How does (not) sound Bach

pieces assigned to J. S. Bach, but the composer is not the author of the music

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750)

  • Orchestral suite in G minor, BWV 1070

  • Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünden BWV 1083


2 singers (soprano, alto), 2 violins, viola, cello, organ, theorbo

Programme feature:

The Orchestral suite in G minor is interesting by the fact accepted also by the specialists, that the composer of this this piece is not Johan Sebastian but rather his eldest son Wilhelm Friedemann. This mistake was probably made in 1753 during the transcription by Chr.F.Penzel, Bach’s pupil, who indicated as an author  “Signor Bach” without mentioning his  first name. The piece consists of five parts, from which two parts called torneo and capriccio clearly indicate, that the author is not of the northern german origin but someone living more in south, Bavaria or Austria, regions where these two music numbers are common components of suites.

The music material of Bach’s cantata Tilge, Höchster, meine Sünde comes from famous Stabat Mater, piece by G.B. Pergolesi. Bach used a German text by Picander based on the psalm 51. Bach made a parody version. The order of parts is not the same as in original composition by Pergolesi due to Bach’s own conception of using  the keys and themes. The most notable difference is in viola part. The Bach gives the instrument its own line, thus creating the four-part harmony typical of his own style. In Pergolesi’s version viola plays in unison with the continuo.