Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

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Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach sketch.png
Sketch of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
Born(1710-11-22)22 November 1710
Died1 July 1784(1784-07-01) (aged 73)

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (22 November 1710 1 July 1784), the second child and eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach, was a German composer and performer. Despite his acknowledged genius as an organist, improviser and composer, his income and employment were unstable and he died in poverty.



Manuscript copy of Der Trost gehoret (BR-WFB F26) Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - Der Trost gehoret - British Library Add MS 50115 f1v.jpg
Manuscript copy of Der Trost gehöret (BR-WFB F26)
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach House (now a museum), where Friedemann lived in Halle Halle-WFBachHs2.JPG
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach House (now a museum), where Friedemann lived in Halle

Wilhelm Friedemann (hereafter Friedemann) was born in Weimar, where his father was employed as organist and chamber musician to the Duke of Saxe-Weimar. In July 1720, when Friedemann was nine, his mother Maria Barbara Bach died suddenly; Johann Sebastian Bach remarried in December 1721. J. S. Bach supervised Friedemann's musical education and career with great attention. The graded course of keyboard studies and composition that J. S. Bach provided is documented in the Clavier-Büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (modern spelling: Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach ), with entries by both father and son. This education also included (parts of) the French Suites, (Two-Part) Inventions, (Three-Part) Sinfonias (popularly known as "Inventions"), the first volume of The Well-Tempered Clavier , and the six Trio Sonatas for organ. At the age of 16 he went to Merseburg to learn the violin with his teacher Johann Gottlieb Graun.

In addition to his musical training, Friedemann received formal schooling beginning in Weimar. When J.S. Bach took the post of Cantor of the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig (in 1723), he enrolled Friedemann in the associated Thomasschule. (J.S. Bach—who had himself been orphaned at the age of 10—said that he took the position in Leipzig partly because of the educational opportunities it afforded his children). On graduating in 1729, Friedemann enrolled as a law student in Leipzig University, a renowned institution at the time, but later moved on to study law and mathematics at the University of Halle. He maintained a lifelong interest in mathematics, and continued to study it privately during his first job in Dresden. [1]

Friedemann was appointed in 1733 to the position of organist of the St. Sophia's Church at Dresden. In competing for the post he played a new version of his father's Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541. The judge described Friedemann as clearly superior to the other two candidates. He remained a renowned organist throughout his life. Among his many pupils in Dresden was Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, the keyboardist whose name is erroneously enshrined in the popular nickname given to J. S. Bach's 1742 publication, "Aria with Diverse Variations"—that is, "The Goldberg Variations." The scholar Peter Williams has discredited the story which links the work to Goldberg stating that J. S. Bach wrote the work for the Russian Ambassador Count Hermann Carl von Keyserlingk, who would ask his employee, Goldberg, to play variations for him to ward off insomnia. Williams instead has argued that J.S. Bach wrote the variations to provide a display piece for Friedemann. [2]

In 1746 Friedemann became organist of the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle. [1] In 1751, Friedemann married Dorothea Elisabeth Georgi (1721–1791), who was 11 years his junior and who outlived him by seven years. Dorothea was the daughter of a tax collector. The landed estates she inherited caused the family to be placed in a high tax bracket by Halle authorities, who were raising taxes to meet the revenue demands of the Seven Years' War. To raise cash for these payments, she sold part of her property in 1770. The couple produced two sons and a daughter, Friederica Sophia (born in 1757), who was the only one of their offspring to live past infancy. The descendants of Friederica Sophia eventually migrated to Oklahoma. [3]

Friedemann was deeply unhappy in Halle almost from the beginning of his tenure. In 1749 he was involved in a conflict with the Cantor of the Liebfrauenkirche, Gottfried Mittag, who had misappropriated funds that were due to Friedemann. In 1750 the church authorities reprimanded Friedemann for overstaying a leave of absence (he was in Leipzig settling his father's estate). In 1753 he made his first documented attempt to find another post, and thereafter made several others. All these attempts failed. Bach had at least two pupils, Friedrich Wilhelm Rust and Johann Samuel Petri.

