We are tempted to the conclusion that Bach appealed to him chiefly as a supreme master of technique, and our hearts would open to him more widely did not his appreciation of Bach march with a narrow depreciation of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven, the last of whom, he declared ex cathedra, had not produced "a single work which can be called a masterpiece.
But Forkel's monograph is notable on other grounds. It was the first to claim for Bach a place among the divinities. It used him to stimulate a national sense in his own people. Bach's is the first great voice from out of Germany since Luther. Of Germany's own Kisorgimento, patently initiated by Goethe a generation [xvii] after Johann Sebastian's death, Bach himself is the harbinger. In his assertion of a distinctive German musical art he set an example followed in turn by Mozart, Weber, and Wagner. In his Preface, and more emphatically in the closing paragraph of his last Chapter, he presents Bach as the herald of a German nation yet unformed.
It is a farther distinction of Forkel's monograph that it made converts. With its publication the clouds of neglect that too long had obscured Bach's grandeur began to melt away, until the dizzy altitude of his genius stood revealed. The publication of the five Motets was followed by that of the Magnificat in , and of the Mass in A in Another enthusiastic pioneer was Carl Friedrich Zelter , conductor of the Berlin Sing-Akademie, who called Bach "a sign of God, clear, yet Introduction xvii inexplicable. Matthew Passion at Berlin, which the youthful Mendelssohn, Zelter's pupil, conducted in March , exactly [xviii] one hundred years after the first production of the mighty work at Leipzig.
In the following years it was given at Dresden and many other German towns. Leipzig heard it again after a barren interval in , and did tardy homage to its incomparable composer by erecting the statue that stands in the shadow of St. Thomas's Church, hard by the Cantor's home for a quarter of a century. Meanwhile, in and the St. Matthew Passion and St. John Passion had been engraved, and by the B minor Mass was in print.
The credit of having revived it belongs to Johann Nepomuk Schelble , conductor of the Frankfort Caecilienverein, though the Berlin Sing-Akademie was the first to give a performance, considerably curtailed, of the whole work in A little later, in the middle of the forties, Peters began to issue his "kritisch-korrecte" edition of the Organ works, which at length made Bach widely known among organists.
But the publication of the Cantatas proceeded slowly. Only fourteen of them were in print in , when the foundation of the Bachgesellschaft, on the centenary of Bach's death, focused a world-wide homage. When it dissolved in its mission was accomplished, the entire works 2 of Bach were published, and the vast range of his genius was patent to the [xix] world.
It remains to discuss the first English version of Forkel's monograph, published in , with the following title-page: Translated from the Ger- 2 So far the New Bachgesellschaft has published only a single Cantata overlooked by the old Society. The book was published in February ; it was announced, with a slightly differently worded title-page, in the New Monthly Magazine and Universal Register for March p.
The New Monthly states the price as 5s. It has neither Introduction, notes other than Forkel's , nor indication of the translator's identity. Much of the translation is so bad as to suggest grave doubts of the translator's comprehension of the German original; while his rendering of Forkel's critical chapters rouses a strong suspicion that he also lacked technical equipment adequate to his task. It is, in fact, difficult to understand how [xx] such an unsatisfactory piece of work found its way into print. The character of the translation has a close bearing upon its authorship.
In the article on Bach in the new Grove it is attributed to Samuel Wesley , an attractive suggestion, since Wesley was as enthusiastic a Bach pioneer in this country as Forkel himself was in Germany.
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But the statement is not correct. In Samuel Wesley's Letters to Mr. Jacobs relating to the Introduction into this Country of the Works of J. Bach London, we find the clue. On October 17, , Wesley writes: Stephenson the Banker a most zealous and scientific member of our Fraternity has translated into English from the German of Forkel. In there was in Lombard Street a firm of bankers under the style of "Remington, Stephenson, Introduction xix Remington, and Toulmin," the active partner being Mr. Rowland Stephenson, a man of about forty in that year.
The firm was wound up in bankruptcy in , Stephenson having absconded to America the previous year. He appears to have been the only banker of that name holding such a recognised position as Wesley attributes to him, though it remains no more than a conjecture that he was the author of the translation issued in 1 For the facts of Bach's life, and as a record of his artistic activities, Forkel admittedly is inadequate and often misleading.
Stephenson necessarily was without information to enable him to correct or supplement his author. Recent research, and particularly the classic volumes of Spitta and Schweitzer, have placed the present generation in a more instructed and therefore responsible position. The following pages, accordingly, have been annotated copiously in order to bring Forkel into line with modern scholarship. His own infrequent notes are invariably indicated by a prefixed asterisk.
It has been thought advisable to write an addendum to Chapter II. Readers of Spitta's first volume probably will remember the effort to follow the ramifications of the Bach pedigree unaided by a genealogical Table. It is unfortunate that Spitta did not set [xxii] out in that form the wealth of biographical material his pages contain. His wife was dead, and of his eight children the eldest was also in the Bank. Forkel gives a list of Bach's compositions known to him.
It is, necessarily, incomplete. For that reason Appendices I. In the case of the Oratorios, Cantatas, Motets, and "Passions," it is not difficult to distribute them upon a chronological basis. The Clavier works also can be dated with some approximation to closeness. The effort is more speculative in the case of the Organ music. In his Preface Forkel suggests the institution of a Society for the publication and study of Bach's works.
The proposal was adopted after half a century's interval, and in Appendix III. The Society's issues for have not yet reached this country. The present writer had an opportunity to examine them in the Library of the Cologne Conservatorium of Music in the spring of this year. In this Introduction will be found a list of works bearing [xxiii] on Bach, which preceded Forkel's monograph. Grateful acknowledgment is made to Mr. Ivor Atkins, of Worcester Cathedral, and to Mr. Whittaker, of Newcastle- upon-Tyne, who have read these pages in proof, and improved them by their criticism.
