The Lutheran St Agnus had a two-manual organ of 27 stops, again with an exceptional pedal compass. There is not the slightest reason to suppose that Bach wrote any particular work to exploit these pedal compasses, but no doubt he used one or both of the organs for teaching and private practice.
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He communicated at St Agnus, and took part in the baptisms at the court chapel, but had no official duties in either. He may, however, have been involved in the affair of May , when a cantata was put on for the dedication festival of St Agnus, and copies of presumably the libretto were printed. Only one court official was paid more, and there is other evidence that Bach was held in high esteem. On 17 November the last of his children by his first wife a short-lived son was named after the prince, who himself was a godfather.
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The orchestra needed a room for their weekly rehearsals; the prince supplied it by paying rent to Bach 12 thaler a year from 10 December to Whether he continued to use that room after his move in , and why he was not paid rent after , is not clear. That would normally have been his duty. The court accounts suggest that something connected with the birthday was either printed or bound in , as also in and Anh.
In there may have been no birthday celebrations, for the prince was married, at Bernburg, the next day. New Year cantatas also were expected. The work had been done by Johann Scheibe, with whose son Bach was later in dispute.
On 9 May the prince went to drink the waters at Carlsbad for about five weeks, taking with him his harpsichord, Bach and five other musicians. Early in Bach was in Berlin, negotiating for a new harpsichord. About this time he seems to have been busy composing or buying music, for between July and May some 26 thaler were spent on binding.
During Handel visited his mother at Halle, only some 30 km away; it is said that Bach tried, but failed, to make contact with him.
Bach also disregarded a renewed request from Mattheson for biographical material. In May Bach again went to Carlsbad with the prince. His wife had been nearly Her death may well have unsettled Bach, and even led him to think of returning to the service of the church; but there was a more practical reason for his taking an interest in St Jacobi at Hamburg. The organist there, Heinrich Friese, died on 12 September ; Bach had known Hamburg in his youth, and must have been attracted by the organ, a four-manual Schnitger with 60 stops. There is no evidence that Bach was actually invited to apply for the post; but he may well have made inquiries of his own.
At all events, his name was one of eight being considered on 21 November, and he was in Hamburg at about that time. Three candidates did not appear, and the judges were not satisfied with the other four. Perhaps he was unable, or unwilling, to contribute marks to the church funds, as the successful candidate actually did.
From the way in which the committee kept the post open for Bach, one may suppose that they had heard his recital at St Katharinen. What he played is not known; but he was invited to send in some compositions. Such resources do not seem to have been available to the Margrave of Brandenburg, and it is not really surprising that he did not thank Bach, send a fee or use the score.
About the beginning of August he gave a performance of some unspecified kind for Count Heinrich XI Reuss of Schleiz; this may have been arranged by J. This baptism is recorded in three registers. In September Anna was again a godmother, to a child called Palmarius; again the registers differ in describing her occupation. Practically nothing is known of her early years.
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She was born on 22 September at Zeitz. Her father, Johann Caspar Wilcke, was a court trumpeter; he worked at Zeitz until about February , when he moved to Weissenfels where he died on 30 November The surname was variously spelt. Liebe who, besides being a trumpeter, was organist of two churches at Zeitz from until his death in However, she was paid for singing, with her father, in the chapel at Zerbst on some occasion between Easter and midsummer The prince saved Bach 10 thaler by giving him permission to be married in his own lodgings.
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At about this time Bach paid two visits to the city cellars, where he bought first one firkin of Rhine wine, and later two firkins, all at a cut price, 27 instead of 32 groschen per gallon. Perhaps her unfortunate influence had made itself felt even before she was married. Bach heard of this only by accident; and on 15 March he wrote to the Erfurt council on behalf of Jacob as well as himself.
On 16 April Jacob died; and the matter seems to have been settled on these lines towards the end of the year. In summer there was no Kapellmeister at the court of Anhalt-Zerbst, and Bach was commissioned to write a birthday cantata for the prince; for this he was paid 10 thaler in April and May.
The birthday was in August, and payments made during that month presumably refer to the performance. Despite the sceptics, it remains reasonable to suppose that Bach gave the book to his wife early in It seems to have been filled by The writing is uniform in style, and for various reasons it is incredible that he did not finish the manuscript until This handsome fair copy was preceded by drafts, like those in W.
