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The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)

Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (original title)
1:05 | Trailer
The life and music of Johann Sebastian Bach as presented by his wife, Anna.
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Gustav Leonhardt Gustav Leonhardt ... Johann Sebastian Bach
Christiane Lang Christiane Lang ... Anna Magdalena Bach
Paolo Carlini Paolo Carlini ... Hölzel
Ernst Castelli Ernst Castelli ... Steger
Hans-Peter Boye Hans-Peter Boye ... Born
Joachim Wolff Joachim Wolff ... Rector
Rainer Kirchner Rainer Kirchner ... Superintendent
Eckart Bruntjen Eckart Bruntjen ... Prefect Kittler
Walter Peters Walter Peters ... Prefect Krause
Kathrien Leonhard Kathrien Leonhard ... Catherina Dorothea Bach
Anja Fahrmann Anja Fahrmann ... Regine Susanna Bach
Katja Drewanz Katja Drewanz ... Christine Sophie Henrietta Bach
Bob van Asperen Bob van Asperen ... Johann Elias Bach
Andreas Pangritz Andreas Pangritz ... Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Bernd Weikl 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 <mqd8478@is2.nyu.edu>

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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 among the finest to be found in recording History. See more »


Edited into À propos de Venise (2014) See more »


Funeral Music for Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, BWV 244a
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

User Reviews

10 March 2007 | by tmmurphy-2See all my reviews

"Dogmatic," as another reviewer described this film, is a fitting word. The director's idea was to present Bach without plot, acting, fun, theatrics, dialog, narrative, or drama. Mission accomplished, Monsieur Straub. "Pretentious?" Yes. "Cinematic?" No way. This is anti-cinema. No one moves. Hardly anyone talks. The camera holds static shots for 10-12 minutes at a time: very very occasionally the camera will dolly in. You may catch a glimpse of Gustav Leonhardt's fingers moving over the keys. That's it.

If you like the idea of staring at the back of a harpsichordist's (bewigged) head for 7 minutes at a stretch while listening to Bach, this is the film for you. I'd rather listen to Bach on my stereo with my eyes closed.

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West Germany | Italy



Release Date:

1981 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,453, 4 March 2018

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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