Scholarship. Research. Facts. Since we live in the era of “Fox News” we all know that these things are in short supply. Goodness, haven’t you heard about the massive Ebola outbreak in the United States? No? Then how about Anna Magdalena Bach?
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, based on nothing more than than a forensic analysis of handwriting a “professor” in North Australia has concluded that not only did Anna Magdalena compose the Cello Suites heretofore attributed to one Sebastian Bach, but also that the aforementioned Sebastian was a wife beater and all-around scumbag. Despite this “thesis” sounding like a rejected script to a Criminal Minds episode (I can just hear Dr. Spencer Reid babbling about the relationship between the Goldberg Variations, sleep deprivation, and homicidal tendencies…. you go, Spencer) this “theory” has received a whole raft of publicity in the international media.
It’s bad enough that the “Lame Stream Media” swallowed this hook, line, and sinker, but what is much more troubling to me is that this has been passed around by supposéd professional musicians as gospel. One young man (who shall remain nameless because he’s going to be so embarrassed in a few years that he subscribed to this claptrap) teaching at a reputable music school in the Midwest (which shall also remain nameless because said school is going to be embarrassed that they hired someone who would fall for this claptrap) published an impassioned defense of this theory, rambling on about feminism and respect for women in music.
You want feminism then please direct your attention to the Boulanger sisters, especially Lili. Why she isn’t recognized as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western Classical music is utterly beyond me. Ditto for Nadia. That’s a worthy cause. And to be honest, I’m pretty sure that Anna Magdalena was a very formidable woman, since A) she put up with Sebastian for all those years; and B) Sebastian put up with her for all those years. Honestly, can you imagine Sebastian Bach marrying a no-talent idiot? Seriously?
But as every Bach scholar on the planet knows this “Cello Suite” theory is not supported by facts. There is simply too much musical evidence that clearly indicates Sebastian was the composer of the suites, and there is as much evidence that Maggie (to her friends) was a copyist and enthusiastic supporter of her husband’s music, but most assuredly not the composer of the Cello suites! All this was pointed out back in 2006 when this “theory” first crawled out from under a very embarrassed rock. But now there’s going to be a documentary, and it’s crawled back out from under that rock, and in today’s information world (and with the power of the internet) at least one gullible person in a position to influence future musicians has fallen for this without doing due diligence and research on the subject himself!
Stop clicking “share” and do your own digging. Scholarship. Research. Facts. Because back in the day before you could land a date with a hot, French model on the internet you actually had to back up your claims with those three things.
But if you persist in clicking “share” without thinking it through – I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, cheap! Nice view, too!