Can you have too much of a good thing? In my case, here and now, the answer is yes and no.
Working through, as I currently am, the works of J S Bach which I have on my iPhone, I have listened to 100 tracks, lasting 7.4 hours. This does not include the music I listened to for the last two posts. Despite being highly appreciative of his mastery, as the content of those posts demonstrate, I am feeling somewhat thankful that I do not have much more of his vast repertoire in my listings.
I have listened to many, many harpsichord concertos. I am not going to list them – if you would like details, please leave me a comment. Safe to say, the harpsichord is not my favourite instrument. These works pretty much all blurred into one for me and I may well take them off my iPhone at the end of this project.
I also listened to Orchestral Suites 3 and 4, both in D major (BWV 1068 and 1069 respectively). These were a little easier on the ear, with richer scoring (ie more instruments).
Better still were the violin concertos. Now, we know from my previous post that Bach was a little devil for recycling his stuff. I started to get a bit of deja vue from other works here. But most of all, it was really nice was to do a bit of reminiscing about the times when I used to play some of these pieces myself as a young violinist. The opening of the A minor concerto (BWV 1041) is particularly iconic for me.
But the icing on the cake, the rub down after a hard workout, the long bath, the view at the top of the mountain…. you get the idea, has been Paul Tortelier playing Bach’s 6 cello suites. These are a set of intimate pieces for solo cello. Each one relatively short, they follow through like reading a novel overall – the story telling and emotion within each movement is palpable. You can use the music to transport you to all sorts of places – a sort of musical arabian knights.
So I am much relieved. I was worried about the impropriety of having to admit boredom in relation to any of Bach’s music, but the cello suites have saved the day. Phew!
The next post will cover one more magnificent aspect of J S Bach’s work. Something which could not possibly have been swept up in this post. And then we can move on to other things.