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Johann Sebastian Bach

(1685 - 1750)

Bach is considered by many to have been the greatest composer in the history of western music. Bach's main achievement lies in his synthesis and advanced development of the primary contrapuntal idiom of the late Baroque, and in the basic tunefullness of his thematic material. He was able to successfully integrate and expand upon the harmonic and formal frameworks of the national schools of the time: German, French, Italian & English, while retaining a personal identity and spirit in his large output. Bach is also known for the numerical symbolism and mathematical exactitude which many people have found in his music – for this, he is often regarded as one of the pinnacle geniuses of western civilization, even by those who are not normally involved with music.

Bach spent the height of his working life in a Lutheran church position in Leipzig, as both organist and music director. Much of his music is overtly religious, while many of his secular works admit religious interpretations on some levels. His large output of organ music is considered to be the greatest legacy of compositions for the instrument, and is the measure by which all later efforts are judged. His other solo keyboard music is held in equally high esteem, especially for its exploration of the strictly contrapuntal fugue; his 48 Preludes & Fugues (The Well-Tempered Clavier) are still the primary means by which these forms are taught. His other chamber music is similarly lofty, the sets for solo violin & solo cello being the summits of their respective genres. Bach's large-scale sacred choral music is also unique in its scope and development, the Passions and B Minor Mass having led to the rediscovery of his music in the 19 century. His huge output of cantatas for all occasions is equally impressive. Finally, his large output of concerti includes some of the finest examples of the period, including the ubiquitous Brandenberg Concertos

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JS Bach 6 French Suites 6首法国组曲 S$20.00


JS Bach 6 French Suites 6首法国组曲

The French Suites (BWV 812–817) are a set of six keyboard suites Bach compiled in his late thirties, the most prolific period of his life producing a series of important instrumental works. Together with the Inventions and Sinfonias and the Well-Tempered Clavier , the French Suites formed an integral part of Bach’s comprehensive programmes for the education of his pupils. Keyboard suites – a popular genre consisting of about half a dozen stylized dances – had high...
JS Bach English Suites 英国组曲 S$20.00


JS Bach English Suites 英国组曲

The English Suites were apparently written in the early 1720s, and were copied out in 1725; the first suite is simpler in form, and probably dates from c.1718. The title "English" continues to be mysterious; according to older sources it was derived from an English commission for these works, but none of this has been verified. These suites form a direct continuation of the French style begun by Bach in the earlier French Suites. In this case, the suites are longer (the final five...
JS Bach The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1 S$20.00


JS Bach The Well Tempered Clavier Book 1

It's nearly impossible to encounter a description of Hungarian pianist András Schiff that doesn't at some point refer to the enormous capacity of the man's memory. In Schiff's three-concert Bach marathon at Carnegie Hall in fall 2000 - playing all of the Well-Tempered Clavier and the Goldberg Variations - it was a given that these enormously complex scores were already somehow inscribed within. But Schiff's memory is hardly limited to musical performance, nor is it a matter of bravura...
JS Bach The Well Tempered Clavier Book 2 S$20.00


JS Bach The Well Tempered Clavier Book 2

Historically, Bach's Well Tempered Clavier II is the last major expression of the Prelude and Fugue as a form Already in the 1740's, these pieces were seen as archaic. The Rococo, Pre-classical style, with its increased emphasis on homophonic writing (melody and accompaniment), was coming into fashion, and Bach's intensely contrapuntal approach to composition was seen as no longer relevant to the musical times. With hindsight, it is possible to hear this second book as a kind of answer to that...
JS Bach The Two Violin Concertos S$21.00


JS Bach The Two Violin Concertos

The Double Concerto in D minor opens energetically in the form of a fugal exposition, one solo violin following the other in emulation. There is a dialogue of remarkable beauty in the slow movement and a final movement in which the second violin follows the first in excitingly close juxtaposition....
JS Bach The Great Organ Works S$30.00


JS Bach The Great Organ Works

Whilst organist at Arnstadt, Bach requested four weeks' leave to walk to Lubeck (some 300km) in order to hear Dietrich Buxtehude, then the greatest organist in Germany. Much of Bach's early organ works show the influence of the older man, but a more dynamic style, and one with a great sense of continuity, was forged, once again, as a result of Bach's contact with the music of Vivaldi. Bach composed a wide range of organ works, of which the best known and most exciting are the spectacular...

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