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Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

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Biography

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (June 21, 1732 – January 26, 1795), the ninth son of Johann Sebastian Bach, sometimes referred to as the “Bückeburg Bach”. He is not to be confused with Bach’s first cousin once removed, Johann Christoph Bach.

Born at Leipzig, Germany, he was taught music by his father, and also tutored by his distant cousin Johann Elias Bach. He studied at the St. Thomas School, and some believe he studied law at the University there, but there is no record of that. In 1750, Count Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe appointed Johann Christoph harpsichordist at Bückeburg, and in 1759, he became Konzertmeister. While there, Bach collaborated with Herder, who provided the texts for six vocal works; the music survives for only four of these.

Bach wrote keyboard sonatas, symphonies, oratorios, liturgical choir pieces and motets, operas and songs. Because of Count Wilhelm’s predilection for Italian music, Bach had to adapt his style accordingly, but he retained stylistic traits of the music of his father and of his brother, C. P. E. Bach.

He married the singer Lucia Elisabeth Munchhusen (1728-1803) in 1755 and the Count stood as godfather to his son Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach. J.C.F. educated his son in music as his own father had, and Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst went on to become music director to Frederick William II of Prussia.

In April 1778 he and Wilhelm travelled to England to visit Johann Christian Bach.

The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica says of him “He was an industrious composer, … whose work reflects no discredit on the family name.

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  • SKHT

    Criminally underrated composer. Ok, it's not a genius like his older brothers, but he was still a great musician.

    12 Jun 2013 Reply

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