Monday, March 21, 2011

Johann Sebastian Bach: Baroque Composer

Johann Sebastian Bach (March 21, 1685-July 28, 1750) was a German Baroque composer. He was one of the greatest composers of all time, but during his lifetime, he was little-known and was mostly recognized for performing on the organ. Bach composed in many established musical forms, including, for example, the cantata and fugue, and developed them into complex and sublime pieces. He composed over 1,100 works in almost every musical genre (except opera).

Bach was born and died in Germany, and spent his entire life there, working as an organist, teacher, and composer. He had over 20 children, including four who became famous musicians in their own right, including Carl Philipp Emanuel, Wilhelm Friedemann, Johann Christoph Friedrich, and Johann Christian.

Bach's Early Life:
Bach was the youngest of eight children. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, had been a town musician, and probably gave Bach his early music lessons. His mother, Maria Elisabetha, and his father died within a year of each other (in 1694 and 1695, respectively). Orphaned at age 10, Bach moved in with his an older brother, Johann Christoph, who was the organist at St. Michael's Church, Ohrdruf. This brother probably taught Bach much about the organ.

Bach's Early Career:
Bach's early career involved playing the violin and organ at a low-level position in the ruling court in Weimar and in Neukirche, Arnstadt, beginning in 1703.

The Re-Discovery of Bach's Works - Bach's Back:
Bach's works were soon forgotten (but then again, they were hardly known during his lifetime - many of his works were not published until a century after his death). In March, 1829 (almost 100 years after Bach's death), the composer Felix Mendelssohn performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion, spurring a world-wide interest in Bach. Soon, Bach's works were appreciated by the world - essentially for the first time. 

To learn much more about him visit the official website here - http://www.jsbach.org/
To listen to some of Bach's works visit this website that lists many websites that contain files - http://www.jsbach.org/websites.html

Here is a video of Rostropovich Bach Cello Suite No.1 Prelude -

Another video of Bach, Air on the G string, string orchestra)

Book and Music CD's:

1 comment:

  1. one of my favorite classical composer is johann sebastian bach. not only because his music touches me but also because he is a Christian. i love air on the g string and jesu joy of man's desiring. they are both great pieces.


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