Life in Weimar for the Bach Family

(Life in Weimar as told by Maria Barbara, JS Bach’s first wife)

This week Johann is off to Halle to, as he says, “test the lungs” of the huge new organ at the Church of Our Lady. He tells me this organ is very large and has 65 stops! Oh, how he loves to play those new instruments just to make sure every stop is exquisite in sound and that everything works perfectly. He improvises wonderful pieces for these events. Sometime those improvisations go on and on for over an hour! It is amazing!

Immediately after JS returned from Halle to play the huge organ there, Duke Wilhelm got a bit nervous about keeping his stellar organist and musician at his court. Therefore my wonderfully talented husband was given an increase in salary and a new position as Choirmaster at the Court of Saxe-Weimar.

With his new position comes some additional duties, though. He is now obliged to compose a cantata every four weeks, which means he will have to burn more candles at night to get all those compositions completed.

Our second son, a baby we named Carl Phillip Emmanuel was born on March 8, 1714. Our dear friend, Georg Philipp Telemann, agreed to be this son’s godfather. That was such a special day! Our family and our wonderful circle of friends is growing here in Weimar and life is so good!

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

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