With a profoundly deep and personal Christian faith, Bach lived a life which echoed his religious convictions.
Bach had a conviction that the express purpose of music was to glorify God. He had a habit of initializing his manuscript pages before he would begin to compose each piece of his music. He would write in a corner of an individual page: "J.J." "Jesu Juva," or "Help me Jesus!"or yet again, "I.N.J. "Inomine Jesu!" "In the name of Jesus."
In 1707, at age 23; Bach married his cousin Maria Barbara Bach, and this same year he obtained new employment at the St. Blasius Church in Muhlhausen. At Weimar, he became an organist and concert master, remaining at this post for nine years.
Bach's wife, Maria Barbara, died in 1720. The 36 year old widower married his second wife Anna Magdelene Wilkin, one year later in 1720. They had 13 children, six of whom survived infancy; with Bach fathering 20 children in all. Many of his children became composers in music themselves. Bach had twenty children in all and most turned out to be musicians. In 1723 when Bach was 38 he became cantor and music director of St. Thomas Church, in Leipzig. He stayed there until he died in 1750.
Bach was actually better known in his own life-time as an organist, rather than a composer. His major work was not performed until some 80 years after his death, when Felix Mendelsson, an ardent admirer of his work, organized performances of his work "The Passion According To St. Matthew, in 1829.
In 1850, a group of German musicians collected and compiled all of the available works of Bach. This took some 50 years to compile and produce the 60 volume set of Bach's exceptional music pieces.
Toward the end of his life, Bach developed cataract difficulties in 1740, which eventually blinded him. The last piece of music that he wrote was: a chorale prelude entitled: "Before Thy Throne My God I Stand." This was dictated to his son-in-law just days before his .
Bach died in his sleep on July 28, 1750, and his passing attracted little attention. His poverty stricken family could scarcely afford the plot to bury him in, so he was buried in an unmarked grave. Bach's precious prayer, written again and again from the very depthes of his soul on his manuscript pieces and recorded in the volumes which record his work for posterity was to God alone the Glory!" And so it is. Bach's work, so filled with the scriptures stands today as a hallmark of glory and honour to God.
Doing the will of
the God through the power of His Holy Spirit
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