In 1762, he negotiated for the post of Kapellmeister to the court of Darmstadt; although he protracted the negotiations for reasons that are opaque to historians and did not actively take the post, he nevertheless was appointed Hofkapellmeister of Hessen-Darmstadt, a title he used in the dedication of his Harpsichord Concerto in E minor.

In June 1764, Friedemann left the job in Halle without any employment secured elsewhere. [1] His financial situation deteriorated so much that in 1768 he re-applied for his old job in Halle, without success. He thereafter supported himself by teaching. After leaving Halle in 1770, he lived for several years (1771–1774) in Braunschweig where he applied in vain for the post of an organist at the St. Catherine's church. Then he moved to Berlin, where he initially was welcomed by the princess Anna Amalia (the sister of Frederick the Great). Later, no longer in favor at court, he gave harpsichord lessons to Sarah Itzig Levy, the daughter of a prominent Jewish family in Berlin and an avid collector of Bach and other early 18th century music, who was also a "patron" of Friedemann's brother CPE Bach. [4] Friedemann died in Berlin.

Earlier biographers have concluded that his "wayward" and difficult personality reduced his ability to gain and hold secure employment, but the scholar David Schulenberg writes (in the Oxford Composer Companion: J.S. Bach, ed. Malcolm Boyd, 1999) that "he may also have been affected by changing social conditions that made it difficult for a self-possessed virtuoso to succeed in a church- or court-related position" (p. 39). Schulenberg adds, "he was evidently less willing than most younger contemporaries to compose fashionable, readily accessible music".

Friedemann Bach was renowned for his improvisatory skills. It is speculated that when in Leipzig his father's accomplishments set so high a bar that he focused on improvisation rather than composition. Evidence adduced for this speculation includes the fact that his compositional output increased in Dresden and Halle.

Friedemann's compositions include many church cantatas and instrumental works, of which the most notable are the fugues, polonaises and fantasias for clavier, [1] and the duets for two flutes. He incorporated more elements of the contrapuntal style learned from his father than any of his three composer brothers, but his use of the style has an individualistic and improvisatory edge which endeared his work to musicians of the late 19th century, when there was something of a revival of his reputation.

Friedemann's students included Johann Nikolaus Forkel, who in 1802 published the first biography of Johann Sebastian Bach; Friedemann, as well as his younger brother Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, were major informants for Forkel. Friedemann has in earlier biographies been called a poor custodian of his father's musical manuscripts, many of which he inherited; however, more recent scholars are uncertain how many were lost. It is known that Friedemann sold some of his father's collection to raise cash to pay debts (including a large sale in 1759 to Johann Georg Nacke). Also, his daughter took some of the Sebastian Bach manuscripts with her when she moved to America, and these were passed on to her descendants, who inadvertently destroyed many of them. Others were passed on through his only known Berlin pupil, Sarah Itzig Levy, great-aunt of Felix Mendelssohn. Some of his scores were collected by Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch and his pupil Carl Friedrich Zelter, the teacher of Felix Mendelssohn and through them these materials were placed in the library of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, which Fasch founded in 1791 and of which Zelter took charge in 1800.

Friedemann is known occasionally to have claimed credit for music written by his father, but this was in keeping with common musical practices in the era.


"BR-WFB" denotes "Bach-Repertorium Wilhelm Friedemann Bach". "Fk." denotes "Falck catalogue". Bach Digital Work (BDW) pages contain information about individual compositions.

