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Baroque Era

In War of Spanish Succession, Portuguese invade Spain, capturing Madrid and holding it for four months before being driven out: Duke of Marlborough (Eng) defeats Dub de Villeroi’s French force at Battle of Ramillies; Austrians defeat French at Turin • Daniel Defoe (Eng): ghost story True Relation of the Apparition of one Mrs Veal • George Farquhar (Ire): comedy The Recruiting Officer

England and Scotland are united under the name of Great Britain, with a single parliament and flag • War of Spanish Succession continues: Spaniards defeat Portuguese at Almanza; Austrians occupy Naples • Mogul emperor Aurangzeb, dies in India after 58 years’ reign; his empire begins rapidly to disintegrate

James Edward Stuart, ‘Old Pretender’, lands with an army in Scotland, but returns to France after defeat of a supporting French fleet by a British fleet • In Great Northern War, Karl XII (Swe), allied with Cossack leader Ivan Mazepa, advances in Russia • Herman Boerhaave (Neth):
Institutiones medicae, a pioneering physiology textbook • Sebastiano Ricci - Childhood of Romulus and Remus
War of Spanish Succession continues • In Great Northern War, Russians crush Swedes at Poltava (Russ) and become the chief northern power • Russia, Saxony and Denmark form anti-Swedish coalition • Afghan state wins independence from Persia • Johann Farina (It) establishes his Eau de Cologne factory (in Cologne)

In War of Spanish Succession, armies of the Grand Alliance capture Mons and Douai; French forces crush the alliance in Spain, Archduke Karl is expelled from Madrid, and Felipe V is re-established as king of Spain • British troops capture Port Royal from the French • Building of St Paul’s Cathedral in London is completed


Herman Boerhaave (1668 - 1738) was a Dutch botanist, chemist, Christian humanist, and physician of European fame. 



John Eccles composes the music for Granville's semi-opera The British Enchanters. Despite some notable success, the genre of semi-opera (incorporating both sung and spoken roles) faces oblivion owing to a decree by the Lord Chamberlain that confines vocal music and spoken dialogue to separate theatres.

Michelangelo Faggioli, aged about 40, composes the music for La Cilia, the first comic opera in Neapolitan dialect.

Jean-Baptiste Morin promotes an emerging genre in his first book of Cantates frangoises (French Cantatas).

Now in Paris, the 23-year-old Jean-Philippe Rameau publishes his Premier livre de pieces de clavecin. He also fills organ posts at the Jesuit College Louis-le-Grand and the Peres de la Merci.

Rameau - Premier Livre de Pièces de Clavecin (1706) Suite in A minor
I. Prélude 00:00
II. Allemande 2:40
III. Deuxieme Allemande 8:05
IV. Courante  9:55
V. Gigue 11:43
VI. Sarabandes  14:05
VII. Venitienne  16:35
VIII. Gavotte  17:50
IX. Menuet  19:56

Antonio Vivaldi gives up saying mass around this time, apparently due to his chronic respiratory problems. Some maintain that he cannot survive the duration of a mass without needing to jot down musical ideas.

The Amstadt Church council rebukes Johann Sebastian Bach, aged 20, for having overstayed his leave of absence by several months. Shortly afterwards he is criticised over his complex chorale accompaniments. Yet more castigation follows concerning his inability to control his choirboys. By the end of this year he is looking elsewhere for employment.

Georg Philipp Telemann flees Sorau before the advancing army of King Charles XII of Sweden (Great Northern War, 1700-21). Finding refuge in Frankfurt an der Oder, the composer returns to Sorau five months later.

23 March
Alessandro Scarlatti's politically-charged oratorio Il Sedecia, re di Gerusalemme (revised from 1705) presents the dramatic story of King Nebuchadnezzar at the Seminario Romano. 
The work comprises arias, recitatives and just one chorus.

Alessandro Scarlatti - Sedecia, re di Gerusalemme - part 1, 2, 3, 4

30 March
In London the vogue for Italian-style opera begins to take hold with an English version (
Nicola Francesco Haym) of Giovanni Bononcini’s Il trionfo di Camilla, which receives the first of many performances at the Druiy Lane Theatre. For the time being the internationally famous Italian composer resists enticements to visit England.

Giovanni Bononcini, arr. N.F. Haym: «Camilla»
Dramma per musica in 3 acts   Libretto: Silvio Stampiglia
Version for London: Nicola Francesco Haym

26 April
Composers Arcangelo Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti and Bernardo Pasquini are admitted to the Arcadian Academy in Rome.

