Composers

Johann Sebastian Bach

Voice
Mixed chorus
Orchestra
Bass
Tenor
Alto
Organ
Soprano
Violin
Harpsichord
Religious music
Cantatas
Sacred cantatas
Fugue
Prelude
Chorale prelude
Song
Chorale
Sacred songs
Secular cantatas
by alphabet
Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach15 Inventions, BWV 772-786The Well-Tempered ClavierGoldberg VariationsPartitas for keyboardCello SuitesOrgelbüchleinSt Matthew PassionSonatas and Partitas for Solo ViolinPartita in A minor for solo fluteCello Suite No.1 in G major, BWV 1007Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 846The Art of FugueDas wohltemperierte Klavier II, BWV 870-893MagnificatChristmas OratorioPrelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 847Jesu, Joy of Man's DesiringOrchestral Suite No.3 in D major, BWV 1068Mass in B minorConcerto for Two Violins42 Little Keyboard Preludes389 ChoralgesängeEight Short Preludes and FuguesList of chorale harmonisations by Johann Sebastian BachChorale Preludes, BWV 714-765The Musical OfferingSt John PassionInvention in C major, BWV 772Italian ConcertoJesu, meine Freude , BWV 227Brandenburg Concerto No.3 in G major, BWV 104816 Konzerte nach verschiedenen Meistern, BWV 972–987Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor, BWV 1067French SuitesKlavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann BachHarpsichord Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052Flute Sonata in B minor, BWV 1030Schübler ChoralesFrench Suite No.5 in G major, BWV 816Inventions and SinfoniasBrandenburg Concerto No. 5Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 582Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major, BWV 1047Cello Suite No.2 in D minor, BWV 1008Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme , BWV 140Fugue in G minor, BWV 578Cello Suite No.3 in C major, BWV 1009Ich habe genug , BWV 82Chorale Preludes, BWV 669-68915 Sinfonias, BWV 787-801Violin Concerto in A minorPrelude, Fugue and Allegro in E-flat major, BWV 9985 Kleine Präludien, BWV 939-943Brandenburg Concerto No.1 in F major, BWV 1046Neumeister CollectionClavier-Übung IIIPartita in B-flat major, BWV 825Songs and Arias, BWV 439-518Cello Suite No.5 in C minor, BWV 1011Partita in C minor, BWV 826Suite in E major, BWV 1006aInvention in D minor, BWV 775Sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichordWachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 645Harpsichord Concerto No.5 in F minor, BWV 1056Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 851Flute Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034Prelude in C minor, BWV 999Invention in F major, BWV 779Fugue in G minor, BWV 1000Great Eighteen Chorale PreludesPartita for Violin No. 1English SuitesBrandenburg Concerto No.4 in G major, BWV 1049Chorale Harmonisations, BWV 1-438Sonata for Viola da Gamba in G major, BWV 1027Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 552Organ SonatasJauchzet Gott in allen Landen , BWV 51Christ lag in Todes Banden , BWV 410 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 850Trio Sonata in G major, BWV 1039Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern , BWV 1Brandenburg Concerto No.6 in B-flat major, BWV 1051Six Sonatas for Violin and Harpsichord, BWV 1014–1019Invention in A minor, BWV 784Chromatic Fantasia and FugueFlute Sonata in A major, BWV 1032Violin Sonata No.2 in A minor, BWV 1003Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 538Kompositionen für die LautePrelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 848Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 543Lute Suite in E minor, BWV 996Flute Sonata in E major, BWV 1035Prelude and Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 866Cello Suite No.6 in D major, BWV 1012Violin Sonata No.3 in C major, BWV 1005Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit , BWV 106Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 849Violin Concerto in E majorPrelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 861Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht , BWV 211Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 855Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV 853Organ Sonata No.1 in E-flat major, BWV 525French Suite No.6 in E major, BWV 817Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland , BWV 61Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 639Fantasia and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542Organ Concerto in A minor, BWV 593Toccata in G major, BWV 916Piano Transcriptions of Ignaz FriedmanOverture in the French style, BWV 831Harpsichord Concerto in A major, BWV 1055Bist du bei mirChorale Preludes, BWV 690-713Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 659Cello Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 1010Air in F major, BWV Anh.131Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 531Violin Sonata in G major, BWV 1021Invention in C minor, BWV 773Trio Sonata in G major, BWV 1038English Suite No.3 in G minor, BWV 808Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis , BWV 21Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 857Easter OratorioPrelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 854Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied , BWV 225Was mir behagt, ist nur die muntre Jagd , BWV 208Erbarm dich mein, o Herre Gott, BWV 721French Suite No.2 in C minor, BWV 813Prelude in C major, BWV 924Orchestral Suite No.1 in C major, BWV 10663 Minuets, BWV 841-843French Suite No.4 in E-flat major, BWV 815Prelude and Fugue in F major, BWV 856Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 867Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 860Oeuvres complètes pour orgueWir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir , BWV 29Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 547Partita in E minor, BWV 830Suite in C minor, BWV 997Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 852Pastorale in F major, BWV 590Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 869Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major, BWV 564Partita for Violin No. 3French Suite No.1 in D minor, BWV 812Fantasia in G major, BWV 572Organ Sonata No.5 in C major, BWV 529Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 871Invention in D major, BWV 774Musette in D major, BWV Anh.126Sonata for Viola da Gamba in G minor, BWV 1029Partita in A minor, BWV 827Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 906Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1062Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 87512 Transcriptions pour le pianoToccata in E minor, BWV 914Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major, BWV 862Oboe Concerto in D minor, BWV 1059RPrelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 870Partita for Violin No. 2Sonata for Viola da Gamba in D major, BWV 1028Keyboard concertos by Johann Sebastian BachAdagio in G major, BWV 968Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 546Widerstehe doch der Sünde , BWV 54Organ Sonata No.4 in E minor, BWV 528Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott , BWV 80Canon in A minor, BWV 1073Invention in E major, BWV 777Komm, süßer Tod, BWV 478Toccata in C minor, BWV 911Fugue in G major, BWV 577Harpsichord Concerto No.7 in G minor, BWV 1058Violin Sonata in B minor, BWV 1014Organ Sonata No.2 in C minor, BWV 526Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp major, BWV 858Partita in D major, BWV 828Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf , BWV 226Harpsichord Concerto No.3 in D major, BWV 1054Violin Sonata in E minor, BWV 1023Concerto for Flute, Violin and Harpsichord in A minor, BWV 1044Organ Sonata No.3 in D minor, BWV 527Pedal-Exercitium, BWV 598Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 865Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor, BWV 859Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 537French Suite No.3 in B minor, BWV 814Harpsichord Concerto in E major, BWV 1053Concerto for two harpsichords in C minor, BWV 1060Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden , BWV 230Organ Sonata No.6 in G major, BWV 530English Suite No.1 in A major, BWV 806Vergnügte Ruh, beliebte Seelenlust , BWV 170Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 533Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 544Partita in G major, BWV 829Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 881Violin Sonata in C minor, BWV 1017Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 545Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 539First Lessons in BachNach dir, Herr, verlanget mich , BWV 150Trio Sonata in C minorAlso hat Gott die Welt geliebt , BWV 68Duetto No.1 in E minor, BWV 802Violin Sonata in A major, BWV 1015Ach bleib bei uns, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 649Invention in B-flat major, BWV 785Invention in G major, BWV 781Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV 54914 Canons, BWV 1087Suite in G minor, BWV 822Komm, Jesu, komm , BWV 229Aria variata alla maniera italianaFantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 904Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 532Invention in G minor, BWV 782Concerto for 2 Harpsichords in C major, BWV 1061Schwingt freudig euch empor , BWV 36Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp minor, BWV 863Aus der Tiefen rufe ich, Herr, zu dir , BWV 131Himmelskönig, sei willkommen , BWV 182Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen , BWV 56Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541Lobet Gott in seinen Reichen , BWV 11Prelude and Fugue in B major, BWV 868Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548Prelude and Fughetta in G major, BWV 90212 Arien und Lieder für Ostern und andere FesteCapriccio on the departure of a beloved brotherPrelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 535Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 769Violin Sonata in C minor, BWV 1024Cantata BWV Anh 2Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid , BWV 3Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten , BWV 202Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland , BWV 62Prelude and Fugue in E major, BWV 878Invention in B minor, BWV 786Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland, BWV 599Prelude in C major, BWV 939Air with Variations in C minor, BWV 991O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht , BWV 118Canon in D major, BWV 107212 Arien und Lieder für allgemeine AnlässeToccata and Fugue in F major, BWV 540Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 864Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütigInvention in F minor, BWV 780Allemande in G minor, BWV 836Suite in A minor, BWV 818Toccata in D minor, BWV 913Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 731Invention in E minor, BWV 778Violin Sonata in E major, BWV 1016Fugue in D major, BWV 580Tritt auf die Glaubensbahn , BWV 152Sonata in D minor, BWV 964English Suite No.5 in E minor, BWV 81012 Arien und Lieder für die Passionszeit und die KarwocheInvention in E-flat major, BWV 776Organ Concerto in D minor, BWV 596Mer hahn en neue Oberkeet , BWV 212Violin Sonata in G major, BWV 1019Ich lasse dich nicht, BWV Anh.159Prelude in C minor, BWV 921Sonata in A minor, BWV 965Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe , BWV 156PreludeToccata in D major, BWV 912Wer nur den lieben Gott läßt walten , BWV 93Prelude and Fugue in D major, BWV 874Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp major, BWV 872Invention in A major, BWV 783Harpsichord Concerto No.6 in F major, BWV 1057Meine Seel erhebt den Herren , BWV 10Fugue in C minor, BWV 575Mass in G minor, BWV 235Non sa che sia dolore , BWV 209Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536Sinfonia