G’Day World #337 – Allon Klebanoff’s introduction to J. S. Bach

One of the wonderful people I met while in Ajaccio was Allon Klebanoff, an Israeli historian who is the closest thing to a “Renaissance Man” that I’ve ever met. Allon gave a terrific presentation on naval art during Napoleonic times at the Congress and, over much alcohol and good food during five days, we discussed religion, politics, art, wine, women… and music, which is the subject of today’s show.

I asked Allon what he’d like to talk about on his first appearance on G’Day World, what his number #1 passion is, and he said “Buck”. I first thought that he was a fan of 70’s Sci Fi, but I soon learned that “Buckkkh” is how one is supposed to pronounce “Bach”. In this very long episode (90 minutes) you will hear Allon talk about Bach’s life and career as well as get treated to a number of musical pieces by Bach (as prescribed by Allon) including (in order of appearance):

Suite No. 2 in B Minor, BWV 1067: VII. Badinerie – Trevor Pinnock

Suite No. 3 in D, BWV 1068: II. Air РMusica Antiqua K̦ln

Italian Concerto in F, BWV 971: III. Presto – Trevor Pinnock

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F, BWV 1047: I. – Trevor Pinnock

Saint John Passion, BWV 245 (Excerpts): Herr, Unser Herrscher

Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 565: I. Toccata – Helmut Walcha

Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C Major, BWV 564: II. Adagio – Marie-Claire Alain

The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 1 РMusica Antiqua K̦ln

The Art of Fugue, BWV 1080: Contrapunctus 2 РMusica Antiqua K̦ln

Now I warn you – Allon is a funny guy. He doesn’t listen to rock, rap or jazz. He is VERY particular about the things that he is passionate about. And he’s a walking encyclopedia. I’m not sure I managed to get him to answer my main question “Why is Bach important?”, though I did ask him several times. Or maybe I just don’t understand. Anyway… strap yourself in and get ready to BACH.

7 thoughts on “G’Day World #337 – Allon Klebanoff’s introduction to J. S. Bach

  1. I had a German lecturer for a term at University who pronounced Kant as c*nt. One of my greatest life achievements is controlling myself over that 10 week period.

  2. Cameron,

    Kudos! This was one of your best yet. Given a choice between your podcasts on technology or your podcasts dealing with what used to be called the Humanities, I much prefer the latter. This from a man who spent almost his entire adult life as a systems programmer.

    More, more!

  3. Magnificent.
    Thankyou Cameron.
    Passionate and eloquent indeed.
    And very patient and diligent of you to give Allon his head (tongue?).
    And to find the exact performances he specified.
    He finds the words that come very close to explaining Bach’s magic, if in no other sense than by asking the question:
    who else is spoken of in this way?
    Which other composers?
    Who else do we talk about reaching out to touch infinity, for Christ’s sake?

    Who else can mash up 5 or 6 melodies into a jaw-droppingly beautiful harmony?
    On the spot, as it turns out?
    Oh yeah, while observing rules of counterpoint and fugue?

    Bach’s art is truly transcendental, other-worldly.
    Then again, I’m told I tend to go overboard.
    But thanks again. That was special.

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