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Johann Friedrich Fasch

Johann Friedrich Fasch was born in 1688, only three years after Johann Sebastian Bach. Fasch, unlike his Baroque colleague, was more a representative of the transitional period into early Classicism. He was a boy soprano in the choirs of Suhl and Weißenfels, and at Kuhnau's invitation he began his studies at the Thomas School in Leipzig, where he struck up friendship with the composer Georg Philipp Telemann. While studying law, he founded a collegium musicum, which was later directed by Bach himself. As the leader of the collegium musicum, Fasch tried his hand at a wide range of genres, while he improved his compositional skills with Christoph Graupner and Gottfried Grünewald. He was violinist in the orchestra of the court of Bayreuth, municipal secretary in Gera and Greiz and Kapellmeister in the court of Lukavec, Bohemia. His orchestra there was highly praised even by Vivaldi. From 1721 until his death in 1758 he was Kapellmeister in Zerbst. His jobs show that his oeuvre consists mainly of church cantatas and festive music. In addition to his 12 cantata cycles and at least 16 masses, he composed four operas, more than ninety overtures and numerous symphonies, concertos and sonatas. None of his works were published in print during his lifetime, and much of his sacred music has been lost, but most of his instrumental works have survived.