in C major, BWV 787An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 653Concerto for Oboe and Violin in B-flat major, BWV Anh.22Allemande in G minor, BWV 837Canon in D major, BWV 1075Gott soll allein mein Herze haben , BWV 169Geist und Seele wird verwirret , BWV 35Bleib bei uns, denn es will Abend werden , BWV 6Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 884Kleines harmonisches Labyrinth, BWV 591Ich bin vergnügt mit meinem Glücke , BWV 84St Luke Passion , BWV 246English Suite No.6 in D minor, BWV 811Suite in A major, BWV 1025Laß, Fürstin, laß noch einen Strahl , BWV 198Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 885Am Abend aber desselbigen Sabbats , BWV 42Fantasia in C major, BWV 570Minuet in A minor, BWV Anh.120Prelude and Fugue in E-flat major, BWV 876Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 545aGloria in excelsis Deo , BWV 191Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654Trio in G major, BWV 586Bereitet die Wege, bereitet die Bahn , BWV 132Sinfonia in D major, BWV 1045Mass in A major, BWV 234Minuet in F major, BWV Anh.113Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 561Prelude and Fugue in B minor, BWV 893Komm, du süße Todesstunde , BWV 161Fantasia and Fugue in A minor, BWV 944Prelude and Fugue in F-sharp minor, BWV 883Prelude and Fugue in F minor, BWV 534Magnificat in E-flat major, BWV 243aSuite in A major, BWV 832Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut , BWV 199Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 889Wir müssen durch viel Trübsal , BWV 146Canonic Trio Sonata in F major, BWV 1040Gott ist mein König , BWV 71Gott der Herr ist Sonn und Schild , BWV 79Trio in D minor, BWV 583Prelude in B minor, BWV 923Prelude and Fugue on 'B-A-C-H', BWV 898Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten! BWV 172Fughetta in C minor, BWV 961Alla breve in D major, BWV 589Süßer Trost, mein Jesus kömmt , BWV 151Prelude in G major, BWV 568Fantasia and Fugue in C minor, BWV 562Jesus nahm zu sich die Zwölfe , BWV 22English Suite No.4 in F major, BWV 80912 Arien und Lieder für Sterben, Tod, Auferstehung, ewiges LebenSonata in D major, BWV 963Fugue in C major, BWV 952Fugue in D minor, BWV 948Duetto No.2 in F major, BWV 803Violin Sonata in F minor, BWV 1018Ach Gott, vom Himmel sieh darein , BWV 2Il mio primo BachO ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe , BWV 34Ich geh und suche mit Verlangen , BWV 49Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt , BWV 18Minuet in B-flat-major, BWV Anh.118Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren , BWV 137Harpsichord Concerto No.8 in D minor, BWV 1059Wo soll ich fliehen hin , BWV 5Mass in F major, BWV 233Fugue in G major, BWV 576Kommst du nun, Jesu, vom Himmel herunter, BWV 650Herr Jesu Christ, wahr' Mensch und Gott , BWV 127Toccata in G minor, BWV 915Ach wie flüchtig, ach wie nichtig , BWV 26Prelude in D major, BWV 925Mass in G major, BWV 236In dulci jubilo, BWV 608Duetto No.4 in A minor, BWV 805Ach Gott und Herr, BWV 714Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp minor, BWV 873Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 647Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn, BWV 601In dir ist Freude, BWV 615Sarabande con partite in C major, BWV 990Canzona in D minor, BWV 588Prelude and Fugue in B-flat minor, BWV 891Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ , BWV 91Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 894Canon in G major, BWV 1077Fugue in G minor, BWV 131aChrist unser Herr zum Jordan kam , BWV 7Fugue on a Theme by Corelli, BWV 579Jesu, meine Freude, BWV Anh.76Fürchte dich nicht , BWV 228Christen, ätzet diesen Tag , BWV 63Sinfonia in F minor, BWV 795Fugue in C major, BWV 946Concerto for 3 Harpsichords in D minor, BWV 1063Sinfonia in C minor, BWV 788Sinfonia in G minor, BWV 797Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 550Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 642O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 767Die Himmel erzählen die Ehre Gottes , BWV 76Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ , BWV 177Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 888Duetto No.3 in G major, BWV 804Concerto and Fugue in C minor, BWV 909Vor deinen Thron tret' ich, BWV 668Sonata in C major, BWV 966Sinfonia in B minor, BWV 801Jesu, der du meine Seele , BWV 78Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht , BWV 105Bekennen will ich seinen Namen , BWV 200Organ Concerto in C major, BWV 594Ach Gott, wie manches Herzeleid , BWV 58Liebster Jesu, mein Verlangen , BWV 32Canon in A minor, BWV 1074Erfreut euch, ihr Herzen , BWV 66Der Herr denket an uns , BWV 196Prelude and Fughetta in E minor, BWV 900Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele , BWV 180Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! BWV 70Fugue in B minor, BWV 951Violin Sonata in F major, BWV 1022Liebster Gott, wann werd ich sterbenPrelude in A minor, BWV 931Canon in G major, BWV 1076Mache dich, mein Geist, bereit , BWV 11516 Arrangements for Bass RecorderPrelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 895Fugue in G minor, BWV 1026Fugue in A minor, BWV 947Prelude in A minor, BWV 569Unser Mund sei voll Lachens , BWV 110Prelude and Fugue in F major, BWV 880Prelude in A minor, BWV 922Alle Menschen müssen sterben, BWV 643Trio in G minor, BWV 584Prelude in E minor, BWV 932Prelude and Fugue in A-flat major, BWV 886Flute Sonata in C major, BWV 1033Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder , BWV 13512 Arien und Lieder für die Tageszeiten und andere AnlässeFreue dich, erlöste Schar , BWV 30Suite in B-flat major, BWV 821Now Thank We All Our GodFugue in C major, BWV 953Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp minor, BWV 887Suite in E-flat major, BWV 819Christ, der du bist der helle Tag, BWV 766Amore traditore , BWV 203Andante in G minor, BWV 969Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ , BWV 33Toccata in F-sharp minor, BWV 910Prelude and Fugue in A minor, BWV 551Concerto for 3 Harpsichords in C major, BWV 1064Applicatio in C major, BWV 994Little Preludes and FuguesCanon in F major, BWV 1078Sarabande in G minor, BWV 839Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir , BWV 38Du wahrer Gott und Davids Sohn , BWV 23Quodlibet, BWV 524Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 6487 Geistliche Oden und ein Gedicht, BWV Anh.32-39Oboe Concerto in F major, BWV 1053RAch, lieben Christen, seid getrost , BWV 114Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 720Prelude in C major, BWV 943Darzu ist erschienen der Sohn Gottes , BWV 40Prelude and Fughetta in F major, BWV 901Concerto in G minor, BWV 975Fantasia in G major, BWV 571Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin , BWV 125Fugue in A major, BWV 949Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht , BWV 55Ach, was soll ich Sünder machen, BWV 770Sinfonia in D major, BWV 789O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort , BWV 60Wer weiß, wie nahe mir mein EndeAuf, schmetternde Töne der muntern Trompeten , BWV 207aO Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort , BWV 20Organ Concerto in E-flat major, BWV 597Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied , BWV 190Allemande in C minor, BWV 834Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 879Organ Concerto in C major, BWV 595Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen , BWV 12Falsche Welt, dir trau ich nicht , BWV 52Suite in F minor, BWV 823Es ist das Heil uns kommen her , BWV 9Fantasia and Fugue in D minor, BWV 905Alles nur nach Gottes Willen , BWV 72Laßt uns sorgen, laßt uns wachen , BWV 213Sie werden aus Saba alle kommen , BWV 65In allen meinen Taten , BWV 97Sehet, welch eine Liebe hat uns der Vater erzeiget , BWV 64O Mensch, bewein dein Sünde groß, BWV 622Christus, der ist mein Leben , BWV 95Fuga sopra il Magnificat, BWV 733Selig ist der Mann , BWV 57Fugue in E minor, BWV 945Gott fähret auf mit Jauchzen , BWV 43Prelude in A minor, BWV 942Sinfonia in D minor, BWV 790Sehet, wir gehn hinauf gen Jerusalem , BWV 159Fugue on a Theme by Giovanni Legrenzi, BWV 574Fugue in C minor, BWV Anh.104Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele , BWV 69Fantasia in C minor, BWV 918Prelude and Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV 877Prelude and Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 890Sonata in A minor, BWV 967Der Friede sei mit dir , BWV 158Concerto in C major, BWV 977Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 606Ich liebe den Höchsten von ganzem Gemüte , BWV 174Fuga super 'Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr', BWV 716Prelude and Fugue in G minor, BWV 535aIch freue mich in dir , BWV 133Gelobet sei der Herr, mein Gott , BWV 129Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan , BWV 100Jesu, nun sei gepreiset , BWV 41Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 700Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen , BWV 48Sinfonia in E major, BWV 792Fugue in C major, BWV Anh.89Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 719Prelude and Fugue in B major, BWV 892Befiehl du deine Wege, BWV 272Sinfonia in F major, BWV 1046aPrelude and Fugue in F-sharp major, BWV 882Du Hirte Israel, höre , BWV 104Overture in G minor, BWV 1070Gott, durch deine Güte, BWV 600Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten , BWV 59Fantasia in D minor, BWV 903aAch! ich sehe, itzt, da ich zur Hochzeit gehe , BWV 162Largo and Allegro, BWV Anh.111Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 955Concerto for 3 Violins in D major, BWV 1064RTönet, ihr Pauken! Erschallet, Trompeten! BWV 214Ich habe meine Zuversicht , BWV 188Kleine Präludien und FughettenNun ist das Heil und die Kraft , BWV 50Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 730Capriccio in E major, BWV 993Matthäuspassion, BWV 244bÄrgre dich, o Seele, nicht , BWV 186Suite in G minor, BWV 995Puer natus in Bethlehem, BWV 603Gott ist unsre Zuversicht , BWV 197Fantasia in G minor, BWV 917Es erhub sich ein Streit , BWV 19Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ , BWV 116Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit , BWV 14Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn' ihn, BWV 1127Ich bin ein guter Hirt , BWV 85Ihr werdet weinen und heulen , BWV 103Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 646Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ , BWV 67Wer mich liebet, der wird mein Wort halten , BWV 74Sinfonia in F major, BWV 794Schauet doch und sehet, ob irgend ein Schmerz sei , BWV 46Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut , BWV 117Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 604Fantasia super 'Jesu, meine Freude', BWV 713Fantasia and Imitation in B minor, BWV 563Sinfonia in E minor, BWV 793Fugue in G major, BWV Anh.44Zerreißet, zersprenget, zertrümmert die Gruft , BWV 205Sinfonia in E-flat major, BWV 791Du sollt Gott, deinen Herren, lieben , BWV 77Nimm, was dein ist, und gehe hin , BWV 144Overture in F major, BWV 820Ich bin in mir vergnügt , BWV 204Fugue in A minor, BWV 959Fugue in A minor, BWV 958Violin Sonata No.1 in G minor, BWV 1001Sinfonia in A minor, BWV 799Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 533aNimm von uns, Herr, du treuer Gott , BWV 101Christum wir sollen loben schon , BWV 121Es wartet alles auf dich , BWV 187Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn , BWV 96Prelude in E minor, BWV Anh.112Fugue in D minor, BWV Anh.98Es ist nichts Gesundes an meinem Leibe , BWV 25O holder Tag, erwünschte Zeit , BWV 210Kyrie in F major, BWV 233aSuite in F major, BWV Anh.80Wer da gläubet und getauft wird , BWV 37Der Tag, der ist so freudenreich, BWV 605Praeludium et partita dei tuono