excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 27-28 (147 words)

excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 27-28 (147 words)

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In Pursuit of Music

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The reverse had happened to me during the first of my ill-fated lessons with Sir Ivor Atkins at Worcester. Hoping to be given a Beethoven sonata to study – I had ‘learnt’ the Appassionata on a neighbour’s pianola – my face must have fallen when he offered me Bach’s Two-part Inventions. He noticed this, turned me off the piano, played, sang, gesticulated, dissected and explained.

I succumbed quickly as the seemingly dry notes leapt into life, for although this most modest sample of Bach might be dismissed as a mere exercise it contained the essence: the intense intellectual pleasure in the economy of its construction – the imitations and inversions of its opening figure, in itself so simple that a child could have hit upon it – and this enhanced, rather than precluded, one’s emotional delight in its flow.

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excerpt from 'In Pursuit of Music' pp. 27-28 (147 words)


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