If I knew I had a week to live (as someday I will, whether I know it or not), this is one of the things I’d want to hear.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Chaconne in D minor for solo violin (Partita for Violin No. 2 [BWV 1004]); Isaac Stern (violin), live
Here (Nathan Milstein).
And here (Gidon Kremer).
On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.
—Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann (translated from German)