Johann Sebastian Bach (German Baroque period composer & musician)

~ Person


For the BWV catalogue of Bach's works, see Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis.

Major series / box sets

  • The Masterworks (Brilliant Classics, 2004/2008) (ext ref: 1 / 2)
  • Premium Edition (Am@do Classics, 2007?) (ext ref: 1; 2.1 or 2.2) (wiki tracklist dump)

There seems to have been another major series (or set) (69xCD; + 2xCD sampler) by "harmonia mundi", evidence of which is rare.

Annotation last modified on 2016-05-05 08:30 .


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 as well as 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 becoming an orphan at age 10, he lived for five years with his eldest brother, after which he continued his musical development 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 repertoire for the organ—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 in some of his earlier positions, he had a difficult relation with his employer, a situation that was little remedied when he was granted the title of court composer by the 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.

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 mostly renowned 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 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, for instance three different box sets with complete performances of the composer's works marking the 250th anniversary of his death.

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Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2008 Christmas Chill - The Ultimate Collection Various Artists 1
2008 Classic 100 Concerto (Top 10) Various Artists 1
2008 Classic FM Guitar: The Ultimate Classical Guitar Album Various Artists 1
2008 Classic FM: Pachelbel Canon and Other Baroque Favourites Pachelbel, Albinoni 1
2008 Composers Gold (4 CD Set (AKA "The Composers")) Various Artists 1
2008 Csárdás Virtuos Gipsy Orchestra 1
2008 Dads Love Classics Various Artists 1
2008 Faszination Klassik Various Artists 1
2008 Great Choral Masterpieces Various Artists 1
2008 Gustav Leonhardt: The Edition Gustav Leonhardt 1
2008 Hall Of Fame 2008, Volume One Various Artists 1
2008 Just Classics Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, David Stanhope 1
2008 Klassische Europareise Various Artists 1
2008 Lounge Style, Volume 3 Various Artists 1
2008 Meditation: Classical Melodies for a Peaceful Mind Various Artists 1
2008 Mstislav Rostropovich Plays Cello Works Mstislav Rostropovich 1 1
2008 Música, maestro! Various Artists 1
2008 Myleene's Music for mothers Myleene Klass 1
2008 Romantic Violin Various Artists 1
2008 Szép álmokat! Nyugtató babamuzsika Various Artists 1
2008 The Complete EMI Recordings Mstislav Rostropovich 1
2008 The Great Composers II Various Artists 1
2008 The Great Composers III Various Artists 1
2008 The Guitar Book 4 Evangelos Assimakopoulos 1
2008 The Master Violinist Jascha Heifetz 1
2008 The Original Jacket Collection Eugene Ormandy 1
2008 Trumpf: Edle Tropfen ♦ Edle Klänge (Edition Nr. 5) Various Artists 1
2008 Verrassings-cd 2008 Various Artists 1
2008 Weddings 2008 Various Artists 1
2009 Violin Masterworks: The World's Favourite Violin Classics Various Artists 1
2009 Köstliche Klassik - Musik zum Kochen & Genießen Various Artists 1
2009 Historic Russian Archives: Maria Yudina Maria Yudina 1
2009 Pianist 46 CD Various Artists 1
2009 The Ultimate Collection: Classical - 100 Hits Various Artists 1
2009 Best Encores 100 Various Artists 1
2009 The Most Relaxing Pachelbel Canon and Baroque Favorites in the Universe Various Artists 1
2009 Classical Music for Meditation and Yoga (Classical Music for Meditation and Yoga) Various Artists 1
2009 Ultimate Classical Dreams Various Artists 1
2009 Muzyka dla Ucha Mamy i Malucha Various Artists 1
