Talk:Johann Sebastian Bach

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Former good article Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the Music good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.

Passions, oratorios, Magnificat?[edit]

This is a strange heading in a biography article, listing the works in the supposed order of duration. How about Magnificat, Passions, oratorios? A bit of development, from the relatively early Magnificat 1723, St John Passion 1724, Easter Oratorio 1725, St Matthew Passion 1727, Christmas Oratorio 1734, to the Ascension Oratorio 1735. - Or group differently: Passions and oratorios vs. Church music in Latin? --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:57, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

I think the Magnificat would be more comfortable grammatically in that list. I don't much care about the order, since several methods could be used. Much of the Ascension Oratorio was drawn from earlier works; the Magnificat was revised in ?1728—does the chronological really work? Tony (talk) 13:31, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
It's not grammar as much as the sorting, as you seem to agree: why not place the Magnificat with Church music in Latin, as in the List of compositions. To suggest that Bach wrote first Passions, then Magnificat, seems wrong to me. Magnificat was rather early in Leipzig, Passions later, most Leipzig cantatas later, 1724 Sanctus (the one that made it to the Mass in B minor) later. - As for a 1728 revision of the Magnificat, do you have different sources? Then please add. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 14:48, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

Bach's religious convictions[edit]

Apologies if this has been dealt with before, but the article seems light on Bach's actual relationship with the religious music he created. Sources agree that the Lutheran Church was far more than a generous client, he remained a deeply committed orthodox Lutheran at a time when new ways of worship were starting to prevail.Rumiton (talk) 23:32, 27 December 2014 (UTC)

It's hard to know what really went on in his mind about religion. In that sociopolitical setting, Lutheranism was just part of the furniture—there was little psychological choice. Certainly Bach injected a great deal of irony into his word-setting in his two passions, on a micro-scale; but I'm not sure that proves anything about his internal belief system. Whether it was the Lutheran church or the state who were the generous employers at Leipzig, Arnstadt, and Mülhausen is ambiguous. The state paid the salaries. If injecting more into the relationship between religion and his music, what would be your priorities, given the rationing of space? Tony (talk) 13:06, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
Bach was not employed by "the church", but by courts and finally the city of Leipzig, see Thomaskantor. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:13, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Invitation to help start missing related articles[edit]

Anybody interested in Bach and related biographies and musical groups please help expand and start the missing entries from the Bach Cantatas website at Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music/Missing articles:Bach Cantatas site.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:39, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

what the ...?[edit]

It's disappointing to see gender unnecessarily elevated to inform categories. Why is this distinction being made? Tony (talk) 12:20, 11 June 2015 (UTC)

Cause(s) of death[edit]

For a few reasons I think this topic does not belong in the Lead. It seems not relevant to the essence of Bach as a composer. There is a section about the death. The lead has a statement as fact, "modern historians believe" the death was caused by a combination of pneumonia and stroke. In the section, this is called speculation. I think we should not speculate about an event over 250 years ago. Spitta's biography, vol. 3, p. 274, gives some details. Spitta confirms that Bach had "apoplexy", a stroke. He does not mention any lung disease. He confirms a statement attributed to a contemporary newspaper that "Medical treatment associated with the [failed eye] operation had such bad effects that his health, hitherto unfailing, was severely shaken" and he was left totally blind. Medical sources confirm that stroke is often associated with high fever (half of hospitalized stroke cases) and that might have led to the pneumonia speculation? What I propose to do in short is to remove any details of Bach's death (other than the date) from the Lead, and revise the section, referring to Spitta as indicated, Marlindale (talk) 03:49, 25 June 2015 (UTC)

Agree that cause-of-death info should be removed from the lede as an insignificant biographical detail. —Wahoofive (talk) 17:05, 26 June 2015 (UTC)

"Royal court composer" to King August III of Poland, in Dresden[edit]

As far as I can tell from Spitta and from the article itself, Leipzig period, this position, granted in 1736, was more or less an honorary one, a "title and style," far from a full-time position. Spitta says Bach visited Dresden only four times between 1723 and his death in 1750, but his main position remained in Leipzig. The article says that by getting this honor, Bach hoped to gain leverage with the Leipzig authorities. I think it is too complicated to explain this in the Lead, where as now stated it gives a misleading impression, so I propose to delete it from there, while possibly supplementing the text about it in the Leipzig period with material from Spitta. Marlindale (talk) 19:24, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for pointing that out, - I tried. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:09, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
Inserting "the title of" seems a simple, concise solution, thank you. Marlindale (talk) 00:39, 29 June 2015 (UTC)

