Move to Frankfurt (Oder) (1734–1738)

Going His Own Way – Stations in Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s Life

The city of Frankfurt (Oder), engraving by Matthäus Merian (1636). (Source: Leipzig, Bach-Archiv Leipzig, Graph. Slg. 11/36)In 1733, the 19-year-old applied for the position of organist at St. Wenzel’s Chuch in Naumburg – but to no avail. In 1734, two years after the birth of his half-brother Johann Christoph Friedrich (the later so-called “Bückeburg Bach”), he left Leipzig, changed universities and moved to Frankfurt (Oder). He now regularly gave cembalo lessons, and throughout the following four years he wrote several compositions, including concertos, chamber music and more than fifteen sonatas. Besides these works, Carl Philipp Emanuel also performed his father’s compositions – including the Coffee-Cantata (BWV 211) and the Concerto in D minor (BWV 1052).


Johann Friedrich Nagel (1765–1825), Frankfurt with the monument for Prince Leopold of Braunschweig (c. 1790). (Source: Museum Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder), V/K1- 781).

» Next: At the Prussian Court: Potsdam und Berlin (1738–1768)