Johann Christian Bach’s Prelude in A minor swims around an exalted space in the East Bay. It can’t get any better, except for flowers and a musical feline that enhance the musical tapestry.
Bach’s composition is a stream of broken chords shared between the hands. Practicing the sonorities as a prelude to playing the composition as written is a first step in the learning process.
It helps shape phrases and taper cadences.
Once unraveled, the harp-like figures are a testament to beauty at its most divine level.
Johann Christian Bach:
“Johann Christian Bach (September 5, 1735 – January 1, 1782) was a composer of the Classical era, the eleventh and youngest son of Johann Sebastian Bach. He is sometimes referred to as ‘the London Bach’ or ‘the English Bach’, due to his time spent living in the British capital, where he came to be known as John Bach. He is noted for influencing the concerto style of Mozart.
“Johann Christian Bach was born to Johann Sebastian and Anna Magdalena Bach in Leipzig, Germany. His distinguished father was already 50 at the time of his birth, which would perhaps contribute to the sharp differences between his music and that of his father. Even so, his father first instructed him in music and that instruction continued until his death. After his father’s death, when Johann Christian was 15, he worked with his second-oldest half brother Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, who was twenty-one years his senior and considered at the time to be the most musically gifted of Bach’s sons.
“He enjoyed a promising career, first as a composer then as a performer playing alongside Carl Friedrich Abel, the notable player of the viola da gamba. He composed cantatas, chamber music, keyboard and orchestral works, operas and symphonies.
“Johann Christian’s highly melodic style differentiates his works from those of his family. He composed in the Galante style incorporating balanced phrases, emphasis on melody and accompaniment, without too much contrapuntal complexity. The Galante movement opposed the intricate lines of Baroque music, and instead placed importance on fluid melodies in periodic phrases. It preceded the classical style, which fused the Galante aesthetics with a renewed interest in counterpoint.”
Individualizing Piano Study