Bach fugue

Early this morning, I was driving to 7:30 Mass at a church that was a bit further afield than usual, so I put the car radio on and caught the cadence of an organ prelude. I immediately thought it was J.S. Bach, although I did then think, perhaps it would be prudent to withhold a conclusion until I had more than two measures to go on.

As soon as the fugue began, though, I knew it was Bach – and one of the preludes and fugues I had learned while I was at Smith. (For the other organ geeks out there, it was a Prelude and Fugue in G major, although I am not sure of the BWV.) Next, they spoke about how composers often borrowed themes from their own work or others’ work and played a choral movement that used the fugue theme, transformed into a minor key. (Maybe the US court system needs to hear a bit more about this long-time compositional practice.)

It was odd for me to think about my playing Bach on the organ. There is even a bit of wonder that I ever could. It’s been almost ten years since I have played on even a limited basis and even longer since I played such complex repertoire. Long-standing tendon problems in my right elbow led to years of physical therapy and finally surgery which we had hoped would fix the problem. However, I developed calcifications that caused the symptoms to recur, so I could only play for short amounts of time, not nearly enough to practice Bach fugues.

I had been still doing some accompanying for the choirs at our church, but almost ten years ago, we lost our church home, and I have barely so much as touched an organ since.

This spring and summer will be the tenth anniversary of a string of really painful life events, the aftermath of each still present in my life and the life of my loved ones in different ways. I have the feeling that these upcoming tenth anniversaries will be as complicated as a Bach fugue, but not nearly so organized.

Author: Joanne Corey

Please come visit my eclectic blog, Top of JC's Mind. You can never be sure what you'll find!

Any thoughts? Please share.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: