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He died of complications after eye surgery in at the age of Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint , harmonic and motivic organisation, and his adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France.
Bach's compositions include hundreds of cantatas , both sacred and secular. He composed Latin church music , Passions , oratorios , and motets.
He often adopted Lutheran hymns , not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs.
He wrote extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos , for instance for violin and for harpsichord , and suites , as chamber music as well as for orchestra.
Many of his works employ the genres of canon and fugue. Throughout the 18th century Bach was primarily valued as an organist , while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier , was appreciated for its didactic qualities.
The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies , and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed.
Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals and later also websites exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works and new critical editions of his compositions.
His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements , including, for instance, the Air on the G String , and of recordings, such as three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's oeuvre marking the th anniversary of his death.
Bach was born in in Eisenach , in the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach , into an extensive musical family. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach , was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians.
His father probably taught him to play the violin and harpsichord , and his brother Johann Christoph Bach taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much of the contemporary music.
Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany, including Kapellmeister director of music to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen , and Thomaskantor in Leipzig, a position of music director at the main Lutheran churches and educator at the Thomasschule.
One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach — , introduced him to the organ, and an older second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach — , was a well-known composer and violinist.
Bach's mother died in , and his father died eight months later. Also during this time, he was taught theology, Latin, Greek, French, and Italian at the local gymnasium.
By 3 April , Bach and his schoolfriend Georg Erdmann—who was two years Bach's elder—were enrolled in the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg , some two weeks' travel north of Ohrdruf.
In addition to singing in the choir, he played the school's three-manual organ and harpsichords.
While in Lüneburg, Bach had access to St. John's Church and possibly used the church's famous organ from , since it was played by his organ teacher Georg Böhm.
In January , shortly after graduating from St. Despite strong family connections and a musically enthusiastic employer, tension built up between Bach and the authorities after several years in the post.
Bach was dissatisfied with the standard of singers in the choir. He called one of them a "Zippel Fagottist" weenie bassoon player.
Late one evening this student, named Geyersbach, went after Bach with a stick. Bach filed a complaint against Geyersbach with the authorities.
They acquitted Geyersbach with a minor reprimand and ordered Bach to be more moderate regarding the musical qualities he expected from his students.
Some months later Bach upset his employer by a prolonged absence from Arnstadt: after obtaining leave for four weeks, he was absent for around four months in — to visit the organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude in the northern city of Lübeck.
In , Bach applied for a post as organist at the Blasius Church in Mühlhausen. Bach was able to convince the church and town government at Mühlhausen to fund an expensive renovation of the organ at the Blasius Church.
In Bach wrote Gott ist mein König , a festive cantata for the inauguration of the new council , which was published at the council's expense.
Bach left Mühlhausen in , returning to Weimar this time as organist and from Konzertmeister director of music at the ducal court, where he had an opportunity to work with a large, well-funded contingent of professional musicians.
She remained to help run the household until her death in Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara had three more children, who however did not live to their first birthday, including twins born in Bach's time in Weimar was the start of a sustained period of composing keyboard and orchestral works.
He attained the proficiency and confidence to extend the prevailing structures and include influences from abroad. He learned to write dramatic openings and employ the dynamic rhythms and harmonic schemes found in the music of Italians such as Vivaldi , Corelli , and Torelli.
Bach absorbed these stylistic aspects in part by transcribing Vivaldi's string and wind concertos for harpsichord and organ; many of these transcribed works are still regularly performed.
Bach was particularly attracted to the Italian style, in which one or more solo instruments alternate section-by-section with the full orchestra throughout a movement.
In Weimar, Bach continued to play and compose for the organ and perform concert music with the duke's ensemble. Bach also started work on the Little Organ Book in Weimar, containing traditional Lutheran chorale tunes set in complex textures.
In , Bach was offered a post in Halle when he advised the authorities during a renovation by Christoph Cuntzius of the main organ in the west gallery of the Market Church of Our Dear Lady.
In the spring of , Bach was promoted to Konzertmeister , an honour that entailed performing a church cantata monthly in the castle church.
