|About this Recording|
DISPOSITION DER ORGEL
“If ever there was a family in which an extraordinary disposition for the same art seemed to be hereditary, it was certainly the family of Bach; through six successive generations there were scarcely two or three members of it who had not received from nature the gifts of a very distinguished talent for music and who did not make the practice of this art the main occupation of their lives.”
The forefather of this extraorinarily musical family was Veit Bach, who lived in the late 16th century. By profession a baker and miller, Veit Bach devoted himself to music only in his leisure. His son Hans , however, roamed the towns and villages with his violin, playing at weddings, baptisms and at important religious events. He left three sons: Johann, Christoph and Heinrich, all three of whom were significant musicians. Johann, the “Erfurt Bach”, was the forefather of an entire school of competent organists and instrumentalists. Heinrich’s sons Johann Christoph and Johann Michael* dedicated themselves exclusively to sacred music, like their father.Johann Bernhard, chamber musician and organist in Erfurt, Magdeburg and Eisenach, the grandson of Johann Bach, succeeded the abovementioned Johann Christoph.
Johann Sebastian* marks the culmination if this dynasty. The most varied currents converged in him, reaching their aweinspiring consummation. But Johann Sebastian did not exhaust the Bach’s gift of music, for he passed it on to his own sons. The most eminently musical among Bach’s twenty children werde Wilhelm Friedemann, the eldest and most talented son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, an upright and admirable man, Johann Christian, known as the “English” Bach and the second young est son Johann Christoph Friedrich, the “Bückeburg” Bach.
A son of Johann Bernhard. Johann Ernst was active as an organist in Eisenach. Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst, the son of Johann Christoph Friedrich and thus the grandson of Johann Sebastian Bach, worked as a harpsichordist and court music director in Berlin.
The “Bach” phenomenon thus covered a period of 250 years! Many of these Bachs were to be found as organists, town waits, cantors, harpsichordists or court music directors throughout Thuringia’s rambling hills and mountains. There were no fewer than 53 musically active bachs, which makes this family the most brilliant of all musical dynasties in history.
*In this context we would like to draw the reader’s attention to the very first recording of Johann Michael Bach’s complete organ chorales (CD No. 98.558) and the organ chorales from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Neumeister Collection, BWV 1090-1120 (CD No. 98.573, which were recorded with Franz Haselböck at the historic organs of the abbey church of Altenburg and of the cathedral of Eisenstadt; they are also issued by the HÄNSSLERVerlag, 71088 Holzgerlingen.
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