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.

— Johann Nikolaus Forkel
Bach Handwritten