Above human suffering

I needed Bach. Unlike Beethoven, who shakes his fist at the heavens, Bach could help me after everything I’d been through. His music is above human suffering.

Zuzana Ruzickova

Motivic Unity

His remarkable flair for text illustration is evident even in the early cantatas, particularly the two finest of them, the Actus tragicus, BWV 106, and Christ lag in Todes Banden, BWV 4. We already sense a powerful mind behind the notes in the motivic unity of the early cantatas, in the use of reprise to bind their mosaic forms together.

Richard D. P. Jones

Spiritual dimension

The key to Bach is the spiritual dimension. He was further along the line of godliness than most of us. For me, Bach is a seer, a wise man, a beacon along the path.

Nancy Argenta


Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret

Johann Sebastian Bach

God’s Music

I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Son to Father

If ever a composer showed polyphony in all its great strength, it was surely Bach. Nobody has shown as much as he, in works which normally seem so dry, as much imagination and original thought.

His melodies were indeed unusual, but they were always varied, rich in invention, and they are not at all like those of other composers. His serious temperament drew him primarily towards elaborate music which was grave and profound.

It was only his personal reflections which made him, right from the youth, a composer of pure and powerful fugues.

Carl Philipp Emanuel

A continuous stream of process

Bach is a continuous stream of process, not a punctuated string of big moments. He never gives us exactly what we want; he is continuously pushing us further back from the goalpost: there is a sense in which his music is deeply human, but also a sense in which it refuses to join us on our own ground, and I think that’s a valid, if perhaps short-sighted, criticism.

Curtis Lindsay

Bach’s Chaconne

On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.

Johannes Brahms


Old concept: Love is blind. Marriage is an eye-opener.

New concept: Love is not blind – it simply enables one to see things others fail to see.

Johann Sebastian Bach

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.


Exact Proportions

With my prying nose, I dipped into all composers and found that the houses they erected were stable in the exact proportion that Bach was used in the foundation.

James Gibbons Huneker