The brief article by Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach 4 and Herr Agricola, 5 formerly composer to the Court of Prussia, contributed to the fourth volume of Mizler's Musical Library, can hardly be deemed adequate by Bach's admirers and, but for the desire to complete my General History [xxv] of Music, 1 1 should have fulfilled my purpose long ago. As Bach, more than any other artist, represents an era in the history of music, it was my intention to devote to the concluding volume of that work the materials I had collected for a history of his career.
See Spitta, Johann Sebastian Bach, iii. Mizler's journal, the Neueroffneter Musikalischer Bibliothek, was its organ. It appeared from to Bach and Agricola collaborated in the obituary notice, or "Nekrolog," which is almost the earliest literary authority for Bach's life. It covered less than twenty pages. Ernest Newman , i. Agricola's association with Bach's son in the preparation of the obituary notice is explained by the fact that for the last ten years of Sebastian's life Agricola was in closer relations with him than Carl Philipp Emmanuel, who no longer was resident in Leipzig.
Hoffmeister and Kuhnel, the Leipzig music-sellers and publishers, propose to issue a complete and critical edition of Bach's works has induced me to change my original plan. Hoffmeister and Kiinel's project promises at once to advance the art of music and enhance the honour of the German name. For Bach's works are a priceless national patrimony; no other nation possesses a treasure comparable to it. Their publication in an authoritative text will be a national service and raise an imperishable monument to the composer himself.
All who hold Germany dear are bound in honour to promote the undertaking to the utmost of their power. I deem it a duty to remind the public of this obligation and to kindle interest in it in [xxvi] every true German heart. To that end these pages appear earlier than my original plan proposed; for they will enable me to reach a larger number of my fellow countrymen. The section on Bach in my History of Music probably would have been read by a handful of experts or musical artists.
Here I hope to speak to a larger audience. For, let me repeat, not merely the interests of music but our national honour are concerned to rescue from oblivion the memory of one of Germany's greatest sons.
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One of the best and most effective means of popularising musical masterpieces is to perform them in public. In that way works of merit secure a widening audience. People listen to them with pleasure in the concert room, church, or theatre, remember the agreeable impression they created, and purchase them when published, even though they cannot always play them. But Bach's works unfortunately are rarely heard nowadays; for The firm of Hoffmeister and Kuhnel was founded at Leipzig in by Franz Anton Hoffmeister, who started, in , a subscription for the publication of Bach's works, to which Forkel alludes.
The scheme failed to mature, and its accomplishment was reserved to C. Peters, who purchased Hoffmeister's "Bureau de Musique" in See articles on Hoffmeister and Peters in Grove's Dictionary. It would have been otherwise had Bach given touring performances of his music, 9 a labour for which he had neither time nor liking. Many of his pupils did so, and though their skill was inferior to their master's, the admiration and astonishment they excited revealed the grandeur [xxvii] of his compositions.
Here and there, too, were found persons who desired to hear on their own instrument pieces which the performer had played best or gave them most pleasure. They could do so more easily for having heard how the piece ought to sound. But, to awaken a wide appreciation of musical masterpieces depends upon the existence of good teachers.
The want of them is our chief difficulty. In order to safeguard their credit, the ignorant and incompetent of their number are disposed to decry good music, lest they should be asked to play it. Consequently, their pupils, condemned to spend time, labour, and money on second-rate material, will not after half a dozen years, perhaps, show themselves farther advanced in sound musical appreciation than they were at the outset.
Whereas, under a good teacher, half the time, labour, and money produces progressive improvement. Time will show whether this obstacle can be surmounted by making Bach's works accessible in the music shops and by forming a Society among the admirers of his genius to make them known and promote their study. Forkel himself describes infra, pp. Of his instrumental works engraved by Forkel gives a list infra, p.
It was hardly until the foundation of the Bachgesellschaft in , to celebrate the centenary of Bach's death, that the systematic publication of his concerted Church music began. And here Bach, prince of classic composers, can render yeoman service. Moreover, Bach, whose influence pervades every musical form, can be relied on more than any other composer to correct the superficiality which is the bane of modern taste.
Neglect of the classics is as prejudicial to the art of music as it would be fatal to the interests of general culture to banish Greek and Latin writers from our schools. Modern taste exhibits no shame in its preference for agreeable trifles, in its neglect of everything that makes a demand, however slight, [xxix] upon its attention.
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To-day we are menaced by a proposal to banish the classics from our schoolrooms. Equally short-sighted vision threatens to extinguish our musical classics as well. And is it surprising? Modern art displays such poverty and frivolity that it well may shrink from putting itself in context with great literature, particularly with Bach's mighty and creative genius, and seek rather to proscribe it. I fain would do justice to the sublime genius of this prince of musicians, German and foreign!
Short of being such a man as he was, dwarfing all other musicians from the height of his superiority, I can conceive no greater distinction than the power Before that date, however, Peters of Leipzig had taken in hand the abandoned scheme of Hoffmeister and Klihnel, to which Forkel alludes, and in which he participated.
Forkel's pessimism is the more curious, seeing that Beethoven was already thirty years old, and that Mozart in , after giving him a subject to extemporise upon, had remarked, "Listen to that young man; he will some day make a noise in the world" Holmes, Life of Mozart, Dent's ed. Forkel, in fact, appreciated neither Mozart nor Beethoven and thoroughly detested Gluck. It may even hint the flattering prospect that, if circumstances had opened up the same career, similar results might have been forthcoming.
I am not presumptuous to suggest such a result in my own case. On the contrary I am convinced that there are no words adequate to express the thoughts Bach's transcendent genius stirs one to utter. The more intimately we are acquainted with it the greater must be our admiration. Our utmost eulogy, our deepest expressions of homage, must seem little more [xxx] than well-meant prattle. No one who is familiar with the work of other centuries will contradict or hold my statement exaggerated, that Bach cannot be named except in tones of rapture, and even of devout awe, by those who have learnt to know him.
We may discover and lay bare the secrets of his technique. But his power to inspire into it the breath of genius, the perfection of life and charm that moves us so powerfully, even in his slightest works, must always remain extraordinary and insoluble. I do not choose to compare Bach with other artists. Whoever is interested to measure him with Handel will find a just and balanced estimate of their relative merits, written by one fully informed for the task, in the first number of the eighty-first volume of the Universal German Library, pages Even Beethoven placed Bach after Handel and Mozart, but knew little of his music on which to found a decision.
