Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Bach, Toccata and Fugue in D minor, organ... A VISUAL EXPERIENCE



If you would like an awesome experience, plug in the headphones & watch the notation in full colour thanks to the bar chart... just puts the music on a different level and becomes as exciting visually as it is musically.

My #1 all time musical experience was hearing this played in the Royal Albert Hall when the organ had just been refurbished and it was the first time it had been played in a very long time. The organist was rehearsing for a recital and it was awesome in the extreme... every single note rang through you... power beyond measure!!

Given that this is often regarded as the world's favourite piece of organ music it got me thinking... I wonder how Bach felt when he wrote it. Did he realize its potential or did he just feel excited to have written such a powerful piece. FACT: This piece of music has been attributed to Bach but not all scholars are in agreement and it has been challenged relatively recently since the 1980's, possibly because the score was unsigned.

What does the music say to you?  So far everything I have read is strictly technical relating to the physical composition of the piece yet it is so alive!! To me it speaks of excitement, being very playful
yet controlled... like a puppy racing around and sniffing everything- whilst on an extended lead to be hauled in when appropriate! The balance is perfect and brings to mind Stevie Wonder who referred to ebony and ivory living in perfect harmony on his keyboard; this goes a step further in that it is played out with a range of different sounds and variations being attributed equal importance. The volume of the piece is relatively consistent whilst rising and falling with the emphasis falling on the major chords ... maybe heaven lies within organ music rather than more than angels singing?

Jaz McKenzie

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