Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dum vixi tacui, mortua dulce cano

A long time ago, I had this whole crazy plan to do a multi-part series around tuning, and weigh in on the debates around equal vs. just temperament and the whole debate that took place a few years ago about how some squiggles on the title page of the Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier were in fact Bach's tuning system.

Like all my other crazy plans, I never got to it.

However, this music review got me thinking about it again. I would love to hear what these tunings sound like...wait! Bradley Lehman, the discoverer of this tuning system has a myspace page (who doesn't these days!).

You can listen to the F# Minor Fugue from the 1st Book! Or at his home page, you can hear streaming audio of a whole selection of his performances.

To be honest, I don't know what to say. The NY Times reviewer seems to hear things as everyone else does, although, to be honest, I don't really believe him.

To me, it's more like citrus in water than some kind of massive revolutionary transformation of everything we've ever thought and understood about Bach.

But what really got me was the painting and on the inside of the lid of the harpsichord. I just love the idea of the instrument, to be fondled, is also an object of aural and visual beauty as well. It also reminds me that I must learn Latin.

And I just found the papers I was going to use to write those old tungin posts....the eternal return returns. What's next? A Heimito von Doderer post? A chapter of Friedemann Bach? More narcissistic overly self-conscious self-referential musings?

Actually, what's really missing are more train references. That's something I really need to work on.

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