Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back to Bach in Leipzig

While it's true that Dresden was nearly magical (There were even fireworks over the Elbe while I sat overlooking the river from my Bruhl Terrace face drinking wine!) and one can definitely tell that Dresden was a more important city than Leipzig in historic and modern times, Leipzig still had its charms in the end. One of those charms is what seemed to me to be the ever-present Bach. I am sure that the city plays up the Bach aspect of its history both out of pride and commerce, but to musicians, perhaps his presence is palpable.

You see it in the window of the Thomaskirche (St. Thomas Church) that stands (though different inside than in his day) as it did then, though the school where we worked and the apartment where he lived across the street are no longer. I've already shown you the statue from the outside, but inside is the grave where Bach's remains (supposedly) were re-interred. There's also the "Bach organ," not one he actually played on, but a more modern one that bares the insignia Bach designed for himself and, more importantly, was built to sound like an organ he would have recognized.

And even though there might not be anything left in the church that would be recognizable to Bach, when you look up into the other organ and choir gallery/loft, you have to wonder...

With Bach it's always about Thomaskirche, Thomaskirche, because of the Thomasschule (school) where Bach also had responsibilites. But many service and performances were conducted by Bach at the Nikolaikirche. I had a school, too, but apparently that was a school for the wealthy town boys who thus didn't have to be in the church choir, unlike the poor/orphans who had to 'sing for their supper at the Thomasschule. The Nicolaikirche has become important in modern times because of it's association with the revolution against the DDR.

It's presence was really important me--see-it was right outside my hotel room!

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