I first became interested in classical music when I was 11 or 12; I found some old bakelite 78s in an outbuilding at home - mainly recordings made in the 1930s with many of performances by the Berlin Philharmonic of works by Johann Sebastian Bach. To this day I count myself extremely fortunate to have had this early introduction to Bach, whose music is rigorous and disciplined, but never predictable - I always find something new to think about whenever I hear his music.
In my early 20s I began to realise that, although I did occasionally listen (on the radio, to recordings or when attending concerts) to music by other composers, this was really still quite rare. I made a definite decision to include other composers in my listening, too many to name them all here, but Beethoven, Mozart, Delius, Debussy, etc. come to mind. I now have quite an extensive collection, in more recent years exclusively on CD, although I still have a number of audio cassette and vinyl LP recordings I would part with only reluctantly.
My favourite music? - still pieces by JS Bach, I'm afraid. Just as a tiny example: Brandenburg Concerto No.5, Double Violin Concerto, Cantatas 112 and 185 - truly sublime. The year 2000 is the 250th anniversary of his death so there are many concerts and broadcasts devoted to his music, specially on BBC Radio 3, but other radio and television stations are devoting more time than usual to him, also - I urge you to sample some of J S Bach's music if you are not familiar with it or have thought it 'dull' and 'uninteresting' until now. Do you have any special favourites, by JS Bach or indeed any other composer? I'd be very interested to know.
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