Johann Sebastian Bach is one of the most popular German composers ever. He was born in 21 March 1685. Also he’s known as organist, violinist, violist and harpsichordist. Many of his compositions became worldwide popular. He became popular with his high ability as organist in Europe in his lifetime. He’s now accepting one of the biggest composers of Baroque period and all-time. His compositions were not catalogued till 1950 and in this year, Wolfgang Schmieder catalogued all of Bach’s compositions and named them with BWV code. How many compositions of Johann Sebastian Bach are there?
There are 1,127 catalogued compositions of Bach are available. Bach wrote most of his compositions between 20-40 years old.
BWV 1046-1051 is one of the most popular works of Bach. It’s accepting as a starting lesson to Baroque style. Bach wrote the composition on concerto grosso style which is consisting on talk between soloists and full orchestra and now accepting as an orchestral genre. It’s possible to find festive compositions with horns and oboes, others are strings and meditative. Fourth one is violin and harpsichord. 6th is one of the most popular compositions of Bach on solo works.
Bach wrote BWV 988 for his student Goldberg. According to authorities, it’s the composition Bach shows his real talent. Composition starts with simple aria but he varies this aria to thirty variations. He employs newest keyboard styles of his era for this composition. It’s recorded by many Bach composers and Glenn Gould’s record is one of the most popular records. He recorded Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 in 1955 first and then recorded again in 1981.
B minor Mass, BWV 232 is known as one of the Bach masterpieces and one of the latest works of a master. According to Bach researches, Bach composed B minor Mass, BWV 232 in his early career but completed it in his late years. According to classical music authorities, it’s the sum of Bach’s sacred choral music career. Bach employs four soloists on this composition and creates many variations. John Eliot Gardiner’s B minor Mass, BWV 232 is one of the most popular records for this composition.
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I & II, BWV 846-893 is the composition that Bach showed his keyboard mastery to all music authorities. There are twenty-four preludes and fugues on all books. Beside all music composition, Bach showed the way how piano must be tuned for his compositions. According to researchers, Bach used a specific technical challenge for best tune. It’s very rare to find Bach followers playing this composition and Rosalyn Tureck is one of them. She made tune of her instruments and recorded “The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I & II, BWV 846-893”
“Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006” is complete Baroque. It’s mainly two melodies sounding simultaneously. It’s hard to play the composition because it needs perfect co-work of violin and keyboard. Especially The chaconne from the Partita No. 2 and Sonata No. 3 are known some of the hardest compositions ever made. Henryk Szeryng is the most popular recorder of “Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, BWV 1001-1006” in 20th century.
“Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV 1007-1012” was the Bach masterpiece for Cellists. Bach used multi-movement dance suites ahead of his time on this composition. Every part is sending human to different mood from darkest to lightest. Mstislav Rostropovich is the most popular cellist recorded Bach’s “Cello Suites Nos. 1-6, BWV 1007-1012” in his late life. Rostropovich’s work is accepting as one of the best Bach records ever in the classical music history.