I’m Cheating On Bach With Ducks That Snort Helium

P.D.Q. Bach, Music for an Awful Lot of Winds & Percussion. Telarc. 1992.

I’m cheating on Bach today with P.D.Q.

As I’ve already mentioned, Bach had a lot of kids. Many of them were musical. There was C.P.E., J.C.F., W.F., and of course, P.D.Q., the “last and oddest of Bach’s 20-odd children,” who lived, in possible inspiration for Benjamin Button, from 1807 to 1742. He was “rediscovered” by Professor Peter Schickele, who has unearthed more than four score of this forgotten child’s writings. Continue reading

If Bach Were Alive Today, Perhaps He Would Have Invented Dubstep

You know the sound that dog makes in that viral YouTube video when his master tells him that the chicken covered with cheese and cat treats has been devoured by the cat? That’s the sound my brain makes when I think about the fact that Bach lived and died before the advent of the modern orchestra.

Arrrrrrrrrrrooooooooooooooooo! for two reasons. Continue reading

I Have Got Bach Block

Bach Block: A version of writer’s block (itself defined by the Free Dictionary as ‘a usually [ed comment: uh-oh] temporary  psychological inability to begin or continue writing’) caused by Too. Much. Bach.

I’ve got it, and it’s what’s behind the lack of posts around here the last week or so. Well, it, and the ongoing renovation of my bathroom that has rendered me toiletlessly wandering the world, reliant on the kindness of strangers, away from my trusty home base setup. Continue reading

Bach and Boogie Nights

Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. BWV 147.

I was convinced on reading the title of “Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben” – just the title, mind you, nothing more, not tune, not subject matter — that this cantata was somehow the basis for that corny song near the end of Dirty Dancing known as “Kellerman’s Anthem.” You know, “Join hearts and hands and voices, voices hearts and hands.” Continue reading

‘Bach the Religious Man Was Simply Bach the Man’

The book that I have chosen to read about Bach, as per the rules, is James R. Gaines’ “Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment.” The copy of this wonderful book I’m reading was dad’s, and I think the picture of the composer that emerges here goes a long way towards explaining why my father liked Bach so very much. Continue reading

Going Punk Rock at Carnegie Hall: Bach & The Goldberg Variations

And so we begin the “B” composers, where we run immediately into the implacable wall of Bach.

Judging by volume, Bach was by far dad’s favorite composer. I count about 140 Bach CDs in the collection, and another half dozen or so by his sons. We are going to be with the Bachs-es-es for a while, as I write the 14 or so blog entries required per my rules, minus the one post I got out of the way earlier.

I start with the Goldberg Variations for one simple reason: they are the inspiration for this blog. Here’s the story: Continue reading