Ermuntert euch, Aria, No. 5 from Cantata No. 176: Es ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding (Alto Part)

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Arranger Bernhard Todt — [? Plate J. Arranger Peter Lang. Arranger Peter Lang Russ Bartoli. Arranger Michel Rondeau. Bach, Johann Sebastian. Bach Digital source list. Wikipedia article Bach-Cantatas. BWV Der Himmel lacht! BWV 70a: Wachet, betet, seid bereit allezeit! Jauchzet, frohlocket, auf, preiset die Tage II.

Fallt mit Danken, fallt mit Loben V. It becomes a choir of four or five parts, each in its natural [pg 64] compass. Compare the following chords in divided harmony:. We realise instantly the effect when music in four or more parts is played in the same manner. Bach always played the Organ so, adding the obbligato pedal, which few organists know how to use properly. He employed it not only to sound the low notes which organists usually play with the left hand, but he gave it a regular part of its own, often so complicated that many organists would find it difficult to play with their five fingers.

To these qualities must be added the exquisite art Bach displayed in combining the stops of the Organ. His registration frequently astonished organists and Organ builders, who ridiculed it at first, but were obliged in the end to admit its [pg 65] admirable results and to confess that the Organ gained in richness and sonority.

Bach's peculiar registration was based on his intimate knowledge of Organ building and of the properties of each individual stop. Very early in his career he made a point of giving to each part of the Organ the utterance best suited to its qualities, and this led him to seek unusual combinations of stops which otherwise would not have occurred to him. Nothing escaped his notice which had the slightest bearing on his art or promised to advance it. For instance, he made a point of observing the effect of large musical compositions in different surroundings. The practised ear, which enabled him to detect the slightest error in music even of the fullest and richest texture, and the art and rapidity with which he tuned his instrument, alike attest his intuitive skill and many-sidedness.

When he was at Berlin in he was shown the new Opera House. He took in its good and bad qualities at a glance, whereas others had done so only after experience. He was shown the large adjoining Saloon and went up into the gallery that runs round it. If a [pg 66] person puts his face to the wall in one corner of it and whispers a few words, another person at the corner diagonally opposite can hear them distinctly, though to others between them the words are inaudible.

The effect arises from the span of the arches in the roof, as Bach saw at a glance. These and similar observations suggested to him striking and unusual combinations of Organ stops. Bach brought the methods I have indicated to bear upon Church music, and they help to explain his extraordinarily dignified and inspired playing, which was at once so appropriate and filled the listener with deep awe and admiration.

His profound knowledge of harmony, unfailing originality, freedom from a secular style, his complete command of the instrument, both manuals and pedals, whence flowed a generous stream of the richest and most abundant fancy, the infallible and swift judgment which allowed him always to select from the treasury of his mind precisely the musical ideas best suited to the occasion immediately before him, his intuitive grasp of every detail, and his power to make it serve his artistic ends—in a word, his transcendent genius brought the art of Organ playing to a degree of perfection which, till then, it had never attained and hardly will attain again.

Quantz has expressed the [pg 67] same opinion. It is to be hoped that when he dies it will not be suffered to decline or be lost, as is to be feared from the small number of people who nowadays bestow pains upon it. Strangers often asked Bach to play to them between the hours of divine service. On those occasions he was wont to select and treat a theme in various ways, making it the subject of each extemporisation even if he continued playing for two hours.

As a beginning he played a Prelude and Fugue on the Great Organ. Then he developed it with solo stops in a Trio or Quartet. A Hymn-tune followed, whose melody he interrupted in the subtlest fashion with fragments of the theme in three or four parts. Last came a Fugue, with full Organ, in which he treated the subject alone or in association with one or more accessory themes. Here we have the art which old Reinken of Hamburg considered to be lost, but which, as he afterwards found, not only survived but attained its greatest perfection in Bach. Bach's pre-eminent position and his high reputation often caused him to be invited to examine candidates for vacant organistships, and to report on new Organs.

In both cases he acted so conscientiously and impartially that he generally made [pg 68] enemies. He could as little prevail on himself to praise a bad instrument as to recommend a bad organist. He was, therefore, severe, though always fair, in the tests he applied, and as he was thoroughly acquainted with the construction of the instrument it was hopeless to attempt to deceive him. First of all he drew out all the stops, to hear the Full Organ.

He used to say jokingly, that he wanted to find out whether the instrument had good lungs! Then he gave every part of it a most searching test. But his sense of fairness was so strong that, if he found the work really well done, and the builder's remuneration [pg 69] too small, so that he was likely to be a loser, Bach endeavoured, and often successfully, to procure for him an adequate addition to the purchase price. When the examination was over, especially if the instrument pleased him, Bach liked to exhibit his splendid talent, both for his own pleasure and the gratification of those who were present.

Bach's first attempts at composition, like all early efforts, were unsatisfactory. Lacking special instruction to direct him towards his goal, he was compelled to do what he could in his own way, like others who have set out upon a career without a guide. Most youthful composers let their fingers run riot up and down the keyboard, snatching handfuls of notes, assaulting the instrument in wild frenzy, in hope that something may result from it.

Such people are merely Finger Composers—in his riper years Bach used to call them Harpsichord Knights—that is to say, their fingers tell them what to write instead of being instructed by the brain what to play. He realised that musical ideas need to be subordinated to a plan and that the young composer's first need is a model to instruct his efforts.

Opportunely Vivaldi's Concertos for the Violin, then recently published, gave him the guidance he needed. He had often heard them praised as admirable works of art, and conceived the happy idea of arranging them for the Clavier. Moreover, in adapting to the Clavier ideas and phrases originally written for the Violin Bach was compelled to put his brain to work, and so freed his inspiration from dependence on his fingers.

Henceforth he was able to draw ideas out of his own storehouse, and having placed himself on the right road, needed only perseverance and hard work to succeed. And how persevering he was! He even robbed [pg 72] himself of sleep to practise in the night what he had written during the day! The models he selected—Church musicians for the most part—and his own disposition inclined him to serious and exalted subjects. But in that kind of music little can be accomplished with inadequate technique.

Bach's first object, therefore, was to develop his power of expressing himself before he attempted to realise the ideal that beckoned him. Music to him was a language, and the composer a poet who, whatever the idiom he affects, must first of all have at his disposal the means of making himself intelligible to others. But the technique of his period Bach found limited in variety and insufficiently pliable.

Therefore he set himself at the outset to refashion the accepted harmonic system. He did so in a manner characteristically individual and bearing the impress of his personality. If the language of music is merely the utterance of a melodic line, a simple sequence of musical notes, it can justly be accused of poverty.

The addition of a Bass puts it upon a harmonic foundation and clarifies it, but defines rather than gives it added richness. In the first case the accompaniment is subordinate, and serves merely to support the first or principal part. In the second case the two parts are not similarly related. New melodic combinations spring from their interweaving, out of which new forms of musical expression emerge. If more parts are interwoven in the same free and independent manner, the apparatus of language is correspondingly enlarged, and becomes practically inexhaustible if, in addition, varieties of form and rhythm are introduced.

