Time for a little history lesson!
Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany in 1685 to a family of talented musicians. He was the eighth child in his family. His father was the director of the town musicians. It is believed that Bach's father taught him the violin and a bit of music theory. His uncle introduced him to the organ.
He went to school at the age of seven and studied Latin and religion among other subjects. His faith had a huge impact on his music later on. He was orphaned at the age of ten and moved in with his brother, Johann Christoph Bach. His brother was the organist at St. Michael's Church at the time and taught him how to play the clavichord. Bach often studied, performed, and copied music at this church. His brother introduced him to the works of the best composers of that time. During this period of Bach's life, his education grew immensely in the local gymnasium, where he studied theology, Latin, Greek, French, and Italian.
At the age of 14, Bach received a scholarship and went to study at the St. Michael's School in Lüneburg. He studied there for two years. He sang in the choir and played the organ and harpsichord. He was exposed to a great deal of culture and important people.
After graduating, Bach was appointed the court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III in Weimar. Here he developed a reputation as a keyboardist and was eventually invited to inspect the new organ at St. Boniface's Church in Arnstadt. After doing so, he became their organist. It was around this time that his career took off and he gained respect as a musician.
He left and later returned to Weimar. His return started a long period of composition for keyboard and orchestra. He learned how to write dramatic openings and use dynamic motor rhythms and harmonic scheme that resembled the style Italian musicians.
Bach was later given a position in Halle, and eventually promoted to the prestigious title of Konzertmeister, which meant that he would perform a church cantata monthly there.
During his lifetime, Bach composed about 1120 different pieces. Some of Bach's most famous works include the Mass in B minor, Magnificat, and St. John Passion.
Here is a recording of Bach's Magnificat:
Anna Nesyba - Soprano
Matthias Beckert (conductor)
What do you think about Bach's work?