Johann Sebastian Bach: His Life, Art, and Work

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Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920 - 321 pages
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Page 95 - All this fires my soul, and, provided I am not disturbed, my subject enlarges itself, becomes methodised and defined, and the whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind, so that I can survey it, like a fine picture or a beautiful statue, at a glance. Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, but I hear them, as it were, all at once (gleich alles zusammen).
Page 94 - When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer, say, traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep ; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come I know not, nor can I force them.
Page 51 - ... his touch was so smooth, and the tone of the instrument so much cherished, that his fingers seemed to grow to the keys. They were so curved and compact, when he played, that no motion, and scarcely the fingers themselves, could be discerned.
Page 95 - When I proceed to write down my ideas, I take out of the bag of my memory, if I may use that phrase, what has previously been collected into it in the way I have mentioned. For this reason the committing to paper is done quickly enough, for every thing is, as I said before, already finished ; and it rarely differs on paper from what it was in my imagination.
Page 68 - Sometimes I regret my ignorance, yet, when I think of the ghastly heap of platitudes for which that unfortunate piano is made the daily excuse — insipid, shameless productions, that would be impossible if their perpetrators had to rely, as they ought, on pencil and paper alone — then I thank the fates for having forced me to compose silently and freely by saving me from the tyranny of finger-work, that grave of original thought.
Page 137 - ... Stadthauptmann of Leipzig, on Feb. 4. 1726 (BJ-B., 1912, p. 11). No. 6, a setting of verses 1 and 2 of an anonymous funerary hymn, founded on St. John xiv. 6, also was clearly written for a funeral. Five of the Leipzig works bear the title ' Missa ' (Messe : Mass) — the Mass in B minor, and four miscalled ' short ' Masses in F major, A major, G minor and G major. In Lutheran liturgical use the 'Missa...
Page 95 - I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best and most abundantly. Whence and how they come I know not, nor can I force them. Those ideas that please me, I retain in memory, and am accustomed, as I have been told, to hum them to myself. If I continue in this way, it soon occurs to me, how I may turn this or that morsel to account, so as to make a good dish of it, that is to say, agreeably to the rules of counterpoint, to the peculiarities of the various instruments, &c.
Page 221 - Christ - 34. O ewiges Feuer, o Ursprung der Liebe - 35. Geist und Seele wird verwirrt - 36. Schwingt freudig euch empor - 37. Wer da glaubet und getauft wird .... - 38. Aus tiefer Noth schrei ich zu dir . . . . - 39.
Page 52 - told me that in his youth he had heard great men who never used the thumb except when it was necessary to make big stretches. As he lived in an epoch in which there came about gradually a most remarkable change in musical taste, he found it necessary to think out for himself a much more thorough use of the fingers, and especially of the thumb...

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