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I had an extremely vivid (and in some details lurid) dream last night that I had got up and was getting ready for work. I found myself shaving and only began to suspect that something wasn’t right when I noticed in the mirror that my nose had the color and texture of a strawberry.

You might think that the discovery that it was only a dream would have been a positive.  However, I find that the sensation of having to get up twice the same morning, once in the dream and once for real, turns out to be extremely unpleasant.

It’s going to be a long, long day.

T’other day I happened to post again on my ever-increasing admiration for J.S. Bach.  Well, fortuitously, the Guardian is running a little series on great dynasties and just so happens to have recently turned its attention to the realm of musick:

In his obituary for his father in 1754, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach wrote: “Johann Sebastian Bach belongs to a family whose love and aptitude for music seems like a gift accorded by Nature in common to each of its members.” One suspects that Carl was attempting to establish and claim his own career here from his family’s manifest destiny, but nonetheless the claim stands. There is little doubt that the Bachs are, as Christoph Wolff puts it in his Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (1991), “the most important musical family of all time”.

Their importance derives not only from their many achievements, but also from their sheer staying power. The Bachs were unique not merely because a few of them were so great, but because so many of them were at least so good for so long.

It’s quite true: Even a superficial glance at the family tree reveals umpteen generations of Bach family musicians stretching back into the depths of time.  As for going forward, the Old Gentleman once told me that the last direct descendant of J.S. Bach was the principal violinist for the Berlin Philharmonic back in the 1930’s.  (I’ve never looked this up, but I don’t have any particular reason to doubt its accuracy.)

Why this particular family should have been blessed with such an overwhelming musickality is quite beyond me.  All I can say is that I’m thankful for it.


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