Tag: Johann Sebastian Bach

The Visual Well Tempered Clavier

Saturday, 30 May, 2015 0 Comments

“In 1722, Johann Sebastian Bach began one of his most ambitious works: a 24-part comprehensive guide to the keyboard, demonstrating the musical qualities of every major and minor key. The first part, C Major, saw Bach create two masterful compositions that explore musical structure in very different ways.” So says Alan Warburton, a designer and director who specializes in 3D animation and CGI. His Well Tempered Clavier video clip takes its inspiration from graphical notation, “an alternative to traditional sheet music notation that evolved in the 1950s and often involves abstract symbols and experimental visual codes.”

Alan Warburton’s video was commissioned by Sinfini, which encourages people to develop a passion for classical music.

Expressing the inexpressible with Bach

Saturday, 8 February, 2014 0 Comments

How did Johann Sebastian Bach manage to express the inexpressible, especially with regard to death? What guided his compositional decisions? The search for the answers to these questions lies at the heart of a new book, Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven, by the British conductor John Eliot Gardiner. Praising Gardiner’s work in the New York Review of Books, George B. Stauffer gives us an overview of a composer’s music that is hallmarked by an exuberance and a grace “that gives it extraordinary emotional depth and drama.” In the words of Gardiner, Bach “celebrates the fundamental sanctity of life, an awareness of the divine and a transcendent dimension as a fact of human existence.”

Here, from the St Matthew Passion, which was written by Bach in 1727, is the magnificent bass aria Mache dich, mein Herze, rein, sung by Stephan MacLeod and conducted by Philippe Herreweghe.