It’s impossible to actually leave Bach, because he’s a composer you always come back to.
In classical music, his influence is beyond measure. Take, for example, his book of 48 preludes and fugues, of which the first prelude is playing. As a piano player, this keyboard collection has been a lifetime companion for me. He wrote the pieces as exercises for his own children and his pupils.
In the generations to come, it would be the infant Mozart, the child Beethoven, and pretty much every single composer that would learn from this slim tome. Not just how to play the piano, but how to compose. The influence of even this small book on Western Classical Music is incalculable. And that’s not even to go into the Passions, the Mass in B minor, all those cantatas and so much more.
No composer has a musical mind as profound and accomplished as Bach’s. He is awe-inspiring, to an almost intimidating degree. He is a composer of sometimes bewildering complexity but also – crucially – of the most intense and profound emotion.
Bach is truly the musical gift that keeps giving: each time you come back you always find more.