Archive - Dec 1, 2013

Date

BWV 543

This is one of the great pieces Bach wrote for organ, played on an organ from Bach's time. The numbering system of Bach's music runs from zero to a thousand or so, and it is convenient for those like me who get confused between one A minor Prelude and Fugue and the other. 

This piece is in A minor. It is an impish, even demonic work. Modern fundamentalists would be right to be scared of its power, something the faithful in Bach's time savored rather than feared. 

Bach's music is really rhetoric. It makes an argument, an argument more eloquent than any possible in English. The closing chords are the final, irrefutable statements of the arguement. The performer, John Scott Whitely understands that, and finally shows a little emotion at the end. 

Like most of Bach's pieces, BWV 543 is best understood if listened to many times by many interpreters. This recording is a good start, however. 

 

 

 

Twins news in December?

 

The Twins have signed two pitchers, Phil Hughes and Ricky Nolasco. This is unusual behavior for them. 

Just as importantly, they are working on a deal to bring A. J. Pierzynski back to catch. With Joe Mauer moving to first base, the 37-year-old Pierzynski would fill a big hole. 

The catcher is the most important defensive player on the diamond. An experienced catcher can squeeze a little extra out of a shaky pitching staff. 

Pierzynski is a pest. He has a bad-boy attitude. He is one of the most hated players in baseball today. That might make him an ideal addition to the sleepy Twins. Joe Mauer is a great hitter, but he's not exactly a ball of fire as a team leader. Morneau was of the same mold. A little sleepy. But Pierzynski chews nails for breakfast. 

At bat, Pierzynski fouls off pitch after pitch before dumping a looper to left field, sometimes for a double. Makes you mad, unless he's on your team. 

Gardenhire has experience working with Pierzynski. They may be able to work together like two grown men, who knows. 

As for the pitching staff, the latest additions aren't exactly going to set the world on fire. Nolasco and Hughes have spotty records. But adding arms can at least increase the odds that the Twins will find a starting staff that gets the job done. They still need an ace, and the best hope now comes from within the Twins system: Alex Meyer has the potential to become a #1 starter. You can never count on that, though. A great arm, which Meyer has, is no guarantee that one has major league mettle. 

In any case, it is good to see the Twins make a little news in December.