In the name of Bach

Solomon, A. (1996) In the name of Bach. [Audio]

Abstract

Music by Georg Christoph Bach, Johann Ernst Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Johann Christian Bach, and Johann Bernhard Bach, performed by period instrument ensemble Florilegium with Catherine Bott (soprano). The Bach family has for a long time been the focus of genealogical research. No other musical family of German origin has spanned so many generations and produced such highly talented performers as well as composers of the highest order. From very early on, the family seems to have adopted the position of propagators of musical tradition. LS. Bach’s reference to his children as ‘born musici’ illustrates the strength of this tradition. The reasons for such an unusual concentration of musical talent are perhaps rooted in sound musical education, passed down through the various family members, especially the males. These members took the responsibility of training others in the immediate circle, as well as distant relatives, and this tradition remained strong in later generations. The Bach solidarity was probably achieved by several factors: self-sufficiency, extreme professionalism, guild-like regulation, intermarriage and strict religious observance, creating very close unity in the family, and thereby cementing social status and a self-propagating musical lineage. The members of the Bach family selected for this recording are represented in the simplified family tree. (page 2) Undoubtedly, the most famous among them was Johann Sebastian; however, this disc concerns itself with the five composers in italics in order to illustrate the incredible worth of his lesser-known relatives. Three out of seven generations are represented with some wonderfully rare and unusual compositions which are seldom performed and even more rarely recorded.

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