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Germany

Weimar Performs Unknown Bach Aria

A recently discovered aria by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is to receive its first-ever modern performance in Weimar at the beginning of September, organizers of the city's Kunstfest said on Monday. German soprano Juliane Banse will perform the hitherto unknown work, discovered this year in the archives of the famous Anna-Amalia library in Weimar, on September 3 in the ceremonial ballroom of Weimar's Residenzschloss palace. Banse will be accompanied by Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff on harpsichord and the French-Austrian string quartet, Quatuor Mosaiques. The two-page handwritten aria, entitled "Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn" (Everything with God and nothing without him), was discovered in May stashed away in a box of birthday cards by German musicologist Michael Maul, a researcher at Leipzig's Bach Archive. The 12-stanza "strophic" aria to verses by Johann Anton Mylius, is for soprano, strings and bass continuo and was composed by Bach in October 1713 on the occasion of the 52nd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxony-Weimar (1662-1728). The work was in fact Bach's sole contribution to that particular musical genre. It is to be published for the first time, including a facsimile edition, by music publisher Baerenreiter in autumn and a recording is also in preparation by British conductor and renowned Bach specialist John Eliot Gardiner.

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