Tuesday, February 09, 2010


It happened. Something I thought would never happen, but it has. My favorite composer has changed. It used to be Beethoven, and it is now Bach.

Mind you, my favorite piece of music is still probably Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto. However, taken together, I like Bach better than Beethoven now.

What, you might ask, achieved this stupendous transformation in my thinking? (Ok, it might not seem quite so stupendous for some of you, but it is true that I don't change things like this very often.)

There are two books that achieved this change. One is Glory and Honor, by Gregory Wilbur. That was a book that shattered most of my misconceptions about Bach as being a money-grubbing grump. In fact, while he did stand up for the money due his office, he was one of the most genial composers ever. He was quite the husband and father, and his home was always open. Composers and musicians were always traipsing through his house.

The second book was actually one I haven't read, but heard about: Evening in the Palace of Reason, a very interesting book about the smack-down of Fredrick the Great of Prussia. You can read enough of it on Amazon to get the idea of it. Bach was simply unparalleled in counterpoint, and here is one of the proofs.

Ultimately, it was also the spiritual aspect. Very few composers have ever submitted all their work to God the way he did. And there, I think, lies the difference for me. Beethoven is great and all, and wrote some great stuff, but it's not so universally spiritual as Bach. Bach also appeals to the mind more than Beethoven.

That's all for now.

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At 2/09/2010 08:11:00 PM , Blogger Meg G said...

So, if I recall correctly, a long while back, you said that one of the 'differences' between you and Lane was that your favorite composer was Beethoven and his was Bach. (...a 'difference' I thought quite amusing, btw, being not much of a difference at all to most of us...) So scrap that difference. Also, does this mean you will change your e-mail address???

At 2/09/2010 10:30:00 PM , Anonymous Natalie Wickham said...

Glad you've finally seen the light. :-)

At 2/09/2010 10:50:00 PM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Reply to Mom.

Actually, Lane's favorite composer was Brahms, the last time I remember. That may be different now, for all I know. There's quite a bit of difference between Bach and Brahms; much less between Beethoven and Brahms.

I don't think I'll change my email address to Ackbach, somehow. It doesn't roll off the tongue like Ackbeet. Besides, Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto still holds a lot of sway in my heart. :-)]

Reply to Natalie.

Yes, it's taken a while.

How are book sales?

At 2/11/2010 09:31:00 AM , Blogger Meg G said...

OK, so I decided to try to find that post/comment section with your favorite composers. Can you believe I found it, practically on the first try? Here's the excerpt I'm remembering:
Lane: "... We both enjoyed great literature, great music (slightly different tastes in music, but both classical: Adrian loved Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Khatchaturian; I loved Bach, Brahms, Liszt, Wagner)..." So, I guess since Lane listed Bach first, it's the one I remember. ;-)

At 2/11/2010 09:36:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Ah. See, those lists aren't in order. Certainly mine isn't. For the longest time, my favorites were in this order: Beethoven, Brahms, Handel, Dvorak. I have no idea why he put Khachaturian in there. He's ok, but not one I'd put in that list like that.

Lane's order at the time would have been (I think): Brahms, Bach, Liszt. I don't know beyond that.

At 2/26/2010 10:09:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 4/12/2010 10:04:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't even read this post until just now! That's something of an earthquake! Adrian actually.....................................................................................changed. Hmm. The Keister gene is suffering from some malfunction, obviously. Of course, mine has suffered from chronic malfunction for quite some time. To tell you the truth, I don't know who my favorite composer is anymore. I would prefer to speak of favorite period of music, which is definitely the Romantic era.

At 4/13/2010 08:28:00 AM , Blogger Adrian C. Keister said...

Yeah, we all know that Lane is the black sheep of the family. The only one who DIDN'T major in a technical field. *tsk, tsk*

Hey, I'm really excited, because, after literally stalking the Amazon.com website for two months, I found a used copy of the Bach Edition Complete Works (155 cd's) for $100!!!!!! (And those are exclamation points, not factorials. ;-)]) That was a terrific bargain. Also got the complete works of Brahms for $90 (that's 60 cd's, I think).


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