Yoshizen's Blog

J. S. Bach

One morning,  when I was drifting,

I heard a pipe organ music of  J.S. Bach,

in the back of TV drama.

Then,  I decided to go west to listen

the sound of original instrument in the

original acoustic environment.

Before, I was an enthusiast of  Baroque music, especially Bach’s organ Music.

So, I made a long list of the church and the name of the town where the recording was made for

the German Archive Record.

Then I took a ship to Siberia, Russia.  When the ship left Yokohama Port, I saw off  Japan  with

my eyes getting fuzzier as it may be the last time to see her ever again.


After long journey through frozen land scape of Russia, I reached to  Helsinki, Finland.

The Helsinki Cathedral was my starting point of 100 of the church organ pilgrimage, covering

many famous Alp Schnitger, Silbermann organs etc. (The beauty of this plan was, if we go to the Church

on  Sunday, there is the organ music played on, could be 300 years old original instrument, in the

unique acoustic of the church. Free of charge.—- On top of this, many organ concert, festivals there)


Then I came across a charity concert of  Bach’s organ music to help restoration of old organ in Frankfurt.

The Organist was the most famous organist Prof; Helmut Walcha,  whose recording captured me into Bach’s

organ music. (Prof; Walcha is a blind man, thus he played hundreds of organ music just from his memory)

Before concert start I was talking with a man sat next of me, about the different sound of each organ all over

the Europe, since it was nearly the end of my journey,  I had covered most of the famous organs already.

The man was rather surprised of my journey, and he took me up  to organ booth and introduced me to the

organist, Prof; Walcha  himself. ——- the man was the Manager of  Prof; Walcha.  ( Can you believe.  ! )

Prof; Walcha talked about a tour of Japan and his friend, Musicologist Keisei Sakka.   And I had happened

to attend a special  lecture by Prof; Sakka about the evolution of  Music Tonal  System as a part of my

Sociological study. ( Tonal System evolved under the Christian monastic life and their devotion to perfect it )

———-It was the incredibly lucky coincidence to fulfill my pilgrimage.

And it made one of the best moment of my whole life. What I could ask more.


Some ignorant criticize Bach’s music, saying they are too abstract, even mechanical.

In fact it is the self confession of how he is ignorant and having no ear to appreciate the music.

Under the most strict rules of such as the Fugue, still able to create such soul-shaking striking music is

the work of nothing but the genius. ——– Achieve  total freedom under the strict rule, is the Zen.

Unlike Romantic School’s sticky emotional melody,  Polyphonic Baroque Music, especially

Bach’s music can eliminate the thought.  (Rather constant rhythm / no syncopation, and three part

polyphonic keeps waving complex tonal pictures,  which  refuses our own imagination —– makes us

just listen the sound, not the story or any notion—– yet it gave us very comfortable relaxed feeling)

It’s suite to the Zenist.


2 Responses

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  1. yoshizen said, on January 26, 2010 at 16:47

    This Post seemed to be classified in the “Direct Transmission” by the Word Press.
    I haven’t used this words in the Post, yet still they found the connection behind, is
    pretty remarkable.
    Yes, Music is a vehicle of the Direct Transmission. As I wrote before, the Pentatonic
    tonal-system is the Natural creation. And only with five notes, it can still create both
    Miner-Tune and Major-Tune only by the sequential order of the notes, which gives
    same feeling to all the people in all the culture—— its a mystery to me.
    May be I need to discuss in the future.

  2. […] hundred of Pipe Organ in Europe. […]

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