Batophobia

  In case you didn’t know (and I certainly didn’t) batophobia is fear of sky-scrapers. If you suffer from that particular perfectly sensible irrational terror, don’t ever, ever, ever come to Kuala Lumpur – the place is chock-a-block with the bloody things! There are a few architectural remnants of the old colonial days: the British […]

One of the most perfect works of music?

In the header image of this blog (‘signed’ portraits of Bach and Wagner) you can see that the older composer is holding a piece of paper, unsurprisingly this turns out to be manuscript paper; even closer inspection (see below) reveals that it contains the music of the six part triple canon BWV1076. The middle voice (circled […]

Sweet sorrow

‘When Bach writes of sorrow, it never crushes us. Perhaps because there is no trace of bitterness. ’ Wanda Landowska ‘Contemplative’, ‘remotely beautiful’, ‘a calm and floating unearthliness’ – descriptions of the f# Prelude from Book 2 vie with one another in a futile attempt to capture an emotional world that exists in music, and only in music. And […]

Answers from the Amazon

This week it’s the turn of the brilliant G Prelude and Fugue from Book II. Here’s the exposition of the fugue: The articulations (staccatos, mezzo-staccatos, slurs, tenutos, etc.) are, of course, mine and serve to illustrate some of the sort of decisions (other than tempo) that interpreters have to make when approaching these pieces. The […]