The Influences of Bach on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

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During the first half of the 18th century, the Bach family was one of the most important families of composers in Europe. Their work ranged from the music for church services to early works for the organ. In this article, we will take a look at some of their music and the influences it had on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Early work on the organ

Fortunately for Bach organ music lovers, many of his early compositions for the organ are fairly well known. However, these early works are not often performed. Nevertheless, they give a good insight into the composer's compositional style. These early works also provide insight into how Bach developed his organ style.

Bach developed an interest in organ building in his early years. He was a member of an orchestra in Arnstadt (1702-1703). He also taught organ at the schools in Luneburg and Ohrdruf. Bach's first organ works date from around 1704. Bach's first secular cantata was performed in Weissenfels in February 1713.

During this time Bach was influenced by composers such as Johann Adam Reinken and Dieterich Buxtehude. Bach was particularly impressed by the organs of these composers. He was also interested in French organ music.

Harpsichord concerti

Among the first concertos of Johan Sebastian Bach is the "Harpsichord Concerto BWV 1055", known also as the "Oboe Concerto BWV 1057". It was originally composed for violin and was later reused in Bach's cantata In furore iustissimae irae. The music is written in a homophonic style, containing repeated tonic and dominant notes.

Its second movement, the Adagio, consists of two chords. The pp repetition of the phrase emphasises the 2nd beat of the bar. The second movement has a faster tempo and a triadic figure in quavers, high above the bass part. The movement is also accompanied by a duet between the violin and cello, accompanied by a second piano.

Qui tollis

Known as the Mass in B minor, this work by Johann Sebastian Bach is a cross-section of his musical craftsmanship. The mass represents a culmination of four decades' worth of composition. It has earned the respect of classical musicians, as well as churchgoers. It is a popular concert work and has achieved success in the church. It is the only setting of the complete Latin text.

The B Minor Mass has many interesting historical points of interest. For instance, the "Et in unum Dominum" movement contains a quote from Gregorian chant. Bach also incorporated a descending arpeggio into the score to accompany the text.

Influence on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven

Among the most influential composers of the eighteenth century was Franz Joseph Haydn. He was a son of a wheelwright and became a composer, teacher and performer. He wrote music that had a wide appeal. He was famous for his symphonies. He was also a member of the Romantic movement. He was a pioneer in writing multi-movement instrumental pieces.

During the early 1790s, Haydn briefly lived in London. There, he staged concerts for his own benefit. He also conducted music performed by other musicians, including Beethoven. He was soon back in Vienna. He had a commission for a symphony. This was the beginning of a series of successes for Haydn.

Cantata Gottlob! nun geht das Jahr zu Ende (bwv 28)

Often sung between Christmas and New Year's Day, this cantata is composed by Bach in 1725. It was first performed on December 30, 1725. It is scored for four vocal soloists and accompanied by strings and Baroque instrumental ensemble.

Bach's use of chorale themes in his cantatas is idiosyncratic. He often wrote them himself, but many were composed by other composers. The opening soprano aria exploits the musical possibilities of two instrumental choirs. It starts with dance-like quavers and then continues in the style of an Italian chamber duet.

The ritornello of the soprano aria is a virtuosic statement of praise that commands listeners to sing praises to God. It's infectious, and it entices listeners to expect a chorus.


Among the greatest monuments of western art music, Bach's Mass in B minor is an extraordinary work. Its dramatic composition and cosmopolitan idiom combine operatic and Palestrina-style movements. It is a unique and captivating work that bridges the divide between sacred and secular.

Bach worked on the Mass in B minor for 15 years. He based the work on a 1728 cantata for the inauguration of the town council in Dresden. The Mass represents Bach's "specimen book" from the four decades of his musical career. He incorporated all the styles of music that he had studied in the past.

The Mass in B minor is a highly concentrated form of Bach's art. It includes five-part choral writing and large orchestral forces. There are over 200 different performance styles in the Bach choral database.

November 28, 2022




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