Bach… “The Father of us all…”

Henri Matisse called  J.S. Bach “the Father of us all…”  Happy birthday Johann !

"The Father of us all..."

Today is the 326th anniversary of the birth of J.S. Bach.  This guy is truly the father of modern music.  He wasn’t even trying to be famous.  In his entire life he never left an area of Germany that was more than 400 square miles and yet he has impacted all of us.  All he ever wanted to do was compose music for the glory of God.  If you listen to this music and realize that the man was just doing his job to the best of his ability, because he thought that that was what God wanted him to do, the music is even more mind boggling.  He became the Capellmeister of the St Thomas School of Leipzig in 1723. He was the school’s third choice behind Telemann and Graupner.  Just because it was his job, he wrote 295 Cantata’s for church.  Most of these are masterpieces.  Not stuff someone did for money.  They are sublime.  Check out Alex Ross and his blog as he toured Australia and listened to the complete recordings of the Bach Cantata’s.  His site is linked on my blog-roll

I believe that if Bach had a modern piano he would be even more revered than he is today.  The clue lies in the organ music.  So I leave you with Andras Schiff playing the French Suite Number 2 in C minor BWV 813.   A fairly late work of Bach since there are about 1200 compositions in the BWV catalog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

07. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -I- ALLEMANDE
08. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -II- COURANTE
09. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -III- SARABANDE
10. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -IV- AIR
11. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -V- MENUET I
12. ANDRáS SCHIFF – FRENCH SUITE NO.2 IN C MINOR BWV 813 -VI- MENUET II
13. András Schiff – French Suite No.2 in C minor BWV 813 -VII- Gigue

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About John

I taught myself how to play the piano and read music when I was 9 years old. I've been been consumed by music ever since. I majored in Piano performance in College and I still play, although not as well as when I had time to practice 4 -6 hours per day. This blog is about music. Music is the sound track of our lives. All it take is one song, one composition; and we are transported across time and space. I think it was Beethoven that said: "Music is the landscape of the soul."
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2 Responses to Bach… “The Father of us all…”

  1. Alex J says:

    The BWV catalog doesn’t have anything to do with date of composition. It is grouped by “theme”. For example, the cantatas take the first 215 or so numbers, then it’s the more massive religious works that take up about the next 50, and so on… So BWV 813 is not a late work, as it was probably (I don’t know by heart) composed in Kothen where Bach was before going to Leipzig. Another example, cantata #106 was probably one of the first works composed by JSB, somewhere in 1707 or 1708

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