Hence harmony becomes no longer a mere accompaniment of melody, but rather a potent agency for augmenting the richness and expressiveness of musical conversation. To serve that end a simple accompaniment will not suffice. True harmony is the interweaving of several melodies, which [pg 74] emerge now in the upper, now in the middle, and now in the lower parts. From about the year , when he was thirty-five, until his death in , Bach's harmony consists in this melodic interweaving of independent melodies, so perfect in their union that each part seems to constitute the true melody.

Herein Bach excels all the composers in the world. Even in his four-part writing we can, not infrequently, leave out the upper and lower parts and still find the middle parts melodious and agreeable. But in harmony of this kind each part must be highly plastic; otherwise it cannot play its role as an actual melody and at the same time combine with the other parts. To produce it Bach followed a course of his own, upon which the textbooks of his day were silent, but which his genius suggested to him. Its originality consists in the freedom of his part writing, in which he transgresses, seemingly, at any rate, rules long established and to his contemporaries almost sacred.

Bach, however, realised their object, which was simply to facilitate the flow of pure melody on a sound harmonic basis, in other words, successive and coexistent euphony, and he succeeded with singular success though by [pg 75] unfamiliar means. Let me explain my meaning more closely. Between simple intervals there is little difficulty in deciding whether the second note must rise or fall. And in regard to phrases, or sections of a phrase, if we analyse their structure and follow out their harmonic tendency, their resolution is equally clear. But this sense of destination may be provoked in each part by different intervals.

As we have observed already, every one of the four parts must flow melodically and freely. But to secure that result it will be necessary to introduce between the notes which begin a phrase and establish its general atmosphere other notes which often are not consonant with those employed in the other parts and whose incidence is governed by the accent. This is what we call a transitus regularis et irregularis.

No one has made more use of such progressions than Bach in order to colour his parts and give them a characteristic melodic line. Hence, unless his music is played with perfect fluency, occasional passages will sound harshly and we may be tempted to accuse him of exaggeration. But the charge is ill founded. Once we play them as Bach intended [pg 76 ] them, such passages reveal their full beauty and their attractive though bizarre dissonance opens up new vistas in the realm of sound.

But, to speak in detail of Bach's transgression of recognised rules. To begin with, he admitted octaves and fifths provided they sounded well; that is, when the cause of their being forbidden did not arise. Bach's octaves and fifths never produce bad or thin harmony, and he was very definite as to when they could and could not be used.

In certain circumstances he would not permit hidden fifths and octaves even between the middle parts, though we exclude them only between the outer parts. Yet, on occasion he used them in such a barefaced manner as to puzzle the beginner in composition. But their use very soon commends itself. Even in the last revision of his early compositions we find him altering passages, which at first sight appear impeccable, with the object of enriching their harmony and without scrupling to use hidden octaves. A remarkable instance occurs [pg 77] in the first part of the Well-tempered Clavier, in the E major Fugue, between the fifth and fourth bars from the end.

I stupidly preferred the older, more correct, and harsher reading, though in the later text the three parts run easily and smoothly. And what more can one demand? Again, there is a rule that every note raised by an accidental cannot be doubled in the chord, because the raised note must, from its nature, resolve on the note above.

If it is doubled, it must rise doubled in both parts and, consequently, form consecutive octaves. Such is the rule. But Bach frequently doubles not only notes accidentally raised elsewhere in the scale but actually the semitonium modi or leading-note itself. Yet he avoids consecutive octaves. His finest works yield examples of this. In general what is called an Organ point is merely a retarded close. Bach, however, did not hesitate to employ it in the middle of a piece; a striking example occurs in the last Gigue of the English Suites.

But it grows more beautiful as it becomes more familiar, and what seemed harsh is found to be smooth and agreeable, until one never tires of playing and hearing it. Bach's modulation was as original and characteristic as his harmony, and as closely related to it. But the two things, though closely associated, are not the same.

By harmony we mean the concordance of several parts; by modulation, their progression through keys. Modulation can take place in a single part. Harmony requires more than one. I will endeavour to make my meaning clearer. Most composers stick closely to their tonic key and modulate out of it with deliberation.

In music that requires a large number of performers, and in a building, for instance a church, where the large volume of sound dies away slowly, such a habit shows good sense in the composer who wishes his work to produce the best possible effect. But in chamber or instrumental music it is not always a proof of wisdom, but rather of mental poverty. Bach saw clearly that the two [pg 79] styles demand different treatment. In his large choral compositions he bridles his exuberant fancy. In his instrumental works he lets himself go.

As he never courted popularity, but always pursued his ideal, Bach had no reason to suppress the nobility of his inspirations, or to lower their standard for public consumption. Nor did he ever do so. Therefore every modulation in his instrumental work is a new thought, a constantly progressive creation in the plane of the chosen keys and those related to them. He holds fast to the essentials of harmony, but with every modulation introduces a new suggestion and glides so smoothly to the end of a piece that no creaking of machinery is perceptible; yet no single bar—I might almost say no part of a bar—is like another.

Every modulation bears a strict relationship to the key from which it proceeds, and springs naturally from it. Bach ignored, or rather despised, the sudden sallies by which many composers seek to surprise their hearers. Even in his chromatic passages his progressions are so smooth and easy that we are hardly conscious of them, however extreme they may be.

He makes us feel that he has not stepped outside the diatonic scale, so quick is he to seize upon the consonances common to dissonant systems and combine them to his sure purpose. Bach's treatment of harmony and modulation powerfully influenced his melody. The strands of his harmony are really concurrent melodies. They flow easily and expressively, never engross the hearer's attention, but divide his interest, as now one now the other becomes prominent. The combination of several melodic lines obliges the composer to use devices which are unnecessary in homophonic music.

A single melody can develop as it pleases. But when two or more are combined each must be so delicately and cleverly fashioned that it can be interwoven with the others in this direction and in that. And here we detect one at least of the reasons why Bach's melodies are so strangely original, and his tunes so clearly distinguishable from those of other [pg 81] composers.

Provided that novelty does not degenerate into eccentricity or extravagance, and that clearness and facility of expression march with agreeableness, a composer's meritoriousness is proclaimed in his originality. But Bach's melodies are not invariably so handicapped. They are always original, it is true. But in his free compositions the melodies are so natural and spontaneous that, while they sound differently from those of other composers, their naturalness, and the sincerity of feeling that inspires them, make them intelligible to every listener.

Most of the Preludes in the Well-tempered Clavier as well as a number of movements in the Suites are of this character. Bach's melody, then, bears the unmistakable stamp of originality. And so does his passage work, as it is called. Such novelty, originality, and brilliancy are not found in any other composer. Examples are to be found in all Bach's Clavier works.

The greater part of its passage work is in the form of harmonic arpeggios whose richness and originality match the chords they represent. In order to realise the care and skill Bach expended on his melody and harmony, and how he put the very best of his genius into his work, I need only instance his efforts to construct a composition incapable of being harmonised with another melodic part.

