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A Bach A to Z

A to Z - Y
Y is for Youth

Extract from an interview with Ton Koopman, which will be broadcast on Radio 3 during 'A Bach Christmas'.

In reading about Bach and looking at his portrait I see a completely different Bach from how I imagine him. The picture I have in my mind of him is like that in the Bach house in Eisenach - he is a young person, 26 or 27 - intelligent, smiling, beautifully dressed, ready to conquer the world and become somebody important.

Although I like the last music that he wrote, Bach is always a young person for me, someone who is energetic in his music making...who is flesh and blood, not an evangelist but a normal believer, as everybody was a believer at that time. He is a craftsman in every respect and a great virtuoso. I would have loved to have drunk a glass of wine with him.

Bach looks disappointed in the Sofia portrait that you find in Leipzig. The world of Leipzig was a little too small and wasn't nice to him although he gave it something that no other composer in musical history ever could.
Ton Koopman

    Read what others have said..

    Caroline Agarwala, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
    I can't help being struck by the irrepressible, bubbly triple rhythms in so much of Bach's music, which, when played well, make me want to skip. I am particularly thinking of some of the Organ preludes & fugues. The church was his only sizeable concert hall for most of his life, and he must have wanted to inspire joy in others, especially the young, and impress the other lads! Some of the organ music, given the acoustic, must have had the mind-blowing effect that heavy metal has on youngsters these days.

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