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Johann Sebastian Bach, his Life, Art, and Work   By: (1749-1818)

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[Johann Sebastian Bach]

Johann Sebastian Bach. About 1720. (From the picture by Johann Jakob Ihle, in the Bach Museum, Eisenach).

Johann Sebastian Bach

His Life, Art and Work. Translated from the German of Johann Nikolaus Forkel. With notes and appendices by Charles Sanford Terry, Litt.D. Cantab.

Johann Nikolaus Forkel and Charles Sanford Terry

Harcourt, Brace and Howe, New York 1920

CONTENTS

Introduction FORKEL'S PREFACE CHAPTER I. THE FAMILY OF BACH Chapter II. THE CAREER OF BACH CHAPTER IIA. BACH AT LEIPZIG, 1723 1750 CHAPTER III. BACH AS A CLAVIER PLAYER CHAPTER IV. BACH THE ORGANIST CHAPTER V. BACH THE COMPOSER CHAPTER VI. BACH THE COMPOSER (continued) CHAPTER VII. BACH AS A TEACHER CHAPTER VIII. PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS CHAPTER IX. BACH'S COMPOSITIONS CHAPTER X. BACH'S MANUSCRIPTS CHAPTER XI. THE GENIUS OF BACH APPENDIX I. CHRONOLOGICAL CATALOGUE OF BACH'S COMPOSITIONS APPENDIX II. THE CHURCH CANTATAS ARRANGED CHRONOLOGICALLY APPENDIX III. THE BACHGESELLSCHAFT EDITIONS OF BACH'S WORKS APPENDIX IV. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF BACH LITERATURE APPENDIX V. A COLLATION OF THE NOVELLO AND PETERS EDITIONS OF THE ORGAN WORKS APPENDIX VI. GENEALOGY OF THE FAMILY OF BACH Footnotes

ILLUSTRATIONS

Johann Sebastian Bach. About 1720. (From the picture by Johann Jakob Ihle, in the Bach Museum, Eisenach). Bach's Home at Eisenach The Church and School of St. Thomas, Leipzig, in 1723. Johann Sebastian Bach, circa 1746. From the picture by Haussmann. Divided Harmony, Bach treatment Divided Harmony, conventional treatment The Bach Statue at Eisenach Johann Sebastian Bach. From the picture discovered by Professor Fritz Volbach The Bach Statue at Leipzig Genealogy Table, p. 303 Genealogy Table, p. 304 Genealogy Table, p. 305 Genealogy Table, p. 306 Genealogy Table, p. 307 Genealogy Table, p. 308 Genealogy Table, p. 309 Genealogy Table, p. 310

INTRODUCTION

Johann Nikolaus Forkel, author of the monograph of which the following pages afford a translation, was born at Meeder, a small village in Saxe Coburg, on February 22, 1749, seventeen months before the death of Johann Sebastian Bach, whose first biographer he became. Presumably he would have followed the craft of his father, the village shoemaker, had not an insatiable love of music seized him in early years. He obtained books, and studied them with the village schoolmaster. In particular he profited by the "Vollkommener Kapellmeister" of Johann Mattheson, of Hamburg, the sometime friend of Handel. Like Handel, he found a derelict Clavier in the attic of his home and acquired proficiency upon it. Forkel's professional career, like Bach's half a century earlier, began at Lüneburg, where, at the age of thirteen (1762), he was admitted to the choir of the parish church. Thence, at the age of seventeen (1766), he proceeded to Schwerin as "Chorpräfect," and enjoyed the favour of the Grand Duke. Three years later he betook himself (1769), at the age of twenty, to the University of Göttingen, which he entered as a law student, though a slender purse compelled him to give music lessons for a livelihood. He used his opportunity to acquire a knowledge of modern languages, which stood him in good stead later, when his researches required him to explore foreign literatures. Concurrently he pursued his musical activities, and in 1774 published at Göttingen his first work, Ueber die Theorie der Musik, advocating the foundation of a music lectureship in the University. Four years later (1778) he was appointed its Director of Music, and from 1779 to 1815 conducted the weekly concerts of the Sing Akademie. In 1780 he received from the University the doctorate of philosophy. The rest of his life was spent at Göttingen, where he died on March 17, 1818, having just completed his sixty ninth year.

That Forkel is remembered at all is due solely to his monograph on Bach. Written at a time when Bach's greatness was realised in hardly any quarter, the book claimed for him pre eminence which a tardily enlightened world since has conceded him... Continue reading book >>




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