Happy Birthday Bach

This morning as I was finishing my breakfast and listening to Morning Edition on NPR (in between fund-raising pitches for WCPN) I was reminded that today is the 317th anniversary of the birth of Johann Sebastian Bach. NPR : The Passions of Bach This was a story about Bach for the generalist, and they dwelt mostly on Bach the man–that he wasn’t just a church musician, but that he also loved live and lived it fully, even getting into a sword fight in his youth, and having fights with his employers. At one point they played a small excerpt of the alto aria “Erbarme dich” from the St. Matthew Passion, and I was overwhelmed once again with the transcendent genius of this composer. It only took the first few notes from the singer to bring tears to my eyes. (It was a performance on modern instruments with a “modern” singing technique.) You can hear it in the music, “Have mercy, my God, for my tears’ sake.” Can any other composer truly match Bach?

Soli Deo Gloria!

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