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We provide Classical Music for Free. Various composers. J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Vivaldi, etc. © 2012 Shiloh Worship Music COPY FREELY;This Music is copyrighted to prevent misuse, however,permission is granted for non-commercial copying-Radio play permitted-Www.ShilohWorshipMusic.com

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We provide Classical Music for Free. Various composers. J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Vivaldi, etc. © 2012 Shiloh Worship Music COPY FREELY;This Music is copyrighted to prevent misuse, however,permission is granted for non-commercial copying-Radio play permitted-Www.ShilohWorshipMusic.com

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Classical Music Free

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Absolutely amazing, and heartwarming, during cold days.

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🎶Music is a window to the soul, love that I found this!🎶

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74 Ratings
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45
13
6
2
8

Classical Music Free

By APhoenix124 - Aug 22 2019
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Absolutely amazing, and heartwarming, during cold days.

🎶

By FLASHBACK21 - Jul 17 2019
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🎶Music is a window to the soul, love that I found this!🎶

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Classical Music Free

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We provide Classical Music for Free. Various composers. J. S. Bach, G. F. Handel, Beethoven, Haydn, Vivaldi, etc. © 2012 Shiloh Worship Music COPY FREELY;This Music is copyrighted to prevent misuse, however,permission is granted for non-commercial copying-Radio play permitted-Www.ShilohWorshipMusic.com

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Rank #1: Johann Sebastian Bach - Goldberg Variations #5

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JS Bach's - Goldberg Variations #5
Our version of JS Bach's - Goldberg Variations #5
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The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, is a work for harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations. First published in 1741, the work is considered to be one of the most important examples of variation form. The Variationsare named after Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, who may have been the first performer.
Johann Sebastian Bach from Wikipedia

Johann Sebastian Bach[1] (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer, organist, harpsichordist, violist, and violinist of the Baroque Period. He enriched many established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach wrote much music that was revered for its intellectual depth, technical command, and artistic beauty. Many of his works are still known today, such as the Brandenburg Concertos, the Mass in B minor, the Well-Tempered Clavier, and his cantatas, chorales, partitas, passions, and organ works.
Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach into a very musical family; his father, Johann Ambrosius Bach was the director of the town's musicians, and all of his uncles were professional musicians. His father taught him to play violin and harpsichord, and his brother, Johann Christoph Bach taught him the clavichord and exposed him to much contemporary music.[2][3] Bach also sang, and he went to the St Michael's School in Lüneburg because of his skill in voice. After graduating, he held several musical posts across Germany: he served as Kapellmeister (director of music) to Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, Cantor of Thomasschule in Leipzig, and Royal Court Composer to August III.[4][5] Bach's health and vision declined in 1749, and he died on 28 July 1750. Modern historians believe that his death was caused by a combination of stroke and pneumonia.[6][7][8]
Bach's abilities as an organist were highly respected throughout Europe during his lifetime, although he was not widely recognised as a great composer until a revival of interest and performances of his music in the first half of the 19th century. He is now generally regarded as one of the main composers of the Baroque period, and as one of the greatest composers of all time.[9]
Life
Childhood (1685–1703)

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, on 21 March 1685 O.S. (31 March 1685 N.S.). He was the son of Johann Ambrosius Bach, the director of the town musicians, and Maria Elisabeth Lämmerhirt.[10] He was the eighth child of Johann Ambrosius; the eldest son in the family was 14 at the time of Bach's birth.[11] His father taught him violin and harpsichord.[12] His uncles were all professional musicians, whose posts included church organists, court chamber musicians, and composers. One uncle, Johann Christoph Bach (1645–93), introduced him to the organ, and an older second cousin, Johann Ludwig Bach (1677–1731), was a well-known composer and violinist. Bach drafted a genealogy around 1735, titled "Origin of the musical Bach family".[13]
Bach's mother died in 1694, and his father died eight months later.[5] Bach, 10, moved in with his oldest brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671–1721), the organist at the Michaeliskirche in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.[14] There he studied, performed, and copied music, including his own brother's, despite being forbidden to do so because scores were so valuable and private and blank ledger paper of that type was costly.[15][16] He received valuable teaching from his brother, who instructed him on the clavichord. J.C. Bach exposed him to the works of great composers of the day, including South German composers such as Johann Pachelbel (under whom Johann Christoph had studied)[2] and Johann Jakob Froberger; North German composers;[3] Frenchmen, such as Jean-Baptiste Lully, Louis Marchand, Marin Marais; and the Italian clavierist Girolamo Frescobaldi. Also during this time, he was taught theology, Latin, Greek, French, and Italian at the local gymnasium.[17]
At the age of 14, Bach, along with his older school friend George Erdmann, was awarded a choral scholarship to study at the prestigious St. Michael's School in Lüneburg in the Principality of Lüneburg.[18] Although it is not known for certain, the trip was likely taken mostly on foot.[17] His two years there were critical in exposing him to a wider facet of European culture. In addition to singing in the choir he played the School's three-manual organ and harpsichords.[17] He came into contact with sons of noblemen from northern Germany sent to the highly selective school to prepare for careers in other disciplines.
Although little supporting historical evidence exists at this time, it is almost certain that while in Lüneburg, Bach visited the Johanniskirche (Church of St. John) and heard (and possibly played) the church's famous organ (built in 1549 by Jasper Johannsen, and played by Georg Böhm). Given his musical talent, Bach had significant contact with prominent organists of the day in Lüneburg, most notably Böhm, but also including organists in nearby Hamburg, such as Johann Adam Reincken.[19]
Weimar, Arnstadt, and Mühlhausen (1703–08)

In January 1703, shortly after graduating from St. Michael's and being turned down for the post of organist at Sangerhausen,[20] Bach was appointed court musician in the chapel of Duke Johann Ernst in Weimar. His role there is unclear, but likely included menial, non-musical duties. During his seven-month tenure at Weimar, his reputation as a keyboardist spread so much that he was invited to inspect the new organ, and give the inaugural recital, at St. Boniface's Church in Arnstadt, located about 40 km southwest of Weimar.[21] In August 1703, he became the organist at St Boniface's, with light duties, a relatively generous salary, and a fine new organ tuned in the modern tempered system that allowed a wide range of keys to be used.
Despite strong family connections and a musically enthusiastic employer, tension built up between Bach and the authorities after several years in the post. Bach was dissatisfied with the standard of singers in the choir, while his employer was upset by his unauthorised absence from Arnstadt; Bach was gone for several months in 1705–06, to visit the great organist and composer Dieterich Buxtehude and his Abendmusiken at the Marienkirche in the northern city of Lübeck. The visit to Buxtehude involved a 400 kilometre (250 mi) journey on foot each way. The trip reinforced Buxtehude's style as a foundation for Bach's earlier works. Bach wanted to become amanuensis (assistant and successor) to Buxtehude, but did not want to marry his daughter, which was a condition for his appointment.[22]

In 1706, Bach was offered a post as organist at St. Blasius's in Mühlhausen, which he took up the following year. It included significantly higher remuneration, improved conditions, and a better choir. Four months after arriving at Mühlhausen, Bach married Maria Barbara Bach, his second cousin. They had seven children, four of whom survived to adulthood, including Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach who both became important composers as well. Bach was able to convince the church and city government at Mühlhausen to fund an expensive renovation of the organ at St. Blasius's. Bach, in turn, wrote an elaborate, festive cantataGott ist mein König, BWV 71—for the inauguration of the new council in 1708. The council paid handsomely for its publication, and it was a major success.[17]
Return to Weimar (1708–17)

In 1708, Bach left Mühlhausen, returning to Weimar this time as organist and concertmaster at the ducal court, where he had an opportunity to work with a large, well-funded contingent of professional musicians.[17] Bach moved with his family into an apartment very close to the ducal palace. In the following year, their first child was born and Maria Barbara's elder, unmarried sister joined them. She remained to help run the household until her death in 1729.
Bach's time in Weimar was the start of a sustained period of composing keyboard and orchestral works. He attained the proficiency and confidence to extend the prevailing structures and to include influences from abroad. He learned to write dramatic openings and employ the dynamic motor-rhythms and harmonic schemes found in the music of Italians such as Vivaldi, Corelli, and Torelli. Bach absorbed these stylistic aspects in part by transcribing Vivaldi's string and wind concertos for harpsichord and organ; many of these transcribed works are still played in concert often. Bach was particularly attracted to the Italian style in which one or more solo instruments alternate section-by-section with the full orchestra throughout a movement.[24]
In Weimar, Bach continued to play and compose for the organ, and to perform concert music with the duke's ensemble.[17] He also began to write the preludes and fugues which were later assembled into his monumental work Das Wohltemperierte Clavier ("The Well-Tempered Clavier"—Clavier meaning clavichord or harpsichord),[25] consisting of two books, compiled in 1722 and 1744,[26] each containing a prelude and fugue in every major and minor key.

