Richard Bratby

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian wasn't even the greatest composer in his own family

I don’t get Johann Sebastian Bach. I mean, I get that he was good — no Mozart, sure, but definitely up there in anyone’s top five 18th-century composers. But that’s not enough. Bach must be revered as the One: the supreme and universal musical genius. When John Eliot Gardiner celebrated the millennium by performing Bach’s complete cantatas, it wasn’t a cycle or a series but a ‘pilgrimage’, if you please.

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