The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)
"Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach" (original title)

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The life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach as presented by his wife, Anna.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gustav Leonhardt ...
Christiane Lang ...
Paolo Carlini ...
Ernst Castelli ...
Hans-Peter Boye ...
Joachim Wolff ...
Rainer Kirchner ...
Eckart Bruntjen ...
Prefect Kittler
Walter Peters ...
Prefect Krause
Kathrien Leonhard ...
Anja Fahrmann ...
Regine Susanna Bach
Katja Drewanz ...
Christine Sophie Henrietta Bach
Bob van Asperen ...
Johann Elias Bach
Andreas Pangritz ...
Bernd Weikl ...
Singer in Cantata No. 205


A chronicle of Johann Sebastian Bach's life, eschewing drama to focus almost entirely on his music. Narrated by his wife Anna in voiceover, it consists largely of static scenes of Bach conducting and/or playing his brilliant compositions. Written by Mike D'Angelo <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

6 November 1968 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gustav Leonhardt portrays Bach in his only performance as an actor. He is a music scholar of International renown, specialized in the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, and a harpsichord virtuoso whose Bach recordings (both as harpsichord player and conductor) are the finest to be found in recording History. See more »


Referenced in Verteidigung der Zeit (2007) See more »


St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 - 'Kommt, ihr Töchter, helft mir klagen'
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

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User Reviews

empty, unwatchable biopic
19 March 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This film may be of interest to music lovers, due to its detailed showcasing of period instruments, sheet music compositions, and unceasing Bach music. Beyond that, it has nothing to offer. It purports to be a copiously researched biopic, but is really just a performance history of Bach's pieces, with occasional voice-overs in between, accompanied by pans across period etchings or bits of sheet music. In one particularly plodding scene, Bach's music is accompanied by an image of treetops against a still sky for something like five minutes. Ultimately, it watches like a number of late-night arts channel, low budget TV performances spliced together with scant historical information, ala a fifth-rate documentary from the VHS section of your local library.

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