I am playing a Bach suite at a concert in a few weeks, and I picked up the cello to practise again for the first time after a little break. I wondered how it would be…. would I find it hard to concentrate? Would I not be able to play in tune very well? Would it be one of those days where the time seemed to tick away really slowly, and it would be like dragging my feet through thick mud?
It was an absolute pleasure. I was practising Bach’s fifth cello suite, and it was glorious. My fingers were fine, and I could play in tune (well, most of the time!). But what made me smile was how much I was enjoying unfolding this music….. again.
I have performed these suites many times. And every time I find something different in them. Something new that makes me fall in love with Bach all over again. It reminds me of his genius. Completely.
I was giving a radio interview last week, and I was asked to define my relationship with Bach. How on earth does one do that? Is it like the student and their guru? Is he a friend that is there, always?
We are not equals, me and JSB. He is definitely on a pedestal. A large one.
But I like to think of him as a friendly teacher. And I love that his music always has something new for me. Some new little gem for me to discover, or new way of saying something.
Thanks, John. I appreciate you. Especially today.