In his day it was regarded as imperative to perfect the harmonic structure of part-writing. Consequently the composer was careful to complete his chords and leave no door open for another part. So far the rule had been followed more or less closely in music for two, three, and four parts, and Bach observed it in such cases. But he applied it also to compositions consisting of a single part, and to a deliberate experiment in this form we owe the six Violin and the six Violoncello Solo Suites, [pg 83] which have no accompaniment and do not require one.

So remarkable is Bach's skill that the solo instrument actually produces all the notes required for complete harmony, rendering a second part unnecessary and even impossible. Bach's melody never palls on us, because of the presence in it of those qualities to which I have referred. In his earlier works, in which we find him still in bondage to the prevailing mode, there is a good deal that to-day seems antiquated. But when, as in his later works, he draws his melody from the living wells of inspiration and cuts himself adrift from convention, all is as fresh and new as if it had been written yesterday.

Of how many compositions of that period can the same be said? Even the works of ingenious composers like Reinhard Keiser and Handel have become old-fashioned sooner than we or their composers might have supposed. Like other caterers for the public, they were obliged to pander to its taste, and such music endures no longer than the standard which produced it.

Nothing is more inconstant and fickle than popular caprice and, in general, what is called fashion. It must be admitted, however, that Handel's Fugues are not yet out of date, [pg 84] though there are probably few of his Arias that we now find agreeable. Bach's melody and harmony are rendered still more distinctive by their inexhaustible rhythmic variety. Hitherto we have discussed his music merely subjectively as harmony and melody. But to display vivacity and variety music needs to be uttered with rhythmic point and vigour. Composers of Bach's day, therefore, were familiar with measures and rhythms which are now obsolete.

Moreover skilful treatment was necessary in order that each dance might exhibit its own distinctive character and swing. Herein Bach exceeded his predecessors and contemporaries. He experimented with every kind of key and rhythm in order to give variety and colour to each movement. Out of his experience he acquired such facility that, even in [pg 85] Fugue, with its complex interweaving of several parts, he was able to employ a rhythm as easy as it was striking, as characteristic as it was sustained from beginning to end, as natural as a simple Minuet.

The source of Bach's astonishing pre-eminence is to be sought in his facile and constant application of the methods we have discussed. In whatever form he chose to express himself, easy or difficult, he was successful and seemingly effortless. What he sets out to do he concludes triumphantly. The result is complete and perfect; no one could wish for a single note to be other than it is. Some illustrations will make my point clearer.

Some reviewers thought this praise exaggerated. Others have produced masterpieces in various forms which may be placed honourably by the side of his. For instance, certain Allemandes, Courantes, etc. But in Fugue, Counterpoint, and Canon he stands alone, in a grandeur so isolated that all around him seems desert and void. No one ever wrote Fugues to compare with his; indeed, persons unacquainted with them cannot imagine what a Fugue is and ought to be.

The ordinary Fugue follows a rule of thumb development. It takes a theme, puts another beside it, passes them into related keys, and writes other parts round them over a Continuo. Certainly this is Fugue: but of what merit? Persons who know no other not unnaturally hold the whole species in little esteem, and the player who hopes to make such commonplace material convincing will need all his skill and imagination.

Bach's Fugue is of quite another kind. It presents all the characteristics we are accustomed to [pg 87] in freer musical forms: a flowing and distinctive melody, ease, clarity, and facility in the progression of the parts, inexhaustible variety of modulation, purest harmony, the exclusion of every jarring or unnecessary note, unity of form and variety of style, rhythm, and measure, and such superabundant animation that the hearer may well ask himself whether every note is not actually alive.


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Such are the properties of Bach's Fugues, properties which excite the admiration and astonishment of all who can appreciate the intellectual calibre their composition demands. How great a tribute of homage is due to work of this kind, which exhibits all the qualities which lend distinction to compositions in other musical forms! Moreover, while all Bach's Fugues of his mature period have the foregoing properties in common, each is endowed with peculiar excellencies of its own, has its own distinctive individuality, and displays a melodic and harmonic scheme in keeping with it.

The man who can play one of Bach's Fugues is familiar with, and can play, one only; whereas knowing one, we can perform portfolios of Fugues by other performers of Bach's period. To what a height was the art of Counterpoint carried by Bach's genius! It enabled him to develop out of a given subject a whole family of related and contrasted themes, of every form and design. It taught him to develop an idea logically [pg 88] from the beginning to the end. It gave him such a command of harmony and its infinite combinations that he could invert whole themes, note by note, in every part, without impairing in the least the flow of melody or purity of his harmony.

It taught him to write in canon at all intervals and in movements of all kinds so easily and naturally that the workmanship is not perceptible and the composition sounds as smoothly as though it were in the free style. Lastly, it has given to posterity a legacy of works immensely various, which are, and will remain, models of contrapuntal form as long as music endures.

I have written exclusively so far of Bach's Clavier and Organ work. But in its expression music has two branches, instrumental and vocal, and as Bach excels in both of them, the reader will desire to hear somewhat respecting his vocal writings. It was at Weimar that Bach first had occasion to write for the voice, upon his appointment to [pg 89] the Kapelle, which imposed on him the provision of music for the ducal chapel.

His church music, like his Organ works, is devout and serious, and in every respect what church music ought to be. He makes a point also of not elaborating individual words, which leads to mere trifling, but interprets the text as a whole. As elsewhere in his works, the harmonic structure of his voice parts and instrumental accompaniment is rich. The declamation of the recitatives is expressive, and the latter have fine Continuo parts.

If he had been fortunate enough to have capable performers the merits of his church music [pg 90] would have been established and, like his other works, they would still be sung and admired; for they contain treasures which deserve immortality. It was written in October Bach also composed a great number of Cantatas, chiefly for the choir of St. Thomas' School, Leipzig. He practised them so hard in Cantatas for single and double chorus that they became excellent singers. Among these works are some which, in profundity of conception, magnificence, richness of harmony and melody, and animation, surpass everything of their kind.

But, like all Bach's works, and in common with other masterpieces, they are difficult to perform and need a numerous orchestra to produce their full effect. Such are Bach's most important vocal compositions. For instance, he is said never to have composed a song. They produce themselves so spontaneously that there is little call for genius to aid their gestation.

It not infrequently happens that talented composers and players are incapable of imparting their skill to others. Either they have never troubled to probe the mechanism of their own facility, or, through the excellence of their instructors, have taken the short cut to proficiency and allowed their teacher and not their own judgment to decide how a thing should be done. Such people are useless to instruct beginners. True, they may succeed in teaching the rudiments of technique, assuming that they have been properly taught themselves. But they are certainly unqualified to teach in the full sense of the word.

There is, in fact, only one way to become a good teacher, and that is to have gone through the discipline of self-instruction, a path along which the beginner may go astray a thousand times before attaining to perfection. For it is just this stumbling effort that reveals the dimensions of the art. The man who has adventured it learns the obstacles that obstruct his path, and how to surmount them. To be sure, it is a lengthy method. But if a man [pg 93] has patience to persevere he will reap a sure reward after an alluring pilgrimage.

