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 & Beyond / Suzuki, Bach Collegium Japan
Release Date: 08/01/2010   Label: Bis  
Catalog: 903639   Number of Discs: 14
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All You Need Is Bach / Carpenter
Release Date: 06/03/2016   Label: Sony  
Catalog: 517826   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach: Goldberg Variations / Aulos Quartet
Release Date: 06/03/2016   Label: Md&g (Dabringhaus & Grimm)  
Catalog: 9031950   Number of Discs: 1
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Bach: Goldberg Variations / Gunter
Release Date: 06/10/2016   Label: Genuin Musikproduction  
Catalog: 16435   Number of Discs: 1
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The Bach Gamut Vol 1 / Virgil Fox
Release Date: 07/11/2006   Label: Reference Recordings  
Catalog: 107   Number of Discs: 1
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Work: Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043

Browse 76-100 of 128 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Ultimate Bach - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000765902 Release Date: 11/14/2006   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Arthur Grumiaux,  Herman Krebbers,  Heinz Holliger,  András Schiff  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  Arpád Gerecz,  Edo De Waart
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $21.99
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  • 77.
    Baby Got Bach / Lumiere String Quartet
    Label: Lumiere Records   Catalog: 5637381127 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Charles Gounod,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Sato Moughalian
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lumiere String Quartet
    CD: $17.99
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  • 78.
    Bach: Violin Concertos / Karl Suske, Giorgio Krohner
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1371 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Karl Suske,  Giorgio Kröhner
    Conductor:  Kurt Masur
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra
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  • 79.
    Label: Archipel   Catalog: 294 Release Date: 07/25/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Adolf Busch,  Frances Magnes,  Rudolf Serkin
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Adolf Busch Chamber Players
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  • 80.
    Bach: Violin Concertos, Partita No 2 / Heifetz, Et Al
    Label: Idi   Catalog: 6435 Release Date: 11/04/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jascha Heifetz
    Conductor:  Franz Waxman,  Alfred Wallenstein
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  RCA Victor Chamber Orchestra,  Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $14.99
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  • 81.
    Wolfgang Schneiderhan - 1950s Concerto Recordings
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4775263 Release Date: 02/08/2005   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Frank Martin,  Giuseppe Tartini,  Johannes Brahms  ... 
    Performer:  Wolfgang Schneiderhan,  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Claude Starck
    Conductor:  Ernest Ansermet,  Rudolf Baumgartner,  Paul Van Kempen,  Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Suisse Romande Orchestra,  Lucerne Festival Strings,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 82.
    Expanded Edition - J.s. Bach / Stern, Et Al
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 92732 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman,  John Steele Ritter,  Jean-Pierre Rampal  ... 
    Conductor:  Isaac Stern,  Alexander Schneider,  Zubin Mehta
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra members,  English Chamber Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic
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  • 83.
    Bach: Concerts Avec Plusieurs Instruments Vol 2 / Cafe Zimmermann
    Label: Alpha Productions   Catalog: 48 Release Date: 07/20/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Antoine Torunczyk,  Amandine Beyer,  Pablo Valetti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Café Zimmermann
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  • 84.
    Expanded Edition - Bach: Violin Concertos / Isaac Stern
    Label: Sony Classical Masterworks   Catalog: 93017 Release Date: 02/24/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Harold Gomberg,  Isaac Stern,  Itzhak Perlman
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Zubin Mehta,  Alexander Schneider
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 85.
    Mendelssohn, Panufnik, Takemitsu, Bach / Alexander Sitkovetsky
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 57440 Release Date: 01/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Toru Takemitsu,  Andrzej Panufnik,  Felix Mendelssohn
    Performer:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky,  Alexander Sitkovetsky
    Conductor:  Dmitri Sitkovetsky
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New European Strings
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  • 86.
    Bach: Complete Violin Works / Schmid, Geise, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 318 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Clara Dent,  Benjamin Schmid,  Anthony Spiri,  Helge Rosenkranz
    Conductor:  Jürgen Geise
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cis Collegium Mozarteum Salzburg
    CD: $34.99
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  • 87.
    Bach: Violin Concertos / Benjamin Schmid, Et Al
    Label: Oehms   Catalog: 247 Release Date: 01/01/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Benjamin Schmid
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Salzburg Mozarteum Cis Collegium
    CD: $12.99
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  • 88.