Works by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Keyboard works

A1Keyboard Sonata in C majorAdd. 200 09359
A2aKeyboard Sonata in C major1Bearlier version 08713
A2b1Alater version 09361
A3Keyboard Sonata in C major2 09363
A4Keyboard Sonata in D major3 08813
A5Keyboard Sonata in D major4 09365
A6Sonata for two harpsichords in D major11lost 09367
A7Keyboard Sonata in E-flat major5 08697
A8Keyboard Sonata in E-flat majorAdd. 201 09369
A9Keyboard Sonata in E minorAdd. 204related to flute sonata B17 09371
A10Keyboard Sonata in F majorAdd. 202 09373
A11aKeyboard Sonata in F major6Cearliest version 09375
A11b6Bmiddle version 08715
A11c6latest version 09377
A11ddeestalternative version; related to flute sonata B18 09379
A12Concerto for two harpsichords in F major10= BWV Anh. 188 01499
A13aConcerto for harpsichord solo in G majordeestearlier version 08711
A13b40later version 09381
A14Keyboard Sonata in G major7 09383
A15Keyboard Sonata in A major8 09385
A16Keyboard Sonata in B-flat major9 09387
A17Fantasia in C major14not before 1770 09624
A182 Fantasias in C minor15composed for Georg von Behr around 1775 09626
A1916 09628
A20Fantasia in D major17not before 1770 09630
A21Fantasia in D minor18not before 1770 08845
A22Fantasia in D minor19not before 1770 09632
A23Fantasia in E minor20October 1770 09634
A24Fantasia in E minor21not before 1770 09636
A25Fantasia in G major22around 1763 09638
A26Fantasia in C major/A minor23unfinished 09640
A27Twelve Polonaises12No. 1 in C major; composed between 1765-1770 09517
A28No. 2 in C minor; composed between 1765-1770 09642
A29No. 3 in D major; composed between 1765-1770 09644
A30No. 4 in D minor; composed between 1765-1770 09646
A31No. 5 in E-flat major; composed between 1765-1770 09649
A32No. 6 in E-flat minor; composed between 1765-1770 09651
A33No. 7 in E major; composed between 1765-1770 09653
A34No. 8 in E minor; composed between 1765-1770 09655
A35No. 9 in F major; composed between 1765-1770 09657
A36No. 10 in F minor; composed between 1765-1770 09659
A37No. 11 in G major; composed between 1765-1770 09661
A38No. 12 in G minor; composed between 1765-1770 09663
A39Harpsichord Suite in G minor24early work 09665
A40Two Allemandes in G minor for keyboardAdd. 205by W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; = BWV 836 00975
A41by W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; frag.; = BWV 837 00976
A42Minuet in G majordeestby W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; frag.; = BWV 841 00980
A43Minuet in G minorby W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; frag.; = BWV 842 00981
A44Prelude in C majorAdd. 206by W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; = BWV 924a 01099
A45Prelude in D majorby W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; = BWV 925 01100
A46Prelude in E minorby W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; = BWV 932 01107
A47Prelude in A minorby W. F. and/or J. S. Bach; in Klavierbüchlein WFB; = BWV 931 01106
A48Minuet in G minor25/1 09199
A49aPresto in D minor25/22 versions; A49b is variant of BWV 970 ("Toccatina" No. 6) 09201
A49b 01147
A49b varToccatina No. 6variant of A49b; = BWV 970 11148
A50aMinuet in F major with Trio in F minorAdd. 2082 versions 09667
A50b 09669
A51aBourlesca in C major26 09671
A51bL'imitation de la chasse in C majorrevision of A51a 08708
A51cLa Caccia in C majorrevision of A51b; last version 09673
A52La Reveille in C major27 08726
A53aGigue in G major28earlier version 09675
A53blater version; also final movement of flute duet B2 08729
A54akeyboard Piece/Prelude in C minor29earlier version; incomplete 09174
A54blater version; completion possibly by Johann Nikolaus Forkel 11443
A55Scherzo in E minordeestnot ascertained; also in "Toccatina"; = BWV 844a 00984
A56March in E-flat major30 09677
A57March in F majordeest 09679
A58Polonaise in C major with trio in C minor13 09681
A59Ouverture for harpsichord in E-flat majordeestnot before 1770 09683
A60Andante for harpsichord in E minorAdd. 209Berlin period; originally middle movement of A13 09685
A61Allegro non troppo in G majorAdd. 203Berlin period 1775-1785; lost 09687
A62Un poco allegro in C majordeestBerlin period 09689
A63 18 pieces for a musical clock  [ scores ]Add. 207No. 1 in G major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 133 01444
A64No. 2 in G major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 134 01445
A65No. 3 in A minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 135 01446
A66No. 4 in A minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 136 01447
A67No. 5 in E-flat major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 137 01448
A68No. 6 in E-flat major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 138 01449
A69No. 7 in D major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 139 01450
A70No. 8 in D minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 140 01451
A71No. 9 in F major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 141 01452
A72No. 10 in A minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 142 01453
A73No. 11 in E minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 143 01454
A74No. 12 in A minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 144 01455
A75No. 13 in C major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 145 01456
A76No. 14 in F major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 146 01457
A77No. 15 in G major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 147 01458
A78No. 16 in G minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 148 01459
A79No. 17 in G major; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 149 01460
A80No. 18 in G minor; not before 1763; = BWV Anh. 150 01461
A81Eight fugues31No. 1 in C major; Berlin Period 09513
A82No. 2 in C minor; Berlin Period 09691
A83No. 3 in D major; Berlin Period 09693
A84No. 4 in D minor; Berlin Period 09695
A85No. 5 in E-flat major; Berlin Period 09697
A86No. 6 in E minor; Berlin Period 09699
A87No. 7 in B-flat major; Berlin Period 09701
A88No. 8 in F minor; Berlin Period 09703
A89Fugue in C minor32probably late 1740s 09705
A90Fugue in F major33 09707
A91Fugue for organ in F major36authenticity doubted 08694
A92Fugue for organ in G minor37authenticity doubted 09709
A93Seven chorale preludes for organ38, 1 Nun komm der Heiden Heiland; authenticity doubted 09712
A94 Christe, der du bist Tag und Licht; authenticity doubted 09715
A95 Jesu, meine Freude; authenticity doubted 09717
A96 Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt; authenticity doubted 09719
A97 Wir danken dir, Herr Jesu Christ; authenticity doubted 09721
A98 Was mein Gott will; authenticity doubted 09723
A99 Wir Christenleut; authenticity doubted 09725
A100Trio for organ38, 2on "Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr"; lost 09727
A101Four chorale preludes for organdeest Christus, der ist mein Leben 09729
A102 Die Seele Christi heilige mich 09731
A103 Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut 09733
A104 Nun freut euch, lieben Christen 09735
A105Two fantasiasdeestD minor 09737
A106G major 09739
A107Two keyboard piecesdeestD major 09741
A108D minor 09743
A109Minuet in C major with Trio in C minordeest 09745
A110Minuet with 13 variations in G majordeestBerlin Period 09747

