Johann Sebastian Bach

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer, organist.

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  • I was forced to be industrious: whoever is equally industrious will get equally far in life.
  • There's nothing to it. You just have to press the right keys at the right time with the right force, and the organ will make the most beautiful music all by itself.

About Bach

  • Bach is the beginning and the end of all music.
  • Bach should not be called 'Bach' [Brook], but 'Meer' [Sea].
  • Now there is finally something from which one can learn something.
  • Study Bach! There you'll find everything.
  • Those are miracles that no merely human brain can work. The artist is merely the sound conduct of a Force that dictates to him what he should do. As he was born to that language, Bach brought across the will of that Force in terms of human counterpoint.
  • It may well be that some composers do not believe in God. All of them, however, believe in Bach.
  • In dieser Woche habe ich drei Mal die Matthäuspassion gehört, jedes Mal mit dem selben Gefühl der unermesslichen Bewunderung. Wer das Christentum völlig verlernt hat, der hört es hier wirklich wie ein Evangelium.

Rough translation: In this week, I heard the St. Matthew Passion three times, each time with the same feeling of immeasurable admiration. To one who forgot Christianity completely, he hears it here really like a gospel.)

  • Ist es einer Musik gelungen, uns in unserem ganzen Wesen nach dem Edlen auszurichten, so hat sie das Beste getan. Hat ein Komponist seine Musik so weit bezwungen, dass sie dieses Beste tun konnte, so hat er das Höchste erreicht. Bach hat dieses Höchste erreicht.
  • His music is simply timeless.
  • Bach, the immortal God of harmony.
  • The Old Testament of keyboard music.
  • What do I have to say about Bach's life work? Listen to it, play it, love it, adore it --- and shut up!
    • Albert Einstein in response to a survey by the German magazine Illustrierten Wochenschrift (Illustrated Weekly), 1928
  • When the angels play for God they play Bach: to each other, they play Mozart.
  • Those who never heard him, have never heard a great deal.
  • We're all plodders compared to him.
  • Bach opens a vista onto the Universe. After hearing him, people feel there may be meaning to life after all.
  • Although I don't believe in God, Bach's music shows me what a love of God must feel like.
  • Sans Bach, la théologie serait dépourvue d'objet, la Creation fictive, le néant péremptoire. S'il y a quelqu'un qui doit tout à Bach, c'est bien Dieu.
  • Without Bach, the theology would be deprived of its object, the Creation would be fictitious, the nothingness definite. If there is anyone who owes everything to Bach, it has to be God.
  • J.S. Bach, who may have written the sexiest music in history, had twenty children.

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