Why Bach’s Chaconne is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.



Bach’s Chaconne has got to be one of the greatest achievements of mankind. It’s not just music it’s poetry, it’s energy and it’s a metaphor for life.

It helps me appreciate the ability to hear, to feel, to be able to convert sound frequencies into emotion. It helps me appreciate the greatness within man. It allows me to experience an unfiltered moment with reality itself. It is an experience that helps you understand your own consciousness more fully.

Bach composed the Chaconne sometime between 1718 and 1720 after returning from a trip and finding his wife (and the mother of seven of his children) Maria Barbara had died. Through our greatest pain we can discover our greatest strength.

There is pain, denial, chaos, hope, despair, growth, joy, playfulness, reflection, inspiration, appreciation and insight in the piece. To be able to weave such a variety of emotions in to one piece is genius, outer worldly and a miracle.

Could you ever write a piece like this without personally experiencing such a variety and extremity of emotion? Could you write this without an awareness of your own mortality? Could you write this without the ability to feel and be moved by music? It teaches us something about being conscious humans.

According to critics ‘The Chaconne remains to this day one of the most technically and musically demanding pieces for the violin, incorporating every aspect of violin technique known during Bach’s time.

The great violinist Yehudi Menuhin called the piece “the greatest structure for solo violin that exists” and Joshua Bell has said that it is “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It’s a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect’.

I’ll be listening to the Chaconne for the rest of my life.

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