The judgment was unusual. Bach's fame was gravely prejudiced by German Handel-worship, which the first performance of the Messiah at Leipzig in stimulated. Thomas', was largely responsible. He neglected, and even belittled, the treasures of Bach's art which the library of St. The world knows them as great artists. But probably it is not aware that to the last moment of their lives they spoke of their father's genius with enthusiastic admiration. It was a frequent theme of conversation and correspondence between us. Thus, having been in a position to inform myself on all matters relating to Bach's life, genius, and work, I may fairly hold myself competent to communicate to the public what I have [xxxii] learnt and to offer useful reflections upon it.
I take advantage of my opportunity the more readily because it permits me to draw attention to an enterprise 18 that promises to provide a worthy monument to German art, a gallery of most instructive models to the sincere artist, and to afford music lovers an inexhaustible source of sublimest pleasure. The latter was born in , and after holding Organistships at Halle and Dresden, died at Berlin in , leaving his widow and daughter in great poverty.
The former received a grant from the receipts of the Messiah performance alluded to in note 1, supra. A man of brilliant musical attainments, Wilhelm Friedemann's character was dissolute and unsteady. Bach to Forkel in , conveying a good deal of information reproduced by Forkel in this monograph, are printed in facsimile by Dr.
Max Schneider in his Bach-Urkunden N. On the other hand there is nothing in the recorded careers of either of Bach's sons that bears him out on this point. Charles Burney spent several days with Carl Philipp Emmanuel at Hamburg in , but during the whole time the son never played to him a note of his father's music. Hoffmeister and Kuhnel's project. For six successive generations scarcely two or three of its members are found whom nature had not endowed with remarkable musical talent, and who did not make music their profession.
When the religious troubles of the sixteenth century broke out he was driven to seek another place of abode, and having got together Emmanuel; it has disappeared. Traces of it exist in a work published at Pressburg by Johann Matthias Korabinsky in , its insertion being due to the assumption that the Bachs were a Hungarian family. Forkel shared that error. See Spitta's Preface on the whole question. Bach's sons represented the sixth generation from Veit Bach, the sixteenth century ancestor of the family.
Veit himself was not a professional musician; one of his sons was a Spielmann; thereafter for the next years all but seven of his descendants, whose professions are known, were Organists or Cantors or Town Musicians. Many of them, moreover, were men of the highest attainments in their profession. Vitus Guy , patron saint of the church of Wechmar, a fact which sufficiently disproves Forkel's statement that his original domicile was in Hungary. The Bachs were settled in Wechmar as early as circ.
Veit migrated thence to Hungary, though there is no adequate foundation for the statement that he settled at Pressburg. Apart from church and town registers, laboriously consulted by Spitta in 4 Johann Sebastian Bach as much of his small property as he could, retired with it to Thuringia, hoping to find peace and security there. He settled at Wechmar, a village near Gotha, 21 where he continued to ply his trade as a baker and miller. His taste for music descended to his two sons 24 and their children, and in time the Bachs grew to be a very  numerous family of professional musicians, Cantors, Organists, and Town Musicians, 25 throughout Thuringia.
Not all the Bachs, however, were great musicians. But every generation boasted some of them who were more than usually distinguished. In the first quarter of the seventeenth century three of Veit Bach's grandchildren showed such exceptional talent that the Count of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt thought it worth while to send them at his expense to Italy, then the chief school of music, tracing the Bach genealogy, we owe our knowledge of it to an MS. Polchau, the Hamburg teacher of music. The original entries in it are stated by Carl P. Emmanuel to be by his father.
Forkel also owned a Bach genealogical tree, given him by Carl Philipp 21 Veit, in fact, returned to his native village. His name, as has been pointed out, implies a connection with Wechmar that must have dated from infancy. Moreover, there was living there in one Hans Bach, an official of the municipality, who may be regarded confidently as Veit's father. But Spitta points out that the vowel in the name is pronounced long and was frequently written BAACH in the seventeenth century, a fact which makes it difficult to associate the word with "Backer" Baker.
See infra, Genealogical Tables I. We do not know whether they rewarded the expectations of their patron, for none of their works has survived. The fourth generation 27 of the family produced musicians of exceptional distinction, and several of their compositions, thanks to Johann  Sebastian Bach's regard for them, have come down to us. The most notable of these Bachs are: In the Archives of the Bachs, 29 which was in Carl Philipp Emmanuel's posses- sion at Hamburg, there is a Motet by Johann Christoph in which he boldly uses the augmented sixth, a proceeding providing the music at open-air festivities.
Johann Jakob Brahms, the father of Johannes, was a member of such a corporation at Hamburg, after having served his apprenticeship for five years elsewhere. See Florence May, Johannes Brahms, vol. It is remarkable, in a period in which Italy was regarded as the Mecca of musicians, that exceedingly few of the Bach family found their way thither.
Of the three names Forkel mentions the first two were a generation before Johann Sebastian; the third, Johann Bombard, was of the same generation as Johann Sebastian; none of the three belonged to Johann Sebastian's branch. Whether he was Court as well as Town Organist at Eisenach cannot be stated positively. Bach it passed to G. Polchau and from him to the 6 Johann Sebastian Bach considered extremely daring in his day. The daring work to which Forkel alludes was written about and is lost. Though the augmented sixth was then and remained unusual, Johann Christoph's is not the earliest use of it.
Spitta finds it in Giacomo Carissimi The score is unusually full: Bach designates Johann Christoph a "great and impressive composer. Johann Christoph, however, is the composer of the Motet Ich lasse dich nicht, so often attributed to Johann Sebastian. But none of the Bachs seems to have felt an inclination to migrate. Modest in their needs, frugal by nature and training, they were content with little, engrossed in and satisfied by their art, and wholly indifferent to the decorations  which great men of that time were wont to bestow on artists as special marks of honour.
