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Biography of

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

21 jun 1732 (Leipzig) - 26 jan 1795 (Bückeburg)
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Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach

Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach (21 June 1732 – 26 January 1795), the ninth son of Johann Sebastian Bach, sometimes referred to as the "Bückeburg Bach". He is not to be confused with other similarly-named members of the Bach family (see Johann Christoph Bach (disambiguation)).

Born in Leipzig in the Electorate of Saxony, he was taught music by his father, and also tutored by his distant cousin Johann Elias Bach. He studied at the St. Thomas School, and some believe he studied law at the university there, but there is no record of that. In 1750, Count Wilhelm von Schaumburg-Lippe appointed Johann Christoph harpsichordist at Bückeburg, and in 1759, he became Konzertmeister. While there, Bach collaborated with Johann Gottfried Herder, who provided the texts for six vocal works; the music survives for only four of these.

Bach wrote keyboard sonatas, symphonies, oratorios, liturgical choir pieces and motets, operas and songs. Because of Count Wilhelm's predilection for Italian music, Bach had to adapt his style accordingly, but he retained stylistic traits of the music of his father and of his brother, C. P. E. Bach.

He married the singer Lucia Elisabeth Münchhausen (1728–1803) in 1760 and the Count stood as godfather to his son Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach. J.C.F. educated his son in music as his own father had, and Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst went on to become music director to Frederick William II of Prussia.

In April 1778 he and Wilhelm travelled to England to visit Johann Christian Bach.

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica says of him "He was an industrious composer, ... whose work reflects no discredit on the family name." He was an outstanding virtuoso of the keyboard, with a reasonably wide repertory of surviving works, including twenty symphonies, the later ones influenced by Haydn and Mozart; and hardly a genre of vocal music was neglected by him[1]

Professor Peter Schickele, in comparing his alter ego, the fictitious composer P. D. Q. Bach, to Johann Sebastian's other sons, said that P.D.Q. possessed "the obscurity of Johann Christoph Friedrich."

A significant portion of J. C. F. Bach's output was lost in the WWII destruction of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung in Berlin, where the scores had been on deposit since 1917. Bach's work shows him to have been a transitional figure in the mold of his half-brother C. P. E., his brother Johann Christian, the Grauns, and Georg Philipp Telemann, with some works in the style of the high Baroque, some in a galant idiom, and still others which combine elements of the two, along with traits of the nascent classical style.


