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Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
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Composer
    (March 8, 1714-December 14, 1788)
    Born in Weimar, Germany
    Son of Johann Sebastian Bach
    Clavier player in the royal orchestra of Frederick the Great
    Appointed musical director for Hamburg's churches (1768)
    Composed over 200 sonatas for keyboard
    Choral works include 'The Israelites in the Desert' (1769), 'Heilig' (1776) and 'The Resurrection of Jesus' (1782)
    He trained as a lawyer, but never practiced.
    He was said to look 'possessed' when he played, glassy-eyed and dripping sweat.
    He dismissed a large portion of his own compositions as hack work -- 'sonatas for the ladies.'
    His reputation went into eclipse in the 19th century, with Robert Schumann declaring, 'As a creative musician, he remained very far behind his father' and Felix Mendelssohn writing, 'It was as if a dwarf had appeared among the giants.'
    He was left handed.
    He could play his father's most challenging keyboard pieces by sight at age seven.
    He preserved many of his father's compositions. (Unlike his siblings, who often sold off the manuscripts, with several ending up lost to history.)
    His 'Essay on the True Art of Playing Keyboard Instruments' set the standard through the 18th and 19th centuries, with Beethoven and Haydn swearing by it.
    Until Johann Sebastian's works were rediscovered in the mid-19th century, if you said 'Bach,' you usually meant this one.
    Mozart said, 'He is the father, we are the children.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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