terzo, BWV 833Fugue in F major, BWV Anh.42Jesus schläft, was soll ich hoffen? BWV 81Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 764Gigue in G major, BWV Anh.81Herr Gott, dich loben wir , BWV 16Fantasia in C minor, BWV Anh.86Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens , BWV 148Es ist dir gesagt, Mensch, was gut ist , BWV 45Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir , BWV 130Es ist euch gut, daß ich hingehe , BWV 108Auf Christi Himmelfahrt allein , BWV 128Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot , BWV 39Ich lasse dich nicht, du segnest mich denn , BWV 157Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß , BWV 134Ach Herr, mich armen Sünder, BWV 742Man singet mit Freuden vom Sieg , BWV 1494 Orgel-Choralvorspiel3 Choräle zu Trauungen, BWV 250-252Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 386Herr, deine Augen sehen nach dem Glauben , BWV 102Der Herr ist mein getreuer Hirt , BWV 112St Mark Passion , BWV 247Ich hab in Gottes Herz und Sinn , BWV 92Sie werden euch in den Bann tun , BWV 44Sinfonia in G major, BWV 796Wer Dank opfert, der preiset mich , BWV 17Das neugeborne Kindelein , BWV 122Oboe d'amore Concerto in A major, BWV 1055RBarmherziges Herze der ewigen Liebe , BWV 185KlavierwerkeWas mein Gott will, das g'scheh allzeit , BWV 111Fugue in A major, BWV 950Was frag ich nach der Welt , BWV 94Fugue in B-flat major, BWV 954Geschwinde, geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde , BWV 201Höchsterwünschtes Freudenfest , BWV 194Sinfonia in A major, BWV 798Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 434Fugue in D minor, BWV Anh.100Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort , BWV 126Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele , BWV 143Fugue in E minor, BWV 956Fantasia in G minor, BWV 920Trio in G major, BWV 1027aEin ungefärbt Gemüte , BWV 24Ihr Menschen, rühmet Gottes Liebe , BWV 167Trio super 'Nun komm der Heiden Heiland', BWV 660Komm, Heiliger Geist, BWV 652Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange, BWV 155Fugue in D minor, BWV Anh.99Fugue in G minor, BWV Anh.101Sanctus in C major, BWV 237Bach AlbumSiehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei , BWV 179Wer sich selbst erhöhet, der soll erniedriget werden , BWV 47Fugue in G minor, BWV Anh.106Gigue in F minor, BWV 845Die Freude reget sich , BWV 36bO Lamm Gottes unschuldig, BWV 1085Er rufet seinen Schafen mit Namen , BWV 175Gott, man lobet dich in der Stille , BWV 120O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid, BWV Anh.200Als der gütige Gott vollenden wollt sein Wort, BWV 264Schwingt freudig euch empor , BWV 36cPrelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 896Fantasia in C major, BWV 573Herr, wie du willt, so schicks mit mir , BWV 73Fugue in D major, BWV Anh.96Christus, der uns selig macht, BWV 747Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut , BWV 113Dem Gerechten muß das Licht , BWV 195Prelude and Fughetta in D minor, BWV 899Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält , BWV 1128March in E-flat major, BWV Anh.127Meinen Jesum laß ich nicht , BWV 124Gott, wie dein Name, so ist auch dein Ruhm , BWV 171Heut’ triumphiret Gottes Sohn, BWV 630Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV Anh.78Gott, durch deine Güte, BWV 724Fugue in A minor, BWV Anh.103Preise, Jerusalem, den Herrn , BWV 119O heilges Geist- und Wasserbad , BWV 165Fugue in E minor, BWV 960Die Elenden sollen essen , BWV 75Wo gehest du hin, BWV 166Ich lebe, mein Herze, zu deinem Ergötzen , BWV 145Lobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, BWV 732Polonaise in F major, BWV Anh.117aSei Lob und Preis mit Ehren, BWV 231Vom Himmel kam der Engel Schaar, BWV 607Sinfonia in B-flat major, BWV 800Ich glaube, lieber Herr, hilf meinem Unglauben , BWV 109Durch Adams Fall ist ganz verderbt, BWV 705Fugue in B minor, BWV Anh.43Es reißet euch ein schrecklich Ende , BWV 90Wohl dem, der sich auf seinen Gott , BWV 139Toccata in F minor, BWV Anh.85Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen , BWV 87Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz , BWV 138Explication unterschiedlicher ZeichenSuite aus den OrchesterwerkenPolonaise in D minor, BWV Anh.128Schau, lieber Gott, wie meine Feind , BWV 153Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 657Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 753Ich steh an deiner Krippen hierErwünschtes Freudenlicht , BWV 184Lob sei dem allmächtigen Gott, BWV 602Nur jedem das Seine , BWV 16313 Chorale PreludesErfreute Zeit im neuen Bunde , BWV 83Ehre sei Gott in der Höhe , BWV 197aWahrlich, wahrlich, ich sage euch , BWV 86Was willst du dich betrüben , BWV 107Erforsche mich, Gott, und erfahre mein Herz , BWV 136Ach, was ist doch unser Leben, BWV 743Fantasia in C major, BWV Anh.87Bach's church music in LatinTilge, Höchster, meine Sünden , BWV 1083Bach's church music in LatinErhöhtes Fleisch und Blut , BWV 173Angenehmes Wiederau , BWV 30aAusgewählte Orgel-ChoralvorspieleEs ist ein trotzig und verzagt Ding , BWV 176Scherzo in D minor, BWV 844Siehe, ich will viel Fischer aussenden , BWV 88Was soll ich aus dir machen, Ephraim , BWV 89Leichtgesinnte Flattergeister , BWV 181Schleicht, spielende Wellen , BWV 206Mein liebster Jesus ist verloren , BWV 154Wir glauben all an einen Gott, BWV Anh.70Wo Gott der Herr nicht bei uns hält , BWV 178Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende , BWV 28Der Himmel lacht! Die Erde jubilieret , BWV 31Tue Rechnung! Donnerwort , BWV 168Sanctus in D major, BWV 238Herr Gott, dich loben alle wir, BWV Anh.31Fugue in E minor, BWV Anh.93Preise dein Glücke, gesegnetes Sachsen , BWV 215Machs mit mir, Gott, nach deiner Güt, BWV 957Fugue in G major, BWV Anh.91Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 722Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 715Fugue in G major, BWV Anh.92Fugue in E minor, BWV Anh.95Fugue in E-flat minor, BWV Anh.102Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet , BWV 164Markus-Passion Pasticcio, BC D 5aSie werden euch in den Bann tun , BWV 183Fugue in B-flat major, BWV Anh.105Vergnügte Pleißenstadt , BWV 216Meine Seufzer, meine Tränen , BWV 13Durchlauchtster Leopold , BWV 173aDie Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht , BWV 134aIhr Tore zu Zion , BWV 193Herr Gott, Beherrscher aller Dinge , BWV 120aSanctus in G major, BWV 240Fantasia super 'Komm, Heiliger Geist', BWV 651Fantasia in C minor, BWV 1121Dir zu Liebe, wertes Herze, BWV Anh.41Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 661Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 717Ich ruf zu dir Herr Jesu Christ, BWV Anh.73Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan , BWV 99Fantasia sopra 'Christ lag in Todesbanden', BWV 718Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn, BWV Anh.5580 Songs and Airs3 Chorale Preludes for Violin and PianoScherzo in E minor, BWV 844aSanctus in D major, BWV 241Das walt’ mein Gott, BWV 520Hier lieg’ ich nun, BWV 519Herr Christ, der einge Gottessohn, BWV Anh.77Komm, Gott, Schöpfer, heiliger Geist, BWV 667Welt ade, ich bin dein müde, BWV Anh.170Ich bin nun wie ich bin, BWV Anh.40Meine Seele, laß es gehen, BWV 522Gott mein Herz dir Dank zusendet, BWV 5217 Stücke für StreichorchesterWas Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan , BWV 98Ach Gott vom Himmel sieh darein, BWV 741Violin Sonata in A major, BWV Anh.II 153Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen , BWV 123Ich hab' mein' Sach' Gott heimgestellt, BWV 707Trio super 'Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr', BWV 664Trio super 'Herr Jesu Christ dich zu uns wend', BWV 65510 Pièces favories et Concert italienHerr Christ, der einge Gottessohn, BWV Anh.75Ich gnüge mich an meinem Stande, BWV 523Choix de ChoralsLobt ihn mit Herz und Munde , BWV 220Brandenburgische Konzerte für Pianoforte zu vier HändenO ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe , BWV 34aErwählte Pleißenstadt , BWV 216a3 Chorale Preludes for Cello and PianoVon Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 658Dich loben die lieblichen Strahlen der Sonne, BWV Anh.6MotettenÄrgre dich, o Seele, nicht, BWV 186aDer Himmel dacht auf Anhalts Ruhm und Glück , BWV 66aMarkus-Passion Pasticcio, BC D 5bIn dulci jubilo, BWV 729Praeludium und Fugen für zwei Klaviere zu vier HändenEs lebe der König, der Vater im Lande, BWV Anh.11Entfernet euch, ihr heitern Sterne , BWV Anh. 910 Orgel ChoraleLobet den Herrn, alle seine Heerscharen , BWV Anh. 5Thomana saß annoch betrübt, BWV Anh.19Froher Tag, verlangte Stunden, BWV Anh.18Herzlich tut mich verlangen, BWV 727Frohes Volk, vergnügte Sachsen, BWV Anh.12Mein Gott, nimm die gerechte Seele, BWV Anh.17Nun freut euch, lieben Christen gmein, BWV 73410 PréludesHeut ist gewiß ein guter Tag, BWV Anh.7English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807Siehe, der Hüter Israel, BWV Anh.15Vereinigte Zwietracht der wechselnden Saiten , BWV 207Gott, gib Dein Gerichte dem Könige, BWV Anh.32 Violin Concertos, BWV 1041-1042Ermuntre dich, mein schwacher Geist, BWV 454Compositionen für die OrgelO Lamm Gottes unschuldig, BWV 656Sein Segen fließt daher wie ein Strom, BWV Anh.14Die Nacht ist kommen, BWV 296Six Little PreludesNun sich der Tag geendet hat, BWV 396Willkommen, ihr herrschenden Götter der Erden, BWV Anh.13Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 662So kämpfet nur, ihr muntern Töne, BWV Anh.10Toccata and Fugue in E major, BWV 566Schließt die Gruft! ihr Trauerglocken, BWV Anh.16Von Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 418Collected Transcriptions for Viola da gambaBrandenburg ConcertosAllein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 663Orchestral Suite No.4 in D major, BWV 1069Beliebte kleine StückeWer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 691Ach Gott und Herr, BWV 69223 Pezzi faciliNotenbüchlein SuiteWie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 739Gedenke, Herr, wie es uns gehet , BWV 217Vierstimmige KirchengesängeJesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 665Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 737Fantasia super 'Valet will ich dir geben', BWV 735Fantasia super 'Christ lag in Todesbanden', BWV 695Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 73822 Solos from J.S. Bach's Violin and Cello WorksAllein Gott in der Höh' sei Ehr', BWV 711Valet will ich dir geben, BWV 736Wer nur den lieben Gott lässt walten, BWV 6909 Kleine Präludien, BWV 924-932Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier, BWV 706Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 666Weimarer PassionWir glauben all' an einen Gott, Vater, BWV 740Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 699Prelude and Fugue in D minor, BWV 549aVom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her, BWV 701Nun danket alle Gott, BWV 252Jesus, meine Zuversicht, BWV 728Gottes Sohn ist kommen, BWV 703Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 726Herr Jesu Christ, dich zu uns wend, BWV 70910 Pièces transcrites pour harpeIch hab' mein' Sach' Gott heimgestellt, BWV 708Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan, BWV 250Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr, BWV 340Herr Christ, der ein’ge Gottes Sohn, BWV 698Raccolta sceltaHerr Gott, dich loben wir, BWV 725Suite in G minorGedenke doch, mein Geist, BWV 509Sei Lob und Ehr dem höchsten Gut, BWV 251In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 712Wo soll ich fliehen hin, BWV 694Christum wir sollen loben schon, BWV 696Das Jesulein soll doch mein Trost, BWV 702Wir Christenleut hab'n jetzund Freud, BWV 710Little Prelude in E minor, BWV 938Prelude in D minor, BWV 9262 CantatasLob sei dem allmächtigen Gott, BWV 704Gelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 