June 21, 2019
JCF Bach was the fifth son of JS Bach, and entered the family business as a musician and composer. He was taught music by his dad, and distant relative, Johann Elias Bach. He worked as a harpsichordist at Buckeburg and became concert master – that’s the violinist of an orchestra that walks out last and tunes the orchestra, before the soloist and/or conductor comes out. He also decides bowings and meets with conductors before rehearsals.
JCF wrote sonatas, symphonies, oratorios, choral works and operas. Because his patron, Count Wilhelm of Schaumburge-Lippe, loved Italian music, JCF composed in that style, while maintaining certain characteristics of his German training.
A great deal of JCF’s music was lost during World War II when the music institution where his original scores were kept was destroyed. Many musicologists consider JCF, his brother Carl Philipp Emanuel, along with “non-Bach” Telemann, important composers transitioning the Baroque era over to the Classical.
Have a listen to JCF Bach’s Symphony in B-flat major – it’s lovely and elegant.
Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach was born June 21, 1732 in Leipzig, Germany, and died January 26, 1795 in Buckeburg.