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.
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
Regional Spotlight: South Dakota Chorale 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.March 14, 2013
Regional Spotlight - Yulianna Avdeeva In this week's Regional Spotlight, Yulianna Avdeeva performs the Overture from the Partita in b minor by J.S. Bach from a Frederic Chopin Society recital this past May.August 16, 2012
Bach Playlist: The Brandenburgs Bach wrote his six Brandenburg Concertos for the Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ludwig, possibly hoping to secure employment in the margrave's court. Lacking the necessary virtuosic players, the margrave never heard the concertos, and the manuscripts weren't published until 1850, one-hundred years after Bach's death.June 16, 2012
Harp, Not Harpsichord, in Bach's Sonatas A new Bach disc combines violin with an instrument that Bach himself rarely used -- the harp. Its gradations of loud and soft add a new dimension to the performance of these pieces.April 3, 2012
Was Bach a teenage bully?
New research indicates that one of the greatest composers of all time may have a life story that's been cleaned-up to preserve the image created by his pristine works.
Sellar Stages Bach
Peter Sellars stages Bach's St. Matthew Passion in a new DVD from the Berlin Philharmonic
How I Like My Bach
I was preparing for an interview and, naturally, I got pulled into that Internet vortex - listening to recordings and watching videos of Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suites. There are dozens of videos. Dozens and dozens and dozens.
This is a fascinating visualization of the Prelude to Bach's Cello Suites. I like how it shows the chordal and melodic structure in a whole different way; the musical line forming the broken chords and flowing into the melody is...
Walk or roll for Bach
"Who's the greatest classical composer of them all?" asks Rob Hubbard of the Pioneer Press. If you agree that it's the guy celebrating a birthday Saturday with 324 candles on his cake, then put your walking shoes on (or maybe...
Oops, Bach did it again.
Fugue (fyoog) n. 1. Music An imitative polyphonic composition in which a theme or themes are stated successively in all of the voices of the contrapuntal structure. 2. Psychiatry A pathological amnesiac condition during which one is apparently conscious of...
Baroque 'n' roll
You may have read the news that former members of the band Procol Harum are fighting over authorship of the organ melody in their 1967 hit, "A Whiter Shade of Pale." You have to wonder about the grounds for the...
Blogging the Beethoven Bicentennial Collection: Symphonies 3 & 4
I imagine my dad, in his Minneapolis apartment in the early 70s, listening to Beethoven and reading the paper in his squared glasses and white turtleneck. Flash back a decade, to Karajan coaxing what Harvey Sachs called his "calculatedly voluptuous" sound from his players as he created a recording that he had every reason to think would be regarded as definitive by a generation of his peers.