Celebrate the 2017 Reformation anniversary with…

header1.jpgBach and Sons, the organ and multi-media concert experience created and performed by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and narrator and David Jordan, media artist.

Bach and Sons is

  • the incredible organ music of Johann Sebastian Bach from the sublime to the grand
  • intriguing stories of the Bach family and the rich life they led
  • amazing visuals taking you to Bach’s Germany
  • live camera projection from not one but five cameras bringing the work of the organist to life on the screen
  • a cinematic-sized screen giving every audience member a front-row seat
  • available for your audience.  Contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@bachandsons.com

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist, and David Jordan, media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multi-media concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, Bach and Sons, and From Sea to Shining Sea.  Contact Dr. Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org for information.



Bach and Sons in Dornheim, Germany

We performed our multimedia-organ concert, Bach und Söhne at Bach’s Wedding Church: St. Bartholomäus Traukirche, Dornheim Germany

The ties to the past in this church was thrilling to realize.  Here we were, performing our organ and multi-media event, Bach und Söhne, sharing the story of Bach’s life with our 21st-century technology  in the very church where Johann Sebastian married his cousin Maria Barbara 307 years earlier.  Jeannine narrated the concert in German, the language the pastor of this village church would have used to marry Johann and Maria Barbara — another tie to the past.

The organ, in a lovely Baroque case, was built by Schoenefeld in 1996. It is a two manual and pedal tracker instrument of 19 stops and is an historic replication of   instruments Bach would have played. The builder, by using techniques of the 17th century organ building, ties the present and future to that glorious past.  The rooms and voicings of the historic organs are founded on truths of acoustics that are still applicable today. Yet another tie that is passed on for generations.



Let’s Get to Know Johann Sebastian Bach and His Family

In this blog you will get to know Johann Sebastian Bach as the living, breathing musician, father, husband, and sometimes imperfect human being that he was.

You’ll also get to know his family:  Elisabeth and Ambrosius–the parents;  Maria Salome–the sister;  Maria Barbara and Anna Magdalena–the wives;  Catharina Dorothea–the eldest child;  Wilhelm Friedemann, Carl Philipp Emanuel, Johann Gottfried Bernhard, Johann Christoph Friedrich, and Johann Christian–the surviving sons; and Sara Levy–a patron of the arts.

While doing the research and writing the story for our organ and media event, Bach and Sons, I found, as I know you will, the story of Bach and his family intriguing, engaging, and full of surprises.  Read on…

Why Should An Organization Sponsor Bach and Sons?

Audience members and recent hosts of Bach and Sons, the organ and multi-media event presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and narrator and David Jordan, media artist, describe WHY Bach and Sons is an experience to be shared with a community.

Bach and Sons…

“engaged and captivated our students.”

“allows one to hear from the women in Bach’s life.”  Debra Lynn, Fine Arts Department Chair of Manchester University

“is a fantastic and unique educational experience and a top quality production and performance.”  Glenn Rodgers, Regional Councillor, Region III, American Guild of Organists

“keeps Bach alive for my generation and the next generation as well.”  organ student

“non-organists were just overwhelmed to learn so much and they were so impressed with Dr. Jordan’s playing and narration.”  David Rhody, Program Committee SW Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

“is entertaining:  you learn a lot, you laugh a lot, and you hear a bunch of great music.”  Greg Vey, Dean Fort Wayne Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

“Everybody greatly enjoyed this event and learned a few things they didn’t know.  Get this program for your chapters or concert series if you possibly can.”  Evelyn Larter, Dean SW Jersey Chapter of the American Guild of Organists

“has made sure that the tradition of fine organ music never dies.”  AGO board member

Visit www.bachandsons.com to learn more of this live organ and multi-media experience. To bring this unique event to your community, please contact Jeannine Jordan at jeannine@promotionmusic.org.

Bach and Sons at the Region VIII AGO Convention

header1.jpgThe unique and original organ and media event, Bach and Sons, was presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist, as a featured event at the Region VIII American Guild of Organists Convention in Salem, Oregon on June 24, 2013. Bach and Sons played to an enthusiastic audience of not only organists, but historians, educators, students, and music lovers as well.