Also in Weimar Bach started work on the Little Organ Book for his eldest son, Wilhelm Friedemann, containing traditional Lutheran chorales (hymn tunes) set in complex textures to train organists. In 1713 Bach was offered a post in Halle when he advised the authorities during a renovation by Christoph Cuntzius of the main organ in the west gallery of the Marktkirche Unser Lieben Frauen. Johann Kuhnau and Bach played again when it was inaugurated in 1716.[27][28] Musicologists debate whether his first Christmas cantata Christen, ätzet diesen Tag, BWV 63, was premiered here in 1713[29], or if it was performed for the bicentennial of the Reformation in 1717.[30] Bach eventually fell out of favour in Weimar and was, according to a translation of the court secretary's report, jailed for almost a month before being unfavourably dismissed:

On November 6, [1717], the quondam concertmaster and organist Bach was confined to the County Judge's place of detention for too stubbornly forcing the issue of his dismissal and finally on December 2 was freed from arrest with notice of his unfavourable discharge.[31]

Köthen (1717–23)
Leopold, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen hired Bach to serve as his Kapellmeister (director of music) in 1717. Prince Leopold, himself a musician, appreciated Bach's talents, paid him well, and gave him considerable latitude in composing and performing. The prince was Calvinist and did not use elaborate music in his worship; accordingly, most of Bach's work from this period was secular,[32] including the Orchestral Suites, the Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello, the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, and the Brandenburg Concertos.[33] Bach also composed secular cantatas for the court such as the Die Zeit, die Tag und Jahre macht, BWV 134a.
Despite being born in the same year and only about 80 miles apart, Bach and Handel never met. In 1719 Bach made the 20 mile journey from Köthen to Halle with the intention of meeting Handel, however Handel had recently departed the city.[34] In 1730, Bach's son Friedmann travelled to Halle to invite Handel to visit the Bach family in Leipzig, however the visit did not eventuate.[35]
On 7 July 1720, while Bach was abroad with Prince Leopold, Bach's first wife suddenly died. The following year, he met Anna Magdalena Wilcke, a young, highly gifted soprano 17 years younger than he was who performed at the court in Köthen; they married on 3 December 1721.[36] Together they had 13 more children, six of whom survived into adulthood: Gottfried Heinrich, Johann Christoph Friedrich, and Johann Christian, all of whom became significant musicians; Elisabeth Juliane Friederica (1726–81), who married Bach's pupil Johann Christoph Altnikol; Johanna Carolina (1737–81); and Regina Susanna (1742–1809).[37]
Leipzig (1723–50)
In 1723, Bach was appointed Cantor of the Thomasschule at Thomaskirche in Leipzig, and Director of Music in the principal churches in the town, namely the Nikolaikirche and the Paulinerkirche, the church of the University of Leipzig.[38] This was a prestigious post in the mercantile city in the Electorate of Saxony, which he held for 27 years until his death. It brought him into contact with the political machinations of his employer, Leipzig's city council.
Bach was required to instruct the students of the Thomasschule in singing and to provide church music for the main churches in Leipzig. Bach was required to teach Latin, but he was allowed to employ a deputy to do this instead. A cantata was required for the church service on Sundays and additional church holidays during the liturgical year. He usually performed his own cantatas, most of which were composed during his first three years in Leipzig. The first of these was Die Elenden sollen essen, BWV 75, first performed in the Nikolaikirche on 30 May 1723, the first Sunday after Trinity. Bach collected his cantatas in annual cycles. Five are mentioned in obituaries, three are extant.[39] Most of these concerted works expound on the Gospel readings prescribed for every Sunday and feast day in the Lutheran year. Bach started a second annual cycle the first Sunday after Trinity of 1724, and composed only Chorale cantatas, each based on a single church hymn. These include O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort, BWV 20, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, BWV 61, and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, BWV 1.
Bach drew the soprano and alto choristers from the School, and the tenors and basses from the School and elsewhere in Leipzig. Performing at weddings and funerals provided extra income for these groups; it was probably for this purpose, and for in-school training, that he wrote at least six motets, at least five of which are for double choir.[40] As part of his regular church work, he performed other composers' motets, which served as formal models for his own.[17]

Bach broadened his composing and performing beyond the liturgy by taking over, in March 1729, the directorship of the Collegium Musicum, a secular performance ensemble started by the composer Georg Philipp Telemann. This was one of the dozens of private societies in the major German-speaking cities that was established by musically active university students; these societies had become increasingly important in public musical life and were typically led by the most prominent professionals in a city. In the words of Christoph Wolff, assuming the directorship was a shrewd move that "consolidated Bach's firm grip on Leipzig's principal musical institutions".[41] Year round, the Leipzig's Collegium Musicum performed regularly in venues such as the Zimmermannsches Caffeehaus, a Coffeehouse on Catherine Street off the main market square. Many of Bach's works during the 1730s and 1740s were written for and performed by the Collegium Musicum; among these were parts of his Clavier-Übung (Keyboard Practice) and many of his violin and harpsichord concertos.[17]
In 1733, Bach composed the Kyrie and Gloria of the Mass in B minor. He presented the manuscript to the King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and Elector of Saxony, August III in an eventually successful bid to persuade the monarch to appoint him as Royal Court Composer.[4] He later extended this work into a full Mass, by adding a Credo, Sanctus and Agnus Dei, the music for which was almost wholly taken from his own cantatas. Bach's appointment as court composer was part of his long-term struggle to achieve greater bargaining power with the Leipzig Council. Although the complete mass was probably never performed during the composer's lifetime,[42] it is considered to be among the greatest choral works of all time. Between 1737 and 1739, Bach's former pupil Carl Gotthelf Gerlach took over the directorship of the Collegium Musicum.
In 1747, Bach visited the court of the King of Prussia in Potsdam. There the king played a theme for Bach and challenged him to improvise a fugue based on his theme. Bach improvised a three-part fugue on Frederick's pianoforte, then a novelty, and later presented the king with a Musical Offering which consists of fugues, canons and a trio based on this theme. Its six-part fugue includes a slightly altered subject more suitable for extensive elaboration. Bach wrote another fugue, The Art of Fugue, shortly before his death, but never completed the final fugue. It consists of 18 complex fugues and canons based on a simple theme.[43] It was only published posthumously in 1751.[44]
The final work Bach completed was a chorale prelude for organ, entitled Vor deinen Thron tret ich hiermit (Before thy throne I now appear, BWV 668a) which he dictated to his son-in-law, Johann Altnikol, from his deathbed. When the notes on the three staves of the final cadence are counted and mapped onto the Roman alphabet, the initials "JSB" are found.[45]
Death (1750)
Bach's health declined in 1749; on 2 June, Heinrich von Brühl wrote to one of the Leipzig burgomasters to request that his music director, Gottlob Harrer, fill the Thomascantor and Director musices posts "upon the eventual ... decease of Mr. Bach."[29] Bach became increasingly blind, so the British eye surgeon John Taylor operated on Bach while visiting Leipzig in March or April of 1750.[46]
On 28 July 1750 Bach died at the age of 65. A contemporary newspaper reported "the unhappy consequences of the very unsuccessful eye operation" as the cause of death.[47] Modern historians speculate that the cause of death was a stroke complicated by pneumonia.[6][7][8] His son Emanuel and his pupil Johann Friedrich Agricola wrote an obituary of Bach.[48]
Bach's estate included five Clavecins, two lute-harpsichords, three violins, three violas, two cellos, a viola da gamba, a lute and a spinet, and 52 "sacred books", including books by Martin Luther and Josephus.[49] He was originally buried at Old St. John's Cemetery in Leipzig. His grave went unmarked for nearly 150 years. In 1894 his coffin was finally found and moved to a vault in St. John's Church. This building was destroyed by Allied bombing during World War II, so in 1950 Bach's remains were taken to their present grave at Leipzig's Church of St. Thomas.[17]
Legacy

