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J.S. Bach the Rebel

Portrait of J.S. Bach seated at the organ, c. 1725. Wikimedia Commons, British Museum.

The subversive practice of a canonical composer.

You can hardly find a more sanctioned and orthodox insider than Johann Sebastian Bach, at least as he is typically presented. He is commemorated as the sober bewigged Lutheran who labored for church authorities and nobility, offering up hundreds of cantatas, fugues, orchestral works, and other compositions for the glory of God. Yet the real-life Bach was very different from this cardboard figure. In fact, he provides a striking case study in how prickly dissidents in the history of classical music get transformed into conformist establishment figures by posterity. Full story.

Ted Gioia (Lapham’s Quarterly) / October 16, 2019

Weblink : https://www.laphamsquarterly.org
Photo credit : https://www.laphamsquarterly.org

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