It is hard to have a bad weekend when you spend your entire Saturday working on the Bach Mass in b minor, even worth getting up before five o’clock to drive into London to do it. The roads tend to be clear and the journey easy at that time of day, and after a quick nap on the sofa in the burrow I was ready to throw myself at the keys and spend the day transposing.
I always think that Bach is at once the inspiration who keeps telling me that I need to continue to work at getting better and also the voice in my ear who keeps whispering that I am not good enough, that I will never, ever get remotely close to reaching his giddy heights. I like to think that he was encouraging to his students, the kind of teacher who accentuated the positive, and, while he could certainly get irascible with those in charge of music provision at Leipzig, perhaps he was more supportive of those who genuinely tried.
As for Sunday morning, I would have been seated at the organ but for the fact that the entire building was devoid of power, so piano it was and thankfully I had turned up with a volume of Buxtehude to hand, whose compositions for manuals worked beautifully in this context. I always think that Buxtehude is in the pantheon of “most underrated composers”, mainly because he lives in the shadow of Bach (don’t we all?), but, as any fule kno, without Diderik’s efforts Johann would have been a very different composer, and there’s a reason that JSB hiked for hundreds of miles to hear the old man play.
I continued work on the cantata over the weekend, which has currently pushed orchestration of the symphony aside, although I do need to get back to that task before too long, and would hope to make some strides forwards on that front this week. Bit by bit and little by little I shall keep chipping away on this new piece and eventually, with a bit of luck, it will look as thought it was all inevitable.
There was also news of performances of my music, something that was to have happened in November now being pushed to April next year, but for all the right reasons, and another piece that was meant to have had its first performance over a year ago perhaps being aired before 2022 kicks in. So on to the week ahead, and this evening, once more, it is Bach, and then the long drive home.