Scholar ascribes new role to Bach's wife
Oct. 4, 2008
MELBOURNE (UPI) -- An Australian researcher says some of the works attributed to classical composer Johann Sebastian Bach may have been composed by his second wife.
Martin Jarvis -- conductor of the Darwin Symphony Orchestra and a teacher at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territories -- said he became interested in the great German's work as a 19-year-old viola student in London in 1971. While he was playing one of Bach's cello suites, he decided the music did not sound Bach-like.
He was told that Bach's original was long gone, with only a copy made by his wife, Anna Magdalena Bach.
More recently, Jarvis has become a musical forensic investigator. He did a detailed examination of many Bach scores, looking at handwriting and the musical writing -- and says he believes Anna Magdalena was more than just a copyist for her husband.
Jarvis' musical investigation earned him an invitation to speak at the International Conference on the Forensic Sciences in Melbourne.