Composer sons[edit]

JSB had I believe three: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, Johann Christian Bach, and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach.. They might be mentioned in the Lead and/or under Legacy? The statement "Bach is the father, we are the children" was made about CPE Bach by Haydn or Mozart according to different sources I've seen? JC Bach contributed to the origin of the classical "galant" style of Haydn and Mozart I think.. As of now CPE is mentioned as co-author of an obituary of JSB, not highlighted that I saw. Various details need checking, but does the concept seem reasonable? Marlindale (talk) 03:16, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

There was at least one more composer son, Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, making four. This one and WF Bach might not be mentioned in the Lead? The statement about CPE Bach being the father was made by Mozart to Gottfried van Swieten according to a few sources. One in The Guardian said in the second half of the 18th cent., the name "Bach" in musical circles was almost entirely used about CPE not JSB. Marlindale (talk) 03:42, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

Google for `Bach's sons' gave a header Johann Sebastian Bach > sons and a listing of 11 of them. The four composer sons mentioned above are the first four sons on the list. None of the other sons seems to have composed. . JC Bach was the 11th and youngest son. Marlindale (talk) 04:10, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

He did, however have a grandson who was a very good composer. —Wahoofive (talk) 18:53, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach is said to be "the only grandson of JSB 'to have gained fame as a composer" Marlindale (talk) 00:17, 3 July 2015 (UTC) In the WP article on him as of now there is a discography with just one recording. Searching a compendious source (original research) I was unable to find any (other) recordings.

CPE Bach is now mentioned in the Lead and JC Bach in the Leipzig period when he was born. I have no current plan to mention the other two son composers WF and JCF Bach, or the grandson WFE, as they seem less distinguished than CPE and JC. Marlindale (talk) 03:43, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

I thought I mentioned the two sons in proportion to their importance as composers in their times, which really was not equal between the sons, and that these two were more important than Wilhelm Friedemann or JCF. So I don't see how this was "inconsistent." Buxtehude reverted the mentions, Of course I'm disappointed, but it would not be right for me to revert.. Marlindale (talk) 04:15, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

I did note the rationale behind your edit. It is probably generally accepted that Carl Philipp Emanuel was the most important as a composer, but any ranking of all four of his composer sons would be rather subjective. Furthermore, I don't think text about the career of Bach's sons should be placed in either the lead or in the middle of a section about Bach's own life. Buxtehude (talk) 15:24, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
It would have been better and more collegial to look at and make a comment in this Talk section before making the edit that brusquely cancelled out its previous result. There was also an interchange between Gerda Arendt and me on my own Talk page which others could not be expected to have seen (but could now if they like). As a result of that I decided to say nothing about composer sons other than CPE and JC. I suggested there grounds for the importance of JC, second to CPE. If a composer son is going to be mentioned, I think something about career is needed to indicate why the son is notable. For this to be done in the Legacy section would be fine with me. I think the fact that the famous Bach in 1750-1800 or so was CPE is interesting in relation to JSB's late recognition as the great composer he was.
For an example of the process working well I hope, see the previous Talk topic on "Royal Court Composer" in Dresden (myself and Gerda Arendt). Marlindale (talk) 21:52, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't object to more information on Bach's composer sons per se. Any text should however be well-placed, well-sourced and in balance with the rest of the article. Have a look at the structure of the German Wikipedia-article on Bach as an example (use Google translate if needed). Buxtehude (talk) 23:17, 19 August 2015 (UTC)
I have ben looking for sources on the sons, beyond the references in the individual articles. I looked at the Oxford Companion to Music. It does not have articles on the individual sons but rather an article on the Bach family which mentions all four composer sons. On CPE Bach I think omission of Beethoven's admiration is disappointing, but there are other sources for that. The article has many more lines about each of JC and CPE than about WF or JCF. For now I plan to insert a reference to the Bach familly article in the JC Bach article, where it can confirm a statement in the Legacy section of that about Mozart's appreciation which has lacked a reference up to now. Marlindale (talk) 22:48, 22 August 2015 (UTC).
A isource I plan to use, as previously on CPEB, is Guy Dammann in The Guardian 24 February 2011. Guy Dammann iis said to be also music critic for the Times Literary Supplement and to teach at the Guildhall School of Music.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marlindale (talkcontribs) 20:03, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Preservation of most of Bach's compositions, 1750-1850.[edit]

