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Bach in Arts - Hommage a Bach

Art-1882

Type:

Bach Painting

Title:

BACH (4)

Description:

[by the artist, December 2006]: In a bizarre incident that could only occur in a wasteful consumer society like Japan, I recently found many almost-brand-new CDs thrown in a trash can at a small park, so of course I picked up this treasure trove. Most of them had organ music, and one box set of 16 CDs had the entire surviving pipe organ oeuvre of J.S. Bach beautifully played by the late Werner Jacob. This painting is the result of 16 day’s work listening to the complete set; one CD a day, while painting. Mozart called the pipe organ ‘the King of instruments’. If musical instruments were likened to landscapes the pipe organ would be both Everest and the Grand Canyon, and many other vistas in between. In warfare it would be a tank brigade. As a building it would be - what else- a cathedral! In fact this uplifting music, often written by Bach for use in church, influenced my painting (albeit unconsciously) to evolve into a pattern of pointed arches, vertical ‘columns’ and even the flying buttress shapes at the top corners. The strong pointed arch that emerged in the center of the painting reminded me of the marvelous arched halls, traditionally made entirely of reeds by the Marsh Arabs in Southern Iraq. (Unfortunately their way of life has been almost wiped out by the wars and oppression that have blighted the region in recent years.)
Bach was a pipe organ virtuoso best known in his lifetime as a performer not as a composer. He would work the multiple keyboards and foot pedals and the stops (the knobs that controlled the timbre of the sound by channeling the flow of air through chosen sets of pipes), all seemingly without effort. This powerful instrument gave a range of sounds that depended on the length and shape and the pipes and the materials out of which they were made of, be it wood or a lead-tin alloy. The resulting music could be anything from a mighty vibration that is felt through the feet of the listeners, a plaintive whine, a high-pitched whistle, or a glorious blast of sound from hundreds of pipes together that is unlike that produced by any other instrument. Almost no strength is needed to make all this music: I could testify from personal experience at a church organ how drunk a person can become with the mighty sounds being produced just by exerting a little pressure!
In Bach’s hands (and feet), the music is compelling as well as beautiful and uplifting. I listened and painted to the well-known blockbusters like the Toccata and Fuge in D Minor BWV 565, and the equally great Toccata and Fuge in F major, BWV 540. The Fugue in C minor, BWV 537, is made of thick `bundles` of interwoven chords and tones flowing together without pause, in a grand richly-patterned assemblage of a deep brooding drone, supported by other smooth tones, and topped by the brittle soprano flute notes that I always felt were a bright yellow. Fortunately for my nerves, Bach also wrote many quiet idyllic pieces with muted tones, like the Fantasia in C minor BWV 562 and the sunny unfinished Fuge that followed it. Or exquisite miniature gems like Orgel-Buchlein Nos. 30-32, Chorale: Erstanden ist der heil'ge Christ, BWV.628 where the sound seemed to me like a small piece of multicolored weaving, or the very agile joyous music of Clavier-Übung III Chorale: Jesus Christus, unser Heiland (BWV 688)..

Measures:

Creator:

Artist: Vladimir Tamari
Date: December, 2006

Buy item at:

See Source/Links below.

Comments:

Source/Links: Vladimir Tamari: Painting the Music
Contributor:
Aryeh Oron (January 2011)

Vladimir Tamari - Hommage a Bach

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Last update: ýJanuary 12, 2011 ý11:37:20