Bach, Johann Christoph


The uncle of Johann Sebastian Bach and, next to him, the greatest of all the Bachs. He was not only one of the finest organists but was also one of the greatest composers of the Seventeenth Century. His genius was not recognized, however, during his lifetime and after his death his fame was entirely overshadowed by his great nephew. He was born at Arnstadt and studied there with his father, Heinrich Bach. In 1665 he went to Eisenach as town organist and in 1678 he succeeded Pachelbel as Court organist. He remained at Eisenach until his death, living the simplest of lives. In spite of his importance as a musician none of his works was published, and many of them were lost. Like all of the Bachs, his   music was thoroughly German in spirit and style and without a trace of Italian influence. His most important works were vocal, among the best being his motets and a cantata for double chorus and orchestra, Es erhub sich ein Streit. His instrumental works consisted of forty-four chorale preludes and a saraband with twelve variations for the clavier.