Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Bach Door

The Netherlands Bach Society has a whole bunch of videos of performances of Bach's music on Youtube, and I put one on now and then when I'm in the mood for that old-time rock and roll.  This one came up in my recommendations today, and since I like the Cello Suites I clicked through.

I like the design of the video, the small audience sitting impassively in the darkened background, the cellist's concentration under the light.  But then I noticed the cello itself: I obscurely expected it to be shiny, new-looking, but it looks old, much-used, perhaps antique.  It's not important - I was only half-watching it as I listened - but it pleased me.

Contrast this clip from the same source, of a young man - a boy, really - playing the Third Cello Suite on a different but still banged-up-looking instrument.  There's no audience, the room he's in has large windows overlooking today's Amsterdam so you can't forget that you're in the twenty-first century.  Also interesting, not just a recitation of Bach's music but a comment on it.