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[文化博览] 2016-07-13 BBC:巴赫:激情的一生 Bach:A Passionate Life-10

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I mean if you had a genetic explanation, then the genes would have gone through, throughout the Bach family in fact, why did they take so long to generate Bach in so many generations? And I think all these more general explanations on the basis of genes, even on the basis of xx culture surrounding him do not deliver the singular genius that he was. And it’s a pity in a way we can’t accept the singularity of people who are manifestly unique. We just can’t bear the idea the genius is unexplained.

But that’s not to say Bach was self-taught. His father’s cousin, Johann Christoph was the profound composer he referred to. His music, only recently we discovered is the link between Bach and the earlier German tradition. Johann Christoph may also have been Sebastian’s first teacher of the organ, and instrument he was to make his own. But Johann Christoph’s life was a cautionary tale.

In a sense, the life of Johann Christoph Bach exemplifies the problems that musicians had a time. They shuttle between the service of the church, or of the court, or occasionally of the municipality. And in Christoph’s case, he had all manner of domestic problems. He was shunted also from pillar to post; here in the town, the town wouldn’t give him a proper dwelling; he had illness in his family; he was underpaid; and he was thoroughly xx and miserable about it and died in penury.
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