Compare the lives and works of Bach and Handel Essay Sample
Compare the lives and works of Bach and Handel Essay Sample

Compare the lives and works of Bach and Handel Essay Sample

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  • Pages: 8 (2049 words)
  • Published: August 28, 2018
  • Type: Paper
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Many experts in the music industry consider J. S. to be a significant figure.

Bach and G. F. Handel are the most significant and influential composers of the Baroque era.

Although Bach and Handel share some similarities due to their birth year of 1685 in Germany, it is crucial to acknowledge that they were born into distinct families.

Despite coming from a non-musical family and with his father wanting him to study law, Handel's musical talent became too evident at the age of nine for his father to ignore. Consequently, he commenced studying under a local organist and composer.

Bach was born into a family of musicians who passed down their musical talents from generation to generation. Additionally, he had the honor of being the father to four gifted sons, each of whom achieved success as composers.

Despite starting their musical careers differen


tly with Handel as an organist and composer, and Bach as a church organist, both Handel and Bach shared a common interest in music. Their love for music was evident, until eventually Handel departed to study at the University of Halle.

According to the text, he abandoned his career in jurisprudence and worked in Hamburg as both a fiddler and a harpsichordist in the orchestra.

The Bach family gained renown in their town for their impressive musical abilities, particularly in instrumental performance. J.S. Bach upheld this reputation by fathering 20 children, although only nine survived and four of them became recognized composers.

It is widely believed that Bach received his first music lessons from his father in Eisenach, Germany. Unfortunately, when he was only nine years old, he experienced the loss of both his parents.

At the age of 15, Bach wen

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with his older brother, who was also an organist, to a town close by.

Bach's attempt to launch a solo career at 18 years old by becoming the church organist in Arnstadt after parting ways with his brother was met with difficulties from the church authorities, ultimately leading to him leaving the position when he reached 23.

After marrying his cousin Barbara in Muhlhausen, Bach went on to become the tribunal organist of Weimar, all while remaining actively involved in the Lutheran church.

Bach created multi-movement works for the choir and orchestra called oratorios, with the task of producing one per week.

As tribunal music director for the prince of Cothen, Bach's notable position brought a higher wage and no obligation to compose church or organ music. However, he still needed to incorporate the chorale, which conveyed the overall message of the sermon. It is important to note that the prince was a Calvinist.

During his tenure as leader of the prince's orchestra from 1717-1723, simple Psalms sufficed for the service. This period also saw the creation of the Bradenburg Concertos. In 1723, he was appointed music director at St. and continued his musical career at this establishment.

Until his death, Bach held the position of Thomas Church organist in Leipzig, where he composed the highly scrutinized Well-Tempered Clavier which features his use of the fugue technique, divided into a structured subject.

The concepts of countersubject and episode were highly valued by Bach during his time. He was recognized as a renowned organist and considered to be the greatest player of keyboard instruments in history, as noted by Wolff (149). The composition itself was designed specifically for keyboard instruments and consisted

of 24 preliminary pieces and fugues.

This piece includes various customary dance suites such as the allemande, courante, sarabande, and jig. The allemande was created in Germany and has a time signature of four beats.

The Gallic dance known as courante and the Spanish dance known as sarabande were both in ternary metre, while the jig was a dance that originated from the Italians, English and Irish.

The plants of the person were not only artistically beautiful but also proficient in their bid, in a six-eight metre. These plants included the Brandenburg concertos, keyboard suites and partitas.

Some of J.S. Bach's notable works include the Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew Passion, The Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue, and numerous oratorios.

S. Bach's botanical specimens are categorized using BWV Numbers, which stand for Bach Werke Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue). The catalogue was created by Wolfgang Schmieder and released in 1950, and its organization is based on themes.

BWV 1-224 are oratorios, BWV 225-248 are large-scale choral pieces, BWV 250-524 consist of chorales and sacred vocals, BWV 525-748 contain organ pieces, BWV 772-994 include other keyboard works, and BWV 995-1000 consist of lute music.

Bach was a talented musician who composed BWV 1001-40 for chamber music, BWV 1041-71 for orchestral music, and BWV 1072-1126 for canons and fugues. Additionally, he was renowned for his expertise in playing the organ.

He also worked as an advisor for organs and created compositions for organs, including toccatas, chorale preludes, and fugues.

Known for his exceptional creativity and skill in assimilating diverse national styles into his compositions, Bach was heavily influenced by Georg Brohm's North German style. He also studied the works of

numerous Italian and French composers to understand their unique compositional techniques.

During the years 1708-1714, it is widely believed that Bach was at his most productive, during which time he arranged numerous fiddle concertos by Vivaldi for organ.

During a certain period, Bach created various works such as preliminaries, fugues, and toccatas. Within this same time period, he also composed the Orgelbuchlein, also known as the Little Organ Book.

The book consists of 49 short chorale preliminaries that Bach left unfinished. Later in his life, he composed the Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, which has a second movement titled Air.

Bach composed an aria for the orchestra as well as music for individual instruments, couples, and small ensembles. His repertoire for solo instruments includes the six sonatas and partitas for violin (BWV1001-1006), six cello suites (BWV 1007-1012), and partita for solo flute (BWV1013).