BWV for Pentecost. Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen , hired Bach to serve as his Kapellmeister director of music in Prince Leopold, himself a musician, appreciated Bach's talents, paid him well and gave him considerable latitude in composing and performing.
The prince was a Calvinist and did not use elaborate music in his worship; accordingly, most of Bach's work from this period was secular,  including the orchestral suites , cello suites , sonatas and partitas for solo violin , and Brandenburg Concertos.
A significant influence upon Bach's musical development during his years with the prince is recorded by Stauffer as Bach's "complete embrace of dance music, perhaps the most important influence on his mature style other than his adoption of Vivaldi's music in Weimar.
Thomas Church in Leipzig, which provided music for four churches in the city: the Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche St. Peter's Church. During that time he gained further prestige through honorary appointments at the courts of Köthen and Weissenfels, as well as that of the Elector Frederick Augustus who was also King of Poland in Dresden.
Johann Kuhnau had been Thomaskantor in Leipzig from until his death on 5 June Bach had visited Leipzig during Kuhnau's tenure: in he attended the service at the St.
Thomas Church on the first Sunday of Advent,  and in he had tested the organ of the Paulinerkirche.
After being offered the position, Bach was invited to Leipzig only after Georg Philipp Telemann indicated that he would not be interested in relocating to Leipzig.
Bach was required to instruct the students of the Thomasschule in singing and provide church music for the main churches in Leipzig.
He was also assigned to teach Latin but was allowed to employ four "prefects" deputies to do this instead.
The prefects also aided with musical instruction. Bach usually led performances of his cantatas , most of which were composed within three years of his relocation to Leipzig.
Bach collected his cantatas in annual cycles. Five are mentioned in obituaries, three are extant. Bach started a second annual cycle the first Sunday after Trinity of and composed only chorale cantatas , each based on a single church hymn.
Bach drew the soprano and alto choristers from the school and the tenors and basses from the school and elsewhere in Leipzig.
Performing at weddings and funerals provided extra income for these groups; it was probably for this purpose, and for in-school training, that he wrote at least six motets.
Bach's predecessor as cantor, Johann Kuhnau , had also been music director for the Paulinerkirche , the church of Leipzig University.
But when Bach was installed as cantor in , he was put in charge only of music for festal church holiday services at the Paulinerkirche ; his petition to also provide music for regular Sunday services there for a corresponding salary increase went all the way to the Elector but was denied.
After this, in , Bach "lost interest" in working even for festal services at the Paulinerkirche and appeared there only on "special occasions".
Bach broadened his composing and performing beyond the liturgy by taking over, in March , the directorship of the Collegium Musicum , a secular performance ensemble started by Telemann.
This was one of the dozens of private societies in the major German-speaking cities that were established by musically active university students; these societies had become increasingly important in public musical life and were typically led by the most prominent professionals in a city.
In the words of Christoph Wolff , assuming the directorship was a shrewd move that "consolidated Bach's firm grip on Leipzig's principal musical institutions".
Many of Bach's works during the s and s were written for and performed by the Collegium Musicum ; among these were parts of his Clavier-Übung Keyboard Practice and many of his violin and keyboard concertos.
He presented the manuscript to the Elector in an eventually successful bid to persuade the prince to give him the title of Court Composer.
Bach's appointment as Court Composer was an element of his long-term struggle to achieve greater bargaining power with the Leipzig council.
In Bach started to prepare his first publication of organ music, which was printed as the third Clavier-Übung in The king played a theme for Bach and challenged him to improvise a fugue based on his theme.
Bach obliged, playing a three-part fugue on one of Frederick's fortepianos , which was a new type of instrument at the time.
Upon his return to Leipzig he composed a set of fugues and canons, and a trio sonata, based on the Thema Regium theme of the king.
Within a few weeks this music was published as The Musical Offering and dedicated to Frederick. The Schübler Chorales , a set of six chorale preludes transcribed from cantata movements Bach had composed some two decades earlier, were published within a year.
Two large-scale compositions occupied a central place in Bach's last years. From around he wrote and revised the various canons and fugues of The Art of Fugue , which he continued to prepare for publication until shortly before his death.
