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Bach Quotes


"Bach is Bach just as God is God." - Hector Berlioz

"I used to love Bach." - Josh Silver

"Study Bach. There you will find everything." - Johannes Brahms

"I prefer Offenbach to Bach often." - Thomas Beecham

"I like Bach. I like Randy Newman." - David Mamet

"When you play Bach like Chopin, and Chopin like Bach, something good happens." - Pablo Casals

"God listens to Bach while the angels listen to Mozart." - Karl Barth

"Bach is really the ultimate in bass players you know" - Jack Bruce

"If Bach is not in Heaven, I am not going!" - William F Buckley Jr

"[Bach is the] reason I became a musician" - Glenn Gould

"Beethoven was ahead of the times, Bach behind them." - Ralph Vaughan Williams

"I'm a nut for Bach as a composer." - Nina Simone

"Bach is the beginning and end of all music." - Max Reger

"B. B. King is no match for Johann Sebastian Bach." - Ilana Mercer

"Bach almost persuades me to be a Christian." - Roger Fry

"There is nothing like a Bach fugue to remove me from a discordant moment... only Bach hold up fresh and strong after repeated playing. I can always return to Bach when the other records weary me." - Edward Weston

"Composers most identified with the chamber music form are Corelli, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and, of course, Bach. Of course, Bach. If there is any one composer who gives us reason and emotion, it is Bach." - Karen Decrow

"And it totally has transformed my relationship with someone like, say, Bach. You know, Bach is born 330 years ago but, you know, gosh, he really is alive." - Mahan Esfahani

"When you hear Bach or Mozart, you hear perfection. Remember that Bach, Mozart and Beethoven were great improvisers. I can hear that in their music." - Dave Brubeck

"Jesus never heard of Beethoven and Bach. Why aren't we playing more country music in church ?" - Tex Sample

"If you play Bach every day, you are not so alone." - Pablo Casals

"Bach is thus a terminal point. Nothing comes from him; everything merely leads to him." - Albert Schweitzer

"Whether the angels play only Bach praising God, I am not quite sure." - Karl Barth

"My thesis statement would be-Bach didn't write Baroque music. He wrote great music." - Chris Thile

"Music owes as much to Bach as religion to its founder." - Robert Schumann

"I play Beethoven and Bach. At the same time, Biggie is my dog." - Alicia Keys

"You play Bach your way, and I'll play him his way." - Wanda Landowska

"If Beethoven is a prodigy of man, Bach is a miracle of God." - Gioachino Rossini

"The music of Bach is without doubt the most sacred gift to the world of art." - Heitor Villa-Lobos

"I would rather play Chiquita Banana and have my swimming pool than play Bach and starve." - Xavier Cugat

"Not all musicians believe in god but they all believe in Bach" - Mauricio Kagel

"If there is anyone who owes everything to Bach, it is certainly God." - Emile M Cioran

"No one believes in God any more, but everyone believes in Bach" - Mauricio Kagel

"I liked Bach played the way people expect Chopin to be played, and vice versa." - Eleanor Bron

"Playing Shakespeare requires technique. You don't play a Bach toccata by getting in the mood." - Kevin Kline

"Bach is how buildings got taller. It's how we got to the moon." - Charles Mingus

"Bach is like an astronomer who, with the help of ciphers, finds the most wonderful stars." - Frederic Chopin

"In Bach, the vital cells of music are united as the world is in God." - Gustav Mahler

"You play Bach your way, and I"ll play him his way." - Wanda Landowska

"There would have been no Bach had there been no Luther." - Francis Schaeffer

"For me, Bach is like Shakespeare. He has known all and felt all. He is everything." - Pablo Casals

"This is not a brook [Bach means "brook" in German], it's an ocean." - Ludwig Van Beethoven

"You want something by Bach? Which one, Johann Sebastian or Jacques Offen?" - Victor Borge

"[To a fellow musician:] Oh, well, you play Bach your way. I'll play him his." - Wanda Landowska

