J.S. Bach, Cantata BWV 62, at Advent I

The text of Cantata 62 is anonymous, but, as in cantata 61, uses Luther’s hymn at the outset. This opening chorus is spell-binding and masterful: strong, expansive in measure (6/4), and impressive, with magnificently and affectively telling writing in the orchestra, especially the oboes, and the cantus firmus (Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland) emphasized by…

Proust: From The Guermantes Way – Chapter One

… our cruellest adversaries are not those who contradict and try to convince us, but those who magnify or invent reports which are liable to distress us, taking care not to give them any appearance of justification which might lessen our pain and perhaps give us some slight regard for an attitude which they make…

Solitary Ethics Trilogy

The poetic trilogy Solitary Ethics is an exploration of ethical and moral considerations. Book I deals with right action in the context of the experience of the individual will; Book II, in the context of the absolute nature of the essence of being; and Book III in the context of human desire guided by reason. The trilogy…

J.S. Bach – Cantata 7, at the Feast of Saint John the Baptist

In the opening chorus we are witnessing the musical manifestation of the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. Whether one is a believer or not, there is no questioning the genuineness of this faith, and the matchless musical command of its expression. And, this is not self-expression, but an expression of and for the…

Joseph Haydn – Symphony 73 (1782)

Haydn’s mastery in combining musicality and structure is sublime in this symphony. The repeated notes of the slow introduction are transformed into a theme of repeated notes in the allegro; and, the repeated notes, when voiced in two or several of the instruments of the orchestra, in turn become the implied counterpoint to the melody. The…