Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch
Carl Friedrich Christian Fasch (1736–1800) first studied music with his Kapellmeister father, Johann Friedrich Fasch. At the age of 20, on the recommendation of Franz Benda, he was offered a position in Berlin, where he alternated with C. P. E. Bach, his teacher, as official harpsichord accompanist to Frederick the Great. When Bach left for Hamburg in 1767, Fasch became chief accompanist, and in 1774 he took on the management of the Royal Opera. Kirnberger claimed of Fasch’s instrumental skills: “I have never heard Sebastian [Bach]’s music better played than by him, and the music of the Hamburg [C. P. E.] Bach he played even better.” Fasch was a reclusive figure, self-critical, naïve, poor in health and inclined to depression. He had little interest in the circulation, publication or even survival of his own music, frequently destroying earlier compositions; on his deathbed he asked one of his last pupils, Carl Zelter, to burn the contents of his music cabinet. He is mostly known today as the founder of the Berlin Singakademie and for the part he played in reviving the music of J. S. Bach. His surviving compositions are mainly vocal, with a handful of chamber and instrumental pieces.