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Celebrating the pipe organ, the King of Instruments

Mailbag: “An Wasserflussen Babylon…”

July 30, 2014

Michael -

Bach's 'Wasserflussen Babylon'//brought back a lot of memories.

I started singing Palestrina's version - 'Super flumina Babylonis' about 65 years ago. At the end of October, 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast and wiped out our summer home of 43 years. When we arrived at the seashore and saw what happened I sat down and wept - just as in the motet.

My guess is that my version is along the lines, 'super flumina oceanus atlanticus, illic sedimus and flaevimus'.

We lost 105 homes due to a wind driven fire and another 175 due to the wave that came through. Another 1400 or so have massive water damage.  The community is still rebuilding and will probably take about five years. In the meantime Bach's music, and your broadcasts, continues to bring a measure of relief and calm.

Thank you for all the time and effort you put into producing your program.

Phil Gilson, Brooklyn NY 

Dear Phil,

I can barely comprehend what you went through in Sandy's wake…though I've been doing my own grieving lately after the death of my brother three weeks ago, age 66.

Despite the seriousness of the storm's effect, yours is the sort of communication that I love to receive…it gives my work some meaning and context.  Thank you for reaching out!

I will continue to do my best here…organ music, and surely Bach, does provide spiritual food.

Keep listening!

Best regards,

Michael Barone



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