Works list

Keyboard Works
BR A 1 \ Keyboard Sonata in F major (Wf XI:1)
BR A 2 \ Keyboard Sonata in C major (Wf XI:2)
BR A 3 \ Keyboard Sonata in C major (Wf XI:3/1)
BR A 4 \ Keyboard Sonata in F major (Wf XI:3/2)
BR A 5 \ Keyboard Sonata in E major (Wf XI:3/3)
BR A 6 \ Keyboard Sonata in D major (Wf XI:3/4)
BR A 7 \ Keyboard Sonata in A major (Wf XI:3/5)
BR A 8 \ Keyboard Sonata in E flat major (Wf XI:3/6)
BR A 9 \ Keyboard Sonata in C major (Wf XI:4)
BR A 10 \ Keyboard Sonata in G major (Wf XI:5)
BR A 11 \ Keyboard Sonata in F major (Wf XI:6)
BR A 12 \ Keyboard Sonata in A minor (Wf XI:7)
BR A 13 \ Keyboard Sonata in D major (Wf XI:8/1)
BR A 14 \ Keyboard Sonata in A major (Wf XI:8/2)
BR A 15 \ Keyboard Sonata in E major (Wf XI:8/3)
BR A 16 \ Keyboard Sonata in D major
BR A 17 \ Keyboard Sonata in A major
BR A 18 \ Keyboard Sonata in F major (Wf XI:9)
BR A 19 \ Keyboard Sonata in B flat major
BR A 20 \ Keyboard Sonata in G major
BR A 21 \ Keyboard Sonata in E flat major
BR A 22-25 \ 4 Keyboard Sonatas (lost)
BR A 26 \ Keyboard Sonata in E flat major
BR A 27 \ Keyboard Sonata in F major
BR A 28-30 \ 3 Keyboard Sonatas (lost) (I)
BR A 31 \ Keyboard Sonata in D major
BR A 32-34 \ 3 Keyboard Sonatas (lost) (II)
BR A 35-37 \ 3 Keyboard Sonatas (lost) (III)
BR A 38-39 \ 2 Keyboard Sonatas (lost)
BR A 40 \ Sonata for keyboard-4 hand in A major (Wf XIII:1)
BR A 41 \ Sonata for keyboard-4 hand in C major (Wf XIII:2)
BR A 42-43 \ 2 Sonatas for 2 keyboards (lost)
BR A 44 \ Variations in A major (Wf XII: 1) (lost)
BR A 45 \ Variations on "Ah vous dirais-je Maman" in G major (Wf XII: 2)
BR A 46 \ Menuet in D major (Wf XII: 3)
BR A 47 \ Menuet in F major (Wf XII: 4)
BR A 48 \ 2 Menuets in D major (Wf XII: 5)
BR A 49 \ Alla polacca in F major (Wf XII: 6)
BR A 50 \ Alla polacca in G major (Wf XII: 7)
BR A 51-119 \ 69 pieces for keyboard (Wf XII:13)
BR A120 \ Fughette on HCFBBACH in C major (Wf XII:14)
BR A121 \ Polonaise in G major (Wf XII: 8)
BR A122 \ Menuet in F major (Wf XII: 9)
BR A123 \ Polonaise in F major (Wf XII:10)
BR A124 \ Menuet in G major (Wf XII:11)
BR A125 \ Menuet in A major (Wf XII:12)
BR AInc1 \ Partia for keyboard in C major
BR AInc2 \ Fugue for keyboard in G minor (lost)
BR AInc3 \ Fugue for keyboard in E minor (lost)
BR AInc4 \ Fugue for keyboard in C major (lost)
BR AInc5 \ Fugue for keyboard in F major
BR AInc6 \ Fugue for keyboard in D major (lost)
BR AInc7 \ Fugue for keyboard in C major (lost)
BR AInc8 \ Galanterie-Stücke for keyboard

Chamber Music
BR B 1 \ Cello Sonata in A major (Wf X:3)
BR B 2 \ Cello Sonata in G major (Wf X:1)
BR B 3 \ Trio Sonata for flute, violin & bc in A major (Wf VII:1)
BR B 4 \ Trio Sonata for flute, viola & bc in E minor
BR B 5-10 \ 6 Sonatas for 2 flutes & continuo (lost)
BR B11 \ Trio Sonata for 2 violins & b.c. in A major (Wf VII:2)
BR B12 \ Trio Sonata for 2 violins & b.c. in F major (Wf VII:3)
BR B13 \ Trio Sonata for 2 violins & b.c. (lost)
BR B14 \ Flute Sonata in E flat major (Wf VIII:2)
BR B15 \ Flute Sonata No.1 in D minor (Wf VIII:3/1)
BR B16 \ Flute Sonata No.2 in D major (Wf VIII:3/2)
BR B17 \ Flute Sonata No.3 in D major (Wf VIII:3/3)
BR B18 \ Flute Sonata No.4 in C major (Wf VIII:3/4)
BR B19 \ Flute Sonata No.5 in A major (Wf VIII:3/5)
BR B20 \ Flute Sonata No.6 in C major (Wf VIII:3/6)
BR B21 \ Violin Sonata in G major (Wf IX:2)
BR B22 \ Violin Sonata in D major (Wf IX:3)
BR B23-24 \ 2 Flute Sonatas (lost)
BR B25 \ Flute Sonata in F major (Wf VIII:1)
BR B26 \ Violin Sonata in F major
BR B27 \ Violin Sonata in D major
BR B28 \ Violin Sonata in G major (Wf IX:1) (lost)
BR B29 \ Keyboard Trio in D major (Wf VII:4)
BR B30 \ Keyboard Trio No.1 (lost)
BR B31 \ Keyboard Trio No.2 in G major (Wf VII:5)
BR B32 \ Keyboard Trio No.3 in A major (Wf VII:6)
BR B33 \ Keyboard Trio No.4 (lost)
BR B34 \ Keyboard Trio No.5 in C major (Wf VII:7)
BR B35 \ Keyboard Trio No.6 (lost)
BR B36 \ Cello Sonata in A major (Wf X:4) (lost)
BR B37 \ Flute Quartet No.1 in C major (Wf VI:1)
BR B38 \ Flute Quartet No.2 in G major (Wf VI:2)
BR B39 \ Flute Quartet No.3 in C major (Wf VI:3)
BR B40 \ Flute Quartet No.4 in A major (Wf VI:4)
BR B41 \ Flute Quartet No.5 in F major (Wf VI:5)
BR B42 \ Flute Quartet No.6 in B major (Wf VI:6)
BR B43 \ String Quartet No.1 in E flat major
BR B44 \ String Quartet No.2 in B flat major
BR B45 \ String Quartet No.3 in A major
BR B46 \ String Quartet No.4 in D major
BR B47 \ String Quartet No.5 in G major
BR B48 \ String Quartet No.6 in F major
BR B49 \ Wind Septet in E flat major (Wf IV) (lost)
BR B50-53 \ 4 Marches for wind band (lost)
BR BInc1 \ Trio Sonata for 2 violins & b.c. in B major (Wf XX:3)
BR BInc2 \ Trio Sonata for 2 flutes & b.c. in C major (lost)
BR BInc3 \ Cello Sonata in D major (Wf X:2) (lost)
BR BInc4 \ Violin Sonata (lost)

