A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Birth icon
March 8, 1714: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach is born in Weimar in the Duchy of Saxe-Weimar, the fifth of seven children born to Johann Sebastian Bach (28), Konzertmeister to Duke Wilhelm Ernst, and Maria Barbara Bach, daughter of a musician.  Johann Sebastian will have 13 children by another marriage.
Event icon
October 1, 1753: Oden mit Melodien is published in Berlin. It is a very influential collection of songs by some of the foremost composers in Germany, including Georg Philipp Telemann (72), Johann Gottlieb Graun (50), Carl Heinrich Graun (49), and CPE Bach (39).
Performance icon
March 26, 1755: Der Tod Jesu, a passion cantata by Karl Heinrich Graun (51) to words of Ramler after Princess Amalia, is performed for the first time, at the Berlin Cathedral. The continuo part is played by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (41). His brother, Johann Christian Bach (19), is in the audience.
Death icon
July 9, 1755: Johann Gottlob Harrer, Cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig and successor to Johann Sebastian Bach (†4), dies. Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (41) will apply for the position, but will not win it.
Event icon
February 1, 1758: Geistliche Oden und Lieder for voice and keyboard by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (43), to words of Gellert, are published in Berlin.
Event icon
November 3, 1767: On the second ballot, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (53) is chosen to succeed his godfather, Georg Philipp Telemann (†0) as musical director for the five principal churches in Hamburg. Bach receives twelve votes, Christian Friedrich Rolle of Magdeburg receives eleven.
Event icon
November 6, 1767: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (53) is officially appointed musical director of the five principal churches in Hamburg. He succeeds Telemann (†0). Bach will not arrive to take up his post until next March.
Event icon
November 13, 1767: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (53) writes to the Hamburg Senate accepting his appointment to the post of musical director of the five major churches in the city.
Event icon
April 2, 1768: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (54) begins duties as director of sacred music in Hamburg on Easter Sunday. He will not be officially inaugurated until 19 April.
Event icon
April 19, 1768: Amid great ceremony in St. Catherine’s Church, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (54) is inaugurated to his post in Hamburg as kantor of the Johanneum and director of music in the five principal churches.
Performance icon
April 28, 1768: In the Drillhaus, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (54) directs the first of many public concerts he will give in Hamburg, often performing on harpsichord and clavichord.
Event icon
October 31, 1768: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (54) gives his first subscription concert in Hamburg.
Performance icon
February 5, 1769: A Saint Matthew Passion by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (54) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Performance icon
November 1, 1769: Die Israeliten in der Wüste, an oratorio by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (55) to words of Schiebeler, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Performance icon
November 7, 1773: Freuet euch, ihr Kinder Zions, an inauguration cantata by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (59) to words of Müller, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Event icon
September 14, 1774: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (60) announces the publication of his oratorio Die Israeliten in der Wüste in the Hamburgischer Unpartheyischer Correspondent .
Event icon
September 28, 1775: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (61) writes to Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia sending him several compositions hoping to have them performed.
Performance icon
December 31, 1775: The first performance of George Frideric Handel’s (†16) Messiah in German takes place in Hamburg, conducted by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (61).
Event icon
September 5, 1776: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (62) writes to Charles Burney, thanking him for sending the first volume of Burney’s A General History of Music.
Performance icon
September 7, 1781: Funeral Music for F. Doormann by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (67) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Event icon
July 12, 1782: Jan Ladislav Dussek (22) gives a concert in Hamburg where he meets Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (68).
Performance icon
April 27, 1783: Amen, Lob und Preis und Stärke, a chorus for Quasimodogeniti by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (69) to words of Sturm, is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Performance icon
December 28, 1783: Morgengesang am Schöpfungsfeste by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (69) to words of Klopstock, is performed publicly for the first time, in Hamburg.
Event icon
April 15, 1785: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (70) sends the manuscript of Clavier-Sonaten und Freye Fantasien nebst einigen Rondos für Fortepiano für Kenner und Liebhaber to his publisher Breitkopf.
Performance icon
January 10, 1786: Funeral Music for A. Schulte by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (71) is performed for the first time, in Hamburg.
Event icon
January 21, 1786: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (71) writes to Johann Joachim Eschenburg about Charles Burney’s Handel (†26) Commemoration, which Eschenburg sent to him. He disagrees with many assertions by Burney and finds Handel wanting in comparison to Johann Adolf Hasse (†2), Carl Heinrich Graun (†26), Reihard Keiser (†46) and his father, Johann Sebastian Bach (†36). He also reports to Eschenburg that “I recently burned a ream and more of old works of mine and am glad that they are no more.” (Wolff, CPE Bach, 214)
Event icon
April 9, 1786: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (72) gives the last of his public (unofficial) concerts in Hamburg, including some movements from J.S. Bach (†35) and Handel (†26) as well as his own Magnificat, Heilig for double choir H778 and a symphony.
Event icon
October 26, 1786: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (72) sends the manuscript of his Clavier Sonaten und Freye Fantasien nebst einigen Rondos fürs Fortepiano für Kenner und Liebhaber... (volume 6) to his publisher Breitkopf.
Event icon
January 9, 1788: The Hamburgischer unpartheyischer Correspondent publishes a review of Johann Nikolaus Forkel’s Allgemeine Geschichte der Musik by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (74).
Event icon
November 25, 1788: Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (74) writes his last extant letter, to Johann Jacob Heinrich Westphal. He mentions that he has been sick for almost two months but that things are getting better.
Death icon
December 14, 1788: 22:00 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach dies of a “chest ailment” (probably tuberculosis) in the Free Imperial City of Hamburg, aged 74 years, nine months and six days.
Event icon
December 19, 1788: The earthly remains of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach are laid to rest in the vault of St. Michael’s Church, Hamburg.
Performance icon
April 14, 1982: I sentimenti di Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach for flute, harp, and strings by Hans Werner Henze (55) is performed for the first time, in Teatro Olimpico, Rome.