Bach, Carl Philipp E.

1714 - 1788



Son and successor of J.S. Bach and leading composer of the pre-Classical period.

In 1740 he became a member of the royal household of the crown prince of Prussie. He was by this time one of the foremost clavier-players in Europe, and his compositions, which date from 1731, included about thirty sonatas and concerted pieces for his favourite instrument.

In 1768 Bach succeeded Telemann as Capellmeister at Hamburg, and in consequence of his new office began to turn his attention more towards church music. Next year he produced his oratorio "Die Israeliten in der Wusete" and between 1769 and 1788 added over twenty settings of the Passion, and some seventy cantatas, litanies, motets, and other liturgical pieces.

At the same time his genius for instrumental composition was further stimulated by the career of Joseph Haydn. He died at Hamburg oin 1788.

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Gluck, Christopher Willibald

1714 - 1787


A pioneer reformer of opera in Vienna he made all parts of opera serve the drama, rather than interrupt the action for singers to display their voices.

Gluck studied in Prague, where he worked as an organist. He soon moved to Vienna and then to Milan, where his first opera was given in 1741. Others followed, elsewhere in Italy and during 1745-6 in London, where he met Handel's music. After further travel he settled in Vienna in 1752 as Kapellmeister.

He wrote the opera "Orfeo ed Euridice". In 1764 he composed an opera comique, "La rencontre imprevue", and the next year two ballets.

Gluck then decided to apply his new ideals to French opera, and in 1774 gave "Iphigenie en Aulide" in Paris.
"Iphigenie en Tauride" followed in 1779 - his greatest success.

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Telemann, George Philipp

1681 - 1767


German composer of the late Baroque era. He wrote with ease and fluency in all styles of his time and is known for his enormous musical output.

Telemann held appointments in Sorau (1704), Eisenach (1709), and Frankfurt (1712) before he took the position at Hamburg (1721) which he held until his death.

Telemann was Godfather to Bach's second son, Carl Philipp Emanuel, and possibly the most prolific of all composers, Telemann wrote 12 cycles of cantatas for the Church year, each cycle having one cantata per Sunday! By comparison, Bach wrote five such cycles.

Telemann also wrote 46 passions (Bach 4), 40 operas, Masses, motets, sonatas, chamber music, keyboard works, concertos, overtures, suites, and other orchestral works. Telemann is mentioned in a letter (1775) from
C. P. E. Bach as one whose works his father had especially prized in his later years.

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