Pianolady, you do not have to like Bach but I am pretty sure you are among the minority of classical piano players who doesn’t.
I have always been a little ‘different’ from everybody else. I think my genes got mixed up, because my own father would be on your side of this debate. He is very knowledgeable in music and his ears can recognize any key, melody, voice, etc…in almost every piece of music ever written. I can’t tell you how many times he has said to me in total astonishment, “I can not believe you never heard that before.” Or “That’s not Mozart it’s Haydn.” He says he never gets tired of listening to Bach, either.
But one cannot listen to it as background music while doing something else and you must pay attention through every single note. If you like to listen to music as relaxation, Bach is not the music you should choose. Bach demands full attention as when reading a book or even playing the music yourself. It is nothing you have on while making the dishes and sing along.
That statement is probably the one that most fits me. I am always doing three or four things at the same time. My kids run me ragged, my husband works all the time is not home much, so I have to do everything. Plus, I have a few other activities going on besides playing the piano. So I suppose I do think about other things when I’m listening to music. I wish I could delete all the stuff in my head I do not need - like the delete button on the computer. Lately, I’m trying to memorize a few pieces and it’s taking forever because I have too much garbage in my head. And I do sing when I’m in the shower and it’s usually something like Chopin.
For me, Bach never ends and I can listen to the same pieces many many times while most romantic composers really bore me after a while. I do not find anything new in it and have fully understood the piece and when this happens, it is not interesting anymore. I have almost stopped listening to Chopin for this reason. There is hardly anything left to discover.
This isn’t so for me. When I hear other players, I hear the different ways they play, the different balance between the hands, different notes they bring out and that is what keeps me interested. I cannot listen to a Bach fugue repeatedly without spacing out. My mind wonders. I must be defective.
But for me, no other composer represents soooo much feeling in music as about any of Bach’s music does. It is so intrusive to my mind BUT few people like a Bach piece the first time he/she listens to it, perhaps not even the second or third. It takes many repeats of the same piece for me before I really find the wonder in it
You make a good case, here. Except for the feeling part. I don’t get that. But I appreciate the fact that I should give it time, listen more, listen better, listen without distraction – would be nice to go away by myself – somewhere warm with only a bathing suit and my ipod loaded with Bach (and Chopin)