Presumably Bach brought them together for convenience, partly to serve as the last step in his keyboard course, partly to exhibit the advantages of equal temperament. As in book 2, no doubt Bach transposed some of the pieces to fill gaps in his key scheme; the odd pairing of the prelude in six flats with the fugue in six sharps suggests that the former was originally in E minor, the latter in D minor. Bach P , f. The paper is of a kind that Bach used, as far as is known, only in A few items date from about ; in the rest, the writing resembles that of the cantatas of — Of the preludes Bach allowed for, he completed fewer than Its contents had already appeared, in earlier versions and under different titles, in W.
Six men applied for the post, among them Telemann, who was still remembered for the good work he had done at Leipzig 20 years before. He had been doing a similar job at Hamburg for about a year, and was probably the most famous of German musicians actually living in Germany. Telemann refused to do that; nevertheless, he was appointed on 13 August. But the Hamburg authorities would not release him, and offered to increase his pay; in November he declined the Leipzig post.
At a meeting on 23 November Councillor Platz said that Telemann was no loss; what they needed was a Kantor to teach other subjects besides music. Of the remaining five candidates, three were invited to give trial performances; two dropped out, one because he would not teach Latin.
By 21 December two Kapellmeisters had applied, Bach and Graupner. Of the five candidates, Graupner was preferred; he was a reputable musician, and had studied at the Thomasschule. He successfully performed his test two cantatas on 17 January But on 23 March he too withdrew, having been offered more pay at Darmstadt.
Meanwhile, Bach had performed his test pieces Cantatas nos. Rolle and Schott had also been heard, and possibly Kauffmann too. On 9 April the council considered Bach, Kauffmann and Schott. Like Telemann, none of them wished to teach Latin.
Councillor Platz said that as the best men could not be got, they must make do with the mediocre. On 22 April the council agreed on Bach, one of them hoping that his music would not be theatrical. With family and furniture, he moved in on 22 May, and performed Cantata no.
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On 1 June, at 8. This story has been told in some detail, because it throws light on the circumstances in which Bach worked at Leipzig. To him, the Kantorate was a step downwards in the social scale, and he had little respect for his employers. To the council, Bach was a third-rater, a mediocrity, who would not do what they expected a Kantor to do — teach Latin, as well as organize the city church music. The stage was set for trouble, and in due course trouble came. The position of Kantor at the Thomasschule, held conjointly with that of civic director of music, had been associated with a wealth of tradition since the 16th century.
His subsequent remark about the social step down from Kapellmeister to Kantor must be seen in the context of his later disagreements with the Leipzig authorities, as indeed the letter in question to Erdmann, a friend of his youth, on 28 October makes unequivocally clear. In any event, Bach was not the only Kapellmeister to apply for the post. It cannot have been mere chance that Bach wanted to tackle a range of duties comparable with those of his friend. Above all he must have preferred the greater economic and political stability of a commercial metropolis governed democratically to the uncertainties of the court of an absolute prince, where personal whim often held sway.
The university — the foremost in the German-speaking world at the time — must have been another special attraction in the eyes of a father of growing-up sons. Normally the pupils, about 50 to 60 in number, were split up into four choir classes Kantoreien for the four churches. The first choir class, with the best 12 to 16 singers, was directed by the Kantor himself, and sang alternately in the two principal churches, the Nikolaikirche and Thomaskirche; the other classes were in the charge of prefects, appointed by Bach, who would be older and therefore more experienced pupils of the Thomasschule.
This was furthered by the daily singing lessons, mostly given by the Kantor. There was also instrumental instruction for the ablest pupils, which Bach had to provide free of charge but was thus enabled to make good any shortage of instrumentalists for his performances.
List of Bach cantatas
Indeed, the number of professional musicians employed by the town four Stadtpfeifer, three fiddlers and one apprentice was held throughout his period of office at the same level as had obtained during the 17th century. For further instrumentalists Bach drew on the university students.
In general the age of the Thomasschule pupils ranged between 12 and In addition, he could be asked for music for weddings and funerals, for which he would receive a special fee. Such additional income was important to Bach, as his salary as Kantor of the Thomaskirche and director of music came to only 87 thaler and 12 groschen besides allowances for wood and candles, and payments in kind, such as corn and wine.