Three Bach Chorales
(Guitar Solo)

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750) is the most famous of a German family of musicians. He was esteemed as an organist in his time, but received major standing as a composer due to a 19th-century revival. He was provincial, devoutly religious and produced a huge volume of both secular and ecclesiastical music noted for its prodigious counterpoint and harmonic expressiveness.

The following opinions give you some idea of his unique place in music:

Mozart; ‘Now there is music from which a man can learn something.’ Brahms; ‘Study Bach; there you will find everything.’ Beethoven (who looked after Bach's impoverished daughter) ‘…an immortal god of harmony.’ Wagner; ‘…the most stupendous miracle in all of music.’ Debussy; ‘…a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity.’

The chorales show his harmonic gift in particular. I transcribed these over a number of years, and on revision have not been able to pinpoint the third chorale in the selection. I’m sure someone will enlighten me.


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