Chamber music

B1Six duets for two flutes54No. 1 in E minor; 1740–1745; supplement by J. S. Bach (1745) 09389
B259No. 2 in G major; 1740–1745; only one with four movements 09391
B355No. 3 in E-flat major; 1740–1745 09393
B457No. 4 in F major; 1740–1745 09395
B556No. 5 in E-flat major; Berlin period 09397
B658No. 6 in F minor; Berlin period 09399
B7Three duets for two violas60No. 1 in C major; Berlin period (& older material) 09401
B861No. 2 in G major; Berlin period (& older material) 09403
B962No. 3 in G minor; Berlin period (& older material) 09405
B10Three sonatas for flute and continuo51No. 1 in F major; likely Dresden period; lost 09749
B1152No. 2 in A minor; likely Dresden period; lost 09751
B1253No. 3 in D major; likely Dresden period; lost 09753
B13Trio in D major47for two flutes and continuo; c.1735–1739 (Dresden) 09194
B14Trio in D major48for two flutes and continuo; c.1735–1739 (Dresden) 09407
B15 Trio in A minor 49for two flutes and continuo; c.1735–1739 (Dresden); unfinished 09196
B16Trio in B-flat major50for two violins (or flute, violin) and continuo; probably Halle period 09409
B17Sonata in E minor for flute and continuodeestprobably Dresden period; middle movement also in A10 09411
B18Sonata in F major for flute and continuodeestprobably Dresden period; movements also in A11b, A2a and A11d 09413
B‑Inc.19Trio in B majorunsicherfor violin and harpsichord; authorship unlikely 09415

