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Johann Sebastian Bach: A Magnificent Musician’s Creative Genius, Part 2 of 2

2021-01-17
Language:English

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“Before he came to Leipzig and became Thomaskantor, he was employed at a court, at a royal court, as a musician with Prince Leopold in Köten. He then became Thomaskantor and, in our opinion, perhaps the most important Protestant church musician of all. Only he himself knows that; we cannot say, but he was a deeply religious, Lutheran Christian, and was commissioned by God to compose his church music. He actually also wrote church music in the time before Leipzig and with the same inner devotion. It was certainly the most important thing for him to make music in praise of God.”

“Bach composed the baroque masterworks ‘Brandenburg Concertos’ in 1721 as orchestral compositions Which was presented as an application to work with Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Johann Bach composed extensive masterpieces – sonatas, concertos, cantatas, and suites, as well as keyboard, choral, and organ works.”

“In 1723, Johann Sebastian Bach became director of music for the city of Leipzig, where he had to supply performances for four churches. On May 30, 1723, Johann Sebastian officially performed Cantata No.75, ‘Die Elenden sollen essen,’ or ‘The Miserable Shall Eat,’ for the first time. A total of 62 cantatas were produced during this year, including ‘Magnificat’ and ‘St. John Passion.’ During the first couple of years at Leipzig, Johann Sebastian Bach produced approximately one cantata a week. This intensive work provided sufficient supply of church music for future Sunday and feast day services, so that he could turn his attention to other projects. Bach was honorary musical director to Weissenfels in Germany from around 1729 to 1737. He also directed the Leipzig Collegium Musicum around this time. Johann Sebastian Bach became one of the first composers of concerti for keyboard instruments and orchestra. Russian envoy Herman Karl commissioned the ‘Goldberg Variations,’ which were published as part four of the ‘Clavier-Übung’ in 1741.”

Helmuth Rilling, an accomplished choral conductor and teacher, stated, “Bach was the best. He’s the teacher par excellence. His music has influenced every later generation of composers and musicians. A heritage that continues right up to our time.” To close our program today, let us enjoy an excerpt of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565,” performed by Dr. Christoph Bull at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, USA.

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