Johann Sebastian Bach

He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach’s compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and over three hundred cantatas of which around two hundred survive.

Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a family of professional musicians. He was born in Eisenach, Thuringia, where Bach’s family was known by the large number of musicians it gave. In this family cultivating music has become a tradition, many members devotedthemselves to music, either as professionals or as amateurs. Sebastian’s father, Johann Ambrosius, was a modest musician, burdened by a large family with eight children, of whom four were alive, Sebastian was the youngest.

Bach has broken from the human life and its ideals. Living in an age where humanity was on the threshold of new classic achievements when the feudal aristocracy received, in turn, the strikes that hastened its end, Bach has assimilated various trends which crossed in those time spirituality. With its huge moral force and creative sap, Bach has set up various expressions, molded into perfect sound architecture. Leading to perfection the mashed forms from the 18th century, Bach expressed in his music the highest human ideas and aspirations.

Some of Bach’s first compositions which date from this erais probably the famous “Toccata and Fugue in D minor”.

In his time, the first keyboard with hammers was built, the Hammerklavier in 1701, fitted with a mechanism which stopped the vibration of the strings (Dämpfer, étouffeur). Known for the virtuosity of its performances, Bach was often invited to try the newlybuilt tools. He perfected the instrument itselfby trying to build the so-called “viola pomposa”, with larger dimensions than the “viola da gamba” and proposed the building of aLautencymbal with metal strings and intestine for special timbral effects. Towards the end of his life, Bach tried to print his works, personally taking part in zinc plating, which contributed to his blindness. A brief period of recovery of his vision (10 days only) preceded its end in 1750.

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