Bach the Genius

Why Beethoven & Brahms Quote Bach.

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1. Repeated quotation of Bach by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Beethoven was profoundly influenced by the aria ‘Es ist Vollbracht’ (‘It is Accomplished’) from Bach’s St. John Passion.

2. Two quotations of Bach by Johannes Brahms.

The first instance is based on Contrapunctus 13 of The Art of Fugue.


We have briefly explored why Johann Sebastian Bach’s name should be included in any serious discussion of the meaning of genius, at least insofar as the musical world is concerned. Of particular note are 1) Bach’s unparalleled mastery of complex compositional techniques, 2) his consistent influence on the development of composers’ late styles, 3) his deeply expressive, spiritually motivating and pedagogical works, 4) and the profound recognition paid to him by the great composers.

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