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Johann Sebastian Bach (Germany, 1685-1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 in Eisenach into a musical family.

Bach received his earliest instruction from his father. After his father's death in 1695, Bach moved to Ohrdruf, where he lived and studied organ with his older brother Johann Christoph.

Bach's style was influenced by his study of numerous Italian compositions, especially the concertos composed by Vivaldi.
Bach was the Music Director for the Prince Leopold of Cüthen during the years 1717 to 1723.

Since the court chapel was Calvinist, there was no need for church compositions. Bach probably used the Cüthen organs only for teaching and practice.

His new works at Cüthen were primarily for instrumental solo or ensemble, to be used as court entertainment or for instruction.

Among the important compositions at Cüthen were the Brandenburg Concertos, the first volume of Das wohltemperirte Clavier (The Well-Tempered Clavier), the "French" and "English" Suites for harpsichord.

During this period Bach composed most of the sonatas and suites for other instruments, like the Sonata Number 1 for violin solo.

Bach apparently gave virtuoso organ recitals in Leipzig and on various tours.

During Bach's last decade (the 1740s), he completed or revised several large-scale projects, which he had started earlier: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Vol. II and the B minor Mass, among others.

The new works showed an increased interest in fugal and canonic writing such as the Musikalische Opfer (Musical Offering) and Die Kunst der Fuge (The Art of Fugue).

Bach died in Leipzig in 1750.

Classical Guitar Music