Johann Michael Bach was a German composer belonging to the generation before Johann Sebastian Bach. He was the brother of Johann Sebastian’s uncle and also the father of his first wife Maria Barbara. Especially in the chorale motet, the vocal form to which he almost exclusively devoted himself, he composed works of real significance. His convincing treatment of spoken declamation is particularly notable.

This motet for double choir (the manuscript is now lost) was included in the so-called “Altbachisches Archiv” (old-Bachian archive), a collection of 17th-century vocal music, most of which was written by members of the Bach family. The collection was founded by the father of Johann Sebastian Bach. After the death of Johann Sebastian the collection was passed on to his son Carl Philipp Emanuel, who named it “Altbachisches Archiv”. The original manuscripts were lost during the Second World War, only to be rediscovered in Ukraine in 1999 (through the efforts of musicologist Christoff Wolff), after which they in 2001 were returned to the Sing-Akademie in Berlin.

See a presentation of a Bach autograph score preserved in Copenhagen !