Sir John’s passion

[The Guardian, 12 December 2005]
John Eliot Gardiner, one of the world’s foremost interpreters of Bach, tells Alan Rusbridger why he embarked on a ‘pilgrimage’ to record every one of the composer’s 200 cantatas
There is a famous painting of Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussmann which graces the front cover of Christoph Wolff’s recent biography. Bach is portrayed displaying an extremely complex piece of contrapuntal writing. It is a portrait of a master at the height of his craft – self-confident, even a bit arrogant.