Johann Sebastian Bach

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(Mother:) “I myself like this music very much, this kind of theme developing into a play. The theme is essentially very musical: and then it is developed with variations, innumerable variations, and it is always the same theme which is developed in one way or another. In Europe there were musicians who were truly musicians and they too had the thing: Bach had it, he used to do the same sort of thing, Mozart had it, his music was purely musical, he had no intention of expressing any other thing, it was music for music’s sake.”[1]

(Medhananda:) “For a long time people thought that Bach's music was simplistic. Now they are noticing how rich and complex it is. He star from the most insoluble discords and then resolves them in harmony. There is no discord he was not able to resolve.
         One could make a parallel between Bach and his capacity to harmonise everything, and Sri Aurobindo with the new consciousness of time. In this supramental time, every discord is perceived simultaneously with the harmony that resolves it. Harmony is the reason why disharmony exists – so that a higher harmony can be attained.
         In the normal kind of time we live in at present, we perceive discord without seeing that it will be resolved, in this life or another one. But it is not only that it will be resolved, it is already resolved. The greater the discord, the higher, more subtle and powerful the harmony that resolves it.”[2]

(Mother:) “The true value of one’s creation depends on the origin of one’s inspiration, on the level, the height where one finds it. But the value of the execution depends on the vital strength which expresses it. To complete the genius both must be there. This is very rare. Generally it is the one or the other, more often the vital. […] But imagine this same vital power of expression, with the inspiration coming from far above — the highest inspiration possible, when all the heavens open before us — then that becomes wonderful. There are certain passages of César Franck, certain passages of Beethoven, certain passages of Bach, there are pieces by others also which have this inspiration and power. But it is only a moment, it comes as a moment, it does not last. You cannot take the entire work of an artist as being on that level.”[3]

“There is a domain far above the mind which we could call the world of Harmony and, if you can reach there, you will find the root of all harmony that has been manifested in whatever form upon earth. For instance, there is a certain line of music, consisting of a few supreme notes, that was behind the productions of two artists who came one after another — one a concerto of Bach, another a concerto of Beethoven. The two are not alike on paper and differ to the outward ear, but in their essence they are the same. One and the same vibration of consciousness, one wave of significant harmony touched both these artists. Beethoven caught a larger part, but in him it was more mixed with the inventions and interpolations of his mind; Bach received less, but what he seized of it was purer. The vibration was that of the victorious emergence of consciousness, consciousness tearing itself out of the womb of unconsciousness in a triumphant uprising and birth.”[4]

See also