A few caveats are in order before I speak to you about the global significance of the music of Johann Sebastian
Bach. I am not a musicologist, nor a musician; you’ll hear from these eminent scholars and artists later. I am just a
journalist, and as a journalist, I’ll start with hometown news first -- before going global.
I was born in Leipzig, virtually in the shadow of the Thomaskirche. When I was four, my parents began taking me to the motet or cantata services in the Thomaskirche every Friday or Saturday. This might sound alien to present-day parents, Lutherans included, who do not introduce their kids to music saying that they were “too
busy” for that and preferred to spend some “quality time” with their children, like munching hamburgers together.
I spent most of World War II in Leipzig. This is why a blend of two kinds of acoustical impressions has been resonating in my head ever since my childhood – the sound of bombs and sound of Bach.