Stauffer describes it as "Bach's most universal church work. Consisting mainly of recycled movements from cantatas written over a thirty-five-year period, it allowed Bach to survey his vocal pieces one last time and pick select movements for further revision and refinement.
Bach's health was, however, declining. On 2 June, Heinrich von Brühl wrote to one of the Leipzig burgomasters to request that his music director, Johann Gottlob Harrer , fill the Thomaskantor and Director musices posts "upon the eventual From an early age, Bach studied the works of his musical contemporaries of the Baroque period and those of prior generations, and those influences were reflected in his music.
Bach's music was harmonically more innovative than his peer composers, employing surprisingly dissonant chords and progressions, often with extensive exploration of harmonic possibilities within one piece.
The hundreds of sacred works Bach created are usually seen as manifesting not just his craft but also a truly devout relationship with God.
In elaborating these hymns into his chorale preludes, he wrote more cogent and tightly integrated works than most, even when they were massive and lengthy.
For example, the St Matthew Passion , like other works of its kind, illustrated the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales, but in crafting this work, Bach created an overall experience that has been found over the intervening centuries to be both musically thrilling and spiritually profound.
Bach published or carefully compiled in manuscript many collections of pieces that explored the range of artistic and technical possibilities inherent in almost every genre of his time except opera.
For example, The Well-Tempered Clavier comprises two books, each of which presents a prelude and fugue in every major and minor key, displaying a dizzying variety of structural, contrapuntal and fugal techniques.
Four-part harmonies predate Bach, but he lived during a time when modal music in Western tradition was largely supplanted in favour of the tonal system.
In this system a piece of music progresses from one chord to the next according to certain rules, each chord being characterised by four notes.
The principles of four-part harmony are found not only in Bach's four-part choral music: he also prescribes it for instance for the figured bass accompaniment.
Some examples of this characteristic of Bach's style and its influence:. Bach's insistence on the tonal system and contribution to shaping it did not imply he was less at ease with the older modal system and the genres associated with it: more than his contemporaries who had "moved on" to the tonal system without much exception , Bach often returned to the then-antiquated modi and genres.
His Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue , emulating the chromatic fantasia genre as used by earlier composers such as Dowland and Sweelinck in D dorian mode comparable to D minor in the tonal system , is an example of this.
Modulation , or changing key in the course of a piece, is another style characteristic where Bach goes beyond what was usual in his time.
Baroque instruments vastly limited modulation possibilities: keyboard instruments, prior to a workable system of temperament , limited the keys that could be modulated to, and wind instruments, especially brass instruments such as trumpets and horns , about a century before they were fitted with valves, were tied to the key of their tuning.
Bach pushed the limits: he added "strange tones" in his organ playing, confusing the singing, according to an indictment he had to face in Arnstadt,  and Louis Marchand , another early experimenter with modulation, seems to have avoided confrontation with Bach because the latter went further than anyone had done before.
The major development taking place in Bach's time, and to which he contributed in no small way, was a temperament for keyboard instruments that allowed their use in all available keys 12 major and 12 minor and also modulation without retuning.
His Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother , a very early work, showed a gusto for modulation unlike any contemporary work this composition has been compared to,  but the full expansion came with the Well-Tempered Clavier , using all keys, which Bach apparently had been developing since around , the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach being one of its earliest examples.
The second page of the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is an ornament notation and performance guide that Bach wrote for his eldest son, who was nine years old at the time.
Bach was generally quite specific on ornamentation in his compositions where in his time much of the ornamentation was not written out by composers but rather considered a liberty of the performer ,  and his ornamentation was often quite elaborate.
For instance, the "Aria" of the Goldberg Variations has rich ornamentation in nearly every measure. Bach's dealing with ornamentation can also be seen in a keyboard arrangement he made of Marcello 's Oboe Concerto : he added explicit ornamentation, which some centuries later is played by oboists when performing the concerto.
Although Bach did not write any operas, he was not averse to the genre or its ornamented vocal style. In church music, Italian composers had imitated the operatic vocal style in genres such as the Neapolitan mass.
In Protestant surroundings, there was more reluctance to adopt such a style for liturgical music. For instance, Kuhnau, Bach's predecessor in Leipzig, had notoriously shunned opera and Italian virtuoso vocal music.
