You don’t become the greatest composer of all time overnight. Take a deep breath and plunge into Bach’s sources of inspiration.
Bach had an insatiable appetite for learning, listening and experimenting.“
There was no escaping it - Johann Sebastian just had to become a musician. As a child, he already had an insatiable appetite for learning, listening and experimenting. Shunske Sato browsed through Bach’s libraries, from his childhood with his brother Johann Christoph to his home at the Thomasschule in Leipzig. Whenever Bach came across good music, he copied it avidly, putting strict Palestrina polyphony next to brand-new notes by Conti and Biffi. It is only thanks to Bach’s copy that today we can listen to a mass by the unknown Bavarian composer Johann Baal.
And the master himself? We go back to the beginnings, with Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich. This small, fine piece is probably Bach’s very first cantata, written when our ambitious organist had just returned from Buxtehude’s town of Lübeck. A few years later, he wrote Gleich wie der Regen for the court at Weimar, a cultural hotspot of the Protestant world, with an inspiring library.
Works and Performance
GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DA PALESTRINA
Kyrie from Missa Ecce sacerdos magnus
Kyrie and Christe from Missa tota
Languet anima mea
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH
Gleichwie der Regen und Schnee vom Himmel fällt, BWV 18
Mein Gott, wie lang, ach lange, BWV 155
Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich, BWV 150
Excerpts from cantata Amante Moribondo
Excerpts from cantata Non t’accordi
Excerpts from cantata Su l’elemento infido
Netherlands Bach Society
conducted by Shunske Sato
Griet De Geyter, soprano
Bernadett Nagy, alto
Guy Cutting, tenor
Drew Santini, bass