No musician ever founded a school of his own who has not followed such a course, and to his experience his teaching has owed its distinctive character. This is so with Bach, who, only gradually discovering his full stature, was thirty years old before unremitting application raised him above the difficulties of his art. But he reaped his reward. Self-discipline set him on the fairest and most alluring path that it has ever been given to a musician to tread. To teach well a man needs to have a full mind.

He must have discovered how to meet and have overcome the obstacles in his own path before he can be successful in teaching others how to avoid them. Bach united both qualities. Hence, as a teacher he was the most instructive, clear, and definite that has ever been. In every branch of his art he produced a band of pupils who followed in his footsteps, without, however, equalling his achievement.

First of all let me show how he taught the Clavier. He kept them at these exercises for from six to twelve months, unless he found his pupils losing heart, in which case he so far met them as to write short studies which incorporated a particular exercise. Of this kind are the Six Little Preludes for Beginners, and the Fifteen Two-part Inventions, both of which Bach wrote during the lesson for a particular pupil and afterwards improved into beautiful and expressive compositions. Besides this finger practice, either in regular exercises or in pieces composed for the purpose, Bach introduced his pupils to the use of the various ornaments in both hands.

Not until this stage was reached did Bach allow his pupils to practise his own larger works, so admirably calculated, as he knew, to develop their powers. The pupil's interest was roused by hearing the piece properly played. But that was not [pg 95] the sole result. Without the help thus given the pupil could only hope to overcome the difficulties of the piece after considerable effort, and would find it much less easy to realise a proper rendering of it.

As it was, he received at once an ideal to aim at and was taught how to surmount the difficulties the piece presented. Many a young performer, still imperfect after a year's practice, probably would master his music in a month if he once had it played over to him. Bach's method of teaching composition was equally sure and effective.

Still less did he burden his pupils with the physical properties of sound, which he held to be matter for the theorist and instrument-maker rather than the composer. He started them off at once on four-part harmony over a figured Bass, making his pupils write each part on a separate stave in order to impress on them the need for accurate harmonic progression. Then he passed to Hymn tunes, setting the Bass himself and making his pupils write the Tenor and Alto parts.

In time he let them write the Bass also. He insisted on correct harmony and on each part having a real melodic line. Every musician knows what models [pg 96] Bach has left us in this form. The inner parts of his four-part Hymn-tunes are so smooth and melodious that often they might be taken for the melody. He made his pupils aim at similar tunefulness, and until they showed a high standard of merit did not permit them to write compositions of their own.

Meanwhile he aimed at cultivating their feeling for pure harmony and for the order and connection of ideas and parts by familiarising them with the compositions of others. Until they had acquired facility in those qualities he neither permitted them nor held them competent to put pen to paper. Bach required his pupils in composition to work out their musical ideas mentally.

If any of them lacked this faculty he admonished him not to compose and discountenanced even his sons from attempting to write until they had first given evidence of genuine musical gifts. Having completed their elementary study of harmony, Bach took his pupils on to the theory of Fugue, beginning with two-part writing.

In these and other exercises he insisted on the pupil composing away from the Clavier. He insisted upon a correct relation between each note and its predecessor. If he came upon one whose derivation or destination was not perfectly clear he struck it out as faulty. It is, indeed, a meticulous exactitude in each individual part that makes [pg 98] Bach's harmony really multiple melody. Confused part-writing, where a note that belongs to the Tenor is given to the Alto, or vice versa, or the haphazard addition of extraneous parts to a chord which suddenly shows an increase of notes as if fallen from the sky, to vanish as suddenly as they came, are faults found neither in his own nor his pupils' writing.

He regarded his musical parts as so many persons engaged in conversation. If there are three, each of them on occasion may be silent and listen to the others until it finds something relevant to say itself. But if, at an interesting point of the conversation, an interloping voice intervened, Bach regarded it as an intruder and let his pupils understand that it could not be admitted. Notwithstanding his strictness on this point, Bach allowed his pupils considerable licence in other respects.

In their use of certain intervals, as in their treatment of harmony and melody, he let them experiment within the limits of their ability, taking care to discountenance ugliness and to insist on their giving appropriate expression to the character of the composition. Beauty of expression, he postulated, was only attainable on a foundation of pure and accurate harmony. Having experimented in every form himself, he liked to see his pupils equally adventurous.

Earlier teachers of composition, for instance, Berardi, [pg 99] Buononcini, and Fux, did not allow such liberty. They were afraid to trust their pupils to encounter difficulties, and short-sightedly prevented them from learning how to overcome them. Bach's system was wiser, for it took his pupils farther, since he did not limit their attention, as his predecessors did, to the harmonic structure, but extended it to the qualities that constitute good writing, namely, consistency of expression, variety of style, rhythm, and melody.

Those who would acquaint themselves with Bach's method of teaching composition will find it fully set forth in Kirnberger's Correct Art of Composition. As long as his pupils were under his instruction Bach did not allow them to study any but his own works and the classics. The critical sense, which permits a man to distinguish good from bad, develops later than the aesthetic faculty and may be blunted and even destroyed by frequent contact with bad music. The best way to instruct youth is to accustom it early to consort with the best models.

Time brings experience and an instructed judgment to confirm the pupil's early attraction to works of true art. Under this admirable method of teaching all Bach's pupils became distinguished musicians, some more so than others, according as they came early or late under his influence, and had opportunity and encouragement to perfect and apply the instruction they received from him.

His two eldest sons, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emmanuel, were his most distinguished pupils, not because he gave them better instruction than the rest, but because from their earliest youth they were brought up amid good music at home. Even before they began their lessons they knew what was good.

On the other hand, others, before they became Bach's pupils, either had heard no good music or their taste had been already vitiated by contact with bad. It at least attests the excellence of Bach's method that even his pupils thus handicapped took high rank in their profession and distinguished themselves in one or other of its branches. He became organist, and later burgomaster, at Weimar, retaining his professional position.

Some Choral [pg ] Preludes by him for a two-manualed Organ with pedals were engraved about I have said already that Bach's sons were his most distinguished pupils. His melodies have quite a different character from those of other composers. They are exceedingly clever, elegant, and spontaneous. When performed with delicacy, as he played them, they cannot fail to charm every hearer.

It is greatly to be regretted that he preferred to follow his fancy in extemporisation and to expend his genius on fugitive thoughts rather than to work them out on paper. The number of his compositions therefore is small, but all are beautiful. Hence, in the clearness and easy intelligibility of his compositions, he approaches the popular style, though he scrupulously avoids the commonplace.

