Johann Sebastian Bach is now thought of one of many biggest classical composers of all time. The Baroque composer is thought in music historical past as a grasp of polyphonic music. “Bach is legendary right this moment for performing unimaginable miracles on the piano and organ,” Bachfest inventive director Michael Maul instructed DW. “He composed fugues and preludes in all of the keys which have fascinated generations of musicians and composers.”
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This 12 months’s Leipzig Bach Competition will current two of his main keyboard works. “The Artwork of Fugue”, carried out by the Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, and the “Properly-Tempered Clavier”, the primary a part of which shall be carried out by the Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff, and the second by the Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt. “The Properly-Tempered Clavier” is one in every of Bach’s most well-known didactic works and this 12 months celebrates his 300th anniversary.
Music Director Legacy
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Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach in March 1685 and died in Leipzig in 1750, the place he served as music director on the St. Thomas Church for 27 years till his loss of life, directing, amongst different issues, the well-known St. Thomas Boys’ Choir. , which has existed since 1212. With greater than 800 years of choral historical past, the choir is without doubt one of the oldest boys’ choirs in Germany. Regardless of this lengthy custom, the successive variety of singers was solely counted after Bach’s loss of life.
On the finish of 2021, the Swiss conductor and church musician Andreas Reize changed his predecessor Gotthold Schwarz because the 18th church music director after Bach. The St. Thomas Boys’ Choir historically opens the Bach Competition, this time on June 9 with works by Bach himself and his son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. The Leipzig Bach Archive has simply printed a brand new full version of the works of the younger Bach.
bach household festivals
Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a big musically inclined household. His relations and ancestors have been lively in northern Germany and particularly within the current states of Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt. They met yearly for household musical celebrations. “The Bach household invented the Bach festivals, so to talk,” says Michael Maul.
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In truth, that is additionally the theme of this 12 months’s Leipzig Bach Competition which bears the motto “Bach -— We Are Household”, which is able to function choirs from all around the world and works by the ancestors and descendants of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Of pipers and organists of town
Johann Sebastian Bach’s father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, labored as a metropolis piper, that’s, as a metropolis musician. His cousin, Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703), performed as an organist for town of Eisenach and is alleged to have been a terrific position mannequin for Johann Sebastian Bach. On the age of 10, Johann Sebastian Bach misplaced his mother and father and lived for a number of years together with his older brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671 to 1721), who was additionally an organist and taught him to play the piano.
Bach later collected the compositions of his ancestors and the works of the composers who influenced him within the “Previous Bach Archive”. In it, Bach listed 53 family members, most of whom have been church or courtroom musicians. In six live shows on “The Roots of Bach”, the works of his ancestors and his position fashions, akin to Dietrich Buxtehude or Heinrich Schütz, shall be heard on the subsequent Bach Competition.
From organist to music director
Though Bach discovered to play varied devices, the organ was his mainstay. On the age of 18, he obtained his first place as organist in Arnstadt. In Weimar, he was appointed grasp concertmaster in 1714 and later rose to grow to be “Kapellmeister” (or director) to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Köthen in Köthen. There, in 1722, he additionally composed the well-known “Little Pocket book for Anna Magdalena”, written for his second spouse, in addition to the “Properly-Tempered Clavier”, a cycle of 24 preludes and fugues in all main and minor keys. .
In Could 1723, Bach took up his lifelong place as “Thomaskantor” or music director on the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Because the grasp of the St. Thomas Boys’ Choir, he had to supply musical accompaniment for plenty each Sunday and on holidays. Consequently, he composed a mean of 1 cantata per week, at the very least throughout his first 12 months in workplace. What he thought of to be “utilitarian music” right this moment is described by many as “divine music” that evokes folks all around the world. In 2023, these Leipzig cantatas shall be sung in a separate cycle on the Bach Competition.
It was additionally in Leipzig that Bach composed his “Christmas Oratorio” and his nice “Passions”, specifically the “St. John Ardour” and the “St. Matthew Ardour”. Though Bach’s piano and organ works continued being cultivated by later generations, his vocal works have been virtually publicly forgotten till the 19th century.
Renaissance within the 19th century
Within the 19th century, folks rediscovered Bach’s vocal music. “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy re-performed Bach’s nice St. Matthew Ardour for the primary time in Berlin in 1829, and everybody was completely captivated and mesmerized by this complicated but evocative music,” explains Michael Maul.
Mendelssohn Bartholdy tailored the work to the style of the time and had it carried out in an abridged model with a big orchestra. Below the course of Thomaskantor Andreas Reize, the St. Thomas Boys’ Choir will carry out the St. Matthew Ardour on the Bach Competition on June 17.
DW will stream the live performance and make it out there as video on demand on the “DW Classical Music” YouTube channel.
Bach societies all over the world
The primary Bach societies have been based across the time of the rediscovery of Bach’s music by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The oldest of those was the Leipzig Bach Society, whose founding members included the composers Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt.
In 1900 the “Neue Bachgesellschaft” (New Bach Society) was based in Leipzig, whose mission to today is to advertise and unfold the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The society manages the Bach Museum in Eisenach and invitations guests to Bach festivals in alternate cities every year. This 12 months, along with the Leipzig Bach Competition, it celebrates the nice worldwide Bach household.
Because the Bach Archive has found, there at the moment are greater than 300 Bach societies in Germany and all over the world. Among the many most up-to-date is, for instance, the “Bach Society” in Paraguay, based in 2008, or the “Smooth Bach Society Yamaguchi” in Japan since 2013.
In Malaysia, director and founder David Chin has been holding his personal Bach Competition yearly since 2015. For Bach Competition Director Michael Maul, that is proof that Bach’s music continues to encourage folks all over the world. these days. “We uncover increasingly secrets and techniques as a result of this music has many sides. You possibly can take heed to it over and over and discover it, and you’ll at all times discover new beauties and particular options.”
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