Bach and Sons was created by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist to bring to life Johann Sebastian Bach and his family.  Using live narration by the women important in the Bach family, historically informed live performance of the organ music of JS Bach and his sons, live camera feeds, and stunning visuals the audience was involved in and engaged by the story of Bach.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist

Johann Sebastian Bach An Orphan At Age Ten

(Maria Salome, sister of Johann Sebastian Bach, continues the story of Johann’s early years.)

You see, it has been nine months since our mother, Elisabeth, suddenly died and so much has changed! Our lives have been in turmoil since then.

As the eldest child and only daughter of the Ambrosious Bach family, I loved helping my mother with all the things around the house. But suddenly with mama’s death, I was left to care for my two little brothers.

Eisenach, Germany

Johann Sebastian was just ten when mama died and he misses her so much. He and Jakob are good though and are still practicing their violin and viola, and they both returned to the Latienschule a few months ago.

Papa was very sad, but after seeing the widow Kaul every Sunday for several months, he finally married her. Her name is Barbara Margarethe. She helped make our home happy again. We had a wonderful Christmas and Epiphany then one day, just a few short months after Papa married again, he came home from the court very ill. A few days later he died too. It was awful!

Now life has changed again. Our step-mother is now a widow for the third time, but this time she has the three of us to feed. She asked for help from the town council and they have given her enough money to feed only two of us. She has decided she must send my brothers, Johann and Jakob away.

Johann Sebastian and Johann Jakob Bach walk to Ohrdruf, Germany

My brothers have been told they will walk the thirty miles to our older brother Christoph’s home in Ohrdruf. I will miss them so much, but I know Christoph and his family will take good care of our brothers. So much death around my little brothers is not good. It is something that I know will stay with Johann and Jakob forever.

(This story is one of many vignettes from the multi-media and organ program, Bach and Sons, created by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist and David Jordan, media artist.  Visit bachandsons.org to discover more.)

How Did A Sister-in-law Influence The Music Of JS Bach?

(Christoph Bach’s wife tells of taking Johann Sebastian Bach into their home.)

I am happy to have these two foundlings, Johann Sebastian and Jakob Bach in our home. It gives my husband, Christoph, a chance to get to know his little brothers and teach them how to play the clavier. The boys have settled into life here with us here in Ohrdruf since the sudden death of their parents, Elisabeth and Ambrosious, a few months ago. Thankfully, Johann Sebastian is able to help support our family with his beautiful voice. He sings for all sorts of occasions around Ohrdruf.

Sebastian is also really interested in Christoph’s collection of music scores and is always asking to see the books of music Herr Johannes Pachelbel gave to Christoph. In fact, the other night I caught Johann Sebastian copying by moonlight some of that organ music Christoph had expressly forbidden him to use. I know he is going to ruin his eyesight staring at that music in the near darkness.

(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.)

Johann Sebastian Walks to Luneburg

(Christoph Bach’s wife continues the saga of Johann Sebastian Bach and his move to Luneburg, Germany.)

After five years, having Johann still living with us has started to become a problem. You see, our little home is getting a bit too crowded with our first two babies now walking and our third on the way. I think Christoph and I are going to have to send Johann Sebastian away. We just do not have room anymore and with one less 15-year-old-mouth to feed, it will make life a bit more manageable for us. We think it is time Johann Sebastian learns to live on his own.

Luneberg, Germany

Herr Herder, the schoolmaster here in Ohrdruf, has suggested that Sebastian and his friend Georg Erdmann go together to Luneburg to sing and study at St. Michael’s School. In fact, he is sure the boys can get scholarships because they are such fine singers and musicians. The only problem is that Luneburg is so far away, nearly 200 miles, and they would have to walk. We will see what plans can be made.

We just got word that J.S. is doing wonderfully in Luneburg. He loves all the music at the church and he is doing well at school as usual. He tells us there is an incredible music library with over 1700 titles by 175 different composers in Luneburg. My husband would really love to get to Luneburg to see this music, but he is so busy here.

Johann S. Bach is also doing well financially. He has the scholarship of course, but he is also earning a living as a singer at weddings and funerals and we hear he is even performing as a street musician. We were told that Johann Sebastian has also made the acquaintance of some famous organists who play in and around Luneburg, a Herr Bohm and a Herr Reinken. I think Johann took some of the music he composed while he lived with us to Luneburg and it would not surprise me if he played one of those pieces for those great masters. I hope he will play his arrangement of “Von Himmel Hoch.”

(This story and the images are from the organ and multi-media and event, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with media artist, David Jordan.  Visit bachandsons.org to discover more.)

