- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Bach to the future

A previously unknown work by Johann Sebastian Bach has been discovered in a crate of 18th-century birthday cards removed from a German library shortly before it was devastated by fire, researchers said yesterday.

Experts say the aria for soprano and string or keyboard accompaniment, composed for a German duke’s birthday, is the first new music from the renowned composer to surface in three decades.

Researcher Michael Maul of the Bach Archiv foundation found the composition, dated October 1713, last month in the eastern city of Weimar. The Leipzig-based foundation said there was no doubt about the authenticity of the handwritten two-page score.

“It is no major composition but an occasional work in the form of an exquisite and highly refined strophic aria, Bach’s only contribution to a musical genre popular in late 17th-century Germany,” said Christoph Wolff, the foundation’s director and a professor at Harvard University.

Mr. Wolff said the work, written when Bach was 28, was among documents taken from the Duchess Anna Amalia library in Weimar for restoration before September’s devastating fire. It was the first Bach work to come to light since 1975, when a copy of the “Goldberg Variations” in a private collection was found to contain extra canons for piano in the composer’s own handwriting, Mr. Maul said.

The two-page score was among several hundred poems and greetings written by officials and clerics to honor the 52nd birthday of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Saxony-Weimar, whom Bach served as a court organist, Mr. Maul said. It was not clear whether it was played at the time, but the foundation said English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner is preparing to record it.


Actor Owen Wilson (“The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Starsky & Hutch”) doesn’t think much of the Dalai Lama, but he thinks even less of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s fans.

“I went to see the Dalai Lama speak at UCLA once to impress a girl, and it was horrible, not so much because of him but the people there. The crowd made me want to throw up,” Mr. Wilson told Playboy magazine.

“At the end of his corny lecture, with a bunch of goofball utopian ideals, he opened it up to questions,” Mr. Wilson continued.

“Somebody asked, ‘What’s the answer to world hunger?’ And his answer was like, ‘Sharing.’ And everyone oohed and ahhed like he’d just solved the problem. I just couldn’t see what the big deal was.”

Ricky’s ranch

Actor Rick Schroder has put his western Colorado ranch on the market for $29 million, in part because of a legal squabble with a neighbor.

“All this unpleasantness has left, unfortunately, a bad taste in my mouth,” Mr. Schroder told Grand Junction’s The Daily Sentinel newspaper.

Mr. Schroder, who had a role on “NYPD Blue” and appeared in films including “The Champ” and “Crimson Tide,” said he was planning to go through with court-ordered mediation before taking his dispute over access issues to trial.

“I’m still going to defend myself in court and see that through,” he said.

Party’s over

Lindsay Lohan says all she wants is for fans and Hollywood to take her seriously.

That, and for tabloids to stop painting her as a relentless party girl.

“I kind of got over it really fast, but they continued to say I still do it,” Miss Lohan, 18, told Reuters News Agency, referring to stories that she’s a fixture on the New York and Los Angeles club scenes. “I just don’t want people to think that I’m not focused and that I’m in this for the wrong reasons.”

Her dream, she said, is to land a dramatic role and perhaps get a chance to reprise Ann-Margret’s turn as a sexy juvenile delinquent in the 1964 movie “Kitten With a Whip.”

Mission’ is a go

After more than a week of haggling over costs, Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures have reached a deal that will allow “Mission: Impossible 3” to move ahead with filming in Italy next month, Associated Press reports.

The film will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who joined the project in August, and will be produced by Mr. Cruise and his partner, Paula Wagner.

The deal fell into place after Mr. Cruise agreed to adjust his lucrative profit-participation deal and shave a budget that had swelled to as much as $185 million, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Compiled by Scott Galupo from staff and wire reports.

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