This week, my favourite bar is bar 51 of the opening movement of the Magnificat….(the Magnificat).
Bach is FULL of patterns! Stripes, chevrons, wavy lines…. all over! But in bar 51 of the opening movement, there is a wonderful, rare moment, when the interweaving of many strands comes together, and everyone (all 5 parts!) is doing the same thing, at the same time, in a lovely, unambiguous A major chord. Aaaaaah… Perhaps it looks like this:
Blaze #1 1962 – Bridget Riley
I have a (Magnifi)cat called Rhubarb, whom I love a lot, and his escapades are becoming more and more daring as time goes by. Recently I came home to find him on the roof! After spending a long time trying to work out how he could have got there, I realised the answer was simple…..he just decided!… That was where he wanted to go… so he jumped! No fear.
Now, I know GCCS tend to favour Dram on Woodlands Road, but that’s not the kind of bar I’m interested in here, nooooooo…. I mean THIS kind of bar…
…which is actually Bar 43 of Lauridsen’s “O magnum mysterium”.
So why is this one so special to me? Well, it is the second of 2 bars (the other being Bar 39) where the harmony slips momentarily into a parallel universe, where everything is very close, but never touching…. a bit like this:
It is both agonising and exquisite – and I would recommend you give it a listen, preferably with at least a few bars either side, to give it some context! And as coincidence would have it, we will be singing this bar, bar 39 and a good few more, in our Christmas concert on the 12th December, so come along and see if you can spot it!
After the Christmas concert, I’ll be looking at favourite Bars in Handel’s Messiah, but if you have a favourite bar that you’d like to share with us, please get in touch. I’m looking forward to checking out your recommendations!