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Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach)

Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
Scene from "Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach" (photo courtesy of Filmmuseum Berlin/Deutsche Kinemathek)

Extracts from 25 pieces of music - from the Brandenburg Concert No. 5, Allegro 1, bars 147-227, to the first part of Choral BWV 668 "Before Thy throne I step" - are presented as self-contained musical sets. In between these examples of Bach's work, his second wife Anna Magdalena, whom he married in 1721 and with whom he led a happy life until he died in 1748, describes the various stages in her husband's life, from his post as conductor in Coethen until he passed away "quietly and gently". Anna Magdalena did not really leave a diary for posterity. The Short Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach published by the English author Esther Meynell in the 1920s is a compilation in exactly the same way as Jean-Marie Straub's text. The Englishwoman's book proved to be best-seller in Germany and served as the source of inspiration for the film's title.
Genre History, Biopic
Category Feature
Year of Production 1968
Director Jean-Marie Straub
Screenplay Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
Cinematography Ugo Piccone
Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub
Johann Sebastian Bach
Cast Gustav Leonhardt, Christa Lang, Kathrien Leonhardt, Andreas Pangritz, Bob van Aspern, Ernst Castelli, Joachim Wolf, Rainer Kirchner
Producers Franz Seitz, Gian Vittorio Baldi, Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet
Production Company Seitz Filmproduktion/Munich, in co-production with IDI Cinematografica/Rome, Straub-Huillet Film/Munich, HR/Frankfurt, TELEPOOL/Munich
Runtime 93 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Subtitled Version English
Sound Technology Optical
Festivals London 1968, Prades 1968
Awards Best Film London 1968, BFI Award 1968, Grand Prize Prades 1968, Bambi 1968 for Best German Film
German Distributor Freunde der Deutschen Kinemathek/Berlin

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