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The White Hat Guide to

Johann Sebastian Bach

J. S. Bach

1685 - 1750

J S BachWidely regarded by many as the greatest composer who ever lived.

J. S. Bach is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers who ever lived yet was only held in moderate esteem by much of the musical establishment in his lifetime. True, he was regarded as a prodigious organist and if your church had commissioned a new organ then Bach was the man to come and put it through its paces and probably make recommendations about how it could be improved. Like most composers of the time he was a skilled improviser but there is a difference between improvising an atmospheric fantasia and improvising a tightly constructed fugue. Most could do the former but Bach could do both. Most composers of the time recognised Bach for his technical skills as a writer of music but relatively few recognised his towering status as a composer. One of those who did not fully recognise the full extent of his genius was Bach himself. He would probably recognise himself as skilled at his craft as a composer and as someone who paid great attention to detail and structure, but to think that he would be recognised by many in coming generations as the greatest composer of all time probably never entered his head. He was too busy composing for this week's church service and for the glory of God.

Some forthcoming Australian concerts and performances featuring the music of Bach:

Alexander Gavrylyuk in Recital

Ukraine born Alexander Gavrylyuk returns to Melbourne for one performance, following rave reviews in last year’s Great Performers Series at the Melbourne Recital Centre. 

The groundwork for Gavrylyuk’s career as a prize winning virtuoso and international soloist started by learning piano at the tender age of seven, giving his first concerto performance when he was nine, and securing a slew of prestigious awards in his teens. Since these prodigious beginnings, he’s smoothly transitioned to his role as an international soloist, the highlights of which have included concertos with Moscow Philharmonic and Cincinnati Symphony orchestras headlining at the Hollywood Bowl, now annual performances with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, appearances with the Philharmonic Orchestras of New York, Los Angeles, Israel Warsaw, Moscow and Rotterdam, his recent BBC Proms debut with BBC Scottish Symphony, and performing with all of the main Australian orchestras.

Hailed as “one of the greatest discoveries of the past decade” by De Telegraaf, and inevitably described by reviewers as “thrilling”, Gavrylyuk’s performance at the Melbourne Rectal Centre covers a thoughtful selection of pieces including Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor and Chopin’s Etudes Op 10 No 8 – No 12. 

  • Bach/Busoni Toccata and Fugue in D minor
  • Haydn Sonata in B minor No.47 XVI:32
  • Chopin Etudes Op. 10 No.3, No.8, No.9, No.10, No.11 and No.12
  • Scriabin Sonata No.5
  • Rachmaninov Preludes Op.23, No.1,5,12
  • Rachmaninov Sonata No.2 (2nd edition)

Tickets - A reserve $89 ($79 conc.) /B reserve $69 ($59 conc.) book online through melbournerecital.com.au





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Selected Sheet Music by Bach

17266346 look inside The Complete Cantatas (Samtliche Kantaten, Chorale und Motetten). Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). This edition: Paperback, Urtext edition. Paperback. Barenreiter Study scores. Study scores in a sturdy box for shipping. 19 volumes with more than 11,000 pages. Sacred. Study score, Anthology. 11204 pages. Published by Baerenreiter Verlag (BA.TP2004).
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