Anna Magdalena Wilcke, better known by her husband’s name, Anna Magdalena Bach, is often associated with J.S. Bach’s works and for many good reasons.
The couple met in 1721 at the court of Anhalt-Cöthen, where Anna Magdalena was employed as a soprano and Johann was director of music. The latter had just lost his previous wife, Maria Barbara, and must have been deeply impressed with Anna Magdalena’s musical talent. They married soon after and Anna became Johann’s most trusted assistant and collaborator.
Not only did she premiere many of his works, but she also worked as a professional copyist, creating beautiful manuscripts that the Bach family regularly sold to other musicians. Johann even dedicated to her a now-famous booklet with pieces he had selected for her: probably a sample of the music they performed at home.
Nowadays Cantata 82 is mostly performed in the first version for bass and oboe (BWV 82a, 1727) but Bach himself arranged it a few times, one of those being for soprano and flute (BWV 82b). This version is fragmentary but it survives mostly in the little book he wrote for Anna Magdalena, suggesting that it was made especially for her. The present program aims to showcase the influence she had on Johann’s creative output, presenting the public with known and lesser-known music written for her.
This programme is set to premiere on August 31st, 2023 at the Festival Oude Muziek, Utrecht. For more bookings, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org