According to Wilhelm Friedemann, he was the best player among the brothers, and the most effective performer of their father's Clavier compositions. Hence, perhaps, the absence of Bach's style in his music. He was, in fact, a popular composer universally admired in his day. Distinguished as a player, composer, and teacher, Bach was also an indulgent father, a good friend, and a loyal citizen. The Court band, or Kapelle, on special occasions appeared in Hungarian costume, which Bach presumably donned. At Weimar also he wrote his great compositions for that instrument.

It was about this time that Zachau, Handel's master, died at Halle, where he was Organist. The Duke was not only a cultured artist, but was also a man of genuine piety. The increase in his income early in also supports the conclusion, while a letter of January 14, , written by Bach, is not signed by him as Concert- meister. It would seem that his promotion took place in the interval between the two letters. As Concertmeister it was part of his duty to provide Cantatas for the church services.

Twenty-two were written by him at Weimar. Friedrich Wilhelm Zachau diti on August 7 or 14, But for some reason unknown he did not obtain the post. It was given to a clever pupil of Zachau, named Kirchhoff. He had made good use of his opportunities, had studied hard as a player and composer, and by tireless enthusiasm had so completely mastered every branch of his art, that he towered like a giant above his contemporaries. Both amateurs and professional musicians already regarded him with admiration when, in , Marchand, the French virtuoso, a celebrated Clavier and before the future Frederick i.

Bach's feet, an admirer recorded, ' flew over the pedal-board as if they had wings. Forkel records the famous contest with Marchand, the French Organist, at Dresden in The latter's post was still vacant and a new and particularly large Organ sixty-three speaking stops was being erected. The authorities pressed Bach to submit himself to the prescribed tests, and he complied so far as to compose a Cantata and to conduct a performance of it.

On his return to Weimar he received a formal invitation to accept the post. After some correspondence Bach refused it, partly, perhaps chiefly, on the ground that the income was inadequate. The refusal was answered by the groundless accusation that he had merely entertained the Halle proposal in order to bring pressure upon Weimar for a rise of salary.

The misunderstanding was cleared away by , when Bach visited Halle again. In the interval Zachau's post had been given to his pupil, Gottfried Kirchhoff. The whole matter is discussed at length in Spitta, i. Like Couperin, 3 his musical ideas were weak to the point of banality, as we may judge from his compositions. Volumier, Concertmeister at Dresden, 5 was aware of these circumstances, and knowing that the young German had his in- strument and his imagination under the fullest control, determined to arrange a contest between the two men in order to give his sovereign the satisfaction of judging their merits.


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  • With the King's approbation, a message was dispatched 1 Frederick Augustus i. He died In Honore, Paris. His arrival in Dresden was due to his being in disgrace at Versailles. Whether or not he was offered a permanent engagement at the Saxon Court, he was regarded as the champion of the French style, and as such the challenge was issued to him by Bach. Gervais, Paris. Forkel's judgment upon his art is not supported by modern criticism. See Pirro, p. Eitner, ' Quellen Lexikon,' says that he was born in Spain and educated in France.

    Grove's ' Dictionary ' declares him a Belgian. In he was appointed Concertmeister to the Saxon Court. He died at Dresden in Bach accepted the invitation and set out at once on his journey. Upon his arrival at Dresden Volumier procured him an opportunity to hear Marchand secretly. Far from being discouraged by what he heard, Bach wrote a polite note to the French artist challeng- ing him to a trial of skill, and offering to play at sight anything Marchand put before him, provided the Frenchman submitted himself to a similar test.

    Marchand accepted the challenge, a time and place for the contest were fixed, and the King gave his approval. At the appointed hour a large and distinguished company assembled in the house of Marshal Count Flemming. After considerable delay he was sought at his lodging, when it was discovered, to the astonishment of all, that he had left Dresden that morning without taking leave of anybody.

    Bach therefore performed alone, and excited the admiration of all who heard him, though Volumier was cheated of his intention to exhibit the in- feriority of French to German art. Bach was overwhelmed with congratulations ; but the dis- honesty of a Court official is said to have inter- 1 It is more probable that Bach was at Dresden either expressly to hear Marchand or upon one of his autumn tours. He entered at once upon his new office 3 and held it for about six years. According to this story of the event, Bach, summoned from Weimar, attended Marchand's concert incognito, and after hearing Marchand perform, was invited by Volumier to take his seat at the Clavier.

    Bach thereupon repeated from memory Marchand's theme and variations, and added others of his own.

    The RIAS Bach Cantatas Project_Karl Ristenpart | - audite

    Having ended, he handed Marchand a theme for treatment on the Organ and challenged him to a contest. Marchand accepted it, but left Dresden before the appointed hour. Bach was, therefore, already known to him and showed the greatest regard for him both at Cothen and after he had left his service.

    The post was given to Drese's son. On August 1, , just before or after his Marchand triumph, Bach was appointed Kapellmeister to the Court of Cothen. Duke Wilhelm Ernst refused to release him from his engagement, and Bach endured imprisonment from November 6 to December 2, , for demanding instant permission to take up his new post. Pro- bably his last work at Weimar was to put the ' Orgelbiichlein ' into the form in which it has come down to us see articles by the present writer in ' The Musical Times ' for January-March With his departure from Weimar in Bach left behind him the distinctively Organ period of his musical fertility.

    Though his com- positions were still by no means generally known, as a player he held an unchallenged pre-eminence. He was appointed to Cothen on August 1, , and was inducted at Leipzig on May 31, The veteran Reinken he was nearly one hundred years old was particu- larly impressed by Bach's performance. After he had treated the Choral ' An Wasserflussen Babylon ' for half an hour in variation after variation in the true Organ style, 1 Reinken paid him the compliment of saying, ' I thought this art was dead, but I see that it survives in you. His praise therefore was particularly flattering to Bach.

    Thomas' School, Leipzig, 4 a position which he were in connection with the Prince's band. The yearning to get back to the Organ, which eventually took him to Leipzig in , shows itself in his readiness to entertain an invitation to Hamburg in James, vacant by the death of Heinrich Friese in September He was not able to stay to take part in the final tests, nor was he asked to submit to them, since his visit to Hamburg had given him an oppor- tunity to display his gifts.

    In the result the post was given to Johann Joachim Heitmann, who acknowledged his appointment by forthwith paying marks to the treasury of the Church. See Spitta, ii. Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen had great regard for him and Bach left his service with regret. Thomas' he was appointed honorary Kapellmeister to the Duke of Weissenfels 4 and, in the following year 1 Forkel has practically nothing to say regarding the Leipzig period of Bach's musical life.

    That a professed historian of music, setting before the public for the first time the life of one whom he so greatly extolled, and with every inducement to present as complete a picture of him as was possible, should have taken no trouble to carry his investigations beyond the point C.

    Bach and Agricola had reached in the ' Nekrolog ' of is almost incredible. The only reason that can be adduced, apart from the lack of a really scientific impulse, is that Forkel was almost entirely ignorant of the flood of concerted church music which poured from Leipzig from to His criticism of Bach as a composer is restricted practically to Bach's Organ and Clavier works. Latterly his interest in music had waned.

