I'd like to think that Bach, unlike Handel who probably reveled in his wealth and fame, had no desire to be rich and famous for the sake of it. Only to have a solid and decently paid position that allowed him to feed his family and cater for his musical expenses. I suppose we should be grateful for that, his legacy would not be the same quality had he played for the gallery - which is not to say a bad word about Handel of course
Eh, I don't think Bach wanted to be rich and famous either. I just wonder why he made no real attempt to get his music out there; it's less about fame and money and more about sharing his music with the wider world. I don't believe it was modesty.
Bach's desire was to write church music as he felt that it should be written.
I was taught that he didn't write much religious music when he wasn't required to; he wrote much of the published keyboard music when he had a secular job. I'm not trying to say that he didn't enjoy writing religious music, but I don't think it was his sole driving passion, either. Everyone was religious then, and IMO it doesn't mean much. So many people seem to think that, because Bach was pious, therefore God blessed him with his talent. I find it hard to believe he was more pious than many people with no talent. His comments on the instrumental works might be compared to the unbelievably ass-kissing way he dealt with Frederick the Great.
I've never read a Bach biography aside from Forkel (fairly useless; the edition I read had more footnotes than normal text), but I ordered Wolff last week. Hopefully it will come in soon, along with a collection of Bach documents that I'm looking forward to perusing.
Handel on the other hand was a businessman as well as a composer.
Probably more importantly, Handel had nothing tying him to Germany - no wife or kids. I gather that there were few ways for a man to avoid marriage without losing social status, and in Protestant Germany, the clergy was not one of them. So why not go to London and make a career? It's not as if he had anything better to do, and I gather the opportunities were fewer in Germany.
His oratorios, though on sacred (or at least religious) subjects were written to make money.
As were Bach's, to be sure. That was his job.
(I'm betting some of this post will come off as offensive, so I apologize in advance; I have a tendency to say what's on my mind.)