On listening to Bach

3 March 2008

Esa-Pekka Salonen rehearsing

I’m moving my workspace at home at the moment, and keep turning up notebooks or scraps of paper on which I’ve written down interesting quotes. This one is the Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen on listening to Bach:

“An authentic performance of old music is possible, an authentic experience of it is not. … You cannot change the fact that when I listen to Bach, I have heard Haydn, I have heard Beethoven, I have heard Stravinsky, I have heard Jimi Hendrix, I have heard The Beatles, I have heard John Adams.”

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2 Responses to “On listening to Bach”


  1. […] to the way in which the Shakespearian audience would have experienced a comic actor as is possible for a 21st audience to […]


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