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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Biographical Essay

Uploaded by cevster on Dec 29, 2004

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Biography

Johann Sebastian Bach is probally one of the greatest composers of his time, as well as our time. As a boy he had a fantastic soprano singing voice and always took the lead roles in the church and school choirs. He started composing fairly early on in his life and his first main works, including the Preludes and Variations for the organ, were composed between the ages of 17 and 20.

Bach loved church music and was regarded as one of the finest organists of his day. Since he was raised up with strong ties to the church, he was always involved in church music both as a singer and an organist. He wrote many of his marvelous series of cantatas for the Sunday services at the Church of St Thomas in Leipzig, which were probably the best of it's kind.

Bach was always was in high demand and held a continuation of excellent jobs throughout his lifetime which included posts at the courts of Duke Wilhelm Ernst of Weimar and Prince Leopold of Cöthen.

Life, however, was not always that great though. In the early years Bach was heavily influenced by the composer Buxtehude (another great writer for the organ) and he left his first job as organist at Arnstadt to go and have lessons with him. This turned into a four-month leave, causing trouble with Bach's employers when he returned. Not only had his presence been missed for four consecutive months, but he had come back writing in an advanced and unusual style that wasn't exactly what was required. It was great music but it was just a little ahead of its time.

So Bach moved on to the job in Weimar, which gave him greater musical freedom. His main duties were court organist and chamber musician to the reigning Duke Wilhelm Ernst, and he afterwards attained the job of conductor to the court orchestra in his last three years of service. It was at the beginning of this period of work that he wrote some of his most famous organ pieces, including the marvellous Passacaglia.

The top job at these various courts was always a conductor, and there was an opening in 1716 at Weimar. But Bach did not get offered the job, so he immediately started looking for another position, ending up at the court of Prince Leopold of Cothen. Bach spent...

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Uploaded by:   cevster

Date:   12/29/2004

Category:   Artists

Length:   3 pages (669 words)

Views:   11813

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