The Weimar years 1708–1717

Bastille des Stadtschlosses Weimar

Bastille des Stadtschlosses Weimar

Bach lived in Weimar for nine years. During these years his church cantatas sounded out for the first time in the “Himmelsburg”, the former chapel of Weimar’s castle. In Weimar, Bach had the reputation for being an organist of unrivalled technique and a composer with a hitherto unrivalled power and boldness of melodic expression. He received requests from every corner of Germany to try out new organs, appoint new organists and of course to work as an organist himself.

In Weimar he was awarded the title of “concertmeister” and assigned a professional orchestra and singers. Bach earned well in Weimar; seven of his children were born here and four were christened in the Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul, including his sons Wilhelm Friedemann and Carl Philipp Emanuel. He also played the organ in the Stadtkirche with his cousin, Johann Gottfried Walter. His contract in Weimar obliged Bach to compose cantatas. The first of these was the cantata “Himmelkönig sei willkommen” from 1714. His famous “Little Organ Book“ also dates from his tenure in Weimar.


Interaktives Panorama der Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul | © Roland Wehking

Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul

Stadtkirche St. Peter und Paul | © Marco Borggreve

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