Roger von Oech

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Generally speaking, as a pure product of my generation (born in 69) I am more into jazz/pop/rock and I am not too crazy about classical and baroque music.

But I still love some rare pieces of chamber music.

And Bach is definitely my favorite composer for this type of music. I could listen to the "Well Tempered Clavier" (by Glenn Gould) for ever. When you first listen to it, this music may sound abstract, almost robotic , coming out from pure logic and mathematics, without affect.

And then, like and insidious poison, it intrigues you and makes you come back to it relentlessly. Eventually it's just like a pure artistic shape blossoming in your mind. It is an amazing feeling only genuine forms of art can provoke. This is pure grace and genius.

I am also fond of the Cello Suites (by Yo Yo Ma) which is another mind blowing eternal piece of music, and the Solo Violin Sonates and Partitas by Hilary Hayn.

On the other hand I still have trouble getting into harpsichord pieces or the religious pieces.

I definetely agree with you Roger : the world wouldn't be the same without his music.

Happy Birthday Johan Sebastian !

Roger von Oech

Cecil: Thanks for stopping by. My Bach tastes are similar to yours. Regarding your comment about his harpsichord music, I actually prefer it when it's played on the piano.

I like jazz as well — especially that from the mid-40s to through the 60s, and also some of the more recent stuff.

One of the reasons I like Uri Caine (see previous post) is his ability to delightful mix together classical and jazz.


I actually prefer the Brandenberg Concertos, but have enjoyed the full range of Bach's work for many years, including singing motets,, in an auditioned choir - some very difficult stuff! That he wrote weekly accompanied music for church services for many years (more than 700 motets??) is remarkable evidence of his great gifts - and persistence!!

matt j.

Check out the bach station on, if you haven't already - it's very good.

Jim Ley

The Brandenberg Concertos No. 2 & No. 5

Andy Todes

I've been listening to orchestral music since I was a kid.

I've been through various stages: Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Schubert, Chopin and Dvorak. All wonderful wonderful composers (obviously).

But for sheer sticking power, nothing beats Bach. He touches the soul to its depths. After listening to Glenn Gould's (1981) recording of the Goldberg Varitions, the final aria is so astonishingly moving, I'm not sure there's anything to compare.

As mentioned by another poster, the Well-Tempered Clavier is a gem for all time. (Chopin drew on it for inspiration.) And don't forget the St. Matthew Passion (Klemperer's post-WWII recording is particularly haunting).

Then there are the sonatas and partitas ... and on and on it goes. Thank God for J.S.Bach, his devoted servant.

And thank God for Felix Mendelssohn who championed Bach in the 19th century and virtually single-handedly restored his reputation.

Neil Ciminero

I already posted this a couple of weeks ago as a late entry to your entry on the Goldberg Variations...but here it is again... to celebrate Bach.

I was delighted to run across your old post on the Goldberg Variations. I have been listening to TGV for over forty years, in many versions, starting with Gould's 1955 recording and most recently Andras Schiff's superb 2003 rendering. Why Bach? When I listen to his music, especially the contrapuntal passages, I perceive complex patterns unfolding, and patterns within patterns. It is the play of mind seeing and making connections, a metaphor that continues to unfold itself in ever more surprising and delightful associations. Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, all understood that grasping form or pattern in complexity (seeming chaos) is the essence of mind. Bach's music is the perfect fusion of mind and feeling.


My favorites are the ones I played on the piano as a child, but after thinking for a moment & trying to recall names, I realize that most of them were numbered. One of the things I love about Bach - and the other well-known Baroque composers - is that their music is both relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

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