Aria in D Major

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  3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria from Suite No 3 in D major (Air on a G String), BWV

Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a musical family. Orphaned before he turned 10 years old, he was looked after by his eldest brother, an organist who gave him his first keyboard lessons. Johann Sebastian Bach had 20 children, 7 with his first wife and 13 with his second wife. Only 10 of them lived to adulthood. There were Bachs in the area before then, and it may be that, when Veit moved to Wechmar, he was returning to his birthplace. He used to take his cittern to the mill and play it while the mill was grinding.

However, he learnt to keep time, and this apparently was the beginning of music in our family. Until the birth of Johann Sebastian, his was the least distinguished branch of the family; some of its members, such as Johann Christoph and Johann Ludwig, had been competent practical musicians but not composers. Ambrosius was a string player, employed by the town council and the ducal court of Eisenach.

Johann Sebastian started school in or and did well in spite of frequent absences. Of his musical education at this time, nothing definite is known; however, he may have picked up the rudiments of string playing from his father, and no doubt he attended the Georgenkirche, where Johann Christoph Bach was organist until By both his parents were dead, and he was looked after by his eldest brother, also named Johann Christoph — , organist at Ohrdruf.

This Christoph had been a pupil of the influential keyboard composer Johann Pachelbel , and he apparently gave Johann Sebastian his first formal keyboard lessons. He seems to have returned to Thuringia in the late summer of By this time he was already a reasonably proficient organist. The next few months are wrapped in mystery, but by March 4, , he was a member of the orchestra employed by Johann Ernst, duke of Weimar and brother of Wilhelm Ernst, whose service Bach entered in This post was a mere stopgap; he probably already had his eye on the organ then being built at the Neue Kirche New Church in Arnstadt , for, when it was finished, he helped to test it, and in August he was appointed organist—all this at age Arnstadt documents imply that he had been court organist at Weimar; this is incredible, though it is likely enough that he had occasionally played there.


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At Arnstadt, on the northern edge of the Thuringian Forest , where he remained until , Bach devoted himself to keyboard music, the organ in particular. His visit must have been profitable, for he did not return until about the middle of January In February his employers complained about his absence and about other things as well: he had harmonized the hymn tunes so freely that the congregation could not sing to his accompaniment, and, above all, he had produced no cantatas.

Perhaps the real reasons for his neglect were that he was temporarily obsessed with the organ and was on bad terms with the local singers and instrumentalists, who were not under his control and did not come up to his standards. In the summer of he had made some offensive remark about a bassoon player, which led to an unseemly scuffle in the street.

His replies to these complaints were neither satisfactory nor even accommodating; and the fact that he was not dismissed out of hand suggests that his employers were as well aware of his exceptional ability as he was himself and were reluctant to lose him. During these early years, Bach inherited the musical culture of the Thuringian area, a thorough familiarity with the traditional forms and hymns chorales of the orthodox Lutheran service, and, in keyboard music, perhaps through his brother, Johann Christoph a bias toward the formalistic styles of the south.

But he also learned eagerly from the northern rhapsodists, Buxtehude above all. By he had probably learned all that his German predecessors could teach him and arrived at a first synthesis of northern and southern German styles. He had also studied, on his own and during his presumed excursions to Celle, some French organ and instrumental music. Cantata No.

His real reason for resigning on June 25, , is not known. It is generally supposed that he had become involved in a theological controversy between his own pastor Frohne and Archdeacon Eilmar of the Marienkirche.

At all events, his resignation was accepted, and shortly afterward he moved to Weimar , some miles west of Jena on the Ilm River. Bach was, from the outset, court organist at Weimar and a member of the orchestra. Encouraged by Wilhelm Ernst, he concentrated on the organ during the first few years of his tenure. From Weimar, Bach occasionally visited Weissenfels; in February he took part in a court celebration there that included a performance of his first secular cantata, Was mir behagt , also called the Hunt Cantata BWV Late in Bach had the opportunity of succeeding Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow at the Liebfrauenkirche, Halle ; but the duke raised his salary, and he stayed on at Weimar.

