1720s in Music

Music reviews for music composed in the 1720s.


1. Johann Sebastian Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846-893 (10/10)

I really don’t know how to put into words how crazy this piece is. I don’t think there is anything comparable in existence really. I mean, there are other variations he did, but nothing on this scale (is there?).  Desert Island music for me. Absolutely.


2. Johann Sebastian Bach: St. John Passion BWV 245 (10/10)

I cannot put this into words so I will not try.


3. Johann Sebastian Bach: Violin Concertos BWV 1041-1043 (10/10)

The fundamental violin concertos. I mean, right? Isn’t this where they come from? And that “double” one is probably my favourite.


4. Johann Sebastian Bach: The French Suites BWV 812-817 (10/10)

I prefer these to the English Suites in pretty much every way, and I think they are noticeably superior. A couple of them have become part of our modern lexicon, I think, as I’ve heard a number of them many, many times.


5. Johann Sebastian Bach: Sonatas and partitas for solo violin BWV 1001-1006 (10/10)

It’s incredible to me that these works went unpublished for something like 80 years and then were unpopular. Just kind of bonkers really. Fundamental works for the violin. It must have been incredible to hear these when they were first performed and probably still sounded better than most of the violin music that had been written in the subsequent 80 years.


5. Johann Sebastian Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 538 (10/10)

One of his most popular organ works is probably one of his best.


6. Johann Sebastian Bach: St. Mathew Passion BWV 244 (10/10)

I prefer the St. John and not just because it was first and I’m a snob about historical precedent.


7. Johann Sebastian Bach: “Brandenburg” concertos BWV 1046-1051 (10/10)

Though far from my most favourite Bach, these works are possibly the greatest orchestral works he ever wrote. (My affinity is for his solo compositions, usually.) I don’t know how to express their importance in words, really. So I won’t bother.


8. Johann Sebastian Bach: Preludes and fugues of the 1720s (10/10)

More essential organ works.


9. Johann Sebastian Bach: Trio sonatas for organ BWV 525-530 (9/10)

I prefer the solo organ works.


10. Johann Sebastian Bach: Partitas for keyboard BWV 825-830 (9/10)

I haven’t heard all these yet I’m sorry to say.


11. Johann Sebastian Bach: “Chromatic Fantasia in D minor” BWV 903 (9/10)


12. Johann Sebastian Bach: “Gott der Herr ist Sonn und schild” BWV 17 (9/10)

The cantatas are not my favourite and I have only heard a few of them, including this one. But I understand their importance.

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