Today I want to share with you Ich ruf’ zu dir, BWV 177 by Johan Sebastian Bach, composed in 1732. As I listen to this cantata, I catch myself expecting a dramatic change, bursting with emotion, at every change in tempo; but there are only slight emotional hints – no outbursts.
If I had written this five or ten years ago, I’d have said that this music lacks emotional content, but today I see a very different side of it. Where composers of the Classical era (think Mozart, Beethoven) and especially the Romantic era (think Tchaikovsky, Saint Saens) wore their emotions on their sleeves, Bach forces your imagination to work harder, to compose your own highs and lows. Someone told me that Bach is a composer you come to later in life, and that definitely has been the case with me.