My brother Mel is a serious musician who loves to play classical music with several orchestras and chamber music groups in the Dayton, Ohio area. He tells me that very few young people come to classical music concerts. Symphonic orchestras around the country are struggling to make ends meet. The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has been having concerts all over the state in an effort to keep the sound alive.
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a superstar in his day. He wrote a huge amount of music including major works for the organ. Wouldn’t it be great if he could materialize in the Great Auditorium for a concert consisting of himself, Gordon Turk and the Hope Jones organ? That should attract a sizable crowd. People would come from all over the world.
There used to be a show on TV back in the ’50′s called American Bandstand. The teenagers would rate the rock ‘n roll performances and most of the time they expressed their love for the beat, the lyrics or the danceability. But classical music aims directly at the mind and the heart. Imagine “Blue Suede Shoes” and then Bach. They both are touching in their own ways, but perhaps more of you are familiar with the former rather than the latter.
Listen now to Bach’s Concerto for Keyboard in F minor—the movement called Largo. (below) It is performed by Andrei Gavrilov and the Academy of St. Martins in the Fields.
But, more importantly, how does Bach’s Largo make you feel? Does it touch your heart and mind? If so, buy a ticket to a live classical concert and help keep this music alive. The Summer Stars series in the Grove continues on July 19.