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Johann Sebastian Bach
(1685-1750)


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For the glory of the most high God alone,
And for my neighbour to learn from.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach, epigraph to Little Organ Book, 1717

The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Since the best man could not be obtained, mediocre ones would have to be accepted.
-- Leipzig mayor Abraham Platz, 1723, commenting on appointing Bach as the Cantor of St Thomas School, Leipzig, when Graupner refused the post (Graupner is a now long-forgotten minor musician); quoted in Werner Neuman, Bach (1961)

The immortal god of harmony.
-- Ludwig van Beethoven, 1801

Too much counterpoint; what is worse, Protestant counterpoint.
-- Thomas Beecham, quoted by Neville Cardus in the Guardian, 1971

Bach almost persuades me to be a Christian.
-- Roger Fry, quoted in Virginia Woolf, Roger Fry (1940)

You play Bach your way and I'll play him his way.
-- Harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, speaking to a fellow musician

Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?
-- Michael Torke

All Bach's last movements are like the running of a sewing machine.
-- Arnold Bax





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