                   Stamp of the Academy of Arcadia
The beginnings of the Accademia degi Arcadi date to February 1656, when a literary circle formed under the patronage of Queen Christina of Sweden, who had abdicated the Swedish crown in 1654, converted to Catholicism, and taken up her residence in Rome, where she spent much of the rest of her life. There she became a significant patron of music and opera, with composers including Alessandro Scarlatti, Bernardo Pasquini and Arcangelo Corelli dedicating works to her. 

9 March
Johann Pachelbel, one of Germany’s leading composers and organists, is buried in Nuremburg, aged 52.

George Frederic Handel, aged 21, arrives in Florence at the invitation of Prince Gian Gastone de’ Medici.

18 October
Italian opera composer Baldassare Galuppi is born in Burano, outside Venice.

26 October
German composer, organist and theorist Andreas Werckmeister dies in Halberstadt, aged 60.

Baldassare Galuppi

Baldassare Galuppi (18 October 1706 – 3 January 1785) was an Italian composer, born on the island of Burano in the Venetian Republic.

He belonged to a generation of composers, including Christoph Willibald Gluck, Domenico Scarlatti, and C. P. E. Bach, whose works are emblematic of the prevailing galant style that developed in Europe throughout the 18th century. He achieved international success, spending periods of his career in Vienna, London and Saint Petersburg, but his main base remained Venice, where he held a succession of leading appointments.

In his early career Galuppi made a modest success in opera seria, but from the 1740s, together with the playwright and librettist Carlo Goldoni, he became famous throughout Europe for his comic operas in the new dramma giocoso style. To the succeeding generation of composers he was known as "the father of comic opera". Some of his mature opere serie, for which his librettists included the poet and dramatist Metastasio, were also widely popular.

Throughout his career Galuppi held official positions with charitable and religious institutions in Venice, the most prestigious of which was maestro di cappella at the Doge's chapel, St Mark's Basilica. In these various capacities he composed a large amount of sacred music. He was also highly regarded as a virtuoso performer on and composer for keyboard instruments.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Galuppi's music was largely forgotten outside of Italy, and Napoleon's invasion of Venice in 1797 resulted in Galuppi's manuscripts being scattered around Western Europe, and in many cases, destroyed or lost. Galuppi's name persists in the English poet Robert Browning's 1855 poem "A Toccata of Galuppi's", but this has not helped maintain the composer's work in the general repertoire. Some of Galuppi's works were occasionally performed in the 200 years after his death, but it was not until the last years of the 20th century that his compositions were extensively revived in live performance and on recordings.

Baldassarre Galuppi - 6 Cembalo Sonatas

Baldassare Galuppi - Harpsichord Concertos 1/2

1. Harpsichord Concerto in C  0:00
2. Harpsichord Concerto in E Flat  9:08
3. Harpsichord Concerto in G  17:42
4. Harpsichord Concerto in F  27:14
5. Harpsichord Concerto in C Minor  35:04
6. Harpsichord Concerto in A  44:07

Baldassare Galuppi - Harpsichord Concertos 2/2

1. Concerto for Flute, Strings and B. C.  0:00
2. Concerto in D, Hob XVIII, No.2   11:41
3. Conc. in G for Flute, Harpsichord and Strings  34:04
4. Harpsichord Concerto in F  50:59

Galuppi: Dixit Dominus - Psalm 110 for choir in G minor

Baldassare Galuppi - Magnificat in Sol maggiore per Soprano, coro e Orchestra

​Baldassare Galuppi


Isaac Watts publishes Hymns and Spiritual Songs, his collection including ‘When I survey the wondrous cross’.

‘When I survey the wondrous cross’

Isaac Watts (17 July 1674 – 25 November 1748) was an English Christian minister, hymn writer, theologian, and logician. He was a prolific and popular hymn writer and is credited with some 750 hymns. He is recognized as the "Father of English Hymnody;" many of his hymns remain in use today and have been translated into numerous languages.

9 May
The renowned composer and organist Dieterich Buxtehude dies in Lubeck, aged about 70.

George Frideric Handel, having returned to Florence, stages his Italian opera Rodrigo. Commissioned by Ferdinando de’ Medici, the work is well received.

George Frideric Handel - RODRIGO

5 January
Alessandro Scarlatti's opera Il Mitridate Eupatore premieres at the Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, Venice, but fails to make an impression. Dismissed as too serious and musically complex, it is later recognised as one of Scarlatti’s finest works.

