thinking and reading about bachs


Image result for the cambridge companion to bach

My copy of The Cambridge Companion to Bach arrived in the mail Saturday. After doing some reading in very expensive books like Peter Walls’ Baroque Music ($259.47 and up) I scoured Amazon used books to see what I could afford that might update me a bit. Butt’s collection of essays was published in 1997. In his introduction, he points out that the field was exploding at that point and his goal as an editor was to present essays that brought readers up to date and pointed the way to future discussion. So when I found a used copy for about nine dollars I instantly ordered it.

This morning reading in it, I once again felt very lucky to be able to have daily intimate contact with the mind of Bach mostly via playing his music. Yesterday I also ventured into the works of CPE Bach, his son. I have played my way through three volumes of CPE that represent some solid editorial work. But I also have a more dated two volumes of his work in a Dover edition. Yesterday I was noticing that there were many pieces unique to the Dover edition. I have been playing through them as well.

CPE is, of course, much different than his Dad, but I enjoy reading his work as well. Tomorrow at the birthday party at the nursing home, my trio will play two movements by CPE of a violin sonata that is reminiscent of a little Brandenburg (at least it is to me). I will draw a picture for the listeners of J.S. Bach and his sons performing the multi harpsichord concertos with a Bach at each instrument in the coffee house of his day. it seems that this work by CPE is a deliberate nod to Dad. You can judge for yourself in the following video. We are only playing the first two movements. The slow one first then the first one. I like the tempo these people take for the first movement, but the slow movement is much much slower than we play it.


Lashing Out at ‘Identity Politics,’ Pundits Blame Trump on Those Most Vulnerable to Trump | FAIR

I found this article helpful. Like so much coming out of FAIR it presents a fresh and clear look at the fuzzy shit being said and written in news outlets. I particularly appreciated the critique of Mark Lilla’s piece “The End of Identity Liberalism”  (Mark Lilla, New York Times 11/18/16). I read Lilla’s article and was disturbed at its ideas. Now I can better see why.

Zadie Smith: By the Book – The New York Times

I bookmarked this to check out books one of my favorite authors is reading. Also she has some hilarious response:

How do you organize your books?

First I push aside the many pairs of kids’ sunglasses, random plastic crap, half-drunk cups of tea, several sets of keys belonging to previous residences, large tins of foreign coins — before carefully wedging whatever book has just arrived into the pile of books that arrived at some point previously.

Facing the music: Cecilia Bartoli | Music | The Guardian

This is fun too. Some surprising answers from a seasoned musician.

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