Bach, The King and I, With Time On Our Hands

(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.)

My father-in-law, Johann Sebastian Bach, was just here in Berlin for a visit. It was such a joy for all of us to spend time together. He got to meet his two newest grandchildren: Johann August, who is now two years old and our beautiful infant daughter Anna Carolina Philippina.

Carl Phillip was so excited to take his father to the Court and to introduce him to the musicians he works with daily. They had a grand time making music together. However, it was the visit to our King Frederik the Great that Carl Philipp’s father enjoyed the most.

As Carl Phillip related to me, his father’s first meeting with Frederik took place at the palace of Potsdam with an exercise in fugal improvisation. The next day, my father-in-law played an organ recital in the Heiliggeist Church in Potsdam. He was also invited to perform during the evening’s chamber music at which time he improvised a six-part fugue this time on a theme of his own. The next days were occupied with visiting the new Berlin opera house and playing organs in Potsdam and Berlin.

(This is one of a many vignettes from the multi-media and organ event, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with David Jordan, visual artist.)


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