"If there is anyone who owes everything to Bach, it is God." - Emil Cioran

"I feel about Keaton the way an organist thinks of Bach." - Marty Feldman

"You play Bach your way and I'll play him his way." - Wanda Landowska

"The worst constructed play is a Bach fugue when compared to life." - Helen Hayes

"Bach was a top harmonist geezer, which is why the jazz cats love him." - Nigel Kennedy

"Menuhin was playing Bach on a fantastic spiritual level when he was a teenager." - Nigel Kennedy

"The three greatest composers are Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. All the others are cretins." - Hans von Bulow

"I went to the Bach Choir concert and heard Mozart's Requiem. I did not rise warmly to it. Then I heard an extract from Parsifal which I disliked very much. If Bach wriggles, Wagner writhes..." - Samuel Butler

"Whenever you study composition you inevitably encounter Bach right off the bat. You can't get across the room without running into him and the other greats. Analyzing Bach absolutely influenced my jazz playing." - Howard Roberts

"Bach is a colossus of Rhodes, beneath whom all musicians pass and will continue to pass. Mozart is the most beautiful, Rossini the most brilliant, but Bach is the most comprehensive: he has said all there is to say." - Charles Gounod

"Yes, I mean like you know, having studied with Yehudi Menuhin that is like some direct route into Bach, because he was one of the foremost interpreters of Bach for the violin." - Nigel Kennedy

"Colour does not make so much difference. Look at the Bach Chaconne: There is not one dynamic mark in the whole Bach Chaconne. Colours do not make so much difference." - Ruggiero Ricci

"Id love to have William Faulkner, Beethoven and Bach over. I want to find out what makes those guys tick!" - Candy Crowley

"I listen only to Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. Life is too short to waste on other composers." - John Edensor Littlewood

"You can't have Bach, Mozart and Beethoven as your favorite composers. They simply define what music is!" - Michael Tilson Thomas

"On one of those rare occasions when Bach appraised his own life's work, he remarked: I worked hard." - Johann Sebastian Bach

"What gives Bach and Mozart a place apart is that these two great expressive composers never sacrificed form to expression." - Camille Saint-Saens

"It may well be that some composers do not believe in God. All of them, however, believe in Bach." - Bela Bartok

"Bach opens a vista to the universe. After experiencing him, people feel there is meaning to life after all." - Helmut Walcha

"Perhaps the most serious complaint you could make about Bach is that he has every quality of humanity except imperfection." - Jeremy Denk

"The one Bach piece I learnt made me feel I was being repeatedly hit on the head with a teaspoon." - Dodie Smith

"John Lennon was brilliant, so gifted, so giving. He was the Bach, Beethoven, the Rachmaninoff of our time." - Sid Bernstein

"Oh, you happy sons of the North who have been reared at the bosom of Bach, how I envy you!" - Giuseppe Verdi

"I've outdone anyone you can name - Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Strauss. Irving Berlin, he wrote 1,001 tunes. I wrote 5,500." - James Brown

"Perhaps Bach and Beethoven are strange bedfellows for Mickey Mouse, but it's all been a lot of fun." - Walt Disney

"I like classical music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and I adore Bach above all." - Gregory Maguire

"I'd love to have William Faulkner, Beethoven and Bach over. I want to find out what makes those guys tick!" - Candy Crowley

"I listen to Bach a great deal. In general I like to listen to hymns and liturgical music." - Marilynne Robinson

"I remain loyal to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert in music and to Shakespeare and Jane Austen in literature." - Anne Stevenson

"If you try to have a fashion show with Bach fugues and John Coltrane, it doesn't really work." - Isaac Mizrahi

"I remembered a story of how Bach was approached by a young admirer one day and asked, But Papa Bach, how do you manage to think of all these new tunes? My dear fellow, Bach is said to have answered, according to my version, I have no need to think of them. I have the greatest difficulty not to step on them when I get out of bed in the morning and start moving around my room." - Laurens van der Post

