Johann Sebastian BachGerman Baroque period composer & musician. Born 21 March 1685. Died 28 July 1750
Johann Sebastian Bach Biography (BBC)
Born in the German town of Eisenach, J. S. Bach was a chorister then violinist before taking his first organist post at Arnstadt while still a teenager. It was in Weimar, as court organist from 1708, that Bach began to produce monthly cantatas, and wrote many of his great organ works, as well as organ transcriptions of concertos by Vivaldi.
In 1717 Prince Leopold offered him the position of Kapellmeister at Cöthen, where he wrote the Brandenburg Concertos, the four Orchestral Suites and the violin concertos, and married his second wife Anna Magdalena, who bore 13 children. Bach's fearsome duties in his final job, as Kantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig from 1723 until his death, involved teaching Latin and Music, choir-training, and writing and directing music for the services.
Nevertheless he managed also to write the Mass in B minor, the six choral Motets, The Art of Fugue, The Musical Offering and Goldberg Variations during this time. His inventive contrapuntalism became unfashionable soon after his death until the early 19th century, since when his reputation has remained unquestioned.
Profile © Edward Bhesania
Johann Sebastian Bach Biography (Wikipedia)
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After being orphaned at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph, after which he continued his musical formation in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar, where he expanded his organ repertory, and Köthen, where he was mostly engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor (cantor at St. Thomas) in Leipzig. He composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, and for its university's student ensemble Collegium Musicum. From 1726 he published some of his keyboard and organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened during some of his earlier positions, he had difficult relations with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by his sovereign, Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, in 1736. In the last decades of his life he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions. He died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65.
- Bach the stern or Bach the rebel?https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07vpwm5.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07vpwm5.jpg2019-11-21T15:34:00.000ZPianist Vikingur Olafsson explores what makes this prelude by Bach so touching.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p07vpvh9
Bach the stern or Bach the rebel?
- The 'mysterious quality' of C sharp majorhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07nwwsz.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07nwwsz.jpg2019-09-20T13:44:00.000ZCellist Natalie Clein delves into the harmony of Bach's Prelude and Fugue.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p07nww24
The 'mysterious quality' of C sharp major
- 'You can really feel his blue eyes sparkling through the music'https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07lb1sw.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07lb1sw.jpg2019-08-22T11:30:00.000ZConductor Rumon Gamba on how Paul Tortelier made the cello sing.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p07lb02b
'You can really feel his blue eyes sparkling through the music'
- New inventionshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07b3jmg.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p07b3jmg.jpg2019-05-23T11:52:00.000ZSean Shibe explores the benefits of the Brahms guitar when playing Bach.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p07b3j5s
- Breaking the fourth wall in Bachhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0765xz1.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p0765xz1.jpg2019-04-11T11:58:00.000ZDouble bass player Cecelia Bruggemeyer on the 'speaking bow' of Rachel Podger.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0765xbd
Breaking the fourth wall in Bach
- Word painting and the precision of a Swiss watchhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p073n2pd.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p073n2pd.jpg2019-03-15T11:40:00.000ZPianist Boris Giltburg deciphers the musical devices of Bach.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p073n1r6
Word painting and the precision of a Swiss watch
- Marimba perfectionhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06xv3b4.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06xv3b4.jpg2019-01-11T13:46:00.000ZColin Currie on why the music of Bach works so well on marimba.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06xv2mk
- Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2, No. 3 - Extract (Prom 63)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06jtbf2.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p06jtbf2.jpg2018-09-30T22:00:00.000ZPrelude and Fugue No. 3 in C Sharp Major BWV 872 played by Sir András Schiff.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p06jtcxt
Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2, No. 3 - Extract (Prom 63)
- Bach: Brandenburg Concertoshttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01xz2p2.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p01xz2p2.jpg2017-12-23T12:02:00.000ZBuilding a Library surveys recordings of J. S. Bach's Brandenburg Concertos.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05rwylx
Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
- J S Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 – excerpt (2017)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fj5kr.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05fj5kr.jpg2017-09-08T15:09:00.000ZSir András Schiff performs the Prelude in C from the 'Old Testament’ of the keyboard repertoire: Bach's sequences of Preludes and Fugues in every key.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05fj0qr
J S Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 – excerpt (2017)
- Encore! Anne-Sophie Mutter dazzles in the Gigue from Bach's Partita in D minor (2017)https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05f7568.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p05f7568.jpg2017-09-04T18:30:00.000ZAnne-Sophie Mutter dazzles in the Gigue from Bach's D minor Partita after performing Dvořák's Violin Concerto.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p05f6swh
Encore! Anne-Sophie Mutter dazzles in the Gigue from Bach's Partita in D minor (2017)
- "Bach sounds like folk music to me"https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p055698l.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p055698l.jpg2017-06-07T11:35:00.000ZRichard Durrant plays Bach on his gorgeous Uffington Horse guitar, live in the In Tune studio. It's taken from Bach's first Cello suite in G, introduced with the Skye Boat Song.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p0556951
"Bach sounds like folk music to me"
- Serene violin/cello: Rachel Podger plays Bach live on In Tunehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04rrrk9.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04rrrk9.jpg2017-02-03T10:58:00.000ZRachel Podger plays the Prelude to J.S. Bach's second Cello Suite... on her violin.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04rrtvx
Serene violin/cello: Rachel Podger plays Bach live on In Tune
- Bach on Moogs from an Earth Stationhttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04kp1f2.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04kp1f2.jpg2016-12-08T15:47:00.000ZWill Gregory and his Moog Orchestra perform live on In Tune from Goonhilly Earth Station in Cornwall - part of 70th anniversary celebrations of the Third Programme.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04kp3p6
Bach on Moogs from an Earth Station
- Thrilling Bach from Hilary Hahn live on In Tunehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04jpys1.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04jpys1.jpg2016-12-01T11:20:00.000ZHilary Hahn's breathtaking performance of the Preludio from Bach's Violin Partita No 3.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04jq2bl
Thrilling Bach from Hilary Hahn live on In Tune
- Sebastian Knauer plays a peaceful Prelude by Bach live on In Tunehttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04jbtb0.jpghttps://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/240x135/p04jbtb0.jpg2016-11-29T12:28:00.000ZThe pianist performs the Prelude No. 4 in C sharp minor from the Well-Tempered Clavier.https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/audiovideo/popular/p04jbz7m
Sebastian Knauer plays a peaceful Prelude by Bach live on In Tune
Johann Sebastian Bach Tracks