Category Archives: J. S. Bach

Quick study Bach

Quick study Bach. There’s an oxymoron for you. Why, just recently I heard myself saying to a student, “You cannot cram Bach! It just doesn’t work!” That is, when I’ve heard people try to learn a work of Bach on … Continue reading

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St. Matthew Passion: Part Two

[Yesterday I started to share Carl Crosier’s 2008 article from Cross Accent, the journal of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, “A Personal Journey to the Bach Passions.” Here’s the second part.] “Although the St. Matthew Passion had been presented … Continue reading

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St. Matthew Passion: a personal journey

A couple of things converged in my universe today. The first is that former LCH chorister Mark Boyle shared on Facebook that he was asked to talk about Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. As he says, he is slightly obsessed with … Continue reading

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Oh, THAT Toccata and Fugue!

Cheeky. That’s how I would describe my performance of Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D minor yesterday at the 50th anniversary celebration of Thurston Memorial Chapel. Another way I’d describe it is: Gutsy. I say this because I bet it’s been 20 … Continue reading

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It’s a school night!

You probably remember that phrase from your childhood days, likely from your mother who didn’t want you going out on either Sunday through Thursday nights, because there was school the next day. Perhaps you also said it yourself to your … Continue reading

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…and then the lights went OUT!

It’s a musician’s worst nightmare… being in the middle of a concert and the lights go completely black! Yes, it happened in Kona last night, right after the Kona Choral Society had performed the Hallelujah Chorus, and we were in the … Continue reading

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Bach in Kona

I’m soon to get on the plane to Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, almost 170 miles away from Honolulu, to perform with the Kona Choral Society on their annual Handel Messiah concert, Sunday, December 4th at the Sheraton … Continue reading

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Flabbergasted!

Flabbergasted! Okay, even though I know what it means, it’s not a word that I use in ordinary conversation. The term originated in 1772, and was mentioned (with bored) in a magazine article as a new vogue word, likely an arbitrary formation from flabby or … Continue reading

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Totally at home

Totally at home. That’s how I felt last night sitting at the fabulous Flentrop organ at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley. In fact, I told George Emblom, the church’s music director, that I felt like I had more and … Continue reading

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Bach for healing

What a difference a couple of weeks makes! Two weeks ago I played the large settings of Bach’s Clavierübung as a glorious celebration of Martin Luther, the Lutheran chorale, and the Reformation. Today America has changed, and the mood is … Continue reading

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