2009 Pianist of the Century Sviatoslav Richter 1
2009 The Great EMI Recordings Yehudi Menuhin 1
2009 Eternal Baroque Various Artists 1
2009 The Essential Piano: 40 Popular Classics Various Artists 2
2009 The American Decca Recordings 1 Andrés Segovia 1
2009 100 Best Adagio Voices Various Artists 1
2009 Concertos 2 Maurice André 1
2009 50 Classics for Relaxation Various Artists 1
2009 The Best of the Most Relaxing Classical Music in the Universe Various Artists 1
2009 The Most Relaxing Christmas Album in the Universe Various Artists 1
2009 Best Cello 100 Various Artists 1
2009 Radio Classique : les enfants, Volume 2 Various Artists 1
2009 German Lute Music of the XVIII Century, Volume 3 Alberto Crugnola 1
2009 Drømmeland - Musik til ro og hvile Various Artists 1
2009 Analekta Classical Gems: Free Sampler Various Artists 1
2009 The 99 Most Essential Baroque Masterpieces Various Artists 1
2009 Sacred Music: Cornerstone Works of Sacred Music Various Artists 5 1
2009 Meditation: Classical Relaxation, Volume 5 Various Artists 3
2009 Meditation: Classical Relaxation, Volume 8 Various Artists 2
2009 111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon Various Artists 3
2009 111 Years of Deutsche Grammophon: The Collectors’ Edition Various Artists 52
2009 hmGold "Les Trésors (The Treasures)" Various Artists 1
2009 Ave Maria: Berühmte geistliche Arien Various Artists 1
2009 Nathan Milstein: Aristocrat of the Violin Nathan Milstein 1
2009 30 Years Outside the Box Yo‐Yo Ma 1
2009 Boulez Conducts Webern, Carter, Varèse, Berio Webern, Carter, Varèse, Berio; Pierre Boulez, Ensemble intercontemporain, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic 1
2009 Klara Top 75: 2009 Various Artists 1
2009 The 50 Greatest Pieces of Classical Music London Philharmonic Orchestra 2
2009 The 99 Most Essential Christmas Masterpieces Various Artists 1
2009 Guide des instruments anciens Various Artists 1
2009 Masterpiece: The Ultimate Classical Library - Classical Thunder Disc 1 Various Artists 1
2009 The Complete Original Jacket Collection Vladimir Horowitz 1
2009 40 bandes originales pour 40 films Vladimir Cosma 1
2009 100 Best Violin Various Artists 2
2009 Adagio: Let the World Be Still Various Artists 1
2009 Aufgewacht: Fröhlich den Tag beginnen Various Artists 1
2009 Best of Classics Various Artists 1
2009 Cello Favourites Various Artists 1
2009 Cello-Träume: Romantische Klänge zum Verlieben Mischa Maisky 1
2009 Classic FM Summer Guitar Various Artists 1
2009 Classical Chillout, Volume 3 Various Artists 1
2009 De Onvoltooiden Various Artists 1
2009 DHM Original Christmas Classics Tölzer Knabenchor, La Petite Bande, Augsburger Domsingknaben, Collegium Aureum u.v.m. 1
2009 Great Music for Babies Various Artists 1
2009 Greatest Hits John Williams 1
2009 Instrumental Moods: Night at the Movies Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 1
2009 J'aime bien le classique mais il faudra m'aider un peu... ! Various Artists 1
2009 Klassieke Zaken Verrassings-CD 2009 Various Artists 1
2009 Klassik zum Träumen Various Artists 1
2009 Le Classique dans la pub & le cinéma Various Artists 1
2009 Legendary Russian Pianists Various Artists 1
2009 Life is Beautiful Various Artists 1
2009 Life is Beautiful With ABC Classic FM Various Artists 1
2009 Little Einsteins - Classical Collection Various Artists 1
2009 Meisterwerke der Barockmusik Various Artists 1
2009 Period Living Traditional Carol Collection Various Artists 1
2009 Prière, Musiques pour méditer au long de l'année Various Artists 1
2009 Selected Classics - Das Beste Der Klassik 2009 Various Artists 1
2009 Sounds Sublime The Sixteen 1
2009 Sweet Dreams: The Ultimate Sleep Companion Various Artists 1
2009 The Complete Published EMI Recordings, 1926-1955 Pablo Casals 1

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