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I will be the first one to say that J.S. Bach is my favorite overall composer, Partita No.2, Chaccone is my favorite piece, but what specifically makes his music great, influential, and worth all the recognition? How would you explain this to a musician and a nonmusician?

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This is the one exception where hyperbole is appropriate.

Lawrence, I'd love to know why you think my last post is hyperbole, why you think any of the nouns I used where OTT ?

Here's a great example of hyperbole.....

 in a short space of about 90 seconds he changes keys six or eight times.  This is about as close to atonal as composers get and puts him some 300 years ahead of his time.

Bach...well, there's a subject.

It's important to realize that Bach worked at the end of an extraordinarily fertile period of musical development. Bach, born, in 1685, was just 13 years old when Peri composed what was ostensibly the "first" opera. (BTW, Handel was born the same year.)  This was pretty much the the end of what is now commonly referred to as the renaissance.

Bach was certainly well versed in the works and writings of Michael Pretorius, the most acclaimed German composer active during Bach's formative period. Oh,  Jan Sweelinck, too. The same goes for his acquaintance with Lully...and Couperin who's influences can be clearly drawn. Then there's Corelli and, of course Vivaldi. All of which were music to Bach's ear. (Sorry)

I think his genius lies in integrating it all. His work stands as the culmination of the Baroque. No one lies between him and Haydn on the main line of western music development.

That's all the music history you have to put up with from me!

Hi Bruce, whether it was the general culture of the times or specific individuals,

I think most all composers had their 'models of inspiration'.

I've always wondered more about 'true genius and natural talent (a gift of nature)

vs. those who may have 'enhanced' their perceptions (and talents) with... let's say

external stimulants. Why is it that 'true genius' is such a rare commodity?
Maybe it isn't... but the tallest tree always casts shadows on the other trees in the forest,

regardless of how it got to be so tall.



@roger stancill 

"True Genius"? Define it.. How would you recognize it? Prodigy? If asked who was the "greatest" prodigy most would answer Mozart, I would guess. Who would automatically offer Saint-Saëns? I would, but, who knew?

Is there such a thing as false genius?



Fredrick zinos said:

Is there such a thing as false genius?

Unfortunately, history seems replete with them...

The Brandenburg concertos have always been amongst my favourites, particularly number two.

Hard to believe that Bach was all but forgotten until Mendelssohn (another "true" genius) resurrected the St Matthew passion in the 1820s.

OK, I will try.... Intuitive perception of a 'higher enlightenment' relative to

the Nature of the genre they are expressing.

I will make a distinction between creative genius and a 'prophet'.

Since there is no manual, we 'discover' and come to be able to define

Nature and it's composition and the essense of its structure by experimentation

or 'trial and error'. Sometimes someone comes along, who seems to be 'gifted'

with a higher insight into that core of creations underlying structure and, who is able to

express it.

Whatever the source of genius, the aftermath of inspiration owes nothing to its source.

Whatever you compose is your genius, your creation, and your inspiration.

ps- yeah Fred, Don Rickles was a false genius. In a sense he was a parasite.    RS
 
Bruce Pearson said:


 
@roger stancill 

"True Genius"? Define it.. How would you recognize it? Prodigy? If asked who was the "greatest" prodigy most would answer Mozart, I would guess. Who would automatically offer Saint-Saëns? I would, but, who knew?

True or false? how can anyone be sure?

Michael, I agree... Mendelssohn was... a creative genius.
 
Michael Lofting said:

The Brandenburg concertos have always been amongst my favourites, particularly number two.

Hard to believe that Bach was all but forgotten until Mendelssohn (another "true" genius) resurrected the St Matthew passion in the 1820s.

I will add, so was Rossini  and many others.

roger stancill said:

Michael, I agree... Mendelssohn was... a creative genius.
 
Michael Lofting said:

The Brandenburg concertos have always been amongst my favourites, particularly number two.

Hard to believe that Bach was all but forgotten until Mendelssohn (another "true" genius) resurrected the St Matthew passion in the 1820s.


Roger, you ARE a philosopher!
roger stancill said:

OK, I will try.... Intuitive perception of a 'higher enlightenment' relative to

the Nature of the genre they are expressing.

That I really like. I don't know what the words actually mean, but, I think I intuitively perceive your perception.....on a higher aesthetic plane, of course.

I will make a distinction between creative genius and a 'prophet'.

Since there is no manual, we 'discover' and come to be able to define

Nature and it's composition and the essense of its structure by experimentation

or 'trial and error'. Sometimes someone comes along, who seems to be 'gifted'

with a higher insight into that core of creations underlying structure and, who is able to

express it.

That I don't get....

Whatever the source of genius, the aftermath of inspiration owes nothing to its source.

Whatever you compose is your genius, your creation, and your inspiration.

Absolutely true.

ps- yeah Fred, Don Rickles was a false genius. In a sense he was a parasite.    RS

Never got that "humor" at all. Emo Phillips was more my speed..
....BP

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