We looked at some C# code about 6 months ago. I was very happy with the way it turned out. I learned the program and I run it regularly, the thing sits nicely in permanent ROM. Turns out it isn't very difficult after all, even for an amateur noob like me. So, why not try another? How about this little C# number? It has fewer sharps in the key signature (because it's C# minor), and it looks less dense. Probably easy right?
This thing is nasty.
A little background.
JSB didn't so much compose music as he did discover it. The pieces go that way not because of a desired effect, tradition, or the will of the composer, but because that's the way the pieces go. Bach would pry open a door to the other world, step through, grab something, and come back with it. In the first C# major piece we discussed, he does this in a playful rhythmic way - bouncing back and forth between worlds, skimming the surface of the unknown, contextualizing it to our world, and repeating. It's not that hard to catch the gist of it.
In the Andante Con Moto in C# minor however, shit gets real deep real fast. He finds a way to slide into the crack and follows it down down down. Where the fuck are we? Everywhere at once, and always moving. There's no explaining this shit away with "oh it's just an alternating series of exploring the 10th interval in descending 5ths alternating between the left and right hands". I mean sure, you can try - and there is a good deal of alternation between the hands, as well as some obeissance to Canon and Fugal forms, but you barely notice that. And you can't deny the raw gnarly nature of this thing - this thing is still "correct" in it's contextual representation of what it is, and in affecting the timed arrivals necessary to stay together and alive, but appears even more outside the borders of the describable.
Or maybe in another 6 months it will seem like old hat after I get it down. Either way I'm happy. One interesting thing is that merely listening to this piece doesn't seem to produce the same effect as playing it. To some extent that is always true but with this piece especially.