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Microphone Month 3

This one really takes me Bach

Researchers have discovered a previously unknown work by Sebastian Bach, the singer from Skid Row. Wait, it’s a previously unknown work by JOHANN Sebastian Bach, who (as far as we know) never sang for a metal band, though he was renowned in his day as a SHREDDING organ player. The piece, a strophic* aria, was discovered in a shoebox. Apparently the piece had been composed in 1713 as a birthday present for Bach’s patron, Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar, then placed in the box along with other poems and letters written for the Duke’s big day. Experts have verified the authenticity of the piece, and the Bach Archive in Liepzig has arranged for British conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner to perform and record the aria. Experts say that the piece sheds valuable light on Bach’s little-documented early career in Weimar.

It has been 80 years since the last Bach piece was discovered, but that was just a fragment of a cantata. It is postulated that this aria was also part of a cantata; many of Bach’s cantatas disappeared after he died – apparently his son, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, had a tendency to sell or lose his father’s manuscripts…or even to use them as kindling for starting fires. (One would bet that ol’ Wil is terribly proud to be remembered for THAT….)

*”Strophic” refers to a song structure where every verse (strophe) of the text is sung to the same melody.

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