One of the comments after a performance of his St Matthew Passion was that it all sounded much like opera. In concerted playing in Bach's time the basso continuo, consisting of instruments such as organ, viola da gamba or harpsichord, usually had the role of accompaniment, providing the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of a piece.
From the late s, Bach had the organ play concertante i. In this sense, Bach played a key role in the development of genres such as the keyboard concerto.
Bach wrote virtuoso music for specific instruments as well as music independent of instrumentation. For instance, the sonatas and partitas for solo violin are considered the pinnacle of what has been written for this instrument, only within reach of accomplished players.
The music fits the instrument, pushing it to the full scale of its possibilities and requiring virtuosity of the player but without bravura.
Notwithstanding that the music and the instrument seem inseparable, Bach made transcriptions for other instruments of some pieces of this collection.
Similarly, for the cello suites , the virtuoso music seems tailored for the instrument, the best of what is offered for it, yet Bach made an arrangement for lute of one of these suites.
The same applies to much of his most virtuoso keyboard music. Bach exploited the capabilities of an instrument to the fullest while keeping the core of such music independent of the instrument on which it is performed.
In this sense, it is no surprise that Bach's music is easily and often performed on instruments it was not necessarily written for, that it is transcribed so often, and that his melodies turn up in unexpected places such as jazz music.
Apart from this, Bach left a number of compositions without specified instrumentation: the canons BWV — fall in that category, as well as the bulk of the Musical Offering and the Art of Fugue.
Another characteristic of Bach's style is his extensive use of counterpoint , as opposed to the homophony used in his four-part Chorale settings, for example.
Bach's canons, and especially his fugues, are most characteristic of this style, which Bach did not invent but contributed to so fundamentally that he defined it to a large extent.
Fugues are as characteristic to Bach's style as, for instance, the Sonata form is characteristic to the composers of the Classical period.
These strictly contrapuntal compositions, and most of Bach's music in general, are characterised by distinct melodic lines for each of the voices, where the chords formed by the notes sounding at a given point follow the rules of four-part harmony.
Forkel , Bach's first biographer, gives this description of this feature of Bach's music, which sets it apart from most other music: .
If the language of music is merely the utterance of a melodic line, a simple sequence of musical notes, it can justly be accused of poverty.
The addition of a Bass puts it upon a harmonic foundation and clarifies it, but defines rather than gives it added richness. A melody so accompanied—even though all the notes are not those of the true Bass—or treated with simple embellishments in the upper parts, or with simple chords, used to be called "homophony.
In the first case the accompaniment is subordinate, and serves merely to support the first or principal part. In the second case the two parts are not similarly related.
New melodic combinations spring from their interweaving, out of which new forms of musical expression emerge. If more parts are interwoven in the same free and independent manner, the apparatus of language is correspondingly enlarged, and becomes practically inexhaustible if, in addition, varieties of form and rhythm are introduced.
Hence harmony becomes no longer a mere accompaniment of melody, but rather a potent agency for augmenting the richness and expressiveness of musical conversation.
To serve that end a simple accompaniment will not suffice. True harmony is the interweaving of several melodies, which emerge now in the upper, now in the middle, and now in the lower parts.
From about the year , when he was thirty-five, until his death in , Bach's harmony consists in this melodic interweaving of independent melodies, so perfect in their union that each part seems to constitute the true melody.
Herein Bach excels all the composers in the world. At least, I have found no one to equal him in music known to me. Even in his four-part writing we can, not infrequently, leave out the upper and lower parts and still find the middle parts melodious and agreeable.
Bach devoted more attention than his contemporaries to the structure of compositions. This can be seen in minor adjustments he made when adapting someone else's composition, such as his earliest version of the "Keiser" St Mark Passion , where he enhances scene transitions,  and in the architecture of his own compositions such as his Magnificat  and Leipzig Passions.
In the last years of his life, Bach revised several of his prior compositions. Often the recasting of such previously composed music in an enhanced structure was the most visible change, as in the Mass in B minor.
Bach's known preoccupation with structure led peaking around the s to various numerological analyses of his compositions, although many such over-interpretations were later rejected, especially when wandering off into symbolism-ridden hermeneutics.
