Bach's best works: 10 essential pieces by the great composer (2023)

Johann Sebastian Bach (March 31, 1685 - July 28, 1750) would probably be surprised by his reputation as one of the greatest composers, perhapsTo diegreat composers of all time. Best known in his day for his keyboard skills, he spent much of his time writing for the churches where he worked. However, in terms of the quality of his work, he produced more jewelry than Bvlgari. Bach composed for all musical genres of his time, with the exception of opera, and his ultimate goal was the glorification of God. He said, "The sole purpose of music must be the glory of God and the restoration of the human spirit." Scroll down to discover our selection of the best Bach works featuring 10 masterpieces by the great composer.

Hear the best of Bachapple musicYSpotifyand scroll down to discover our selection of the 10 best works by Bach.


Bach's best works: 10 essential pieces by the great composer

Concerts in Brandenburg

Many Baroque composers wrote dozens or even hundreds of concertos, but Bach managed to encapsulate the entire genre in just six, each featuring a different cast of soloists with a wide range of moods and even structures (shocking in an age when concertos should have three). . movements: fast-slow-fast). So we leap from the vertiginous heights of the strangely difficult trumpet movement that colors the secondbrandenburg concert, until nº 6, which acquires dark nuances due to the absence of violins. And for pure virtuosity, try brilliant No. 5, in which flute, violin and harpsichord take center stage.

JS Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in Solar Maior, BWV 1048 - I. (Allegro)

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Four orchestra suites

Besides the concerto, the other genre in vogue in Bach's day was the orchestral suite (or "overture" as he called it). While the concerto derives from an Italian tradition, the suite was originally a French dance sequence. Although Bach's four have a kind of courtly nobility in addition, they vary enormously: from the graceful succession of dances in the first; in the captivating 'Badinerie' for flute, which closes the second; to the opening of the trumpet and drum of the third; and, finally, the intoxicating grandeur of the Fourth, by far one of Bach's finest works, rivaling Handel's most opulent creations for sheer pageantry.

JS Bach: Orchestral Suite No. 2 in C minor, BWV 1067 - 7. Bathing

(Video) Top 10 Johann Sebastian Bach Music

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matthew crush

The Passions are great choral works that narrate the suffering and death of Christ, and nothing better than those of Bach, two of which have come down to us: theSaint Johnit's himRoad. Mateus. The latter is one of the great icons of music, but after Bach's death it was not played for almost 80 years, until a young FélixMendelssohnreintroduced into the world. Its combination of scale, solemnity, and poignant humanity (summed up in the deeply mournful aria "Erbarme Dich" for alto and violin) gives it an enduring appeal that captivates believers and non-believers alike.

JS Bach: Matthew Passion, BWV 244 / Part Two - No. 39 "Have Mercy"

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Cantata No.21

Bach's cantatas (about 200 sacred and a handful of secular ones survive) are even more remarkable when you consider that this was real bread and butter, produced for the services each week. This meant that they had to be played without much rehearsal; So either the community had to put up with a pretty complicated game, or Bach's musicians were exceptional at being anything but simple.Cantata No.21It is one of the most beautiful. His text is a popular theme in the Lutheran tradition: “Has God abandoned me? Ugh, no, he didn't." It is extraordinarily large in scale and shows, among Bach's best works, that no one expresses agony more deliciously than Bach.

Albrecht Mayer, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša – Bach: I've Had Many Sorrows: I. Symphony

(Video) Top 30 Bach | Famous Classical Music Pieces

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Organ Fantasy and Fugue in G minor, BWV542

Bach was particularly admired for his piano skills, especially his talent for improvisation; Much of his organ music probably started out like this: a doodle turned into something powerful. In addition to the most famous organ work of all, theToccata and fugue in D minor(which some doubt is by Bach) is one of his most brilliant worksFantasy and Fugue in G minor. the flowcostumeshas an avant-garde beauty and dark humor that derives from Bach's penchant for crunchy dissonance, while thematchit's a tour de force that builds to a heaven-shattering climax.

JS Bach: Prelude (Fantasy) and Fugue in G minor, BWV 542 - "Great"

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The well-tempered clove--die 48

Bach was not only one of the greatest compositional geniuses in history; He was also a devoted family man and frequently wrote piano music as a teaching tool for his many children.The well-tempered cloveIt is a set of preludes and fugues in 24 major and minor keys (48 works in total). If that sounds a little dry, remember that we're talking about Bach here. He48are as captivating to listen to as they are to play, and earn their place among Bach's greatest works. And since this music was never intended for an audience, it's no surprise that even the most expansive and grandiose pieces exude a sense of intimacy.

JS Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier: Book 1, BWV 846-869 - Prelude and Fugue in C Major, BWV 846

(Video) Bach - Greatest Hits

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Goldberg Variations

Ultimately, with Bach, one could spend years analyzing why his music is so compelling or, how theGoldberg Variations(supposedly written to put a noble afflicted with insomnia to sleep) one can simply enjoy it. Conceived for harpsichord but equally acclaimed with enthusiasm by pianists, it consists of a lyrical theme with 30 variations with a duration of approximately one hour. Bach carries the theme through countless permutations of mood and speed, and when the theme returns unadorned at the end, the sense of an important journey is complete.

