Monday, December 19, 2011

Bassoonist vs Bach

Googling about the Cello Suites, I found a delightful passage, in a book written solely about those suites.
The young Bach, 18 years old, at his first job, got into a scuffle with a bassoon student by the name of Johann Heinrich Geyersbach. Bach apparently called him a "Zippel Fagottist", the exact translation of which seems to be in dispute, but certainly seems to be a slur. Geyersbach took exception, weapons were drawn (each side claimed the other drew first), and they scuffled until separated by other students. The town council reprimanded him, telling him that "Men must live among the imperfecta". He later got into trouble for taking extended leaves, playing weird notes, playing too long (and then too short!) in church, and sneaking a "strange maiden" into the organ loft. Huh. Regardless of Zippel Fagottist, the Suites work pretty well on bassoon. I should try them, one of these days.

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