Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach, Thuringia, of a musical family. He held many posts of distinction in Weimar and Coethen where he composed some of his best-known works, such as the Brandenburg Concertos.
In 1723 Bach moved to Leipzig to become musical director of St. Thomas' choir school. In Leipzig he composed most of his greatest works including the St. John Passion, the St. Matthew Passion, and the B-minor Mass. There he also completed 'The Well-Tempered Clavier' a collection of 48 preludes and fugues. A fugue is a composition in which a given theme is systematically treated with melodic imitation and other devices of counterpoint (the superimposition of different melodic lines).
He also wrote organ music; chamber music; orchestral concertos; and nearly 300 religious choral works called cantatas.
Bach's timeless religious orchestral compositions are of unique purity, and today he is considered one of the greatest Baroque masters along with Handel, but the people of Bach's time considered his compositions too elaborate. It was not until 100 years later that the world recognized Bach as one of its greatest composers.
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