The Bach Boys

(The lives the eldest Bach sons, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emmanuelas related by Anna Magdalena, Johann Sebastian Bach‘s second wife.)

We are so proud of our family.  All of our children are born musicians. Why, we can perform as a complete vocal and instrumental consort with just our family. It is such a joy to create glorious music together.

Our two oldest boys, Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel attended the University of Leipzig. Wilhelm Friedemann studied math, philosophy and law and graduated from this prestigious school in 1733. At the same time, Carl Philipp Emmanuel, began his education at the University of Leipzig also studying law. Carl Philipp continued to live at home with us and continued to serve as his father’s musical assistant.

After Wilhelm Friedemann completed his university education at Leipzig, he became the organist at the Dresden Sophienkirche in 1733. Our Wilhelm Friedemann is known as a great improviser and organist. Therefore, he creates incredible music for those who attend the services at the Sophienkirche, but he still does not like putting his music down on paper. Finally, however, he has committed to paper several of his glorious organ chorale preludes.

When Carl Philipp completed his academics in 1738, the Crown Prince, and soon to be King of Prussia, summoned Carl Phillip to Berlin to join his court as the royal harpsichordist. This is a very good position and one that I believe Carl Philipp will keep for many years. In fact, he just finished a set of organ sonatas for Princess Anna Amalia, the King’s sister, who studies the organ with him.

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

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