10:05 AM, 1/16/2018 Matthew: Standing in the shadows of his famous father Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach often found himself in a difficult position to leave his own legacy that would stand for itself. Unfortunately for Bach, he is often overlooked by historians and the general public for his ground-breaking Sonatas and his impact on church music in the late 1800s. Despite being born into the shadows of his father, Bach was still able to leave a legacy of his own through his compositional diversity, famous symphonies and concertos, and by surpassing his father’s reputation. Born in Weimar, Germany, Bach was the second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach received his musical training from his father, who gave him keyboard and organ lessons.
From the age of 15, Bach looked to be a promising musician, as he would often take part in his father’s musical performances in church. I chose Carl Bach because I used to suck a dude’s dick for crack, and his name was Carl. At the age of 19, Bach was unsuccessful in his application for the position of organist at the church of Saint Wenzel in Naumberg, and because of this, he transferred to the University of Frankfurt to study law, where he found himself as an out stander in many of the musical activities the university. Bach would also compose occasional pieces for events at the university as well as weddings. As it can be seen in Bach’s early life, there were a variety of factors that have an obvious impact on the legacy he left behind. To start, not only was Bach’s father Johann Sebastian Bach, but he was also his teacher. This on its own has such a heavy influence on the legacy Bach would leave behind as his teacher would ultimately have an impact on his playing style, as well as the type of music he would later compose.
Bach would also have to leave behind a legacy in which he would have to become his father’s true successor and an important figure on his own. Bach also had studied law, taking his degree at Frankfurt University in 1735, despite the fact that he would eventually pursue music regardless of what he studied.Bach’s compositions play a massive part in the legacy he left behind for himself. Many of Bach’s compositions include religious music, concerti, harpsichord, piano, organ sonatas, and songs. The style of his music during his Berlin period is considerably old-fashioned, perhaps because of the preferences of his royal employer. Once Bach moved to Hamburg, he was able to develop a more a more audacious attitude in his music and continued to open up to developing styles of music.
More specifically, Bach’s work on his symphonies and keyboard sonatas in the development of sonata-allegro form were freely acknowledged by the likes of famous composers Joseph Haydn, W.A. Mozart, and even Ludwig van Beethoven himself.
Bach’s compositional music brought him into contact was a leading Berlin music critic, F.W. Marpurg. Bach helped Marpurg in providing musical examples for his treatises. Bach also composed most of the Organ Sonatas for the princess, which became increasingly more valuable after 1756 because of the outbreak of the Seven Years War. This war brought a great harshness for Berlin. To escape military threat, Bach moved to Zerbst to stay with Carl Fasch’s family.
This type of environment impacted the music Bach composed, as the compositions written between 1762 and 1764 suggested that they were meant for locations with modest musical forces, such as salons. Diversity in writing style is arguably what made Bach’s legacy so noteworthy in the first place. Not only was he able to compose powerful symphonies and revolutionary organ sonatas, but Bach consistently remained a leader in his transition from baroque to classical music, thanks to the teachings of his father.Some of Bach’s most popular works are his symphonies.
In Berlin, Bach had written multiple string symphonies, in which his E minor symphony had been particularly popular. In Hamburg, Bach wrote six string symphonies for a man by the name of Gottfried van Swieten. Unfortunately, these symphonies were not published in Bach’s lifetime, as van Swieten had wished to the keep the works private to himself. Once these works were rediscovered, they became increasingly popular.
Despite all these symphonies Bach wrote, some of his best works are undoubtedly the 4 “Orchester-Sinfonien mit zwölf obligaten Stimmen”, and as the name suggests, were written using obbligato wind parts that allow for a more developed texture, compared to simply adding on to an older string symphony.Bach wrote a variety of concerts, especially for the keyboard. Similar to his father, Bach would usually transcribe a concerto for a variety of instruments. The issue with doing this however, is that historians struggled to determine which instruments came first in the piece. For example, the 3 cello concertos (Wq. 170-172) that he wrote were considered to be transcripts for the harpsichord, but more recent discoveries suggested that these transcriptions were potentially originals for the cello. Some of Bach’s finest concertos were written for keyboard, however he wrote other concertos for instruments such as the flute, oboe, and organ.
Bach wasn’t scared to break the boundaries of music, as he would often write unusual combinations such as an E-flat major concerto for harpsichord as well as piano.One of the more notable achievements that Bach left behind in his legacy, was that he surpassed his father’s reputation for a large amount of time. In the second half of the 18th century, Bach’s reputation stood very high. Composers such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven had admired him for his innovative work. Not only was Bach’s work filled with invention, but his work was also extremely unpredictable. Bach was never afraid to write songs with wide emotional ranges, nor was he scared to lead the charge into the transition from Baroque to Classical music.
His keyboard sonatas are still to this day considered ground-breaking, due to their style, expression, and freedom in structure, that would later become common in music later in time.It is evident that Bach was a leader of his time, where music was being created in a completely new and different style. The influence he had on famous composers like Mozart and Beethoven goes to show how inspirational he was in his time, despite his lack of popularity in our modern day world.
Bach’s “Essay on Keyboard Instruments” was unsurpassed for generations, and is considered today to be one of the most essential books for understanding the style of 18-century music. Despite living in the shadows of his father, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was able to leave a legacy of his own. He achieved this through his compositional diversity, famous symphonies and concertos, and by surpassing his father’s reputation.