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Johann Sebastian Bach

Monday, June 27, 2016


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

Today

Why is Japan secretly selling a Bach manuscript?

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discWe can identify the anonymous seller of the autograph of J S Bach’s Prelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat for Lute or Harpsichord, BWV 998, up for sale at Christie’s on July 13. The sale is said to ‘benefit a renowned musical institution’. That institution is Tokyo’s Ueno Gakuen conservatory, which appears to have fallen on hard times. The manuscript was the property of its founding family. An attempt by teachers at Ueno Gakuen to debate the sale had to be moved off campus after an edict by the president. No word about the sale has appeared in Japanese media. It is extremely unusual for music treasures ever to be sold by a Japanese institution. There must be pressing reasons for doing so.

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

Today

Bach house puts on anti-semitism show

The Bach birthplace at Eisenach has opened an exhibition on the aggressive anti-semitism of Martin Luther, leader of the Reformation, whose Gospel texts J S Bach set so beautifully to music. Outraged that the Jews refused to follow him into a reformed Christianity, Luther in his speeches and writings reinforced Catholic stereotypes of Jews as parasites and deicides. These became, in time, bedrock Nazi propaganda. «Luther, Bach – und die Juden»: 24.06. – 06.11.2016. Bachhaus Eisenach, Frauenplan 21, 99817 Eisenach






Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685 – 1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach (21 March 1685, - 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra, and solo instruments drew together the strands of the Baroque period and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although J.S. Bach did not introduce new forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque style, and as one of the greatest composers of all time. Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, Bach's works include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Partitas, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Mass in B minor, the St Matthew Passion, the St John Passion, the Magnificat, A Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, the English and French Suites, the Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin, the Cello Suites, more than 200 surviving cantatas, and a similar number of organ works, including the famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, as well as the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes and Organ Mass.



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