Johann Sebastian Bach

Essential Albums

  • Six Evolutions - Bach: Cello Suites
  • Bach: Goldberg Variations, BWV 988 (The 1955 & 1981 Recordings)
  • J.S. Bach: St Matthew Passion, BWV 244 (Matthäus-Passion)
  • Bach: Brandenburg Concertos
  • J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1, BWV 846 - 869

Artist Playlists

About Johann Sebastian Bach

A titan of the Baroque period, Johann Sebastian Bach created art that reveals profound truths about the human condition. His perfectly crafted music uplifts heart and mind, inviting contemplation of life’s impermanence and the promise of eternal salvation, a point underlined by the dedication Soli Deo Gloria (“Glory to God alone”) inscribed on the manuscripts of so many of his compositions, both sacred and secular. Born in 1685 into a large dynasty of musicians in the German town of Eisenach, Bach learned invaluable lessons as a boy chorister and church organist. His inventive genius and absolute mastery of counterpoint touched almost every genre of the day, including cantatas and organ pieces for sacred services and exhilarating concert works such as the Brandenburg Concertos and Four Orchestral Suites. In 1723, having long served aristocratic employers, Bach became music director at St. Thomas’ Church in Leipzig. Within five years, he completed around 150 church cantatas, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben among them, a majestic Magnificat, and the St. John and St. Matthew Passions—towering monuments of sacred music. While these alone would have secured his place among the immortals, he went on to create an unrivaled series of sacred and secular masterworks, the Mass in B minor, the Goldberg Variations, and The Art of Fugue among them. He died in Leipzig in 1750, survived by his second wife and nine of his 20 children, and leaving a matchless legacy of music that conveys a radiant vision of heaven on earth.

Eisenach, Germany
March 21, 1685

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