June 2019

The Musical World of Johann Sebastian Bach

Welcome to The Arts Society Sherborne
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 - 15:00
Digby Hall
Hound Street Sherborne DT9 3AA

JS Bach was regarded as the greatest of early 18th century composers. The Baroque period ends with his death in 1750. 

Music lovers generally regard JS Bach as the greatest of early 18th century composers. In fact, he is so important in the history of music that we close down the Baroque period with his death in 1750.  However, Bach is also one of the most challenging of composers and rarely reveals the subtleties of his music on first or even second hearing, causing his listeners to feel distanced from some of the finer moments in his output.  Using the 1746 Hausmann portrait of Bach as a constant point of reference, the lecture goes beneath the surface of the composer’s music to decode aspects of his musical symbolism, tell the story of his life, and confirm his importance in the history of music.

Reading List

  • Music in the Castle of Heaven: A Portrait of Johann Sebastian Bach by John Eliot Gardiner – Penguin Books
  • JS Bach by Peter Williams – Cambridge University Press
  • Bach (Master Musicians 3rd edition) by Malcolm Boyd - OUP



Mr Peter Medhurst

Peter appears in the UK and abroad as a musician and scholar, giving recitals and delivering illustrated lectures on music and the arts. He studied singing and early keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.