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When Bach is More Than Bach

Here's a funny thing about the Northwest Bach Festival: a lot of the music was written by someone other than Bach. Well, maybe that's not funny-hilarious. But it does, I think, require pointing out because this big event -- it's 13 days long! -- has something for everybody.

And not to be contentious (this is, after all, a blog about baroque, classical and romantic music), but when I say "something for everybody" I don't mean something for the Bach lover...something for the Chopin lover, etc. I mean something for the classical music lover and the non-classical music lover.

Let me get more to the point: Let's say classical music can't be found on any of your playlists. Then the NW Bachfest is for you. Why? Because, A) it is LIVE music. You must have seen at least one live performance in your life. A play. A concert. Something. And, didn't you love it -- even if you didn't like it? I mean, there is something about watching artists perform live that transcends the particular performance. Live performance is a gift from the artist and a gift that you should seek to give yourself on a somewhat regular basis. B) The music is astonishing. The composers are the greats from Western Classical Music, which brings me back to the funny thing I mentioned at the beginning. Bach (of course), Chopin, Paganini, Gershwin, Dave Brubeck, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein. It's like a traveling art exhibit of Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Picasso and Hirst. And they're stopping in Spokane! C) The performers are world class, and they're stopping in Spokane!

I'll be the first to admit: I hadn't heard of all the artists who will be here. But a quick Google-glance makes you sit up and take notice. It's almost cheeky of me to mention the bona fides of the performers -- who am I to say? But, really: take a look at the lineup and Google them for yourself. We're lucky to have these outstanding artists come to our community.

While you're looking at the long lineup of performances during the Northwest Bach Festival, take note of the great locations. Some big, like St. John's Cathedral...and some smaller, like Barrister Winery. For the cost of four Starbucks drinks, you can go see a live performance. For the cost of, oh, 10 Starbucks drinks, you can go see one of the lineup's larger performances.

So drink it in. All the flavors that make this blend of great music a very special time in a very special place: Spokane!

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