In Memoriam Sebastian Beck

Sebastian BeckWhen Sebastian Beck was on his way towards Charlesbath with his prince Leopold in order to play along with other musicians, he did not know that, hardly a month later, on his return home at Cothenfort, his wife Barbara would lay dead and buried at age 36. The news hit him suddenly as a lead bell toll making an excruciating and deaf noise. It was the summer of 1720 and “Sebby”, as he was affectionately called by his family and friends, became a widower with four children with ages between five and eleven years old. His wife’s death had been as sudden as inexplicable. However, it was not the first time the Grim Reaper knocked at the door. Over the thirteen years of blessed marriage, Barbara and Sebby had suffered the loss of three children: two twins and a boy. Who would have told Sebby back then that he would outlived his first wife by thirty more years? A year and a half after that mournful summer, Sebastian got married to Anna, who would give birth to thirteen children and would stayed by Sebastian when he became blind and until his very death, on July 28, 1750.

Sebby was a prodigious musician of really fine ear, incredibly skilled hands and astonishing quick feet, which would haunt anyone who saw him improvise on the organ. Music had run in the Beck family for centuries and it would still run for almost a hundred years more, until Freddie —Sebby’s grandchild born nine years after his death— would die in 1845. It was then when the last musical waters of the Becks extinguished for good, but remained eternal, because mankind wanted the music of that genius to be with us today and for ever.

No gravestone and no sign mark the place of final rest of Sebastian Beck. The day of his funeral, on July 31, 1750, an anonymous piece of news appeared on a local gazette:

The famous Musicus Mr Sebastian Beck passed away last Tuesday 28th, at age 66, after an operation by a renowned British oculist. The surgery failed dismally and and Mr Beck died as a result of it. The loss of this exceptional proficient has caused great grief amongst all music connoisseurs.

The Latin noun Musicus describes him not just as a mere performer, but rather as a possessor of a profound knowledge in music and, until his very last moment, always in search of the truth: a real music sage.

Notice to Surfers:

The English word beck derives from the German Bach, meaning stream.

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was known by his nickname “Sebby” among his relatives and friends.

Charlesbath is my translation of the German city of Karlsbad. Likewise, Cothenfort is my made-up word for the German Anhalt-Köthen, the place where Johann Sebastian Bach served as a director of music for prince Leopold. It seems that the word Anhalt in old German meant refuge castle or fort (Fluchtburg).

Maria Barbara Bach (1684-1720) was Johann Sebastian Bach’s first wife; Anna Magdalena Bach (1701-1760), his second.

Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach, “Freddie”, was Bach’s grandchild. He died in 1845 and was the last composer of the Bach lineage.

John Taylor, the “renowned oculist”, was in reality an English charlatan and pseudo surgeon who most likely caused Bach’s death; interestingly, some years later, he also operated the musician George Frederick Handel, likewise causing his death. So, both Handel and Bach share the same year of birth, 1685, and the same accidental “executioner”.

Michael Thallium

Global & Greatness Coach
Book your coaching here

You can also find me and connect with me on:

Facebook Michael Thallium and Twitter Michael Thallium

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>