Biography of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach (1710-1784)

German composer, eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and his first wife, María Barbara, who was born 22 November 1710 in Weimar and died on July 1, 1784, in Berlin.

His musical training to be mainly Johann g. Graun and his father, Johann Sebastian, who taught theory and composition, as well as to play the harpsichord, violin and organ. In addition, Johann Sebastian Bach composed for his firstborn several of his works, among which are the six sonatas for organ, nine small preludes, the first volume of the well-tempered Clavier key, as well as the Clavier-Buchlein.

In 1723 Wilhelm Friedemann was registered at the Thomasschule in Leipzig, city which had just been moved along with his family. In 1729 he/she graduated at the University of Leipzig, where he/she studied mathematics and philosophy, and was also at the time when he/she wrote two concertos for keyboard. In 1733, he/she began his career as an organist of the Church of Santa Sofía de Dresden. In 1746 he/she was appointed cantor in the Church of Halle, Liebfrauen hence is known as "the Bach Halle". In this church he/she held the title of Director Musices until he/she left the post in 1764. Previously was awarded the title of Hofkapellmeister in Darmstadt. In 1747 he/she accompanied his father to the famous visit to Federico II ("the great") of Prussia and in which originated the Musical offering, based on a theme of the monarch.

From his resignation as singer in Halle and for six years, Wilhelm Friedemann led a life of independent artist giving lessons and concerts while he/she was trying to sell his scores to rich patterns, which was unusual at the time. In 1770 he/she left Halle and moved to Braunschweig and subsequently to Berlin, where he/she attained great success with his organ recitals, but very quickly disappeared from the musical life and died in Berlin in oblivion.

It was famous by his impertinent character, his eccentricity and his problems with drink. Virtuoso pianist and organist, is considered the most brilliant of the sons of j. S. Bach. You created the form sonata before his brethren and the concert of modern keyboard. His compositions are characterized by strong contrasts and the variety of languages, including the galante style is (see rococo music), emerged in the 1700s. His work consists, among other pieces, 5 sonatas in trio, 6 Duets for flute, 42 polonaises, 11 fantasies, 11 leaks, 7 preludes of corals, 5 key concertos and a score of Church cantatas, as well as two secular cantatas.

Links on the Internet ; page on the Bach family. In English.

Selected discography

Bach Sons (+ works of Johann Christian Bach and Carl Philipp Emmanuel Bach). Performers: Balazs Mate (cello), Concerto Armonico Budapest, Chamber Orchestra of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Directors: Hartmut Haenchen, Peter Szüts. BRILLIANT CLASSICS. Bachiana (Music by the Bach family). Performers: Music Antiqua Köln. Director: Reinhardt Goebel. UNIVERSAL 471579. Symphonies and concert for harpsichord. Performers: Akademie für alte Musik Berlin; Raphael Alpermann (key). HARMONIA MUNDI 901772. Fantasies (+ works of C. P.E. Bach, j. S. Bach and Mozart). Cast: Colin Tilney (key). ARCHIV PRODUKTION. Works for harpsichord. Performers: Christophe Rousset. HARMONIA MUNDI HMA 1901305. Cantatas volume 1. Cast: Barbara Schlick, Claudia Schubert, Wilfried Jochens, Stephan Schreckenberger, Das Kleine Konzert. Director: Hermann Max. CAPRICCIO 10425. Cantatas volume 2. Cast: Barbara Schlick, Claudia Schubert, Wilfried Jochens, Stephan Schreckenberger, Das Kleine Konzert. Director: Hermann Max. CAPRICCIO 10426.