Bach in Boston

Last Sunday afternoon I heard Balint Karosi play Passacaglia and Fugue in C Minor on the organ at First Lutheran. Before Karosi began, my wife whispered to me that in a passacaglia the opening theme, played on the pedals, is repeated throughout the piece, with intricate patterns played above it. This music, so hard to master, is a wonder of musical agility and athleticism in partnership with the wonder of musical engineering, the pipe organ. The sound is too old-European and dense for most of us, with our American Idol ears. But on that bright afternoon the church was comfortably full and we were taken on a thrilling journey with Karosi at the console of a fine organ, playing the music of immortal and greater-than-all-the-rock-stars-combined J. S. Bach.

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