Orchestral Works
BR C 1 \ Symphony in D major (Wf I: 5) (lost)
BR C 2-3 \ 2 Symphonies (1765) (lost)
BR C 4 \ Symphony in D minor (Wf I: 3) (by 1768)[2]
BR C 5 \ Symphony in F major (Wf I: 1) (by 1768)[2]
BR C 6 \ Symphony in B flat major (Wf I: 2) (by 1768)[2]
BR C 7 \ Symphony in E major (Wf I: 4) (by 1769)[2]
BR C 8-9 \ 2 Symphonies (1770) (lost)
BR C10 \ Symphony in C major (Wf I: 6)
BR C11 \ Symphony in D major (Wf I: 7) (lost)
BR C12 \ Symphony in G major (Wf I: 8) (lost)
BR C13 \ Symphony in D major (Wf I: 9) (lost)
BR C14 \ Symphony in E flat major (Wf I:10)
BR C15-17 \ 3 Symphonies (lost)
BR C18 \ Symphony (lost)
BR C19 \ Symphony in D major (Wf I:11) (lost)
BR C20 \ Symphony in F major (Wf I:12) (lost)
BR C21 \ Symphony in D major (Wf I:13) (lost)
BR C22 \ Symphony in C major (Wf I:14) (lost)
BR C23 \ Symphony in G major (Wf I:15) (1793)
BR C24 \ Symphony in E flat major (Wf I:18) (lost)
BR C25 \ Symphony in E flat major (Wf I:19) (lost)
BR C26 \ Symphony in D minor (Wf I:16) (lost)
BR C27 \ Symphony in C major (Wf I:17) (lost)
BR C28 \ Symphony in B flat major (Wf I:20) (1794)
BR C29 \ Keyboard Concerto in E flat major
BR C30 \ Keyboard Concerto in A major
BR C31 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.1" in G major
BR C32 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.2" in F major
BR C33 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.3" in D major
BR C34 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.4" in E flat major
BR C35 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.5" in B flat major
BR C36 \ Keyboard Concerto "London No.6" in C major
BR C37 \ Keyboard Concerto in E major (Wf II:1)
BR C38 \ Keyboard Concerto (1766) (lost)
BR C39 \ Keyboard Concerto (1788) (lost)
BR C40 \ Keyboard Concerto in F major (Wf II:4)
BR C41 \ Keyboard Concerto in D major (Wf II:2)
BR C42 \ Keyboard Concerto in A major (Wf II:3) (lost)
BR C43 \ Concerto Grosso in E flat major (Wf II:5) (1792)
BR C44 \ Concerto for piano & viola in E flat major
BR C45 \ Concerto for piano & oboe in E flat major (Wf III)

BR D 1 \ Die Pillgrimme auf Golgatha
BR D 2 \ Der Tod Jesu (Wf XIV:1)
BR D 3 \ Die Auferstehung und Himmelfahrt Jesu (Wf XIV:10) (lost)
BR D 4 \ Die Hirten bey der Krippe Jesu (Wf XIV:9) (lost)
BR D 5 \ Die Kindheit Jesu (Wf XIV:2)
BR D 6 \ Die Auferweckung Lazarus (Wf XIV:3)
BR D 7 \ Der Fremdling auf Golgotha (Wf XIV:7) (lost)
BR D 8 \ Mosis Mutter und ihre Tochter (Wf XVII:3) (fragment)

