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Happy 328th Birthday Johann Sebastian Bach

According to some historical pundits, today is Johann Sebastian Bach's 328th birthday.

Although I can't say that he's my favourite composer, I do have tremendous respect for his genius. To be able to hear how five voices can weave together harmoniously in a fugue and create that - it's just amazing.

I must admit that I enjoy listening to Bach's music more than playing it.

A quick search on Amazon reveals that these are 10 of the most popular recordings of the master of the fugue:

  1. Joan Kennedy: The Joy of Classical Music- The Audio Companion to the Best Seller
  2. Bach: 6 Brandenburg Concertos / 4 Orchestral Suites -Trevor Pinnock and The English Concert (1989)
  3. Best of Bach
  4. Bach: St. Matthew Passion by The Collegiate Chorale, Charles Bressler, Betty Allen, William Wildermann and Adele Addison (1999)
  5. J.S. Bach: Matthäus-Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach, Herbert von Karajan, Walter Hagen-Groll, Berlin National Cathedral Choir and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (1990)
  6. Bach: Matthäus-Passion (St. Matthew Passion) by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf / Peter Pears, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau / Walter Berry, Raymond Clark / Bela Dekany, Ralph Downes / Christa Ludwig and Nicolai Gedda / John Carol Case (1989) - Original recording remastered
  7. Build Your Baby's Brain 1 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, George Frederick Handel, Franz [Vienna] Schubert and Antonio Vivaldi (1998)
  8. Leonard Bernstein - A Total Embrace: The Conductor by Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Johann Sebastian Bach and Bela Bartok (2003) - Original recording remastered
  9. Paper Music by Bobby McFerrin, Peter Howard, Johann Sebastian Bach, Luigi Boccherini and Gabriel Faure (1995)
  10. UltraSound - Music for the Unborn Child by Claude Debussy, Johann Sebastian Bach, Robert Schumann, Jules Massenet and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1999)

If I had to choose which three to add to my library on my next music order, I'd have to go with the following:

#5 - Herbert von Karajan, Walter Hagen-Groll, Berlin National Cathedral Choir and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra's recording of St. Matthew's Passion:  A solid group of performers and at a price point that I might - just might - loan out to a responsible student.

#8 - Leonard Bernstien's recording: I have fond memories of studying Leonard Bernstein in music history.

#9 - Paper Music with Bobby McFerrin: I've enjoyed Bobby's music in my youth. I admire him even more with the work he has been doing with The Music Instinct: Science and Song, which looks at music and the brain.

I leave you with one of my favourite works by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Brandenberg Concerti