Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Capriccio written by Johann Sebastian Bach for the participant of the Battle of Poltava.

In 1703 famous German composer and organist Johann Sebastian Bach was invited to inspect and give the inaugural recital on the new organ at St. Boniface's Church in Arnstadt (see photo). The year after Sebastian's arrival in Arnstadt, his brother, Jacob, left Saxony to become oboist in the guard of Sweden's king, Charles XII. Within five years Jacob had accompanied king Charles into battle against Russia's Peter the Great, seen defeat at Poltava, escaped to Turkey, and returned again to Sweden. On the occasion of Jacob's departure Sebastian composed a capriccio. The several movements of Capriccio on the Departure of His Most Beloved Brother contain subtitles such as: "A coaxing by his friends to dissuade him from his journey," "A picturing of the various calamities that might overtake him in foreign parts," and "Now come the friends--since they see that it cannot be otherwise--and take leave of him." The Capriccio concludes with one of Bach's earliest known fugues.