Tag: Bach

Music that shaped my life part 4 of N…

As I said before, J.S. Bach will take many posts in this series, and the reason is … just because he worth it, he’s the greatest!

Many of you, know that I’m not religious, I think your fate is made by yourself, so religion has no place in this way of thinking. But one thing I really admire is the religious art, maybe from paintings, architecture, maybe from literature or music, I’ve always been seduced by the respect, the humility and solemnity that the artists put in their works. I love church architecture, specially the gothic and reinassance, paintings from gothic, and in latam, paintings from the colony period are great… In music I can’t thing in any other composer better than J.S. Bach when related to religious music. He has been known because of that, and during the “discovery” of his works, many researchers and the general public understood how deep in his mind and heart was his love for god due his lutheran faith. Most of the religious works from Bach were Chorales that in their lyrics and music show deep beliefs and humility to gods creation.

There are many works from J.S. Bach in the category of religious music, motets, corales and masses… a very nice introduction to his religious work is “Jesu meine Freude”, one of the six  motets written by Bach. The structure includes 11 movements that when it’s analysed more in deep, you can see the symetry of the structure, where the sixth movement (a double fuge) acts as a structural mirror for the other movements, what  I mean is that the structure of the movements 1-5 is mirrored in the 7-11 movements in reverse order what shows the evident sense of bach related to symetry and perfection.

Jesu, meine Freude

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVa3nR-2bVc

Other great religious work from J.S. Bach is the “jesu nun sei gepreiset” cantata, BWV 41. The vocal part in this work is beautiful and the instrumental part also, i really like it. It’s a lovely piece with a very relevant part for corno, oboe and trumpet in the first movement, but he wonderfully changes the most relevant instrument in each movement, in the end, he returns to the corno, and trumpet.. magnificant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io7qnsjz3uY

Having seen those previous works, just prepare you for the greatest religious work of J.S. Bach (in my opinion), the Mass in D minor, a 27 part work, that simply, makes you feel as a dust particle in the universe, which is what we are in the end… the solemnity, humility and admiration that this work inspires is undescribable. It took me a lot of time to know this work, to absorb it, it’s very long and doesn’t spare any effort in the pursue of perfection.  Here are some excerpts from this great work:

 Kyrie eleison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMUXUQpPdaE

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGRbOjqOSYs

Et in terra pax

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rSyAVTRKkM

Ladamus te

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXN_dTAN9K0

Patrem omnipotentem

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzCkF9kUJyw

Sanctus

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRRJ9siOk8E

Osanna in excelsis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6y-tes6_UM

As I said before, and I won’t get tired of saying it… J.S. Bach rules!! and his work opened my mind since I was a kid. I feel just lucky to have known him(his work, you know).

Again, hope you enjoy it!

Ricardo Gonzalez Vargas

Software Development Consultant

rgonzalez@mvps.org

Music that shaped my life part 3 of N…

This time I’ll start go trough a very importan part of my musical preference… Baroque style.  In my opinion this is the best music composed ever… so rich, so emotional, simply perfect. I think there’s  no adjective good enough to describe the  beauty and richness  of this music. In particular my favorite composer is J.S. Bach, for me, this man can be side by side with people like Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawkins,  Aristoteles, Plato.  He influenced much of the forthcoming music, including composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Mendelssohn… and from my perspective, took the music to a level of perfection that even could be explained with mathematics.  Like Goethe said some time about Bach’s music: “the eternal harmony in dialogue with itself”. Many artists have paid tribute to the Bach’s contribution to music, including Beethoven, Shostakovich, Honegger and Brahms.

My mother used to listen Bach, Mozart and Beethoven since she was pregnant with me, she didn’t even knew much about them, just the references given from my uncle, wich loved their music, specially Ludwig Van. She found this music very relaxing, and started to enjoy it, and since I was a baby, she used to listen it and because of transitivity… me too. I’ll allways thank her for do that, because, if she didn’t, now I would be another one of those that never had this pleasant experience in their lifes. It was when I was @ conservatory that I started to listen with much more attention, and works like K545, BWV 565,  BWV 1046-10051, BWV 1007-1012, RV425 among others became so relevant to me. 

This post will just include some of my favorite pieces from J.S. Bach, but this doesn’t means that it’s enough to express my fascination for this man and his works. The first one, is my favorite work ever (some times I don’t know, it’s a very significant sentence, but surely, it’s in the top 3 of my own rank), J.S. Bach was very famous for his organ playing hability, and his works for this instrument include a great repertory with many toccatas, fugues, preludes and fantasias. Bach took the fugue to the top in many of his works, including The Art of Fugue,  a masterpiece in contrapuntal theory. This one, is the BWV 578 Fugue in G minor “Little”, but little doesn’t means anything else than it was shorter than other Fugue in G minor from the BWV 542, that was longer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-gMThM753I

For me, this is the best performance that I’ve ever heard. It’s from the album “The Young Bach, A Virtuoso” , Kay Johanssen.

Another piece from Bach that is worth to mention (I really think that almost all of them worth it!) is the the BWV 1047 or Brandenburg Concert N. 2. , one of my prefered versions comes from Herbert Von Karajan and The BPO (Berliner Philarmonic Orchestra)

First Movement : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFJzGDkItyE

Third Movement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CY5EleiLXcM

I actually love the Brandenburg Concertos from 1 to 6, in this kind of works, It’s really important the performer, some times it’s played too fast or too slow, or it’s arranged for more or less musicians and all those factors make a big difference. I would recomend to hear the versions from Herbert Von Karajan, I feel the tempo in those versions is quite better than others, in general, I think that the others get much more excited while playing these songs so the beat rises up…

Another set of works from Bach that seems great to me is the Suites 1-6 for cello solo… this is just awesome, this performance is simply wonderful, Pablo Casals for me, had the gift of understand and transmit the emotion in the works of Bach… see it by yourself

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhcjeZ3o5us

I think Bach will take many posts to see the variety and richness of his music and the elements that I love and had influenced me.

Again, hope you enjoy it.

Cheers

Ricardo Gonzalez V

Software Development Consultant

rgonzalez@mvps.org