The fact that others who appreciated Schweinfurt ib. Several of them are for eight voices. Forkel probably refers to the most remarkable of Michael's Motets, in which he detects the romantic spirit of Johann Sebastian. It is set to the words Unser Leben ist ein Schatten, Life on earth is but a shadow.
The first choir consists of 2 S. Spitta analyses the work closely i. Novello publishes his five- part Motet Christ is risen with an English text. That Johann Sebastian Bach highly esteemed the Suites is proved by the fact that he copied the parts of three of them with his own hand at Leipzig. With two exceptions, the gift of composition appears to have been possessed, or exercised, solely by Heinrich Bach see Table VI.
Heinrich Bach was a very productive composer in all forms of musical art employed at that time in church Sp. The Bachs not only displayed a happy contentedness, indispensable for the cheery enjoyment of life, but exhibited a clannish attachment to each other. They could not all live in the same locality.
But it was their habit to meet once a year at a time and place arranged beforehand. These gatherings generally took place at Erfurt, Eisenach, and sometimes at Arnstadt. Even after the family had grown very large, and many of its members had left Thuringia to settle in Upper and Lower Saxony and Franconia, the Bachs continued their annual meetings. On these occasions music was their sole recreation. As those present were either Cantors, Organists, or Town Musicians, employed in the service of the Church and accustomed to preface the day's work with prayer, their first act was to sing a Hymn.
Having fulfilled their religious duty, they spent the rest of the time in frivolous recreations. Best of all they liked to extemporise a chorus out of popular songs, comic or jocular, weaving them into a harmonious whole while declaiming the words of each. They called this hotch-potch a "Quodlibet," laughed uproariously at  it, and roused equally hearty and irrepressible laughter in their audience.
But the "Quodlibet" was a familiar institution in Germany at a much earlier period. I possess a collection of them printed and published at Vienna in For an example see Variation 30 of the Aria mit 30 Veranderungen Peters' ed. In it Bach combines two popular songs of his period. This man, the glory of his family, pride of his countrymen, most gifted favourite of the Muse of Music, was Johann Sebastian Bach.
The twins appear to have been quite remarkable. They were deeply attached, alike in disposition, in voice, and in the style of their music. If one was ill, so was the other. They died within a short time of each other, and were objects of wondering interest to all who knew them. He lost his mother at an earlier period. The Gregorian Calendar was not adopted in Germany until Had it been in use in Bach's birthday would be March At the latter date Johann Sebastian was three months short of his tenth year.
Johann Jakob accompanied Sebastian to Ohrdruf Pirro, p. One of the daughters was already married. What became of the other is not stated. For his brother no sooner had given him one piece to learn than the boy was demanding another more difficult. Refusal increasing his determination, he laid his plans to get the book without his brother's knowledge. It was kept on a book-shelf which had a latticed front. Bach's hands were small. Inserting them, he got hold of the book, rolled it up, and drew it out.
As he was not allowed a candle, he could only copy it on moonlight nights, and it was six months before he finished his heavy task. As soon as it was completed he looked forward to using in secret a treasure won by so much labour. But 49 It is difficult to believe this statement. That the boy was destined for a musical career by his father hardly can be doubted. That he was of unusual precocity, the story told by Forkel in the text proves. His father's asserted neglect to instruct him is therefore hardly credible. In he was Organist of St. His influence upon the organ playing of his generation was enormous.
Bach's brother, Johann Christoph, was his pupil. His fine treble voice procured him a fair livelihood. But unfortunately he soon lost it and did not at once develop another. For that purpose, while he was at Lueburg, he several times travelled to Hamburg to hear the famous organist, 61 Johann Adam Reinken. He made more than one visit, on foot, to Hamburg.
Marpurg published, in , the story, which he received from Bach himself, that on one of his journeys from Hamburg, Bach sat down outside an inn and hungrily sniffed the savours from its kitchen. His pockets were empty and there seemed little prospect of a meal, when a window was opened and two herring heads were thrown out. Bach picked them up eagerly, and found in each of them a Danish ducat. Who was his benefactor he never discovered; the gift enabled him to satisfy his hunger and pay another visit to Hamburg.
The youthful Bach, aged fifteen in , no doubt seized the earliest opportunity to relieve his brother of the charge of him. Moreover, Johann Christoph's family was increasing see Table V. In spite of the story of Bach's midnight copying, it cannot be questioned that he owed a good deal to his brother, who not only taught him but, presumably, maintained him at the Ohrdruf Lyceum, where Bach acquired a sound education and a considerable knowledge of Latin.
He 14 Johann Sebastian Bach too, he walked to Celle to hear the Duke's French band play French music, which was a novelty in those parts. Michael's Convent, Luneburg, took place about Easter Bach remained at St. Michael's for three years, till The choir library was particularly rich in the best church music of the period, both German and Italian. Spitta is of opinion that Bach's talents as a violinist and Clavier player were also laid under contribution.
His voice, as Forkel states, soon ceased to be serviceable. His maximum pay was one thaler three shillings a month and free commons. Bohm, then at St. John's, Luneburg, was a pupil 62 Johann Adam Reinken, b. Catherine's Church, Hamburg, in , and held the post until his death in The reigning Duke of Celle father-in-law of George I.
Mary's Church in that city, with whose compositions he was acquainted already. He remained there about three months, 69 listening to the celebrated  Organist, but without making himself known to him, and returned to Arnstadt with his experience much increased. Bach's zeal and persevering diligence had already drawn attention to him, as is evident from the fact that he received in succession several offers of vacant organistships, one of which, at the Church of St. Blasius, Muhlhausen, he accepted in had leisure and the means to employ it. In October he obtained four weeks' leave of absence and set off on foot to Lubeck, after leaving an efficient deputy behind him.
He stayed away until February On his return the Consistory demanded an explanation of his absence, and took the opportunity to remonstrate with him on other matters. They charged him "with having been hitherto in the habit of making surprising variationes in the Chorals, and intermixing divers strange sounds, so that thereby the congregation were confounded.
