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Biography

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Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 – 1750) was a German composer and organist whose sacred and secular works for choir, orchestra and solo instruments drew together almost all of the strands of the style and brought it to its ultimate maturity. Although he introduced no new musical forms, he enriched the prevailing German style with a robust and dazzling contrapuntal technique, a seemingly effortless control of harmonic and motivic organisation from the smallest to the largest scales, and the adaptation of rhythms and textures from abroad, particularly Italy and France.

Bach's forceful suavity and vast output have earned him wide acknowledgment as one of the greatest composers in the Western tonal tradition. Revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty, his works include the Brandenburg concertos, the keyboard suites and partitas, the Mass in B Minor, the St. Matthew Passion, The Musical Offering, The Art of Fugue and a large number of cantatas, of which about 220 survive.

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