At the top of the list of the giants of western classical music is JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH. During his long and extraordinarily productive career, Bach was famous as a virtuoso organist, teacher, music director and composer. In 50 years of intensive musical activity in 18th century Germany, Bach elevated, refined and extended the Baroque contrapuntal style. His catalog is extensive, his works ingenious and profound.
Today his music for organ, harpsichord, cello, chamber ensembles, orchestra and chorus/ are key monuments of the classical repertoire. In retrospect he created some of the great masterworks of western music, including major liturgical works performed on Christian holidays like the Mass in B Minor and the St. Matthew Passion.
Beyond its breadth, depth and intellectual brilliance, the appeal of Bach's music can be traced to something much simpler: Bach was a master of melody. For example, take one of his most popular pieces, the charming little hymn called Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring.
On this transmission of HEARTS of SPACE from longtime guest producer ELLEN HOLMES, we commemorate the benign lyricism of Bach with a program called IMMORTAL MELODIES.
As with Bach himself, many of the pieces are transcriptions of music originally written for other instruments. Performers include pianists JONATHAN PLOWRIGHT, MARTA & GYORGY KURTAG, HAMISH MILNE, PHILIP THOMSON, JOHANNA HARRIS, and GLEN GOULD; strings by FRETWORK, SARBAND, and MATHEW BARLEY; organ by WOLFGANG RUBSAM; and choral music by the BACH COLLEGIUM, THE ALBAN SINGERS, the HILLIARD ENSEMBLE, and the STUTTGART CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and CHORUS.