They reproached him "with having gone to a wineshop last Sunday during sermon," and cautioned him that, "for the future he must behave quite differently and much better than he has done hitherto" see the whole charge in Spitta, i. Bach also was on bad terms with the choir, whose members had got out of hand and discipline. Before his Lubeck visit he engaged in a street brawl with one of the scholars. Then, as later, he was a choleric gentleman.
In November he got into further trouble for having "made music" in the church with a "stranger maiden," presumably his cousin Maria Barbara Bach, then on a visit to Arnstadt; he married her a year later. Clearly the relations between the Consistory and the brilliant young Organist were becoming difficult, and Bach's migration to Muhlhausen no doubt was grateful to both. His resignation was made formally on June 29, He remained in his new post only a few months. He was engaged as a 16 Johann Sebastian Bach Violin player, and since his interests were towards the Organ and Clavier, it is clear that he accepted the engagement as a temporary means of livelihood.
Bach was drawn to Arnstadt chiefly by the fact that the New Church recently had been equipped with a particularly fine Organ specification in Spitta, i. Bach inaugurated it on July 13, , and entered on his duties as Organist of the church in the following month Pirro, p. To the Arnstadt period also must be attributed the Capriccio written on the departure of his brother, Johann Jakob Peters bk. Bach and Agricola remark of the Arnstadt period, that Bach then "really showed the first-fruits of his industry in the art of Organ-playing and composition, which he had in great measure learnt only from the study of the works of the most famous composers of the time, and from his own reflections on them" quoted in Spitta, i.
Milhlhauson prided itself upon its musical traditions. He also composed Cantatas and at Muhlhausen, and perhaps three others. Bach mentions the Weimar post as having been offered to him, but bases his desire to resign the organ of St. Blasius, partly on the ground that his income was inadequate, partly because, though he had succeeded in improving the organ and the conditions of music generally, he saw "not the slightest appearance that things will be altered" for the better.
Muhlhausen, in fact, was a stronghold of Pietism and unsympathetic to Bach's musical ideals. In the latter post Bach was of use as a Violinist and Clavier player. The Court band, or Kapelle, on special occasions appeared in Hungarian costume, which Bach presumably donned. His income began at a sum nearly double that he had received at Arnstadt and Muhlhausen. At Weimar also he wrote his great compositions for that instrument. It was about this time that Zachau, Handel's master, died at Halle, where he was Organist.
It was given to a December he visited Leipzig and performed Cantata No. In he was again invited to Halle, and at about the same time performed at Meiningen. Forkel records the famous contest with Marchand, the French Organist, at Dresden in The Duke was not only a cultured artist, but was also a man of genuine piety. The increase in his income early in also supports the conclusion, while a letter of January 14, , written by Bach, is not signed by him as Concertmeister.
It would seem that his promotion took place in the interval between the two letters. As Concertmeister it was part of his duty to provide Cantatas for the church services. Twenty-two were written by him at Weimar. He had made good use of his opportunities, had studied hard as a player and composer, and by tireless enthusiasm had so completely mastered every branch of his art, that he towered like a giant above his contemporaries.
Both amateurs and professional musicians already regarded him with admiration when, in , Marchand, the French virtuoso, a celebrated Clavier and Organ  player, visited Dresden. He played before the King-Elector 79 and won such approbation that he was offered a large salary to enter His Majesty's service.
Besides the visit to Halle, in , to which Forkel alludes, Bach performed at Cassel in or before the future Frederick I. Bach's feet, an admirer recorded, "flew over the pedal-board as if they had wings. Bach was in Halle in the autumn of , a year after Zachau's death. The latter's post was still vacant and a new and particularly large Organ sixty-three speaking stops was being erected.
The authorities pressed Bach to submit himself to the prescribed tests, and he complied so far as to compose a Cantata and to conduct a performance of it. On his return to Weimar he received a formal invitation to accept the post. After some correspondence Bach refused it, partly, perhaps chiefly, on the ground that the income was inadequate. The refusal was answered by the groundless accusation that he had merely entertained the Halle proposal in order to bring pressure upon Weimar for a rise of salary. The misunderstanding was cleared away by , when Bach visited Halle again.
In the interval Zachau's post had been given to his pupil, Gottfried Kirchhoff. The whole matter is discussed at length in Spitta, i. He died In Like Couperin, 81 his musical ideas were weak to the point of banality, as we may judge from his compositions. Volumier, Concertmeister at Dresden, 83 was aware of these circumstances, and knowing that the young German had his instrument and his imagination under the fullest control, determined to arrange a contest between the two men in order to give his sovereign the satisfaction of judging their  merits.
With the King's approbation, a message was dispatched to Bach at Weimar 84 inviting him to a contest with Marchand. Bach accepted the invitation and set out at once on his journey. Upon his arrival at Dresden Volumier procured him an opportunity to hear Marchand secretly. Far from being discouraged by what he heard, Bach wrote a polite note to the French artist challenging him to a trial of skill, and offering to play at sight anything Marchand put before him, provided the Frenchman submitted himself to a similar test.
Marchand accepted the challenge, a time and place for the contest were fixed, and the King gave his approval. At the appointed hour a large and distinguished company assembled in the house of Marshal Count of the Church of St. His arrival in Dresden was due to his being in disgrace at Versailles. Whether or not he was offered a permanent engagement at the Saxon Court, he was regarded as the champion of the French style, and as such the challenge was issued to him by Bach.
Forkel's judgment upon his art is not supported by modern criticism. Grove's Dictionary declares him a Belgian. In he was appointed Concertmeister to the Saxon Court. He died at Dresden in After considerable delay he was sought at his lodging, when it was discovered, to the astonishment of all, that he had left Dresden that morning without taking leave of anybody. Bach therefore performed alone, and excited the admiration of all who heard him, though Volumier was cheated of his intention to exhibit the inferiority of French to German art.
