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Mailbag: “Is it by Bach?”

March 24, 2009

Dear Michael,

I'm confused again. ;-)
I've always thought that the Minuet in G+ (BWV 114 (Notenbuch der Anna Magdalena Bach) was by Bach, but in the latest editions of the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), Christian Petzold gets the credit as the composer.
Any help is appreciated.




So much of Bach's music comes down to us in indirect ways. From what I can recall, items in the Anna Magdalena Notebook are entered in his hand, her hand, the hand of some of the boys…and though the collection comes from the Bach household, it is thought that it includes music by other composers thought to be useful (or enjoyable) for household application. Sleuthing the actual composers for some of these movements is a continuing challenge.
It is likely that Christian Petzold did compose that Minuet, but worth remembering that Bach thought sufficiently well of it to include it in his ‘family album’.
There's an extensive Wikipedia article on this topic:



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