A detailed obituary of Bach was published (without attribution) four years later in 1754 by Lorenz Christoph Mizler (a former student) in Musikalische Bibliothek, a music periodical. The obituary remains probably "the richest and most trustworthy"[50] early source document about Bach. After his death, Bach's reputation as a composer at first declined; his work was regarded as old-fashioned compared to the emerging classical style.[51] Initially he was remembered more as a player and teacher.
During the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Bach was widely recognised for his keyboard work. Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Felix Mendelssohn were among his most prominent admirers; they began writing in a more contrapuntal style after being exposed to Bach's music.[52] Beethoven described him as the "Urvater der Harmonie", "original father of harmony".[53]
Bach's reputation among the wider public was enhanced in part by Johann Nikolaus Forkel's 1802 biography of Bach.[54] Felix Mendelssohn significantly contributed to the revival of Bach's reputation with his 1829 Berlin performance of the St Matthew Passion.[55] In 1850, the Bach Gesellschaft (Bach Society) was founded to promote the works; in 1899 the Society published a comprehensive edition of the composer's works with little editorial intervention.
During the 20th century, the process of recognising the musical as well as the pedagogic value of some of the works continued, perhaps most notably in the promotion of the Cello Suites by Pablo Casals, the first major performer to record these suites.[56] Another development has been the growth of the "authentic" or "period performance" movement, which attempts to present music as the composer intended it. Examples include the playing of keyboard works on harpsichord rather than modern grand piano and the use of small choirs or single voices instead of the larger forces favoured by 19th- and early 20th-century performers.[57]
Bach's music is frequently bracketed with the literature of William Shakespeare and the teachings of Isaac Newton.[58] In Germany, during the twentieth century, many streets were named and statues were erected in honour of Bach. His music features three times - more than any other composer - on the Voyager Golden Record, a phonograph record containing a broad sample of the images, common sounds, languages, and music of Earth, sent into outer space with the two Voyager probes.[59]
Works
In 1950, a thematic catalogue called Bach Werke Verzeichnis (Bach Works Catalogue) was compiled by Wolfgang Schmieder.[60] Schmieder largely followed the Bach Gesellschaft Ausgabe, a comprehensive edition of the composer's works that was produced between 1850 and 1905: BWV 1–224 are cantatas; BWV 225–249, large-scale choral works including his Passions; BWV 250–524, chorales and sacred songs; BWV 525–748, organ works; BWV 772–994, other keyboard works; BWV 995–1000, lute music; BWV 1001–40, chamber music; BWV 1041–71, orchestral music; and BWV 1072–1126, canons and fugues.[61]
Organ works
Bach was best known during his lifetime as an organist, organ consultant, and composer of organ works in both the traditional German free genres—such as preludes, fantasias, and toccatas—and stricter forms, such as chorale preludes and fugues.[17] At a young age, he established a reputation for his great creativity and ability to integrate foreign styles into his organ works. A decidedly North German influence was exerted by Georg Böhm, with whom Bach came into contact in Lüneburg, and Dieterich Buxtehude, whom the young organist visited in Lübeck in 1704 on an extended leave of absence from his job in Arnstadt. Around this time, Bach copied the works of numerous French and Italian composers to gain insights into their compositional languages, and later arranged violin concertos by Vivaldi and others for organ and harpsichord. During his most productive period (1708–14) he composed several pairs of preludes and fugues and toccatas and fugues, and the Orgelbüchlein ("Little organ book"), an unfinished collection of 46 short chorale preludes that demonstrates compositional techniques in the setting of chorale tunes. After leaving Weimar, Bach wrote less for organ, although his best-known works (the six trio sonatas, the "German Organ Mass" in Clavier-Übung III from 1739, and the "Great Eighteen" chorales, revised late in his life) were all composed after his leaving Weimar. Bach was extensively engaged later in his life in consulting on organ projects, testing newly built organs, and dedicating organs in afternoon recitals.[62][63]
Other keyboard works

Bach wrote many works for harpsichord, some of which may have been played on the clavichord. Many of his keyboard works are anthologies that encompass whole theoretical systems in an encyclopaedic fashion.
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2 (BWV 846–893). Each book consists of a prelude and fugue in each of the 24 major and minor keys in chromatic order from C major to B minor (thus, the whole collection is often referred to as 'the 48'). "Well-tempered" in the title refers to the temperament (system of tuning); many temperaments before Bach's time were not flexible enough to allow compositions to utilise more than just a few keys.[64]
• The 15 Inventions and 15 Sinfonias (BWV 772–801). These short two- and three-part contrapuntal works are arranged in the same chromatic order as the Well-Tempered Clavier, omitting some of the rarer keys. These pieces were intended by Bach for instructional purposes.[65]
• Three collections of dance suites: the English Suites (BWV 806–811), the French Suites (BWV 812–817), and the Partitas for keyboard (BWV 825–830). Each collection contains six suites built on the standard model (AllemandeCouranteSarabande–(optional movement)–Gigue). The English Suites closely follow the traditional model, adding a prelude before the allemande and including a single movement between the sarabande and the gigue.[66] The French Suites omit preludes, but have multiple movements between the sarabande and the gigue.[67] The partitas expand the model further with elaborate introductory movements and miscellaneous movements between the basic elements of the model.[68]
• The Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), an aria with thirty variations. The collection has a complex and unconventional structure: the variations build on the bass line of the aria, rather than its melody, and musical canons are interpolated according to a grand plan. There are nine canons within the 30 variations, one every three variations between variations 3 and 27.[69] These variations move in order from canon at the unison to canon at the ninth. The first eight are in pairs (unison and octave, second and seventh, third and sixth, fourth and fifth). The ninth canon stands on its own due to compositional dissimilarities.
• Miscellaneous pieces such as the Overture in the French Style (French Overture, BWV 831), Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue (BWV 903), and the Italian Concerto (BWV 971).
Among Bach's lesser known keyboard works are seven toccatas (BWV 910–916), four duets (BWV 802–805), sonatas for keyboard (BWV 963–967), the Six Little Preludes (BWV 933–938), and the Aria variata alla maniera italiana (BWV 989).
Orchestral and chamber music
Bach wrote for single instruments, duets, and small ensembles. Many of his solo works, such as his six sonatas and partitas for violin (BWV 1001–1006), six cello suites (BWV 1007–1012) and Partita for solo flute (BWV 1013), are among the most profound works in the repertoire.[70] Bach composed a suite and several other works for solo lute. He wrote trio sonatas; solo sonatas (accompanied by continuo) for the flute and for the viola da gamba; and a large number of canons and ricercare, mostly with unspecified instrumentation. The most significant examples of the latter are contained in The Art of Fugue and The Musical Offering.
Bach's best-known orchestral works are the Brandenburg Concertos, so named because he submitted them in the hope of gaining employment from Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt in 1721; his application was unsuccessful.[17] These works are examples of the concerto grosso genre. Other surviving works in the concerto form include two violin concertos (BWV 1041 and BWV 1042); a Concerto for Two Violins in D Minor (BWV 1043), often referred to as Bach's "double" concerto; and concertos for one to four harpsichords. It is widely accepted that many of the harpsichord concertos were not original works, but arrangements of his concertos for other instruments now lost.[71] A number of violin, oboe and flute concertos have been reconstructed from these. In addition to concertos, Bach wrote four orchestral suites, and a series of stylised dances for orchestra, each preceded by a French overture.[72]
Vocal and choral works
Cantatas

