJohann Christoph Bach (22) as a candidate, see Schulze, Studien

zur Bach-Oberlieferung,p. Reconstructing the Lost

Essays, ed. Peter Williams, Cambridge, 1985, pp.


changed severaltimes without affecting

subsequently identifiedthis copyist as J. S.

n. 94 and p. 37 n. 110; and Hill,

TheMdller Manuscript andtheAndreasBach Book,

weiss, wo diese Sachen hingekommen sind":

52, and Robert Hill, '"Der Himmel

Keyboard Notebooks of the Young Bach and Handel', Bach,Handel, Scarlatti: Tercentenary

161-72. The connection between the variationsand the Miller

unrecognized, and the supposed copyist of the

two large collections

and Andreas Bach Book long went


the attributionof the variations.

128 n. 41 (Eng., i. 130 n. 159).

30 Spitta,Johann Sebastian Bach,



Staatsbibliothekzu Berlin/Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung mit Mendelssohn-Archiv

Mus. ms. Bach P 4/2.

32 At the least, Spitta's decisions about hand and authorship were made together. By the time Conrad


(13), but by then the attributionof the composition was entrenched.

his edition of the Aria Eberlinianain 1940, he recognized that the hand was not

Bach, Aria Eberliniana, ed.

Freyse,preface.Freysepointed to the


Johann Christoph

Eberlinand Johann

Christoph Bach (13).

Freyse that of Johann Christoph

Eisenachconnectionsof both


This content downloaded from on Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:52:25 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

described the manuscript as a 'significant document of Eisenach'smusical history',

and accepted the olderBach's authorship as a premiss. This manuscript is saidto have found its way home to Eisenach,the adopted town of its presumedcomposerJohann Christoph Bach (13), who lived and workedthereforalmost50 years. Foran Eisenach

museum in

attributionto the Bach most closely associatedwith the town.34

possession of such a manuscript, there might be a great deal at stakein an

Whateverhas encouraged the perpetuation of the attribution, it

and I




compositions in particular.First,


In discussing

clearlybegan with

suggest that he based it not on supporting evidence but, rather,on his


convictionsabout Johann

went strong opinions about these

they were especially important pieces, and was eager

composer to later keyboard

example, Spitta wrote:

regard forthis man

he believed that

to connect them and their

the Eberliniana variations, for

The use of chromatic passages

reminding us of the mostmodemmeansof


seventeenth century, would

ratherwouldhe imagine fromtheirsoftnessandsweetnessthat they were by Mozart.35

gives the

harmony a strange,intoxicatingeffect,

Schubertand Schumann. instrumentalmusicof the

expression used by

safelywagered thatno one, unacquainted withthe



guess at this day thatthesevariationswere composed in 1690;


also asserted that J. S. Bach must have known a third set of variations



(BWV 988) that they





see in