Orchestral works

C1Sinfonia in C major63likely before 1740 09421
C2Sinfonia in F major67likely before 1740; Minuet also in A50a–b, A2b and A11c 09423
C3Sinfonia in G major68likely before 1740 09425
C4Sinfonia in G major69likely before 1740 09427
C5Sinfonia in B-flat major71likely before 1740 09429
C6Sinfonia in A major70likely before 1740; fragment 09431
C7Sinfonia in D minor65likely for liturgical use, written in Dresden around or after 1740 09176
C8Sinfonia in D major64c.1755 (Halle); used as overture to F13 (and to G1, BWV 205a?) 09159
C9Harpsichord Concerto in D major41two versions: likely c.1740 (Dresden), and copy from c.1765–1770 09564
C10Harpsichord Concerto in E-flat major42unfinished; reused in F14 09755
C11Concerto for two harpsichords46in E-flat major; likely c.1775 09417
C12Harpsichord Concerto in E minor43probably around 1767 09759
C13Harpsichord Concerto in F major44probably around 1740 09762
C14Harpsichord Concerto in A minor45before 1740 09764
C15Concerto for flute and orchestra in D majorunechtprobably made in Berlin after 1775 09419
C‑Inc.16Sinfonia in D majordeestauthenticity doubtful; 1730s? 09433
C17Harpsichord Concerto in G minorunsicherby C. P. E. Bach?; probably late Dresden period 09936

Liturgical works

E1Kyrie–Gloria Mass in G minor100Gloria in German; early Halle period; = BWV Anh. 168 01479
E2Kyrie–Gloria Mass in D minor98partially in German 09766
E3Heilig ist Gott, der Herr Zebaoth78achorus; probably c.1752; adapted to F24 09768
E4Agnus Dei in D minor98bparody of E2, movement 5 09770
E5Amen and Alleluja99chorus; parody of E2, movement 5; probably Halle period 08148
E6chorus; parody of F6, movement 1b; probably Halle period 09772

Sacred cantatas

F1Lasset uns ablegen die Werke der Finsternis80 cantata for 1st Sunday of Advent (30 November 1749) 09449
F2O Wunder, wer kann dieses fassen92 cantata for 1st Christmas Day; c.1755–1758?; mvt. 6 = F11, mvt. 6 09774
F3Ach, daß du den Himmel zerrissest93 cantata for 1st Christmas Day; probably after 1755; variant: F15 09776
F4Ehre sei Gott in der HöheAdd. 250 cantata for 1st Christmas Day; c.1759? 09778
F5Der Herr zu deiner Rechten73 cantata for New Year/Circumcision; probably c.1750 or earlier 09780
F6Wir sind Gottes Werk74 cantata for 2nd Sunday of Epiphany; parody of F8 09782
F7Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern82 cantata for 6th Sunday of Epiphany (12 Feb. 1764?); ↔ F6, F17, E6 09784
F8Cantata74a cantata for Palm Sunday; lost; adapted to F6 09786
F9Erzittert und fallet83 cantata for 1st Easter Day 09788
F10Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen75 cantata for Ascension Day 09790
F11Wo geht die Lebensreise hin?91 cantata for Ascension Day 09792
F12Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten72 cantata for 1st Day of Pentecost 09795
F13Dies ist der Tag85 cantata for 1st Day of Pentecost 09797
F14Ertönt, ihr seligen Völker88 cantata for 1st Day of Pentecost 08146
F15Ach, daß du den Himmel zerrissest93 cantata for 1st Day of Pentecost; parody of F3 09799
F16Es ist eine Stimme eines Predigers89 cantata for St. John's Day (24 June) 09801
F17Der Herr wird mit Gerechtigkeit81 cantata for Visitation (2 July) 09803
F18Ach Gott vom Himmel, sieh darein96 cantata for 10th Sunday after Trinity 09805
F19Wohl dem, der den Herren fürchtet76 cantata for unknown purpose 09807
F20Introduction to a catechism sermon77pasticcio, partially based on BWV 170/1 and 147.1/1 09809
F21Der Höchste erhöret das Flehen der Armen86 cantata for leave-taking of pastor Herrnschmidt (3 October 1756) 09811
F22Verhängnis, dein Wüten entkräftet87 cantata for 7th Sunday after Trinity (24 Juli 1757) 09447
F23Auf, Christen, posaunt95 cantata for the end of the Seven Years' War (1762 or 1763) 08139
F24Lobet Gott, unsern Herrn Zebaoth78bchorus; after c.1752; parody of E3 08141
F25Dienet dem Herrn mit Freuden84chorus; likely 1755 08143
F26Der Trost gehöret nur für Kinder89/3aria; after F16, mvt. 3 09813
F27Zerbrecht, zerreist, ihr schnöden Banden94song 09815
F28Laß dein Wehen in mir spielen96/4song; after F18, mvt. 4 09817
F29aria "... Gnaden ein, ..."79fragment 09819
F30Auf, Christen, posaunt95 cantata for unknown purpose; after F23 09821

