Johann Sebastian Bach

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.

  • Live Broadcast: National Lutheran Choir performs Bach's Mass in B Minor
    Tune in on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. to hear the National Lutheran Choir perform Bach's Mass in B Minor live from Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.March 21, 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
  • St. John Passion by J.S. Bach, as performed by the Bach Society of Minnesota
    The Bach Society of Minnesota presented a performance of the St. John Passion, BWV 245, on March 24th, 2012 at St. Mary's Chapel at St. Paul Seminary. You can hear the St. John Passion in its entirety on Friday, April 6th, at 10 a.m.April 5, 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
  • Bach: Placing Timeless Music in Time - Part 2 of an Essay by Bill Morelock
    For the anniversary of Bach's birth, even as we marvel at the unearthly nature of the music, we might stop and remember that Bach also had to earn a living. Here's how and where he earned a paycheck during the 45 years of his working life.March 20, 2012
  • Bach: Placing Timeless Music in Time - Part 1 of an Essay by Bill Morelock
    For the anniversary of Bach's birth, even as we marvel at the unearthly nature of the music, we might stop and remember that Bach also had to earn a living. Here's how and where he earned a paycheck during the 45 years of his working life.March 19, 2012
  • "Before Bach's Birthday" Bash
    Plan ahead to participate in the "Before Bach's Birthday" Bash on March 17, 2012, a sequence of five hour-long all-Bach performance events at four Minneapolis churches, featuring organists, pianists, singers and other instrumentalists in advance celebration of Johann Sebastian Bach's 327th Birthday (which comes on Wednesday, March 21)March 17, 2012
  • Regional Spotlight: Bach and Jazz
    Paul Boehnke, the music director of the Bach Society of Minnesota, has an adventurous palate. "Take a sweet piece of fruit on one hand and it's sweet. Take a pungent cheese on the other and it's pungent. If you put the two together you get something brand new!" The Bach Society was joined by a team of well-known jazz musicians from the twin cities in a session at the Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio to reprise a program titled: Bach and Jazz. Their sweet/pungent performances are in this week's Regional Spotlight.February 23, 2012
  • New Classical Tracks - Musical Speech: The Poetry of Bach and Schubert
    Pianist Simone Dinnerstein's love of Bach is a constant. And on her latest recording, she once again returns to Bach's musical world. But this time, she also chose to include music by another of her favorite composers: Franz Schubert. The music she chose to record has a beautiful and very communicative quality, and she wanted those qualities to represented by the title of the new release: Something Almost Being Said.February 15, 2012

Complete Works of Bach

Complete Works of Bach

Bach in the news

Coverage of Bach from the Classical Notes blog.

Bach and You

We're collecting stories about Johann's life or music on listeners of Classical MPR. What's your Bach story?

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