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Classical Notes

Happy Bach Day

Posted at 2:11 PM on March 21, 2006 by Don Lee

Even before my daughter Hannah was born on this date 19 years ago, I began celebrating March 21 because of Bach. They are quiet celebrations of his birthday; it’s pleasure enough to have the Goldberg Variations flow in and out of my consciousness as I tend to the daily routine.

Words about him seem almost pointless, but these from the great cellist Pablo Casals keep coming to mind: “such is Bach, the greatest and purest moment in music of all time.”

Tonight when I turn out the light, I expect my mind’s lullaby will be “Sheep May Safely Graze” from Cantata No. 208. The music is so reassuring it makes me want to believe the text: “Sheep may ever graze securely/Where a worthy shepherd wakes./Where the rulers well are ruling,/May one rest and peace discover/And what nations blissful makes. ”