Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) came from an already well-known family of musicians, a fact easily forgotten given his titanic talent and extensive output. It wasn't enough for Johann Sebastian to master the art of counterpoint (how two or more notes interact); he found humorous, creative and innovative ways to create music in an era gridlocked with compositional rules and expectations. From the seemingly simple Inventions and Sinfonias to the size and depth of St. Matthew's Passion, Johann Sebastian's music still baffles, intrigues and impresses composers, performers and listeners. We are collecting music, coverage and news about Bach from around Classical MPR and our affiliated programs. Have a look (and listen) and enjoy.
Bach's Life and Work
Stories about Bach, and the music he created.
A Before Bach's Birthday Bash On Saturday, March 19, 2016, we'll celebrate the 331st birthday of Baroque master, Johann Sebastian Bach, with a day-long Before Bach's Birthday Bash!March 18, 2016
Bach singing at its best! Bach requires much from his singers in his handful of motets. The South Dakota Chorale, led by Brian Schmidt, is a first-rate ensemble that is more than up to the challenge.April 2, 2015
Bach's Birthday Bash proves progressive party As Michael Barone makes clear, one does not skimp on J.S. Bach's 330th birthday. Barone details a series of performances in honor of the great composer, held at various venues throughout the city of Minneapolis on Saturday, March 21. The first hour of festivities will be broadcast live on Classical MPR.March 20, 2015
New Classical Tracks: Thirty Little Masterpieces Bach's "two- and three-part inventions" are familiar to every piano student. On a new disc, they're performed by one of the leading young pianists of today. Simone Dinnerstein's new album is on this week's New Classical Tracks.July 2, 2014
Andrew Altenbach talks Bachs Sometimes, the lives of composers read like headlines ripped from the tabloids. Andrew Altenbach, artistic director of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, talks to Alison Young about C.P.E. Bach's "daddy issues" ahead of a Bach Ensemble concert on Thursday.June 24, 2014
A Bach's Birthday Summit Friday, March 21, is the birthday of J.S. Bach. Last Saturday, a number of musicians celebrated a progressive birthday party in a number of venues along St. Paul's Summit Avenue. Relive the experience in audio and pictures.March 21, 2014
Before Bach's Birthday Bash For Michael Barone, one day is not enough to celebrate the birthday of J.S. Bach. It's why he began the tradition of Before Bach's Birthday Bash. Read about what's in store for this year's festivities.March 14, 2014
Learning to Listen: Brandenburg Concertos Today, we'll hear three of the six Brandenburg Concertos, written by Johann Sebastian Bach. The Brandenburg Concertos are excellent examples of music from the Baroque Era.September 30, 2013
The world’s oldest musical instrument
Ever wonder what a 40,000-year-old instrument might sound like? Experimental archaeologist Wulf Hein was part of a 1992 excavation team that explored southwestern Germany — in particular, the Geißenklösterle cave. In Werner Herzog’s The Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Hein (dressed in reindeer fur and leather) explains what they discovered: “One of the most important finds we made in this cave was … Continue reading The world’s oldest musical instrument →