Sunday Music Poem and Video: Bach Goldberg Variations

Playing the Goldberg Variations on Sunday Morning by Bill Holm. From the collection Mixed Voices: Contemporary Poems about Music edited by Emilie Buchwald and Ruth Roston.

Although it may come across as irreverent, this poem's intention is to exalt the perfect and emotionally pure masterpiece by the greatest master of all composers, Johann Sebastian Bach.

Below is Andras Schiff playing the first 16 minutes of these flawless works of musical art.

I have also included another video of the variations on harpsichord, for which they were intended, played by Trevor Pinnock.

Playing the Goldberg Variations on Sunday

These are thirty carved stones
carried out of a Lutheran
church no longer standing.
In this church, priests
made love on the altar;
St. Paul's name was not
spoken;wine was given
in huge goblets because it was
wine, and wine is enough.
The organist played always
in G major, the same tune
slowly, and the priest mumbled
to himself: "Whoever loves
G major loves God."
From this church, buried
in rubble from on of those wars
fought for the love of God,
thirty stones were saved,
in a boat pulled down a brook
by swans. No one ever names
that faces cared on those stones:
stones still wet from the river
and from swan's breathing.

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