697Little Prelude in C minor, BWV 934Little Prelude in D minor, BWV 935Prelude in F major, BWV 927Prelude in G minor, BWV 930Little Prelude in E major, BWV 937Prelude in E minor, BWV 941Prelude in G minor, BWV 929Little Prelude in C major, BWV 933Little Prelude in D major, BWV 936Prelude in D minor, BWV 940Der Tag ist hin, die Sonne gehet nieder, BWV 4478 Fugues from J. S. Bach's Well-Tempered ClavichordPrelude in F major, BWV 928135 Chorales, D-Bsa SA 8183 Sinfonias319 Mehrstimmige Choralgesänge und geistliche Arien383 Chorales, D-B Am.B 46/II6 Präludien und Fugen8 Chorale PreludesBach GesellschaftBearbeitungen von Konzerten für 2 Pianoforte zu 4 HändenChrist ist erstanden, BWV 627Christ lag in Todesbanden, BWV 625Concerto in G minor, BWV 1056RGib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 511Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 512Grand Studies for the OrganHelft mir Gottes Güte preisen, BWV 613Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben , BWV 147aIn dich hab' ich gehoffet, Herr, BWV 640In dulci jubilo, BWV 368Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod, BWV Anh.57Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 610Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, BWV 626Kyrie, Gott Vater in Ewigkelt, BWV 371St Mark PassionMein Augen schließ ich jetzt, BWV 378New Bach EditionO angenehme Melodei , BWV 210aOeuvres d'orgueOrgelwerkePolonaise in G minor, BWV Anh.119List of songs and arias by Johann Sebastian BachSelected Keyboard WorksSo oft ich meine Tobackspfeife, BWV 515Violin Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052RWachet, betet, seid bereit allezeit!, BWV 70aWenn wir in höchsten Nöthen sein, BWV 641Wie wohl ist mir, o Freund der Seelen, BWV 517Wünschet Jerusalem Glück, BWV Anh.4Œuvres célèbres pour orgue, Walter Kraft149 Chorales, D-LEb Peters Ms. R 1818 Kleine PräludienA Bach BookAch, dass nicht die letzte Stunde, BWV 439Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr, BWV 260An Wasserflüssen Babylon, BWV 267Auf, auf! die rechte Zeit ist hier, BWV 440Auf, auf! mein Herz, mit Freuden, BWV 441Befiehl du deine Wege, BWV 270Befiehl du deine Wege, BWV 271Beglückter Stand getreuer Seelen, BWV 442Beschränkt, ihr Weisen dieser Welt, BWV 443Brich entzwei, mein armes Herze, BWV 444Brunnquell aller Güter, BWV 445Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 278Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 279Clavier-Übung IIIConcerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor, BWV 1060RDas alte Jahr vergangen ist, BWV 288Denket doch, ihr Menschenkinder, BWV 1122Der lieben Sonnen Licht und Pracht, BWV 446Der Tag mit seinem Lichte, BWV 448Dich bet ich an, mein höchster Gott, BWV 449Die bittre Leidenszeit beginnet abermal, BWV 450Die güldne Sonne, BWV 451Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen, BWV 299Dir, dir, Jehova, will ich singen, BWV 452Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 302Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 303Eins ist not! ach Herr, dies Eine, BWV 453Eins ist not, ach Herr, dies Eine, BWV 304Erwürgtes Lamm! das die verwahrten Siegel, BWV 455Es glänzet der Christen inwendiges Leben, BWV 456Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit, BWV 307Es ist nun aus mit meinem Leben, BWV 457Es ist vollbracht! Vergiß ja nicht dies Wort, BWV 458Es kostet viel, ein Christ zu sein, BWV 459Es woll uns Gott genädig sein, BWV 312Fantasien, Präludien und FugenGelobet seist du, Jesu Christ, BWV 314Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 315Gib dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 460Gott lebet noch, BWV 461Gott, wie groß ist deine Güte, BWV 462Herr Jesu Christ, du höchstes Gut, BWV 334Herr Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht, BWV 335Herr, ich habe missgehandelt, BWV 331Herr, nicht schicke deine Rache, BWV 463Herzliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen, BWV 1093Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht, BWV 345Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht, BWV 464Ich dank dir, lieber Herre, BWV 348Ich freue mich in dir, BWV 465Ich halte treulich still, BWV 466Ich lass dich nicht, BWV 467Ich liebe Jesum alle Stund, BWV 468Ich ruf zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, BWV 1124Ihr Gestirn, ihr hohlen Lüfte, BWV 476Jesu, deine Liebeswunden, BWV 471Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 353Jesu, der du meine Seele, BWV 354Jesu, Jesu, du bist mein, BWV 470Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 358Jesu, meiner Seelen Wonne, BWV 360Jesu, meines Glaubens ZierJesu, meines Herzens Freud, BWV 361Jesu, meines Herzens Freud, BWV 473Jesu, nun sei gepreiset, BWV 362Jesus ist das schönste Licht, BWV 474Jesus, unser Trost und Leben, BWV 475Kein Stündlein geht dahin, BWV 477Kommt wieder aus der finstern Gruft, BWV 480Kommt, Seelen, dieser Tag, BWV 479Lasset uns mit Jesu ziehen, BWV 481Le più facili composizioniLiebes Herz, bedenke doch, BWV 482Liebster Gott, wann werd ich sterben?, BWV 483Liebster Herr Jesu, wo bleibst du so lange?, BWV 484Liebster Immanuel, Herzog der Frommen, BWV 485Lobe den Herrn, meine Seele , BWV 69aLobt Gott, ihr Christen, allzugleich, BWV 375Mein Jesu! was vor Seelenweh, BWV 487Mein Jesu, dem die Seraphinen, BWV 486Meinen Jesum lass ich nicht, BWV 380Meines Lebens letzte Zeit, BWV 488Mit Fried und Freud ich fahr dahin, BWV 382Nicht so traurig, nicht so sehr, BWV 489Nun bitten wir den Heiligen Geist, BWV 385Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BWV 389Nun lob, mein Seel, den Herren, BWV 390Nur mein Jesus ist mein Leben, BWV 490O du Liebe meiner Liebe, BWV 491O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 397O finstre Nacht, wenn wirst du doch vergehen, BWV 492O Gott, du frommer Gott, BWV 1125O Jesulein süß, o Jesulein mild, BWV 493O liebe Seele, zieh die Sinnen, BWV 494O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben, BWV 393O Welt, sieh hier dein Leben, BWV 394O wie selig seid ihr doch, ihr Frommen, BWV 495Oboe Sonata in G minor, BWV 1030bOrgan Choral Preludes, Book 1Seelenbräutigam, BWV 496Seelenweide, BWV 497Sei gegrüßet, Jesu gütig, BWV 499Selig! wer an Jesum denkt, BWV 498So gehst du nun, mein Jesu, hin, BWV 500So gibst du nun, mein Jesu, gute Nacht, BWV 501So wünsch ich mir zu guter Letzt, BWV 502Steh ich bei meinem Gott, BWV 503Vater unser im Himmelreich, BWV 416Vergiss mein nicht, dass ich dein nicht vergesse, BWV 504Vergiss mein nicht, mein allerliebster Gott, BWV 505Vierstimmige ChoräleVon Gott will ich nicht lassen, BWV 417Warum betrübst du dich, mein Herz, BWV 421Warum sollt ich mich denn grämen, BWV 422Was bist du doch, o Seele, so betrübet, BWV 506Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist, BWV 429Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist, BWV 430Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 436Wir Christenleut, BWV 1090Wo Gott zum Haus nicht gibt sein Gunst, BWV 1123Wo ist mein Schäflein, das ich liebe, BWV 507Wär Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, BWV 257Canon in D major, BWV 1086
Wikipedia
Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival, he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
The Bach family already counted several composers when Johann Sebastian was born as the last child of a city musician in Eisenach. After being orphaned at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother Johann Christoph, after which he continued his musical formation in Lüneburg. From 1703 he was back in Thuringia, working as a musician for Protestant churches in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen and, for longer stretches of time, at courts in Weimar, where he expanded his organ repertory, and Köthen, where he was mostly engaged with chamber music. From 1723 he was employed as Thomaskantor (cantor at St. Thomas) in Leipzig. He composed music for the principal Lutheran churches of the city, and for its university's student ensemble Collegium Musicum. From 1726 he published some of his keyboard and organ music. In Leipzig, as had happened during some of his earlier positions, he had difficult relations with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by his sovereign, Augustus, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, in 1736. In the last decades of his life he reworked and extended many of his earlier compositions. He died of complications after eye surgery in 1750 at the age of 65.
Bach enriched established German styles through his mastery of counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and his adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositions include hundreds of cantatas, both sacred and secular. He composed Latin church music, Passions, oratorios, and motets. He often adopted Lutheran hymns, not only in his larger vocal works, but for instance also in his four-part chorales and his sacred songs. He wrote extensively for organ and for other keyboard instruments. He composed concertos, for instance for violin and for harpsichord, and suites, as chamber music as well as for orchestra. Many of his works employ the genres of canon and fugue.
Throughout the 18th century Bach was primarily valued as an organist, while his keyboard music, such as The Well-Tempered Clavier, was appreciated for its didactic qualities. The 19th century saw the publication of some major Bach biographies, and by the end of that century all of his known music had been printed. Dissemination of scholarship on the composer continued through periodicals (and later also websites) exclusively devoted to him, and other publications such as the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (BWV, a numbered catalogue of his works) and new critical editions of his compositions. His music was further popularised through a multitude of arrangements, including, for instance, the Air on the G String, and of recordings, such as three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's oeuvre marking the 250th anniversary of his death.
Bach was born in 1685 in Eisenach, in the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, into an extensive musical family. His father, Johann Ambrosius Bach, was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians. His father probably taught him to play the violin and harpsichord, and his brother Johann Christoph Bach taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much of the contemporary music. Apparently on his own initiative, Bach attended St. Michael's School in Lüneburg for two years. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany, including Kapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, and Thomaskantor in Leipzig, a position of music director at the main Lutheran churches and educator at the Thomasschule. He received the title of "Royal Court Composer" from Augustus III in 1736. Bach's health and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750.
Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, the capital of the duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, in present-day Germany, on 21 March 1685 O.S. (31 March 1685 N.S.). He was the son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the town musicians, and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt. He was the eighth and youngest child of Johann Ambrosius, who likely taught him violin and basic music theory. His uncles were all professional musicians, whose posts included church organists, court chamber musicians, and composers. One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach (1645–1693), introduced him to the organ, and an older second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach (1677–1731), was a well-known composer and violinist.