Bach was overwhelmed with congratulations; but the dishonesty of a Court official is said to have intercepted a present of one hundred louis  d'or sent to him by the King. He entered at once upon 85 Some years earlier Flemming had witnessed Handel's triumphant descent on the Saxon Court, but had failed to establish friendly relations with him. See Streatfield's Handel, p. According to this story of the event, Bach, summoned from Weimar, attended Marchand's concert incognito, and after hearing Marchand perform, was invited by Volumier to take his seat at the Clavier.
Bach thereupon repeated from memory Marchand's theme and variations, and added others of his own. Having ended, he handed Marchand a theme for treatment on the Organ and challenged him to a contest. Marchand accepted it, but left Dresden before the appointed hour. Bach was, therefore, already known to him and showed the greatest regard for him both at Cothen and after he had left his service.
The veteran Reinken — he was nearly one hundred years old — was particularly impressed by Bach's performance. After he had treated the Choral An Wasserfliissen Babylon for half an hour in variation after variation in the true Organ style, 91 Reinken paid him the compliment of saying, "I thought this art was dead, but I see that it survives in you. His praise therefore was particularly 8 The reason for Bach's migration from Weimar to Cothen was his failure to obtain the post of Kapellmeister at the former Court upon the death of Johann Samuel Drese in The post was given to Drese's son.
On August 1, , just before or after his Marchand triumph, Bach was appointed Kapellmeister to the Court of Cothen. Duke Wilhelm Ernst refused to release him from his engagement, and Bach endured imprisonment from November 6 to December 2, , for demanding instant permission to take up his new post. Probably his last work at Weimar was to put the Orgelbiichlein into the form in which it has come down to us see articles by the present writer in The Musical Times for January-March With his departure from Weimar in Bach left behind him the distinctively Organ period of his musical fertility.
Though his compositions were still by no means generally known, as a player he held an unchallenged pre-eminence. At Cothen Bach had an inferior Organ and little scope for his attainments; his chief duties were in connection with the Prince's band. The yearning to get back to the Organ, which eventually took him to Leipzig in , shows itself in his readiness to entertain an invitation to Hamburg in Thomas' School, Leipzig, 94 a position which he occupied until his death.
Prince Leopold  of Anhalt-Cothen had great regard for him and Bach left his service with regret. James, vacant by the death of Heinrich Friese in September He was not able to stay to take part in the final tests, nor was he asked to submit to them, since his visit to Hamburg had given him an opportunity to display his gifts. In the result the post was given to Johann Joachim Heitmann, who acknowledged his appointment by forthwith paying marks to the treasury of the Church.
That a professed historian of music, setting before the public for the first time the life of one whom he so greatly extolled, and with every inducement to present as complete a picture of him as was possible, should have taken no trouble to carry his investigations beyond the point C. Bach and Agricola had reached in the Nekrolog of is almost incredible. The only reason that can be adduced, apart from the lack of a really scientific impulse, is that Forkel was almost entirely ignorant of the flood of concerted 24 Johann Sebastian Bach the event; for the Prince died shortly afterwards.
Thomas' he was appointed honorary Kapellmeister to the Duke  of Weissenfels 98 and, in the following year , received the title of Court Composer to the King-Elector of Poland-Saxony. So widely was Bach's skill recognised by this time that the King, who often heard him praised, was curious to meet so great an artist. More than once he hinted to Carl Philipp Emmanuel that it would be agreeable to welcome his father to Potsdam, and as Bach did not appear, church music which poured from Leipzig from to His criticism of Bach as a composer is restricted practically to Bach's Organ and Clavier works.
Latterly his interest in music had waned. The fact, along with Bach's concern for the education of his sons and his desire to return to the Organ, explains his abandonment of the more dignified Cothen appointment. Matthew Passion, which he was then writing, with the first chorus of the Trauer-Ode as an opening of the extemporised work. He retained also his Cothen appointment. Bach had petitioned for the appointment in a letter dated July 27, Spitta, iii. Carl Philipp did not fail to acquaint his father with the King's interest. But for some time Bach was too occupied with his duties to accede to the invitation.
However, as Carl Philipp continued to urge him, he set out for Potsdam towards the end of , in company with his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann. Flute in hand the King ran through the names, and suddenly turning to the waiting musicians, said with considerable excitement, "Gentlemen, Old Bach has arrived. Wilhelm Friedemann, who accompanied his father, often told me the story.
Nor am I likely to forget the racy manner in which he related it. The courtesy of those days demanded rather prolix compliments, and the first introduction of Bach to so illustrious a monarch, into whose presence he had hurried without being allowed time to change his travelling dress for a Cantor's black gown, obviously invited ceremonial speeches on both sides.
I will not dwell on them; Wilhelm Friedemann related a lengthy and formal conversation between the King and  Cantorate. Bach applied for it in , taking advantage of the recent accession of the new sovereign, Augustus III. On the other hand, Spener, who first records the event, states briefly: His Majesty was informed that Kapellmeister Bach had arrived in Potsdam, and that he was in the King's ante-chamber, waiting His Majesty's gracious permission to enter, and hear the music.
His Majesty at once commanded that he should be admitted" Spitta, iii. If the Marpurg and Spener dates are reliable, it looks as though Friedemann's story of his father, travel-stained and weary, being hurried incontinent into the presence of the King is a piece of picturesque embroidery. After some time he asked the King to give him a subject for a Fugue, that he might treat it extempore. The King did so, and expressed his astonishment at Bach's profound skill in developing it. Anxious to see to what lengths the art could be carried, the King desired Bach to improvise a six-part Fugue.
But as every  subject is not suitable for polyphonic treatment, Bach himself chose a theme and, to the astonishment of all who were present, developed it with the skill and distinction he had shown in treating the King's subject. His Majesty expressed a wish to hear him on the Organ also. Accordingly, next day, Bach inspected all the Organs in Potsdam, as the evening before he had tried the Clearly this was a story that Wilhelm Friedemann prided himself on the telling, and Forkel's remark suggests the need for caution in accepting all its details. Frederick's courtesy to Bach, however, tends to discredit the story that ten years earlier Handel deliberately refused to meet the King at Aix-la-Chapelle owing to the peremptoriness of his summons.
