J.S.Bach

Son to Father

Son to Father

If ever a composer showed polyphony in all its great strength, it was surely Bach. Nobody has shown as much as he, in works which normally seem so dry, as much imagination and original thought.

His melodies were indeed unusual, but they were always varied, rich in invention, and they are not at all like those of other composers. His serious temperament drew him primarily towards elaborate music which was grave and profound.

It was only his personal reflections which made him, right from the youth, a composer of pure and powerful fugues.

Carl Philipp Emanuel

A continuous stream of process

A continuous stream of process

Bach is a continuous stream of process, not a punctuated string of big moments. He never gives us exactly what we want; he is continuously pushing us further back from the goalpost: there is a sense in which his music is deeply human, but also a sense in which it refuses to join us on our own ground, and I think that's a valid, if perhaps short-sighted, criticism.

Curtis Lindsay

Bach excels all composers

Bach excels all composers

From about the year 1720, when he was thirty-five, until his death in 1750, Bach's harmony consists in this melodic interweaving of independent melodies, so perfect in their union that each part seems to constitute the true melody. Herein Bach excels all the composers in the world.

At least, I have found no one to equal him in music known to me. Even in his four-part writing we can, not infrequently, leave out the upper and lower parts and still find the middle parts melodious and agreeable.

Forkel