A piece of musical history

Musician Jakob Lindberg discusses a rare manuscript, hand-written by Johann Sebastian Bach — and that sold for £2.5 million in July 2016

‘To see this wonderful music in the hand of the master himself is very special,’ says musician Jakob Lindberg, examining a rare, original copy of J.S.Bach’s Prelude in E flat major, BWV 998, hand-written by the Baroque composer, which sold for £2,518,500 in our Books & Manuscripts auction on 13 July 2016.

‘It makes you feel connected to him,’ continues Lindberg, adding that the piece’s quick flourishes of notes suggest it is not an arranged copy, but may well be the original composition itself. ‘It offers a great sense of closeness.’

Video: Lindberg plays Bach’s original composition

In this video, Lindberg plays Bach’s original composition, written for lute or harpsichord — instruments Bach was known to be fond of. ‘It’s amazing to see this manuscript and know that it was the musician himself who wrote it,’ Lindberg says. ‘I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when he was composing.’