Bach's mother died in 1694, and his father died eight months later. The 10-year-old Bach moved in with his eldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), the organist at St. Michael's Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. There he studied, performed, and copied music, including his own brother's, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private, and blank ledger paper of that type was costly. He received valuable teaching from his brother, who instructed him on the clavichord. J. C. Bach exposed him to the works of great composers of the day, including South German composers such as Johann Pachelbel (under whom Johann Christoph had studied) and Johann Jakob Froberger; North German composers; Frenchmen, such as Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis Marchand, and Marin Marais; and the Italian clavierist Girolamo Frescobaldi. Also during this time, he was taught theology, Latin, Greek, French, and Italian at the local gymnasium.
By 3 April 1700, Bach and his schoolfriend Georg Erdmann—who was two years Bach's elder—were enrolled in the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg, some two weeks' travel north of Ohrdruf. Their journey was probably undertaken mostly on foot. His two years there were critical in exposing Bach to a wider range of European culture. In addition to singing in the choir, he played the school's three-manual organ and harpsichords. He came into contact with sons of aristocrats from northern Germany who were sent to the highly selective school to prepare for careers in other disciplines.
While in Lüneburg, Bach had access to St. John's Church and possibly used the church's famous organ from 1553, since it was played by his organ teacher Georg Böhm. Because of his musical talent, Bach had significant contact with Böhm while a student in Lüneburg, and he also took trips to nearby Hamburg where he observed "the great North German organist Johann Adam Reincken". Stauffer reports the discovery in 2005 of the organ tablatures that Bach wrote, while still in his teens, of works by Reincken and Dieterich Buxtehude, showing "a disciplined, methodical, well-trained teenager deeply committed to learning his craft".
In January 1703, shortly after graduating from St. Michael's and being turned down for the post of organist at Sangerhausen, Bach was appointed court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst III in Weimar. His role there is unclear, but it probably included menial, non-musical duties. During his seven-month tenure at Weimar, his reputation as a keyboardist spread so much that he was invited to inspect the new organ and give the inaugural recital at the New Church (now Bach Church) in Arnstadt, located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Weimar. In August 1703, he became the organist at the New Church, with light duties, a relatively generous salary, and a new organ tuned in a temperament that allowed music written in a wider range of keys to be played.
Despite strong family connections and a musically enthusiastic employer, tension built up between Bach and the authorities after several years in the post. Bach was dissatisfied with the standard of singers in the choir. He called one of them a "Zippel Fagottist" (weenie bassoon player). Late one evening this student, named Geyersbach, went after Bach with a stick. Bach filed a complaint against Geyersbach with the authorities. They acquitted Geyersbach with a minor reprimand and ordered Bach to be more moderate regarding the musical qualities he expected from his students. Some months later Bach upset his employer by a prolonged absence from Arnstadt: after obtaining leave for four weeks, he was absent for around four months in 1705–1706 to visit the organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude in the northern city of Lübeck. The visit to Buxtehude involved a 450-kilometre (280 mi) journey each way, reportedly on foot.
In 1706, Bach applied for a post as organist at the Blasius Church in Mühlhausen. As part of his application, he had a cantata performed on Easter, 24 April 1707, likely an early version of his Christ lag in Todes Banden. A month later Bach's application was accepted and he took up the post in July. The position included significantly higher remuneration, improved conditions, and a better choir. Four months after arriving at Mühlhausen, Bach married Maria Barbara Bach, his second cousin. Bach was able to convince the church and town government at Mühlhausen to fund an expensive renovation of the organ at the Blasius Church. In 1708 Bach wrote Gott ist mein König, a festive cantata for the inauguration of the new council, which was published at the council's expense.
Bach left Mühlhausen in 1708, returning to Weimar this time as organist and from 1714 Konzertmeister (director of music) at the ducal court, where he had an opportunity to work with a large, well-funded contingent of professional musicians. Bach and his wife moved into a house close to the ducal palace. Later the same year, their first child, Catharina Dorothea, was born, and Maria Barbara's elder, unmarried sister joined them. She remained to help run the household until her death in 1729. Three sons were also born in Weimar: Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and Johann Gottfried Bernhard. Johann Sebastian and Maria Barbara had three more children, who however did not live to their first birthday, including twins born in 1713.
Bach's time in Weimar was the start of a sustained period of composing keyboard and orchestral works. He attained the proficiency and confidence to extend the prevailing structures and include influences from abroad. He learned to write dramatic openings and employ the dynamic rhythms and harmonic schemes found in the music of Italians such as Vivaldi, Corelli, and Torelli. Bach absorbed these stylistic aspects in part by transcribing Vivaldi's string and wind concertos for harpsichord and organ; many of these transcribed works are still regularly performed. Bach was particularly attracted to the Italian style, in which one or more solo instruments alternate section-by-section with the full orchestra throughout a movement.
In Weimar, Bach continued to play and compose for the organ and perform concert music with the duke's ensemble. He also began to write the preludes and fugues which were later assembled into his monumental work The Well-Tempered Clavier ("clavier" meaning clavichord or harpsichord), consisting of two books, each containing 24 preludes and fugues in every major and minor key. Bach also started work on the Little Organ Book in Weimar, containing traditional Lutheran chorale tunes set in complex textures. In 1713, Bach was offered a post in Halle when he advised the authorities during a renovation by Christoph Cuntzius of the main organ in the west gallery of the Market Church of Our Dear Lady.
In the spring of 1714, Bach was promoted to Konzertmeister, an honour that entailed performing a church cantata monthly in the castle church. The first three cantatas in the new series Bach composed in Weimar were Himmelskönig, sei willkommen, BWV 182, for Palm Sunday, which coincided with the Annunciation that year; Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12, for Jubilate Sunday; and Erschallet, ihr Lieder, erklinget, ihr Saiten!  BWV 172 for Pentecost. Bach's first Christmas cantata, Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63, was premiered in 1714 or 1715.
In 1717, Bach eventually fell out of favour in Weimar and, according to a translation of the court secretary's report, was jailed for almost a month before being unfavourably dismissed: "On November 6, [1717], the quondam concertmaster and organist Bach was confined to the County Judge's place of detention for too stubbornly forcing the issue of his dismissal and finally on December 2 was freed from arrest with notice of his unfavourable discharge."
Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, hired Bach to serve as his Kapellmeister (director of music) in 1717. Prince Leopold, himself a musician, appreciated Bach's talents, paid him well and gave him considerable latitude in composing and performing. The prince was a Calvinist and did not use elaborate music in his worship; accordingly, most of Bach's work from this period was secular, including the orchestral suites, cello suites, sonatas and partitas for solo violin, and Brandenburg Concertos. Bach also composed secular cantatas for the court, such as Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a. A significant influence upon Bach's musical development during his years with the prince is recorded by Stauffer as Bach's "complete embrace of dance music, perhaps the most important influence on his mature style other than his adoption of Vivaldi's music in Weimar."
Despite being born in the same year and only about 130 kilometres (80 mi) apart, Bach and Handel never met. In 1719, Bach made the 35-kilometre (22 mi) journey from Köthen to Halle with the intention of meeting Handel; however, Handel had left the town. In 1730, Bach's oldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, travelled to Halle to invite Handel to visit the Bach family in Leipzig, but the visit did not take place.
On 7 July 1720, while Bach was away in Carlsbad with Prince Leopold, Bach's wife suddenly died. The following year, he met Anna Magdalena Wilcke, a young, highly gifted soprano 16 years his junior, who performed at the court in Köthen; they married on 3 December 1721. Together they had 13 more children, 6 of whom survived into adulthood: Gottfried Heinrich; Elisabeth Juliane Friederica (1726–1781); Johann Christoph Friedrich and Johann Christian, who both, especially Johann Christian, became significant musicians; Johanna Carolina (1737–1781); and Regina Susanna (1742–1809).
In 1723, Bach was appointed Thomaskantor, Cantor of the Thomasschule at the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) in Leipzig, which provided music for four churches in the city: the Thomaskirche and Nikolaikirche (St. Nicholas Church) and to a lesser extent the Neue Kirche (New Church) and Peterskirche (St. Peter's Church). This was "the leading cantorate in Protestant Germany", located in the mercantile city in the Electorate of Saxony, which he held for 27 years until his death. During that time he gained further prestige through honorary appointments at the courts of Köthen and Weissenfels, as well as that of the Elector Frederick Augustus (who was also King of Poland) in Dresden. Bach frequently disagreed with his employer, Leipzig's city council, which he regarded as "penny-pinching".
Johann Kuhnau had been Thomaskantor in Leipzig from 1701 until his death on 5 June 1722. Bach had visited Leipzig during Kuhnau's tenure: in 1714 he attended the service at the St. Thomas Church on the first Sunday of Advent, and in 1717 he had tested the organ of the Paulinerkirche. In 1716 Bach and Kuhnau had met on the occasion of the testing and inauguration of an organ in Halle.
After being offered the position, Bach was invited to Leipzig only after Georg Philipp Telemann indicated that he would not be interested in relocating to Leipzig. Telemann went to Hamburg, where he "had his own struggles with the city's senate".
Bach was required to instruct the students of the Thomasschule in singing and provide church music for the main churches in Leipzig. He was also assigned to teach Latin but was allowed to employ four "prefects" (deputies) to do this instead. The prefects also aided with musical instruction. A cantata was required for the church services on Sundays and additional church holidays during the liturgical year.
Bach usually led performances of his cantatas, most of which were composed within three years of his relocation to Leipzig. The first was Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75, performed in the Nikolaikirche on 30 May 1723, the first Sunday after Trinity. Bach collected his cantatas in annual cycles. Five are mentioned in obituaries, three are extant. Of the more than 300 cantatas which Bach composed in Leipzig, over 100 have been lost to posterity. Most of these works expound on the Gospel readings prescribed for every Sunday and feast day in the Lutheran year. Bach started a second annual cycle the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724 and composed only chorale cantatas, each based on a single church hymn. These include O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 62, and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1.
Bach drew the soprano and alto choristers from the school and the tenors and basses from the school and elsewhere in Leipzig. Performing at weddings and funerals provided extra income for these groups; it was probably for this purpose, and for in-school training, that he wrote at least six motets. As part of his regular church work, he performed other composers' motets, which served as formal models for his own.
Bach's predecessor as cantor, Johann Kuhnau, had also been music director for the Paulinerkirche, the church of Leipzig University. But when Bach was installed as cantor in 1723, he was put in charge only of music for festal (church holiday) services at the Paulinerkirche; his petition to also provide music for regular Sunday services there (for a corresponding salary increase) went all the way to the Elector but was denied. After this, in 1725, Bach "lost interest" in working even for festal services at the Paulinerkirche and appeared there only on "special occasions". The Paulinerkirche had a much better and newer (1716) organ than did the Thomaskirche or the Nikolaikirche. Bach was not required to play any organ in his official duties, but it is believed he liked to play on the Paulinerkirche organ "for his own pleasure".
Bach broadened his composing and performing beyond the liturgy by taking over, in March 1729, the directorship of the Collegium Musicum, a secular performance ensemble started by Telemann. This was one of the dozens of private societies in the major German-speaking cities that were established by musically active university students; these societies had become increasingly important in public musical life and were typically led by the most prominent professionals in a city. In the words of Christoph Wolff, assuming the directorship was a shrewd move that "consolidated Bach's firm grip on Leipzig's principal musical institutions". Year round, Leipzig's Collegium Musicum performed regularly in venues such as the Café Zimmermann, a coffeehouse on Catherine Street off the main market square. Many of Bach's works during the 1730s and 1740s were written for and performed by the Collegium Musicum; among these were parts of his Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice) and many of his violin and keyboard concertos.
