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
Barbara Hendricks sings Bach, Barber & Copland
Release Date: 09/14/2010   Label: Emi Classics  
Catalog: 29355   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $12.99
CD: $4.99
In Stock
On sale!   $12.99   CD:  $4.99 Add CD to Cart

Bach: The Works For Organ Vol 9 / Kevin Bowyer
Release Date: 05/19/1998   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5561   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $29.99
CD: $24.99
In Stock
On sale!   $29.99   CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

The Bach Project: Cello Suites / Yo-Yo Ma
Release Date: 05/22/2020   Label: C Major  
Catalog: 754408   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $42.98
DVD: $29.99
In Stock
On sale!   $42.98   DVD:  $29.99 Add DVD to Cart

Bach: The Works For Organ Vol 11 / Kevin Bowyer
Release Date: 08/17/1999   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5606   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $29.99
CD: $24.99
In Stock
On sale!   $29.99   CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

Bach: The Works For Organ Vol 13 / Kevin Bowyer
Release Date: 04/03/2001   Label: Nimbus  
Catalog: 5669   Number of Discs: 2
On sale! $29.99
CD: $24.99
In Stock
On sale!   $29.99   CD:  $24.99 Add CD to Cart

Work: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988

Browse 1-25 of 196 Available Recordings
1 2 ... 7 8
  • 1.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Swiatkiewicz
    Label: Rubicon   Catalog: 1064 Release Date: 11/06/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Marcin Swiatkiewicz
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $19.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 2.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Kolesnikov
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 68338 Release Date: 10/30/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Pavel Kolesnikov
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $19.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 3.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations - arr. Koffler / Pinnock, RAM Soloists Ensemble
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 609 Release Date: 10/09/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Conductor:  Trevor Pinnock
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble
    CD: $18.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 4.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations (Arranged for Harp) / Ramsay
    Label: King's College Choir   Catalog: 49 Release Date: 09/18/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Parker Ramsay
    On sale! $19.98
    CD: $16.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $19.98   CD:  $16.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 5.
    Bach: Transcriptions
    Label: Brilliant Classics   Catalog: 95943 Release Date: 09/18/2020   Number of Discs: 20
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ferruccio Busoni,  Leopold Stokowski,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Francesco Teopini,  Henk van Twillert,  Andrius Puskunigis,  Simona Venslovaite  ... 
    Conductor:  Donatas Katkus,  Salvatore Carchiolo,  José Serebrier
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Seldom Sene,  St. Christopher Chamber Orchestra Lithuania,  Amati String Trio  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $56.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $63.98   CD:  $56.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 6.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Lang Lang
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 003244202 Release Date: 09/04/2020   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    CD: $22.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $22.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 7.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Lang Lang [Deluxe Edition]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 003244402 Release Date: 09/04/2020   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    CD: $32.99
    Back Order
    CD:  $32.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 8.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Lang Lang [Vinyl]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: B003244501 Release Date: 09/04/2020   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lang Lang
    LP: $46.49
    Back Order
    LP:  $46.49 Add to Cart

  • 9.
    Glenn Gould: The Bach Box
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19439753902 Release Date: 08/07/2020   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Ludwig van Beethoven
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Jaime Laredo,  Leonard Rose
    Conductor:  Leonard Bernstein,  Vladimir Golschmann
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra
    Recommendation
    On sale!
    CD: $85.99
    In Stock
    On sale!   $89.98   CD:  $85.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 10.
    Bach: Keyboard Works / Ross
    Label: Erato   Catalog: 545842 Release Date: 07/31/2020   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Scott Ross,  Huguette Grémy-Chauliac
    On sale! $29.98
    CD: $26.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $29.98   CD:  $26.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 11.
    Peter Serkin: Complete RCA Album Collection
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19439713872 Release Date: 06/19/2020   Number of Discs: 35
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Franz Schubert,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ferruccio Busoni  ... 
    Performer:  Peter Serkin,  Ruth Laredo,  Rudolf Serkin,  Mieczyslaw Horszowski  ... 
    Conductor:  Alexander Schneider,  Seiji Ozawa,  Tadaaki Otaka,  Claudio Abbado  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Columbia Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  English Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale!
    CD: $104.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $108.98   CD:  $104.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 12.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Oh-Havenith
    Label: Musicaphon   Catalog: 56981 Release Date: 06/05/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Jimin Oh-Havenith
    CD: $14.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $14.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 13.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Madge
    Label: Zefir   Catalog: 9670 Release Date: 05/15/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Geoffrey Douglas Madge
    CD: $18.99
    Low Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 14.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 / Moersch
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3721 Release Date: 03/06/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Charlotte Mattax Moersch
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 15.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Sungyun Cho
    Label: Passacaille   Catalog: 1027 Release Date: 01/03/2020   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Sungyun Cho
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 16.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations & Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring / Boyadjieva
    Label: Centaur Records   Catalog: 3712 Release Date: 09/06/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Lilia Boyadjieva
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 17.
    The Genesis of the Goldberg Variations / Parfenov
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551399 Release Date: 07/19/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  André Parfenov
    Performer:  André Parfenov
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 18.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Simonian
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553145 Release Date: 07/05/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Stepan Simonian
    CD: $17.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $17.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 19.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Trio Zimmermann
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 2347 Release Date: 06/07/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Zimmermann
    Recommendation
    SuperAudio CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    SuperAudio CD:  $19.99 Add to Cart

  • 20.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations / Arundo Quartet
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 4261 Release Date: 05/10/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arundo Quartet
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 21.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations - Kraggerud: Topelius Variations / Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    Label: Simax   Catalog: 1353 Release Date: 03/01/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Henning Kraggerud
    Performer:  Henning Kraggerud
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Arctic Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $18.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 22.
    Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 / Hur
    Label: Dux Records   Catalog: 1445 Release Date: 01/18/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Won-Sook Hur
    CD: $19.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $19.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 23.
    Bach: Goldberg Variationen / Bucher
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8551405 Release Date: 01/11/2019   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach
    Performer:  Anne-Catherine Bucher
    CD: $11.99
    In Stock
    CD:  $11.99 Add CD to Cart

  • 24.
    Cafe Zimmermann
    Label: Alpha Classics   Catalog: 434 Release Date: 11/16/2018   Number of Discs: 16
    Composer:  Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach,  Charles Avison,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Petr Skalka,  Rupert Charlesworth,  Céline Frisch,  Sabine Bouthinon  ... 
    Conductor:  Pablo Valetti,  Gustav Leonhardt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Café Zimmermann
    Recommendation
    CD: $44.49
    Back Order
    CD:  $44.49 Add CD to Cart

  • 25.
    Bach: Masterworks / Various
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 19075870972 Release Date: 10/26/2018   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Johann Philipp Krieger,  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  Glenn Gould,  Gustav Leonhardt,  Jan Vogler,  Frank Peter Zimmermann  ... 
    Conductor:  Wolfgang Katschner,  Frieder Bernius,  James Galway,  Nikolaus Harnoncourt  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Lautten Compagney,  Amarcord,  Ensemble Parlando  ... 
    On sale!
    CD: $56.99
    Back Order
    On sale!   $59.98   CD:  $56.99 Add CD to Cart

1 2 ... 7 8