The librettos , or lyrics, of his vocal compositions played an important role for Bach. He sought collaboration with various text authors for his cantatas and major vocal compositions, possibly writing or adapting such texts himself to make them fit the structure of the composition he was designing when he could not rely on the talents of other text authors.
His collaboration with Picander for the St Matthew Passion libretto is best known, but there was a similar process in achieving a multi-layered structure for his St John Passion libretto a few years earlier.
The first edition of the catalogue listed 1, surviving compositions indisputably composed by Bach. BWV — were added to the catalogue in the second half of the 20th century, and BWV and higher were still later additions.
Bach composed Passions for Good Friday services and oratorios such as the Christmas Oratorio , which is a set of six cantatas for use in the liturgical season of Christmas.
With its double choir and orchestra, the St Matthew Passion is one of Bach's most extended works. According to his obituary, Bach would have composed five year-cycles of sacred cantatas , and additional church cantatas for weddings and funerals, for example.
Bach's cantatas vary greatly in form and instrumentation, including those for solo singers, single choruses, small instrumental groups, and grand orchestras.
Many consist of a large opening chorus followed by one or more recitative-aria pairs for soloists or duets and a concluding chorale.
The melody of the concluding chorale often appears as a cantus firmus in the opening movement. Bach's earliest cantatas date from his years in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen.
After taking up his office as Thomaskantor in late May , Bach performed a cantata each Sunday and feast day, corresponding to the lectionary readings of the week.
The cantata cycle of his second year in Leipzig is called the chorale cantata cycle as it consists mainly of works in the chorale cantata format.
His third cantata cycle was developed over a period of several years, followed by the Picander cycle of — Apart from his own work, Bach also performed cantatas by Telemann and by his distant relative Johann Ludwig Bach.
Bach also wrote secular cantatas, for instance for members of the royal Polish and prince-electoral Saxonian families e. Trauer-Ode ,  or other public or private occasions e.
Hunting Cantata. Peasant Cantata  or Italian e. Amore traditore. BWV Anh. Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan ,  and others were almost miniature buffo operas e.
Coffee Cantata. Bach's motets BWV — are pieces on sacred themes for choir and continuo, with instruments playing colla parte.
Several of them were composed for funerals. The first version of Bach's Magnificat dates from , but the work is best known in its D major version of Near the end of his life, around —, he expanded this composition into the large-scale Mass in B minor.
The work was never performed in full during Bach's lifetime. Bach wrote for organ and for stringed keyboard instruments such as harpsichord , clavichord and lute-harpsichord.
Bach was best known during his lifetime as an organist, organ consultant, and composer of organ works in both the traditional German free genres such as preludes , fantasias , and toccatas and stricter forms such as chorale preludes and fugues.
A decidedly North German influence was exerted by Georg Böhm , with whom Bach came into contact in Lüneburg, and Dieterich Buxtehude , whom the young organist visited in Lübeck in on an extended leave of absence from his job in Arnstadt.
Around this time, Bach copied the works of numerous French and Italian composers to gain insights into their compositional languages, and later arranged violin concertos by Vivaldi and others for organ and harpsichord.
During his most productive period — he composed about a dozen pairs of preludes and fugues, five toccatas and fugues, and the Little Organ Book , an unfinished collection of 46 short chorale preludes that demonstrate compositional techniques in the setting of chorale tunes.
Bach was extensively engaged later in his life in consulting on organ projects, testing new organs and dedicating organs in afternoon recitals.
Bach wrote many works for harpsichord, some of which may also have been played on the clavichord or lute-harpsichord.
Bach wrote for single instruments, duets, and small ensembles. Many of his solo works, such as the six sonatas and partitas for violin BWV — and the six cello suites BWV — , are widely considered to be among the most profound in the repertoire.
The Musical Offering and The Art of Fugue are late contrapuntal works containing pieces for unspecified instruments or combinations of instruments.
Bach's best-known orchestral works are the Brandenburg Concertos , so named because he submitted them in the hope of gaining employment from Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in ; his application was unsuccessful.
