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YMMV / Johann Sebastian Bach

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  • Creator Worship: To the highest degree, among music academics and aficionados. The only ones who rival him in respect and acclaim are Mozart and Beethoven, both of whom held Bach in high regard themselves.
  • Critical Dissonance: Bach scholars tend to rate the cantatas and Passions as his greatest work; non-scholars and fans often prefer the instrumental music, such as the Goldberg Variations, The Well-Tempered Clavier, the suites for solo violin and solo cello, etc. This probably has something to do with the fact that the sacred vocal works are all sung in German.
  • Misattributed Song:
    • In 1853 French composer Charles Gounod composed a setting of "Ave Maria" that borrows Bach's C Major Prelude from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I for the accompaniment. This piece, extremely popular in its own right, is often misattributed to Bach himself, although he died 135 years before it existed. (It's most commonly credited "Bach/Gounod," although that hits the same problem.) To make matters worse, the edition of the Prelude that Gounod adapted has a spurious extra measure that was added by a well-meaning editor supposedly trying to "fix" Bach's faulty chord progression!
    • The famous "Minuet in G Major" is often attributed to Bach, since it exists in Bach's own handwriting in the Anna Magdalena Notebook, with no composer attributed. In the 1970s, music scholars deduced that the piece is actually the work of Christian Petzold, and Bach merely copied it out for his wife to play. Several of the other pieces in the notebook, formerly attributed to Bach, are similarly now recognized as the work of composers such as François Couperin, Jacob Böhm, and Bach's son Carl Philipp Emanuel.
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  • Vindicated by History: Bach's music wasn't given the recognition it deserved until the 1800s.

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