“The best proof we have that life is good is that to each of us, on the day we are born, comes the music of Johann Sebastian Bach,” writes J.M. Coetzee in Diary of a Bad Year. “It comes as a gift, unearned, unmerited, for free.” While the respected novelist voiced that thought, as he often does, through a highly opinionated protagonist, I can’t help but suspect that author and character to some extent agree on this. Some of us discover Bach right away, in childhood; others do it much later. And whether or not we’ve earned or merited his music, it now comes to us more freely than ever.
Take, for example, Bach’s complete organ works, which you can download at no cost from Block M Records. Performing them all, we have University of Michigan’s Dr. James Kibbie — “on original baroque organs in Germany,” no less.
They’ve organized the collections, released under a Creative Commons license, into a complete catalog (that you can also search)—with downloadable groups (from trio sonatas and concerti to the Schübler Chorales and the Orgelbüchlein), as well as a list of evergreen familiar masterworks (such as the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and the Passacaglia in C Minor). They’ve made it easy to access and enjoy an important part of Bach’s wide, hugely influential, and endlessly enduring body of work. The question of whether life is ultimately good you’ll have to settle for yourself, but you can easily start gathering the evidence right here.
The Open Goldberg Variations: J.S. Bach’s Masterpiece Free to Download
Glenn Gould Explains the Genius of Johann Sebastian Bach (1962)
The Genius of J.S. Bach’s “Crab Canon” Visualized on a Möbius Strip
Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” Movingly Flashmobbed in Spain
Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.
HOLA LOS SALUDO DESDE COLOMBIA A TODO EL COMBO DE OPEN CULTURA….QUIERO FELICITARLOS,POR SU PREOCUPACIÓN,PARA QUÉ ÉSTE SEA UN MUNDO MEJOR…TIENEN UNA PÁGINA MUY COMPLETA Y ÉL QUÉ SE ABURRA, ES PORQUÉ NO ESTÁ EN SUS CINCO SENTIDOS……..TRATARÉ DE COMPARTIRLA CON TODO EL QUÉ SE ME APAREZCA….SIGAN ASÍ Y NADA QE CRITICARLES,SÓLO ALABANZAS PARA TODOS USTEDES….SUERTE……….
Cheers for this!
It’s a brilliant set. It’s been out for quite a while, too. You might consider also reporting on the newer (March 2015) Open Well-Tempered Clavier: http://welltemperedclavier.org
It fits right in with the Kibbie collection, and with the Open Goldberg Variations that you previously reported on.
Es un agrado, no cabe duda. Por favor, seguro que Ud. sabe que teclados en toda-mayúscula se considera en línea ser gritadas, y rudo. Muchas gracias por no gritar. Gozemos todos de un buen día.
@ Carlos Arturo Pérez Parodi — Es un agrado esta bondad de música, no cabe duda. Pero, por favor, seguro que Ud. sabe que teclados en toda-mayúscula se considera en línea ser gritadas, y rudo. Muchas gracias por no seguir gritando. Gozemos todos de un buen día.
I look forward to enjoying this wonderful collection. Bach’s music has inspired many generations and continues to inspire us look for the best in life. Thank you for this gift.
My McAfee Endpoint Protection immediately flagged up the installer as containing spyware.