Book Review/YouTube Bach Wednesday
A few recent things in print sources, plus some Bach-related catches from distracted YouTube trawling
Here are a few links to recent book reviews I’ve published in Chronicles and Modern Age (alas, all but the first—the one on Philip Hamburger’s new book—behind paywalls).
“Sleepwalking in the Nanny State.” Review of Purchasing Submission: Conditions, Power, and Freedom
by Philip Hamburger, in Chronicles Sept. 2022
“Marxism Misunderstood.” Review of American Marxism
by Mark R. Levin, in Chronicles Aug. 2022
“The Shadow of Sodom.” Review of A Long, Dark Shadow: Minor-Attracted People and Their Pursuit of Dignity
by Allyn Walker, in Chronicles July 2022
“Nietzsche vs. the Woke.” Review of American Awakening: Identity Politics and Other Afflictions of Our Time by Joshua Mitchell, in Modern Age Summer 2022 (not on their webpage, but there’s the cover at the header)
Going to try to be more consistent in posting links to this kind of thing. There’s a review of Todd Gitlin’s novel on the ‘60s that should be out soon that I’m especially eager to share…
Stephen Malinowski has one of the most splendid YouTube accounts of all time, on which he posts animated graphical scores of some of the most sublime music in existence.
I discovered him at some point in the first decade of the 2000s, I believe, and he’s been at this for a while, so there is a treasure trove of material on his account. Check him out, by all means.
Here are just a few Bach pieces he’s done:
The “Little” Fugue in G-minor
Nun freut euch, lieben Christen g'mein, BWV 734
Opening chorus, "Wachet auf" BWV 140
A huge amount of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts, which ran on CBS from 1958-1972 (yes, television was once, long ago, used at least occasionally for things spiritually enriching), can be found on YouTube.
Among those episodes is a splendid program “Bach Transmogrified,” in which Bernstein walks the audience through some of the transformations that have taken in place in Bach performance from the composer’s day up through 1969, the date of the recording of the program.
Finally, here are some television appearances from the early ‘60s and another from 1980 of Rosalyn Tureck, one of the most celebrated interpreters of Bach’s keyboard music.
Again, I encourage you to try to meditate for a moment on the cultural distance between an America that could put this on TV and the country we are living in today, and see how much that reflection makes your head hurt.
I’ve been at this project now for a little more than six months. Hardly seems possible, but I just checked the calendar and I believe that is the right math.
So, this is a note to you: Thank you.
I’m tremendously flattered by your interest in what I have to say about life, art, politics, death and I’m grateful that you read my ramblings. Every writer desires to be read (Lovecraft’s letter accompanying his submission to an editor notwithstanding) and thus owes a debt that cannot really be repaid to readers, however much the writer sometimes pretends not to recognize this (it’s part of the persona, you see…).
So that’s something I want to be sure to say and say again: THANK YOU.
Now, the other reason for this little note.
I finally got around to doing the technical stuff necessary to provide a paid subscription option, and so that’s the “phase II” in the subtitle above.
What does a paid option mean?
It means it’s an option. At present, everything on this account remains open to all subscribers, paid or free. Even if I move at some currently unforeseen point to separating material here into paid and unpaid categories, I still plan to always make the great bulk of it available when it’s produced without cost to everyone interested in seeing it. I’m tremendously appreciative that you read this site and want to do everything I can to ensure you continue to be interested in doing so.
I am hopeful though, and I make so bold as to ask, that if you have a few extra dollars rattling around, you’ll consider kicking some of them my way to help make it more feasible for me to spend more time on this project.
Inevitably, and despite my deepest feelings about writing, I think at least a bit about possible material returns when I am allocating time to writing projects. I have two kids who eat and are in constant need of new clothes and a house in which things are constantly breaking down. Add to that the fact that, to my great regret, I do not have infinite time to dedicate to writing, and it emerges necessarily that sometimes the possibility of writing things for pay trumps writing things here. This is so even though I much prefer writing here precisely because it allows me more freedom to engage with the topics I find most interesting.
If I can generate some paid subscriptions, then, I can spend more time doing this writing, the writing I most care about, and the writing that I hope you find valuable. If I generate enough, I may even finally find enough time and energy to get around to dipping my toes into Podcast World, which is professionally speaking probably the last thing I should do, given my tendency to say things that get me into trouble, but YOLO, as I’ve heard they say.
I hope you’ll consider a paid subscription and, whatever your decision on that, I look forward to writing more for you as Phase II gets underway. Should you decide to “go paid,” you need only click the button below and it should lead you in the right direction.
Cheers, and thanks again! And very special thanks to those who have already switched to a paid subscription!
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