Essay on Compare and Contrast: Johann Sebastian Bach and Sergei Rachmaninoff

Johann Sebastian Bach and Sergei Rachmaninoff are considered two of history’s greatest classical music composers. While some similarities between Bach and Rachmaninoff are evident, the differences are pronounced. Bach is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the baroque era. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music. Probably the greatest similarities they have in common are their great love and passion for music, and their desire to share it with the world. Even though Bach and Rachmaninoff came from completely different centuries and places in the world, they both shared a common goal, and that was giving the world beautiful music.Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21st, 1685, in the small town of Eisenach, Thurngia, which is modern day Germany. Bach was the eighth and youngest child born to Johann Ambrosius and Maria Elisabetha Bach. For all of Bach’s childhood he was exposed to music; He was part a long line of family musicians. His father was a court musician, and one of his uncles introduced him to the organ. In this time period, the name Bach was almost synonymous with music. In 1695, when Bach was ten years old, both of his parents both died.

Sergei Rachmaninoff was born almost two-hundred years after Bach, on April 2, 1873. Rachmaninoff was born in Oneg, Russia Rachmaninoff had five siblings, all of who were musical. When Rachmaninoff was ten years old, his parents separated. Sergei’s father Vasily had a problem with spending too much money and had amassed a large amount of debt. He soon separated from his wife, and the Rachmaninoff family was forced to sell their est…

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…ost talented composers of the modern age, and possibly of all time.

Works Cited

Grabbe, Paul. “Johann Sebastian Bach.” The Story of One Hundred Symphonic Favorites. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1940. 2. Print.

Shannon, Martin. “ ‘Soli Deo Gloria.’ ” In The Sacred Choral Music of J.S.Bach: A Handbook, edited by John Butt. Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 1997. 117. Print.

Teachout, Terry. “What Was The Matter With Rachmaninoff? (Music).(Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff).” Commentary 6 (2002): 47. General OneFile. Web. 18 Feb. 2014.

Wade-Matthews, Max, and Wendy Thompson. The Encyclopedia of Music: Musical Instruments and the Art of Music-making. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2007. 304. Print.

Wade-Matthews, Max, and Wendy Thompson. The Encyclopedia of Music: MusicalInstruments and the Art of Music-making. New York: Barnes & Noble, 2007. 426. Print.


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