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Haunting, Modern Bach

In a conversation with a friend this morning, he observed that a person could wrap their head around Bach, but with the Romantics, one wraps the heart around the music. There is, of course, much truth in my friend's comment although readers should be warned that Wagner is good for five minutes, but if you listen to him for five hours, you might be seized with the desire to invade Poland. That said, there are some works by Bach that I believe do tug on the heart strings. Here is one, the chorale prelude O Mensch bewein. In addition to being hauntingly evocative, the modulations of the minor keys at the end of the work are almost modern in their tenacity and dischordance . A breathtaking work.

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October 10-23, 2014

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