Friday, 4 July 2014

I Change My Mind

All my life, Bach has been my favourite composer.  My first albums were The Brandenburg Concertos - 2, 4 and 5 on one disc, and 1, 3 and 6 on the other. Decca.  Whilst my friend Rowan was carving Donny Osmond's name into the lid of her desk with remarkable precision and dedication, I was dreaming of extending my collection to include the Double Violin Concerto.

For the last year, my son has been working his way through the set of Beethoven Piano Sonatas I bought for him last summer.  He tells me that Saint-Saens could play them all by the age of ten.

Earlier this week, in retaliation for an impossible question about which waterborne disease I would most like to catch, I asked my son why he prefers Beethoven to Bach.

He told me that Bach doesn't have Beethoven's wild passion, that  Bach is too perfect, that Beethoven takes him by surprise: breaks the rules.  "Bach wrote like a machine," he said.

The world did not end but it shifted.  I felt a loss of innocence. I felt my heart switch allegiance in an instant.  Felt the guilt of betrayal.  And in that moment I changed my ideas about the tattoo I have been thinking of getting.

No comments:

Post a Comment