To Bach, all music was to be a form of worship. In his famed biography of Bach, Albert Schweitzer stated, “All great art, even secular, (was) in itself religious in his eyes; for him the tones do not perish, but ascend to God like praise too deep for utterance.” As such, every condition of the artistic endeavor—the quality of the music, the motivation, and the work required to create and execute it—was to reflect the Creator.
Humility, discipline and perseverance played a large role in making his musical worship so outstanding. He viewed his own talent as a divine gift and invariably assumed a humble stance when asked about his success with counterpoint. Bach stated, “I have had to work hard; anyone who works equally hard will be able to do as much.” The Goldberg Variations, BWV 988, one of the greatest works in the keyboard repertoire, demonstrate this conviction. The Aria and thirty variations reveal Bach’s motivation to glorify God through discipline……
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