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.