The Audience Hissed and the Choir Boys Laughed

(Sara Levy, student of Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Friend of the Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach family, collector of Bachiana and great-aunt of Felix Mendelssohn relates how different Johann Christian Bach was from his father and brothers.)

Johann Christian Bach

Here is a little story to show you how different Johann Christian was from his father and brothers. As the story goes, the Queen of England commanded Johann Christian to play a concerto on the organ between the acts of his new oratorio. She wanted Johann Christian to emulate the great Handel’s style. As the story goes, the young Bach’s playing was so awful that the audience hissed and the boys in the chorus laughed. As you can imagine, Johann Christian was mortified!  He simply was not an improviser or a composer of organ music.

(This vignette is one of many anecdotes included in the organ and media event, Bach and Sons, performed by David Jordan, Media Artist and Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist.)

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One thought on “The Audience Hissed and the Choir Boys Laughed

  1. Pingback: Johann Sebastian Bach | Earthpages.ca

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