Johann Sebastian Bach was an influential German composer and performer of the Baroque time.
In particular, he is most famous for his orchestral works including the Brandenburg Concertos, the Exultateinge and the Goldberg Variations. His orchestral style is characterized by a restless, non-confrontational approach, in which melodic invention is given more prominence than modulation or structural development. As a result, his work often seems disorganized, even haphazard.
The roots of Johann Sebastian Bach’s orchestral compositions can be traced back to his studies at the University of Tubingen in Germany in the late 1830s. While there, he became familiar with organ music and learned about chord melody from his teacher, Walderz Toyne. After moving to Mainz, he taught for a time with Horst Mahler, whom he also developed a great relationship. In 1800, he began studying with Berlioggi, who was a student of J. S. Bach. During this period, Bach composed several popular choral pieces, including The Organ Sonata and The Well-Rounded Hornpipe. These efforts helped him to attract attention both as a composer and as an organist.
Towards the end of the nineteenth century, Johann Sebastian Bach continued to receive commissions from religious authorities, despite requests from his brother, Wolfgang, that he cease practicing his organ and focus instead on other projects. However, he never gave up his desire to become an organist and he pursued this goal throughout his life. During this time, various attempts were made to improve upon his earlier works, which bore little resemblance to the original church organs that he had been accustomed to. Some of these attempts included hiring an accompanist, whose voice would be identical to Bach’s, to perform during church services.
In 1849, after several years of work on various musical compositions, Bach created the composition that would become The Holy Church Service for Organ and Piano. This piece was to become the centerpiece of his career and it is easy to see why this creation ranks as one of the most important early works by a contemporary of Bach. This work has since become known as The Johann Sebastian Bach Lyrical Overture.
The next major Bach creation came in the form of his Viennese Trilogy. This series of suites, which were written for various choral movements, was intended as a follow-up to The Holy Church Service for Organ and Piano. As is common with many Viennese works, there is a great deal of brilliance found within the suite. In fact, these suites, which are also called The Brandenburg Concertos, contain some of Bach’s most well-known choruses and are considered by many to be some of his most complete musical masterpieces. Interestingly enough, Bach did not write any of these suites, but rather he hired an interpreter to read some of his music so he could compose them according to his own desires. It is interesting to note that Bach’s writings are in the midst of a long tradition in chemistry and therefore he may have been influenced by composers such as J. S. Bach.
The third major work of Bach’s career came in the form of his major opera, Ein Kreisler’s Toccata and Canto for two theaters, the Theater of the Leisure Age in Cologne, Germany and the Opera of the High Court in Berlin, Germany. This complex and highly-intrusive opera, which run over twenty-eight minutes long, was a sensation when it first went on Broadway. It was later seen on television, on YouTube, and various other places worldwide. In this production there were numerous elaborate set pieces and highly choreographed dance routines, all of which are characteristic of Bach’s style. While the Toccata and Canto were later lost, the Paris Opera, where the opera was first performed, has kept a copy of these masterpieces on hand as a historical artifact.
Bach, whose real name was Johannes Sebastian Bach, was born in Moseley, Saxony, Germany where his father worked as a lawyer. After school he continued to live in Salzburg, where he earned a degree in mathematics, but he was always drawn to the operatic field. In 1780 he began to work with his friend and student, Joanna Weber, on pieces for the New Opera that she was to perform. From this point forward he would collaborate with several different singers, all of whom would end up sharing the same compositions. However, it was while working with Weber that Bach’s true calling and career began.
During the next several years there would be multiple renditions of the same opera, each more refined than the last. Finally, in 1787 it was Bach’s turn to complete a new opera, this time in an Italian city called Salzburg. There he wrote and sang the songs that are included in this recording of Mozart’s Requiem, which also features Donizetti’s “Claraise” and “La Rose.” As you can see from this overview, there is a great deal that links this legend of Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach, the two greatest opera composers of all time!