The Best of the Baroque Era – Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
- Posted by: Amar
- Category: Famous Classical Musicians
Johann Sebastian Bach was considered as the most wonderful creative genius in music. Bach was a brilliant late Baroque Era German composer, musician, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist. His holy and profane works for choir, orchestra, and keyboard pulled together practically all of the strands of the Baroque style and brought it to its apex. Besides the opera genre, Bach composed for every musical category of his period, and he improved musical creation in format, quality, and technical exactness through raised harmonizations, fugues, and complicated melodies.
Bach was born in the capital of the duchy 0f Saxe-Eisenach, the Eisenach, in present-day is known as Germany, on the 21st of March 1685. He was the eighth and also the youngest child of Maria Elisabeth Lammerhirt (who died in 1964) and Johann Ambrosius Bach (died eight months later). His father was the director of the town musicians. His father likely taught him violin and basic music theory. His uncles were all great professional musicians, whose posts included church organists, court chamber musicians, and composers. One of his uncles were Johann Christoph Bach. He introduced Johann Sebastian to the organ, and an older second cousin named Johann Ludwig Bach, was a very well-known composer and violinist.
The 10-year-old Bach moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach, the organist at St. Michael’s Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. In 1699, there he was offered a choral scholarship, studied, performed, and copied music, including his own brother’s, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private, and blank ledger paper of that type was costly. He then received valuable teaching from his brother, who instructed him on the clavichord. Johann Christoph also exposed him to different works and masterpiece of great composers of the day.
Bach’s hundred of sacred works are usually seen as manifesting not just his craft but also express a truly devout relationship with God. His inventive and unique melodies combine all the finest of Italian, French and German styles while remaining full and contrapuntal. Although Bach is remaining full and contrapuntal, instead of conveying emotions, he only implies it which why people nowadays were having a hard time on understanding it. We can’t deny the impact of Bach’s musical style because these days, his styles and melodies became the basis for music, ranging from hymns and religious music to pop and rock music. Many of Bach’s themes—particularly the theme from Toccata and Fugue in D minor—have been used in rock songs repeatedly and have received notable popularity.
Bach's Remarkable Works
Johann Sebastian Bach were able to compose over one thousand works in his life. He had works in keyboard, organ, chamber music, orchestral, and even in vocal and choral. Bach’s best-known works when it comes to orchestral are the Brandenburg concertos. Bach submitted them as a job audition for the 1721 Margrave of Brandenburg. Also, Bach didn’t forget to put his talent on writing music for single instruments, duets, and other small ensembles.
He composed a set of six sonatas and partitas for unaccompanied solo violin, and a similar set for cello and another for lute. He wrote trio sonatas, solo sonatas (accompanied by continuo) for the flute and for the viola da gamba, and a large number of canons and ricercare, mostly for unspecified instrumentation. The most significant examples of the latter are contained in “The Art of Fugue” and “The Musical Offering”.
Few of his works were composed for more than a dozen musicians. This make the present-day performers take an option to come up with a great performance whether to construct an authentic one, or choose a larger, modern orchestrations to which many of Bach’s work have been adopted. Leaving more room of possibilities for the individual arrangements, some of his more important chamber music does not indicate a preferred instrument. Some of the highly influential interpreters of Bach include Joshua Rifkin and Andrew Parrott (choral works, one per part), Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Gustav Leonhardt (cantatas, authentic performance), Karl Richter (chorus and orchestra), Glenn Gould and Edwin Fischer (piano), Wanda Landowska (harpsichord), Helmut Walcha and E. Power Biggs (organ), Pablo Casals and Yo-Yo Ma (cello), and Nathan Milstein (violin).
Bach's Death and Burial
What can we learn from Bach's Music?
Bach composed different types of ensembles because he wanted his listeners to hear how each instrument could fit together with others in creating beautiful music together! Now, let’s take a look on what we can learn from his music:
1. The sounds that he created can affect us deeply, and we can learn from them as artists and as people.
The first thing to note is how technical Bach was in his music. He was a master of counterpoint (the technique in which two or more melodies are combined), and he often used it to make many voices sound like one voice by using them all at the same time. This means that when you hear a piece of Bach’s music with many instruments playing together—such as an orchestra—you may not realize how complex it really is!
2. He gave us a large catalog of music that helps us understand what is aesthetically beautiful.
Bach wrote for all the instruments of his day, from violins to organ pipes to recorders; he even wrote music for two pianos at once! Bach’s work spans many different styles—the baroque, classical and romantic periods—and each style has its differences in instrumentation, form and expression. But what remains constant in his compositions is their beauty: they are technically challenging as well as aesthetically pleasing.
3. Bach's work has inspired many artists who came after him.
Bach’s music is a cornerstone of Western art. It has inspired many artists who came after him, and his work has been used in movies, television shows, video games, educational settings and more. In fact, Bach’s compositions have been used in so many different ways that they’ve become part of a larger cultural phenomenon known as “Bachmania.” His most famous works include the Brandenburg Concertos and The Goldberg Variations. These pieces are generally considered among the greatest musical compositions ever written—and for good reason: They’re beautiful to listen to on their own but also serve as excellent inspiration for films or other artistic endeavors.
What can we learn from Bach as a person?
Let us take a look at the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, who was a German baroque composer and musician. We’ll discuss how his personality really shines through in his music and how you can use that information to bring out your own unique personality in your work.
1. Putting strong faith in God. It inspired his music.
Bach was a devout Lutheran and believed that God had given him the gift of music. He believed that God was the ultimate creator of all things, and he saw his musical talent as a gift from God. Bach’s faith was an inspiration for much of his work, including cantatas like Wachet Auf (BWV 140).
2. Be confident, but humble.
Bach was a confident man. He believed in himself and his work, but he wasn’t arrogant. He would listen to advice from other people, learn from their mistakes, and take criticism well.
3. Do not be afraid to express what you feel.
Bach was not afraid to offer criticism. He was not afraid to say what he thought. He was not afraid to say what he felt, nor did he feel it necessary to sugarcoat his words for fear of upsetting someone else or making them uncomfortable. He could also be a bit of a perfectionist at times; in one letter describing a recent performance of one of his cantatas, Bach wrote: “I should like to add here that I do not believe that there is anywhere else in the whole world where such beautiful and excellent performances are given.”
"Bach's unique personality shines through in his music, so much so that people who don't normally know anything about classical music could tell a Bach piece from another composer just from listening to it. Familiarize yourself with his idiosyncrasies, and you may be able to learn how you can make your own personality more apparent through your work."
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