Johann Sebastian Bach would have been 333 years old in 2018 (Wednesday, March 21st).
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.
The Bach Virtuosi Festival encompasses many of the world’s greatest Early Music specialists. Our focus on baroque is unique to the area of Portland, Maine. The energy and passion that our musicians demonstrate on stage is well worth the trip to Maine in and of itself. We hope you will be available to join us this June for some special baroque music. Tickets are on sale now and they are selling briskly.
More about God and numbers in June at the Bach Virtuosi Festival.
Happy 333, dear JSB.
Lewis Kaplan Director, Bach Virtuosi Festival