Secular Cantata and Opera

G1O Himmel, schone90 cantata for Frederick II's birthday (24 January 1758); mostly parody 09824
G2Lausus und Lydie106opera; c.1778–1779; lost (likely unfinished) 09826


H1Herz, mein Herz, sei ruhig97Cantilena Nuptiarum; wedding; after 1774; reuses keyboard music 08179

Miscellaneous works

I1Canons and contrapuntal studies39by W. F. and J. S. Bach; c.1736–1739 01719
I2Four Triple Canons for 6 voicesdeestpublished by J. P. Kirnberger in 1777 (Kunst des reinen Satzes II/2) 10487
I3 11130
I4 11131
I5 11132
I6Fugal exposition for organ in C major351771 11133
I7Fugue exposition on B-A-C-H for organdeest1773 11134
I8Abhandlung vom harmonischen DreiklangdeestMusic theory (Treatise on the harmonic triad); 1750s; lost 11135
I9Rechtmäßige VertheidigungdeestDefense against Johann Gottlieb Biedermann  [ wikisource:de ]; 1750 11136

Doubtful and spurious works

YA21Arioso con Variazioni in G minorfor keyboard; doubtful 11129
YA149Three fugues for organAdd. 211No. 1 in C minor; doubtful 09828
YA150No. 2 in B-flat major; doubtful 09830
YA151No. 2 in A minor; doubtful 09832
YB1Trio in G majorunechtfor two traversos and viola; also attributed to W. F. E. Bach 11545
YB2Trio in C majorunechtfor two traversos and continuo; also attributed to W. F. E. Bach 02187
YB3Sonata or Trio in F majorunsicherfor flute/violin and harpsichord/continuo; attr. to several Bachs 02187
YB5Sextet in E-flat majorfor winds and strings; also attributed to W. F. E. Bach 11417
YB6Sonata in E-flat majorfor violin and harpsichord; doubtful 11547
YC1Harpsichord Concerto in C minorunechtattributed to C. Schaffrath 11548

More lost, doubtful and spurious works


Use by later composers

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's set of six Preludes and Fugues for string trio, K. 404a, contains five fugues transcribed from The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Sebastian Bach while the sixth fugue in F minor, is a transcription of one of the Eight Fugues (Falck 31) of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. The preludes in K. 404a are Mozart's own, [lower-alpha 1] except for 4 (from BWV 527) and 5 (second movement from BWV 526).


Friedemann Bach is a 1941 German historical drama film directed by Traugott Müller and starring Gustaf Gründgens, Leny Marenbach and Johannes Riemann. The film depicts the life of Johann Sebastian Bach's son Wilhelm Friedemann Bach. It is based on Albert Emil Brachvogel's novel Friedemann Bach. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is shown as a gifted son trying to escape his father's shadow.


  1. The authenticity has been put in doubt by recent scholars. [6] [ full citation needed ]

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The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach is a 1968 film by the French filmmaking duo of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. It was their first full-length feature film, and reportedly took a decade to finance. The film stars renowned harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt as Johann Sebastian Bach and Christiane Lang as Anna Magdalena Bach. The orchestral music was performed by Concentus Musicus and conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. It is the first of several Straub-Huillet films to be based on works of classical music. The film was entered into the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.

Johann Sebastian Bach 18th-century German composer

Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.

Keyboard concertos by Johann Sebastian Bach compositions by J. S. Bach

The keyboard concertos, BWV 1052–1065, are concertos for harpsichord, strings and continuo by Johann Sebastian Bach. There are seven complete concertos for a single harpsichord, three concertos for two harpsichords, two concertos for three harpsichords, and one concerto for four harpsichords. Two other concertos include solo harpsichord parts: the concerto BWV 1044, which has solo parts for harpsichord, violin and flute, and Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D major, with the same scoring. In addition, there is a nine-bar concerto fragment for harpsichord which adds an oboe to the strings and continuo.

