||Manuscript, ca.1709. |
Shelf number: Fol.49/11. Fascicle IV.
||Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit
|Composer Time PeriodComp. Period
||keyboard instrument, almost certainly organ (see Comments)
Maul & Wollny: "... In the course of our research, [in 2005] we noticed in the 1840 inventory of the library's [Anna Amalia Bibliothek] general manuscript collection an odd entry within the theological section, citing the text incipit of the chorale ’An Wasserflüssen Babylons’, the name of Johann Pachelbel, the copying date 1700, and the shelf number Fol.49/11. It struck us that the source described here could not be a theological work, nor could it be the so-called Weimar Tablature Book of 1704, which has a different shelf number. The shelf number Fol. 49/11 led us to four fascicles preserved in a modern tab box and containing a total of five organ compositions notated in new German tablature:
- Fascicle I: Johann Adam Reincken, ’An Wasserflüssen Babylon’
- ’J. N. J. / An Waßer Flüßen / Babylon. / Auff 2 Clavier. / et pedal. / Joh. Adam Reincke’
- colophon, p. 8: ’Il Fine / â Dom. Georg: Böhme / descriptum ao. 1700 / Lunaburgi:’; four folios
- Fascicle II: Dietrich Buxtehude, ’Nun freut euch lieben Christen gmein’
- ’Nun freüt eüch / lieben / Christen gmein. / uff 2 Clavir / Diet. Buxtehude’. (fragment)
- one folio (heavily damaged in bottom margin, fragment of a formerly larger manuscript presumably consisting of at least four folios)
- Fascicle III: Johann Pachelbel, ’An Wasserflüssen Babylon’
- ’Am Waßer Fliesen Babilon / Signor: Johann Pachelbel / organist in Noribergæ’; two folios
- Fascicle IV: Johann Pachelbel, ’Kyrie Gott Vater’ and Fuga
- ’Kyrie Gott / Vater in Ewig- / keit / J. Pachelbel’; ’Fuga / Joh. Pachelbel’; two folios.
On the basis of handwriting comparisons we were able to identify the first two fascicles (Reincken and Buxtehude) as the earliest known autographs of Johann Sebastian Bach. The informative colophon at the end of Fascicle I gives the date of the Reincken MS as 1700, thereby pointing to a period of Bach's life not previously illuminated by primary sources.
As space here is restricted, I will make only a few remarks about the two remaining – non-autograph – fascicles. A look at the watermarks clearly shows that these must originate from Bach’s immediate circle. Fascicle III is written on exactly the same paper as Bach’s town council election cantata from Mühlhausen (dated 1708). Fascicle IV reveals a form of the ’Arnstadt A’ identical to the watermark in Bach's fragmentary copy of a secular cantata by Antonio Biffi, a copy dating either from the end of his Arnstadt period or, more probably, from his early years in Weimar. Transferring the date of these Bach autographs to the Pachelbel copies, we arrive at a date of origin of 1707–1708 for Fascicle III and 1708–1709 for Fascicle IV. Moreover, the paper analysis suggests that we should search for a scribe who was in contact with Bach in Mühlhausen and later in Weimar as well. In addition to Bach's wife Maria Barbara, these conditions are primarily met by his longtime pupil Johann Martin Schubart, who later succeeded him as organist in Weimar. I should add that Schubart’s hand appears in a number of performance parts for Bach’s Weimar cantatas – Bach scholars have labelled this scribe ’Anonymous Weimar 1’. We may safely assume that the Pachelbel MSS were by-products of lessons with Bach or were at least prepared with his approval.
Peter Wollny, Michael Maul, 'The Weimar Organ Tablature: Bach’s Earliest Autographs', Understanding Bach, 3 (2008), pp.67-74.