Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer, organist, and harpsichord player of the Baroque era. J.S. Bach was part of a large family of musicians, and many of his children also became musicians. He was a master of counterpoint, weaving together different melodies into complex compositions, and he was also a highly skilled improviser at the keyboard. Bach composed over 1000 pieces of music his lifetime, including concertos, cantatas, chorales, oratorios, passions, masses, chamber music, pieces for orchestra, and works for organ and harpsichord. The beautiful and astonishing works he created continue to be favorites for musicians and listeners alike. I have selected some of the best of Bach for your listening exploration.

The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2 – Each book contains 24 preludes and fugues in every major and minor key.

English Suites, French Suites, and Partitas – Sets of pieces for solo keyboard.

Goldberg Variations – A theme with 30 variations for solo keyboard.

Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin – A set of six suites for solo violin.

Cello Suites – A set of six suites for solo cello.

Violin Concerto in A-minor, Violin Concerto in E-Major, and the Concerto for Two Violins in D-minor.

Brandenburg Concertos – A set of six concertos for various instruments and orchestra.

Orchestral Suites – A set of four suites for orchestra.

B-minor Mass – For vocal soloists, chorus, and orchestra.

St. Matthew Passion – For vocal soloists, double choir, and double orchestra.

The Musical Offering – A collection of canons, fugues, along with a trio sonata.

The Art of the Fugue – A collection of canons and fugues, with complex counterpoint techniques. The last fugue was unfinished.

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