[Ads-l] When God plays the organ, even God comes to Mass

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sun Dec 7 15:43:48 UTC 2014


Benjamin: Thanks for sharing an interesting quotation. Here are two
matches in Google Books from a preliminary search restricted to GB.
The matches are for a different phrasing of the saying about Bach and
God. The first citation circa 1956 ascribed the statement to Amedee J.
Ozenfant. The sometimes reliable Wikipedia states that Ozenfant was "a
French cubist painter and writer" who died in 1966. Perhaps there is
an earlier instance in French, or perhaps Ozenfant should be credited.

Year: 1956
Book Title: American Painting Today
Author:  Nathaniel Pousette-Dart
Quote Page 62 (GB Page number)
Publisher: Hastings House, New York
Database: Google Books (snippet view; data may be inaccurate and
should be verified on paper; text and page number are visible in
snippet; a probe for "1956" shows that 1956 was the copyright date.)

[Begin extracted text]
When J. S. Bach plays the organ, God goes to the Mass. AMEDEE J. OZENFANT
[End extracted text]


The second citation circa 1972 expressed skepticism about the origin
of the saying, and asserted that it was crafted in a "modern mind".

Year: 1972
Book Title: Rhythms of Western Art
Author: John P. Sedgwick
Quote Page 35 and 36 (GB Page numbers)
Publisher: Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New, Jersey
Database: Google Books (snippet view; data may be inaccurate and
should be verified on paper; text partially visible in two snippets; a
probe for "1972" shows the publisher name and 1972 year.)

[Begin excerpt]
No remark such as "when Bach plays the organ, God goes to the mass"
describes the attitude of Renaissance art; it is a remark that could
have been conceived only in a modern mind. To the Gothic mind it would
have been ludicrously impious, and to Bach himself it would have been
offensive at the very least.
[End excerpt]

Garson

On Sun, Dec 7, 2014 at 2:55 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: When God plays the organ, even God comes to Mass
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Sorry: When Bach plays the organ, even God comes to Mass. BB
>
>> On Dec 6, 2014, at 11:52 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM> =
> wrote:
>>=20
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header =
> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
>> Subject:      When God plays the organ, even God comes to Mass
>> =
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------=
> -----
>>=20
>> In "The Secret History of the World" (2008, http://bit.ly/1vs9IHh), =
> Mark =3D
>> Booth says that one of Bach's contemporaries said: "When God plays the =
> =3D
>> organ, even God comes to Mass." Booth says in his afterword that he =
> will =3D
>> provide citations at www.insideoutthinking.co.uk, but the URL has been =
> =3D
>> taken over, and I don't see this quote in the Wayback Machine =3D
>> (http://bit.ly/1G2dUE7).
>>=20
>> In September 2012, the same quote appears in "Concord" =3D
>> (http://bit.ly/1yqYN7W) but it is also unattributed.
>>=20
>> I tried using Google Translate to get a German hit, but not knowing =3D
>> German, I have no idea if there are any hits.
>>=20
>> Benjamin Barrett
>> Formerly of Seattle, WA
>>=20
>> Learn Ainu! https://sites.google.com/site/aynuitak1/home=3D
>>=20
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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