Bach composed and transcribed concertos for one to four harpsichords. Many of the harpsichord concertos were not original works but arrangements of his concertos for other instruments, now lost.
In addition to concertos, Bach wrote four orchestral suites , each suite being a series of stylised dances for orchestra, preceded by a French overture.
In his early youth, Bach copied pieces by other composers to learn from them. Some of these pieces, like " Bist du bei mir " copied not by Bach but by Anna Magdalena , became famous before being dissociated with Bach.
Bach copied and arranged Italian masters such as Vivaldi e. He also often copied and arranged his own music e.
Some of these arrangements, like the late 19th-century " Air on the G String ", helped in popularising Bach's music.
Sometimes "who copied whom" is not clear. For instance, Forkel mentions a Mass for double chorus among the works composed by Bach.
The work was published and performed in the early 19th century, and although a score partially in Bach's handwriting exists, the work was later considered spurious.
But this was far from the end of the attribution issues. For other works, Bach's authorship was put in doubt without a generally accepted answer to the question of whether or not he composed it: the best known organ composition in the BWV catalogue, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV , was indicated as one of these uncertain works in the late 20th century.
Throughout the 18th century, the appreciation of Bach's music was mostly limited to distinguished connoisseurs.
The 19th century started with publication of the first biography of the composer and ended with the completion of the publication of all of Bach's known works by the Bach Gesellschaft.
Soon after that performance, Bach started to become regarded as one of the greatest composers of all times, if not the greatest, a reputation he has retained ever since.
A new extensive Bach biography was published in the second half of the 19th century. In the 20th century, Bach's music was widely performed and recorded, while the Neue Bachgesellschaft , among others, published research on the composer.
Modern adaptations of Bach's music contributed greatly to his popularisation in the second half of the 20th century.
By the end of the 20th century, more classical performers were gradually moving away from the performance style and instrumentation that were established in the romantic era: they started to perform Bach's music on period instruments of the baroque era , studied and practised playing techniques and tempi as established in his time, and reduced the size of instrumental ensembles and choirs to what he would have employed.
The BACH motif , used by the composer in his own compositions, was used in dozens of tributes to the composer from the 19th century to the 21st.
In the 21st century, the complete extant output of the composer became available on-line, with several websites exclusively dedicated to him.
In his own time, Bach's reputation equalled that of Telemann, Graun and Handel. Such highly placed appreciation contrasted with the humiliations he had to cope with, for instance in his hometown of Leipzig.
After his death, Bach's reputation as a composer at first declined: his work was regarded as old-fashioned compared to the emerging galant style.
The bulk of the music that had been printed during the composer's lifetime , at least the part that was remembered, was for the organ and the harpsichord.
Thus, his reputation as a composer was initially mostly limited to his keyboard music, and that even fairly limited to its value in music education.
Bach's surviving family members, who inherited a large part of his manuscripts, were not all equally concerned with preserving them, leading to considerable losses.
The early devotees were not all musicians; for example, in Berlin, Daniel Itzig , a high official of Frederick the Great's court, venerated Bach.
While in Leipzig, performances of Bach's church music were limited to some of his motets, and under cantor Doles some of his Passions.
One such connoisseur was Gottfried van Swieten , a high-ranking Austrian official who was instrumental in passing Bach's legacy on to the composers of the Viennese school.
Haydn owned manuscript copies of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Mass in B minor and was influenced by Bach's music.
Mozart owned a copy of one of Bach's motets,  transcribed some of his instrumental works K. In , Johann Nikolaus Forkel published Ueber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke , the first biography of the composer, which contributed to his becoming known to a wider public.
Bach, and donated it to the Berlin Sing-Akademie. The first decades of the 19th century saw an increasing number of first publications of Bach's music: Breitkopf started publishing chorale preludes,  Hoffmeister harpsichord music,  and the Well-Tempered Clavier was printed concurrently by Simrock Germany , Nägeli Switzerland and Hoffmeister Germany and Austria in The St John Passion saw its 19th-century premiere in , and the first performance of the Mass in B minor followed in Besides these and other public performances and an increased coverage on the composer and his compositions in printed media, the s and s also saw the first publication of more vocal works by Bach: six cantatas, the St Matthew Passion , and the Mass in B minor.
