Works of the Titans Bach and Haydn

Johann Sebastian Bach and Franz Joseph Haydn were two composers who defined their respective Baroque and Classical periods. Bach was a master at perfecting existing styles and integrating foreign influences from France and Italy. Haydn’s contributions to the symphony and the string quarter led him to be called the “Father” of those two genres. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major and Haydn’s Symphony No. 95 in C Minor, though written over 60 years apart and of different genres, share many similarities, such as their forms and dance-like style, but also differences in the feelings elicited and use of inversion.
Johann Sebastian Bach, the German composer, organist, violinist, and violist, is now regarded by many as the towering composer of the Baroque period. Indeed, Bach’s death in 1750 coincides with the end of the Baroque period. Interestingly enough however, this view was not held during his own lifetime, being more known as an virtuoso organist, and it was not until a revival of his works in the early 19th century did he attain this reigning status posthumously. Though Bach did not develop any new forms, he refined the German style through an unparalleled mastery of harmonies and motifs, as well as integrating Italian and French styles.
J.S. Bach’s Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D Major, Movement II, Air, is likely hismost famous melody. Indeed, it is also considered the crème de la crème of Baroque music, one of the most well known examples in the world. At the time, suites like this used French titles and followed French models, as the French had the foremost mastery of dance and ballet, and German courts were modeled after that of Louis XIV at Versailles. Bach wrote No. 3 in the midst of the late Baroque period in 1730, for the Collegium Musicum of the University of Leipzig – Leipzig being the town where he spent the rest of his life ascantor and director. Performed and utilized on many occasions, from period dramas and movies to galas and other formal...