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07 September 2007 @ 06:22 pm
Pavarotti, Bach and Life  

September 6, 2007 - Thursday


(Since I haven't figured out LJ yet, this is from my MySpace blog - www.myspace.com/catbauer.)

Pavarotti, Bach and Life

If you have been paying some attention to my page, you will know that I was playing Pavarotti on You Tube up until a short time ago. Now, this morning, he is dead. I have put back the You Tube Turnadot video that was playing. Please listen to it until the end. "Nessun Dorma" means "no one sleeps." At the end, he sings, "At dawn, I will win. I will win." Watch the expression on his face... I have seen that expression in real life... while making love... for me, it is an encounter with "God."

I had the great fortune to see Pavarotti perform more than once. Once in Hollywood, at the Hollywood Bowl, and once in his hometown of Modena with Stevie Wonder and others. It was when I first arrived in Venice... I didn't even have a phone number. Stevie's brother called the rental agency who rented me the flat, and said, "This is Stevie Wonder's brother." They said, "Yeah... right."

Pavarotti was blessed with a voice from God. Like Stevie. I am sure it is not easy having that:).

Until next time, Luciano. Thank you for giving us so much.


Today, I went to Lido to the film festival to see Pere Portabella's "The Silence Before Bach." This was the third time they had invited me (twice before to Rome -- too far), and anyone who has read HARLEY'S NINTH knows that Bach plays an important role in my book. I did not put Bach in there by accident! It is there because I want to turn you onto Bach.

So... because the film is now in Venice, I went. I didn't get this third invitation until last night by email. I cancelled my appointments for this afternoon, and I went with a great effort. By walking, boat, then bus. I got some kind of day pass and arrived at the Sala Grande. The guards outside checked me and let me in. But then, the guards inside would not let me in. They said, "Show us accreditation." I showed them passes from other years; I showed them my Short Film Festival pass from this year; I showed them my Author's Guild card. They said, "It is not good enough. You cannot come in. The only way you can come in is with accreditation (that I would have had to have gotten back in July) or go out and buy a ticket. And even if you buy a ticket, we will not let you in because it is three minutes until 2:00 and we are closing the doors, so it is impossible."

I asked to speak to his superior, and it was the same story. Guards LIVE for this type of situation.

I was calm. I have been in this situation enough times in my life that I know better than to get agitated. I said simply, "Well, I have this invitation, and there is a phone number, so I will call the phone number."

I called. A woman answered. She said, "Where are you?" I said, "I am inside the Sala Grande at the entrance to a white gate. They will not let me pass." She said, "Turn around." I turned around. There was a woman about ten feet away from me. She said, "Come here."

I went. I arrived on the red carpet with the director, Pere Portabella and his entourage. Another woman gave me her ticket. She said, "Here. Take this. Then they cannot stop you."

The Superior Usher had run over and witnessed this. He could not do a thing. I handed the women my business card. The woman who gave me the ticket asked, "Do you want to interview Portabella?" I said, "I don't know. First I have to see the movie."

So, I went into the theatre in excellent company. We went up to the balcony and Pere Portabella received a grand welcome. This is his first movie in 16 years, as far as I can tell.

The movie started, and I began to weep because I love Bach too much.

Here are some notes:

The movie opens in an empty apartment, very large. There is a player piano moving, dancing, playing Bach.

Then a blind man takes a very long time to tune a piano. I was not bored because I believe I understand why we need to watch/listen to this, but you might be bored unless you make an effort to understand why the director spends so long on this.

Then there is a trucker who brings a man from a roadstop diner with him. He says: "They think we should not be allowed on the same road with them." His truck is painted with Virgins that cost him 1000 of what-ever-his-currency-is each.

Then we are in Leipzig, where Bach was the cantor of St. Thomas Church. We have a lot of history; we are back in the 1700's.

Then there is a great subway scene of young cellists playing Bach over the roar of the subway car, which I think I will steal in some form in the future.

Then there is a discussion about the river inspiring composers. Of water inspiring composers.

There is much more... some beautiful old pianos. I think you should make every effort to go see this movie if you are close to a major city. Or rent it. It is in many languages, but there are English subtitles. It is not an action-packed drama, but you will get a nice introduction to Bach.

A quick google reveals that there is a book of poetry called, "The Stillness of the World Before Bach" by Lars Gustafsson.

Think about that: THE STILLNESS OF THE WORLD BEFORE BACH. And then you will start to get it.

Everyone with a brain who cares about you is telling you to listen to Bach! So, go listen to Bach!


Current Location: Venice