BWV 564 – John Dunn

Enter a vast and vaulting space
created with towered sandstone
and checkered light.
Cold and somber.
Discouraging free thought
Seeking obedience
and awe.
Intricate floors
tessellated and precise.
Gold crucifix and eagle of St John.
The ornate wooden choir and
the impossibly grand columns
of stone
contribute to
architecture overwhelming.
Diminishing humanity
but
when filled with sound.
Soaring.
A Bach Fugue
tames the space
and gives it new meaning.
A simple beginning.
A compulsive building to complexity
A stupendous conclusion.
It is all my mind can hold.
A new and more accessible
way to overwhelm,
to communicate,
takes the place of
cold suppression.
And my soul rejoices.
And when that final magnificent chord
ends we hear
continuance.
A reverberation
in the vaulted dome.
Momentarily owned by
both the organ
and the edifice.
Then is swallowed by the space.
To cold obedient silence
once more.