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01 January 2004
Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B minor, two Passions, and hundreds of cantatas. His music is revered for its technical command, artistic beauty, and intellectual depth.
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest in and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
It can't be easy to have been a son of the great Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach was undoubtedly very strict, and if you'd have any composition ambitions, you would have to find a way to step out of the shadow of your father. Luckily, his sons had everything going for them considering their music. Whereas the traditional Baroque music of their father slowly went out of fashion, most of Bach's sons managed to follow the new trends of the early Classicism. In other words: relatively simple, melodic music which is not too heavy on the listener, yet still very passionate.
Carl Philipp Emanuel, Bach's fifth son, became the most outstanding among his siblings. Like each of Bach's sons, he received a solid education from his father, en Carl Philipp developed into a remarkably talented keyboardist. Moreover, he became a prolific composer and of all Bach's sons, he was able to came closest to the quality of his father's work, albeit in a completely different style.