"I come from a family in which music was important, especially German music - from I come from a family in which music was important, especially German music - from Johann Sebastian Bach to Ludwig van Beethoven. I played a lot of piano, mostly Bach. I really loved Glenn Gould's interpretations. to Beethoven. I played a lot of piano, mostly Bach. I really loved Glenn Gould's interpretations." - Emmanuel Macron

"And I believe that the Binomial Theorem and a Bach Fugue are, in the long run, more important than all the battles of history." - James Hilton

"If one were asked to name one musician who came closest to composing without human flaw, I suppose general consensus would choose Johann Sebastian Bach..." - Aaron Copland

"I can find something between sight and hearing and I can produce a fugue in colors as Bach has done in music." - Frantisek Kupka

"Bach takes you to a very quiet place within yourself, to the inner core, a place where you are calm and at peace." - Yo-Yo Ma

"Jazz isn't as profitable for labels like Hip hop or Rap. Jazz needs subsidies to continue, just like European classical works of Bach and Beethoven are subsidized." - Jimmy Heath

"Artists like Bach and Beethoven erected churches and temples on the heights. I only wantedto build dwellings for men in which they might feel happy and at home" - Edvard Grieg

"When I was five, I am told, and asked what my favorite things in the world were, I answered, smoked salmon and Bach." - Oliver Sacks

"Nothing is so musical as the sound of pouring bourbon for the first drink on a Sunday morning. Not Bach or Schubert or any of those masters." - Carson Mccullers

"I don't want to be a vampire' she told herself. But in her dreams, she kind of did.-Tana Bach-page 29-chapter 4" - Holly Black

"One does not play Bach without having done scales. But neither does one play a scale merely for the sake of the scale." - Simone Weil

"My own musical background is based in the blues, and in classical composition. I grew up listening to Muddy Waters, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Beethoven and Bach." - Frederick Lenz

"I have chosen to parody the writing styles of Carlos Castaneda, James Redfield, Richard Bach, Lynn Andrews, and several other best-selling new age authors." - Frederick Lenz

"If all the music written since Bach's time should be lost, it could be reconstructed on the foundation which Bach laid." - Charles Gounod

"Bernard Herrmann used to write all his scores by himself. So did Bach, Beethoven and Stravinsky. I dont understand why this happens in the movie industry." - Ennio Morricone

"Spencer was searching for a woman interested in gold, inorganic chemistry, outdoor sex and the music of Bach. In short, he was looking for himself, only female." - Woody Allen

"I can take any series of numbers and turn it into music, from Bach to bebop, Herbie Hancock to hip-hop," - Donald Byrd

"You can play Bach on the piano, a symphony orchestra or a quartet of saxophones, but let's stop this silly, childish business of knit your own musicology" - Paul McCreesh

"I would send the complete works of Johann Sebastian Bach into outer space on the Voyager spacecraft. But that would be boasting." - Lewis Thomas

"I'd like to get something together - like a Handel, Bach, Muddy waters, flamenco type of thing. If I could get that sound, I'd be happy" - Jimi Hendrix

"Bach is an astronomer, discovering the most marvellous stars. Beethoven challenges the universe. I only try to express the soul and the heart of man." - Frederic Chopin

"Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky were not classical musicians while they were alive and active, they were the rock stars of their day." - Seymour Stein

"In Bach, Beethoven and Wagner we admire principally the depth and energy of the human mind; in Mozart, the divine instinct." - Edvard Grieg

"I had no idea of the historical evolution of the civilized world's music and had not realized that all modern music owes everything to Bach." - Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

"Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky were not classical musicians while they were alive and active, they were the rock stars of their day." - Seymour Stein

"Women play cellos and violins in symphony orchestras. They're playing Beethoven and Bach. What do you mean they can't play rock and roll?" - Joan Jett

"Is it possible that seemingly incredible geniuses like Bach and Shakespeare and Einstein were not in fact superhuman, but simply plagiarists, copying great stuff from the future?" - Kurt Vonnegut

"Music always stimulates my imagination. When I'm writing I usually have some Baroque music on low in the background chamber music by Bach, Telemann, and the like." - Haruki Murakami

