I love music.

I write about the music I like and have purchased for the benefit of better understanding it and sharing my preferences with others.

All of Bach

The All of Bach project is an audacious program of the Netherlands Bach Society to record all of Bach's works by 2022. That alone is a feat, however, the project is focused not on CDs but a webpage for each of Bach's works. On that webpage will be a history of the piece (akin to liner notes), commentary from the performers, and a high-definition video of the performance.

I could imagine something like this ten years ago being made available for a high subscription price, perhaps as a DVD set. But thus far the recordings and website are free of charge, and the quality starting off, has been excellent.

I have to give kudos to the women and gentlemen who sought to see this project materialize. Preserving the work of Bach in a form that can be accessed by humankind is a huge work of love. It is helping preserve for future generations the awesome body of work by one of human history's greatest musicians. But it is also helping people today to discover Bach, too, whether it is for the first time, or in new light.

There is a danger, of course, of using video to capture the performances. The visual aspect of the video tends to stick with us better than the aural aspect, and the possibility is that we associate with that work the look of the performance space, the instruments, and the performers themselves more than notes on a page. In a single viewing, this is not as much of a concern, but over repeated viewings, it will become more difficult for us to separate the visual from the musical.

For me, too, the visual aspect of a DVD, tends to reinforce the fact that yes, I'm listening to a single performance, again, of a work. I feel less I'm listening to something familiar again, somehow, when I'm closing my eyes, or looking around my family room, concentrating just on the notes.

Such concerns are silly, however, because they are side effects of modern technology to capture audio (and visuals). Any concerns about videos or not kind of fade away when you experience the site, it's clean, professional design, and then take just a few minutes to start any one of the videos. I think the format will whet your appetite for more, and if that means seeking out alternative recordings or videos, so be it... it won't be because the performance was bad, but thus far anyway, because it was inspirational.

Porpora Violin Sonatas

Music for a While - L'Apreggiata