music

The most beautiful piece of music ever written for organ.

Program notes (from the YouTube page):

Bach’s Toccata in F major (BWV 540) begins with a large linear canon (one hand imitating the other) over a long pedal point in F major. This is followed by an improvisatory pedal solo based on material from the canon. The entire canon is repeated with hands reversed, and is again followed by a long pedal solo. The canons and pedal solos effect a modulation from the home key of F to the dominant of C; and the entire remainder of the movement constitutes the harmonic return to home base. Hermann Keller expresses his rapture as follows: “At the beginning the extensive linear construction of the two voices in canon, the proud calmness of the solos in the pedal, the piercing chord strokes, the fiery upswing of the second subject, the bold modulatory shifts, the inwardness of the three minor movements, the splendor of the end with the famous third inversion of the seventh chord – who would not be enthralled by that?”

When I was in eighth grade myself, my favorite band, bar none without any other coming even close, was Pink Floyd. I had every album available except for the then-rare, then-almost-impossible-to-find More Motion Picture Soundtrack album, which, when I got it, was something of a disappointment. Of course I had and loved Dark Side of the Moon, but my favorite Floyd album was (and still is, I guess) 1971’s Meddle. The center piece of that album, of course, is the twenty-three minute epic “Echoes.”

Little did I know, until a friend sent me the link, David Gilmour played it in its entirety in a Gdnask concert in 2008. Ironic I discover this only days after I played the song for a class while they were doing group work…