Johann Christoph Bach (9)

(1645 –1694)

Court violinict, Stadtpfeifer and composer. Twin brother of J.S. Bach's father, Johann Ambrosius Bach. Philipp Emanuel wrote that "[t]hey loved each other tenderly, and looked so much alike thatb even their own wives could not distinguish them." The twins were orphaned at 16, were sent to Erfurt to join their uncle Johann, and before long were both appointed members of town band to whichtheir father had belonged. Johann Christoph, however, felt drawn towards Arnstadt, and obviously made a good impression when he played there, for he ewas appointed a court musician by Count Ludwig Günther of Schwarzburg-Arnstadt in 1671. He was dismissed in 1681, by the Count, most probably because of a capacity to anger older musicians. In 1682 he was nevertheless apointed both court and twon musician by the old Count's successor, Count Anton Günther. The latter did much for Arnstadt musical life, and in 1683 tool steps to raise the court orchestra to 21 members, including not only Johann Christoph, but also his uncle Heinrich, his cousin Johann Michael, and Heinrich's son-in-law, Christoph Herthum. Johann Christoph died at the young age of 48.

In the Bach Archives there is an unidentified composition that is almost certainly by Johann Christoph, a four-part funeral aria Nun is alles überwunden, similar in character to J. S. Bach's Weint nicht um meainen Tod.

VIB: Clavier, Organ and Lute in the German Baroque | VIF: Spiritual Concerto and Church Cantata