What kind of music did Johann Wolfgang von Goethe listen to? I knew he was interested in music, since he wrote about music and poetry, but were there any composer he cherished? He was a friend of Carl Friedrich Zelter, the teacher of the Mendelssohns’, who has set to music several of Goethe’s poems, but apart from Zelter anyone else? A little research on the internet taught me that he was impressed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and had hoped Mozart would set his drama “Faust” to music. It did not happen. He was impressed by Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas and he liked a few German composer who barely achieved regional fame.
The warmth of Baroque music, the dark and friendly tone of a bass viol, or even better two bass viols – what a pleasure it gives to me! In 1728 Georg Philipp Telemann founded the first German music journal under the title “Der Getreue Musicmeister” (The Truthful Master of Music), and I have grown fond of one particular piece that was published in this periodical: the Sonata in A major for Two Bass Viols (TWV 40:111), performed by the London-based viola da gamba player, Claire Bracher. The “Musicmeister” was meant to promote the study and performance of music at home, in a private context. It was published every second week until 1729 with composition written by Telemann, Jan Zelenka, Reinhard Keiser and Francesco Bionporti.
Fantasy (noun) \ fan·ta·sy \ˈfan-tə-sē, -zē\ : a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived. That’s how the Merriam Webster Dictionary defines it. The blue sky and the bizarre shapes of clouds have always stimulated my fantasy. As an amateur meteorologist and pilot I know the types, their altitudes, how they develop, but no scientist has ever given any explanation for the shapes they take at a given moment. Complex fluid dynamics are at work, unforeseeable, changing within minutes, sometimes within seconds.