In 1733, Bach composed a Kyrie–Gloria Mass in B minor which he later incorporated in his Mass in B minor. He presented the manuscript to the Elector in an eventually successful bid to persuade the prince to give him the title of Court Composer. He later extended this work into a full mass by adding a Credo, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei, the music for which was partly based on his own cantatas and partly original. Bach's appointment as Court Composer was an element of his long-term struggle to achieve greater bargaining power with the Leipzig council. Between 1737 and 1739, Bach's former pupil Carl Gotthelf Gerlach held the directorship of the Collegium Musicum.
In 1735 Bach started to prepare his first publication of organ music, which was printed as the third Clavier-Übung in 1739. From around that year he started to compile and compose the set of preludes and fugues for harpsichord that would become his second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier.
From 1740 to 1748 Bach copied, transcribed, expanded or programmed music in an older polyphonic style (stile antico) by, among others, Palestrina (BNB I/P/2), Kerll (BWV 241), Torri (BWV Anh. 30), Bassani (BWV 1081), Gasparini (Missa Canonica) and Caldara (BWV 1082). Bach's own style shifted in the last decade of his life, showing an increased integration of polyphonic structures and canons and other elements of the stile antico. His fourth and last Clavier-Übung volume, the Goldberg Variations, for two-manual harpsichord, contained nine canons and was published in 1741. Throughout this period, Bach also continued to adopt music of contemporaries such as Handel (BNB I/K/2) and Stölzel (BWV 200), and gave many of his own earlier compositions, such as the St Matthew and St John Passions and the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, their final revisions. He also programmed and adapted music by composers of a younger generation, including Pergolesi (BWV 1083) and his own students such as Goldberg (BNB I/G/2).
In 1746 Bach was preparing to enter Lorenz Christoph Mizler's Society of Musical Sciences [de]. In order to be admitted Bach had to submit a composition, for which he chose his Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her", and a portrait, which was painted by Elias Gottlob Haussmann and featured Bach's Canon triplex á 6 Voc. In May 1747, Bach visited the court of King Frederick II of Prussia in Potsdam. The king played a theme for Bach and challenged him to improvise a fugue based on his theme. Bach obliged, playing a three-part fugue on one of Frederick's fortepianos, which was a new type of instrument at the time. Upon his return to Leipzig he composed a set of fugues and canons, and a trio sonata, based on the Thema Regium (theme of the king). Within a few weeks this music was published as The Musical Offering and dedicated to Frederick. The Schübler Chorales, a set of six chorale preludes transcribed from cantata movements Bach had composed some two decades earlier, were published within a year. Around the same time, the set of five canonic variations which Bach had submitted when entering Mizler's society in 1747 were also printed.
Two large-scale compositions occupied a central place in Bach's last years. From around 1742 he wrote and revised the various canons and fugues of The Art of Fugue, which he continued to prepare for publication until shortly before his death. After extracting a cantata, BWV 191, from his 1733 Kyrie-Gloria Mass for the Dresden court in the mid 1740s, Bach expanded that setting into his Mass in B minor in the last years of his life. Stauffer describes it as "Bach's most universal church work. Consisting mainly of recycled movements from cantatas written over a thirty-five-year period, it allowed Bach to survey his vocal pieces one last time and pick select movements for further revision and refinement." Although the complete mass was never performed during the composer's lifetime, it is considered to be among the greatest choral works in history.
In January 1749, Bach's daughter Elisabeth Juliane Friederica married his pupil Johann Christoph Altnickol. Bach's health was, however, declining. On 2 June, Heinrich von Brühl wrote to one of the Leipzig burgomasters to request that his music director, Johann Gottlob Harrer, fill the Thomaskantor and Director musices posts "upon the eventual ... decease of Mr. Bach". Becoming blind, Bach underwent eye surgery, in March 1750 and again in April, by the British eye surgeon John Taylor, a man widely understood today as a charlatan and believed to have blinded hundreds of people. Bach died on 28 July 1750 from complications due to the unsuccessful treatment. An inventory drawn up a few months after Bach's death shows that his estate included five harpsichords, two lute-harpsichords, three violins, three violas, two cellos, a viola da gamba, a lute and a spinet, along with 52 "sacred books", including works by Martin Luther and Josephus. The composer's son Carl Philipp Emanuel saw to it that The Art of Fugue, although still unfinished, was published in 1751. Together with one of the composer's former students, Johann Friedrich Agricola, the son also wrote the obituary ("Nekrolog"), which was published in Mizler's Musikalische Bibliothek [de], the organ of the Society of Musical Sciences, in 1754.
From an early age, Bach studied the works of his musical contemporaries of the Baroque period and those of prior generations, and those influences were reflected in his music. Like his contemporaries Handel, Telemann and Vivaldi, Bach composed concertos, suites, recitatives, da capo arias, and four-part choral music and employed basso continuo. Bach's music was harmonically more innovative than his peer composers, employing surprisingly dissonant chords and progressions, often with extensive exploration of harmonic possibilities within one piece.
The hundreds of sacred works Bach created are usually seen as manifesting not just his craft but also a truly devout relationship with God. He had taught Luther's Small Catechism as the Thomaskantor in Leipzig, and some of his pieces represent it. The Lutheran chorale was the basis of much of his work. In elaborating these hymns into his chorale preludes, he wrote more cogent and tightly integrated works than most, even when they were massive and lengthy. The large-scale structure of every major Bach sacred vocal work is evidence of subtle, elaborate planning to create a religiously and musically powerful expression. For example, the St Matthew Passion, like other works of its kind, illustrated the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales, but in crafting this work, Bach created an overall experience that has been found over the intervening centuries to be both musically thrilling and spiritually profound.
Bach published or carefully compiled in manuscript many collections of pieces that explored the range of artistic and technical possibilities inherent in almost every genre of his time except opera. For example, The Well-Tempered Clavier comprises two books, each of which presents a prelude and fugue in every major and minor key, displaying a dizzying variety of structural, contrapuntal and fugal techniques.
Four-part harmonies predate Bach, but he lived during a time when modal music in Western tradition was largely supplanted in favour of the tonal system. In this system a piece of music progresses from one chord to the next according to certain rules, each chord being characterised by four notes. The principles of four-part harmony are found not only in Bach's four-part choral music: he also prescribes it for instance for the figured bass accompaniment. The new system was at the core of Bach's style, and his compositions are to a large extent considered as laying down the rules for the evolving scheme that would dominate musical expression in the next centuries. Some examples of this characteristic of Bach's style and its influence:
Bach's insistence on the tonal system and contribution to shaping it did not imply he was less at ease with the older modal system and the genres associated with it: more than his contemporaries (who had "moved on" to the tonal system without much exception), Bach often returned to the then-antiquated modi and genres. His Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue, emulating the chromatic fantasia genre as used by earlier composers such as Dowland and Sweelinck in D dorian mode (comparable to D minor in the tonal system), is an example of this.
Modulation, or changing key in the course of a piece, is another style characteristic where Bach goes beyond what was usual in his time. Baroque instruments vastly limited modulation possibilities: keyboard instruments, prior to a workable system of temperament, limited the keys that could be modulated to, and wind instruments, especially brass instruments such as trumpets and horns, about a century before they were fitted with valves, were tied to the key of their tuning. Bach pushed the limits: he added "strange tones" in his organ playing, confusing the singing, according to an indictment he had to face in Arnstadt, and Louis Marchand, another early experimenter with modulation, seems to have avoided confrontation with Bach because the latter went further than anyone had done before. In the "Suscepit Israel" of his 1723 Magnificat, he had the trumpets in E-flat play a melody in the enharmonic scale of C minor.
The major development taking place in Bach's time, and to which he contributed in no small way, was a temperament for keyboard instruments that allowed their use in all available keys (12 major and 12 minor) and also modulation without retuning. His Capriccio on the departure of a beloved brother, a very early work, showed a gusto for modulation unlike any contemporary work this composition has been compared to, but the full expansion came with the Well-Tempered Clavier, using all keys, which Bach apparently had been developing since around 1720, the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach being one of its earliest examples.
The second page of the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach is an ornament notation and performance guide that Bach wrote for his eldest son, who was nine years old at the time. Bach was generally quite specific on ornamentation in his compositions (where in his time much of the ornamentation was not written out by composers but rather considered a liberty of the performer), and his ornamentation was often quite elaborate. For instance, the "Aria" of the Goldberg Variations has rich ornamentation in nearly every measure. Bach's dealing with ornamentation can also be seen in a keyboard arrangement he made of Marcello's Oboe Concerto: he added explicit ornamentation, which some centuries later is played by oboists when performing the concerto.
Although Bach did not write any operas, he was not averse to the genre or its ornamented vocal style. In church music, Italian composers had imitated the operatic vocal style in genres such as the Neapolitan mass. In Protestant surroundings, there was more reluctance to adopt such a style for liturgical music. For instance, Kuhnau, Bach's predecessor in Leipzig, had notoriously shunned opera and Italian virtuoso vocal music. Bach was less moved. One of the comments after a performance of his St Matthew Passion was that it all sounded much like opera.
In concerted playing in Bach's time the basso continuo, consisting of instruments such as organ, viola da gamba or harpsichord, usually had the role of accompaniment, providing the harmonic and rhythmic foundation of a piece. From the late 1720s, Bach had the organ play concertante (i.e. as a soloist) with the orchestra in instrumental cantata movements, a decade before Handel published his first organ concertos. Apart from the 5th Brandenburg Concerto and the Triple Concerto, which already had harpsichord soloists in the 1720s, Bach wrote and arranged his harpsichord concertos in the 1730s, and in his sonatas for viola da gamba and harpsichord neither instrument plays a continuo part: they are treated as equal soloists, far beyond the figured bass. In this sense, Bach played a key role in the development of genres such as the keyboard concerto.
Bach wrote virtuoso music for specific instruments as well as music independent of instrumentation. For instance, the sonatas and partitas for solo violin are considered the pinnacle of what has been written for this instrument, only within reach of accomplished players. The music fits the instrument, pushing it to the full scale of its possibilities and requiring virtuosity of the player but without bravura. Notwithstanding that the music and the instrument seem inseparable, Bach made transcriptions for other instruments of some pieces of this collection. Similarly, for the cello suites, the virtuoso music seems tailored for the instrument, the best of what is offered for it, yet Bach made an arrangement for lute of one of these suites. The same applies to much of his most virtuoso keyboard music. Bach exploited the capabilities of an instrument to the fullest while keeping the core of such music independent of the instrument on which it is performed.
In this sense, it is no surprise that Bach's music is easily and often performed on instruments it was not necessarily written for, that it is transcribed so often, and that his melodies turn up in unexpected places such as jazz music. Apart from this, Bach left a number of compositions without specified instrumentation: the canons BWV 1072–1078 fall in that category, as well as the bulk of the Musical Offering and the Art of Fugue.