"Richard Bach with this book does two things. He gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both I am deeply grateful." - Ray Bradbury

"I cannot listen to Beethoven or Mahler or Chopin or Bach when I write because those composers require you stop what you are doing and listen." - Antonio Damasio

"Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand. They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration." - Ernest Newman

"Bach and Beethoven, all of them, they had to write something to please the upper structure, those with money and power." - Sun Ra

"Whether the angels play only Bach praising God, I am not quite sure. I am sure, however, that en famille they play Mozart." - Karl Barth

"I do not think that music keeps evolving. It evolved through Bach; since then, in my humble opinion, all the innovations added nothing." - Gordon Getty

"The fact that Stravinsky used the classics as a major influence is obvious. What is interesting is how he used them, how he turned Bach into Stravinsky." - Lukas Foss

"I see it as my job to try to keep Bach in the mainstream and present his music with, rather than without, its emotional core." - Nigel Kennedy

"If Beethoven and Bach hooked up with Mozart and made a band, they could be a distant runner up to The D." - Jack Black

"There is something comforting about going into a practice room, putting your sheet music on a stand and playing Bach over and over again." - Andrew Bird

"Has it struck you that the music which is regarded as the most sublime in western civilization, which is the music of Bach, is called baroque?" - Pierre Schaeffer

"I don't think I had a Catherine Bach poster, but I know a lot of my friends desecrated those, big time." - Sean William Scott

"I played a lot of Bach's partitas and sonatas; I like the way that Bach was abstracting already from these dance forms." - Caroline Shaw

"Any species capable of producing, at this earliest, juvenile stage of its development... the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, cannot be all bad." - Lewis Thomas

"There are so many different people that I've emulated vocally. In the rock world - Sebastian Bach, Vince Neil, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant. They all had amazing vocal talent." - Fergie

"Music is the effort we make to explain to ourselves how our brains work. We listen to Bach transfixed because this is listening to a human mind." - Lewis Thomas

"I can take any series of numbers and turn it into music, from Bach to bebop, Herbie Hancock to hip-hop." - Donald Byrd

"Bernard Herrmann used to write all his scores by himself. So did Bach, Beethoven and Stravinsky. I don't understand why this happens in the movie industry." - Ennio Morricone

"It would be great to have Bach in one corner, Bessie Smith in another, John Lennon in another. That's what I'd ideally like. A studio of the dead." - Jools Holland

"I think Bach is equally a romantic composer because he laid the seeds harmonically for people like Chopin and the great Romantics, Brahms, so its difficult to you know all this like labelling and putting - I think Bach is attractive to musicians because he supersedes the labels." - Nigel Kennedy

"The miracle of Bach has not appeared in any other art. To strip human nature until its divine attributes are made clear, to inform ordinary activities with spiritual fervour, to give wings of eternity to that which is most ephemeral; to make divine things human and human things divine; such is Bach, the greatest and purest moment in music of all time." - Pablo Casals

"Having nothing to do, I am correcting the Paris edition of Bach; not only the engraver's mistakes, but also the mistakes hallowed by those who are supposed to understand Bach (I have no pretensions to understand better, but I do think that sometimes I can guess)." - Frederic Chopin

"Never hesitate to imitate another writer. Imitation is part of the creative process for anyone learning an art or a craft. Bach and Picasso didn't spring full-blown as Bach or Picasso; they needed models. This is especially true of writing." - William Zinsser

"When we play an unaccompanied Bach suite we may compare ourselves to an actor in Shakespeare's day, creating scenery which did not exist at all, through the power of declamation and suggestion. So in Bach. There is but one voice - and many voices have to be suggested." - Pablo Casals

"Bach was so mathematical and I liked this idea that you could have one instrument going, 'One, two, three, four', and then you have another instrument going, [double time] 'One, two, three four', and another instrument going, [doubled again] 'One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four', so you could add twos and fours and eighths, and that happens a lot in Bach." - Paul Mccartney

