Thursday 21 March 2019

Bach in Space

Today (by the Julian calendar) is the 334th birthday of the greatest composer this world has ever known, Johann Sebastian Bach.
It is also the birthdate (by the Gregorian calendar) of the Belgian violinist Arthur Grumiaux (1921-86), who made many recordings of Bach's violin music. One of these was chosen for the Voyager Golden Record that NASA launched into space in 1977, to let the aliens know what we Earthlings were all about. Here it is, the Gavotte en Rondeaux from Partita No 3...

 There are three Bach recordings on the Golden Record – more than any other composer (the others being the first movement of the second Brandenburg Concerto, and the first Prelude and Fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier). Here's the one they should have sent, IMHO, to show what realms of glory Bach, at his greatest, could ascend to...

(Not the greatest recording, but the graphics are appropriate.)


  1. The story goes that when NASA were asked why they hadn't included the B Minor Mass, they replied, "Because it would be boasting."

  2. My opinion of NASA has suddenly risen!