Bach was already familiar with his Claviers with hammer action, and indeed had offered useful criticism of which Silbermann had taken advantage. I hear that they all now stand, unfit for use, in various corners of the Royal Palace. J According to another account, which Spitta iii. The King does not appear to have been present. The extemporisation of the six-part Fugue took place in Frederick's presence on the evening of that day. On his return to Leipzig he developed the King's theme in three and six parts, added Canones diversi upon it, engraved the whole under the title Musikalisches Opfer and dedicated it to the royal author of the theme.
The indefatigable diligence he had shown all his life, and particularly in his younger years, when successive days and nights were given to study, seriously affected his eye-sight. The weakness grew with age and became very distressing in character. On the advice of friends who placed great confidence in the skill of a London oculist lately come to Leipzig, Bach submitted to an operation,  which twice failed.
He lost his sight completely in consequence, and his hitherto vigorous constitution was undermined by the drugs administered to him. He sank gradually for full half a year, and expired on the evening of July 30, , in the sixty- sixth year of his age. He calls it "a musical offering, of which the noblest portion is the work of Your Majesty's illustrious hand.
The operation took place in the winter of Taylor is said to have operated on Handel in see the article on him in the Diet. Bach was working to the very moment of his collapse on July Probably his last work was the Choral Prelude Novello bk.
Facing eternity, he bade his son-in-law, Altnikol, inscribe the movement with the title of the Hymn, Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiemit, whose first stanza filled his mind: An addendum to the Genealogy, in C. Bach's hand, gives July 30 as the date of his father's death. A few hours later he was seized by an apoplexy and inflammatory fever, and notwithstanding all possible medical aid, his weakened frame succumbed to the attack. Such was the career of this remarkable man. I will only add that he was twice married, and that he had by his first wife seven, and by his second wife thirteen children; in all, eleven sons and  nine daughters.
Of the five sons of the first marriage, two were famous, two died in infancy, and the fifth abandoned a promising musical career for the law. Of the six sons of the second marriage, one was imbecile, three died in infancy, two were famous. Thomas' School at nine o'clock on the morning of Monday, May 31, He died in his official residence there at a quarter to nine on the evening of Tuesday, July 28, He was buried early on the morning of Friday, July 31, in the churchyard of St.
The announcement of his death, made from the pulpit of St. Thomas' School of this town. The Cantor of St. Thomas' was charged formerly with the musical direction of four Leipzig churches: Peter's, and the New Church. He was also responsible for the music in the University Church of St. Paul, the so-called "old service," held originally on the Festivals of Easter, Whit, Christmas, and the Reformation, and once during each University quarter.
On high days music also had to be provided at St. Bach, as Cantor, succeeded to a more restricted responsibility, which dated from the early years of the eighteenth century. In Georg Philipp Telemann, who came to Leipzig as a law student three years before, was appointed Organist there.
Not until did the Society pass under Bach's direction and its members become available as auxiliaries in the church choirs under his charge. Notwithstanding that Bach's predecessor Kuhnau had protested against Telemann's independence, the direction of the New Church's music passed out of the Cantor's control, though the School continued to provide the choristers. Six years later the University Church of St. Paul also began an independent course.
In the authorities resolved to hold a University service in the church every Sunday. Kuhnau asserted his prerogative as Cantor. But  he was only able to maintain it by offering to provide the music for the "new service" as well as for the "old service" at the fee of twelve thalers which the University so far had paid for the latter. Nicolas' since , to control the music both of the "old" and "new" services, for which the University provided the choir.
Not until after a direct appeal to the King did Bach succeed, in , in compelling the University to restore to the Cantor his emoluments in regard to the "old service," the conduct of which had been restored to him on his appointment as Cantor. The "new service" remained under Gorner's direction. Peter's, its services, which had entirely ceased, were revived in Das alte Jahr vergangen ist II.
Das walt' mein Gott Vater undGott Sohn. Den Vater dort oben. Der du bist drei in Einigkeit. Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich. Des heil'gen Geistes reiche Gnad'. Die Nacht ist kommen. Die Sonn' hat sich mit ihrem Glanz ]. Dies sind die heil'gen zehn Gebot'. Dir, dir, Jehova, will ichsingen. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott I. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott II. Erbarm' dich mein, o Herre Gott.
Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ. Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit. Es spricht der unweisen Mundwohl.
- A Curious Spring Fever (Winship Series Book 2).
- polonaise in g minor from the notebook of anna magdelena bach Manual.
Es steh'n vor Gottes Throne. Es wird schier der letzte Tagherkommen. Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille I. Gott, der du selber bist das Licht. Gott, der Vater wohn' uns bei. Gottes Sohn ist kommen. Gott hat das Evangeliums. Gottlob, es geht nunmehr zu Ende. Gott sei gelobet und gebenedeiet. Meine Seele erhebt den Herrn. Herr, ich denk an jene Zeit. Herr, ich habe missgehandelt I. Herr, ich habe missgehandelt II. Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu unswend. Herr Jesu Christ, du hast bereit. Herr Jesu Christ, meins LebensLicht. Herr Jesu Christ, wah'r Menschund Gott. Herr, nun lass in Friede.
Herr, straf mich nicht in deinem Zorn. Herr, wie du willst, so schick'smit mir. Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, oHerr. Heut ist, o Mensch, ein grosserTrauertag. Heut' triumphieret Gottes Sohn. Hilf, Gott, dass mir's gelinge. Hilf, Herr Jesu, lass gelingen. Ich bin ja, Herr, in deinerMacht. Ich dank dir, lieber Herre I. Ich dank dir, lieber Herre II. Ich dank dir schon durch deinen Sohn. Ich dank dir, o Gott, in deinem Throne. Ich hab' mein' Sach' Gottheimgestellt.
Jesu, der du meine Seele I. Jesu, der du meine Seele II. Jesu, der du meine Seele III. Jesu, der du selbsten wohl. Jesu, du mein habstes Leben. Jesu, Jesu, du bist mein. Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne I. Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne II. Jesu, meines Herzens Freud'. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland I. Jesus Christus, unser Heiland II.