On March 2, , he became concertmaster, with the duty of composing a cantata every month. The latter was a talented composer who wrote concerti in the Italian manner, some of which Bach arranged for keyboard instruments ; the boy died in , in his 19th year. There are too few datable works. From the series of cantatas written in —16, however, it is obvious that he had been decisively influenced by the new styles and forms of the contemporary Italian opera and by the innovations of such Italian concerto composers as Antonio Vivaldi. The results of this encounter can be seen in such cantatas as No.

His favourite forms appropriated from the Italians were those based on refrain ritornello or da capo schemes in which wholesale repetition—literal or with modifications—of entire sections of a piece permitted him to create coherent musical forms with much larger dimensions than had hitherto been possible. He was then succeeded by his son, who was rather a nonentity.

The exact circumstances are not known, but Marchand avoided the contest by leaving Dresden a few hours before it should have taken place.

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By implication , Bach won. Perhaps this emboldened him to renew his request for permission to leave Weimar; at all events he did so but in such terms that the duke imprisoned him for a month November 6—December 2.


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There, as musical director, he was concerned chiefly with chamber and orchestral music. The Brandenburg Concertos were finished by March 24, ; in the sixth concerto—so it has been suggested—Bach bore in mind the technical limitations of the prince, who played the gamba. At the same time, The Well-Tempered Clavier is a compendium of the most popular forms and styles of the era: dance types, arias , motets , concerti, etc. Maria Barbara Bach died unexpectedly and was buried on July 7, Nothing came of this, but he played at the Katharinenkirke in the presence of Reinken.

He was on the best terms with the prince, who was genuinely musical; and in Bach said that he had expected to end his days there. But the prince married on December 11, , and conditions deteriorated. He also had to think of the education of his elder sons, born in and , and he probably began to think of moving to Leipzig as soon as the cantorate fell vacant with the death of Johann Kuhnau on June 5, As the latter was not sure that he would be able to accept, Bach gave a trial performance Cantata No.

This he obtained on April 13, and on May 13 he was sworn in at Leipzig. As director of church music for the city of Leipzig, Bach had to supply performers for four churches.

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At the Peterskirche the choir merely led the hymns. At the Neue Kirche, Nikolaikirche, and Thomaskirche, part singing was required; but Bach himself conducted, and his own church music was performed, only at the last two. New works produced during this year include many cantatas and the Magnificat in its first version. The first half of saw the production of the St. John Passion , which was subsequently revised. The total number of cantatas produced during this ecclesiastical year was about 62, of which about 39 were new works.

Many passages, such as m. The occasion for which Haydn wrote the Cello Concerto in D is unknown. An Amazon. A brief Google search for upcoming orchestral performances of this piece finds several during this season , including those by the Spokane Symphony Washington , the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Florida , and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong.

The musicologist H. This great work deserves listening not just by music connoisseurs, but by everyone interested in experiencing the creative genius of Franz Joseph Haydn. Badura-Skoda, Eva, and William Drabkin. Section 3. Bargreen, Melinda.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Aria from Suite No 3 in D major (Air on a G String), BWV

Burkholder, J. A History of Western Music. New York: Norton. McClymonds, Marita P. Section 4.

BACH "Air in D major" Piano Version (BWV 1068 )

Robbins Landon, H. Haydn: Chronicle and Works. Great Britain: Thames and Hudson. Leopold Nowak score. Wijsman, Suzanne. Section II. Hannah Pierce of Radford is a junior at Virginia Tech pursuing majors in music cello performance and English creative writing. She aspires to become a professional youth services librarian and cello teacher. Previous writing honors include being named a national winner in the Letters About Literature competition sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, Target, and state centers for the book, publication in the Clinch Mountain Review, and appearances at English conferences at Virginia Tech and Virginia Military Institute.