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  • 2016 August 21: Prince Johann Ernst

    August 21, 2016 10:30

    In 1703 a 17-year-old Bach was ready to make his own way in the world. He already had quite a reputation as an organist, but he needed a ‘temp job’ to feed himself until an organ post became available. So he took a job as a violinist in the orchestra of Duke Johann Ernst in Weimar. In those days court musicians were nothing more than servants; they lived and ate in servant’s quarters, were paid servant’s wages, came and went by the servant’s door, and often performed behind a screen. In not too many months an organ post presented itself, and Bach was outta there. (more )

  • 2016 August 14: Chopin and a Moth

    August 14, 2016 10:30

    One evening, when they were all assembled in the salon, Liszt played one of Chopin's nocturnes, to which he took the liberty of adding some embellishments. Chopin's delicate intellectual face, which still bore the traces of recent illness, looked disturbed; at last he could not control himself any longer, and in that tone of sang froid which he sometimes assumed he said, 'I beg you, my dear friend, when you do me the honor of playing my compositions, to play them as they are written or else not at all.'  (more )

  • 2016 July 17: Bach Flute Sonatas

    July 17, 2016 10:30

    The history of Bach’s flute sonatas is unclear. He probably wrote most of them while in the service of Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen. Prince Leopold was a young man who loved music and who gradually expanded his court orchestra to eighteen players. In 1717 he engaged 32-year-old Bach as Kapellmeister (the highest position of musical responsibility in that day) and the esteem in which Bach was held can be seen from the fact that his salary was twice that of his predecessor. The Prince was an accomplished musician himself and played the violin, viol and harpsichord. (more )

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