How Did A Princess Influence The Style of JS Bach?

(Eleonore d’Esmier, Duchess of Wilhemsburg, French born wife of the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg-Celle tells of the Court’s influence on the young Johann Sebastian Bach’s musical development.)

My husband is George Wilhelm, the Duke of Brunswick-Luneburg. I recently married this great man and I now make my home here in Germany. You see, I am originally from France. In fact, I hail from the most famous of all courts in France, the court of Louis XIV. This is not only one of the most magnificent of courts in all Europe, but it is the court that all lesser courts seek to copy. All over Germany, counts, dukes, and other nobles are trying to recreate the lifestyle and grandeur of the Sun King’s Court.

With that goal in mind, my husband has decided we will create our own little French court in Celle, just south of Luneburg. Since I am French, however, we have a great advantage over other courts trying to become the Versailles of Germany because I really know what the Sun King’s court is like. Therefore, we speak French at the court of Celle and we have even hired an orchestra of French musicians to make music for us. We also play the great keyboard music by all the best and most fashionable French keyboard composers like Couperin and de Grigny. My generous husband has created such a lovely French court that I feel like I am “at home.”

Celle Castle

Quite often, students from Luneburg make the trip to Celle to hear our French music and take in our French culture here in this more heathen part of northern Germany. The other day, I met one incredibly talented young man, a Herr Johann Sebastian Bach. He was so enamored with our “French culture” that he has been copying the music of our great keyboard masters like mad. Why I hear he has even composed an organ piece after one of Francois Couperin’s harpsichord pieces. He calls it “Air” and it is really quite charming although quite difficult for the organists to play.

I overheard this young composer tell his friend, our music director Thomas de la Salle, that he was leaving St. Michaels in Luneburg to pursue his musical career. He is so young, only 17 I believe, but I guess that is all the schooling this young man named Johann Sebastian Bach needs. His incredible talent certainly proves that.

(This story and the images are from the organ and multi-media and event, Bach and Sons, presented by Dr. Jeannine Jordan, concert organist with media artist, David Jordan.  Visit bachandsons.org to discover more.)

Who Were Barbara Katharina and Maria Barbara Bach?

(Barbara Katharina Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s second cousin and elder sister of Maria Barbara Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach’s future wife)

Maria Barbara, did you hear who is coming to town? It is Johann Sebastian, our dear cousin Ambrosius’ son. He has been away from Eisenach so long I am not sure I would recognize him. When his parents died he was sent to live with his brother Christoph in Ohrdruf for a few years, then I believe he was sent all the way to Luneburg for school. Lately, though I heard that Johann Sebastian had been playing the violin for the Duke’s court in Weimar.

Now, Johann Sebastian has just been appointed the organist at the Neukirche right here in Arnstadt where that incredible new organ was just built! I was told that the concert Johann Sebastian gave when he came to try out the new organ was simply astounding and the committee just had to appoint him organist! I think I also heard, though, that he has to conduct the boy choir at the Neukirche. I wonder if he knows about that? I really do hope Johan Sebastian is up to the task of working with those ornery boys at the school. They sing so badly and can just be so awful!

However, the best news of all is that Sebastian is coming to visit his relatives next week when he gets to Arnstadt. That means us! We will be seeing our dear cousin Johann Sebastian very soon. You know he will be living at the Mayor’s house, don’t you? I can hardly wait to see him again!

Maria Barbara, have you heard? Johann Sebastian was just in a fight. I happened to be walking down the street near the Neukirche when this brawl erupted and that awful bassoonist Gegenbach

The Bassoonist

and our dear JS had come to blows. I think our cousin Johann got the best of that little bassoon player, though, as Johann drew his sword and just cut to tatters Gegenbach’s clothing! I was there! I saw it! And more than that, I am going to testify to the city authorities that the fight was not Johann Sebastian’s fault! Poor Johann Sebastian is just so bothered by those awful no-count untalented boys at that school. It is too bad he can’t just compose his beautiful organ music and be left alone.

The organ music dear Johann is composing now is so interesting. He tells me a wonderful composer named Georg Bohm that he met while he lived in Luneburg influenced him greatly. He just loves to compose variations on our wonderful hymns. Why sometimes just to be different, he puts the melody in the pedal in many of the pieces he is composing right now. He really is a genius, that cousin of mine.

(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.)