What are Bach’s absolute best pieces?

My votes, in no order:

  1. The Sonatas and Partitas for Violin, as a group. I refuse to separate out the Chaconne, they’re all sublime.
  2. The Cello Suite no. 5, with the Devil’s Fugue.
  3. The Passacaglia & Fugue.
  4. Brandenburg no. 5.
  5. Orchestral Suite no. 3. Minus the Air; the Goldberg Air is more Bachlike for me, anyway.
  6. The Double Violin Concerto.
  7. Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue. Bonus points because Glenn Gould said it was Bach for people who don’t like Bach.
  8. The Capriccio for the departure of a dear brother.
  9. The keyboard Toccatas.
  10. The St Anne Prelude and Fugue.

Yes, I know there are some gaps there, and some of the choices are a bit eccentric.

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