Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

We are going to make a tribute to one of the greatest composers of all time, Johann Sebastian Bach.

 

 

An extraordinary German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque period, he enriched many established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.

Bach’s more famous compositions are his organ works, Cantatas, Chorales, Passions, the Mass in B Minor and of course, the Branderburg Concertos.

His music is revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty.

Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, into a very musical family; his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians.

His father taught him to play violin and harpsichord, and his brother, Johann Christoph Bach, taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music.

Bach also went to St Michael’s School in Lüneburg because of his singing skills. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, Cantor of Thomasschule in Leipzig, and Royal Court Composer to August III.

Bach’s health and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750. Modern historians believe that his death was caused by a combination of stroke and pneumonia.

Bach’s abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.

There is a lot that I admire of Johann Sebastian Bach’s beautiful music.

The St. Matthew Passion is an admirable true work of art.  It’s one of the most beautiful sacred Oratorios of all time.

The St. John Passion is another masterpiece. This beautiful sacred Oratorio was not heard in more or less its entirety outside of Leipzig until 1829, whenthe famous composer Felix Mendelssohn re-discovered it and he performed  an abbreviated and modified version in Berlin to great acclaim.

Mendelssohn’s revival brought the music of Bach, particularly the large-scale works, to public and scholarly attention.

Appreciation, performance and study of Bach’s composition have persisted into the present era.

I also love Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio”. It’s extraordinary and I recommend to everyone to listen it on Christmas season.

Bach’s devout relationship with the Christian God in the Lutheran tradition and the high demand for religious music of his times placed sacred music at the centre of his repertory.

He taught Luther’s Small Catechism as the Thomascantor in Leipzig, and some of his pieces represent it; the Lutheran chorale hymn tune was the basis of much of his work.

He wrote more cogent, tightly integrated chorale preludes than most.

The large-scale structure of some of Bach’s sacred works is evidence of subtle, elaborate planning.

For example, the St Matthew Passion illustrates the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales.

The six Brandenburg Concertos are also my favorites.

And of course, his Organ works are fantastic!

I recommend to everyone to listen to Bach’s music, it’s an experience that you will never forget.

Listening to any of  the many compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach is an incredible experience, you will open your mind to a whole new world of beautiful music.

Bach is one of my musical idols and I will always pay tribute to him, forever.

Jacqueline

 

 

 

 

 

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