Posts Tagged ‘Johann Sebastian Bach’

Saturday Single No. 684

Saturday, April 11th, 2020

So, what do we know about April 11?

Well, sifting through the list and information provided by Wikipedia, we find one major musical connection:

In 1727, Johann Sebastian Bach’s sacred oratorio, the St. Matthew Passion, had its premiere at the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. At the time, Leipzig was in the Electorate of Saxony (now a federal state in Germany), and Bach was cantor at the St. Thomas School in Leipzig – a school that still exists – and was responsible for providing music for St. Thomas and three other Lutheran churches in the city.

Bach’s appointment as cantor came in 1723, and he stayed in that position until his death in 1750. His body was originally buried at Old St. John’s Cemetery in Leipzig, where his grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years. In the early Ninteenth Century, there was a revival of interest in his music, and in 1894, his remains were located and moved to a vault in St. John’s Church. The church was destroyed during World War II, so in 1950 – 200 years after his death – Bach’s remains were reburied under a bronze marker in St. Thomas Church.

Wikipedia adds, “Later research has called into question whether the remains in the grave are actually those of Bach.”

There’s not a tremendous amount of Bach’s work on the digital shelves here, basically the “Air on the G String,” the six Brandenburg concertos, some of his toccatas and The Well-Tempered Clavier. I do have several albums of Bach’s work recreated as wordless vocal pieces by the Swingle Singers, and a copy of Switched-On Bach, the 1968 synthesizer recasting of some of the composer’s most well-known works by Wendy Carlos (she was Walter Carlos at the time the album was released).

It seems that none of Carlos’ original work is available on YouTube (though many synthesized Bach pieces note her as an inspiration). Here’s one take from 2008 – by a YouTube user called syntesen – on the first movement of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (1721), today’s Saturday Single.