Life of Johann Sebastian Bach
"The aim and final reason of all music should be nothing else but
the glory of God and the refreshment of the spirit"
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnBach's Early period and the Weimar period ÃÂ¡ÃÂ
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnHe lived from 1685-1750
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnHe was an heir to the polyphonic art of the past
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnHe was born in Eisenach, Germany
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnwas left an orphan at age 10, raised by his brother
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnBach held posts as organist at Arnstadt (1703-7) and at Muhlhausen (1701-8)
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnat age 23, Bach was appointed to his first important postion as a court organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Weimar
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnWeimar period = rise of Bach's fame as an organ virtuoso and composition
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnhis first six children were born in this period
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnBach's two marriages produced at least nineteen offspring
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnThough, many did NOT survive infancy
ÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂnFour of his sons became leading composers of the next generation
[ÃÂnThe Cothen Period [
[ÃÂnDisappointed that Weimar failed to promote him, Bach accepted Princeof Anhalt-Cohen's offer
[ÃÂnin his five years ar Cothen (1717-23), he produced suits, concertos, and sonatas for various instruments
[ÃÂnDuring this period, his wife died, and in late 1721, he married Anna Magdalena Wilcke who was a young singer at court
[ÃÂnShortly after, Bach's patron married a woman who didn't share the prince's love for music
[ÃÂnTherefore, Bach's position at court gradually declined
MÃÂnThe Leipzig years M
MÃÂnwhen Bach was 38, he was appointed to one of the most important music position in Germany, that of cantor at St.
Thomas's Church in Leipzig
MÃÂnamong the candidate were Georg Philipp Teleman (1687-1767), but he declined the offer
MÃÂnThe attitude of Leipzig = "Since the best man could not be obtained, lesser ones would have to be accepted"
MÃÂnBach did a formidable job at the St. Thomas
MÃÂnHe supervised the music for the city's four main churches, selected and trained their
Choristers, and wrote the music for the church services as well as for special occasions such as weddings and funerals
MÃÂnIn 1729, he was appointed to an additional post in Leipzig ; director of the collegiums museum, a group of university students and musicians that gave regular concerts
MÃÂnDuring this, Bach managed to produce truly magnificent works during his twenty seven years in Leipzig (1723-50)
NÃÂnBach's later life N
NÃÂnhis last expedition, in 1747, was to the court of Frederick the Great at Potsdam where Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel served as an accompanist to the flute playing monarch
NÃÂnWhen he arrived, Frederick said 'Gentleman, Old Bach as arrived!'
NÃÂnOn Bach's invitation, the King suggested a theme, on which Bach improvised and became one of his astonishing fugues
NÃÂnAfter his return to Leipzig, Bach elaborated the theme, added a trio sonata, and dispatched the Musical Offspring to "a Monarch whose greatness and power, as in all the sciences of war and peace, so especially in music, everyone must admire and revere"
NÃÂnlabors of life time made Bach blind
NÃÂnHowever, he finished his final task, the revising of 18 chorale preludes doe the organ
the dying composer dictated to a son-in-law the last of these, Before Thy Throne, My God, I Stand.