Season after Pentecost, 2023
Only recently did I notice the number symbolism implicit in Marie-Claire Alain's recording of Bach's complete music for organ. There are 14 CDs.
B A C H 2 + 1 + 3 + 8 = 14
Numerological tricks involving the number 14 occur throughout Bach's music.
As a for instance, take the famous chorale prelude "O Mensch Bewein" from the Orgelbüchlein. Some scholars find it significant that at this fourteenth measure, Bach introduces the melody "Von Himmel Hoch" in the inner voices.
This might be a coincidence taken by itself, but these kinds of things pop up throughout Bach's work.
It's significant, I think, that Bach uses this personal locus to inject theological nuance in a work that is already a masterpiece.
Bach signed all of his compositions "Soli Deo Gloria", meaning, to God alone be the glory.
In a place where he should have signed his name, Bach offers praise. Just like measure number 14.
Although, it's not uncommon to find the notes BACH there either.
Happy Birthday Bach.
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