Another characteristic of Bach's style is his extensive use of counterpoint, as opposed to the homophony used in his four-part Chorale settings, for example. Bach's canons, and especially his fugues, are most characteristic of this style, which Bach did not invent but contributed to so fundamentally that he defined it to a large extent. Fugues are as characteristic to Bach's style as, for instance, the Sonata form is characteristic to the composers of the Classical period.
These strictly contrapuntal compositions, and most of Bach's music in general, are characterised by distinct melodic lines for each of the voices, where the chords formed by the notes sounding at a given point follow the rules of four-part harmony. Forkel, Bach's first biographer, gives this description of this feature of Bach's music, which sets it apart from most other music:
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. A melody so accompanied—even though all the notes are not those of the true Bass—or treated with simple embellishments in the upper parts, or with simple chords, used to be called "homophony." But it is a very different thing when two melodies are so interwoven that they converse together like two persons upon a footing of pleasant equality. 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 emerge now in the upper, now in the middle, and now in the lower parts. From about the year 1720, when he was thirty-five, until his death in 1750, 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. At least, I have found no one to equal him in music known to me. 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.
Bach devoted more attention than his contemporaries to the structure of compositions. This can be seen in minor adjustments he made when adapting someone else's composition, such as his earliest version of the "Keiser" St Mark Passion, where he enhances scene transitions, and in the architecture of his own compositions such as his Magnificat and Leipzig Passions. In the last years of his life, Bach revised several of his prior compositions. Often the recasting of such previously composed music in an enhanced structure was the most visible change, as in the Mass in B minor. Bach's known preoccupation with structure led (peaking around the 1970s) to various numerological analyses of his compositions, although many such over-interpretations were later rejected, especially when wandering off into symbolism-ridden hermeneutics.
The librettos, or lyrics, of his vocal compositions played an important role for Bach. He sought collaboration with various text authors for his cantatas and major vocal compositions, possibly writing or adapting such texts himself to make them fit the structure of the composition he was designing when he could not rely on the talents of other text authors. His collaboration with Picander for the St Matthew Passion libretto is best known, but there was a similar process in achieving a multi-layered structure for his St John Passion libretto a few years earlier.
In 1950, Wolfgang Schmieder published a thematic catalogue of Bach's compositions called the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue). Schmieder largely followed the Bach-Gesellschaft-Ausgabe, a comprehensive edition of the composer's works that was produced between 1850 and 1900. The first edition of the catalogue listed 1,080 surviving compositions indisputably composed by Bach.
BWV 1081–1126 were added to the catalogue in the second half of the 20th century, and BWV 1127 and higher were still later additions.
Bach composed Passions for Good Friday services and oratorios such as the Christmas Oratorio, which is a set of six cantatas for use in the liturgical season of Christmas. Shorter oratorios are the Easter Oratorio and the Ascension Oratorio.
With its double choir and orchestra, the St Matthew Passion is one of Bach's most extended works.
The St John Passion was the first Passion Bach composed during his tenure as Thomaskantor in Leipzig.
According to his obituary, Bach would have composed five year-cycles of sacred cantatas, and additional church cantatas for weddings and funerals, for example. Approximately 200 of these sacred works are extant, an estimated two thirds of the total number of church cantatas he composed. The Bach Digital website lists 50 known secular cantatas by the composer, about half of which are extant or largely reconstructable.
Bach's cantatas vary greatly in form and instrumentation, including those for solo singers, single choruses, small instrumental groups, and grand orchestras. Many consist of a large opening chorus followed by one or more recitative-aria pairs for soloists (or duets) and a concluding chorale. The melody of the concluding chorale often appears as a cantus firmus in the opening movement.
Bach's earliest cantatas date from his years in Arnstadt and Mühlhausen. The earliest one with a known date is Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4, for Easter 1707, which is one of his chorale cantatas. Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106, also known as Actus Tragicus, is a funeral cantata from the Mühlhausen period. Around 20 church cantatas are extant from his later years in Weimar, for instance, Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21.
After taking up his office as Thomaskantor in late May 1723, Bach performed a cantata each Sunday and feast day, corresponding to the lectionary readings of the week. His first cantata cycle ran from the first Sunday after Trinity of 1723 to Trinity Sunday the next year. For instance, the Visitation cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147, containing the chorale that is known in English as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", belongs to this first cycle. The cantata cycle of his second year in Leipzig is called the chorale cantata cycle as it consists mainly of works in the chorale cantata format. His third cantata cycle was developed over a period of several years, followed by the Picander cycle of 1728–29.
Later church cantatas include the chorale cantatas Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80 (final version) and Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140. Only the first three Leipzig cycles are more or less completely extant. Apart from his own work, Bach also performed cantatas by Telemann and by his distant relative Johann Ludwig Bach.
Bach also wrote secular cantatas, for instance for members of the royal Polish and prince-electoral Saxonian families (e.g. Trauer-Ode), or other public or private occasions (e.g. Hunting Cantata). The text of these cantatas was occasionally in dialect (e.g. Peasant Cantata) or Italian (e.g. Amore traditore). Many of the secular cantatas were lost, but for some of them the text and occasion are known, for instance when Picander later published their librettos (e.g. BWV Anh. 11–12). Some of the secular cantatas had a plot involving mythological figures of Greek antiquity (e.g. Der Streit zwischen Phoebus und Pan), and others were almost miniature buffo operas (e.g. Coffee Cantata).
Bach's a cappella music includes motets and chorale harmonisations.
Bach's motets (BWV 225–231) are pieces on sacred themes for choir and continuo, with instruments playing colla parte. Several of them were composed for funerals. The six motets definitely composed by Bach are Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf, Jesu, meine Freude, Fürchte dich nicht, Komm, Jesu, komm, and Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden. The motet Sei Lob und Preis mit Ehren (BWV 231) is part of the composite motet Jauchzet dem Herrn, alle Welt (BWV Anh. 160), other parts of which may be based on work by Telemann.
Bach wrote hundreds of four-part harmonisations of Lutheran chorales.
Bach's church music in Latin includes the Magnificat, four Kyrie–Gloria Masses, and the Mass in B minor.
The first version of Bach's Magnificat dates from 1723, but the work is best known in its D major version of 1733.
In 1733 Bach composed a Kyrie–Gloria Mass for the Dresden court. Near the end of his life, around 1748–1749, he expanded this composition into the large-scale Mass in B minor. The work was never performed in full during Bach's lifetime.
Bach wrote for organ and for stringed keyboard instruments such as harpsichord, clavichord and lute-harpsichord.
Bach was best known during his lifetime as an organist, organ consultant, and composer of organ works in both the traditional German free genres (such as preludes, fantasias, and toccatas) and stricter forms (such as chorale preludes and fugues). At a young age, he established a reputation for creativity and ability to integrate foreign styles into his organ works. A decidedly North German influence was exerted by Georg Böhm, with whom Bach came into contact in Lüneburg, and Dieterich Buxtehude, whom the young organist visited in Lübeck in 1704 on an extended leave of absence from his job in Arnstadt. Around this time, Bach copied the works of numerous French and Italian composers to gain insights into their compositional languages, and later arranged violin concertos by Vivaldi and others for organ and harpsichord. During his most productive period (1708–1714) he composed about a dozen pairs of preludes and fugues, five toccatas and fugues, and the Little Organ Book, an unfinished collection of 46 short chorale preludes that demonstrate compositional techniques in the setting of chorale tunes. After leaving Weimar, Bach wrote less for organ, although some of his best-known works (the six Organ Sonatas, the German Organ Mass in Clavier-Übung III from 1739, and the Great Eighteen Chorale Preludes, revised late in his life) were composed after leaving Weimar. Bach was extensively engaged later in his life in consulting on organ projects, testing new organs and dedicating organs in afternoon recitals. The Canonic Variations on "Vom Himmel hoch da komm' ich her" and the Schübler Chorales are organ works Bach published in the last years of his life.
Bach wrote many works for harpsichord, some of which may also have been played on the clavichord or lute-harpsichord. Some of his larger works, such as Clavier-Übung II and IV, are intended for a harpsichord with two manuals: performing them on a keyboard instrument with a single manual (like a piano) may present technical difficulties for the crossing of hands.
Among Bach's lesser known keyboard works are seven toccatas (BWV 910–916), four duets (BWV 802–805), sonatas for keyboard (BWV 963–967), the Six Little Preludes (BWV 933–938), and the Aria variata alla maniera italiana (BWV 989).
Bach wrote for single instruments, duets, and small ensembles. Many of his solo works, such as the six sonatas and partitas for violin (BWV 1001–1006) and the six cello suites (BWV 1007–1012), are widely considered to be among the most profound in the repertoire. He wrote sonatas for a solo instrument such as the viola de gamba accompanied by harpsichord or continuo, as well as trio sonatas (two instruments and continuo).
The Musical Offering and The Art of Fugue are late contrapuntal works containing pieces for unspecified instruments or combinations of instruments.
Surviving works in the concerto form include two violin concertos (BWV 1041 in A minor and BWV 1042 in E major) and a concerto for two violins in D minor, BWV 1043, often referred to as Bach's "double concerto".
Bach's best-known orchestral works are the Brandenburg Concertos, so named because he submitted them in the hope of gaining employment from Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721; his application was unsuccessful. These works are examples of the concerto grosso genre.
Bach composed and transcribed concertos for one to four harpsichords. Many of the harpsichord concertos were not original works but arrangements of his concertos for other instruments, now lost. A number of violin, oboe, and flute concertos have been reconstructed from these.
In addition to concertos, Bach wrote four orchestral suites, each suite being a series of stylised dances for orchestra, preceded by a French overture.
In his early youth, Bach copied pieces by other composers to learn from them. Later, he copied and arranged music for performance or as study material for his pupils. Some of these pieces, like "Bist du bei mir" (copied not by Bach but by Anna Magdalena), became famous before being dissociated with Bach. Bach copied and arranged Italian masters such as Vivaldi (e.g. BWV 1065), Pergolesi (BWV 1083) and Palestrina (Missa Sine nomine), French masters such as François Couperin (BWV Anh. 183), and, closer to home, various German masters including Telemann (e.g. BWV 824=TWV 32:14) and Handel (arias from Brockes Passion), and music from members of his own family. He also often copied and arranged his own music (e.g. movements from cantatas for his short masses BWV 233–236), as his music was likewise copied and arranged by others. Some of these arrangements, like the late 19th-century "Air on the G String", helped in popularising Bach's music.
Sometimes "who copied whom" is not clear. For instance, Forkel mentions a Mass for double chorus among the works composed by Bach. The work was published and performed in the early 19th century, and although a score partially in Bach's handwriting exists, the work was later considered spurious. In 1950, the design of the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis was to keep such works out of the main catalogue: if there was a strong association with Bach they could be listed in its appendix (German: Anhang, abbreviated as Anh.). Thus, for instance, the aforementioned Mass for double chorus became BWV Anh. 167. But this was far from the end of the attribution issues. For instance, Schlage doch, gewünschte Stunde, BWV 53, was later attributed to Melchior Hoffmann. For other works, Bach's authorship was put in doubt without a generally accepted answer to the question of whether or not he composed it: the best known organ composition in the BWV catalogue, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565, was indicated as one of these uncertain works in the late 20th century.
