Bach’s Deathday

July 28, 2012

It may appear that this site has suddenly become organ-centered, but J.S. Bach died 262 years ago today, so surely his last composition (which was appended to the unfinished Art of Fugue) can be allowed today. In it, after his multitude of inventive experiments in setting chorale tunes, he reverted to the most conservative imitative Pachelbel-style type of prelude, in which each phrase is preceded by fore-imitation; and, played by the more recently lamented Gustav Leonhardt, it is surely fitting for our observance of Bach’s death, as it was for the master at that last hour: “Vor deinen Thron tret ich hermit” (Before your throne I now appear):

They meet in the most impressive popular way in St├ęphane Delplace‘s “Bach Panther” — accompanied by terrific video-production values:

Here’s a disarming interview in which the musician discusses his work: