Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

1710 - 1784

Personal details

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, the oldest son of Johann Sebastian, enjoyed the reputation of an outstanding, but at the same time one of the most independent-minded composers of his age. His work represents the ambitious attempt to absorb the legacy of his father and to develop the taste of his own generation further. Lofty artistic ambitions are to be found in almost all of W. F. Bach's works – from the early piano pieces via the cantatas of his middle period to the late sonatas and fantasias. Wilhelm Friedemann Bach wrote keyboard and chamber music, concertos and sacred cantatas. On a high level of technical ability he created a fascinating synthesis of baroque complexities and the emotionally charged galant style. While his instrumental works were written for the most part in Dresden (1733–1746) and Berlin (1774–1784) and are in the style of splendid courtly music, the vocal works date from his time as organist and director of music at the Marktkirche in Halle (1746–1764); they are distinguished by their expressive boldness and virtuosity.

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