Irony Awareness Week

Distinguished author Roderick Swanston introduces his piece in the current BBC Music Magazine as follows-

“Writing about music is beset by mistakes. “Distinguished” writers peddle false facts which get repeated and spread. So it gave me pleasure to set the record straight on some common errors. My advice: don’t trust anything until you’ve checked it yourself!”

To my eternal annoyance, I average about a typo (or several) per paragraph here at Vftp, so I know more than most how Swanston must have felt when he saw this in print on the subject of who really wrote the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor (I always thought it was Stokowski 🙂 …)

“One suggestion has been Johannes Ringk, allegedly a pupil of Bach who had access to his works: perhaps he cribbed it(in which case it could still be by Bach!), or is it an arrangement of another work? Who knows? “I do!” thundered Christian Wolff, the most eminent Bach scholar of them all, from his Harvard haven…”

I’ve never heard of a Christian Wolff, but there is one heck of a Bach scholar at Harvard named Christoph Wolff….

My greatest ever typo was on a resume I sent off to a handful of high-powered jobs I was going after with great gusto around 2000. As a result, I will never, ever, ever forget that “t” is next to “y” on the computer keyboard. I wonder what the reaction was as search committee members around the country read about my experience as conductor of the Oregon Easy Symphony…..


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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

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