    Johann Sebastian Bach - Kantaten - (BWV 176), (BWV 177), (BWV 178)

    The fact, along with Bach's concern for the education of his sons and his desire to return to the Organ, explains his abandonment of the more dignified Cothen appointment. Matthew Passion,' which he was then writing, with the first chorus of the 'Trauer- Ode ' as an opening of the extemporised work. He retained also his Cothen appointment. Thomas' School. So widely was Bach's skill recognised by this time that the King, who often heard him praised, was curious to meet so great an artist.

    More than once he hinted to Carl Philipp Emmanuel that it would be agreeable to welcome his father to Potsdam, and as Bach did not appear, desired to know the reason. Carl Philipp did not fail to acquaint his father with the King's interest. But for some time Bach was too occupied with his duties to accede to the invitation. However, as Carl Philipp continued to urge him, he set out for Potsdam towards the end of , in company with his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann.

    Bach had petitioned for the appointment in a letter dated July 27, Spitta, iii. Thomas' Cantorate. Bach applied for it in , taking advantage of the recent accession of the new sovereign, Augustus m. One evening, 1 when he had got out his flute and the musicians were at their desks, an official brought him a list of the strangers newly arrived at Potsdam. Flute hi hand the Bang ran through the names, and suddenly turning to the waiting musicians, said with considerable excitement, ' Gentlemen, Old Bach has arrived.

    Wilhelm Friedemann, who accompanied his father, often told me the story. Nor am I likely to forget the racy manner hi which he related it. The courtesy of those days demanded rather prolix compliments, and the first introduction of Bach to so illustrious a monarch, into whose presence he had hurried without being allowed, time to change his travel- ling dress for a Cantor's black gown, obviously invited ceremonial speeches on both sides.

    I will not dwell on them ; Wilhelm Friedemann related 1 May 7, , according to Spitta, quoting Friedrich Wilhelm Marpurg's ' Historisch-kritische Beytrage zur Aufnahme der Musik,' which appeared in 5 vols. On the other hand, Spener, who first records the event, states briefly : ' May 11, His Majesty was informed that Kapellmeister Bach had arrived in Potsdam, and that he was in the Bang's ante-chamber, waiting His Majesty's gracious permission to enter, and hear the music.

    His Majesty at once commanded that he should be admitted ' Spitta, iii. If the Marpurg and Spener dates are reliable, it looks as though Friede- mann's story of his father, travel-stained and weary, being hurried incontinent into the presence of the King is a piece of picturesque embroidery. After some time he asked the King to give him a subject for a Fugue, that he might treat it extempore.

    The King did so, and expressed his astonishment at Bach's profound skill in developing it.

    Bach: Cantatas, BWV 176-178

    Anxious to see to what lengths the art could be carried, the King desired Bach to improvise a six-part Fugue. But as every subject is not suitable for polyphonic 1 Clearly this was a story that Wilhelm Friedemann prided himself on the telling, and Forkel's remark suggests the need for caution in accepting all its details. Frederick's courtesy to Bach, however, tends to discredit the story that ten years earlier Handel deliberately refused to meet the King at Aix-la-Chapelle owing to the peremptori- ness of his summons.

    Streatfield p. Bach was already familiar with his Claviers with hammer action, and indeed had offered useful criticism of which Silbermann had taken advantage. He collected fifteen. I hear that they all now stand, unfit for use, in various corners of the Royal Palace.

    II. Music For The Clavier With Other Instruments

    His Majesty ex- pressed a wish to hear him on the Organ also. Accordingly, next day, Bach inspected all the Organs in Potsdam, 1 as the evening before he had tried the Silbermann pianofortes. On his return to Leipzig he developed the King's theme in three and six parts, added Canoms diversi upon it, engraved the whole under the title ' Musikalisches Opfer ' and dedicated it to the royal author of the theme.

    The indefatigable diligence he had shown all his life, and particularly in his younger years, when successive days and nights were given to study, seriously affected his eye-sight. The weakness grew with age and became very distressing in character. On the advice of friends who placed great confidence in the skill of a London oculist lately come to Leipzig, 3 Bach submitted to an 1 According to another account, which Spitta iii.

    The King does not appear to have been present. The extemporisation of the six- part Fugue took place in Frederick's presence on the evening of that day. He calls it ' a musical offering, of which the noblest portion is the work of Your Majesty's illustrious hand. The operation took place in the winter of He lost his sight completely in consequence, and his hitherto vigorous constitution was undermined by the drugs administered to him. He sank gradually for full half a year, and expired on the evening of July 30, , in the sixty-sixth year of his age.

    A few hours later he was seized by an apoplexy and inflammatory fever, and notwithstanding all possible medical aid, his weakened frame suc- cumbed to the attack. Such was the career of this remarkable man. I will only add that he was twice married, and that he had by his first wife seven, and by his second wife thirteen children ; in all, eleven sons and nine daughters. Streatfield ' Handel,' p.

    Bach was working to the very moment of his collapse on July Probably his last work was the Choral Prelude Novello bk. An addendum to the Genealogy, in C. Bach's hand, gives July 30 as the date of his father's death. Of the five sona of the first marriage, two were famous, two died in infancy, and the fifth abandoned a pro- mising musical career for the law.

    Of the six sons of the second marriage, one was imbecile, three died in infancy, two were famous. Thomas' School at nine o'clock on the morning of Monday, May 31, He died in his official residence there at a quarter to nine on the evening of Tuesday, July 28, He was buried early on the morning of Friday, July 31, in the churchyard of St. John's, Leipzig. The announcement of his death, made from the pulpit of St. Thomas' School of this town. The Cantor of St. Thomas' was charged for- merly with the musical direction of four Leipzig 1 See Introduction, p.

    Thomas', St.

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    Nicolas', St. Peter's, and the New Church. He was also responsible for the music in the University Church of St. Paul, the so-called ' old service,' held originally on the Festivals of Easter, Whit, Christmas, and the Reformation, and once during each University quarter. On high days music also had to be provided at St.

    John's Church. Bach, as Cantor, succeeded to a more restricted responsibility, which dated from the early years of the eighteenth century. The New Church, originally the Church of the Franciscans, had been restored to use in In Georg Philipp Telemann, who came to Leipzig as a law student three years before, was appointed Organist there.

    Not until did the Society pass under Bach's direction and its members become available as auxiliaries in the church choirs under his charge. Notwithstanding that Bach's predecessor Kuhnau had protested against Telemann' s independence, the direction of the New Church's music passed out of the Cantor's control, though the School continued to provide the choristers. Six years later the University Church of St. Paul also began an independent course. In the authorities resolved to hold a University service in the church every Sunday.

    Kuhnau asserted his prerogative as Cantor. Nicolas' since , to control the music both of the c old ' and ' new ' services, for which the University provided the choir. Not until after a direct appeal to the King did Bach succeed, in , in compelling the University to restore to the Cantor his emoluments in regard to the ' old service,' the conduct of which had been restored to him on his appointment as Cantor. As to St. Peter's, its services, which had entirely ceased, were revived in The music, however, was simple, and consisted only of hymns.

