Center for Strategic Communication

[ by Charles Cameron — some very beautiful music accompanied by unexpected visuals ]

I am in full agreement with this tweet today from our co-blogger here on Zenpundit, Scott Shipman:

Cantata 63, Christen ätzet diesen Tag, is indeed among the five or so works of Bach to which I find myself constantly turning, though not to this particular movement or performance. It is the work that John Eliot Gardiner performed so movingly, and that wonderfully caught for us on DVD — I’ve spoken of it before.

Today, though, Scott’s post brings us a mystery I’ve been pondering, and preparing to post about, for a few weeks now. It involves a series of videos, as you can see, and videos take time to watch, I know. I can only say that the music of Cantata 63 itself is wonderful, and the mystery really quite a puzzle. I hope you will find both worth your while.


Without further comment, then, here is Taylor Swift performing Love Story:

That seems simple enough.

Here, though, is the same footage used to present Cantata 63, directed by Karl Richter:

And here is what I take to be the same exact recording, presented with different visuals:


To my mind, those three videos taken together raise all sorts of interesting questions about the sacred and the profane, eros and agape, aesthetics, mixology, you name it…


Here is Sara Mingardo singing the recitative O Selger Tag from the same Cantata — in the superlative rendering which I mentioned above — and only recently rediscovered on YouTube, and can thus bring you:

I have listened to a number of versions of this aria — and to my ear, mind, and heart, Mingardo brings a devotion to this “mere” recitative which far outdistances the others.


Now for the second part of my puzzle:

The second of those videos, with the glamorous Ms Swift’s imagery accompanying Herr Bach’s cantata, was posted by one “voiceofshariah” whose 117 videos include more Bach with Taylor Swift imagery:

— quite a glorious Bach organ piece with which I was not already familiar — but also, under the name “afghanistansomalia”, this version of the B Minor Mass, which I discussed here earlier in a post titled Osama and the flute of the devil:

— which you’ll note is posted after bin Laden‘s death, and — as if to confuse matters even further — this video, again with OBL visuals, of Maurice Jarre‘s soundtrack for the David Lean / Peter O’Toole film, Lawrence of Arabia!

Whoa! Osama bin Laden and Lawrence of Arabia?

What one is to make of all this, I can only guess. I desperately want to get back to the simple appreciation of beauty, however, and will do so, I hope, in an upcoming yet related post.