I think I agree with Ryouga
's intentions, but I must beg to differ with his thesis: I don't believe that J.S. Bach
's music specifically, and baroque
, or polyphonic
music in general, is intellectual, cerebral, or non-emotional.
I would agree, however, that in the sense of say, Beethoven, Chopin, or some modern rock and roll composer, Bach is a little more distant. I would even go so far as to say there is an aesthetic distance in his work, the consequence of polyphony.
Maybe it is an intelligence, in the sense of multiple intelligences, so we might be talking the same thing, though in the common understanding of the word, any appeal to passion would be barred. And I believe Bach to be very passionate.
When I have mastered a fugue, there is a certain intellectual process I have operated, to be sure, but it is my body that does the work. And if my body did the work without listening, and without feeling, what kind of music would that be.
I am aware of my fingers working there, and the polyphony there, and the passion it arouses in me. They are not the same; but one could not be without the other.
Too many people feel Bach is sterile intellect; it seems to me the opposite must be true. I feel there comes a time when passion is so intense, so overwhelming, when it must be kept at a distance, for fear of drowning. I feel Bach caught the trick of doing this.
And the irony in it, is that whenever one does this, a new passion arises, a neverending spring.