So Shreidi, what exactly characterizes classical music... who knows?! It's a philosophical question right up there with God and time.
<P>Bach... Let's remember that Bach devoted his life to church music. Other music that he wrote was often for study, as he was an educator too... when he showed up to teach that is. So things like the Cello suites, Art of..., The Well-tempered... were written more as etudes to develop players "chops" on their instruments. Well sure, Brahms wrote some more melodic etudes, but you can't discount the value in the Bach etudes. The independence of the lines is often a huge challenge. Also, if you can make some music happen in a WTC prelude, you can shine on some Debussy or Beethoven. You must also admit that he knew counterpoint very well and he set the standard for Western harmony. <P>I agree, Bach can be a bit dry in large doses. I like his music a lot in short doses. As a brass player, I play a lot of Bach transcriptions. Great fun! <P>This reminds me of sister-in-law. She recently attended a recital of the entire WTC. Wow! I wouldn't have lasted to D major! She's a trooper!<P>R