This morning I am thinking about Bach and his collection of 48 Preludes and Fugues in the two volumes known as the Well Tempered Clavier. I have just played through the Bb prelude in the second volume It is an amazing piece.
Bach and this book have loomed over my life since I was a teenager. I remember visiting the home of Greg Angus who was a friend of mine in high school. He was a classical guitarist who like myself had an interest in many styles of music. His older brother Duncan was an actor and affected a sort of British accent on his visits home from college. Greg’s Mom was a piano teacher. They lived in Owosso. I think Greg’s Dad was a teacher and actually taught my brother Mark in elementary school. I could be wrong about that. Mark is one of my readers so maybe he will correct me. (Incidentally, if you are interested in the parable of the Good Samaritan I was talking about yesterday be sure and read Mark’s comment on yesterday’s blog in which outlines a sane approach to preaching on it at this time of crazy shit in America).
Anyway, Greg didn’t live in Owosso, He lived on the outskirts of Flint in his Grandmother’s cottage she kept so that she could attend an annual church camp meeting held in Flint. I can remember Greg and I frying up mushrooms in butter at his Grandmother’s cottage. My taste for mushrooms cooked in butter dates from this time.
When I was visiting Greg’s parents home in Owosso, I noticed a copy of the Well Tempered Clavier by Bach on the piano. I was already enamored of Bach by that time, though I couldn’t really play much of his music well and actually couldn’t fluently read bass clef being primarily a trumpet player. When I remarked on the volume, Greg’s Mom told me that I would have a lot of fun with this particular book in my life as a pianist.
She was right. The pieces in this collection continue to amaze and delight me. I love playing through them. Pablo Casals writes about getting up every day and playing through at least one prelude and fugue from it as a sort of morning benediction to the day. He used to brag that his cleaning lady could be heard humming themes from the book due to this daily exposure.
A few years after Greg’s Mom predicted my love of this book, when I was attending Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware Ohio studying composition, I remember thinking that I would be satisfied if i could acquire enough piano technique to be able to play the Well Tempered Clavier.
Despite my self doubts and weird ability that doesn’t quite fit many slots these days, I think I have come to the point where I can play this book with a certain amount of ease.
Greenspan admits Iraq was about oil, as deaths put at 1.2m | World news | The Guardian
This is an old story from 2007. However, it seems to be a bit under reported, at least I don’t remember it.
Story of Philistines Could Be Reshaped by Ancient Cemetery – The New York Times
For some reason I had an unusual number of hits on yesterday’s blog (74). I wonder if it had anything to do with all the links I posted. At any rate, only two links today. Hot news on the Philistines. You know, Goliath’s people in the story of David and Goliath. In the Bible.
4 thoughts on “well tempered jupe”
We moved from Flint to Columbus during the summer between my 5th and 6th grade years. I was scheduled to go into Greg Angus’ father’s class for the 6th grade. It was an experimental type class that was only open to students who excelled academically. I had been very excited about being accepted into the class and was equally disappointed not to be able to be part of it because of our move to Ohio. And, of course, because Michigan was slow in sending my records to the inner city Columbus school, the school I transferred to placed me in a “slow” class “just to be sure.”
It took more than six months of me acting out and dancing on the teachers’ heads (refusing to stand and say the pledge of allegiance and the Our Father and making it clear that my reasons for this refusal were political among other things) and getting beaten up by classmates (for various reasons but generally because I knew how to spar with words that they lacked – and not with fists) before they transferred me into a more advanced class.
It was during this time that I began my lifelong adventures in therapy… Woohoo!
Wow. Good remembering! Thanks for this!
Good morning Jupiter. I am an old friend of Greg’s and also knew Duncan slightly through my friendship with Greg. He and I both graduated from Carmen High in ’69. For some reason I was thinking of him this morning and wondering whatever happened to him, and my Google search lead me to this page. Do you happen to know if he has any online presence or how I might get in touch with him? Thanks for any help.
I also graduated from Carmen in 1969. Greg is on Facebook. I seem to remember you were a musician in high school. Is that correct? Still doing music?