The BBC documentary is based on Australian academic Martin Jarvis’ controversial theory.
A documentary based on Charles Darwin University Professor Martin Jarvis’ controversial research claiming Johann Sebastian Bach’s most famous works, including his Cello Suites, may have in fact been written by his second wife Anna Magdalena, has won a major American film award.
Written by Mrs Bach, named after Professor Jarvis’ book outlining the theory, won the Gold Medal in the Arts category at last night’s New York Festival’s World’s Best TV and Film Awards ceremony, held in Las Vegas.
The film, produced by the BBC and narrated by notable British composer Sally Beamish, follows Professor Jarvis as he collects evidence to support his Mrs Bach theory, and includes interviews with forensic experts, musicologists and other pertinent academics. In the film Jarvis travels to Weimar, Leipzig and Cöthen, Karlsbad in the Czech Republic, and London’s Royal Academy of Music in search of corroborating evidence for his Mrs Bach claims.
However, despite the award, Jarvis’ theory has been met with almost unanimous scorn from the music community all over the world, including high profile opponents such as cellist Steven Isserlis and Sydney University’s Winsome Evans. Articles debunking the hypothesis have been published by multiple global media titles including the New Yorker, The Guardian, London’s Telegraph and the Independent.