"La Camargo Dancing" by Nicolas Lancret‘From J.S. Bach’s French Suites: An Allemande’ by Leo Zoutewelle The Society July 24, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Music, Poetry 19 Comments Alike a trusted hand that comes to rest On harried shoulders to relieve the stress, This allemande fulfills its basic quest: Bestowing thorough genial redress. When just too much encumbrance blocks our way Or global evil comes to spoil our life, It’s time to change our course: to kneel and pray For quick deliverance from sin and strife. Be still, the allemande is always there, To soothe and heal our restless inner state— That wonderful and fascinating air That makes us think and whisper, “oh, how great!” We listen to God’s grace in wondrous tones As we, with Bach, ascend toward heaven’s thrones. Leo Zoutewelle was born in 1935 in The Netherlands and was raised there until at age twenty he emigrated to the United States. After retiring in 2012 he has written an autobiography and two novels (unpublished). NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 19 Responses Julian D. Woodruff July 24, 2020 A lovely tribute to Bach’s suites (and partitas), Mr. Zoutewelle. Thank you. Could there, however, have been a mistake? The accompanying video involves not one of the French Suites (per your title), but a very fine performance of the allemande from Partita no. 2 for unaccompanied violin. Not to say that that selection does not reflect the remarks of your poem! Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 24, 2020 Almost too much to say in reply, Mr. Woodruff, but the poem pertains to Bach’s French Suites (No. 1, the Allemande), and was written for harpsichord or piano, while the picture refers to a partita for solo violin – as it turned out, played by Daniel Lozakovich, a recent wunderkind. The picture is chosen by our president, Mr. Mantyk, whom I thank for a wonderful choice of accompanying pictures. Thank you much for your remark! Leo Reply Yolanda Elder July 24, 2020 Wonderful, moving, amazing tribute. It finished too soon like a great song wanting to be sung over and over again. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 24, 2020 Thank you very much, Yolanda! Reply Joe Tessitore July 24, 2020 Beautiful, Leo, and very-much needed. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 24, 2020 Thank you Joe, I am quite sure that I know what you mean. I appreciate that! Reply C.B. Anderson July 24, 2020 Leo, Every note in your sonnet was perfectly struck. Reply C.B. Anderson July 24, 2020 And the performance by the pianist sent chills up and down my spine. I don’t believe I’ve heard this piece before. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 25, 2020 C.B., That was awesome. I had not expected that, but I was very happy with your comments. May I say, a new Bach lover or have you been one all along? In any case, thanks very much! Wow. Leo Susan Jarvis Bryant July 25, 2020 Simply lovely, Leo – a beautiful poetical and musical antidote to the madness and mayhem of the day. I especially like the closing couplet – it hits just the right note. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 25, 2020 Thank you, Susan, for your kind comment! Reply C.B. Anderson July 26, 2020 I’ve always loved Bach, Leo. Who hasn’t? My particular favorites are “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” & the Brandenburg Concertos. Jeff Eardley July 27, 2020 Leo, thank you so much for the poem and the wonderful music of Bach. The perfect antidote to a cold, wet, and bad news day here in England. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 27, 2020 Jeff, your comment has more than rewarded me and my poem as I vividly sensed the comfort Bach has given all those who care to listen to his music. Thanks so much! Leo Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 27, 2020 C.B., I share your choice of favorites and the sonatas and partitas for solo violin and the French Suites and the Matthew Passion and…, on and on. Thanks again for all your comments! Leo Reply Julian D. Woodruff July 27, 2020 I’d like to make a case (another case) For Bach’s sonatas for the violin Along with obbligato harpsichord. Don’t think I’m arguing they should replace The other favorites pointed out here in This queue. But listen—you will not be bored! Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 30, 2020 Thank you, Julian, I will check them out. I am happy to be talking to another Bach lover, but the queue of Bach favorites is extremely long! Wonderfully long! Reply Cindy Erlandson July 31, 2020 This is so lovely, both words and music; and you are so right that Bach’s music lets us escape earthly turmoil and take us, for a sacramental moment, to heaven. I have a painting of Bach over my writing desk for inspiration to make my writing as musical as possible. Have you read “Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven” by John Eliot Gardner? I’ve just finished it, and highly recommend it. Reply Leo Zoutewelle July 31, 2020 Thank you very much, Cindy for your nice comment! Also thank you for the Gardner reference; I am certainly going to check that out. Thanks again. 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