THE MUSIC BOX
July 17, 2022
Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano & organ
Music of J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Prelude: Selections from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I (1722)
Prelude and Fugue XXIII in B major
Prelude and Fugue XVIII in G# minor
Prelude and Fugue XIII in F# major
Offertory: Prelude XV in G major, WTC I
Chorale from Cantata 147 (Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring)
Postlude: Fugue XV in G major, WTC I
A recent commentary by George Will reminded me how lucky we are that Bach didn’t have a cell phone. He might otherwise have become an “unsatisfied and confused adult, bereft of the consolations of a cultural inheritance which is unavailable to nonreaders, … gripped by the furies of brittle people bewildered by encounters with disagreement, which they find inexplicable. And by the apocalyptic terrors that afflict frustrated utopians, the only kind there is.”
Instead, dedicating his music to the Glory of God, without recourse to the internet, he wrote the Well Tempered Clavier, Books 1 and 2, a collection of 48 pairs of keyboard preludes and fugues. Not to mention a huge repertoire of other masterpieces, a monument to the boundaries he failed to respect on his journey through the landscape of genius. And those are just the ones we know about; much was lost forever after his death.
Thank you so much for coming, with your cell phones off, to let a small measure of this incredible beauty fill your senses.