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Re: J.S. Bach in the House

Wow! Thanks a lot! It's certainly far more detailed than the version I had in
my softmushywetdrive!

Did he join a gang while he was in there?


jerry and judy wrote:

>  I found this on my harddrive.  It probably came from a website.
> jailed Nov 6,1717
>     It had all begun when Wilhelm Ernst finally persuaded a respect-
>  able and well-dowered widow to marry his heir, Ernst Augustus.
>  This lady's brother, Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cothen, a gifted
>  musical amateur, met Bach at his new brother-in-law's palace, and
>  was so impressed by his genius that he forthwith offered him the
>  position of Kapellmeister at Cothen. Several considerations prompted
>  Bach to entertain the offer.  As a member of the ducal household
>  he was hedged in by a thousand irritating restrictions, not the
>  least of which forbade him to visit the heir presumptive and his
>  wife, with whom the Duke was constantly quarreling.  In defiance
>  of this ukase, Bach's friendship with Ernst Augustus and his con-
>  sort continued on so intimate a footing that the Duke became suspicious.
>  Any chance of closing the rift between Bach and his em-
>  employer was precluded when the Duke passed over Bach's head in
>  appointing a new Kapellmeister, the highest musical honor in his
>  gift.  Smarting from this indignity, Bach proceeded to his triumph
>  at Dresden, and came back with his mind made up.  He informed
>  Prince Leopold of his unwillingness to leave Weimar, and the deal
>  was closed in August, 1717.
>    When Bach applied for his release, the Duke was furious.  In-
>  nately opposed to change as something inherently wrong, he saw
>  in the threatened departure of one of his best musicians a deter-
>  mination on his heir's part to interrupt the smooth tenor of his
>  life.  He refused.  Bach insisted, and on November 6 the Duke placed
>  him under arrest.  During his incarceration, which lasted almost a
>  month, Bach seems to have imitated the examples of Cervantes,
>  Bunyan, and other geniuses who suffered imprisonment, by con-
>  continuing to work at his art.  The one thing he did not do was change
>  his mind. Torture being out of fashion, the Duke had to give in,
>  and on December 2 he granted this stubborn servant permission
>  to go elsewhere.  On that date Bach's official career as an organist.
>  came to an end. Little more than a week later, he was settled at
>  Cothen.
>    The move as a drastic one.  From a worldly point of view, it
>  meant promotion, more prestige, and more pay.  Bach had always
>  coveted the title of Kapellmeister, and for some years had needed an
>  income more nearly commensurate with the demands of rapidly
>  growing family.  The attitude of his new patron was like a tonic to
>  his flagging spirits.