J. S. Bach

J. S. Bach

J. S. Bach

J. S. Bach

Excerpt

"When families have a long tree it will be found that Nature eventually produces an individual who embodies the qualities of all his ancestors and who, integrated and united, displays all the dispositions, hitherto isolated or in embryo."

When this is applied to Bach I discover a deep meaning to Goethe's aphorism. In his veins, as in a secular flower, coursed the sap of a long line of musicians. But he did not merely enrich himself from the patrimony accumulated by his direct ancestors; he chose his own. Spiritual son of the greatest masters of music, he knew how to divine his own wealth in the property they left behind and to take it for his own. The clairvoyant greed of the genius made him heir to the entire race of composers because, by transfiguring them, he acquired the best of all the works of the past. The most beautiful, the most moving and, to outward appearance, the newest of his prophecies were for the most part very ancient oracles which he revived, endowing them with a nobler virtue and bequeath-

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