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Johann Sebastian Bach[1] (31 March [O.S.

21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer,
organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque period. He enriched many established
German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivicorganisation, and the adaptation of
rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's compositionsinclude
the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, the The Well-Tempered Clavier,
his cantatas, chorales, partitas, Passions, and organ works. His music is revered for its intellectual depth,
technical command, and artistic beauty.
Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, into a very musical family; his father, Johann Ambrosius
Bach, was the director of the town musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians. His father
taught him to play violin and harpsichord, and his brother,Johann Christoph Bach, taught him the
clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music.[2][3] Bach also went to St Michael's School
in Lüneburg because of his singing skills. After graduating, he held several musical posts across
Germany: he served asKapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of AnhaltKöthen, Cantor of Thomasschule in Leipzig, and Royal Court Composer toAugust III.[4][5] Bach's health
and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750. Modern historians believe that his death was
caused by a combination of stroke and pneumonia.[6][7][8]
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he
was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in
the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the
Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time. [9]

Musical style

Bach's seal, used throughout his Leipzig years. It contains the letters J S Bsuperimposed over their mirror image topped with
a crown.

Bach's musical style arose from his skill in contrapuntal invention and motivic control, his flair for
improvisation, his exposure to North and South German, Italian and French music, and his devotion to
the Lutheran liturgy. His access to musicians, scores and instruments as a child and a young man and his
emerging talent for writing tightly woven music of powerful sonority, allowed him to develop an eclectic,
energetic musical style in which foreign influences were combined with an intensified version of the preexisting German musical language. From the period 1713–14 onward he learned much from the style of
the Italians.[88]

[92] and some of his pieces represent it. He taught Luther's Small Catechism as the Thomascantor in Leipzig. Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Born in a family indifferent to music. This accounted for his control over the dense contrapuntal textures that he favoured. His funeral was given full state honours. BWV 548 for organ in which virtuosic passages are mapped onto alternating flute and reed solos within the fugal development. Handel received critical training in Halle. oratorios. choruses. arias. As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received. but the public came to hear the vocal bravura of the soloists rather than the music. but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit theFoundling Hospital (1750) the criticism ended. and performers embellished this framework with ornaments and other elaboration. and chorales. Bach notated most or all of the details of his melodic lines. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again.[89] This practice varied considerably between the schools of European music.[90] Bach's devout relationship with the Christian God in the Lutheran tradition [91] and the high demand for religious music of his times placed sacred music at the centre of his repertory. In 1737 he had a physical breakdown. He wrote more cogent.[97] HANDEL George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Händel.[1] By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition. and decreased leeway for spontaneous variation of musical lines.[93] the Lutheran chorale hymn tune was the basis of much of his work. and he was buried in Westminster Abbey.During the Baroque period. changed direction creatively and addressed the middle class. . Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) as a naturalized British subject in 1727.[94] Bach's drive to display musical achievements was evident in his composition. and that they are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by moral ideals of humanity. in which each book presents a prelude and fugue in every major and minor key. a respected and rich man. At the same time. 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-born British Baroque composer famous for his operas. Handel made a transition to English choral works. Bach left the instrumentation of major works includingThe Art of Fugue open. Within fifteen years. For example. he died in 1759. and having lived in England for almost fifty years.[95] Virtuosity is a key element in other pieces.[96] Bach produced collections of movements that explored the range of artistic and technical possibilities inherent in various genres. The most famous example is the Well Tempered Clavier. such as the Prelude and Fugue in E minor. He wrote much for the keyboard and led its elevation from continuo to solo instrument with harpsichord concertos and keyboard obbligato. tightly integrated chorale preludes than most. pronounced [ˈhɛndəl]. It has been said that the passion of Handel's oratorios is an ethical one. Each fugue displays a variety of contrapuntal and fugal techniques. elaborate planning.[2] Almost blind. many composers only wrote the framework. the St Matthew Passion illustrates the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives. leaving little for performers to interpolate. The large-scale structure of some of Bach's sacred works is evidence of subtle. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English oratorio on mythical and biblical themes. anthems and organ concertos.

Alessandro (1726). Alcina (1735). Ottone (1723). Atalanta (1736). Imeneo (1740). Ezio (1732). and the ever-ubiquitous use of the basso continuo. Oreste (1734). and he had a keen feeling for the vocal line. a propensity for contrapuntal texture. Radamisto (1720). with year of composition in brackets: Almira (1705). Alessandro Severo (1738).Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time. Flavio (1723). Teseo (1713). Riccardo Primo (1727). Scipione (1726). Sosarme (1732). Giove in Argo (1739). Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years. Berenice (1737). Giustino (1737). Ariodante (1735). Serse (1738). Il pastor fido (1712). Florindo (1708). Arminio (1737). A list of compostions follows. Rodrigo (1707). Faramondo (1738). Acis and Galatea (1718). so much of his music is easy to listen to and understand. Rinaldo (1711). with works such as Water Music. Tolomeo (1728). interest in Handel's operas has grown. Poro (1731). Arianna in Creta (1734). and since the late 1960s. Music for the Royal Fireworks andMessiah remaining popular. grandeur and deceptive simplicity. Deidamia (1741) and Semele (1744) . Amadigi di Gaula (1715). Admeto (1727). He wrote mainly for the stage. Muzio Scevola (1721). Music from this time was characterised by the use of tonal idioms rather than the older modal ones. Floridante (1721). Giulio Cesare (1724). Partenope (1730). Handel's style in particular is notable for its dramatic depth. Siroe (1728). Lotario (1729). with the revival of baroque music and original instrumentation. Orlando (1733). Tamerlano (1724). Rodelinda (1725). Handel was writing music during an era known as the 'Baroque'. Agrippina (1709).