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J. S. Bach Playlist
#1
J. S. Bach Playlist
I'm kind of a J.S. Bach fanatic, and inspired by Grandizer's Evolution of Music thread, I thought I'd post some of my favorite Bach things on Youtube and write a few words about what I like about them. Maybe others feel like joining in.

Now, the Cello suites are very popular, but not exactly super mainstream, except the beginning of the first one which has been used in films and for all kinds of purposes:

https://youtu.be/I523eR7CI_c

But the one I actually want to highlight here is number 6, and in particular this performance on an unusual short instrument in a nifty industrial backdrop. I find it lively and poetic:



The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#2
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
Arnie’s favourite composer.
Sanity adjacent.


Angel





IMGUR 
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#3
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
(November 20, 2019 at 5:08 pm)The Valkyrie Wrote: Arnie’s favourite composer.

Really? I didn't kn…

oh you Dodgy

Now, to keep the theists happy after this secular work, now something sacred.

What I find absolutely amazing in this bit from the St. Johns Passion - apart from Quasthoff who is a great singer - is how a chorale sung by the choir is interwoven with the main theme sung by the soloist. It serves as a striking carpet of sound providing some epic harmonies amplifying the hopeful yet anxious content of the lyrics (tell us, are we finally free from death?), while being a full chorale in its own right engaged in a dialogue with or commentary of the soloist's singing.





btw. if you are wondering why the camera frames Quasthoff so strangely, he's a Thalidomide victim with malformed arms. This posed a significant problem in his early career because for a music degree it is usually required that one studies a second instrument.

Now to a big one.

This is, in my book, the greatest secular piece of music, namely the "unifinished" final counterpoint from The Art of the Fugue. It is often played on a keyboard instrument of some sort, but there exist many interpretations for ensembles of various types. Among my favorites is the version by Canadian Brass, but here's an equally stunning performance by a sadly defunct German ensemble for old music.





Towards the end, Bach has left his signature in the music by introducing an odd theme beginning with the notes B flat, A, C, B which in German music notation are spelled B, A, C, H. It starts exactly at 6:36:
https://youtu.be/JbM3VTIvOBk?t=389

The music ends mid-theme, and his son C.P.E.Bach wrote on the manuscript: Bach died writing this music. This may actually be a slight dramatization by C.P.E. as J.S. Bach had been working on various other things in his final days. It is even possible that J.S. left the ending out on purpose as a horrifically difficult assignment to the Reader, an ultimate boss move: Completing the unfinished fugue by adding the obviously missing first theme. Several composers have tried with some nice results, none have managed to quite keep up with the sublime quality of J.S. Bach's part.
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#4
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
I made a serious effort (well, serious for high school) to enjoy Bach.  I had seen Brian Blessed's 'The Joy Of Bach' and liked it very much.  I sought out records (yes, kids, we had records in those days) and nearly wore them out.  I suppose it was more Blessed than Bach that sparked my interest, because, try as I might, I could never manage to like Bach as much as I did Delius or Grieg.

Just a matter of taste.

Boru
'A man is accepted into a church for what he believes.  He is turned out for what he knows.' - Mark Twain
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#5
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
(November 20, 2019 at 6:21 pm)BrianSoddingBoru4 Wrote: I made a serious effort (well, serious for high school) to enjoy Bach.  I had seen Brian Blessed's 'The Joy Of Bach' and liked it very much.  I sought out records (yes, kids, we had records in those days) and nearly wore them out.  I suppose it was more Blessed than Bach that sparked my interest, because, try as I might, I could never manage to like Bach as much as I did Delius or Grieg.

Just a matter of taste.

Boru

Yes, of course it is. I personally really only started enjoying Bach when I got to know all the new historically informed performance groups. Much of the old tradition of playing Bach on romantic era orchestral instruments sounded and still sounds pretty stale to me.

This nice Cantata starts out with an obvious painting with sound of raindrops falling in the first verse.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCyG0N_OLG

but what blew my socks of with this performance is the tenor soloist Makoto Sakurada and his piece with interjections by the women "angels" starting around 5:13. Nuria Rial and the other soloists are also good.





Also remarkable: the harmonic representation of the devil from 6:44-6:54
The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#6
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
It took a lot of effort to not try and compile a huge list of recordings of Bach's music when Grand got to Bach, and since this thread's come up, here's where I started:





And the Sitkovetsky version for string trio:




Also, Allmusic's added the ability to search recordings of particular pieces by rating. About fucking time!
I was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world is mad.

[Image: 161109-WlllQ6UaSpqY.png]

Trump 2017: We're all nihilists now.
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#7
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
And here's a charming mandolin rendition of the B minor partita for solo violin by Chris Thile. He actually explains the piece in the beginning:



The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#8
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
This one is hands down my favorite Bach cantata, but the competition is strong and it's a pretty close race.



The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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#9
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
https://youtu.be/JksKMu6E2Mk
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#10
RE: J. S. Bach Playlist
(November 21, 2019 at 9:05 am)BrokenQuill92 Wrote: https://youtu.be/JksKMu6E2Mk

Absolutely lovely!

While we're talking Cello suites, here's one I had in the pipeline. It's a nice contrast with Yo Yo Ma's experienced and wise playing - a youngster playing Nr. 3, with some hilarious quirky Bagpipe effects in the last movement.



The fool hath said in his heart, There is a God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
Psalm 14, KJV revised edition

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