January 7, 2020 music

Musicians condem themselves to failure by subscribing subconsciously to the “starving artist” mentality, but it’s time to shift the paradigm and start anew. Here’s the thing about the bariolage section, then: Bach goes ahead and uses all the wrong notes. They’re all surprising, but the most surprising one is E♭, the most dissonant possible note in the key of D minor. That would be a bold choice even now. In Bach’s more conservative context, it was unheard of. But the bariolage doesn’t sound wrong at all. Bach carefully organizes all those chromatic notes so they all sound perfectly logical and inevitable. They…