"Some months ago, while I was preparing a new work, I told a young cinema executive my intention of including in a soundtrack two themes from Bach. But when he asked me which has been the last hit from that Bach?, then I knew that I had no longer place in cinema." - Maurice Jarre

"I think Bach is equally a romantic composer because he laid the seeds harmonically for people like Chopin and the great Romantics, Brahms, so it's difficult to you know all this like labelling and putting - I think Bach is attractive to musicians because he supersedes the labels." - Nigel Kennedy

"I'm not making any absurd comparisons between myself and Bach, but I aspire to that, that my music will have the legs to survive whatever context it finds itself in." - Steve Reich

"It's important to play the pieces that you feel you can play well. It was always my dream to play Bach - my first love and fascination - Chopin, and Szymanowski." - Rafal Blechacz

"My mind and fingers have worked like the damned. Homer, the Bible, Plato, Locke, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Beethoven, Bach, Hummel, Mozart, Weber are all around me. I study them. I devour them with fury." - Franz Liszt

"In Bach there is still too much crude Christianity, crude Germanism, crude scholasticism; he stands on the threshold of European (modern) music, but he looks back from there to the Middle Ages." - Friedrich Nietzsche

"I was fifteen years old, and I hardly knew how to play a simple Bach prelude on the piano when I began to compose music, and at the most advanced level. I had never studied such things as harmony." - Gyorgy Legeti

"Talent is hereditary; it may be the common possession of a whole family (eg, the Bach family); genius is not transmitted; it is never diffused, but is strictly individual." - Otto Weininger

"I began to realize that some of the things Ornette Coleman had said about things being played three or fours ways, independently of each other, were true because Bach had also composed that way." - Miles Davis

"Go Green, Live Rich is the ultimate toolkit for greening the planet and our wallets at the same time. No one does a better job than David Bach in showing us the practical strategies for how to enjoy living sustainably." - Terry Tamminen

"What can you say about a twenty-five year old girl who died? That she was beautiful and brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. The Beatles. And me." - Erich Segal

"Soccer isn't the same as Bach or Buddhism. But it is often more deeply felt than religion, and just as much a part of the community's fabric, a repository of traditions." - Franklin Foer

"I find that I never lose Bach. I don't know why I have always loved him so. Except that he is so pure, so relentless and incorruptible, like a principle of geometry." - Edna St Vincent Millay

"There's power to: and everyone should have that, but everyone doesn't. Power to play Bach, or tennis, or boccie if you like. And there's power over; and no one should have that, but people do." - Marilyn French

"I'm too busy playing. When I'm playing I don't pay attention to who's listening. When I was listening I listened to symphony orchestras, Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, Stravinsky. You don't listen to one instrument; you listen to music." - Charles Mingus

"If we look at the works of JS Bach ... on each page we discover things which we thought were born only yesterday, from delightful arabesques to an overflowing of religious feeling greater than anything we have since discovered." - Claude Debussy

"There is more to life than increasing its speed. Gandhi gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it? Richard Bach Life exists for the love of music or beautiful things." - Gilbert K Chesterton

"From it's inception Beat poetry was hailed as "something NEW" and "like all good spontaneous jazz, newness is acceptable and expected - by hip people who listen." But the newness of jazz has in it the echoes of J. S. Bach." - Allen Ginsberg

"Up to the age of 14 I had not heard a note of anything before 1750, never heard a note of Bach, never heard anything after Wagner, and never heard any real jazz." - Steve Reich

"Beethoven for listening; Liszt, Chopin, and Beethoven for playing as well as Bach and Prokofiev and so on. If I kept going, this list would spiral. It's as wide as literature; in fact, it is probably wider." - William Golding

"Eventually I had so many little melodies and ideas that, you know, that they were all songs to me and I threw in a few cover songs like Enya's "Watermark," Bach, and my dad's song, "Song for the Whales."" - Petra Haden

"I love Bach, I love Beethoven, I love Mozart, I love the Beatles, I love you know, Stockhausen, I love many things. But for some reason I come back to Elizabethan music because it's a little bit like the Beatles." - Tod Machover