Tuesday, February 26, 2008

J.S. Bach

When we hear “Mozart” or “Beethoven,” we think of a person behind the music. When we hear “Bach,” we think only of the music itself...the man remains a mystery.

From the article:
Bach is sometimes referred to as the father of Western music, not to suggest that there was nothing of substance before him (he didn’t spring full grown from the head of Zeus) but that the music after him has been profoundly influenced and shaped by his models. And surely the influences have been radical and vast, whether on the finale of Mozart’s “Jupiter” symphony or the Grosse Fuge of Beethoven or the organ music of Mendelssohn or the Bachianas Brasileiras of Villa Lobos or (to acknowledge the present moment) La Pasión según San Marcos of Osvaldo Golijov. Who else could be the father of Western music? Bach is in the very chemistry of Western musical blood, like red cells, white cells, and platelets in our material plasma.

But if Bach is The Father, why hasn’t he fired the popular imagination?

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Didn't he have 17 kids or something? Oh wait only one mother, not that interesting.

On a side note, my in-laws got me the complete works of Mozart in one box set for Christmas last year. It is 170 CDs. Staggering!

Greg

Mike Stajduhar said...

That's mind blowing. How many hours of music is that?