Saturday, February 02, 2008

"When I Play a Fugue, I Can Hear Bach Talking to God"

Here is an interesting article about the great numbers of Asians who will flock this year to Weimar, Germany to mark the 300th anniversary of J.S. Bach's arrival there.

Two little details I'd like to chime in on:

1. One person in the article wonders aloud why the Goldberg Variations are strikingly Christian, even though there's no text. I've never been able to confirm this, but I believe it's the penultimate movement of that piece which makes use of what sounds like the chorale melody Was Gott tut, das ist wohlgetan. I wonder if this was intentional on Bach's part. After all, the Goldberg Variations were written for a man suffering from insomnia, and the text of Was Gott tut seems to me to be appropriate for such a situation.

2. Notice the reference to Gregorian chant influence on Asian culture near the end of this article.

Some say that Bach was too Protestant for his music to be used in Catholic Churches. I say he was too gifted to be anything but universally relevant. To an extent, this article, I believe, proves my point.

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