This weekend’s violinist.com blog focusses on the playing of Bach, a subject I’ve touched upon a few posts ago.

Apparently it has been a daily ritual for many musicians, from Pablo Casals, to today’s Franz Peter Zimmermann & Julia Fischer.

Laurie Niles from violinist.com couldn’t have described his music better: “It never gets tired, it never gets old, it’s exercise for the fingers, it’s yoga for the soul”. Works wonders for intonation too 🙂

I look upon his music, especially his solo repertoire, as a spiritual journey. Bach’s music is always contemplative, never angry (not in my opinion, anyway).

There is such beauty in the music, not just the listening experience, but in its structure and architecture, the complex intertwining of melody and harmony, the chord progressions. There’s always another nuance, another way of looking at and listening to Bach, no matter how often you do it.

Right now, I’m steeped in the learning of the G minor solo sonata. There’s such a lot in just this one work. I’m trying to read up everything I possibly can about this work, and learn it measure by measure, study the phrasing. The whole process is such joy for the soul.

I remember meeting Rostropovich back in the ’80s, and playing this very work for him. He had then spoken of the Golden Mean, the golden arch and high point, which exists in architecture as well as in music, and to try and find it in each phrase, each movement. 

This is definitely one of my desert island scores 🙂

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