Bach in December: Joe's Month
December 06 2010
Why they go together like summer and ice cream, Bratwurst and mustard, Rin and Stimpy... the Pianobabbler cannot say.
That Bach and December go together, the Pianobabbler can say resolutely.
J. S. Bach. Johann Sebastian Bach. Johann. Joe.
J. S.'s music rules supreme, every day of the year. But somehow, it exercises a special attraction in December.
People argue over superiority in the arts. The greatest composer, the greatest novelist, the greatest musician, the greatest this, that, something, anything. How futile. Subjective reactions cannot assume numeric ranking.
Logical futility, however, yields to aesthetic passion in the case of Bach. His music so pricks the ears and spellbinds the soul that despite myself, I must say he is the greatest composer Western classical music ever knew.
When they clear the rest of the world away, leaving only that desert isle, the Pianobabbler and the music of one composer... Bach.
Tessellated harmonies, stratospheric melodies that slide into the soul like an oiled key into a closed emotion, undespotic intelligence, pellucid joy, becalming sorrow, a profound susurrus, the world, the universe, life, death in their every bit set in sound by sound concatenations like colour-dots in a mosaic mappa mundi. Bach.
As winter dries and freezes the air, Bach becomes the climate's natural soundtrack. Bach sounds perfect for December. Bach sounds perfect in December. Not only because he composed a Christmas Oratorio. There exists some deeper reason. Maybe the crisp, clear air reflects, Bach's crisp clear airs. Maybe. A mystery.
The Pianobabbler urges one and all to go, enjoy December, spin some Bach. Which Bach? It hardly matters. Something, anything. For example:
The sublime Brandenburg Concertos:
or the Pianobabbler's beloved Glenn Gould playing the Goldberg Variations:
or the heaven-sent solo Cello Suites:
Bonus: Bach composed so prolifically, you can listen to his music for years, and not wear it out for repetition.
And so, the Pianobabbler ventures onward into December bathed in Bach. Thank you Joe.
The Pianobabbler has babbled.
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- The Bach Matters podcast by Steve Kowalchuk
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