Lang Lang - Bach: The Goldberg Variation, BWV 988: Aria

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Six suites for cello

While it's fairly easy for the keyboard to hold its own, string instruments have a harder time. bach solocello suitesthey are immensely difficult, mainly because I was determined to make the instrument sound self-contained. They disappeared from the repertoire for years, only to be rediscovered and then celebrated when the great Catalan cellist Pablo Casals began playing them, proving that they were not, as some thought, just studies. Ever since, suites have intimidated players and delighted audiences. Turning the cello into a true orchestra, they range from the gloriously affirmative No. 1 to the introspective No. 2 to the brilliant, soaring sixth.

JS Bach: Suite for Cello No. 1 in G-Dur, BWV 1007 - I. Prelude

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Sonatas and Partitas for Violin

Violinists must not envy thiscello suites, since Bach left them a solo work of equal value: diesonatas divided from. The most famous of these is the 'Partita in D minor', with its diabolical epic finale 'Chaconne', in which a simple theme is varied no less than 64 times to produce extraordinary emotional impact. Equally effective is the 'Partita in E major', which dances with an irrepressible temperament that is rarely threatened in other movements. The listener does not want an accompaniment to any of these pieces, as the violin is convincingly placed in the spotlight.

JS Bach: Partita for Violin Solo No. 2 in D minor, BWV 1004 - 5. Ciaccona

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Concerto in D minor for two violins

Bach didn't leave many solo concerts, but this is a gem that easily rivals Bach's greatest works of all time. Featuring two violinists to simple string and harpsichord accompaniment, it is particularly popular for its rhapsodic slow movement (scattered by dozens of film directors for high emotional moments), in which the two soloists confidently embrace each other, sounding more like singers than singers. than as instrumentalists. On the other hand, there are the energetic outside moves where the two players brilliantly twist each other. It's no wonder that great violinists throughout history have teamed up for this irresistible duo.

JS Bach: Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor, BWV 1043 - I. Vivace

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Discover more of the best works by our composers.

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What are Bach's most famous piano pieces? ›

Bach's Best Piano Songs
  • Goldberg Variations in G Major, BWV 988: 1. ...
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846–893: Prelude No. ...
  • Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach: Minuet in G Major, Anh. ...
  • French Suite No. ...
  • Partita No. ...
  • The Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, BWV 846-869: Prelude No. ...
  • Air on the G String (From Orchestral Suite No.
Nov 13, 2018

What are some of Bach's famous pieces? ›

Johann Sebastian Bach

What is Bach most famous for? ›

Johann Sebastian Bach had a prestigious musical lineage and took on various organist positions during the early 18th century, creating famous compositions like "Toccata and Fugue in D minor." Some of his best-known compositions are the "Mass in B Minor," the "Brandenburg Concertos" and "The Well-Tempered Clavier." Bach ...

What was Bach's best work? ›

St Matthew Passion

Bach's greatest work, so it's widely believed. The story of Christ's Passion is told compellingly through expressive recitative and rousing choruses.

What is Bach's greatest piece? ›

10 of Bach's all-time best pieces of music
  • The Brandenburg Concertos. ...
  • The Goldberg Variations. ...
  • Concerto for Two Violins in D minor. ...
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier. ...
  • St Matthew Passion. ...
  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor. ...
  • Six Suites for Solo Cello. ...
  • B Minor Mass.
Mar 5, 2021

What is Bach's most well known piece? ›

Bach's Concerto for Two Violins is one of his most famous works.

What is Bach's famous song? ›

Johann Sebastian Bach

Where should I start with Bach? ›

The 10 Best Bach Works – A Beginner's List
  • Orchestral Suites. Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Petra Mullejans, Gottfried von der Goltz. ...
  • Brandenburg Concertos Nos 1-6. ...
  • Violin Concertos. ...
  • Goldberg Variations. ...
  • Partitas. ...
  • Cello Suites. ...
  • The Well-tempered Clavier. ...
  • Solo Violin Sonatas & Partitas.
Jan 31, 2022

What is Bach's most famous Passion? ›

Matthew Passion was first heard on Good Friday, 1727 in Leipzig, Germany. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote his St. Matthew Passion for a single purpose — to present the Passion story in music at Good Friday vesper services. Bach's Passion continues to move audiences nearly three centuries after it was first heard in St.

What is Bach's hardest song? ›

There are two works of Bach's that are among the most difficult piano pieces ever. Those works are: The Goldberg Variations. The Art of Fugue.

What makes Bach's music unique? ›

Bach's music was made through faith, but it transcends faith. He humanises the Lutheran theology of his time and makes it approachable. He makes it speak to people of all beliefs, and of none.

What is unique about Bach's music? ›

Most contemporary music is about love between two people. What makes Bach's music particularly striking is that it's about the love of God. This should present a hurdle to someone who, like me, doesn't believe in God - but it doesn't.

What is Bach's hardest piano piece? ›

There are two works of Bach's that are among the most difficult piano pieces ever. Those works are: The Goldberg Variations. The Art of Fugue.

What is the most famous piano piece of all time? ›

The last of Beethoven's great piano concertos, the 'Emperor' has a strong claim to be the greatest piece ever written for the instrument.

Did Bach write any music for piano? ›

''Bach was familiar with the piano, you know. It was invented during his lifetime, and he not only played the piano, but actually composed at least two of his pieces specifically for the instrument,'' Mr.


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