Anna Magdalena Bach
- Category : Singer - Classical
- Type : PE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (35,45,51)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Vessel of Love 3
Anna Magdalena Bach (22 September 1701 – 22 February 1760) was an accomplished singer and the second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Anna Magdalena Wilcke was born at Zeitz, in the Electorate of Saxony, to a musical family. Her father, Johann Caspar Wilcke, was a trumpet player, who had a career at the courts of Zeitz and Weißenfels. Her mother, Margaretha Elisabeth Liebe, was the daughter of an organist. Little is known about her early musical education, but it is possible that Johann Sebastian Bach first heard her sing at Weißenfels. By 1721, she was employed at Köthen as a singer.
Johann married Anna on December 3, 1721, 17 months after the death of his first wife, Maria Barbara Bach. Together they raised the children from Johann's first marriage and had 13 children of their own from 1723 to 1742, seven of whom died at a young age:
Christiana Sophia Henrietta (* 1723; † 1726)
Gottfried Heinrich (* 1724; † 1763)
Christian Gottlieb (* 1725; † 1728)
Elisabeth Juliana Friederica, called "Liesgen" (* 1726; † 1781)
Ernestus Andreas (* 1727; † 1727)
Regina Johanna (* 1728; † 1733)
Christiana Benedicta (* 1729; † 1730)
Christiana Dorothea (* 1731; † 1732)
Johann Christoph Friedrich, the 'Bückeburg' Bach (* 1732; † 1795)
Johann August Abraham (* 1733; † 1733)
Johann Christian, the 'London' Bach (* 1735; † 1782)
Johanna Carolina (* 1737; † 1781)
Regina Susanna (* 1742; † 1809)
Anna Magdalena continued to sing professionally after her marriage. She sang at Prince Leopold's funeral in 1729. The Bachs' shared interest in music contributed to their happy marriage. She regularly worked as a copyist, transcribing her husband's music. He wrote a number of compositions dedicated to her, most notably the two Notenbüchlein für Anna Magdalena Bach. During the Bach family's time in Leipzig Anna Magdalena organized regular musical evenings featuring the whole family playing and singing together with visiting friends. The Bach house became a musical centrum in Leipzig.
Apart from music, her interests included gardening.
After Bach's death in 1750, his sons came into conflict and moved on in separate directions, leaving Anna Magdalena alone with her two youngest daughters and her stepdaughter from Bach's first marriage. While they remained loyal to her, nobody else in the family helped economically. Anna Magdalena became increasingly dependent upon charity and handouts from the city council; when she died on February 27, 1760, she was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave at Leipzig's Johanniskirche (St. John's Church). The church was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II.
A possible composer
Recently, it has been suggested that Anna Magdalena Bach composed several musical pieces bearing her husband's name. Professor Martin Jarvis of the School of Music at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Australia, claims that she composed the famed six cello suites (BWV 1007–1012) and was involved with the composition of the aria from the Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), a claim which is dismissed more recently by Yo Tomita.