Showing posts from December, 2013

Gardiner, Bach, and the desire to detect weaknesses in high-achievers

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest classical composers of all time (for example, read this and this). Many people have pointed out that his oeuvre is both enormously large and enormously varied and that it hardly has any weak spots. Many people even rave about Bach that his work is indeed flawless and use hyperboles like that Bach's music was divinely inspired, that Bach was God's pupil or even, perhaps only half-jokingly, that Bach IS God.

John Eliot Gardiner, the famous conductor, has written a new book called Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven. In this video, he says that biographers of Bach make a logical error by thinking that because Bach made such great music he must have also been a great man. Then, Gardiner goes on to say that Bach certainly wasn't a paragon of virtue and that he actually was a deeply flawed character. He says this because in Bach's life, according to Gardiner, there is "almost a repetitive pattern of antagonistic behavior bet…