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Royalty Free Music - Johann Sebastian Bach

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J.S. Bach - Biography

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the major composers of the baroque period of classical music, and a major figure in the development of harmony and counterpoint. He was born in Eisenach (now in East Germany) in 1685. Following the death of his parents he was adopted at the age of 10 by Christoph his oldest brother, who was himself an accomplished organist and encouraged Johanns skills in keyboard technique, composition and the practical upkeep and care of organs. In 1700 JS Bach set out on his own and became a chorister and then from 1703 gained employment as an organist, first in Arnstadt and then Mulhausen. It was here that he wote his early cantatas and met and married Maria Barbara Bach, with whom he had seven children.

The Duke of Weimar offered him employment in 1708, first as court organist and then as Konzertmeister. This was a developmental period in his life as a composer, he wrote a great deal of organ and harpsichord music as well as some strikingly beautiful cantatas. He also gained his first organ pupils. By 1717 however, relations in the Weimar household were becoming sour, and Bach finally managed to extricate himself after a period of house-arrest to offer his talents to Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen as Kappellmeister. Here, he wrote violin and harpsichord sonatas, the "Brandenburg"concertos, the early parts of "the well-tempered clavier" and exquisite works for unaccompanied cello and violin.

Following the remarraige of Prince Leopold in 1721 (and the subsequent shift of interest in the royal house away from music), and also the death of his first wife, Bach moved to Leipzig. He took charge as Kantor of the music in the cities four most important churches and the training of the students at the school attached to Thomaskirche, and was also responsible for music for feasts, services, funerals and weddings. Leipzig suited him well, as demonstrated by the flourish of music written here, (particularly choral music). Apart from a brief tenure at the Weissenfels court, he remained based in Leipzig with his second wife Anna Magdelena Wilcke for the rest of his life, having a further 13 children. His compositions widened into secular music, whilst at the same time his sacred works became more and more substantial. They included Mass in B minor (1724), St Mark Passion (1731) and the Christmas Oratorio (1734). His final composition was a chorale prelude for organ, dictated from his deathbed, and on July 28th, 1750 he died, aged 65. He left more than one thousand complex and beautifully constructed works, which grew in popularity from the 19th century onwards.

Today Bach is considered to be one of the major Western classical composers, his music is widely listened to for pleasure and is used worldwide in Television and Films. There are numerous recordings of Bach's orchestral works available, but suprisingly few are available as Royalty Free Music, which is why we're pleased to have so many great recordings of Bach's music available here.

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