Proof that Bach went blind

The Bach-Archiv of Leipzig is getting very excited about a document it acquired at auction in New York. It is believed to date from the last days of the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, in July 1750.

It represents a receipt for paymet, signed not by the Master himself but on his behalf by his son,, Johann Christian, then 15 years old. Leipzig scholars take this to mean the old man could no longer read the document and that this amounts to first proof of his final blindness. It could, of course, alternatively mean that he was too weak to sign.

In any event. the document is of great historical importance, a powerful insight into the dying composer’s situation.

bach blind

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