    Hilary Hahn - Bach: Violin Concertos / Kahane, La Co
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000154636 Release Date: 11/11/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Allan Vogel,  Hilary Hahn,  Margaret Batjer
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Kahane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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  • 89.
    Yehudi Menuhin - The Violinist
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 85562 Release Date: 11/04/2003   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Carl Nielsen,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Yehudi Menuhin,  Gioconda de Vito,  Robert Masters,  Derek Simpson  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir William Walton,  Mogens Wöldike,  Yehudi Menuhin,  Anthony Bernard  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Menuhin Festival Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $69.99
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  • 90.
    The Perlman Edition - Bach: Violin Concertos/ Perlman, Et Al
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 62602 Release Date: 10/21/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Itzhak Perlman,  Ray Still,  Pinchas Zukerman
    Conductor:  Itzhak Perlman,  Daniel Barenboim
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra
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  • 91.
    Hilary Hahn - Bach: Violin Concertos / Kahane, La Co
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 000098602 Release Date: 09/09/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Allan Vogel,  Hilary Hahn,  Margaret Batjer
    Conductor:  Jeffrey Kahane
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
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  • 92.
    Bach: Violin Sonatas, Concerto For 2 Violins / Szigeti
    Label: Opus Kura   Catalog: 2030 Release Date: 01/28/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Joseph Szigeti,  Karl Flesch
    Conductor:  Walter Goehr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra
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  • 93.
    Bach: Orchestral Suites, Etc / Kehr, Faerber, Et Al
    Label: Vox Box   Catalog: 3608 Release Date: 12/10/2002   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Günter Höller,  Georg Egger,  Christine Sartoretti,  Christiane Jaccottet  ... 
    Conductor:  Jörg Faerber,  Günter Kehr
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Württemberg Chamber Orchestra,  Mainz Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $23.99
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  • 94.
    Trio - Bach: Brandenburg Concertos, Etc / Marriner, Asmf
    Label: Philips   Catalog: 470934 Release Date: 06/11/2002   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  William Bennett,  John Birch,  Denis Vigay,  Kenneth Sillito  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
    CD: $25.49
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  • 95.
    Bach: Concertos BWV 1041-1043, 1060 / Kremer, Holliger
    Label: Philips Insignia Series   Catalog: 434730 Release Date: 05/08/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Heinz Holliger,  Gidon Kremer
    Conductor:  Gidon Kremer
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
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  • 96.
    Bach: Violin Concertos / Jaakko Kuusisto, Pekka Kuusisto
    Label: Ondine   Catalog: 980 Release Date: 04/23/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jaakko Kuusisto,  Pekka Kuusisto
    Conductor:  Pekka Kuusisto
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapiola Sinfonietta
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  • 97.
    Bach 2000 Vol 133 - Violin Concertos / Harnoncourt, Et Al
    Label: Teldec   Catalog: 81221 Release Date: 09/18/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Alice Harnoncourt,  Jürg Schaeftlein,  Walter Pfeiffer
    Conductor:  Nikolaus Harnoncourt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Concentus Musicus
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  • 98.
    Baroque Favorites / Tafelmusik, Helicon Ensemble
    Label: Reference Recordings   Catalog: 2101 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Henry Purcell  ... 
    Performer:  Albert Fuller,  Linda Quan,  Stanley Ritchie,  Jaap Schröder  ... 
    Conductor:  Albert Fuller,  Jeanne Lamon
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Helicon,  Tafelmusik
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  • 99.
    Portrait Of A Legendary Violinist - Bach, Mozart / Shumsky
    Label: Nimbus   Catalog: 1735 Release Date: 06/05/2001   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Oscar Shumsky,  Robin Miller,  John Tunnell
    Conductor:  Yan Pascal Tortelier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $29.99
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  • 100.
    Bach: Concertos / Trevor Pinnock, The English Concert
    Label: Archiv Produktion (Dg)   Catalog: 463725 Release Date: 03/13/2001   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Trevor Pinnock,  Simon Standage,  Lisa Beznosiuk,  Rachel Beckett  ... 
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Concert
    On sale! $39.98
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