December 5, 2008

V is for Vendetta and F is for Fugue

Last night, our home fellowship attended PLNU's annual Cider Celebration. The Cider Celebration has become a tradition for Jason and I; we were at Point Loma for the very first celebration six years ago; we had just started dating "officially" and Jay came down to visit me before finals. I knew friends in the choir, and hey! cider's always good, right? So we went.

And we've gone every year since (except for last year).

Beautiful music, silly campus campy-ness, snow machines, hot cider, dancing reindeer, what's not to love?

One thing comes to mind: Bach.

As in the composer, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Never before has Bach invaded our dearly beloved Cider Celebration. Tchaikovsky and Brahms, yes. Bach, no. But last night, he showed up.

Oh the Horror!

See, I have a long-standing grudge against Mr. Bach. I hate his fugues. I used to play piano, back in high school, and for my senior recital, I decided to play his Fugue in C Minor. Don't ask me why. I'd heard the first few bars in an old Amy Grant song; like the sadly naieve person I can sometimes be, I thought to myself "Awww, how pretty! I should play that!"


I spent the next six months practicing that dumb fugue. Minor keys are difficult to begin with, but I personally believe Bach was insane when he wrote this. Most of the great composers were. In addition to the minor key, Fugue in C Minor is supposed to be played allegretto or fast. But no matter how hard I practiced, Bach continued to beat me. My fingers flew, but they never landed quite right on the keys, or quite fast enough. I loved playing (and still do), but that music made me wonder why I'd ever started piano in the first place. I cried many tears during those six months.

On recital day, with all kinds of encouragement from my piano teacher and my family, I sat down and played that Fugue.

And lost track of a few bars. Forgot where my fingers were supposed to be. Rushed the ending.

And I've hated Bach ever since.

So when the choir sang another of his great works last night, I set my jaw and wrinkled my nose and endured it. (Incidentally, the song they sang didn't make much sense, either, so now I'm wondering if Bach was ever in his right mind).

After the concert, as we stood around talking, I declared to Allyl how much I detested Mr. B. She stared at me in shock, herself having played flute in high school, and asked me why.

Well, now you know. ;)

Wishing you a very Merry and Bach-free Christmas this year, friends. :)


LeAnna said...

Thanks for stopping by! I have to say, this whole scatter-brained pregnancy thing is wearing me out, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who has suffered from it. And by the way, thanks for making me crave some good warm apple cider! :P Maybe a glass of warm apple juice will suffice.

I tried taking piano when I was about 10, but for whatever reason I just hated practicing the same songs over and over and over. I remember I was supposed to play at a homeschool Christmas recital one year. I got up there with my music to We Three Kings, and plunked out the first little bit before going totally blank on how to read notes. I remember it like it was yesterday, it seemed like I sat there foooorever. Finally I just stood up, closed my book and walked off the stage. Can't say I was a big fan of the piano after that! Of course now I wish I would have stuck with it, but that's usually how things go. :P

La Petite Maison said...

Aha, hence all the hating for Bach! I sometimes feel that way for Mozart because of "The Magic Flute." I don't even know how I managed to play it in high school! He apparently could "not bear" this particular instrument. I do, however, love his "Flute Concerto in G."