Beethoven and Bach's B Minor Mass

Beethoven loved Bach. When Beethoven was forty
He wanted to study Bach's great B Minor Mass.
He wrote to his publishers asking for the score.
Fourteen years later, he wrote to Hans Nägeli.
But he never received it. It never came to pass.

I find this astonishing, well-nigh incredible,
This is not some stupid factoid for Davis's doggerel.
It's Beethoven, God help us! The Mass in B Minor!
Nägeli had the manuscript. It should have been possible.

Couldn't someone have made a copy to send him?
That would be a story to tell to your children,
To write in your memoirs, to carve on your gravestone,
"I sent Bach's B Minor Mass to Ludwig van Beethoven."

Well, it's 2017 and if you do a Google search,
Recordings, scores, analyses for page after page.
By every kind of choral group, in concert hall and church.
There is something to be said for the Information Age.


This is part of the collection Verses for the Information Age by Ernest Davis