(Barbara Katherina, second cousin of Johann Sebastian Bach and elder sister of Maria Barbara, Bach’s future wife tells of her sister’s interest in Johann Sebastian Bach as her future husband.)
Maria Barbara were you in church yesterday? Did you hear what our JS played? I think it was an organ piece with our favorite chorale “How Brightly Shines the Morningstar” hidden in all those different sounding sections somewhere. Our staid old congregation really did not like it did they? I think our JS learned a lot from Herr Buxtehude and Herr Scheidt while he was in Lubeck don’t you?
Then to make matters worse, did you hear the hymn accompaniment he played on LOBT GOTT, IHR CHRISTEN? Heavens, it was hard to sing that hymn with that wild accompaniment, if I say so myself. Why I heard people complaining all around us. They truly were confused. Some even said they could not hear the melody. I imagine all that new-fangled ornamentation, is not going to sit well with all those serious faced men.
Maria Barbara, please tell me you were not the woman someone heard singing to JS’s organ accompaniment in the church choir
loft the other day? If it was you, you are in so much trouble! First, you—a woman actually in the choir loft and second, horror of horrors, you were even heard singing in the choir loft! Just think of the mess you have created now for our dear Johann Sebastian, and just when things were starting to settle down a bit. What were you thinking?
Oh, so you have heard he is looking for another job? And, why would our Johann need a different job? So he can finally settle down and what? Marry you, Maria Barbara? Is that what you are thinking, my dear little sister?
(The story above is one of a dozen vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)