Alessandro Scarlatti - Mitridate Eupatore - 1, 2

Johann Sebastian Bach plays the organ at St Blasius, Miihlhausen, impressing the church council who agree unanimously to offer him the post of organist. He leaves his job at Arnstadt during the summer.

17 October
Johann Sebastian Bach marries Maria Barbara Bach, his second cousin.

Maria Barbara Bach (30 October 1684 – 7 July 1720) was the first wife of composer Johann Sebastian Bach. She was also his second cousin, the daughter of Johann Michael Bach.


Maria Barbara bore seven children:

Catharina Dorothea (28 December 1708 – 14 January 1774)
Wilhelm Friedemann (22 November 1710 – 1 July 1784)
Johann Christoph (23 February 1713 – 23 February 1713)
Maria Sophia (23 February 1713 – 15 March 1713), twin of Johann Christoph
Carl Philipp Emanuel (8 March 1714 – 14 December 1788)
Johann Gottfried Bernhard (11 May 1715 – 27 May 1739)
Leopold Augustus (15 November 1718 – 29 September 1719)

George Frideric Handel, now in Rome, begins work on his first oratorio, Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (The Triumph of Time and Disenchantment), to a text by Cardinal Pamphili. While in Rome he meets Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti.


1 December
English composer and organist Jeremiah Clarke, aged 33, shoots himself in a case of unrequited love for a beautiful woman of higher social standing.

He is buried in the crypt of the nearly-complete St Paul’s Cathedral.

Isaac Watts


Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre publishes her first book of French cantatas, all based on stories from the Old Testament.

Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre - Cantate le passage de la mer Rouge

Domenico Scarlatti and George Frideric Handel, both aged 23, meet in Venice and become good friends. This year Scarlatti moves to Rome and takes up as maestro di cappella to the exiled Queen of Poland, Maria Casimira.

4 February
Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No. 71 (Gott ist mein Konig) is performed to mark the inauguration of the new town council in Muhlhausen.

J. S. Bach: Gott ist mein König (BWV 71)

11 February
Egidio Romualdo Duni, Italian composer, born.

Duke Wilhelm Ernst hears the organ playing of Johann Sebastian Bach and offers him the post of court organist at Weimar. Bach resigns from Muhlhausen.

Johann Sebastian Bach monument next to St. Blaise's Church, where he worked in 1707/08


8 April (Easter Sunday)
George Frideric Handel displays his masterful flair for oratorio with La resurrezione, premiered at the Bonelli Palace in Rome. Inspired by the examples of Alessandro Scarlatti, the sacred work features backdrop scenery and a decorated stage to enhance the Easter drama. Arcangelo Corelli is enlisted to lead an orchestra of around 45 players.

G.F. Handel - La Resurrezione
Part 1 
1. Sonata 0:00
2. Scene 1. Disserratevi, o porte d'Averno 3:17
3. Scene 1. Qual'insolita luca 8:50
4. Scene 1. Ma che veggio? 13:39
5. Scene 1. D'amor fu consiglio 15:11
6. Scene 1. O voi, dell'Erebo 19:10
7. Scene 2. Notte, notte funesta 22:38
8. Scene 2. Piangete, sì, piangete 29:34
9. Scene 2. Dolci chiodi, amate spine 34:05
10. Scene 2. Quando è parto dell'affetto 39:27
11. Scene 2. Naufragando va per l'onde 44:10
12. Scene 2. Così la tortorella 50:15
13. Scene 2. Ho un non so che nel cor 54:49
14. Scene 3. Il nume vincitor 58:59
Part 2 
1. Introduzione 1:01:21
2. Ecco il sol, ch'esce dal mare 1:03:46
3. Scene 2. Risorga il mondo 1:08:59
4. Scene 2. Di rabbia indarno freme 1:11:33
5. Scene 2. Per celare il nuovo scorno 1:13:19
6. Scene 2. Impedirlo saprò 1:15:48
7. Scene 3. Per me già di morite 1:17:09
8. Scene 4. Vedo il Ciel che più sereno 1:22:43
9. Scene 4. Se per copla di donna infelice 1:28:19
10. Scene 4. Del ciglio dolente 1:31:23
11. Scene 4. Augelletti, ruscelletti 1:34:15
12. Scene 5. Caro Figlio! 1:38:19
13. Scene 5. Se impassibile, immortale 1:44:01
14. Scene 5. Dissi lode in Cielo, in terra 1:48:11

1 October
John Blow dies in Westminster, aged about 59. He is buried in the Abbey, close to Henry Purcell.

William Croft succeeds Blow as Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal and organist at the Abbey.