As the Thomaskantor, beginning mid of 1723, Bach performed a cantata each Sunday and feast day that corresponded to the lectionary readings of the week.[17] Although Bach performed cantatas by other composers, he composed at least three entire annual cycles of cantatas at Leipzig, in addition to those composed at Mühlhausen and Weimar.[17] In total he wrote more than 300 sacred cantatas, of which approximately 200 survive.[73]
His cantatas vary greatly in form and instrumentation, including those for solo singers, single choruses, small instrumental groups, or grand orchestras. Many consist of a large opening chorus followed by one or more recitative-aria pairs for soloists (or duets) and a concluding chorale. The recitative is part of the corresponding Bible reading for the week and the aria is a contemporary reflection on it. The melody of the concluding chorale often appears as a cantus firmus in the opening movement. Among his best known cantatas are:
Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4
Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, BWV 21
Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott, BWV 80
Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106 (Actus Tragicus)
Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme, BWV 140
Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
In addition, Bach wrote a number of secular cantatas, usually for civic events such as council inaugurations. These include wedding cantatas, the Wedding Quodlibet, the Peasant Cantata and the Coffee Cantata.[74]
Passions
Bach's large choral-orchestral works include the grand scale St Matthew Passion and St John Passion, both written for Good Friday vespers services at the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche in alternate years, and the Christmas Oratorio (a set of six cantatas for use in the Liturgical season of Christmas).[75][76][77] The two versions of the Magnificat (one in E-flat major, with four interpolated Christmas-related movements, and the later and better-known version in D major), the Easter Oratorio, and the Ascension Oratorio are smaller and simpler than the Passions and the Christmas Oratorio.
Mass in B minor
Main article: Mass in B minor
Bach assembled his other large work, the Mass in B minor, near the end of his life, mostly from pieces composed earlier (such as the cantatas Gloria in excelsis Deo, BWV 191 and Weinen, Klagen, Sorgen, Zagen, BWV 12). The mass was never performed in full during Bach's lifetime.[78] All of these movements, unlike the six motets (Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied; Der Geist hilft unser Schwachheit auf; Jesu, meine Freude; Fürchte dich nicht; Komm, Jesu, komm!; and Lobet den Herrn alle Heiden), have substantial solo parts as well as choruses.
Musical style
Bach's musical style arose from his skill in contrapuntal invention and motivic control, his flair for improvisation, his exposure to North and South German, Italian and French music, and his devotion to the Lutheran liturgy. His access to musicians, scores and instruments as a child and a young man and his emerging talent for writing tightly woven music of powerful sonority, allowed him to develop an eclectic, energetic musical style in which foreign influences were combined with an intensified version of the pre-existing German musical language. From the Period 1713-14 onward he learned much from the style of the Italians.[79]
During the Baroque Period, many composers only wrote the framework, and performers embellished this framework with ornaments and other elaboration.[80] This practice varied considerably between the schools of European music; Bach notated most or all of the details of his melodic lines, leaving little for performers to interpolate. This accounted for his control over the dense contrapuntal textures that he favoured, and decreased leeway for spontaneous variation of musical lines. At the same time, Bach left the instrumentation of major works including The Art of Fugue open.[81]
Bach's devout relationship with the Christian God in the Lutheran tradition[82] and the high demand for religious music of his times placed sacred music at the centre of his repertory. He taught Luther's Small Catechism as the Thomascantor in Leipzig,[83] and some of his pieces represent it;[84] the Lutheran chorale hymn tune was the basis of much of his work. He wrote more cogent, tightly integrated chorale preludes than most. The large-scale structure of some of Bach's sacred works is evidence of subtle, elaborate planning. For example, the St Matthew Passion illustrates the Passion with Bible text reflected in recitatives, arias, choruses, and chorales.[85] The structure of the Easter Oratorio, BWV 249, resembles The Crucifixion.[86]

Bach's drive to display musical achievements was evident in his composition. He wrote much for the keyboard and led its elevation from continuo to solo instrument with harpsichord concertos and keyboard obbligato.[87] Virtuosity is a key element in other pieces, such as the Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 for organ in which virtuosic passages are mapped onto alternating flute and reed solos within the fugal development.[88]
Bach produced collections of movements that explored the range of artistic and technical possibilities inherent in various genres. The most famous example is the Well Tempered Clavier, in which each book presents a prelude and fugue in every major and minor key. Each fugue displays a variety of contrapuntal and fugal techniques.[89]
Performances
Present-day Bach performers usually pursue one of two traditions: so-called "authentic performance practice", utilising historical techniques; or the use of modern instruments and playing techniques, often with larger ensembles. In Bach's time orchestras and choirs were usually smaller than those of later composers, and even Bach's most ambitious choral works, such as his Mass in B minor and Passions, were composed for relatively modest forces. Some of Bach's important chamber music does not indicate instrumentation, allows a greater variety of ensemble.
Easy listening realisations of Bach's music and their use in advertising contributed greatly to Bach's popularisation in the second half of the twentieth century. Among these were the Swingle Singers' versions of Bach pieces that are now well-known (for instance, the Air on the G string, or the Wachet Auf chorale prelude) and Wendy Carlos's 1968 Switched-On Bach, which used the Moog electronic synthesiser. Jazz musicians have adopted Bach's music, with Jacques Loussier, Ian Anderson, Uri Caine and the Modern Jazz Quartet among those creating jazz versions of Bach works.[90]
See also
List of fugal works by Johann Sebastian Bach
List of transcriptions of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach
List of students of Johann Sebastian Bach

