Why did numerology mean so much to Bach?
Lewis Kaplan, director of the Bach Virtuosi Festival, explains more:
Johann Sebastian Bach would have been 333 years old on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. There is great significance to the number 333 for Bach. He was a strong believer in numerology and the number 333 would have been quite meaningful to him. I don’t know how the numbers influenced his everyday life, but as a musician I can say they are very revealing in his compositions. The numbers tell not only the structure of his music, but an insight into the character of a given moment.
He used his name, which in the German alphabet is BflatACH, in many compositions including the St. Matthew Passion, as well as the numbers in the alphabet, B=2, A=1, C=3, H=8, totaling 14, in many works including his last work, “Before thy throne I now appear.” In one of his greatest works, and one I have recorded and performed many times, The Chaconne for Solo Violin, there are 257 measures, 2+5+7=14, which also equals BACH. He was also a deeply religious man, which greatly affected his art.
Happy birthday, dear JSB.
The Bach Virtuosi Festival takes place from Sunday June 17th through June 24th, right here in Portland Maine. You can find out more and get tickets below.