Johann Christian Bach

Our old friend, David Fielding, the opera director, came to supper tonight and told us about Johann Christian Bach, who arrived in London in 1762, composed a number of operas, including Carattaco, now seldom performed, became music master to Queen Charlotte, and made friends with Karl Friedrich Abel, with whom he shared lodgings in Meard Street.   They organised subscription concerts on Wednesday afternoons in Carlisle House and later in Hanover Square.   Abel was a friend of Gainsborough, who swapped a painting of a Pomeranian bitch and puppy (now in the Tate) for lessons on the viola da gamba.   When Abel died of the drink in 1787, Gainsborough wrote how he would ‘never cease looking up to heaven…In hopes of getting one more glimpse of the man I loved from the moment I heard him touch the string’.

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One thought on “Johann Christian Bach

  1. Paul Boucher says:

    Dear JC Bach – the first to perform publicly on the newly arrived fortepiano (made by yet another German émigré, Zumpe) – in 1768, which at that time was little more than a square wooden box.. His operas, and his music in general, are largely overlooked and in enormous contrast to his older brother Carl Philip Emmanuel (300 years old this year). He seems to have had a very close, enduring friendship with Abel.

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