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(1685-1750).  The musicologist Nicolas Slonimsky states that Bach is "a master comparable in greatness of stature with Aristotle in philosophy and Leonardo da Vinci in art".

Bach is the unsurpassed foundational composer of western classical music, creating a sense of tonal gravity that influences music to this day.  There was, of course, important music in earlier eras, but many of the fundamental musical techniques used by composers in the classical, romantic, and even the modern eras can be traced back to Bach.

The list of important works by him is long, but near the top of any list are the 6 Brandenburg Concertos, his 2 Violin Concertos, 4 Orchestral Suites, 6 Cello Suites, the Goldberg Variations, the English Suites, St. Matthew Passion, Mass in B minor, and ANY of his organ works.

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Johann Sebastian Bach was a German Baroque composer and organist born on or about March 21, 1685. His influence on the development of music writing and music in general can hardly be exaggerated. It is well known that he introduced no new forms; however, he brought the contrapuntal writing techniques of the day to their zenith. It has been said that the artistic beauty and technical brilliance of Bach’s work has never been surpassed, even by such luminaries as Mozart, Beethoven, or Brahms. His productive powers were also phenomenal – he is one of the most prolific composers who ever lived. As if this were not enough, his virtuosity as an organist was recognized wherever he was known – ironically, he was more famous as an organist during his lifetime than as a composer. Mendelssohn has been given much credit for reviving interest in his music in the 1800s, after it had somehow fallen out of fashion. Some of his well-known compositions are the Brandenburg Concertos, the St Matthew Passion, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the Partitas and Sonatas for solo violin, the Mass in B minor, and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Musicians who were Bach’s contemporaries include Antonio Vivaldi, Jan Dismas Zelenka, Francesco Geminiani, Francesco Veracini, Johann Georg Pisendel, Johann Melchior Molter, Arcangelo Corelli, Tomaso Vitali, Leopold Weiss, and Giuseppe Tartini. Bach died in July of 1750.


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