Breakthrough: Bach scholars name author of St John Passion

Peter Wollny, director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, has announced that the libretto of the St John Passion, and other Bach works, appears to have been written by a student from Nuremburg.

Apparently the handwriting on the mss correlates to that of Christoph Birkmann (1703-1771), who has several papers lodged in the Nuremberg State Library. Birkmann studied theology and mathematics at the University of Leipzig from 1724-27 and took private lessons with the town cantor before becoming a full-time theologian.

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Birkmann

photo: Sammlung Bach-Archiv Leipzig

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  • Very interesting that he wrote quite soms texts for JSB..

    If I read the article well, it doesn’t claim that Birkmann wrote the “libretto” of Saint John’s Passion. The conclusion is that he apparently did contribute to its second version.

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