A Bach Christmas For Us All!
The BBC Radio 3 Bach experience has been an extraordinary experiment; but sharing something like this with people all over the world as Christmas approaches surely has a particular meaning for many.
Anyone who enjoys classical music will be aware that the BBC has just offered us ten days of uninterrupted Bach. This has to be the tour de force to beat ’em all.
I’d be less than candid if I didn’t admit there have been times when I decided enough was enough – and turned to Dinah Washington, the Walker Brothers or other entirely ‘off site’ artists for a bit of contrast… or when I chose instead to listen to my usual fare of the wonderful chamber music of the past two centuries.
Nonetheless, in this season of good cheer, perhaps it’s worth just thinking how amazing it is that the BBC can arrange for us to listen to all, everything, J.S. Bach has left us, from three hundred or so years ago.
A global legacy shared
My guess is that people all over the world have been ‘tuning in’ on their broadband computers and hearing Bach in the morning, Bach at lunchtime and Bach in the evening [postscript, 27 Dec: 2.5 million hits were recorded!].
Maybe Bach is not everyone’s cup of tea, but here we have something really quite extraordinary – a community of ‘People on Earth’ who, without knowing each other, are sharing a legacy of three hundred years which has been the basis for much of our contemporary music, popular, ‘classical’ and even cutting edge.
Just as we can share the hoped-for goodwill of Christmas without necessarily the religious aspects, so through music and very ‘new’ technologies we can share a heritage which means something, whatever our own contemporary musical preferences.