The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, May 04, 2007
Metaphor of the Day

Other biographers have placed Bach as a synthesizer of various national styles, the cul-de-sac of Reformation music, or the artistic antipode of that other great figure of the age, Isaac Newton. Geck’s Bach, and in particular the Bach of the late instrumental works, is instead the conduit through which the primarily text-based aesthetic of the Baroque is transferred to the motive-based music of later centuries. Thus Bach not only becomes the culmination of the music of his predecessors but also the source for the compositional aesthetic of composers all the way down to Mahler (and perhaps even later). This is an original insight-or at least an original way of putting the matter-and I suspect it will prove to be foundational for future views of the composer.

--from a review of Johann Sebastian Bach: Life and Work, by Martin Geck in First Things

Bach is surely one the key people to study in coming to terms to what it means to practice art as a Christian.