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Johann Sebastian Bach

Biography

Born: 1685   Died: 1750   Country: Germany   Period: Baroque
Johann Sebastian Bach was better known as a virtuoso organist than as a composer in his day. His sacred music, organ and choral works, and other instrumental music had an enthusiasm and seeming freedom that concealed immense rigor. Bach's use of counterpoint was brilliant and innovative, and the immense complexities of his compositional style -- which often included religious and numerological symbols that seem to fit perfectly together in a Read more profound puzzle of special codes -- still amaze musicians today. Many consider him the greatest composer of all time.

Bach was born in Eisenach in 1685. He was taught to play the violin and harpsichord by his father, Johann Ambrosius, a court trumpeter in the service of the Duke of Eisenach. Young Johann was not yet ten when his father died, leaving him orphaned. He was taken in by his recently married oldest brother, Johann Christoph, who lived in Ohrdruf. Because of his excellent singing voice, Bach attained a position at the Michaelis monastery at Lüneberg in 1700. His voice changed a short while later, but he stayed on as an instrumentalist. After taking a short-lived post in Weimar in 1703 as a violinist, Bach became organist at the Neue Kirche in Arnstadt (1703-1707). His relationship with the church council was tenuous as the young musician often shirked his responsibilities, preferring to practice the organ. One account describes a four-month leave granted Bach, to travel to Lubeck where he would familiarize himself with the music of Dietrich Buxtehude. He returned to Arnstadt long after was expected and much to the dismay of the council. He then briefly served at St. Blasius in Mühlhausen as organist, beginning in June 1707, and married his cousin, Maria Barbara Bach, that fall. Bach composed his famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) and his first cantatas while in Mühlhausen, but quickly outgrew the musical resources of the town. He next took a post for the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar in 1708, serving as court organist and playing in the orchestra, eventually becoming its leader in 1714. He wrote many organ compositions during this period, including his Orgel-Büchlein. Owing to politics between the Duke and his officials, Bach left Weimar and secured a post in December 1717 as Kapellmeister at Cöthen. In 1720, Bach's wife suddenly died, leaving him with four children (three others had died in infancy). A short while later, he met his second wife, soprano Anna Magdalena Wilcke, whom he married in December 1721. She would bear 13 children, though only five would survive childhood. The six Brandenburg Concertos (BWV 1046-51), among many other secular works, date from his Cöthen years. Bach became Kantor of the Thomas School in Leipzig in May 1723 and held the post until his death. It was in Leipzig that he composed the bulk of his religious and secular cantatas. Bach eventually became dissatisfied with this post, not only because of its meager financial rewards, but also because of onerous duties and inadequate facilities. Thus, he took on other projects, chief among which was the directorship of the city's Collegium Musicum, an ensemble of professional and amateur musicians who gave weekly concerts, in 1729. He also became music director at the Dresden Court in 1736, in the service of Frederick Augustus II; though his duties were vague and apparently few, they allowed him freedom to compose what he wanted. Bach began making trips to Berlin in the 1740s, not least because his son Carl Philipp Emanuel served as a court musician there. In May 1747, the composer was warmly received by King Frederick II of Prussia, for whom he wrote the gloriously abstruse Musical Offering (BWV 1079). Among Bach's last works was his 1749 Mass in B minor. Besieged by diabetes, he died on July 28, 1750. Read less
Bach: The Six French Suites / Sergey Schepkin
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Steinway & Sons  
Catalog: 30046   Number of Discs: 2
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Bach: St. Matthew Passion / Kozena, Padmore, Rattle
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Berlin Philharmonic  
Catalog: 140021   Number of Discs: 3
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Bach: Mass in B Minor / Cohen, Arcangelo
Release Date: 11/11/2014   Label: Hyperion  
Catalog: 68051   Number of Discs: 2
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Bach: The Six Motets / Harry Christophers, The Sixteen
Release Date: 10/14/2014   Label: Helios  
Catalog: 55417   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach / Joshua Bell
Release Date: 09/30/2014   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 308779   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Sheep may safely graze (Schafe können sicher weiden)

