Thursday, 15 October 2009

Bach's music never stops praying

Alex Ross, who is the music critic for the New Yorker, and author of the sensational book, The Rest is Noise, while retaining his blog with the same name, is now blogging on Unquiet Thoughts. He includes this snippet from a new book on the Hungarian composer, György Kurtág, whom I confess to not having heard of. I found this response to the question, 'Are you a believer?' a fascinating one.

'I do not know. I toy with the idea. Consciously, I am certainly an atheist, but I do not say it out loud, because if I look at Bach, I cannot be an atheist. Then I have to accept the way he believed. His music never stops praying. And how can I get closer if I look at him from the outside? I do not believe in the Gospels in a literal fashion, but a Bach fugue has the Crucifixion in it—as the nails are being driven in. In music, I am always looking for the hammering of the nails…. That is a dual vision. My brain rejects it all. But my brain isn’t worth much.'


jim Gordon said...

Fascinating indeed Geoff. Thanks for sharing it.

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iS tO BeLieVe thaT EVERYONE wHo doesn'T shaRe mY BelieFs
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