2023 is the 300th anniversary of the appointment of JS Bach as Cantor of St. Thomas’s School and Church in Leipzig, and as the city’s director of music, perhaps the most important hiring exercise in the history of Western music. RTHK’s BACH@STTHOMAS.300 is a tribute to this landmark event. The four-part series will take us through a behind-the-scenes look at Bach on the job: his ups and downs, his successes, his failures, and what history has made of him, sometimes in spite of who he really was.
Bach and the Spirit of the EnlightenmentAs early as 1725, Bach began to have problems with the city government of Leipzig, and by 1730 he was on the verge of being fired. For awhile he pursued a job in Dresden, one that never materialized. Bach began to spend more time with the collegium musicum ensemble, which he had inherited from Telemann in 1729. For this group Bach wrote the Coffee Cantata around 1735, and began to write ‘scientific’ works, the Goldberg Variations and the Musical Offering.