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JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH

Partita No. 2 D Moll Sarabande by MAXIM VENGEROV

Toccate y Fugue

Piano sheet music

BACH biography

Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21st, 1685 in Eisenach and died on July 28th, 1750 in Leipzig.

He was the youngest son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, musician of the city, from whom Johann Sebastian probably learnt the violin and rudiments of musical theory.

When he was ten years old he became orphan and went to live with his oldest brother, Johann Christoph, organist in the church of St. Michael Ohrdruf, who gave him lessons playing the keyboard.

 

From the year 1700 to 1702 he was at St. Michael school in Lüneburg, where he sang in the church choir and probably he came into contact with the composer and organist Georg Böhm.

He also visited Hamburg to listen to J.A. Reincken in the church organ of St. Catherine.

After competing without succeeding to the post of organist in Sangerhausen in 1702, Bach obtained the post of organist in the Neukirche in Arnstadt. In June 1707 he moved to St. Blasius, Mühlhausen, and four months later he married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach in Dornheim.

 

Bach was designed organist and musician of the court of the Duke of Saxe-Weimar in 1708. For the following 9 years Bach was the main organist and there he composed many of his finest works for the instrument.

 

During that time he had 7 children, including Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. When in 1717 Bach was designed Kapellmeister in Cöthen, he was ordered to leave Weimar and as he denied he was sent to prison by the Duke for almost a month.

The new boss of Bach, Prince Leopold was a talented musician who loved and understood art. And Bach could devote his time to musical composition. Since that date he created his violin concerts and the 6 concerts of Brandenburg and several works for key. Including many things as the inventions and the book I of the "48".

In 1720 Barbara died while Bach was visiting Karlsbad with the Prince; and in December of the following year Bach married Ana Magdalena Wilcke.

 

Bach stayed in Leipzig the rest of his life and although he was often in conflict with authorities, he was a man happy of having his family and proud father who took much care of his children.

His duties were centrally Sundays and celebration day services in the main churches of the city. And during his years in Leipzig Bach composed prodigious quantities of church music, including four or five cycles of cantata, the Magnificat and the passions of St. John and of St. Matthew.

 

He was renowned by this time as a virtuous organist and he has constant demand as professor and expert in the organ construction and design.

 

His fame as a composer gradually split in a wider way when from 1726 on, he began to put published editions of his music for keyboard and organ.

 

He had 13 children from his marriage with Ana Magdalena.

 

The sight of Bach began to deteriorate during 1750 and the English oculist John Taylor operated him twice. The operations and the treatment that followed them could have speeded up Bach's death. He took the final communion on July 22nd and died six days after.

 

On July 31st he was buried in St. John cemetery- His widow, Ana Magdalena, outlived Bach by ten years and died poor in 1760.

 

Bach was involved in practically each musical genre of his time with the exception of the dramatics of the opera and the oratory (his three "the oratories" which are oratories only in a special sense). Bach opened new dimensions in virtually each creative work department which he changed in format, musical quality and technical demands.

 

The density and complexity of his music are such that the analysts and commentators have discovered in him the religious and numerological signification that rarely will be found in other composers music.

 

His works were soon adopted as models for new musician generations.

 

Together with the great Haendel, contemporary of Bach he was the great past representative of the Baroque era, in a time which rejected already the aesthetic Baroque in favor of a lighter new one.

 

 

 

 

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