Alisdair Kitchen continues his cycle:
There’s a wonderful little story about a friend of Bach’s – thought to be a chap called Walther – who set out to disprove Johann Sebastian’s occasional boast that his powers of sight-reading were limitless. One morning, he invited Bach over for a spot of breakfast. While Walther was scrambling the eggs, Bach sat at the harpsichord, as was his habit, and unwittingly began to play the trap that Walther had left casually on the music desk. At first, all went swimmingly; but then Bach stumbled. He tried again, faltered, and tried a third time before graciously admitting defeat. No-one knows what Walther wrote to stymie the great man, but it must have been devilish. I like to imagine it was something like Variation 20!
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