Friday, August 14, 2015

[pgvcchew] Statue of 4 lies

The most famous piece for pipe organ, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor by Johann Sebastian Bach:

Might not have been written for pipe organ,
Might not have named Toccata and Fugue,
Might not have been written in D minor,
And might not have been written by Johann Sebastian Bach.

On one hand, it is very striking that it is the #1 most famous piece (and not anything #2-#9, whatever those may be) that has these questions about authorship.  We might imagine, fancifully, that the reason is because this piece was not the work of man.

On the other hand, perhaps the reason the piece is so good is because it had been tinkered with by many different composers, arrangers, and performers, and it is this anonymous tinkering that allowed it to grow to its magnificent current form, even exceeding whatever original effort, if any, may have been put in by Bach.

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