August 24, 2002
Vol. II, No. 32
I spent some time this past week floating on my back in an indoor pool. The building enclosing the pool was a handsome, wooden structure in a peaceful, mountain setting. As I floated there in the pool, I found myself admiring the wooden ceiling, estimating the amount of hard work needed to install it. The more I looked, though, the more I realized that all the boards weren't exactly straight. Many of them overlapped ever so slightly. There were gaps of varying widths where the ends of the boards were supposed to meet. I realized someone had used really nice wood to do a really lousy job. Then it occurred to me that this was not a job Bach would be proud of. A look at his music shows that he paid attention not only to the boards (musical phrases) but also to the gaps (transitions between phrases). There's no substitute for good craftsmanship.
Besides swimming, I've been trying to finish up Christoph Wolff's "The New Bach Reader: A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents," a great gift for any Bach enthusiast. When I received mine for my birthday last year, I naturally started at the beginning. I'm not sure how far I got but last week I started at the end and I'm working my way backwards. I completed the last section of the book that discusses Bach's influence on important figures after his death, as well as the next-to-last section that's a reprint of Forkel's 1802 biography of Bach. It will take me a while to complete the whole book because it basically contains everything ever written that mentioned Bach. Amazon.com allows you to view the Table of Contents, the Index and six pages from Part I. Click this link and then click on the cover image of the book:
Summer is the time for sending postcards. Now you can send a free J.S. Bach "E-card" to your favorite Bach enthusiast. There is no charge and a message may be included. Simply click this link to choose which image you'd like to send:
That's it from me for the summer. The next Weekly Rampage will be in September. Enjoy!
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Have a great week and enjoy it while it lasts!
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