Music: Sun Nov 15


References to Joseph, his brothers, and their father’s favoritism in this morning’s service prompt me to reflect on a musical dynasty of the distant past and to speculate about sibling rivalry. Johann Sebastian Bach was a member of a family highly regarded in musical circles for at least 100 years before his birth. Several of his sons would become celebrated composers in their own rights, all of them eclipsing their father’s standing---at least in the 18th century. Wilhelm Friedemann, the eldest, was the recipient of a number of important pedagogical works by J. S., including the Two-Part Inventions and Sinfonias, several of which are performed this morning. His younger brother Carl Philipp Emanuel wound up with a prestigious appointment to the court of Frederick the Great and was responsible for one of the most important treatises on the art of keyboard playing of his time. However, he tended to dismiss his father’s music as “old-fashioned,” albeit masterful. A movement from one of C.P.E.’s neglected keyboard sonatas serves as the Centering Music. Finally, J. S.’s first published work was a tribute to his own older brother Johann Jacob, who—according to legend—had been conscripted to serve as oboist in the army of the Charles XII of Sweden. The work is programmatic, in that each of its 6 sections describes the experience of friends and loved ones as they gather to dissuade J. J. from his perilous mission, mourn his absence, and eagerly await news from him as announced by the post master’s horn.

Read on for programming details.


Gathering Music: Adam Kent, piano

Hymn No. 315 “This Old World”

Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother, BWV 992

            I. Friends gather and try to dissuade him from departing

                        J. S. Bach

Hymn No. 323 “Break Not the Circle”

Two-Part Inventions Nos. 1, 4, 6, 8, 9, 13 and 14

                        J. S. Bach

Centering Music:
Sonata in A Major, W. 55/4

            Allegro assai

                        C. P. E. Bach

Opening Music:

Little Prelude in C from Little Clavier Book for Wilhelm Friedemann Bach BWV 924

Musical Meditation:
Sinfonia No. 7 in E Minor, BWV 793

                        J. S. Bach


Interlude I:
Two-Part Inventions No.  1 in C Major, BWV 772

                        J. S. Bach

Interlude II:
Two-Part Inventions No.  9 in F Minor, BWV 780

                        J. S. Bach


Parting Music:
Capriccio on the Departure of a Beloved Brother, BWV 992

            V. Aria of the postilion                       

J. S. Bach

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Adam. Really appreciate getting this broader view. Hope you are well.