Bach, J.S. / Heissen - Beat Bach | RECORD STORE DAY
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There is a wealth of legends about great composers and famous musicians, among them examples of musical duels such as that between the young Georg Friedrich Händel and Domenico Scarlatti in Rome in 1709 or Wolfgang Amadéus Mozart and Muzio Clementi in Vienna in 1781. The contenders were expected to rival one another in the art of improvisation or display their musical skills in an appropriate manner. The present program relates to a keyboard competition between the two keyboard virtuosos and composers Johann Sebastian Bach and Louis Marchand, which was apparently to have taken place in Dresden in 1717. Several sources mention this planned challenge, even if all of them originate in the German-speaking territories. A total of 21 texts dated between 1739 and 1802 mention the proposed encounter between Bach and Marchand. However, all these surviving sources are to be approached with caution and many of them are undoubtedly intended as glorification of Bach, asserting his superiority over his French challenger. The starting-point and prime source of this story is Johann Sebastian Bach in person