Johann Sebastian Bach was born 328 years ago this week. It has been exciting to share in some of the related musical clips and posts from around the globe. Today’s technology would certainly amaze this musical genius if he were alive today. It’s hard to imagine what more impact his life would have made on music if he had had the tools that we enjoy today.
Made an orphan at the age of 9, he went on to live with his older brother, Johann Christoph Bach. The story is told about the young composer’s curiosity, late one night, when the household was asleep, he retrieved a manuscript (which may have been a collection of works by Johann Christoph’s former mentor, Johann Pachelbel) from his brother’s music cabinet and began to copy it by the moonlight. This went on nightly until Johann Christoph heard the young Sebastian playing some of the distinctive tunes from his private library, at which point the elder relative demanded to know how Sebastian had discovered them.
He grew up to become the greatest composer of music who has ever lived. Bach stated that “the aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and refreshing the soul.” No doubt, his eternal reward will be great! His musical genius is still grabbing my attention 328 years after the gift of Bach was given to us. Enjoy a small part of the beautiful cantata, Gott soll allein mein Herze haben, which means “God alone shall have my heart”. I pray that will be so.
BWV 169 Gott soll allein mein Herze haben – English translation