Introduction to Bach and His Time (00:38)
The series shows how primitive sounds developed into concert music. Bach, one of the world's great composers, was heavily influenced by the Protestant Reformation.
Luther and Music (01:09)
Luther sought music that could be sung easily, wanting the congregation to take more part in church services. He borrowed popular tunes.
Bach and Reformation Music (02:34)
The music of the Protestant church was part of Bach's daily life, which he acknowledged in many ways. He incorporated the hymn "O World, I now must leave thee," originally borrowed from a folk tune, into a later work.
German Vernacular (02:36)
Lutheran songs shunned Latin in favor of the vernacular German. We hear a song about the body and blood of Christ.
Bach and Buxtehude (03:59)
At age 20, Bach, an organist, heard Buxtehude, the greatest living organ composer. A musician plays Buxtehude's Buxtehude’s "Toccata and Fugue in F" at the same location.
Bach's Early Years (01:53)
Bach was orphaned at ten and became a choir boy at 15. He became organist at his town church at 20. He did not achieve great fame in his life.
Bach and Religion (00:60)
Bach sought to develop and improve traditional church music. His religious beliefs and background strongly influenced him.
Bach's Fugue in G Minor (06:08)
Bach sought to expand the possibilities of the organ. The fugue, a complex musical structure, is explained and demonstrated. The featured composition is Bach's Fugue in G minor.
Bach's Air on a G String (02:46)
Bach began working for a prince rather than the church in 1717, and then he branched out into secular music. We listen to Air on a G String from the 3rd Orchestral Suite.
Bach's Improvisation (02:56)
Listen to jazz improvisation of Bach's music, and then listen to it as it would have sounded in Bach's time.
When an aristocrat enjoyed his music in Berlin, Bach collected six Italian-style concertos and dedicated the volume to him.
Baroque Art (02:49)
Music and architecture mirrored each other in the Baroque era, with simple lines and elaborate ornamentation.
Song Dedicated to Bach's First Wife (02:49)
After Bach's first wife died, he married 20-year-old Anna Magdalena. He dedicated the love song "Be Thou with Me" to her.
Bach in Leipzig (02:45)
Bach taught, conducted choirs and wrote new music for a college in Leipzig during the last 25 years of his life. We listen to a jig dance he wrote during this time.
Composition for Frederick the Great (05:30)
Frederick the Great gave Bach a simple theme on which to improvise. Bach developed this theme into a sequence of complex contrapuntal movements, added a sonata for violin and flute entitled it "A Musical Offering."
"St. Matthew Passion" (01:20)
Bach's most monumental composition was the "St. Matthew Passion," which drew on Lutheran tradition. St. Matthew, an eye witness to the crucifixion, tells of Christ's final hours. Hear verbal excerpts from the "Passion."
Performance of "St. Matthew Passion" (04:10)
Excerpts from the "St. Matthew Passion" are performed.
Jesus' Last Words (07:26)
In Matthew's gospel, Jesus cried out "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" When he died, darkness covered the land. We hear excerpts from the "Passion" on this part of St. Matthew's recount of Jesus death.
"The Passion Chorale" (02:04)
With all his genius, Bach had the shrewdness to remain true to his Lutheran roots. Excerpts from "The Passion Chorale" are featured.
Credits: Luther and the Reformation (01:14)
Credits: Luther and the Reformation
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