Throughout the 18th century, the appreciation of Bach's music was mostly limited to distinguished connoisseurs. The 19th century started with publication of the first biography of the composer and ended with the completion of the publication of all of Bach's known works by the Bach Gesellschaft. A Bach Revival had started from Mendelssohn's performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1829. Soon after that performance, Bach started to become regarded as one of the greatest composers of all times, if not the greatest, a reputation he has retained ever since. A new extensive Bach biography was published in the second half of the 19th century.
In the 20th century, Bach's music was widely performed and recorded, while the Neue Bachgesellschaft, among others, published research on the composer. Modern adaptations of Bach's music contributed greatly to his popularisation in the second half of the 20th century. Among these were the Swingle Singers' versions of Bach pieces (for instance, the Air from Orchestral Suite No. 3, or the Wachet auf... chorale prelude) and Wendy Carlos' 1968 Switched-On Bach, which used the Moog electronic synthesiser.
By the end of the 20th century, more classical performers were gradually moving away from the performance style and instrumentation that were established in the romantic era: they started to perform Bach's music on period instruments of the baroque era, studied and practised playing techniques and tempi as established in his time, and reduced the size of instrumental ensembles and choirs to what he would have employed. The BACH motif, used by the composer in his own compositions, was used in dozens of tributes to the composer from the 19th century to the 21st. In the 21st century, the complete extant output of the composer became available on-line, with several websites exclusively dedicated to him.
In his own time, Bach's reputation equalled that of Telemann, Graun and Handel. During his life, Bach received public recognition, such as the title of court composer by Augustus III of Poland and the appreciation he was shown by Frederick the Great and Hermann Karl von Keyserling. Such highly placed appreciation contrasted with the humiliations he had to cope with, for instance in his hometown of Leipzig. Also in the contemporary press, Bach had his detractors, such as Johann Adolf Scheibe, suggesting he write less complex music, and his supporters, such as Johann Mattheson and Lorenz Christoph Mizler.
After his death, Bach's reputation as a composer at first declined: his work was regarded as old-fashioned compared to the emerging galant style. Initially, he was remembered more as a virtuoso player of the organ and as a teacher. The bulk of the music that had been printed during the composer's lifetime, at least the part that was remembered, was for the organ and the harpsichord. Thus, his reputation as a composer was initially mostly limited to his keyboard music, and that even fairly limited to its value in music education.
Bach's surviving family members, who inherited a large part of his manuscripts, were not all equally concerned with preserving them, leading to considerable losses. Carl Philipp Emanuel, his second eldest son, was most active in safeguarding his father's legacy: he co-authored his father's obituary, contributed to the publication of his four-part chorales, staged some of his works, and the bulk of previously unpublished works of his father were preserved with his help. Wilhelm Friedemann, the eldest son, performed several of his father's cantatas in Halle but after becoming unemployed sold part of the large collection of his father's works he owned. Several students of the old master, such as his son-in-law Johann Christoph Altnickol, Johann Friedrich Agricola, Johann Kirnberger, and Johann Ludwig Krebs, contributed to the dissemination of his legacy. The early devotees were not all musicians; for example, in Berlin, Daniel Itzig, a high official of Frederick the Great's court, venerated Bach. His eldest daughters took lessons from Kirnberger and their sister Sara from Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, who was in Berlin from 1774 to 1784. Sara Itzig Levy became an avid collector of works by Johann Sebastian Bach and his sons and was a "patron" of CPE Bach.
While in Leipzig, performances of Bach's church music were limited to some of his motets, and under cantor Doles some of his Passions. A new generation of Bach aficionados emerged: they studiously collected and copied his music, including some of his large-scale works such as the Mass in B minor and performed it privately. One such connoisseur was Gottfried van Swieten, a high-ranking Austrian official who was instrumental in passing Bach's legacy on to the composers of the Viennese school. Haydn owned manuscript copies of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Mass in B minor and was influenced by Bach's music. Mozart owned a copy of one of Bach's motets, transcribed some of his instrumental works (K. 404a, 405), and wrote contrapuntal music influenced by his style. Beethoven played the entire Well-Tempered Clavier by the time he was 11 and described Bach as Urvater der Harmonie (progenitor of harmony).
In 1802, Johann Nikolaus Forkel published Ueber Johann Sebastian Bachs Leben, Kunst und Kunstwerke, the first biography of the composer, which contributed to his becoming known to a wider public. In 1805, Abraham Mendelssohn, who had married one of Itzig's granddaughters, bought a substantial collection of Bach manuscripts that had come down from C. P. E. Bach, and donated it to the Berlin Sing-Akademie. The Sing-Akademie occasionally performed Bach's works in public concerts, for instance his first keyboard concerto, with Sara Itzig Levy at the piano.
The first decades of the 19th century saw an increasing number of first publications of Bach's music: Breitkopf started publishing chorale preludes, Hoffmeister harpsichord music, and the Well-Tempered Clavier was printed concurrently by Simrock (Germany), Nägeli (Switzerland) and Hoffmeister (Germany and Austria) in 1801. Vocal music was also published: motets in 1802 and 1803, followed by the E♭ major version of the Magnificat, the Kyrie-Gloria Mass in A major, and the cantata Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (BWV 80). In 1818, Hans Georg Nägeli called the Mass in B minor the greatest composition ever. Bach's influence was felt in the next generation of early Romantic composers. When Felix Mendelssohn, Abraham's son, aged 13, produced his first Magnificat setting in 1822, it is clear that he was inspired by the then unpublished D major version of Bach's Magnificat.
Felix Mendelssohn significantly contributed to the renewed interest in Bach's work with his 1829 Berlin performance of the St Matthew Passion, which was instrumental in setting off what has been called the Bach Revival. The St John Passion saw its 19th-century premiere in 1833, and the first performance of the Mass in B minor followed in 1844. Besides these and other public performances and an increased coverage on the composer and his compositions in printed media, the 1830s and 1840s also saw the first publication of more vocal works by Bach: six cantatas, the St Matthew Passion, and the Mass in B minor. A series of organ compositions saw their first publication in 1833. Chopin started composing his 24 Preludes, Op. 28, inspired by the Well-Tempered Clavier, in 1835, and Schumann published his Sechs Fugen über den Namen B-A-C-H in 1845. Bach's music was transcribed and arranged to suit contemporary tastes and performance practice by composers such as Carl Friedrich Zelter, Robert Franz, and Franz Liszt, or combined with new music such as the melody line of Charles Gounod's Ave Maria. Brahms, Bruckner, and Wagner were among the composers who promoted Bach's music or wrote glowingly about it.
In 1850, the Bach-Gesellschaft (Bach Society) was founded to promote Bach's music. In the second half of the 19th century, the Society published a comprehensive edition of the composer's works. Also in the second half of the 19th century, Philipp Spitta published Johann Sebastian Bach, the standard work on Bach's life and music. By that time, Bach was known as the first of the three Bs in music. Throughout the 19th century, 200 books were published on Bach. By the end of the century, local Bach societies were established in several cities, and his music had been performed in all major musical centres.
In Germany all throughout the century, Bach was coupled to nationalist feelings, and the composer was inscribed in a religious revival. In England, Bach was coupled to an existing revival of religious and baroque music. By the end of the century, Bach was firmly established as one of the greatest composers, recognised for both his instrumental and his vocal music.
During the 20th century, the process of recognising the musical as well as the pedagogic value of some of the works continued, as in the promotion of the cello suites by Pablo Casals, the first major performer to record these suites. Leading performers of classical music such as Willem Mengelberg, Edwin Fischer, Georges Enescu, Leopold Stokowski, Herbert von Karajan, Arthur Grumiaux, Helmut Walcha, Wanda Landowska, Karl Richter, I Musici, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Glenn Gould recorded his music.
A significant development in the later part of the 20th century was the momentum gained by the historically informed performance practice, with forerunners such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt acquiring prominence by their performances of Bach's music. His keyboard music was again performed more on the instruments Bach was familiar with, rather than on modern pianos and 19th-century romantic organs. Ensembles playing and singing Bach's music not only kept to the instruments and the performance style of his day but were also reduced to the size of the groups Bach used for his performances. But that was far from the only way Bach's music came to the forefront in the 20th century: his music was heard in versions ranging from Ferruccio Busoni's late romantic piano transcriptions to jazzy interpretations such as those by The Swingle Singers, orchestrations like the one opening Walt Disney's Fantasia movie, and synthesiser performances such as Wendy Carlos' Switched-On Bach recordings.
Bach's music has influenced other genres. For instance, jazz musicians have adopted Bach's music, with Jacques Loussier, Ian Anderson, Uri Caine, and the Modern Jazz Quartet among those creating jazz versions of his works. Several 20th-century composers referred to Bach or his music, for example Eugène Ysaÿe in Six Sonatas for solo violin, Dmitri Shostakovich in 24 Preludes and Fugues and Heitor Villa-Lobos in Bachianas Brasileiras. All kinds of publications involved Bach: not only were there the Bach Jahrbuch publications of the Neue Bachgesellschaft, various other biographies and studies by among others Albert Schweitzer, Charles Sanford Terry, Alfred Dürr, Christoph Wolff. Peter Williams, John Butt, and the 1950 first edition of the Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis; but also books such as Gödel, Escher, Bach put the composer's art in a wider perspective. Bach's music was extensively listened to, performed, broadcast, arranged, adapted, and commented upon in the 1990s. Around 2000, the 250th anniversary of Bach's death, three record companies issued box sets with complete recordings of Bach's music.
Bach's music features three times—more than that of any other composer—on the Voyager Golden Record, a gramophone record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes. Tributes to Bach in the 20th century include statues erected in his honour and a variety of things such as streets and space objects being named after him. Also, a multitude of musical ensembles such as the Bach Aria Group, Deutsche Bachsolisten, Bachchor Stuttgart, and Bach Collegium Japan adopted the composer's name. Bach festivals were held on several continents, and competitions and prizes such as the International Johann Sebastian Bach Competition and the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize were named after the composer. While by the end of the 19th century Bach had been inscribed in nationalism and religious revival, the late 20th century saw Bach as the subject of a secularised art-as-religion (Kunstreligion).
In the 21st century, Bach's compositions have become available online, for instance at the International Music Score Library Project. High-resolution facsimiles of Bach's autographs became available at the Bach Digital website. 21st-century biographers include Christoph Wolff, Peter Williams and John Eliot Gardiner.
In 2019, Bach was named the greatest composer of all time in a poll conducted among 174 living composers.
Bach was originally buried at Old St. John's Cemetery in Leipzig. His grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years, but in 1894 his remains were located and moved to a vault in St. John's Church. This building was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, so in 1950 Bach's remains were taken to their present grave in St. Thomas Church. Later research has called into question whether the remains in the grave are actually those of Bach.
The liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church remembers Bach annually with a feast day on 28 July, together with George Frideric Handel and Henry Purcell; on the same day, the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church remembers Bach and Handel with Heinrich Schütz.
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