Bach died in 1750, and systematic publication of his music by the Bach-Gesellschaft began about 1850. In the intervening century some fraction of Bach's music is thought to have been lost including some 100 cantatas and a St. Mark Passion. For the music preserved, who preserved it? CPE Bach, JSB's second son, was the last of his 11 sons to die, in 1788. Johann Christian B., the last born, died earlier, in 1782, and also probably had not carriied many of his father's manuscripts to England. Do the Bach-Gesellschaft volumes, 1850-1900, give indications of where the works had been located? Marlindale (talk) 03:39, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

I believe they don't. Tony (talk) 12:22, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Recent move of a lot to archive[edit]

It seemed rather a drastic action, but as I did not have any reason myself to revert any of it, I did not. Marlindale (talk) 17:57, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Mizlerischer Bücherverlag[edit]

There seems to be some misunderstanding in this article about German grammar when referring to the "Mizlerischer Bücherverlag". "Mizlerischer" is an adjective and subject to declination in German; for detail, see e.g. wikt:lustig#Declension. The salient bit is that the nominative in strong declension (without article) or in mixed declension (with indefinite article) is "Mizlerischer Bücherverlag". The form "Mizlerischen Bücherverlag" only occurs in genitive, dative and accusative cases (except singular dative where it's "Mizlerischerem"). The confusion probably arose from reading citations in German of the form "… im Mizlerischen Bücherverlag" or in prose "Gründung des Mizlerischen Bücherverlag" – those are declensions (dative, genitive). Please restore the nominative "Mizlerischer Bücherverlag". -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 06:46, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

You should adress this useful lecture directly to User talk:Buxtehude since he doesn't seem to understand the rules of declination in German. Hartenhof (talk) 07:08, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Done, restore name, as found here also. We look silly in the eyes of the world often enough, --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:13, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for the corrections and clear explanation; sorry for the inconvenience this caused. Buxtehude (talk) 13:56, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 23 August 2015[edit]

Please add ...

  • Bach On Bach, by Peter Bach jr. the international Johann Sebastian Bach Project

... as this is the largest German and largest international Bach website created by a family member of this family of musicians: largest collections of tributes, genealogy, stamps, Bach places and much more.

BachUeberBach (talk) 08:20, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done for now: Need a reliable secondary source that shows the importance of this particular website in relation to Bach. Cannolis (talk) 12:55, 23 August 2015 (UTC)

Hi Cannolis, all for us "is new" as we are new in the community, both Wiki and Bach: this is our apology if the answer might be too long. We didn't expect your answer so fast and didn't check and discover your answer out until today. Sorry. Thanks for requesting more proof. BachUeberBach is the largest German and International Bach website and in many themes there is way more information beyond Wikipedia. This website is the new reference in Bach genealogy all over the world. Same with stamps, tributes, Bach places, societies, choirs, orchestras and many more themes. Many Bach institutions worldwide link to it. We correspond with Bach Institutions like Bach archive, Bach House in Eisenach, St. Thomas Church, Officials in Arnstadt, Wechmar and Dornheim [1] plus video on the bottom of this page). I am related to JSB and we found dozens of relatives of Bach with a new tool. "BachueberBach", respectively "Bach On Bach" is no. 1 on many ( 35 languages ) foreign Google searches in their native language, even in India (जोहान सेबेस्टियन बाख; put this in Google) and China (约 翰·塞巴斯蒂安·巴赫 国际 项目+视频; put this in Google). We are the last and currently important genealogists regarding Bach earlier than Veit. The reliable second sources: Director Dr. Hansen Bach House Eisenach, thee Bach City # 1 together with Leipzig; Paragraph 27 as first recommendation on the net: [2] Paragraph 27 as first recommendation on the net! Next [3] (Pos. 6) , thee authority for decades: Bach-Cantatas with some 40 Links for instance Links in General [4] Pos. 7) plus Bach in Arts Ulm Cathedral (Must see my pictures, Cannolis: [5], Bach Cantatas ( there is a link to Bach-Cantatas on your Wiki page) is thee reference as a Bach website in the world. Check Wikipedia "Bach On Stamps" we have 120 more. Wikipedia Bach Choirs: we have dozens more. Important Bach Cities Ohrdruf [6]; Position 6) Arnstadt [7]; last article hint to a new website ) and Muehlhausen [8]; No. 1, whole article + 3 links !!! link to us. Please add our site to your page please as it's a total of more than 3 years of work with thousands of hours travel, taking photos, writing and researching. Best regards and thanks for reading that much and reconsidering, Peter --BachUeberBach (talk) 09:50, 29 August 2015 (UTC)