Browse 151-175 of 177 Available Recordings
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  • 151.
    Oxford Book Of Wedding Music / Jeremy D. Filsell
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 7107 Release Date: 05/23/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Sir William Walton,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Andrew Carter  ... 
    Performer:  Jeremy Filsell
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  • 152.
    The World's Most Beautiful Melodies Vol 5 / Phillip Mccann
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 4532 Release Date: 09/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vittorio Monti,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gabriel Fauré  ... 
    Performer:  Phillip McCann,  Simon Lindley
    Conductor:  Major Peter Parkes
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sellers Engineering Band,  Huddersfield Choral Society
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  • 153.
    Noel / Canadian Brass, Galway, Stoltzman, Hadley, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 62683 Release Date: 08/16/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Lennon,  Christopher Dedrick,  Carlos Salzedo,  Adolphe Adam  ... 
    Performer:  Eugene Watts,  Charles Daellenbach,  David Ohanian,  Frederic Mills  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass
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  • 154.
    Bach - Greatest Hits
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 64051 Release Date: 08/09/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Gottfried H. Stölzel
    Performer:  Igor Kipnis,  Nicholas Danby,  Alexander Schreiner,  Frank Asper  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Eugene Ormandy,  Richard P. Condie,  Raymond Leppard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London String Players,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir  ... 
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  • 155.
    Wedding Music / Bertalan Hock
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8550790 Release Date: 02/15/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Tomaso Albinoni  ... 
    Performer:  Bertalan Hock,  György Geiger
    Conductor:  István Bogár
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Budapest Strauss Ensemble
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  • 156.
    Basic 100 Vol 34 - Baroque Brass / Canadian Brass, Et Al
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 61852 Release Date: 01/18/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henry Purcell,  Giovanni Gabrieli,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Graham Ashton,  Paul Archibald
    Conductor:  Donald Fraser
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Canadian Brass,  English Chamber Orchestra Brass Ensemble
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  • 157.
    Stokowski's Symphonic Bach / Bamert, Bbc Philharmonic
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 9259 Release Date: 01/04/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  Matthias Bamert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  BBC Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 158.
    Emma Kirkby Collection / Darlow, Goodman, Page, Rooley
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 66227 Release Date: 11/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sigismondo D'India,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Thomas Campion,  Claudio Monteverdi  ... 
    Performer:  Emma Kirkby,  Anthony Rooley,  David Reichenberg
    Conductor:  Roy Goodman,  Andrew Parrott,  Anthony Rooley,  Christopher Page  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Parley of Instruments,  Taverner Players,  Consort of Musicke  ... 
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  • 159.
    Parents - The Lullaby Album
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64897 Release Date: 10/12/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Erik Satie,  Frédéric Chopin,  Robert Schumann,  Christoph W. Gluck  ... 
    Performer:  Tzimon Barto,  Alexis Weissenberg,  Christopher Parkening,  Nancy Allen  ... 
    Conductor:  Michel Plasson,  Sir Charles Groves,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Roger Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Toulouse Capitole Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 160.
    Bride's Guide To Wedding Music
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 64899 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles-Marie Widor,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Performer:  Jane Parker-Smith,  Christopher Parkening,  John Shirley-Quirk,  Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir David Willcocks,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Louis Auriacombe
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Taverner Players,  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
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  • 161.
    Christopher Parkening - The Great Recordings
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 54905 Release Date: 09/14/1993   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Joseph Brackett,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Parkening,  David Brandon
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
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  • 162.
    Ceremonial Music For Trumpet And Organ / Smedvig, Murray
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80341 Release Date: 04/27/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giovanni Battist Martini,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Alan Hovhaness,  Jacques de Saint-Luc  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Murray,  Rolf Smedvig,  Jeffrey Curnow,  Martin Hackleman  ... 
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  • 163.
    James Galway's Christmas Carol / Royal Philharmonic
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 61233 Release Date: 10/16/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional,  John Ireland,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Performer:  John Birch,  James Galway
    Conductor:  James Galway,  Barry Griffiths
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Canterbury Children's Choir,  BBC Singers
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  • 164.
    Bach Collection
    Label: American Gramaphone   Catalog: 592 Release Date: 09/01/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  John Rutter
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  City of London Sinfonia
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  • 165.
    Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring / Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 48296 Release Date: 07/14/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel
    Conductor:  Eugene Ormandy,  Jerold Ottley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
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  • 166.
    Bach - Greatest Hits
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 60828 Release Date: 09/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Virgil Fox,  James Galway,  Josef Suk,  Aurčle Nicolet  ... 
    Conductor:  Leopold Stokowski,  Arthur Fiedler,  James Galway,  Rudolf Baumgartner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Boston Pops,  Zagreb Soloists  ... 
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  • 167.
    The Wedding Album / Anthony Newman
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 47273 Release Date: 05/24/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  André Campra,  Franz Schubert,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Anthony Newman
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  • 168.
    A Bach Celebration / Christopher Parkening
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47195 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Christopher Parkening,  Douglas Davis,  Allan Vogel,  David Shostac  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $15.99
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  • 169.
    Bach: Great Organ Works / Virgil Fox
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 7736 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Virgil Fox
    CD: $6.99
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  • 170.
    Greatest Hits Of 1721 / Richard Kapp, Philharmonia Virtuosi
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 35821 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Paul A. Martini,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Antonio Vivaldi  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi
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  • 171.
    Pachelbel: Canon;  Albinoni, Et Al /Münchinger, Stuttgart Co
    Label: London/Decca Jubilee   Catalog: 417781 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Luigi Boccherini,  Roman Hoffstetter  ... 
    Performer:  Ulrich Bremsteller
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
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  • 172.
    Parkening Plays Bach / Christopher Parkening
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47191 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Alessandro Scarlatti,  François Couperin,  Silvius Leopold Weiss  ... 
    Performer:  Christopher Parkening
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  • 173.
    White Christmas / Arthur Fiedler, Boston Pops
    Label: Dg Galleria   Catalog: 419414 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Leroy Anderson,  Irving Berlin  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Fiedler,  Hanns-Martin Schneidt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Pops,  Regensburger Domspatzen,  Collegium St. Emmeram
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  • 174.
    Dinner Classics - The Sunday Brunch Album
    Label: Cbs Masterworks   Catalog: 45547 Release Date: 05/17/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Vincenzo Tommasini,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Leonid Bolotine,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Lee Soper,  Edward Carroll  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Kapp,  Pinchas Zukerman,  Raymond Leppard,  Louis Lane  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Philharmonia Virtuosi,  English Chamber Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
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  • 175.
    Sweet Dreams - Brahms, Chopin, Debussy, Ravel, Grieg, Et Al
    Label: Cbs Masterworks Digital Masters   Catalog: 44998 Release Date: 09/12/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Engelbert Humperdinck,  Claude Debussy,  Robert Schumann,  Maurice Ravel  ... 
    Performer:  Frederica Von Stade
    Conductor:  Thomas Schippers,  Eugene Ormandy,  Percy Faith,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Philadelphia Orchestra,  Percy Faith & His Orchestra  ... 
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