Category Archives: Bach

A defense against mediocrity

“And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach – a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity – on each page we discover things which we thought were born only … Continue reading

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The Joy of Music, Leonard Bernstein

My hiatus from blogging afforded me the time and mental focus to wander through some of the books on my Reading List. A joy to read was The Joy of Music by Leonard Bernstein. It’s been on my shelf for … Continue reading

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Joie de vivre

Joie de vivre (noun): a feeling of happiness or excitement about life Major=happy; minor=sad. It’s how we usually introduce the concepts to the students. But this is too simplistic. The harmonies are only part of the picture. It’s the rhythm … Continue reading

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I’m home. We’re home.

My husband and I were welcomed as New Members at the Anglican Cathedral Church of the Redeemer this morning. I feel settled now. It’s been such a long round-about journey and finally, finally, I’m settled. My family and faith background … Continue reading

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Joyous Goldbergs

A warm August morning. The foothills of southern Alberta still green, the majestic Rocky Mountains just ahead. It was a lovely, lonely stretch of highway. I was driving the car; my husband was just ahead of me cycling up the … Continue reading

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Heartrending melancholy

“At the Symphony concert, Casals played, one of the most marvelous musicians who ever lived! The sound of his cello is of heart-rending melancholy. His execution unfathomable. At times going outward from the depths, at times going inward, into the … Continue reading

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Take a line for a walk

“When performing Bach one is constantly reminded of Paul Klee’s dictum that the art of drawing is ‘taking a line for a walk’.” ~ Peter Hill _______________________________________________________________ Quote by Peter Hill, in the liner notes of his recording of Bach’s … Continue reading

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Thank you, Mr. Searchfield.

Thirty years ago I had finished my one year as a pipe organ major at the University of Calgary. Although a pianist pretty much from birth, I decided to take on this marvelous instrument – God’s instrument, some said. There … Continue reading

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A balance for soul. A balance for beauty.

“People are craving this great progress in electronics, going after computers, the Internet, etc. It’s a great progress technologically. But they must have a balance for soul, a balance for human beauty. That means art has an important role.” ~Mstislav … Continue reading

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It’s okay to not love Beethoven

Tchaikovsky didn’t. He adored Mozart. And considered Bach, Handel, Gluck and Haydn mere forerunners to Mozart. From his diaries (1886):  “… I shall start with Beethoven, whom it is usual to praise unconditionally and whom it is commanded to worship … Continue reading

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Intensely interior music

My own experience of the Bach’s Goldberg Variations is Glenn Gould’s 1981 recording. My interpretation is Gould’s. Such is the power of the first hearing of a piece of music. I’m not alone in this. Nor am I alone in … Continue reading

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The really big picture

Music history – from antiquity to the present – in 8 minutes. By one of those awesome illustrators. I bow to such talent. Complete with all the musical examples.

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