Australian author Martin Jarvis starts with an astounding assertion, that Bach’s second wife Anna Magdalena Bach wrote not only the Solo Cello Suites, but other major works attributed to Bach as well. He expects us to go along with him with basically no real evidence. The much ballyhooed handwriting analysis is a joke, and it has been debunked by real Bach experts. And make no mistake about it Jarvis is decidedly not a Bach expert. For a thoroughly devastating critique of Jarvis and his absurd thesis please read this article written by eminent Bach scholar Ruth Tatlow. It’s a wonderful rejoinder! Even if every single Bach work we have extant was written in Anna’s hand it doesn’t mean anything more than she was an efficient and trusted copiest. To read between the lines and presuppose this ink being in Anna’s hand somehow proves her authorship is truly absurd and defies logic!
Jarvis has produced a documentary and a book to document his wild theories. I’d watch the documentary if it were available for free on YouTube, but I certainly won’t be contributing any money to a person who is trying to make a name for himself with shoddy scholarship and sensationalistic claims about the greatest composer in history! The same for his book.
One response to “Jarvis and Bach”
Tatlow crushed him. I feel bad for Jarvis though … I think his assertion was part of his PhD dissertation.