Bach's most famous orchestral pieces are the Brandenburg concertos, which were named after the Margrave of Brandenburg, to whom Bach submitted them as a job application in 1721. However, he was not successful in obtaining the position.

These are exceptional depictions of concerto grosso, ranking among the best of all time. The concerto form also includes enduring works such as two violin concertos, a concerto for two violins, and concertos for one, two or three musicians.

There were even up to four cembalos played. Many believe that some of the cembalo concertos were not original but rather arrangements of lost concertos for other instruments, including the violin.

It has been reconstructed from them, the hautboy and flute concertos. In addition to concertos, Bach also composed four orchestral suites previously mentioned.

Born in Halle, Germany just a month before

Bach, Handel was not from a musical family but managed to become skilled in Italian opera and English cantata. His accomplishments in music are impressive.

While Handel was celebrated for his numerous operas, Bach did not venture into this genre.

The protagonist's father, who belonged to the middle-class, advised him to choose law as a career for financial stability since music did not offer much monetary benefit.

After only one year at Halle University, he departed due to inadequate compensation and relocated to Hamburg. At 21 years old, he embarked on a three-year journey to Italy where he formed Italian operas. When he came back to Germany in 1710, he resided for a month before requesting consent from Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover to travel to London and stage Rinaldo.

Having spent half a century in London, he became renowned among the rural population and was highly esteemed by the aristocracy.

Although Handel's success as a showman, composer, and performer brought him fame, it also caused him to experience two nervous breakdowns. One of these breakdowns was documented by the future king of Prussia in 1737.

According to a statement, Handel's prime has passed and he is no longer creatively driven. This was declared in the same year he wrote the composition known as Messiah, which was in 1741.

Handel primarily composed concerti grossi, operas, and cantatas during his lifetime in Great Britain. However, he later shifted his focus to solely composing cantatas after stopping his work on operas.

One of his famous works is Messiah, which uses verses from the King James Bible. He also created other popular pieces like Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Additionally, many composers who

followed him, such as Haydn and Mozart, were greatly impacted by his work.

The statement affirms that Handel's Messiah is composed of three movements which address Christmas, Death and Resurrection, and Redemption. It clarifies explicitly that there is no mention of Beethoven in this description.

While Bach's oratorio incorporated a chorale, cantatas featured a libretto. One of the most celebrated works in this genre is G.F. Handel's.

Handel expressed in a speech that Messiah was a result of his inspiration, which is also believed by many historians to be his favorite work.

According to Jacobi. 7, Handel expressed that he saw Heaven and God himself. Handel was going through a low point in his career in England when his friend Charles Jennens inspired him to create a cantata based on Jennens' compilation of Biblical texts. Handel made the decision to work on the cantata rather than fleeing to his homeland in Germany.

Handel worked non-stop for 24 hours from August 22, 1741 to September 14, 1741 to complete his entire work. (32)

Handel's Messiah premiered in Dublin, Ireland on April 13, 1742.

It is uncertain whether Handel specifically composed the work for its debut in Dublin, or if he simply selected Dublin for its premiere (Jacobi, 8). Like all cantatas, Messiah consists of three distinct parts.

Messiah is a musical composition that contains three parts which represent Jesus Christ's birth, death, and Resurrection. Each part includes a series of arias and choruses that are based on biblical passages from the King James Bible.

Prior to his first public performance, Handel traveled throughout Ireland and Great Britain, showcasing his latest masterpiece. In his debut shows, Handel would make adjustments to the cantata

to better suit the area or librettos.

The definition of a libretto is the spoken or written words of an opera or cantata. It is commonly associated with the High Baroque period, which was largely influenced by two composers born in 1685.

During the Baroque period, two renowned figures who excelled at playing the keyboard and made significant contributions to virtually every important musical genre were Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel.

Both Bach and Handel are representative of different types of Baroque music practitioners. Bach was a German Kapellmeister who worked for a tribunal or metropolis and had a fascination with the fugue, imitation, and orchestral roughness, which brought an added dimension to the music of the late Baroque period. Meanwhile, Handel was a composer primarily based in theaters, though both worked within the basso figured bass tradition.

Although Handel gained fame in London for his Italian operas, he later turned to creating English cantatas for the theatre. Both Bach and Handel were notable composers of the late Baroque period, but Bach died in 1750.

According to various historians, the Baroque era concludes on this specific date. Additionally, music theory experts argue that J. S.

Bach and G. F. Handel, born in Germany in 1685, are the two most significant and influential composers of the Baroque era, as they emerged at around the same time.

Despite coming from different families, Bach and Handel share similarities in that Handel decided to pursue a career in music despite his father's wishes for him to study law.

Both of these musicians were originally known for their prowess as keyboardists and organists. Bach came from a family with a strong musical background

in instrumental music, and even had four sons who became successful composers, which Handel did not achieve.

The main distinction between the two musicians was that Bach held a position as a church organist, while Handel abandoned his intended career in law and moved to Hamburg shortly after beginning studies at University of Halle.

As a fiddler and harpsichordist in the orchestra, these two gifted composers were responsible for many musical promotions. Ultimately, the end of the Baroque era was marked by Bach's passing.

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