Georg Philipp Telemann is appointed Konzertmeister at the court of Duke Johann Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach.

29 December
Johann Sebastian Bach baptises the first of his 20 children, Catharina Dorothea.

Catharina Dorothea Bach
Born: December 29, 1708, Weimar, Germany
Died: January 14, 1774, Leipzig, Germany


Egidio Romualdo Duni

Egidio Romualdo Duni (11 February 1708 – 11 June 1775) was an Italian composer who studied in Naples and worked in Italy, France and London, writing both Italian and French operas.


Born in Matera, Duni was taught music by his father, Francesco Duni, and two sisters. At the age of nine, he was accepted at the Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto, near Naples. There he worked with Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Giovanni Paisiello, and other masters of Italian opera.

His first success was with the opera Nerone presented at the Rome Carnival in 1735. Thereafter he was in London (Demofoonte, 1737), returning to Italy where he eventually became maestro di cappella in Parma in 1749.

The latter part of his career was spent in France where he played a key role in the development of the Comédie mêlée d'ariettes (an early form of opéra comique), with such works as Le peintre amoureux de son modèle (Paris, 1757), La fée Urgèle (Fontainebleau, 1765), and L'école de la jeunesse (Paris, 1765).

Egidio Romualdo Duni - La Fata Urgèle
La Fée Urgèle o Ce qui plaît aux dames è un'opéra-comique in 4 atti su libretto di Charles Simon Favart,  rappresentata per la prima volta dai Comédiens-Italiens al castello di Fontainebleau il 26 ottobre 1765

Egidio Romualdo Duni - Giuseppe riconosciuto 1-2
Oratorio sacro, 1736

Egidio Romualdo Duni - Giuseppe riconosciuto 2-2
Oratorio sacro, 1736

Egidio Romualdo Duni


Cardinal Ottoboni arranges a musical contest between George Frideric Handel and Domenico Scarlatti at his palace in Rome. The two keyboard virtuosos are more or less equally matched on the harpsichord, although Scarlatti himself declares Handel hands-down winner on the organ.

Having left meagre-salaried positions in Rome, Alessandro Scarlatti resumes his old post as maestro di cappella at Naples.

8 February
Giuseppe Torelli dies in Bologna, aged 50.
His influential Op. 8 concerti grossi and solo violin concertos are published later this year. Including the popular Christmas Eve Concerto (No. 6), the collection promotes the three-movement fast—slow-fast plan, along with ritornello design and clear, uncomplicated textures.

Giuseppe Torelli - Concertos, Op. 8

Antonio Vivaldi publishes his Op. 2 violin sonatas. He loses his post at the Pieta this year, possibly due to financial cutbacks. He is reinstated two years later.

Antonio Vivaldi - Violin Sonatas, 1 - 12

Georg Philipp Telemann gains swift promotion to Kapellmeister at Eisenach. Required to manage a huge workload, he remains in post for three years.

22 November
Bohemian composer and violinist Franz (Frantisek) Benda is born in Stare Benatky.

17 January
Agostino Steffani's opera Tassilone is staged in Duisseldorf. Later this year the Holy See appoints the composer and priest as vicar apostolic of North Germany.

Agostino Steffani - TASSILONE  (1709)
Libretto di Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino
Part 1 

Agostino Steffani - TASSILONE  (1709)
Libretto di Stefano Benedetto Pallavicino
Part 2

1 December
German composer Franz Xaver Richter is born in Holleschau, Moravia.

26 December
George Frideric Handel triumphs in Venice with his greatest opera to date, the satirical Agrippina. With more than 20 repeat performances to audiences of Venetians, foreign visitors and dignitaries, his success gains him renown throughout Europe.

Georg Friedrich Händel - Agrippina HWV 6
ATTO I: 0:00     ATTO II: 1:22:04     ATTO III: 2:36:37

Franz Benda

Franz Benda or Czech: František Benda (baptised 22 November 1709, Benátky nad Jizerou – 7 March 1786, Potsdam) was a Bohemian violinist and composer, who worked for much of his life at the court of Frederick the Great.