References
1. German pronunciation: [joˈhan] or [ˈjoːhan zeˈbastjan ˈbax]
1. ^ a b Christoph Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 2000), 19.
2. ^ a b Wolff, Christoph (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 46. ISBN 0-393-04825-X.
3. ^ a b "BACH Mass in B Minor BWV 232" 
. www.baroquemusic.org. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
4. ^ a b Russell H. Miles, Johann Sebastian Bach: An Introduction to His Life and Works (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962), 86–87.
5. ^ a b Breitenfeld, Tomislav; Solter, Vesna Vargek; Breitenfeld, Darko; Zavoreo, Iris; Demarin, Vida (3 Jan. 2006). "Johann Sebastian Bach's Strokes" 
(PDF). Acta Clinica Croatica (Sisters of Charity Hospital) 45 (1). Retrieved 20 May 2008.
6. ^ a b Baer, Ka. (1956). "Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) in medical history". Bulletin of the Medical Library Association (Medical Library Association) 39 (206).
7. ^ a b Breitenfeld, D.; Thaller V, Breitenfeld T, Golik-Gruber V, Pogorevc T, Zoričić Z, Grubišić F (2000). "The pathography of Bach's family". Alcoholism 36: 161–64.
8. Blanning, T. C. W.The triumph of music: the rise of composers, musicians and their art 
, 272: "And of course the greatest master of harmony and counterpoint of all time was Johann Sebastian Bach, 'the Homer of music'
9. Jones, Richard (2007). The Creative Development of Johann Sebastian Bach. Oxford University Press. p. 3. ISBN 0-19-816440-8.
1. "Lesson Plans" 
. Bach to School. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
1. Malcolm Boyd, Bach (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 6
2. Printed in translation in The Bach Reader (ISBN 0-393-00259-4)
3. Malcolm Boyd, Bach (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 7–8.
4. Mendel et al (1998), 299
5. Wolff, Christoph (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 45. ISBN 0-393-04825-X.
1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Johann Sebastian Bach: a detailed informative biography" 
. baroquemusic.org. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
1. Wolff, Christoph (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 41–43. ISBN 0-393-04825-X.
2. Karl Geiringer, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Culmination of an Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 13.
3. Rich, Alan (1995). Johann Sebastian Bach: Play by Play. Harper Collins. p. 27. ISBN 0-06-263547-6.
4. Jan Chiapusso, Bach’s World (Scarborough, Ontario: Indiana University Press, 1968), 62.
1. "Classical Net – Basic Repertoire List – Buxtehude" 
. Classical.net. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
1. Teri Noel Towe, The Portrait in Erfurt Alleged to Depict Bach, the Weimar Concertmeister, August 10 2001, published on The Face of Bach website, now defunct, but available at the Internet Archive at this 
link (from July 2011)
1. "Baroque Music – Part One" 
. San Diego State University. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
1. Jan Chiapusso, Bach’s World (Scarborough, Ontario: Indiana University Press, 1968), 168.
2. Albert Schweitzer, J. S. Bach: Volume I (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1950), 331.
1. Weimar (II) 1708-1717let.rug.nl
1. Door Julie Anne Sadie: Companion to Baroque Music
1. ^ a b Christoph Wolff (1995). From konzertmeister to thomaskantor: Bach's cantata production 1713–1723 
. p. 17. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
1. John Eliot Gardiner (2010). "Cantatas for Christmas Day / Herderkirche, Weimar" 
. bach-cantatas.com. p. 1. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
1. Mendel 1999, p. 80
2. Russell H. Miles, Johann Sebastian Bach: An Introduction to His Life and Works (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962), 57.
3. Malcolm Boyd, Bach (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 74.
1. Van Til, Marian (2007). George Frideric Handel: A Music Lover's Guide 
. New York, US: WordPower. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-9794785-0-5. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
2. Spaeth, Sigmund (1937). Stories Behine the World's Great Music 
. US: Kessinger Publishing. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-4191133-1-4. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
1. Karl Geiringer, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Culmination of an Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 50.
2. Wolff 1983, pp. 98, 111
3. Russell H. Miles, Johann Sebastian Bach: An Introduction to His Life and Works (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1962), 86–87.
1. Christoph Wolff (1991). Bach: Essays on his Life and Music 
. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
1. Carol Traupman-Carr (2003). "Bach Choir of Bethlehem" 
. Retrieved 20 February 2012.
2. Wolff, Christoph (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 341. ISBN 0-393-04825-X.
3. Gerhard Hertz, Essays on J.S. Bach (Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Research Press, 1985), 187.
4. Jan Chiapusso, Bach’s World (Scarborough, Ontario: Indiana University Press, 1968), 277.
1. "The Art of the Fugue" 
. Pipedreams. American Public Media. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
1. Karl Geiringer, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Culmination of an Era (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966), 256.
2. Hanford, Jan. "J.S. Bach: Timeline of His Life" 
. jsbach.org. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
3. Mendel 1998, p. 188
4. "The World-Famous Organist, Mr. Johann Sebastian Bach, Royal Polish and Electoral Saxon Court Composer, and Music Director in Leipzig," by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach and Johann Friedrich Agricola, from Mendel et al (1998), 299
5. Mendel 1998, pp. 191–97
6. Mendel et al (1998), 297
1. Beethoven: the universal composer. Edmund Morris, 2005, 2 ff "[Bach was] mocked as passé even in his own lifetime."
1. Schenk, Erich (1959). Mozart and his times. Knopf. p. 452
2. Kerst, Friedrich (1904). "Beethoven im eigenen Wort" 
. Die Musik (M. Hesse.) 4: 14–19
3. Geck, Martin. "Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work" 
. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
4. Herbert Kupferberg, Basically Bach: A 300th Birthday Celebration (New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1985), 126.
1. "Robert Johnson and Pablo Casals' Game Changers Turn 70 : NPR" 
. National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
2. "Musicology – Principal Methodologies for Musicological Research – Musical, Historical, Press, and History – JRank Articles" 
. Jrank Science Encyclopedia. jrank.org. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
3. "Biography of Johann Sebastian Bach – PianoParadise" 
. PianoParadise.com. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
4. "Golden Record Music List" 
. NASA. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
5. "About Schmieder (BWV) numbers at the Junior Bach Festival" 
. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
1. "Complete Works\by BWV Number-All" 
. jsbach.org. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
2. "Bach, Johann Sebastian" 
. ClassicalPlus. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
1. "Arnstadt (1703–1707)" 
. Northern Arizona University. Retrieved 19 May 2008.
1. Albert Schweitzer, J. S. Bach: Volume I (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1950), 333.
1. Tomita, Yo. "J. S. Bach: Inventions and Sinfonias" 
. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
2. "English Suites BWV 806-811 – Sheet Music | Musopen" 
. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
1. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "French Suites 1-6" 
. Bach 101. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
2. McComb, Todd M.. "Bach, Partitas, BWV 825-30" 
. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
3. Libbey, Ted. "Gold Standard for Bach's 'Goldberg Variations' : NPR" 
. NPR Music. National Public Radio. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
4. Bratman, David. "Shaham: Bold, Brilliant, All-Bach" 
. San Francisco Classical Voice. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
1. "Baroque Music | About the "Baroque" Period | Music of the Baroque" 
. baroque.org. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
1. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "A compendium of works performed by the Bach Choir" 
. Bach 101. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
2. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "Bach, Master of the Cantata" 
. Bach 101. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
3. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "Cantata BWV 211 "Coffee Cantata"" 
. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
1. Leaver, Robin A. (1999). Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach. Oxford University Press. pp. 430.
1. Peter, Williams (2004). The Life of Bach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 114.
2. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "The Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248" 
. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
1. "The Mass in B Minor, BWV 232" 
. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
1. Wolff, Christoph (2000). Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 166. ISBN 0-393-04825-X.
2. Donington, Robert (1982). Baroque music: style and performance: a handbook 
. New York, NY, 10110: W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 91. ISBN 0-393-30052-8.
1. "Did Bach intend Art of Fugue to be performed?" 
. The Art of the Fugue. American Public Media. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
1. Herl, J.Wars in Early Lutheranism: Choir, Congregation, and Three Centuries of Conflict 
. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004.
1. Leaver, R.A.Luther's Liturgical Music 
. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing, 2007.
1. For example, see Grove, G.The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Vol. 4. New York: Macmillian, 1980. 335.
1. Huizenga, Tom. "A Visitor's Guide to the St. Matthew Passion" 
. NPR Music. National Public Radio. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
2. Traupman-Carr, Carol. "EASTER ORATORIO (Oster-Oratorium) BWV 249" 
. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
1. Schulenberg, David. The Keyboard Works of J.S. Bach 
. CRC Press. pp. 1–2.
1. Newman, Anthony. "Anthony Newman" 
. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
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. Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
1. "Baroque Music" 
. Retrieved 23 February 2012.
• FROM WIKIPEDIA

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Rank #2: Allemande in Am (HWV 478) HANDEL

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George Frideric HANDEL 1685-1759
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Allemande in Am (HWV 478)
George Frideric HANDEL 1685-1759

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Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759)

George Frideric Handel
(from Wikipedia) George Frideric Handel, born in the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti. By Thomas Hudson (1749)
George Frideric Handel Signature
George Frideric Handel (German: Georg Friedrich Händel; pronounced [ˈhɛndəl]) (23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music. He received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) and becoming a naturalised British subject in 1727.[1] By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
Within fifteen years, Handel, a dramatic genius, started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera, but the public came to hear the vocal bravura of the soloists rather than the music. In 1737 he had a physical breakdown, changed direction creatively and addressed the middle class. As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. Handel was only partly successful with his performances of English Oratorio on mythical and biblical themes, but when he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital (1750) the critique ended. The pathos of Handel's oratorios is an ethical one. They are hallowed not by liturgical dignity but by the moral ideals of humanity.[2] Almost blind, and having lived in England for almost fifty years, he died a respected and rich man.
Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining popular. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and original instrumentation, interest in Handel's operas has grown. His operas contain remarkable human characterisation—especially for a composer not known for his love affairs.

