BACH Wilhelm Friedemann (B-5)

22/11/1710, Weimar, Germany – 01/07/1784, Berlin, Germany

German composer and organist, the second child and eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. He was appointed  to the position of organist of the St. Sophia's Church at Dresden in 1733, 13 years later he became organist of the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle and held this position until 1764. Friedemann's compositions include many church cantatas and instrumental works, of which the most notable are the fugues, polonaises and fantasias for clavier, and the duets for two flutes. He incorporated more elements of the contrapuntal style learned from his father than any of his three composer brothers, but his use of the style has an individualistic and improvisatory edge which endeared his work to musicians of the late 19th century, when there was something of a revival of his reputation. Friedemann Bach was renowned for his improvisatory skills. His pupils were Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, Friedrich Wilhelm Rust and Johann Nikolaus Forkel.

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