a hot sunday in holland


Two fans are humming loudly in my morning living room. It’s a calming sound. While reading poetry this morning I had an insight that my reading takes me into a reality that is far from the place where people pray together and call it church. If I had integrity maybe I would quit doing what I am doing even though I enjoy it. Fortunately, I am a whore (as I told my colleagues who came to the interment service of the ashes of my parents).

I managed to get some quality time with Bach at the organ yesterday. This was after straightening the music area which was left in disarray from last Sunday’s excellent recital. I have been wondering how Bach used his preludes and fugues. I can’t find anything which documents how he used them. I don’t think scholars are sure.

They are inspiring works and I feel lucky every time I play one. I find in them a feeling of elegant larger space and architectural beauty. They are very satisfying pieces to me.  I like to think Bach not only used them at church but at his court job. I can remember wanting to learn his D Major prelude and fugue BWV 532 before grad school.

I tried to learn it on my own and even scheduled it for a recital at my little church in Trenton, Michigan when I was an undergrad.

However, the performance was a disaster. Instead of doing many of the pedal sections I chickened out on the spot and played many of them on the manuals.

I did learn it in grad school and performed it credibly at one of my Master’s recitals.

While listening to the above amazing recording of this piece, Eileen came downstairs and I put everything aside to have breakfast with her.

I am now back home from playing a church service. The fans are still going. I listened (and watched) the rest of the video above. I like it that Czsausz uses mostly toes. That’s how I do it as well. I also like that I saw an occasional heel. I like that kind of flexibility.

I do wonder about the pedal board. Most of the pedal boards I have seen on Bach organs don’t have quite as much white key as this one.

I play this piece a bit slower, but Czsausz really nails it with her interp. She inspires me to maybe do some memory work during my vacation this year. This would be a good piece to memorize. I can still play it pretty well although I like to slow down and do it accurately (which is what I did day before yesterday) rather than push the tempo and fuck up.

Church was pretty easy today. Improvising the prelude and postlude feels a bit like a cop out, but my improvisations do seem to be popular with the congregation. Many compliments this morning, including a nice one from Rev Jen about the prelude.

I do enjoy improvising. But next week I will schedule something composed.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.