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Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann

Bach, Wilhelm Friedemann (b Weimar, 1710; d Berlin, 1784). Ger. composer. 2nd child and eldest son of J. S. Bach. Possibly also favourite son, but one who sadly failed to justify parental hopes. First part of The Well-Tempered Clavier was written for his instruction. After Leipzig Univ., became a church org. in Dresden (he was regarded as one of the greatest organists of his day), and comp. many instr. works, such as kbd. concs. and sonatas. In 1746 resigned to become organist of the Liebfrauenkirche at Halle. In 1762 was invited to succeed Graupner at Darmstadt but does not seem to have taken up his duties. Left Halle in 1764. For the last 20 years of his life held no regular post, giving occasional org. recitals in Brunswick, Göttingen, and Berlin, and teaching. Befriended by his father's biographer, J. N. Forkel. Poverty led him to sell several of his father's MSS and also to pass off some of his father's works as his own. In fact his own comps. have character and are today often played.

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