Benda was born in Benátky nad Jizerou in Bohemia, the son of Jan Jiří Benda. His brother was the composer Jiří Antonín Benda (Georg Anton Benda). Benda's daughter Juliane Reichardt (1752–1783) and his granddaughter Louise Reichardt (1779–1826) were also composers.

In his youth Benda was a chorister in Prague and afterward in the Chapel Royal at Dresden. At the same time he began to study the violin, and soon joined a company of strolling musicians who attended fetes, fairs, etc. At eighteen years of age Benda abandoned this wandering life and returned to Prague, going to Vienna, where he pursued his study of the violin under Johann Gottlieb Graun, a pupil of Tartini. After two years he was appointed chapel master at Warsaw. In 1732, he entered the service of Frederick the Great, then crown prince of Prussia, with whom he remained the rest of his life.

Benda died in the Nowawes, a small colony near Potsdam set up by Frederick the Great to house Protestant refugees fleeing religious persecution in Bohemia.

František (Franz) Benda - Violin Sonatas
Sonata XI in D major  0:00

Sonata XXIII in C minor  17:31

Sonata VII in A major  30:11

Sonata XIII in G minor  34:40

Sonata XXXII in E major  50:20

Franz Benda - Concerto for Flute in E minor

Franz Benda - Concerto for Flute in A minor

František - Benda Violin Concerto in D major

Franz Xaver Richter

Franz (Czech: František) Xaver Richter, known as François Xavier Richter in France (December 1, 1709 – September 12, 1789) was an Austro-Moravian singer, violinist, composer, conductor and music theoretician who spent most of his life first in Austria and later in Mannheim and in Strasbourg, where he was music director of the cathedral. From 1783 on Haydn’s favourite pupil Ignaz Pleyel was his deputy at the cathedral.


The most traditional of the first generation composers of the so-called Mannheim school, he was highly regarded in his day as a contrapuntist. As a composer he was equally at home in the concerto and the strict church style. Mozart heard a mass by Richter on his journey back from Paris to Salzburg in 1778 and called it charmingly written.Richter, as a contemporary engraving clearly shows, must have been one of the first conductors to actually have conducted with a music sheet roll in his hand.

Richter wrote chiefly symphonies, concertos for woodwinds, trumpet, chamber and church music, his masses receiving special praise. He was a man of a transitional period, and his symphonies in a way constitute one of the missing links between the generation of Bach and Handel and the Viennese classic. Although sometimes contrapuntal in a learned way, Richter’s orchestral works nevertheless exhibit considerable drive and verve. Until a few years ago Richter "survived" with recordings of his trumpet concerto in D major but recently a number of chamber orchestras and ensembles have taken many of his pieces, particularly symphonies and concertos, in their repertoire.
Both Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his father Leopold knew Richter. Mozart would have met him still as a boy on his Family Grand tour in 1763 when the Mozart family came through Schwetzingen, the summer residence of the Elector Palatinate. Mozart met him once again in 1778 on his way back from Paris when he was headed for the unloved Salzburg after his plans to gain permanent employment in Mannheim or Paris had come to naught. In a letter to his father, dated November 2, 1778, Mozart seems to suggest that the by then elderly Richter was something of an alcoholic:

"Strasbourg can scarcely do without me. You cannot think how much I am esteemed and beloved here. People say that I am disinterested as well as steady and polite, and praise my manners. Everyone knows me. As soon as they heard my name, the two Herrn Silbermann [i. e. Andreas Silbermann and Johann Andreas Silbermann] and Herr Hepp (organist) came to call on me, and also Kapellmeister Richter... If the Cardinal had died, (and he was very ill when I arrived,) I might have got a good situation, for Herr Richter is seventy-eight years of age... Last Sunday I heard a new mass of Herr Richter's, which is charmingly written."
Adagio and Fugue in G minor for Strings (1760) is one of Franz Xaver Richter's symphonies, which features the learned style in 18th century orchestral works. His experience in churches also contributes to his sophisticated contrapuntal style in his orchestral works.

Franz Xaver Richter - Kemptener Te Deum in D-major (1742)

František (Franz) Xaver Richter Messa de Requiem a 16 voci in E flat major

Franz Xaver Richter - Chamber Sonatas N 1-6

Franz Xaver Richter - Symphony No. 53 in D-major "Trumpet"

Franz Xaver Richter - Sinfonia a Quattro in C major 'La Melodia Germanica'

František (Franz) Xaver Richter Sinfonia con Fuga in G minor

Franz Xaver Richter - Oboe Concerto in F major

Franz Xaver Richter - Flute Concerto in E minor

Franz Benda
Franz Xaver Richter


French composer and court organist Louis-Nicolas Clerambault publishes his first volume of Cantates frangoises. The collection includes the dramatic cantata Orphee, one of the most celebrated cantatas of the 18th century.

