I am learning more about Frederick the Great — the Prussian warrior king, philosopher & musical aficionado — & one of Bach’s sons

From a column in The Globe and Mail, a newspaper printed in Toronto:

“Old Fritz,” as his adoring people called the Prussian warrior king, fashioned himself as a courtly philosopher in the French mold, preferring to speak French to German and feeling emboldened enough to write a treatise trashing Machiavelli’s reputation. To show off his musical sophistication – and he really wasn’t such a duffer at all – Frederick challenged Bach to compose a little something based on a theme he’d concocted. Or so Frederick said.

Some historians believe that The Musical Offering – an awkward, 21-note-long phrase – came in fact from C.P.E Bach, Bach’s second son who was by then the cocktail pianist at the Prussian court in Potsdam and who was desperate to show his old school papa what modern music should sound like.

Learnin’ something new every single day. I have a passion for such historical factoids.

ajh

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