#Classical365: 26 – Well Tempered Clavier (I) Prelude & Fugue No.3 in C# Major

Feel ratty at the end of a long day in which I feel like I’ve been snarling at mostly everything. That may not have been how I’ve appears externally. In fact, for the most part, I’ve been my usual largely chipper save for those moments when I can let my guard down. Inside I’ve felt like an angry under-nourished dog barking at everything and everyone. 

I’m wondering whether this might have something to do with the gym visit this morning. The routine says that this week should see me do two circuits instead of one. It was a struggle and I just about made it through. Glad I got there earlier too. Meant I wasn’t quite so rushed. The pay-off was that I got up earlier. Maybe I’m just tired. 

The cumulative effect is distinct and familiar. I feel rough around the edges. Hacked about like the effects of a hover-mower on a lawn – the job has been done, but not especially gracefully. The long grass has been cut back but there aren’t any of those pleasing alternative strips. The lawn needs to be neat and tidy. When will it neat and tidy?

It’s one of the few days I’ve felt distant from classical music. The prospect of listening to something seems less appealing. There’s a need for something to sort everything out, but I can’t think of what that thing is. I need a musical guarantee. I need something that fertilises the soil. But what?

I end up falling back on Bach’s Preludes and Fugues. They’re like a packet of paracetamol. Take two at a time. Take no more than two in one day. Don’t waste them. Don’t OD.

The C# Major is a whirlwind. Gould gives it relish. Grabs it tightly and refuses to let go. The cadence at the end of the prelude suddenly clears the air. A moment of release. The fugue doesn’t let up. A scurrying affair with a relentless pedal note promising closure.

Bach does the trick. Just a short burst. The cadences are the magic bullet, for sure. But there’s something else. I’ve chosen to listen and done nothing but listen. It is the most calming, most therapeutic moment of the day.

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