Sunday, October 19, 2014

Improvised Listening

Last night provided an unexpected affirmation of how differently we listen to music without preconceptions of what we are going to hear.  One of the listeners to my first-of-the-series Mixed Bag concerts found that her favorite piece on the whole program was the second which was, lo and behold! the Fugue in E minor by W.F. Bach, the same fugue that I had newly discovered when imagining myself listening as she must have, without knowing what to expect.

When pre-judged according to fugues I have known (mostly by J.S. Bach, father of W. F., and a whole different generation) I had never understood the fugues of W.F.  Now I realize that this puts his fugues in the same category with the fugue in Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin, according to some people, the most beautiful of all the pieces in that suite.  Again, a highly atypical work.

More listening, less pre-judging, which is to say, prejudice.