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Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

(1710 - 1784)

The eldest son of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wilhelm studied composition and organ with his father and at Thomasschule in Leipzig, as well as violin.

After studying mathematics and humanities at the University of Leipzig, Bach accepted positions as organist, first in Dresden and then in Halle. In his fifties he relocated to Berlin, where he spent the final two decades of his life.

Bach composed for small groups and the orchestra of his day, besides organ and piano. He is closest in temperament and style to J.S. Bach of all the latter's sons. His music lies in the Baroque tradition of harmonic elegance.

More an able musician than an unusually gifted one, Wilhelm Freidemann is overshadowed by his brothers, Johann Cristoph Friedrich and especially Carl Philipp Emanuel and Johann Christian. ~Douglas Purl

Recommended Recordings

Keyboard Music

Harmonia Mundi HMC901305
2 Fantasias & 12 Polonaises, etc./CPO 999501-2
Harald Hoeren (fortepiano)
2 Sonatas, Fantasia, Suite, Fugues, etc./Harmonia Mundi HMC901305 or Musique d'Abord HMA1951305
Christophe Rousset (harpsichord)
3 Sonatas, Polonaises, etc./Ricercar RIC051043
Guy Penson (fortepiano & harpsichord)


Ricercar RIC069049
2 Concertos in F minor & F. 43 (w/ Sinfonia F. 65)/Ricercar RIC069049 reissued as RIC206262
Guy Penson (harpsichord), Adrian Chamorro/Ricercar Consort
Concerto in E minor, 3 Sinfonias F. 64, 65 & 67/Harmonia Mundi HMC901772
Raphael Alpermann/Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Concerto, F. 46; Sonata F. 10 (also see C.P.E. Bach)/Archiv 419256-2
Andreas Staier & Robert Hill (harpsichords), Reinhard Goebel/Musica Antiqua Köln


Sony Vivarte SK62720
3 Sinfonias, F. 64, 65 & 67/Sony Vivarte SK62720
Jeanne Lamon/Tafelmusik
3 Sinfonias, F. 64, 65 & 67; Concerto in E minor/Harmonia Mundi HMC901772
Raphael Alpermann/Academy for Ancient Music Berlin
Sinfonia F. 65 (w/ 2 Concertos)/Ricercar RIC069049 replaced by RIC206262
Adrian Chamorro/Ricercar Consort
3 Sinfonias, F. 64, 65 & 67/Koch Schwann Treasure CD316012F1
Helmut Müller-Brühl/Cologne Chamber Orchestra