Johann Sebastian Bach (RIP), July 28, 1750

Robert Shaw1 Shaw founded the Robert Shaw Chorale in 1948, one of the most renowned professional choral groups in the United States. The group was active until 1967 and made numerous recordings during its existence.

In addition to his work with the Chorale, Shaw was also a noted symphony conductor. He served as the music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 1967 to 1988. Under his leadership, the orchestra grew in both size and stature, earning numerous awards and accolades.

Shaw received many awards and honors throughout his career, including 14 Grammy Awards. He was also a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1991 and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1992.
suggested that Bach may “be the single greatest creative genius of the Western World” and that the B Minor Mass may be “his greatest achievement.” Although this piece employed the texts of the Ordinary Mass, it is, unlike others of the time, too massive for any actual worship service. Bach never heard it as a whole. But we can.

It is a musical, liturgical, and theological celebration of the life and worship of the whole church catholic, thus a gift to the world.

Bach – Mass in B minor BWV 232 – Van Veldhoven | Netherlands Bach Society

“Cadences are where they should be, order is linked with freedom, and an unusually gracious ebb and flow are part of Bach’s music. Eliot Gardiner says it chips away at toxicity, chastens, elates, and cleanses.”

Paul Westermeyer, “Bach, Johann Sebastian,” Dictionary of Luther and the Lutheran Traditions p, 70.

For those with less time to wonder, here are a few shorter compositions, some of his most popular, slightly reimagined.

Ian Post – Air on a G String Bach
Ardie Son – Choral No 59 Bach
Ardie Son – Bachs Cello Suite – Reimagined