The Notebooks for Anna Magdalena Bach: BEST EDITION 2020
The Notebooks for Anna Magdalena Bach wins the distinction of the German Music Publishers Association
One of the major publishing highlights of 2019, the new edition from Edition Peters of J.S. Bach’s The Notebooks for Anna Magdalena Bach 1722 & 1725 has been awarded the prestigious “BEST EDITION” 2020 of the Deutsche Musikverleger-Verband (German Music Publishers Association).
This prize-winning new Urtext edition of The Notebooks for Anna Magdalena Bach was edited by pre-eminent Bach scholar Christoph Wolff, Harvard Professor and former Director of the Leipzig Bach Archive.
The music book that Johann Sebastian Bach presented to his new wife Anna Magdalena in 1722, and replaced more lavishly in 1725, treats us to a tantalizing glimpse inside this unique family, allowing us to sit beside Bach as a composer, teacher, husband and father. Over the years, these notebooks became a place for the family to share instructional exercises, favourite pieces – by Bach and other composers – to play or sing, early composition efforts from the children, and first versions of some of Bach’s more ambitious keyboard works.
This new edition contains all the material from the 1722 and 1725 notebooks together in one volume, in the original landscape format and represents the very latest in Bach scholarship, reflecting up-to-the-minute research on texts, authorship and copyists.
In making the award the jury commented as follows:
There are countless editions of the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach. Edition Peters has now published a complete edition for the first time, containing the complete material from Bach's 1722 and 1725 notebooks. Christoph Wolff, renowned Bach specialist, professor at Harvard University and long-time director of the Bach Archive in Leipzig, is the editor of this bibliophile Urtext edition.
Bibliophile is the right term here: The loving occasion that provided the original impetus for the Notebook has been consistently transferred to the new edition. The Notebooks are presented in the original landscape format, as were Bach’s originals from 1722 and 1725, and in a hard cover, linen binding, gold embossed, and even printed in Köthen and bound in Leipzig - the book follows the path of J.S. Bach from Köthen to that city. It may be a coincidence that Edition Peters is also based in Leipzig, but the publication shows the company’s deep connection to Bach in several ways. In addition to a foreword, the inside pages contain all piano pieces from Bach's books in a clean, very well-placed typesetting. Reproductions of Bach’s original manuscript make the bridge between the past and the present easy to understand. Close to the original and very beautifully realised, this Notebook is worthy of distinction.