(Johann Sebastian Bach’s visit to the Court of King Frederik the Great in Berlin as related by Johann Maria Dannemann Bach, the wife of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the second son of JS Bach.)
The venerable old master, Johann Sebastian Bach’s visit to the King was an event that was documented in the Potsdam newspaper. Here, let me quote the article for you: “last Sunday the famous Capellmeister from Leipzig, Mr. Bach, arrived at Court. When His Majesty was informed that the Capellmeister had arrived, he gave orders for Bach to be admitted. Bach was invited to play on the fortepiano a theme to be treated as a fugue by Capellmeister Bach. This was done so well that not only was His Majesty pleased, but everybody present was astonished. Mr. Bach found the theme so beautiful that he intends to write a regular fugue for engraving.”
My father-in-law has now returned to Leipzig and we are told that he is working industriously on an elaboration of the King of Prussia’s fugue theme. He started with writing down the fugue he improvised for the King, but the project has become much larger. He is now calling his work the Musical Offering (Muiskalishces Opfer). It is to become a work in several movements dedicated to Frederick the Great. The royal theme is serving as the basis for all the movements. It will be the next monumental composition by the revered Johann Sebastian Bach.
(This is one of many delightful vignettes included in the organ and media event, Bach and Sons, created and performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist with David Jordan, media artist.)