Early years
Handel's baptismal registration (Marienbibliothek in Halle)
Handel was born in 1685 in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, to Georg Händel and Dorothea Taust.[3] His father, 63 when his son was born, was an eminent barber-surgeon who served to the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg.[4] According to Handel's first biographer, John Mainwaring, he "had discovered such a strong propensity to Music, that his father who always intended him for the study of the Civil Law, had reason to be alarmed. He strictly forbade him to meddle with any musical instrument but Handel found means to get a little clavichord privately convey'd to a room at the top of the house. To this room he constantly stole when the family was asleep".[5] At an early age Handel became a skillful performer on the harpsichord and pipe organ.[6]
Händel-Haus (2009) – birthplace of George Frideric Handel
Entrance of Teatro del Cocomero in Florence
Handel and his father travelled to Weissenfels to visit either Handel's half-brother, Carl, or nephew, Georg Christian,[7] who was serving as valet to Duke Johann Adolf I.[8] Handel and the duke convinced his father to allow him to take lessons in musical composition and keyboard technique from Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, the organist of the Lutheran Marienkirche. He learned about harmony and contemporary styles, analysed sheet music scores, learned to work fugue subjects, and to copy music. In 1698 Handel played for Frederick I of Prussia and met Giovanni Battista Bononcini in Berlin.
From Halle to Italy
The Hamburg Opera am Gänsemarkt in 1726
In 1702, following his father's wishes, Handel started studying law under Christian Thomasius at the University of Halle;[9] and also earned an appointment for one year as the organist in the former cathedral, by then an evangelical reformed church. Handel seems to have been unsatisfied and in 1703, he accepted a position as violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the Hamburg Oper am Gänsemarkt.[10] There he met the composers Johann Mattheson, Christoph Graupner and Reinhard Keiser. His first two operas, Almira and Nero, were produced in 1705.[11] He produced two other operas, Daphne and Florindo, in 1708. It is unclear whether Handel directed these performances.
According to Mainwaring, in 1706 Handel travelled to Italy at the invitation of Ferdinando de' Medici, but Mainwaring must have been confused. It was Gian Gastone de' Medici, whom Handel had met in 1703–1704 in Hamburg.[12] Ferdinando tried to make Florence Italy's musical capital, attracting the leading talents of his day. He had a keen interest in opera. In Italy Handel met librettist Antonio Salvi, with whom he later collaborated. Handel left for Rome and, since opera was (temporarily) banned in the Papal States, composed sacred music for the Roman clergy. His famous Dixit Dominus (1707) is from this era. He also composed cantatas in pastoral style for musical gatherings in the palaces of cardinals Pietro Ottoboni, Benedetto Pamphili and Carlo Colonna. Two oratorios, La Resurrezione and Il Trionfo del Tempo, were produced in a private setting for Ruspoli and Ottoboni in 1709 and 1710, respectively. Rodrigo, his first all-Italian opera, was produced in the Cocomero theatre in Florence in 1707.[13] Agrippina was first produced in 1709 at Teatro San Giovanni Grisostomo, the prettiest theatre at Venice, owned by the Grimanis. The opera, with a libretto by cardinal Vincenzo Grimani, and according to Mainwaring it ran for 27 nights successively. The audience, thunderstruck with the grandeur and sublimity of his style,[14] applauded for Il caro Sassone.
Move to London
George Frideric Handel (left) and King George I on the River Thames, 17 July 1717, by Edouard Jean Conrad Hamman (1819–88).
In 1710, Handel became Kapellmeister to German prince George, Elector of Hanover, who in 1714 would become King George I of Great Britain.[15] He visited Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici and her husband in Düsseldorf on his way to London in 1710. With his opera Rinaldo, based on La Gerusalemme Liberata by the Italian poet Torquato Tasso, Handel enjoyed great success, although it was composed quickly, with many borrowings from his older Italian works.[16] This work contains one of Handel's favourite arias, Cara sposa, amante cara, and the famous Lascia ch'io pianga.
In 1712, Handel decided to settle permanently in England. He received a yearly income of £200 from Queen Anne after composing for her the Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate, first performed in 1713.[17][18]
One of his most important patrons was the young and wealthy Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington.[19] For him Handel wrote Amadigi di Gaula, a magical opera, about a damsel in distress, based on the tragedy by Antoine Houdar de la Motte.
The conception of an opera as a coherent structure was slow to capture Handel's imagination[20] and he renounced it for five years. In July 1717 Handel's Water Music was performed more than three times on the Thames for the King and his guests. It is said the compositions spurred reconciliation between the King and Handel.[21]
Cannons (1717–18)
Main article: Handel at Cannons
The Chandos portrait. The 1st Duke of Chandos was an important patron for Handel.
In 1717 Handel became house composer at Cannons in Middlesex, where he laid the cornerstone for his future choral compositions in the twelve Chandos Anthems.[22] Romain Rolland stated that these anthems were as important for his oratorios as the cantatas were for his operas.[23] Another work he wrote for the Duke of Chandos, the owner of Cannons, was Acis and Galatea: during Handel's lifetime it was his most performed work. Winton Dean wrote, "the music catches breath and disturbs the memory".[24]
In 1719 the Duke of Chandos became one of the main subscribers to Handel's new opera company, the Royal Academy of Music, but his patronage of music declined after he lost money in the South Sea bubble, which burst in 1720 in one of history's greatest financial cataclysms. Handel himself invested in South Sea stock in 1716, when prices were low[25] and sold before 1720.[26]
Royal Academy of Music (1719–34)
Main article: Royal Academy of Music (company)
Handel House at 25 Brook Street, Mayfair, London
In May 1719 Lord Chamberlain Thomas Holles, the Duke of Newcastle ordered Handel to look for new singers.[27] Handel travelled to Dresden to attend the newly built opera. He saw Teofane by Antonio Lotti, and engaged the cast for the Royal Academy of Music, founded by a group of aristocrats to assure themselves a constant supply of baroque opera or opera seria. Handel may have invited John Smith, his fellow student in Halle, and his son Johann Christoph Schmidt, to become his secretary and amanuensis.[28] By 1723 he had moved into a Georgian house at 25 Brook Street, which he rented for the rest of his life.[29] This house, where he rehearsed, copied music and sold tickets, is now the Handel House Museum.[30] During twelve months between 1724 and 1725, Handel wrote three outstanding and successful operas, Giulio Cesare, Tamerlano and Rodelinda. Handel's operas are filled with da capo arias, such as Svegliatevi nel core. After composing Silete venti, he concentrated on opera and stopped writing cantatas. Scipio, from which the regimental slow march of the British Grenadier Guards is derived,[31] was performed as a stopgap, waiting for the arrival of Faustina Bordoni.
In 1727 Handel was commissioned to write four anthems for the coronation ceremony of King George II. One of these, Zadok the Priest, has been played at every British coronation ceremony since.[32] In 1728 John Gay's The Beggar's Opera premiered at Lincoln's Inn Fields Theatre and ran for 62 consecutive performances, the longest run in theatre history up to that time.[citation needed] After nine years Handel's contract was ended but he soon started a new company.
The Queen's Theatre at the Haymarket (now Her Majesty's Theatre), established in 1705 by architect and playwright John Vanbrugh, quickly became an opera house.[33] Between 1711 and 1739, more than 25 of Handel's operas premièred there.[34] In 1729 Handel became joint manager of the Theatre with John James Heidegger.
A musical portrait of Frederick, Prince of Wales and his sisters by Philip Mercier, dated 1733, using Kew Palace as its plein-air backdrop
The Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket in London by William Capon
Handel travelled to Italy to engage seven new singers. He composed seven more operas, but the public came to hear the singers rather than the music.[35] After two commercially successful English oratorios Esther and Deborah, he was able to invest again in the South Sea Company. Handel reworked his Acis and Galatea which then became his most successful work ever. Handel failed to compete with the Opera of the Nobility, who engaged musicians such as Johann Adolf Hasse, Nicolo Porpora and the famous castrato Farinelli. The strong support by Frederick, Prince of Wales caused conflicts in the royal family. In March 1734 Handel directed a wedding anthem This is the day which the Lord hath made, and a serenata Parnasso in Festa for Anne of Hanover.[36]
Opera at Covent Garden (1734–41)
In 1733 the Earl of Essex received a letter with the following sentence: "Handel became so arbitrary a prince, that the Town murmurs". The board of chief investors expected Handel to retire when his contract ended, but Handel immediately looked for another theatre. In cooperation with John Rich he started his third company at Covent Garden Theatre. Rich was renowned for his spectacular productions. He suggested Handel use his small chorus and introduce the dancing of Marie Sallé, for whom Handel composed Terpsichore. In 1735 he introduced organ concertos between the acts. For the first time Handel allowed Gioacchino Conti, who had no time to learn his part, to substitute arias.[37] Financially, Ariodante was a failure, although he introduced ballet suites at the end of each act.[38] Alcina, his last opera with a magic content, and Alexander's Feast or the Power of Music based on John Dryden's Alexander's Feast starred Anna Maria Strada del Pò and John Beard.
In April 1737, at age 52, Handel apparently suffered a stroke which disabled the use of four fingers on his right hand, preventing him from performing.[39] In summer the disorder seemed at times to affect his understanding. Nobody expected that Handel would ever be able to perform again. But whether the affliction was rheumatism, a stroke or a nervous breakdown, he recovered remarkably quickly .[40] To aid his recovery, Handel had travelled to Aachen, a spa in Germany. During six weeks he took long hot baths, and ended up playing the organ for a surprised audience.[41]
Deidamia, his last and only baroque opera without an accompagnato, was performed three times in 1741. Handel gave up the opera business, while he enjoyed more success with his English oratorios.[citation needed]
Oratorio
Further information: List of Handel's Oratorios
Handel by Philip Mercier
Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, an allegory, Handel's first oratorio[42] was composed in Italy in 1707, followed by La Resurrezione in 1708 which uses material from the Bible. The circumstances of Esther and its first performance, possibly in 1718, are obscure.[43] Another 12 years had passed when an act of piracy caused him to take up Esther once again.[44] Three earlier performances aroused such interest that they naturally prompted the idea of introducing it to a larger public. Next came Deborah, strongly coloured by the Anthems[45] and Athaliah, his first English Oratorio.[46] In these three oratorios Handel laid foundation for the traditional use of the chorus which marks his later oratorios.[47] Handel became sure of himself, broader in his presentation, and more diverse in his composition.[48]
It is evident how much he learnt from Arcangelo Corelli about writing for instruments, and from Alessandro Scarlatti about writing for the solo voice; but there is no single composer who taught him how to write for chorus.[49] Handel tended more and more to replace Italian soloists by English ones. The most significant reason for this change was the dwindling financial returns from his operas.[50] Thus a tradition was created for oratorios which was to govern their future performance. The performances were given without costumes and action; the performers appeared in a black suit.[51]