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault - Orphée - part 1

Louis-Nicolas Clérambault - Orphée - part - 2

Around this time Reinhard Keiser composes Der hochmutige, gestiirzte und wieder erhabene Croesus (The Proud, Overthrown and Again Exalted Croesus), one of his best-known operas, for Hamburg.

Reinhard Keiser -  "Croesus" (excerpts)
Overture (Sinfonia)  0:00
Act I, scene 1: (Chorus)  7:05
Act I, scene 1: Aria (Croesus)  9:26
Act II, scene 1: Ritornello  11:28
Act II, scene 1: Dance Song  13:07
Act II, scene 3: Recitativo (Elcius, Peasant Girl)  15:19
Act II, scene 3: Air with Children's Chorus  16:47
Act III, scene 3: Peasant Ballet  18:45
Act II, scene 8: Duet (Orsanes & Eliates)  19:48
Act II, scene 5: Aria (Elmira)  21:51
Act III, scene12: Scene (Croesus)  23:50

Giulio Taglietti publishes his Concerti a cinque, Op. 8, in Venice. Included in the set are the first concertos for four violins, predating Antonio Vivaldi’s more famous examples by one year.

4 January
Composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi 
is born in Jesi, Italy.

12 March
Composer Thomas Augustine Arne, is born in Covent Garden, London.

16 June
Having returned to Germany from Italy, George Frideric Handel is appointed Kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover, George Leopold, future King of England. The composer is granted extended leave the following month to visit Dusseldorf and London.

17 June
Andre Campra's Les fetes venitiennes, the first comic opera-ballet, is performed in Paris.

Campra - Les Festes Vénitiennes

22 November
Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, first son of Johann Sebastian Bach, is born in Weimar.

Sylvius Leopold Weiss, composer and lutenist, enters the service of Prince Alexander Sobiesky in Rome. The prince resides with his mother, the exiled Polish Queen, Maria Casimira.

22 November
Italian composer and keyboard virtuoso Bernardo Pasquini dies in Rome, aged 72.
Medallions bearing his portrait are struck in his honour.

"12 Polonaises, F. 12" by Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - Complete Organ Works

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach Cembalo Concertos

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - Trio Sonatas

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach - 7 Symphonies

Symphony in F major, F 67 "Dissonance Symphony"
Sinfonie F-Dur F 88  (00:13:25)

Symphony in D minor, F 65  (00:21:03)

Symphony in D major, F 64 (00:30:26)

Symphony in D major, F 91 (00:39:55)

Symphony in G major, F 92  (00:43:18)

Suite (Overture) For orchestra in G minor, BWV 1070 (Wilhelm Friedemann Bach?) (00:51:20)

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, (born Nov. 22, 1710, Weimar, Saxe-Weimar—died July 1, 1784, Berlin), eldest son of J.S. and Maria Barbara Bach, composer during the period of transition between Baroque and Rococo styles.


W.F. Bach’s musical instruction was primarily from his father (who wrote for him, when he was ten, the charming Klavier-büchlein vor Wilhelm Friedemann Bach of keyboard pieces). He also studied the violin. He matriculated at Leipzig University in 1729. In 1733, already composing extensively, he was appointed organist to the Church of St. Sophia in Dresden. In 1746 he moved to the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle. At about this time, or perhaps later, after his father’s death in 1750, he seemed to begin to have personality difficulties, evidenced by excessive drinking and other lapses. After a late marriage in 1751, he became restless and applied unsuccessfully for a change of post in 1753 and 1758. In 1762 he won an appointment to the Darmstadt court but did not take it up. Resigning his old post in Halle in 1764, for 20 years he sought in vain for regular employment. He became touchy and unreliable, and although his talents were never doubted, he imagined that they were. In 1774 he moved to Berlin, where he lived meagrely by giving recitals and teaching.

Of his compositions, keyboard works and cantatas form the larger part; he also composed several symphonies and chamber works and an opera. His music vacillated between the Baroque style of his father and the newer galant, or Rococo, style. His compositions, few for his many years, are often impassioned, often unpredictable in their use of melody, harmony, and rhythm.

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Sebastiano Ricci - Childhood of Romulus and Remus

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