    Thus Bach, as Cantor, was responsible for the music in the two principal churches, St. Thomas' and St. The School also provided the choir for St. Peter's and the New Church. The junior and least competent singers sang at St. The rest were pretty equally distributed between the other three churches. At the New Church the music was performed under the direc- tion of a Chorprafect. At St. Nicolas' Bach personally directed the concerted music. At the great Festivals, New Year, Epiphany, Ascen- sion Day, Trinity Sunday, and the Annunciation, Cantatas were sung at both churches, the two choirs singing at Vespers in the second church the Cantata performed by them in the morning at the other church.

    On these occasions the second choir was conducted by a Chorprafect. The principal Sunday service in both churches began at seven in the morning, ended at eleven, and observed the following order : 1. Organ Prelude. Motet, related to the Gospel for the Day ; omitted in Lent and replaced by the Benedictus. Kyrie, sung alternately, in German and Latin. The Lord's Prayer, intoned at the altar. Collect, intoned in Latin ; preceded by the preces ' Dominus vobiscum ' and ' Et cum spiritu tuo.

    Litany, in Advent and Lent only ; intoned by four boys, the Choir responding. Hymn, appropriate to the Gospel. Prelude, followed by a Cantata, lasting about twenty minutes ; on alternate Sundays in each church. The Creed in German, ' Wir glauben all' an einen Gott,' sung by the congregation. Sermon, lasting one hour A. Hymn, ' Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend',' followed by the reading of the Gospel, on which the Sermon had been based.

    General Confession, prayers, and Lord's Prayer. Communion Service ; Hymns and Organ extemporisation. Vespers began at a quarter past one and was a comparatively simple service ; the music con- sisted of Hymns, a Motet, and the Magnificat. The Organ was silent.

    A festal hymn followed the Benediction. The three great Festivals were each observed for three consecutive days, on the first and second of which Cantatas were sung at both churches. On the third day concerted music was sung at only one of the two churches. Michael the Archangel. The Reformation Festival was kept on October 31, or if that date was a Saturday or Monday, on the previous or following Sunday.

    On Good Friday the Passion was performed in the two principal churches alternately. Leipzig adopted no official Hymn-book. The compilation from which the Hymns were chosen by Bach was the eight-volumed ' Gesangbuch ' of Paul Wagner, published at Leipzig for Dresden use in It contained over five thousand Hymns but no music, merely the name of the tune being stated above the Hymn. Otherwise the power of selection was in the hands of the Cantor, and Bach's exercise of it caused some friction with the clergy in The provision and direction of the music at weddings and funerals was in the Cantor's hands.

    He arranged the choirs and the music sung at the scholars' annual processions and perambulations of the town, which took place at Michaelmas, New Year, and on St. Martin's and St. Gregory's Days. Augmenting the School's choristers, the Town Musicians took part in the Church services and were under the Cantor's direction. Their numbers and efficiency were inadequate. Upon the staff of the School the Cantor ranked third after the Rector and Sub-Rector, and took a share in the general instruction of the scholars. Class III. Singing classes were held by the Cantor on three days of the week, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, at nine and noon, and on Fridays at noon.

    His instruction in singing was given to the four upper classes only. On Saturday afternoons the Cantata was rehearsed. Once hi four weeks the Cantor took his turn to inspect the scholars. He rose at five in summer, at six in winter, dined at ten and supped at five in the afternoon. Holidays were numerous. At Midsummer the School had a month of half-holidays. Whole holidays were given on the birthdays of the four upper masters.

    There were no morning lessons on Saints' Days, on the occasion of funeral orations in the University Church, and on the quarterly Speech Days. Hence, though Bach's office carried large respon- sibility, it left him considerable leisure for com- position. As Cantor Bach had an official residence in the left wing of the School House. In , the Cantor's wing was of two storeys only, dwarfed by the greater elevation of the main edifice and under the shadow of the church. Bach brought to Leipzig four children of his first marriage, and his second wife, Anna Magdalena, presented him with a son or daughter annually from to The accommodation of the Cantor's lodging therefore rapidly became inadequate.

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    In the spring of Bach found a house elsewhere while an additional storey was added to it, which provided a new music-room, a good-sized apart- ment whence a passage led to the big schoolroom in the main building. From thenceforward till his death eighteen years later Bach's occupancy was not disturbed. The wing continued to be the official residence of the Cantor until the School moved to the suburbs of the city in About 12 thalers came to him from endowments.

    In kind he was entitled to 16 bushels of corn and 2 cords of firelogs, together with 2 measures of wine at each of the three great Festivals. From the University, after his successful protest, he received 12 thalers for directing the ' old service. They were of three kinds : 1 School monies, 2 funeral fees, 3 wedding fees. The School monies repre- sented perquisites derived from funds obtained by the scholars, partly by their weekly collections from the public, partly from the four annual processions or perambulations of the city.

    From the weekly collections a sum of six pfennigs multiplied by the number of the scholars was put aside for the four upper masters, among whom the Cantor ranked third. Martin's Day processions the Rector took a thaler, the Cantor and the Sub-Rector each took one-eleventh of the balance, sixteen thirty- thirds went to the singers, and one-quarter of what remained fell to the Cantor.

    Out of the money collected on St. Gregory's Day March 12 the Rector took one- tenth for the entertainment of the four upper masters, and the Cantor took one-third of the residue. For funerals one thaler 15 groschen was paid when the whole school accompanied the procession and a Motet was sung at the house of the deceased. When no Motet was sung the Cantor's fee was 15 groschen.

    For weddings he received two thalers. Reckoned in modern currency, and judged by the standard of the period, the Cantor's income was not inadequate and served to maintain Bach's large family hi comfort. When he died in , in addition to a mining share valued at 60 thalers, he possessed in cash or bonds about thalers, silver plate valued at thalers, instruments valued at thalers, house furniture valued at 29 thalers, and books valued at 38 thalers. His whole estate was declared at thalers, or somewhat less than the savings of two years' income.

    But for the inequitable distribu- tion of his property, owing to his intestacy, which left Anna Magdalena only about thalers and the mining share, Bach's widow and unmarried BACH AT LEIPZIG, 39 daughters ought not to have been afflicted with excessive poverty, as in fact they were. At the beginning of his Cantorate Bach worked amid discouraging and unsatisfactory conditions. The Rector, Johann Heinrich Ernesti, was over seventy years of age in The School was badly managed, its discipline was relaxed, the better-to-do citizens withheld their sons from it, and its numbers were seriously diminished.

    In the junior classes contained only 53 as against in Ernesti' s earlier years. The proximity and operatic traditions of Dresden and Weissenfels also had a bad effect ; the St. Thomas' boys, after attaining musical proficiency, were apt to become restless, demanding release from their indentures, and even running away to more attractive and lucrative occupations. More- over, the governors of the School were the Town Council, a body which had little sympathy with or appreciation of Bach's artistic aims and tem- perament.