Caricature of Handel by Joseph Goupy (1754)
In 1736 Handel produced Alexander's Feast. John Beard appeared for the first time as one of Handel's principal singers and became Handel's permanent tenor soloist for the rest of Handel's life.[52] The piece was a great success and it encouraged Handel to make the transition from writing Italian operas to English choral works. In Saul, Handel was collaborating with Charles Jennens and experimenting with three trombones, a carillon and extra-large military kettledrums (from the Tower of London), to be sure "...it will be most excessive noisy".[53] Saul and Israel in Egypt both from 1739 head the list of great, mature oratorios, in which the da capo and dal segno aria became the exception and not the rule.[54] Israel in Egypt consists of little else but choruses, borrowing from the Funeral Anthem for Queen Caroline. In his next works Handel changed his course. In these works he laid greater stress on the effects of orchestra and soloists; the chorus retired into the background.[55] L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato has a rather diverting character; the work is light and fresh.
During the summer of 1741, the 3rd Duke of Devonshire invited Handel to Dublin to give concerts for the benefit of local hospitals.[56] His Messiah was first performed at the New Music Hall in Fishamble Street, on 13 April 1742, with 26 boys and five men from the combined choirs of St Patrick's and Christ Church cathedrals participating.[57] Handel secured a balance between soloists and chorus which he never surpassed.
The use of English soloists reached its height at the first performance of Samson. The work is highly theatrical. The role of the chorus became increasingly import in his later oratorios. Jephtha was first performed on 26 February 1752; even though it was his last oratorio, it was no less a masterpiece than his earlier works.[58]
Later years
George Frideric Handel in 1733, by Balthasar Denner (1685–1749)
In 1749 Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks; 12,000 people attended the first performance.[59] In 1750 he arranged a performance of Messiah to benefit the Foundling Hospital. The performance was considered a great success and was followed by annual concerts that continued throughout his life. In recognition of his patronage, Handel was made a governor of the Hospital the day after his initial concert. He bequeathed a copy of Messiah to the institution upon his death.[60] His involvement with the Foundling Hospital is today commemorated with a permanent exhibition in London's Foundling Museum, which also holds the Gerald Coke Handel Collection. In addition to the Foundling Hospital, Handel also gave to a charity that assisted impoverished musicians and their families.
In August 1750, on a journey back from Germany to London, Handel was seriously injured in a carriage accident between The Hague and Haarlem in the Netherlands.[61] In 1751 one eye started to fail. The cause was a cataract which was operated on by the great charlatan Chevalier Taylor. This led to uveitis and subsequent loss of vision. He died eight years later in 1759 at home in Brook Street, at age 74. The last performance he attended was of Messiah. Handel was buried in Westminster Abbey.[62] More than three thousand mourners attended his funeral, which was given full state honours.
Handel never married, and kept his personal life private. His initial will bequeathed the bulk of his estate to his niece Johanna. However four codicils distributed much of his estate to other relations, servants, friends and charities.[63]
Handel owned an art collection that was auctioned posthumously in 1760.[64] The auction catalogue listed approximately seventy paintings and ten prints (other paintings were bequeathed).[64]
Works
Senesino, the famous castrato from Siena
Main articles: List of compositions by George Frideric Handel and List of operas by Handel.
Handel's compositions include 42 operas, 29 oratorios, more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets, numerous arias, chamber music, a large number of ecumenical pieces, odes and serenatas, and 16 organ concerti. His most famous work, the oratorio Messiah with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become the centrepiece of the Christmas season. Among the works with opus numbers published and popularised in his lifetime are the Organ Concertos Op.4 and Op.7, together with the Opus 3 and Opus 6 concerti grossi; the latter incorporate an earlier organ concerto The Cuckoo and the Nightingale in which birdsong is imitated in the upper registers of the organ. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.
Handel introduced previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornetts (Tamerlano), theorbo, horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).[65]
Handel's works have been catalogued in the Händel-Werke-Verzeichnis and are commonly referred to by an HWV number. For example, Messiah is catalogued as HWV 56.
Legacy
A Masquerade at the King's Theatre, Haymarket (c. 1724)
Handel's works were collected and preserved by two men in particular: Sir Samuel Hellier, a country squire whose musical acquisitions form the nucleus of the Shaw-Hellier Collection,[66] and abolitionist Granville Sharp. The catalogue accompanying the National Portrait Gallery exhibition marking the tercentenary of the composer's birth calls them two men of the late eighteenth century "who have left us solid evidence of the means by which they indulged their enthusiasm".[67]
After his death, Handel's Italian operas fell into obscurity, except for selections such as the aria from Serse, "Ombra mai fù". The oratorios continued to be performed but not long after Handel's death they were thought to need some modernisation, and Mozart orchestrated a German version of Messiah and other works. Throughout the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, particularly in the Anglophone countries, his reputation rested primarily on his English oratorios, which were customarily performed by enormous choruses of amateur singers on solemn occasions.
Since the Early Music Revival many of the forty-two operas he wrote have been performed in opera houses and concert halls.
Handel's music was studied by composers such as Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
Recent decades have revived his secular cantatas and what one might call 'secular oratorios' or 'concert operas'. Of the former, Ode for St. Cecilia's Day (1739) (set to texts by John Dryden) and Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne (1713) are noteworthy. For his secular oratorios, Handel turned to classical mythology for subjects, producing such works as Acis and Galatea (1719), Hercules (1745) and Semele (1744). These works have a close kinship with the sacred oratorios, particularly in the vocal writing for the English-language texts. They also share the lyrical and dramatic qualities of Handel's Italian operas. As such, they are sometimes performed onstage by small chamber ensembles. With the rediscovery of his theatrical works, Handel, in addition to his renown as instrumentalist, orchestral writer, and melodist, is now perceived as being one of opera's great musical dramatists.
A carved marble statue of Handel, created for the Vauxhall Gardens in 1738 by Louis-François Roubiliac, and now preserved in the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Handel's work was edited by Samuel Arnold (40 vols., London, 1787–1797), and by Friedrich Chrysander, for the German Händel-Gesellschaft (105 vols., Leipzig, 1858–1902).
Handel adopted the spelling "George Frideric Handel" on his naturalisation as a British subject, and this spelling is generally used in English-speaking countries. The original form of his name, Georg Friedrich Händel, is generally used in Germany and elsewhere, but he is known as "Haendel" in France. Another composer with a similar name, Handl or Händl, was an Austrian from Carniola and is more commonly known as Jacobus Gallus.
Musician's musician
Handel has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers, both in his own time and since.[68] Bach attempted, unsuccessfully, to meet with Handel while he was visiting Halle.[69] Mozart is reputed to have said of him, "Handel understands affect better than any of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt."[70] To Beethoven he was "the master of us all... the greatest composer that ever lived. I would uncover my head and kneel before his tomb".[70] Beethoven emphasised above all the simplicity and popular appeal of Handel's music when he said, "Go to him to learn how to achieve great effects, by such simple means".
Homages
Handel Commemoration in Westminster Abbey, 1784
After Handel's death, many composers wrote works based on or inspired by his music. The first movement from Louis Spohr's Symphony No. 6, Op. 116, "The Age of Bach and Handel", resembles two melodies from Handel's Messiah. In 1797 Ludwig van Beethoven published the 12 Variations in G major on ‘See the conqu’ring hero comes’ from Judas Maccabaeus by Handel, for cello and piano. Guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani composed his Variations on a Theme by Handel, Op. 107 for guitar, based on Handel's Suite No. 5 in E major, HWV 430, for harpsichord. In 1861, using a theme from the second of Handel's harpsichord suites, Johannes Brahms wrote the Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel, Op. 24, one of his most successful works (praised by Richard Wagner). Several works by the French composer Félix-Alexandre Guilmant use Handel's themes, for example his March on a Theme by Handel uses a theme from Messiah. French composer and flautist Philippe Gaubert wrote his Petite marche for flute and piano based on the fourth movement of Handel's Trio Sonata, Op. 5, No. 2, HWV 397. Argentine composer Luis Gianneo composed his Variations on a Theme by Handel for piano. In 1911, Australian-born composer and pianist Percy Grainger based one of his most famous works on the final movement of Handel's Suite No. 5 in E major (just like Giuliani). He first wrote some variations on the theme, which he titled Variations on Handel's ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’ . Then he used the first sixteen bars of his set of variations to create Handel in the Strand, one of his most beloved pieces, of which he made several versions (for example, the piano solo version from 1930). Arnold Schoenberg's Concerto for String Quartet and Orchestra in B flat major (1933) was composed after Handel's Concerto Grosso, Op. 6/7.
Veneration
Handel is honored together with Johann Sebastian Bach and Henry Purcell with a feast day on the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on 28 July.
He is commemorated as a musician in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church on 28 July, with Johann Sebastian Bach and Heinrich Schütz.
He is commemorated as a musician along with Johann Sebastian Bach on 28 July by The Order of Saint Luke in their calendar of saints prepared for the use of The United Methodist Church.
Editions
Between 1787 and 1797 Samuel Arnold compiled a 180-volume collection of Handel's works—however it was far from complete.[72] Also incomplete was the collection produced between 1843 and 1858 by the English Handel Society (found by Sir George Macfarren).[73]
The 105-volume Händel-Gesellschaft edition was published in the mid 19th century and was mainly edited by Friedrich Chrysander (often working alone in his home). For modern performance, the realisation of the basso continuo reflects 19th century practice. Vocal scores drawn from the edition were published by Novello in London, but some scores, such as the vocal score to Samson are incomplete.
The still-incomplete Hallische Händel-Ausgabe started to appear in 1956 (named for Halle in Saxony-Anhalt Eastern Germany, not the Netherlands). It did not start as a critical edition, but after heavy criticism of the first volumes, which were performing editions without a critical apparatus (for example, the opera Serse was published with the title character recast as a tenor reflecting pre-war German practice), it repositioned itself as a critical edition. Influenced in part by cold-war realities, editorial work was inconsistent: misprints are found in abundance and editors failed to consult important sources. In 1985 a committee was formed to establish better standards for the edition.
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Jul 30 2012

