The Sextet in C Major, by J. C. or J. C. F Bach?
A sextet in C major, scored for the somewhat unusual combination of oboe, violin, two horns, cello, and keyboard, has been a subject of debate for over seventy years between writers claiming the work either for Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach or for his younger brother Johann Christian. Schünemann included it among the works of the former1 and published it in the first modern edition.2 The case for J. C. F. Bach was supported by Karl Geiringer, who described it as 'the climax of Friedrich's production in the field of chamber music';3 by Hannsdiether Wohlfarth,4 and also by Beth Anna Mekota in her study of the keyboard works of J. C. Bach.5 The flag for J. C. Bach as author was carried by C. S. Terry,6 by Stanley Sadie in his edition of the work based on the first London edition,7 and by subsequent writers.8 It has been recorded on at least two occasions with an attribution to the one or the other and is listed without qualification in the work-lists of both men in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. The aim of this essay is to assess critically the sources, to examine the claims of both composers to this work and, with the aid of new evidence, to settle the dispute once and for all.
Johann Christian Bach had been in England for over fifteen years when J. C. F. Bach came to visit him in London in 1778, bringing with him his____________________