“He is a man of two worlds: his artistic perception and creativity flow, as if not touching almost banal burgher existence, regardless of him.” – Albert Schweitzer about IS Bach. Bach Johann Sebastian (1685-1750 biennium) – an outstanding German composer, organist, representative of the transition period from baroque to classicism. Unsurpassed master of polyphony. During his life he wrote more than 1000 works.
Among them: “Well-Tempered Clavier” (part 1 – 1722, part 2 – 1744), “Passion according to Matthew” (1727), “Passion according to John” (1724), six “Brandenburg concerts “(1711-1720), etc. His music had a strong influence on the work of subsequent composers.
Bach was a deeply religious person.
JS Bach was a convinced Protestant. This is reflected in his works: “High Mass in B minor”, the oratorio “Passion for John,” “Passion for Matthew.” In addition, he wrote about 200 church and secular cantatas, as well as plays for the organ, among which the famous “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.”
Bach became a famous composer during his lifetime.
During his lifetime Bach was a famous organist, but not a composer. The composer’s fame came to him only half a century after his death. Moreover, most of his works after death were forgotten and only in 1829, after the execution of Mendelssohn’s “Passion for Matthew,” the revival of works and glorification of the name of the great composer began.
The genus Bach was famous in the musical circle.
In some sources the Bach genus is called plebeian. But were there so many remarkable births in the world? For seven generations there were 40 professional musicians in this family. Although the roots of the clan were popular, but in terms of the number of talents, it overlapped any aristocratic family. Among them were wandering spiers, musicians amateurs – hoods, sedentary masters – church organists and city musicians. Perhaps we would now talk about them differently, not appearing in the family of an unconditional genius – Johann Sebastian Bach, whose works blocked the merits of all members of the clan.
The Bach family leads from the baker’s family.
Great-grandfather I.S. Bach (Faith Bach) was a German, born in Thuringia. He was a baker by trade, but according to tradition he never parted with a tool like a zither. He died in 1619. His second son Hans Bach became Johann Sebastian’s Great-grandfather. According to some sources, he played the violin well, but by profession he was a weaver.
Bach left without parents.
Johann Sebastian Bach’s mother died when he was only nine years old. Father quickly, after a few months, married again, but soon after that he died. The children were left in the care of their stepmother, who could not look after them. She left the children and returned to her home.
Little Bach stole from his older brother a notebook with notes to rewrite them for himself.
This is one of the most common legends in which it is said that little. Bakh, who knew that his brother in the closet kept a notebook with notes of works of famous composers, stole it. At night in the moonlight for six months, he rewrote it for himself, until the deception was uncovered. Brother Bach, Christopher took the manuscript from the little boy. After this, Bach’s vision deteriorated very much … This tradition is unreliable, but it occurs in many articles devoted to Bach. It is unlikely that the moon, without disappearing from the horizon, could help Bach rewrite notes throughout the entire period of time. In addition, so that the elder brother does not look like a monster, we say that after the death of his mother and father, he completely took the two younger brothers under his care, although he was 24 years old. It was thanks to Christopher, Johann learned to play the harpsichord and learned the basics of music.
Bach was taken to school because of a good voice.
At the age of 14, Bach went to North Germany to enter a music school that accepted poor children if they had a good voice. He was accepted to school, as he had a good soprano.But the voice soon began to break. Perhaps, it would be much more difficult for him to finish his studies, if not for the talent of a violinist and organist.
Ба Bach lost his position as an organist in Arnstadt because of conflicts with the ranks of the consistory.
Of course, conflicts with the ranks were, but primarily because of those liberties that Bach allowed in the performance of church music, decorating it in his own way, sometimes not in accordance with the canons of the church. The main threat to his reputation was the students. Sometimes biographers close their eyes to this, pushing all the problems into relations with the ranks. But it is worth noting that on August 4, 1705, on the market square, there was a skirmish between Johann Sebastian Bach and six students. At the head of the group was the conductor of the Choir Geyersbach, who, apparently, decided to settle accounts with Bach. Geyersbach called the teacher “petty offspring” and demanded, threatening with a rapier (or, according to some sources, a stick), so that Bach asked him for forgiveness for what was being said about his playing on the bassoon. In response, Bach took out his sword and gave him a rebuff. The fighting was separated, but the next day the whole small town knew about the incident. Moreover, the next day in the consistory, Bach admitted that he called Geyersbach “pig-bassoon”. Of course, the disciples were punished, but after that the consistory ranks faced the problem: what to do with JS Bach? The resolution of the conflict dragged on, but in the end, Bach left this post.
To listen to Dietrich Buxtehude’s play, Bach, being poor, walked from Arnstadt to Lübeck (about 300 km) on foot.
