Johann Sebastian Bach
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) – is thought to be the greatest composer of our time. It is worth pointing out that neither his life in Arnstadt, Mühlhausen, Weimar, Kötchen and Lipzing which was filled with numerous obligations, nor his music, with its entire mastery, was lacking affectation and artistic glitz. Conversely, everything is natural, humane and real. That is why everybody trusts Bach and they study his works just like in the best music conservatories. That is how he was studying music, he would transcribe masterpieces himself. He would then decompose them studying every single note and consider its importance for the entire musical piece.
Bach’s work was analysed, even when Baroque was no longer in vogue. Mendelssohn managed to revive Saint Matthew’s Passion because he started studying Bach’s work when he was a young boy and he realised the importance of his discovery. Even though Chopin did not perform Bach’s compositions for the general public, he used to practice them in solitude.
Today it would be difficult to imagine the world without Bach’s music; it is like the purest stream. Styles, tastes and customs have been changing since Baroque, and yet Bach’s music is timeless. It epitomises Baroque style at its finest and at the same time it has a category of its own. A lot can be said about the perfect form, beauty and wisdom clearly visible in Bach’s works. He is recognised for the use of counterpoint, the clarity of his fugues and revelatory harmonics of his chorales.
It is worth pointing out that he was he was a versatile composer who had an ease to write numerous pieces belonging to different genres of the epoch. However, it is equally important to remember that when introducing somebody to the concept of ‘music idea’ it is sufficient to have a closer look at one of his many preludes from ‘Das Wohltemperierte Klavier’. It is unquestionable that Bach’s music is a combination of various impulses which originated in diverse styles and different parts of the world and yet the very foundation is considered to be that of a protestant chorale. Having said it, one may relate all of that, including polyphonic mastery, to other composers as well. However, Bach’s precision and beautiful subject matters were frequently used as templates by those who wished to express themselves clearly and highlight the gist of the matter.