Johann Peter Kellner was a German organist and composer. He was the father of Johann Christoph Kellner.

Minuets in G major and G minor musical composition

The Minuets in G major and G minor, BWV Anh. 114 and 115, are a pair of movements from a suite for harpsichord by Christian Petzold, which, through their appearance in the 1725 Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, used to be attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach. These Minuets are among the best known pieces of music literature. The 1965 pop song "A Lover's Concerto", of which millions of copies were sold, is based on the first of these Minuets.

<i>Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält</i>, BWV 1128 chorale fantasia for organ by Johann Sebastian Bach

Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält is a chorale fantasia for organ composed by Johann Sebastian Bach in the early 18th century, likely between 1705 and 1710. The Zahn 4441a hymn tune for Justus Jonas's 1524 hymn "Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält", a paraphrase of Psalm 124, is the basis of the composition.

<i>The Well-Tempered Clavier</i> Collection of keyboard music by J.S. Bach

The Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, is a collection of two sets of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, composed for solo keyboard by Johann Sebastian Bach. In Bach's time Clavier (keyboard) was a generic name indicating a variety of keyboard instruments, most typically a harpsichord or clavichord – but not excluding an organ.

Friedrich Wilhelm Rust German violinist and composer

Friedrich Wilhelm Rust was a German violinist, pianist and composer. He hailed from a renowned musical family in Germany. He was the father of the pianist and organist Wilhelm Karl Rust and the grandfather of Thomaskantor, composer and Bach scholar Wilhelm Rust.

Organ Sonatas (Bach) Bach, BWV 525–530

The organ sonatas, BWV 525–530 by Johann Sebastian Bach are a collection of six sonatas in trio sonata form. Each of the sonatas has three movements, with three independent parts in the two manuals and obbligato pedal. The collection was put together in Leipzig in the late 1720s and contained reworkings of prior compositions by Bach from earlier cantatas, organ works and chamber music as well as some newly composed movements. The sixth sonata, BWV 530, is the only one for which all three movements were specially composed for the collection. When played on an organ, the second manual part is often played an octave lower on the keyboard with appropriate registration. Commentators have suggested that the collection might partly have been intended for private study to perfect organ technique, some pointing out that its compass allows it to be played on a pedal clavichord. The collection of sonatas is generally regarded as one of Bach's masterpieces for organ. The sonatas are also considered to be amongst his most difficult compositions for the instrument.

The Triple Concerto, BWV 1044, is a concerto in A minor for traverso, violin, harpsichord, and string orchestra by Johann Sebastian Bach. He based the composition on his Prelude and Fugue BWV 894 for harpsichord and on the middle movement of his Organ Sonata BWV 527, or on earlier lost models for these compositions.

The concerto transcriptions of Johann Sebastian Bach date from his second period at the court in Weimar (1708–1717). Bach transcribed for organ and harpsichord a number of Italian and Italianate concertos, mainly by Antonio Vivaldi, but with others by Alessandro Marcello, Benedetto Marcello, Georg Philipp Telemann and the musically talented Prince Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar. It is thought that most of the transcriptions were probably made in 1713–1714. Their publication by C.F. Peters in the 1850s and by Breitkopf & Härtel in the 1890s played a decisive role in the Vivaldi revival of the twentieth century.


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hadow, William Henry (1911). "Bach, Karl Philipp Emanuel"  . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica . 3 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 130–131.
  2. Williams, Peter (2001). Bach: The Goldberg Variations. Cambridge University Press. ISBN   0-521-00193-5.
  3. Wolff, Christoph "Descendants of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach in the United States", Bach Perspectives: Volume 5: Bach in America Stephen A. Crist, ed. (University of Illinois Press, 2003)
  4. Applegate, p. 14
  5. "Work 983". Bach Digital . Leipzig: Bach Archive; et al.
  6. Mozart-Werkeverzeichnis by Ulrich Konrad, ISBN   3-7618-1847-5


Further reading