Discover The World of Classical Music with Grammofy

From Bach to Glass, from slow and smooth to fast and furious, our renowned experts from BBC Music and Gramophone Magazine introduce you to a broad variety of finest music – free on top of your existing Spotify Premium account.

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Happy Birthday J.S. Bach

Feat. the master himself

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Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21st 1685 and died on July 28th 1750. So, why does everybody make such a big fuss of Bach?

Well for starters, his skill as a weaver of melodies is simply awe-inspiring, and we're being literal here on the weaving – never before or since has a composer managed so seemingly effortlessly to grab handfuls of musical lines, each one snaking off in its own unique direction, and knit them together to form musical textures that have the tightness of rope.
And yet his works never come across as mere mathematical exercises, even in those pieces in which he is deliberately setting himself an intellectual challenge. Instead, Bach's music sounds both natural, and almost addictively beautiful and moving, which then makes you want to understand it all the more.

In 1989, the composer Louis Andriessen summed it up well when he said, “Apart from Stravinsky, Bach is the composer I study all the time. Every day in fact. It's very strange and it's getting worse”.

Now we can't get close to ticking off even the greatest masterpieces with a five work playlist, but we can give you beautiful performances of just some of the works we here at Grammofy love.

Curation: Charlotte Gardner

Speaker: Charlotte Gardner

Visual Art: Philipp Nicolai Hertel

  • Happy Birthday J.S. Bach

  • An introduction to Bach — Double Concerto in d minor BWV 1043

  • Double Concerto in d minor BWV 1043 Preview Only

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Café Zimmermann, Pablo Valetti, Amandine Beyer2003
  • An introduction to Bach — Goldberg Variations BWV 988

  • Goldberg Variations BWV 988 Preview Only

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Céline Frisch2000
  • An introduction to Bach — Mass in b minor BWV 232

  • Mass in b minor BWV 232 Preview Only

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Philippe Herreweghe, Dorothee Mields, Hana Blažíková, Damien Guillon, Thomas Hobbs, Peter Kooij, Collegium Vocale Gent2011
  • An introduction to Bach — Toccata and Fugue in C major BWV 564

  • Toccata and Fugue in C major BWV 564 Preview Only

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    David Goode2010
  • An introduction to Bach — Cello Suite No. 5 in C major BWV 1011

  • Cello Suite No. 5 in C major BWV 1011 Preview Only

    Johann Sebastian Bach

    Jean-Guihen Queyras2007

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