Bach’s Influences and Methods

Bach’s Musical Synthesis    There is not much doubt that Bach was a master of Baroque music. Like most young German musicians Bach learned the style of his region and to a greater extent the German Baroque style. This was a conservative form that was strict and serious, much like the German language. German is a…

Saint Mathews Passion

St. Mathews Passion:   “Where there is devotional music, God is always at hand with his gracious presence.” “Jesu juva [Jesus, help me] “In nomine Jesu [In Jesus’ name] “Soli Deo Gloria [To God alone the glory]” – Johann Sebastian Bach – Leipzig, 1750               The St. Matthew Passion,…

The Mass in B – minor

The Mass in B-minor: “Music’s ultimate end or final goal…should be for the honor of God and the recreation of the soul.” – Johann Sebastian Bach – Leipzig, 1738 “The universal spirit of Bach which manifests itself in the B-Minor Mass produces… the paradox that one of the most Christian works in all of sacred…

Bach and the Baroque

The Baroque     The Baroque period of music lasted from 1600-1750. It was a period of absolutism embodied by royalty such as King Louis the 14th (1643-1715), the Sun King, who was the model of the celebration of the state. Many rulers of the day modeled themselves after the French monarch, but very few could…

Bach and Religion

Bach and Religion    In 1517 one of the most significant events in Europe and in the religious world took place. This was the Reformation, led by the devout Catholic Martin Luther who sought not to start a new Christianity, but sought reform. The Reformation occurred at a time of division in Germany, where the…

Bach’s World

A description of Europe and Germany during his life. 1685 -1750     The first half of the 17th century in Germany was a time of great turmoil, in 1618 the Thirty Years war began and until 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia, there was unrest. It was a mainly religious war fought in Central Europe…

A Musical Master’s Bach-Story

  Master of the Baroque     The name Bach is synonymous with music and particularly the High Baroque era. The Baroque period from 1600-1750 was an era of extravagance, royal absolutism, and one of enlightenment in science, art, and society.  Baroque music reflected its time, with  emotional abundance and exuberant sounds coupled with complex…

The Brandenburg Concertos

Excerpt from Bach’s letter of dedication to  Christian Ludwig, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt (translated from French): “As I had the good fortune a few years ago to be heard by Your Royal Highness, at Your Highness’s commands, and as I noticed then that Your Highness took some pleasure in the little talents which Heaven has given me…