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Johann Ludwig Krebs on Priory -
appreciated by

'... a performance at once robust and sensitive.'

Complete Organ Works of Johann Ludwig Krebs Volume 4 © 2002 Priory Records Ltd

The father of Johann Ludwig Krebs was himself a musician and had twice-weekly lessons with Bach at Weimar. He was so impressed with his instruction that he sent all three of his sons to be with Bach in Leipzig. The eldest, subject of this admirable Priory venture, was the most gifted. At the age of twenty one he was given a testimonial by Bach : 'I am convinced of having trained in him a man of such parts, and one who has so distinguished himself in respect to the clavier, the violin, and the lute, as well as composition, that he need have no hesitation in letting himself be heard'. In August 1736 Krebs was able to help Bach at the height of his row with the school rector, Johann Ernesti. The rector had appointed, despite Bach's protest at the usurping of his function, an unsuitable boy to be choir prefect. He now threatened with expulsion and a whipping any boy taking the place of his appointee. Bach complained to the Town Council that to his 'great shame and public humiliation, there was not a single pupil, for fear of the threatened penalty, willing to take over the chanting, much less the direction of the motet'. It was then that Krebs came to his rescue. Some say that Bach himself was author of the affectionate pun : 'There had been caught only one crab (Krebs) in the stream (Bach)'.

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Copyright © 5 February 2003 Robert Anderson, London, UK


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