Jubilant violins

One of my favourite concertos is the concerto for two violins in D-flat, BWV 1043 by JS Bach. It’s great to listen to, travelling by car, or in an aeroplane high up above the clouds, Jubilant violins pick you up and take you away. I heard parts of this concerto for the first time in classical dance class when I took lessons there. Music made in heaven, wonderful to dance to, it felt a bit like flying away on the music. We (the dancers) were expected to dance a series of steps and leaps across the diagonal of the classroom. One time, the series of steps we danced, was to this piece of music.  I longed for having that crystal-clear, beautiful, and danceable music on CD, at home. So, I went to the music shop. The shop had many recordings of this piece of music, and I listened to several, but I was shocked after listening to quite a few of the recordings, because they were slow and heavy, which gave the impression that the musicians were heavily packed soldiers, struggling through a swamp. Slow, heavy, and rather sad. The music didn’t pick me up but rather pushed me down. The light-footed energetic dance wasn’t recognizable anymore. In a recording of a smooth performance, every single note seems to be in the right place, whereas in a slow performance, the piece of music seems to be disjointed, like an over-stretched piece of elastic band. But in the end, after listening to a large selection of CDs, I was glad to find, a recording that resembled the one I had heard in dance class, light and clear. Obviously, that CD still is one of my favourites.

August 2017

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