I have never heard a composition so deep, rich, and stringently logical, both in terms of its internal order, and by the designs of genre, as J. S. Bach’s Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, for organ, BWV 582.
And, I’m by no means the only one compelled by its authority.
According to professor Annette Richards, music scholar, Bach’s brother recorded this piece — earliest known copy of the work — into a musical book upside down, which signifies a profound recognition of sorts, either that he was too engrossed to pay attention, or that he intended to say of this piece, explicitly, that it is different from the rest of the organ repertoire.
It was also powerful enough to inspire Jimi Hendricks roughly 250 years later, and Francis Coppola, director of the Godfather, who kept a scene in the film merely because of it, not to mention countless other arrangements and performances up to the present time.
My guess is that it will continue to inspire artists and thinkers for decades more, if not centuries, and I’m willing to call it one of the supreme achievements of human history.
That’s not bad for a young man in his twenties. Though, that isn’t nearly so shocking. Bach, even young Bach, has proved through his production a remarkable talent for purely systematic thinking, which has given him the popular respect as a mathematical musician, whether or not such ascriptions are accurate, or sensible.
Bottom line, I recommend this piece to anyone interested in music, music history, or the history of ideas.