While reading I Am a Strange Loop, I was reminded of my love for the music of J.S. Bach. I haven’t listened to classical music much lately, but I used to listen to it all of the time. I’ve been listening to 80s music, Alternative and Indie rock, and smatterings of this and that pop music, and I’ve been tiring of it.
Back to Bach.
I first fell in love with the music of J.S. Bach when listening to my father’s CD recording of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (BWV 565) played on the pipe organ by Peter Hurford. I would hook four speakers up to my computer, one in each corner of my bedroom, crank up the volume, close my eyes, and feel my ribs vibrate with the lower notes. Pure bliss (kind of like Alex and his Ludwig van, but less psychotic).
Hofstadter mentioned a few of his favorite pieces (“The Great” BWV 542, for example) and I went looking for a compilation of some of them on pipe organ on the Amazon MP3 Store, and found this wonderful album. While listening to it, I found a new favorite: Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 543. Dark, moving, powerful, and rich. You really should buy just that track and listen to Hurford’s excellent rendition. However, there’s a recording available free here (click “Residence”) that’s not bad. (Found via the excellent and totally free Classic Cat). Hurford, by the way, made his name playing Bach on organ and was/is something of a prodigy. Really do listen to his version. The difference between it and the free one, partially due to the apparent acoustic differences, is like the difference between night and day.
This post is dedicated to parenthetical statements (as it contains many of them).