Bach Family Archive

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Johann Sebastian Bach was born into a family with an impressive musical lineage, of which he was extremely proud. This week on The Choral Mix, Kent Tritle journeys through the music of the great Johann Sebastian and his most celebrated predecessors.

The show opens with J.S. Bach's Komm, Jesu, komm for double choir. During Bach's time as a church musician and resident composer, he produced a vast number of sacred works for chorus. The young Johann Sebastian revered and spent time with Dieterich Buxtehude, one of the preeminent composers and church organists of the Baroque. Rumor has it that Buxtehude offered his position at the Marienkirche in Lübeck to Bach, but there was a stipulation: that Bach must marry Buxtehude's daughter.
Despite not going through with the offer, Bach learned much from Buxtehude and his influence is apparent in Bach's writing. We hear the music of Buxtehude including his Jesu, meines lebens lebenat and Missa Brevis. Bach's great uncle, Johann Michael Bach, and his cousin Johann Christoph (whom J.S. deemed as a profound composer), were also composers of choral and organ music. Their works are performed this week by The Choir of Clare College in Cambridge under Timothy Brown.
Also on this Bach family tribute, music of Bach's second cousin, Johann Ludwig, and more works by Johann Sebastian.

Playlist (in alphabetical order by composer):

Johann Bach
Unser Leben ist ein Schatten
The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Timothy Brown

Johann Christoph Bach
Fürchte dich nicht
The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
Timothy Brown

Johann Ludwig Bach
Das ist meine Freude
The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge
Richard Marlow

Johann Michael Bach
Halt, was du hast
The Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge
Richard Marlow

J.S. Bach
Komm, Jesu, komm
Choir of St Ignatius
Kent Tritle

J.S. Bach
Jesu, meine Freude
The Sixteen
Harry Christophers

Missa Brevis, Kyrie and Gloria
Herren Var Gud
Theatre of Voices
Paul Hillier

Jesu, meines lebens leben
Orchestra Anima Eterna and Collegium Vocale
Jos van Immerseel

Comments [2]

Michael Meltzer

Non-stop beautiful, Kent. Wonderful!

Mar. 12 2012 03:30 AM
Peter Demetriou from New York City

The English translation of Jesu, meines lebens leben is "Jesus, my life's life" (not my life's love as mentioned on the air, unless the title had been "Jesu, meines Lebens Liebe").
The correct title should also have been printed as "Jesu, meines Lebens Leben" because nouns (such as Leben that occurs twice in the title) are capitalized in German as is the case with "Jesu, meine Freude" where Jesu and Freude are nouns.
Apart from this linguistic comment, the music was beautifully selected and performed! It was sacred choral music of the highest order!

Mar. 12 2012 12:27 AM

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