I’ve written several times about “Air on the G string” by Bach. Let me tell you how it all began.
After playing English flute for one year, we eight-year-old pupils, were allowed to test a wide selection of different musical instruments one day towards the end of the spring term. All rooms in the building for gymnastics classes were occupied by musical instructors and intruments.
A couple of days later we got their suggestion. The municipality music schoold recommended that the boy Tor-Björn should continue with percussion instruments (drums) or clarinet. We opted for clarinet. I continued attending clarinet lessons throughout primary school. My teacher’s name was Sven. He was a bit odd, but I liked him.
Sven tought me more, than just playing the clarinet. He showed me how to relate to live in a more open and natural way.
I remember, for example once 7th or 8th grade. I came into the room where we should have our clarinet class, but I didn’t see Sven. But then he called on me. He had laid down on his back under a table and told me it was relaxing: try yourself! Obviously, he had had a stressful day.
Well, about Bach. When we were getting closer to the pupils’ concert in the parish community building we decided that I was going to play the very slow piece “Air on the G string” by Bach and he would accompany on the grand piano.
But, when he started the preludium, he was executing it roughly twice as fast as he should!
So I went up to him and said: Let’s do it as we practiced, one, two, three… Forget about the audience, they are all nice people. So: breathre. And let’s start over.
It went really well.
Sven! I know that you left the earthly life many years ago. But I’d like you to know that I think about you, I like you, and I’m very grateful for all you taught me.
Pity, I didn’t become really good at playing the clarinet. (But boy I can sing!)