Evidence from a six-year study of various Johann Sebastian Bach manuscripts suggests that Bach did not compose the highly acclaimed Six Cello Suites.
Charles Darwin University’s Associate Professor Martin Jarvis (pictured) is about to travel to the Longy School of Music in Boston in the USA to present his paper: “Who wrote the Bach Cello Suites?” following his heralded study of the celebrated composition.
Dr Jarvis’ study used, for the first time, the principles and techniques of the science of forensic document examination.
“The fact that some of Bach's most significant works do not exist in his handwriting but in the handwriting of, for example in the case of the Cello Suites, Anna Magdalena his second wife, we are left with a mystery and a question: why is this so?” he said.
“My research shows that the traditional view that Anna Magdalena was simply a copyist of her husband’s music is not likely to be the case, and that it is more likely that she was much more, that is a composer herself and probably the composer of the Cello Suites and other works attributed to her husband.
“Using BWV1127, the manuscript discovered in 2005 at Weimar, I will explore (in the Boston paper) how the techniques of scientific investigation can be applied to the Cello Suites to establish authorship.”
Dr Jarvis will present his paper 'Who Wrote the Bach Cello Suites?' at the Longy School of Music in Boston next Monday, 27 October.