Johann Bernhard Bach’s Orchestral Suites are amongst the most varied musical works of the high baroque period in Middle Germany – and they formed part of the core repertoire for Johann Sebastian Bach’s Leipzig Collegium Musicum. Sparkling virtuosic brilliance, as if written by a fiery Italian, whilst displaying the elegant taste of a noble Frenchman – in short, “mixed taste” at its finest. Bon Appétit! more
"Johann Bernhard Bachs Orchestersuiten sind beschwingt und unterhaltsam, gerade wenn sie so spielfreudig musiziert werden wie hier." (NDR Kultur)
Mixed Taste at its finest - The complete Orchestral Suites of Johann Bernhard Bach
Johann Bernhard Bach's four Orchestral Suites, composed for the court orchestra of the cultured duke of Saxony-Eisenach, are amongst the most varied and sophisticated musical works of the high baroque period in Middle Germany. It was not by chance that Georg Philipp Telemann, a one-time Kapellmeister at Eisenach, commented retrospectively: "I have to praise this orchestra, arranged for the most part according to the French style, for it surpassed the very famous Parisian opera orchestra." From 1703, Bernard Bach was engaged as harpsichordist in this noble orchestra. His Orchestral Suites provide the only surviving "soundtrack" of the illustrious musical life at the Eisenach court during the 1710s and 20s. And what a soundtrack: cosmopolitan, and truly European, with sparkling virtuosic brilliance, as if written by a fiery Italian, whilst displaying the elegant taste of a noble Frenchman. In other words, the "mixed taste", for which the best German composers of the late baroque period were famous, in its finest form. Little wonder then that Bernhard Bach's suites became core repertoire for Johann Sebastian Bach's Leipzig Collegium Musicum, also influencing his compositions.
All this provides sufficient motivation for the Thuringian Bach Collegium to continue their exploration through the Middle German courts for their second CD recording and, with unbridled enthusiasm in their music-making, to bring these jewels of the early Thuringian orchestral music back to life. Bon Appétit!
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