Born: 21 March 1685, Eisenach,
Bach, Johann Sebastian
One of the greatest composers in Western musical history, Johann Sebastian Bach, was a son of a long dynasty of musicians. He was born in Eisenach in the same year as Handel (1685), yet unlike his internationally famed contemporary, Bach was only famous in his life as a virtuoso organist, and was influenced by Buxtehude, one of the greatest organ players of his time.
Bach was affected by the religious music of Schütz. His sacred music includes church organ (Toccata & Fugue in Dm) and choral music, like the Mass in B-minor, the St. Johnand St. Matthew Passions, which are among the most important religious pieces in the history of music. He also wrote many cantatas and almost 200 of them have survived.
In his last days, he brought polyphony, the main texture until his era, into perfection in the "Art of Fugue" which he never finished. This work stands out as one of the most glorious of the baroque works. Only few meaningful polyphonic works were composed after his death.
But Bach also wrote secular music. He developed the concerto grosso, in which a number of soloists play against the orchestra. Such concerti are the six "Brandenburg Concertos", dedicated to the Marquis of Brandenburg. His "Goldberg Variations" were written for the harpsichord player of a count, who suffered insomnia and asked for music that would make him sleep.
After his death, some of his 20 children, Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Christian Bach, also became well-known composers. Although later composers like Beethoven and Mozart admired his music, it was not until nearly a century after his death that Mendelssohnexposed his music to the audience, and only then, did he gain his staggering success and fame as the man who brought polyphony to its peak, and one of the greatest composers of all times. More than 1,000 of his compositions survive, including works in virtually every musical form and genre in use in 18th-century Germany. His music is regarded as the high point of the baroque era, which lasted until the year of his death (1750).
A visit to Bach birth house
His Notation of the Brandenburg Concertos
He Lived in the
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MusixCool© By Nadav Dafni