Liturgical Works
BR E 1 \ Miserere

Sacred Works
BR F 1 \ Pfingskantate (Wf XIV:4) (lost)
BR F 2 \ Sieh, Bückeburg, was Gott an Dir getan (lost)
BR F 3 \ Himmelfahrts-Musik (Wf XIV:8)
BR F 4 \ Michaels Sieg (Wf XIV:5)
BR F 5 \ Nun, teures Land, der Herr hat dich erhört (lost)
BR F 6 \ Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied (Wf XIV:11) (lost)
BR F 7 \ Gott wird deinen Fuss nicht gleiten lassen (Wf XIV:12)
BR FInc1 \ Funeral Music for Count Philipp Ernst (lost)
BR FInc2 \ Heut ist der Tag des Dankens, ihr Völker (lost)

Arias, Cantatas & Incidental Music
BR G 1 \ Luci amate ah non piangete (Wf XVIII:8)
BR G 2-11 \ 10 Italian Arias (lost)
BR G12-26 \ 15 Italian Cantatas (lost)
BR G27 \ L'Inciampo (Wf XVIII:2)
BR G28-44 \ 18 Italian Cantatas (lost)
BR G45 \ Scenes for Il pastor fido (lost)
BR G46 \ Cassandra (Wf XVIII:1)
BR G47 \ Die Amerikanerin (Wf XVIII:3)
BR G48 \ Ino (Wf XVIII:4)
BR G49 \ Prokris und Cephalus (Wf XVIII:6)
BR G50 \ Pygmalion (Wf XVIII:5)
BR G51 \ Ariadne auf Naxos (lost)
BR G52 \ Brutus (Wf XVII:1) (lost)
BR G53 \ Philoktetes (Wf XVII:2) (lost)
BR GInc1 \ Stimmt an, greift rasch in eure Saiten (lost)
BR GInc2 \ Va crescendo il mio tormento

BR H 1 \ Lied: Ein dunkler Feind (Wf XIX:1/1)
BR H 2 \ Lied: Die Gespenster (Wf XIX:1/2)
BR H 3 \ Lied: Die Zeit (Wf XIX:1/3)
BR H 4 \ Lied: Der Sieg über sich selbst (Wf XIX:1/4)
BR H 5 \ Lied: Der Nachbarin Climene (Wf XIX:1/5)

Other Works in Wohlfarth's catalogue
Wf V \ Sextet for piano, winds & strings in C major (lost)
Wf XV:1 \ Ich lieg und schlafe ganz mit Frieden
Wf XV:2 \ Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Wf XV:3 \ Dem Erlöser
Wf XV:4 \ Unsere Auferstehung durch die Auferstehung Jesu
Wf XVI:1 \ 5 Geistliche Lieder
Wf XVI:2 \ 50 Geistliche Lieder
Wf XVIII:7 \ O, wir bringen gerne dir
Wf XVIIII:2 \ 24 Lieder
Wf XX:1 \ Keyboard Concerto in C minor
Wf XX:2 \ Keyboard Concerto in G major
Wf XX:4 \ Fugue for keyboard in C minor
Wf XXI:1 \ Arrangement of CPE Bach's "Weynachtslied"
Wf XXI:2 \ Arrangement of CPE Bach's "Dancklied"
Wf XXI:3 \ Arrangement of CPE Bach's "Der thätige Glaube"

Works not referenced in any catalogue
Cello Sonata in G major


  1. ^ New Grove, p 312
  2. ^ a b c d Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach in Nolte, Ewald V., ed., Four early sinfonias at Google Books. Dates based on early copies by Johann Friedrich Peter. Madison, Wis.: A-R Editions, 1982. Preface page xi. ISBN 0895791706. OCLC 9203471.


  • Ulrich Leisinger, "Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach," Grove Music Online, accessed 26 August 2006, <>.
  • Eugene Helm, "Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach" The New Grove Bach Family Macmillan 1985 pp309–314

External links

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach. Allthough most Wikipedia articles provide accurate information accuracy can not be guaranteed.
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