A series of organ compositions saw their first publication in Bach's music was transcribed and arranged to suit contemporary tastes and performance practice by composers such as Carl Friedrich Zelter , Robert Franz , and Franz Liszt , or combined with new music such as the melody line of Charles Gounod 's Ave Maria.
In the second half of the 19th century, the Society published a comprehensive edition of the composer's works. Also in the second half of the 19th century, Philipp Spitta published Johann Sebastian Bach , the standard work on Bach's life and music.
Throughout the 19th century, books were published on Bach. By the end of the century, local Bach societies were established in several cities, and his music had been performed in all major musical centres.
In Germany all throughout the century, Bach was coupled to nationalist feelings, and the composer was inscribed in a religious revival.
In England, Bach was coupled to an existing revival of religious and baroque music. By the end of the century, Bach was firmly established as one of the greatest composers, recognised for both his instrumental and his vocal music.
During the 20th century, the process of recognising the musical as well as the pedagogic value of some of the works continued, as in the promotion of the cello suites by Pablo Casals , the first major performer to record these suites.
A significant development in the later part of the 20th century was the momentum gained by the historically informed performance practice, with forerunners such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt acquiring prominence by their performances of Bach's music.
His keyboard music was again performed more on the instruments Bach was familiar with, rather than on modern pianos and 19th-century romantic organs.
Ensembles playing and singing Bach's music not only kept to the instruments and the performance style of his day but were also reduced to the size of the groups Bach used for his performances.
Bach's music has influenced other genres. All kinds of publications involved Bach: not only were there the Bach Jahrbuch publications of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, various other studies and biographies by among others Albert Schweitzer , Charles Sanford Terry , John Butt , Christoph Wolff , and the first edition of the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis , but also books such as Gödel, Escher, Bach put the composer's art in a wider perspective.
Bach's music was extensively listened to, performed, broadcast, arranged, adapted, and commented upon in the s. Bach's music features three times—more than that of any other composer—on the Voyager Golden Record , a gramophone record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.
Bach festivals were held on several continents, and competitions and prizes such as the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize were named after the composer.
While by the end of the 19th century Bach had been inscribed in nationalism and religious revival, the late 20th century saw Bach as the subject of a secularised art-as-religion Kunstreligion.
In the 21st century, Bach's compositions have become available online, for instance at the International Music Score Library Project.
Bach was originally buried at Old St. John's Cemetery in Leipzig. His grave went unmarked for nearly years, but in his remains were located and moved to a vault in St.
John's Church. Thomas Church. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For Bach's grandson, see Johann Sebastian Bach painter.
For his musical family, see Bach family. For other uses, see Bach disambiguation. See also: Bach family. Further information: Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!
Bach re-interpreting older genres tied to the modal system. Sonata No. Continuo instruments moving to the front here performed on cello and piano.
Keyboard Concerto No. Chaconne, 5th movement of Partita for Violin No. Brahms' piano version performed by Martha Goldstein. Largo ma non tanto.
A strictly contrapuntal composition the two violins playing in canon throughout in the guise of an Italian type of concerto.
BWV extract. Play media. See also: List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach. See also: List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Chorus "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme".
Recitative "Er kommt, er kommt, der Bräut'gam kommt". Duet "Wenn kömmst du, mein Heil? Chorale "Zion hört die Wächter singen".
Recitative "So geh herein zu mir". Duet "Mein Freund ist mein! Chorale "Gloria sei dir gesungen". Cantata text. Jan Josef Liefers Cast.
Martina Gedeck Cast. Nora Tschirner Cast. Michael Klammer Cast. Cristina do Rego Cast. David Bredin Cast.
Ronald Kukulies Cast. Ulrike Mahr Cast. Justus Johanssen Cast. Ferdinand Schmidt-Modrow Cast.
Julia Leinweber Cast. Helga Tietze Cast. Sienna Fischer Cast. Timo Jacobs Cast. Inka Löwendorf Cast. Ludger Burmann Cast.
Merlin Leonhardt Cast. Michael von Hohenberg Cast. Paul Wollin Cast. Michael Specht Cast. Ngo The Chau Cinematography.