Sunday, February 24, 2013


We went to hear three Bach cantatas (105, 54, 182) today, none of which I was familiar with. Of course they were gorgeous, the music so grave and poignant.

I was annoyed with the prattle of the conductor before they began - what a different world Bach lived in, the church, piety, and blah blah blah. “Your dead gods tell me nothing,” I said with Pessoa. 

I went through the lyrics in the handout and made up some fake ones (“Lord, don’t take that beef to court,” “God, you hold the sandpaper and the tanks approach,” etc.) to amuse myself, but when the first strains of music rose I was sure I would weep. I cleared my throat (quietly) instead. 

Listening to Bach cantatas is like having a heavy strand of the blackest licorice pulled back and forth through your ears. Rest assured the friction will build and it will get warm enough for those sweet, dark beads to drip down the back of your throat.

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