    To these difficulties must be added another. The Town Musicians, on whom Bach relied for the nucleus of his orchestra, were few in number and inefficient. So long as Ernesti lived, there was little prospect of reform. But, after his death, in October , Bach made vigorous representations to the Town Council. Already he had remonstrated with the Council for presenting to foundation scholarships boys who lacked musical aptitude. He was declared to be ' incorrigible ' and it was resolved August 2, to sequestrate the Cantor's income, in other words, to withhold from him the perquisites to which he was entitled for the conduct of the Church services.

    The document reveals the conditions amid which Bach worked. Its repre- sentations may be summarised : The foundation scholars of St. Thomas' are of four classes : Trebles, Altos, Tenors, Basses. A choir needs from four to eight ' concertists ' solo singers and at least two ' ripienists ' to each chorus part, i. The foundation scholars number fifty-five, by whom the choirs of the four Churches, St.

    Peter's, and the New Church are provided. For the instrumental accompaniments at least twenty players are required : viz. To fill these places there are eight Town Musicians, and at the moment there are no players available for third Tromba, Timpani, Viola, Violoncello, Contra- basso, third Oboe or Taille. To augment the Town Musicians the Cantor has been wont in the past to employ University students and instrumental players in the School.

    But the Council, by its recent resolution, no longer affords the Cantor the means to employ them. To place the scholars hi the orchestra weakens the choir, to which they natur- ally belong. By presenting to foundation scholarships boys unskilled and ignorant of music, the resources at the Cantor's disposal are still farther lessened. Hence, Bach concludes, ' in ceasing to receive my perquisites I am deprived of the power of putting the music into a better condition. But with the advent of Johann Matthias Gesner as Rector in September a happier period dawned upon the 'incorrigible' Cantor.

    In Gesner pro- cured the withdrawal of the Council's ban on Bach's perquisites. The fallen fortunes of the School revived, and Bach did not again make an effort to leave Leipzig. Bach's early misunderstanding with the Uni- versity cut him off from association with the most dignified, if not the most important, institution in Leipzig, and deprived him of opportunity to display his genius beyond the radius of his Church duties. The situation changed in , when he became director of the University Society, and he held the post for about ten years.

    The Society gave weekly concerts on Fridays, from 8 to 10, and an extra concert, during the Fair season, on Thursdays at the same hour. It performed vocal and instrumental music and was the medium through which Bach presented his secular Can- tatas, Clavier and Violin Concertos, and Orchestral Suites to the public. The proficiency of his elder sons and pupils, and his wife's talent as a singer, were a farther source of strength to the Society, whose direction undoubtedly made these years the happiest in Bach's life.

    He took his rightful place in the musical life of the city, and relegated to a position of inferiority the smaller fry, such as Corner, who had presumed on Bach's aloofness from the University and Municipality to insinuate themselves. His increasing reputation as an organist, gained in his annual autumn tours, also enlightened his fellow-townsmen regarding the superlative worth of one whom at the outset BACH AT LEIPZIG, 43 they were disposed to treat as a subordinate official. The Leipzig of Bach's day offered various oppor- tunities for musical celebration ; official events in the University, ' gratulations ' or ' ovations ' of favourite professors by their students, as well as patriotic occasions in which town and gown par- ticipated.

    The recognised fee for pieces d? Bach's conductorship of the University Society enabled him to perform festival works with the resources they required, and to augment the band and chorus needed for their adequate performance. Even before he undertook the direction of the University Society, Bach more than once pro- vided the music for University celebrations. On August 3, , his secular Cantata, 'Der zufried- engestellte Aeolus,' was performed at the students' celebration of Doctor August Friedrich Miiller's name-day.

    In he revived an old Cantata 1 to celebrate the birthday of another of the Leipzig teachers. In the same year the appointment of Dr. On November 21, 1 Steigt freudig in die Luft,' first performed at Cothen, set to a new text, ' Schwingt freudig euch empor. But Bach's activity as a secular composer at Leipzig was chiefly expended on patriotic celebra- tions. His compositions of this character are particularly numerous during the years , while he was seeking from the Dresden Court the post of Hof-Componist.

    The first of these cele- brations took place on May 12, , the birth- day of Augustus n. The King was present and listened to the performance from a convenient window. The music is lost. Six years elapsed before Bach was invited to collaborate in another celebration of the royal House. On September 5, , less than two months after his application for the post of Hof-Componist, the University Society celebrated the eleventh birth- day of the Electoral Prince by performing Bach's dramma per musica, ' Die Wahl des Herkules,' or ' Herkules auf dem Scheidewege.

    The music had already done duty in Dr. Muller's honour in On the following October 5, , when the King visited Leipzig, Bach's hurriedly written Cantata, ' Preise dein Gliicke, gesegnetes Sachsen,' whose first chorus became the ' Osanna ' of the B minor Mass, was performed hi the Market Place. Two days later, on October 7, , the King's birthday was celebrated by another Bach Cantata, ' Schleicht spielende Wellen,' performed by the Collegium Musicum.

    In , having received the coveted title of Hof- Componist in the interval , Bach performed a work ' Willkommen, ihr herrschenden Gotter der Erden ' now lost, in honour of the marriage of the Princess Maria Amalia of Saxony to Charles of Sicily, afterwards Charles m. Apart from his musical activities and the house in which he lived there is little that permits us to picture Bach's life at Leipzig.

    Gottsched and his musical wife, Johann Abraham Birnbaum, among the Pro- fessoriate, Picander and Christian Weiss, Bach's regular librettists, suggests the amenities of an academic and literary circle.

    And few men had a happier home life. While his elder sons were at home the family concerts were among his most agreeable experiences. As his fame increased, his house became the resort of many seeking to know and hear the famous organist. Late in the thirties he resigned his directorship of the Uni- versity Society. His sons were already off his hands and out of his house, and he turned again to the Organ works of his Weimar period. Their revision occupied the last decade of his life, and the hitherto constant flow of Church Cantatas ceased.

    Pupils resorted to him and filled his empty house, to one of whom, Altnikol, he gave a daughter in marriage. Four, perhaps only three, contemporary portraits of Bach are known. The second hung in St. Thomas' School and is reproduced at p. It was painted in and restored in The third portrait belonged to Bach's last pupil, Kittel, and used to hang on the Organ at Erfurt, whence it disappeared after , during the Napoleonic wars. Recently Professor Fritz Volbach of Mainz has discovered a fourth portrait, which is printed at p. He supposes it to be none other than the Erfurt portrait, as indeed it well may be, since it repre- sents a man of some sixty years, austere in countenance, but of a dignity that is not so apparent in Haussmann's portraiture.

    In consequence his widow, Anna Magdalena, burdened with the charge of a step-daughter and two daughters, was entitled to only one-third of her husband's estate. Neither 1 The well-known portrait by C. Liszewski in the Joachimsthal Gymnasium, Berlin, was painted in , twenty-two years after Bach's death.

    It represents him at a table with music-paper before him and an adjacent Clavier.