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Rank #3: Allegro in F -Mozart piano sonata 1 , 3rd movement

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Allegro in F -Mozart piano sonata 1 , 3rd movement
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Mozart circa 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.),[1] baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart[2] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.
Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate. His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."[3]
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Jul 30 2012

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Rank #4: Sonata 1 Mozart K300 1st movement

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Our version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's
Sonata 1  Mozart K300 1st movement
blessings,
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Mozart circa 1780, detail from portrait by Johann Nepomuk della Croce.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (German: [ˈvɔlfɡaŋ amaˈdeus ˈmoːtsaʁt], English see fn.),[1] baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart[2] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood in Salzburg. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. At 17, he was engaged as a court musician in Salzburg, but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position, always composing abundantly. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death. The circumstances of his early death have been much mythologized. He was survived by his wife Constanze and two sons.
Mozart learned voraciously from others, and developed a brilliance and maturity of style that encompassed the light and graceful along with the dark and passionate. His influence on subsequent Western art music is profound. Beethoven wrote his own early compositions in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years."[3]
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Jul 28 2012

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Rank #5: Nocturne in Gm - Chopin  Op.15 , no.3 

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The Nocturnes, Op. 15 are a set of three nocturnes written by Frédéric Chopin between 1830 and 1833. The work was published in January 1834, and was dedicated to Ferdinand Hiller.[1] The third nocturne of the set, in G minor, is one of Chopin's most famous. Its playability has made it a favourite amongst students and masters alike.
Frédéric Chopin 

Frédéric François Chopin ( /ˈʃoʊpæn/; French pronunciation: [fʁe.de.ʁik ʃɔ.pɛ̃]; Polish: Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, also phonetically Szopen;[1] 22 February or 1 March 1810[2] – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of French-Polish parentage. He is considered one of the great masters of Romantic music.[3] Chopin was born in Żelazowa Wola, a village in the Duchy of Warsaw. A renowned child-prodigy pianist and composer, Chopin grew up in Warsaw and completed his music education there; he composed many mature works in Warsaw before leaving Poland in 1830 at age 20, shortly before the November 1830 Uprising.
Following the Russian suppression of the Uprising, he settled in Paris as part of Poland's Great Emigration. During the remaining 19 years of his life, Chopin gave only some 30 public performances, preferring the more intimate atmosphere of the salon; he supported himself by sales of his compositions and as a piano teacher. After some romantic dalliances with Polish women, including an abortive engagement, from 1837 to 1847 he carried on a relationship with the French writer Amantine Dupin. For most of his life, Chopin suffered from poor health; he died in Paris in 1849 at age 39.
The vast majority of Chopin's works are for solo piano, though he also wrote two piano concertos, a few chamber pieces and some songs to Polish texts. His piano works are often technically demanding, with an emphasis on nuance and expressive depth. Chopin invented the instrumental ballade and made major innovations to the piano sonata, mazurka, waltz, nocturne, polonaise, étude, impromptu, scherzo and prélude. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Jul 28 2012

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