Many textbooks have written about this, but the fact is completely unconfirmed. Bach went to Lubeck just a couple of months after the skirmish with the students – in late October, so the consistory was very sympathetic to his journey. In addition, the Bach family had good connections, so that one could find a passing wagon. Let’s also note that the cargo he took was not easy. After all, in addition to clothing (full dress parade), he had to take notes. For the data given him for four weeks, he physically could not have made a pedestrian journey to such a distance with such a load, especially in the autumn mudslide. And he began to understand the price of himself, as an organist.
Bach was one of the first who invited a woman to perform a soprano part in a male choir.
In those days, only male voices were heard in German churches. But Bach often began to think that to achieve purity and novelty of sound, some voices should be feminine. As a result, during his work in Arnstadt, he replaced one male voice with a female voice during rehearsals of the choir. Maria Barbara was the woman who sang the soprano part in the choir. Soon such experiments were forbidden to him. Even then, Bach understood that the future of German church choirs was in the beauty and sonority of women’s voices.
Bach did not take fees for private lessons.
Johann Sebastian Bach was not a wasteful man, he was quite calculating enough to support his big family. However, he was not petty. Bach did not like to take fees for private lessons and taught boys and young men for free.
Bach won the famous Marchand musical duel.
Louis Marchand – composer of the Versailles school, organist and harpsichordist came to Dresden on tour from Paris, where at that time fell into disgrace. The court kapellmeister Frenchman Valumeier immediately realized what this competition might threaten him and came up with a rather original plan. He invited a German virtuoso from Dresden from Weimer, whom, as easy to guess, turned out to be Bach. Marchand really performed brilliantly in front of the notable public, subduing all French chic and magnificent performance. At the end of the concert, he sang a French song, adding elements and improvisations to it. After such a speech, they asked to play a veymer musician, looking very simple and unpretentious. Bach did not do anything new.He simply repeated the French song for Louis Marshan, copying all the decorations and improvisations of the master, and then added to it some of his own complicated and spectacular variations invented on the go. Perhaps it was Bach’s first such appearance in a noble society, which at that time more enjoyed French and Italian music, forgetting about the national treasure. The speech was greeted with stormy applause. The winner was, undoubtedly, IS. Bach. However, the story did not end there. Marchant called Bach to a second creative fight. Bach agreed. In the house of the minister a high society gathered, the king himself arrived. But the tournament did not take place! The famous Frenchman did not come and, as it turned out, returned to France back in the morning. Bach alone spoke in front of the royal court, impressing everyone with the virtuosity of the game. This was undoubted success of IS. Bach.
IS Bach was a good leader of the choirs in the churches, where he worked.
In fact, Bach was faced with persistent problems at work, especially when organizing and directing the choirs. In most of the churches where he had to work, relations with people were bad. One of the biographers wrote that Bach possessed “a character just rampant.” Having an explosive temperament, he never compromised his convictions, which naturally did not have the best effect on work and relationships with others.
Bach was married twice.
Bach had two wives and both loved him. First, his relative is Maria Barbara, the youngest daughter of Johann Michael Bach, whom he was engaged to on September 17, 1707. They lived together for almost 13 years. Maria Barbara died from a sudden apoplexy, was buried on July 7, 1720. On the day of Bach’s death, he was not at home. He could not spend his wife on the last journey. After this marriage, 4 children survived, which Johann Sebastian had to raise to his feet. December 3, 1721 Bach married the second time on Anna Magdalena Wilke. The second wife was younger than him for 16 years. She became the mainstay of his entire remaining life.
Bach had many children.
If biographers believe, there were twenty. The famous German musicologist Hugo Riemann wrote: “Six sons and seven daughters were born from the second wife of Bach, so if all his children were alive, there would be twenty: nine daughters and eleven sons, but most of them died at an early age , and survived Bach only six sons and four daughters. ”
Bach was under arrest.
In Veimer on November 3, 1717, Wilhelm Ernst ordered the arrest of Bach for unjustified obstinacy. The obstinacy was Bach’s insistence, which required dismissal. Only on December 2 he was released from office and released. It was at this time that he would write a notebook of exercises for his son, known as the Organ Book (with 46 organ chorale preludes).
During the life of Bach, only one of his cantata was published.
In 1708, at the age of 23 Bach brought home the printed “Elective Cantata”, on her cover it was written: “Year 1708. Bach. Organist Muhlhausen.” More cantatas during Bach’s life were not published.
The Brandenburg concert was not performed during the composer’s lifetime.
There is no evidence that this concert was performed at the Brandenburg court. For many years the score of this concert was kept by the margrave, and after his death in 1734 it was packed together with notes of little-known composers. The concert was sold for only 6 groschen. It’s also surprising that Bach himself did not seem to remember these concerts.
At the end of life, Bach became blind.
In the late 1740s and early 1750s, Bach began to lose his sight sharply. Two operations to remove cataracts were unsuccessful and he finally became blind. According to the testimony of relatives, 10 days before his death, he suddenly saw the light. A few hours later, he was struck by a blow. July 28, 1750 the great composer was gone. He died at the age of 62.