Monday, October 31, 2005

Revisionist Musical History

Johann Sebastian Bach produced a ton of work during his lifetime, and I would have to say that he is among my favorite composers of the Baroque period. After 300 years, he is still making news. From the "Everything You Know Is Wrong" Dept.:

The Toccata and Fugue (in G Minor) probably was not written by Bach and almost certainly wasn't written for the organ.
This is not the most Earth-shattering item in the news this week, but it is one of the most difficult things for the lay music listener to comprehend. People who are barely aware that Bach ever existed are familiar with that piece of music. The evidence seems pretty clear to the experts that Bach never wrote the famous Toccata.

This is where I feel like emulating the scene in "Annie Hall" where Woody Allen pulls Marshall McLuhan into a line outside of a theater in order to settle a dispute over some of McLuhan's writings. Bach, and anyone who was alive at the time of composition, have been dead for about 300 years. We can't ask anyone what the truth is.

Unless, of course, you could call forth the ghost of Bach and conduct an interview with it -- which would be the most appropriate use of the Toccata and Fugue in a spooky setting EVER.

No comments: