Bach was a musical genius who absorbed the musical styles that came before him, composed in all the nationalistic styles around him, and even anticipated the styles that would follow him. With the exception of opera, he composed in all the mediums of his time, from music for the church, to music for organ or harpsichord, to music for orchestra, and even to music for the coffee house! Within his music one can find sound that speaks directly to the heart as well as directly to the brain, and always music that lifts the spirit. No other composer compares to Bach’s quality and quantity of work.
Who else agrees?
While musicians and music lovers have individual opinions about almost everything, the one issue nearly universally agreed upon is that Bach is the best.
Brahms: “Study Bach! There you’ll find everything.”
Mozart: “At last, this is something I could learn from.”
Wagner: “…the most stupendous miracle in all music!”
Schumann: “Music owes as much to Bach as religion to its founder.”
William F. Buckley: “If Bach is not in Heaven…I am not going”
Why is there a Bach Society of Saint Louis?
In 1939 William Heyne attended a performance by the Bach Choir in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the oldest Bach Festival in America. He came back to St. Louis both inspired and committed to share the great music of Bach with his own community. Since 1941 the Bach Society, beginning with his Mass in B minor, has continuously shared this great music through concerts, lectures, recitals, festivals and educational programs. You can read more about our history here. .