Bach FAQ 31


On Which Cemetery Is Johann

Sebastian Bach Buried?


Today? Today Johann Sebastian Bach is laid to rest on no cemetery. His last resting-place today is in the St. Thomas Church in Leipzig. Thousands of Bach enthusiast go on a pilgrimage from the whole world to his grave, that is close to the Lord's table and which is decorated always with many flowers.


But there, he hasn't been forever. Shortly after his death they just hastily buried him. Over and out. Just like they forgot his work as quick as lightning in the public (... out of sight, out of mind). Bach was "okay", when he was performing his music, but in the sense of "everybody can be replaced" Bach was, back then in 1750, far from being treated as one of the greatest musicians ever and for that reason going down in history. They forgot his work, and the same was true with him as a person. It was "Sleeping Beauty Bach", so to speak. In between they dug him out and they put him "somewhere else", this time with more integrity – with more commitment than the first time.


Not earlier but when the so-called Bach renaissance started with another famous composer, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, performed Bach's St. Matthew Passion exactly 101 years after its debut performance – and that is precisely to the hour, as both days were Good Fridays – that is 101 years later, when people all over the world, musicians anyway, started to realize, which grade of genius Bach's skills were about. So, they caught up, with what this artist deserves: no place in Leipzig is more appropriate to Bach's appearance and dignified than the one, where folks from all over the earth find him today: very close to the Lord's table in the St. Thomas Church.


By  the way, they thought the performance was exactly 100 years after the debut performance. That was correct for almost 250 years. Or so. Today they know better: that was 101 years earlier, but again: precisely. To the day. To the hour. Because both were and remain ... Good Fridays.




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