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Personalities of the musicians

Waste not, want not

While attending school in Lüneberg, J. S. Bach used to travel to Hamburg (50km away) to hear the organist of the Catharinekirche: J. A. Reincken.  Marpurg describes how Bach, returning almost penniless to Lüneberg, once rested outside an inn; how someone threw two herring heads out on the rubbish heap; how Bach – a Thuringian, to whom fish were a delicacy – picked them up to see if any portion were edible; how he found that they contained two Danish ducats, and was thus able not only to have a meal, but also “to undertake another and a more comfortable pilgrimage to Herr Reincken.”

Cited in: Walter Emery, “Johann Sebastian Bach, §2: Lüneberg”, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.  Ed. Stanley Sadie.  London: Macmillan, 1995, vol. 1, p.787.’

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist