JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685- 1750)
• His music represents the ultimate in baroque craftsmanship and the culmination of 1oo years of polyphonic writing
• Did not invent new forms but perfected existing forms of this day like fugues, concertos and cantatas
• amazing control of polyphonic texture
• Wrote fugues throughout his career demonstrating a wide variety of techniques and approaches (The Well Tempered Clavier, Art of the Fugue)
• Also used contrapuntal texture within other genres (choral fugue in Cantata no 80 , fugal passages in Brandenburg Concertos)
• Organized large-scale works systematically (The Well Tempered Clavier is ordered chromatically by key: C major, C minor, C sharp major, C sharp minor , D major, D minor)
• Composed many “sets” of works ( 15 two-part Inventions, 15 Three- Part Inventions , 6 English Suites, 6 French suites , 6 partitas)
• Composed many sacred works for the Lutheran Church (chorales, cantatas) ; composed a mass in B minor , even though he was not catholic
• Italian influences – lyricism or operatic arias,, dynamic instrumental style
• French influences- dance rhythms, French overtures , ornamentation
• English influences- choral style , English dances
• A virtuoso organist who wrote many very difficult works for keyboard (toccatas, fugues, concertos, Goldenberg variations)
• Composed keyboard music for all levels from elementary level pieces for students (Notebook for Anna Magdalena, his 2nd wife) to concert pieces.
GENRES AND TITLES:
• Sacred and secular cantatas Coffee Cantata and Peasant Cantata; oratorios Christmas Oratorio, St.Mathew Passion and St. John Passion; motets Magnificat, Mass in B minor.
• Orchestral suites, concerti grossi- eg. Brandebourg Concerti ; solo concertos
• Chamber music , sonatas and partitas for violin, cello suites, flute sonatas solo viola da gamba sonatas – The Musical Offering
• Keyboard music, preludes and fugues, suites, partitas, variations, inventions, sinfonias- Italian Concerto, Goldberg Variations.
• Organ music, choral preludes, toccatas, Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, fantasias, preludes, fugues, and passacaglias.