Bach Wrote His Brandenburg Concerto No.6 Purposely To Get Fired: Here’s How And Why He Did It

by • April 22, 2013 • History, MeComments (0)4125

What would you do if you found yourself in a job that you absolutely hated?  Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) found himself in exactly this kind of situation in 1721 when he desperately wanted to end his tenure under his boss Prince Leopold.  In order to free himself, Bach needed to figure out a way of getting fired instead of quitting outright.  His strategy came in the form of a composition — namely his Brandenburg Concerto No.6.  At this point in time, the viola was considered a lower class instrument, and under no conditions was ever given a chance to shine in the spotlight as the central instrument of a composition.  Never.  Bach took the status of the viola and not only lifted it up, he put it right on the top in full prominence in his No.6, and it was this strategy that finally did the trick.  Bach was immediately let go and he was free as a bird.  Listening to the composition it’s hard to understand why this was so controversial though.  Sounds amazing enough to me, I probably would have given Bach a promotion.  For more great stories from the world of classical music be sure to visit Classical Music on FEELguide.


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