Keinen hat Gott verlassen. Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkeit. Lass, o Herr, dein Ohr sichneigen. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier. Lobet den Herrn, denn er ist sehrfreundlich. Lobt Gott, ihr Christen,allzugleich I. Lobt Gott, ihr Christen,allzugleich II. Mein' augen schliess ich jetzt. Meinem Jesum lass' ich nicht,Jesus. Meinem Jesum lass' ich nicht,weil. Meines Lebens letzte Zeit.
Mit Fried und Freud ich fahrdahin. Mitten wir im Leben sind. Nicht so traurig, nicht so sehr. Nun bitten wir den heiligen Geist. Nun freut euch, Gottes Kinderall'. Nun freut euch, lieben Christeng'mein. Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren I.
Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren II. Nun preiset alle GottesBarmherzigkeit. O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben I. O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben II. Nun sich der Tag geendet hat. O Gott, du frommer Gott II. O Gott, du frommer Gott I. O Herzensangst, o Bangigkeit, undZagen! O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig.
O Mensch, schau Jesum Christuman. O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid. O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihrFrommen I. O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihrFrommen II. So giebst du nun, mein Jesu, guteNacht. Sollt' ich meinem Gott nichtsingen. Uns ist ein Kindlein heut'gebor'n. Valet will ich dir geben. Vater unser im Himmelreich.
Von Gott will ich nicht lassen I. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen II. Von Gott will ich nicht lassen III. Was willst du dich, o meineSeele. Weltlich Ehr' und zeitlich Gut. Wenn ich in Angst und Not. Wer Gott vertraut, hat wohlgebaut. Wir glauben all' an einen Gott. Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein' Gunst I. Ach, dass nicht die letzte Stunde. Bricht entzwei, mein armes Herze.
Der lieben Sonne Licht und Pracht. Der Tag ist hin, die Sonne gehetnieder. Der Tag mit seinem Lichte. Die bittre Leidenszeit beginnetabermal. Die goldne Sonne, voll Freud und Wonne. Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist. Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben. Es kostet viel, ein Christ zusein. Gieb dich zufrieden und seistille. Herr, nicht schicke deine Rache. Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht.
Ich halte treulich still. Ich lass' dich nicht. Ich liebe Jesum alle Stund. Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier. Jesu, meines Glaubens Zier. Jesus, unser Trost und Leben. Kommt, Seelen, dieser Tag. Kommt wieder aus der finstern Gruft. Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen. Liebes Herz, bedenke doch. Liebster Gott, wann werd' ichsterben. Liebster Immanuel Herzog der Frommen.
Mein Jesu, dem die Seraphinen. Nur mein Jesus ist mein Leben. O du Liebe meinder Liebe. O finstre Nacht, wann wirst dudoch vergeben. O liebe Seele, zieh' die Sinnen. O wie selig seid ihr doch. Selig, wer an Jesum denkt. So gehst du nun, mein Jesu, hin. So gibst du nun, mein Jesu, gut Nacht. Steh ich bei meinem Gott. Vergiss mein nicht, dass ich deinnicht vergesse. Was bist du doch, o Seele. Bist du bei mir. Gedenke doch, mein Geist. Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille II. Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille. Schaffs mit mir, Gott, nachdeinem Willen.
Wie wohl ist mir, O Freund der Seelen. Willst du dein Herz mir schenken. Gott mein Herz dir Dank zusendet. Prelude and Fugue "Cathedral". Prelude and Fugue "Arnstadt". Prelude and Fugue "St. Toccata, Adagio and Fugue. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Johann David Heinichen. Bach's authorship uncertain; possbily composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Johann Ludwig Krebs. Ach Gott und Herr "per canonem".
Christ lag in Todesbanden II. Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich II. Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott. Herzlich tut mich verlangen. In dulci jubilo II. In dulci jubilo III. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier IV. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier V. MeineSeele erhebet den Herren Fuga sopra il Magnificat. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein I. Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein II. Fantasia super Valet will ich dirgeben.
Vater unser im Himmelreich IV. Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her IV. Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her V. Wir glauben all an einen Gott IV. Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein. Ach, was ist doch unser Leben. Auf meinen lieben Gott. Aus der Tiefe rufe ich. Christ ist erstanden II. Christus, der uns selig macht III. Gott der Vater wohn uns bei. Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend IV. Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht.
In dulci jubilo IV. Jesu, meine Freude II. Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier VI. Nun freut euch, lieben Christengmein III. Vater unser im Himmelreich VI. Vater unser im Himmelreich VII. Vater unser im Himmelreich V. Wir glauben all an einen Gott II. Christ, der du bist der helle Tag. O Gott, du frommer Gott. Vom himmel hoch, da komm ich her I. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Bernardo Pasquini. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Johann Christian Kittel. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.
Bach's authorship uncertain possibly composed by Christoph Graupner. Italienisches Konzert Italian Concerto. Konzerte nach verschiedenen Meistem Concertos by Various Maestros Aria variata "alla maniera italiana". Capriccio "sopra la lotananza delsuo fratello dilettissimo". Capriccio "in honorem Johann Christoph Bachii". Prelude, Fugue and Allegro. Sonatas and Partitas 6. Bach's authorship uncertain; possibly composed by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord Concerto for 2 Violins "Double Concerto". Concerto for 2 Harpsichords. Concerto for 3 Harpsichords.
Concerto for 4 Harpsichords. Overture "Orchestral Suite No. Canon "Canon trias harmonica". Canon "Canon a 4 perpetuus". Canon "Canon a 4". Canon "Canon triplex a 6". Canon "Canone doppio sopr' il soggetto". Musikalisches Opfer "Musical Offering". Gesegnet ist die Zuversicht. Lobet der Herrn, alle seine Heerscharen. Dich loben die lieblichen Strahlen.
Heut ist gewiss ein guter Tag.
Related Choral (Gieb dich zufrieden) (Second) from the Notebook of Anna Magdelena Bach
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