EppsNet Archive: Johann Sebastian Bach

What Might We Be Missing?

Joshua Bell is a violinist, one of the world’s greatest classical musicians. The Washington Post a few years ago did an experiment where they put him in a DC metro station wearing a pair of jeans, a long-sleeved T-shirt and a Washington Nationals baseball cap. Like a street musician. He’s got an open violin case in front of him so people can put money in. It’s about 8 a.m. on a Friday, morning rush hour. He plays for 45 minutes, and 1,097 people pass through the area where he’s playing. Before watching the video, you may want to consider out of that many people — more than 1,000 — how many will recognize the quality for what it is? How many will stop and listen? How much money will he make? Before you answer, keep in mind that he’s not going to play popular tunes that a lot of people… Read more →

Salesmanship

“How many pieces are you playing at the piano recital?” “Two,” I reply, “but one is very short.” “Who are the composers?” “Bach and Liszt.” “What is that? ‘Box’?” “Why do you ask me who the composers are if you’ve never heard of Bach?” “That’s salesmanship.” Did I mention he’s a salesman? “You’ve gotta push it.” Read more →

Chaconne

On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind. — Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann, regarding “Chaconne” from Johann Sebastian Bach‘s Partita No. 2 in D Minor for solo violin. Read more →