(1710-1784) German composer. He was also an organist, improviser, and master of counterpoint. He was the eldest son of J S Bach.
(1685-1750) German composer. A master of counterpoint, his music epitomizes the Baroque polyphonic style. His orchestral music includes the six Brandenburg Concertos 1721, other concertos for keyboard instrument and violin, four orchestral suites, sonatas for various instruments, six violin partitas, and six unaccompanied cello suites. Bach’s keyboard music, for clavier and organ, his fugues, and his choral music are of equal importance. He also wrote chamber music and songs.
Born at Eisenach, Bach came from a distinguished musical family. At 15 he became a chorister at Lüneburg, and at 19 he was organist at Arnstadt. His appointments included positions at the courts of Weimar and Anhalt-Köthen, and from 1723 until his death he was musical director at St Thomas' choir school in Leipzig.
He married twice and had over 20 children (although several died in infancy). His second wife, Anna Magdalena Wülkens, was a soprano; she also worked for him when his sight failed in later years.
Bach’s sacred music includes 200 church cantatas; the Christmas and Easter oratorios 1734 and 1736; the two great Passions, of St John and St Matthew, first performed 1723 and 1729, and the Mass in B minor 1749. His keyboard music includes a collection of 48 preludes and fugues known as Das wohltemperierte Clavier/The Well-Tempered Clavier 1742, the Goldberg Variations 1742, and the Italian Concerto 1735. Of his organ music the finest examples are the chorale preludes. Two works written in his later years illustrate the principles and potential of his polyphonic art—Das Musikalische Opfer/The Musical Offering 1747 and Die Kunst der Fuge/The Art of Fugue, published posthumously 1751.
(1735-1782) German composer. The eleventh son of J S Bach, he became celebrated in Italy as a composer of operas. In 1762 he was invited to London, where he became music master to the royal family. He remained in England until his death, enjoying great popularity both as a composer and a performer.
(1714-1788) German composer. He was the third son of J S Bach. He introduced a new “homophonic” style, light and easy to follow, which influenced Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.
In the service of Frederick the Great 1740–67, he left to become master of church music at Hamburg 1768. He wrote over 200 pieces for keyboard instruments, and published a guide to playing the piano. Through his music and concert performances he helped to establish a leading solo role for the piano in Western music.
The music of Bach.
To live as a bachelor — often used with it.