Photos 1: Bach Album

Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) is a much with us today as Michelangelo, Shakespeare, Newton, Galileo, da Vinci, Beethoven, Einstein, and other giants from the past.  All roads (musically, to some degree or another) lead to him.  His surname among musicians is a colossal syllable, one which makes composers tremble, brings performers to their knees, and has become synonymous at once with a synthesis of styles and a radiation of influence.  For the organist, everything before him leads up to him, and everything after him is traceable in some way back to him.  Every musician of today must be his disciple, and his Organ compositions still form the kernel of the repertoire indeed to this very day.

Bach is with us, and will always be with us, for much the same reason as the Bible is with us and will always be with us; he's a ground and an anchor in an ever-shifting world, an architect in musical sound as fundamental as Newtonian physics, superceded by but forming the basis of all subsequent progress in his domain.  Genius as big as Bach's eludes explanation, and his vast musical world, while not always speaking our mental language, nevertheless rises to a level of insight and meaning that awes and which has very few peers, and no palpable superiors, in the creative arts.  It's no stretch to say that if all the music ever written except for Bach's would somehow be lost forever, music would still survive.

 Praeludium, Chorale, and Fugue in d minor for Organ Op. 10 from Eight Pieces for Organ Op. 10-17 is an extended tripartite work composed to honor Bach.  This music incorporates the multi-sectional style of the 17th century North German "stylus phantasticus" Baroque organ toccata in the Praeludium.  The 4-voice Fugue is written in quadruple counterpoint with 3 countersubjects.  Bach's 4-note melodic signature Bb-A-C-B is deliberately worked into the counterpoint in all 3 parts of this piece which are all constructed upon the same melodic motif.  This lends a very strong sense of unity to the entire work.  The central Chorale also has been made available separately as Chorale in d minor for Organ Op. 9.  It is scored in keyboard style for hands only and is playable on a one-manual organ with no pedals, a harmonium, or piano.