Monday, 26 October 2009

Moments of Magic

As much as I can adore a symphony, I can be seduced by a mere strain. And as much as I can admire a concerto, a tumble of a few notes can put me in a state of the most exquisite ecstasy.

Pieces of music in their entirety say a great deal about the listener but it is often the little moments within those great works, the riff or the hook or the chord change that ensure the attention and importantly, the musical intoxication, of the listener.

I have thought about compiling my favourite sequences from a range of different music for some time and have finally decided to knuckle down and do it. These selections vary in length and style. They are largely from 'classical' pieces although, being that most popular music relies on repetition, it is hardly surprising that I have not found as many unique sequences of magic within the modern pieces.

Opening the series, appropriately, we have Bach. This is one of my favourite pieces of music and without doubt one of the most majestic and celestial compilations of notes in history. The orchestral version of the cantata 'Where Sheep May Safely Graze.'

Although this entire cantata is beautiful, this intricate sequence in which Bach throws us from major key to minor key with an initially puzzling but in-the-end gratifying movement is not only an example of one type of emotion but of many, all in a bizarrely logical (it is Bach) and satisfying order. After the uncertainty and meandering of the middle of this sequence, the long return to the 'home' chord is all the more pleasing.

'Where Sheep May Safely Graze' - J.S. Bach

No comments: