Leipzig’s Bach museum reopens after renovation

Posted on: April 15, 2010

In Wednesday’s (4/14) Wall Street Journal, A.J. Goldmann writes from Leipzig, Germany. “This is the city where Johann Sebastian Bach spent his final 27 years and composed many of his major works, including the St. Matthew and St. John Passions, the Mass in B Minor, the ‘Art of the Fugue’ and nearly 200 cantatas. And this year, amid the predictable Easter-season concert programming, Leipzig marked the composer’s 325th birthday with the opening of a renovated and greatly expanded Bach Museum, part of the Bach-Archiv Leipzig. Founded in 1950 (the 200th anniversary of the composer’s death), the Archiv is one of the finest Bach research institutes on earth, largely thanks to its important collection of Bach manuscripts. The Archiv’s old museum dealt exclusively with Bach’s relationship to Leipzig. Now, after a costly two-year renovation, the museum unfurls throughout a beautifully restored Renaissance house on Thomaskirchhof Square, opposite St. Thomas Church. … Handwritten scores and correspondence are displayed in a dimly lighted ‘treasure room’ adorned by oil portraits of Bach and his father, Johann Ambrosius. The original scores and letters are being shown for the first time, since the old museum lacked proper displaying conditions, such as air conditioning. Many of the items here are recent finds or were restored specifically for the museum.”

Posted April 15, 2010