According to my principles, every master has his true and certain value. Praise and criticism cannot change any of that. Only the work itself praises and criticizes the master, and therefore I leave to everyone his own value.
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach QuotesShowing all quotes
|Birth:||8th March, 1714|
|Death:||14th December, 1788|
Emanuel Bach was born in Weimar in 1714 to Johann Sebastian Bach and his first wife, Maria Barbara. When he was ten years old he entered the St. Thomas School at Leipzig, where his father had become cantor in 1723. He was one of four Bach children to become a professional musician; all four were trained in music almost entirely by their father. In an age of royal patronage, father and son alike knew that a university education helped prevent a professional musician from being treated as a servant. Emanuel, like his brothers, pursued advanced studies in jurisprudence at the University of Leipzig (1731). He continued further study of law at Frankfurt (Oder) (1735). In 1738, at the age of 24, he obtained his degree. He turned his attention at once to music.
A few months after graduation Bach, armed with a recommendation by Sylvius Leopold Weiss, obtained an appointment in the service of Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia, the future Frederick the Great. Upon Frederick's accession in 1740 Emanuel became a member of the royal orchestra. He was by this time one of the foremost clavier-players in Europe, and his compositions, which date from 1731, include about thirty sonatas and concert pieces for harpsichord and clavichord. During his time there, Berlin was a rich artistic environment, where Bach mixed with many accomplished musicians, including several notable former students of his father, and important literary figures, such as Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, with whom the composer would become close friends.
In Berlin Bach continued to write numerous pieces for solo keyboard, including a series of character pieces, the so-called "Berlin Portraits", including La Caroline. His reputation was established by the two published sets of sonatas which he dedicated respectively to Frederick the Great and to the grand duke of Württemberg. In 1746 he was promoted to the post of chamber musician, and served the king alongside collagues like Carl Heinrich Graun, Johann Joachim Quantz, and Franz Benda.
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