14.05.2020 to 18.10.2020 | Exhibition

Bach and Beethoven: True art remains eternal

Today Beethoven and Bach are among the most famous composers worldwide, but how did it come about? The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, founded in Leipzig in 1798, provided the decisive basis for this. The exhibition illuminates Leipzig's musical life in the early 19th century and the mutually dependent canonisation of Bach and Beethoven as classics of music. Visitors also learn how the music of Johann Sebastian Bach influenced Beethoven's work.

"True art remains eternal" (Beethoven)

Today Beethoven and Bach are among the most famous composers worldwide. But how did it come about that these very composers and their works became "classics"? Decisive preconditions were provided by a Leipzig music journal: the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (AMZ), founded in 1798. Beethoven's music was initially considered incomprehensible, radical and disturbing by his contemporaries. The AMZ provided its readers throughout the German-speaking world with deep insights into Beethoven's work and promoted understanding of his music. Various essays reinterpreted the 18th century musical history dominated by opera as a history of instrumental music, with Bach as its beginning and Beethoven as its goal. For the first time a "canon of classical masterpieces" was established, in which Haydn and Mozart also found their place.

The exhibition illustrates the canonisation of Bach and Beethoven as classics of music using the example of the music city of Leipzig in the early 19th century. It also makes the influence of Bach's music in Beethoven's compositions tangible. Autograph letters and music manuscripts by Ludwig van Beethoven as well as the original contract with the publishing house Breitkopf & Härtel document Beethoven's relationship to Leipzig and the work of the famous Thomaskantor. Early music editions of Bach and Beethoven, magazines, concert programs of the Gewandhaus, examination protocols of the conservatory, graphics and portraits as well as a pianino from 1837 illuminate the rich musical life of the Leipzig bourgeoisie. Numerous listening examples make music and stories sound.


Bach-Museum Leipzig
Thomaskirchhof 15/16
04109 Leipzig

Admission prices

8 € / reduced: 6 €
Children and teenagers under 16 years: free

Ticket information

Bach Museum Leipzig
Thomaskirchhof 15/16
04109 Leipzig
Phone +49-(0)341-9137.202


Click on the button below, to load the content

Show content

# # #