Johann S. Bach (1685-1750)
The greatest contrapuntalist who ever lived. Bach’s music is sole-lifting. By balance and craft his art transcends words.
Playing, singing and listening to Bach’s music taught me the importance of studying music properly, taking care with my own counterpoint (the way in which the composer makes melodies combine). It taught me the vitality of refinement, of balancing heart and mind, of respect for one’s materials, of keeping an eye on how local musical development and form interact and of the ways in which symbols can be incorporated into music in magical ways. Bach is a very generous composer. He sometimes builds extended surprises into the endings of his pieces as a final ‘hug’.
Memorable are the Preludes & Fugues, the 2-Part Inventions, the Brandenberg Concertos (dazzling), the St Matthew Passion, the Well-Tempered Clavier, The Cantata BWV 29 and the Art of Fugue. Sublime.