In May 2005 the Leipzig-based musicologist Michael Maul made a sensational discovery in Weimar . While sifting through the Herzogin Anna Amalia library he unearthed the manuscript of a sacred aria by Johann Sebastian Bach which was previously completely unknown.
It is the first time since 1935 that a new Bach vocal work has been discovered. The aria consisting of twelve verses is written for solo soprano, strings and basso continuo and opens with the words “ Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn ’ ihn ”. It was composed in 1713 to celebrate the 53rd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxe-Weimar who employed Bach as court organist from 1708 until 1717.
This vocal work is Bach’s sole contribution to the genre of strophic aria. Each verse is accompanied by basso continuo and followed by a lively string ritornello , making this work a pièce d’occasion of exquisite quality.