I had lunch yesterday with Christopher Hitchens. Well, my dining partner claimed to be C.H. but of course, nobody knows what the tireless, publicity-shy essayist looks or sounds like.
So I said to him, "Chris, I get the Got is Not Great thing of yours and agree with some of it, but riddle me this: If God is an illusion, why is there so much great religious music -- Bach's B minor Mass, Mozart's C minor Mass and any number of other pieces, Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Allegri's Miserere, Schubert's Masses, etc., etc., etc.?
Now, don't say these composers were just on retainer and wrote the pieces on commission. That may be true, and obviously these people were geniuses, but surely it was more than genius and money that inspired and informed their work, am I right, my fellow American (welcome aboard, by the way)? Or were the composers just summoning up the feelings, like so many musical method actors?
But alas, answer came there none. No doubt, one would have come if the lunch had actually happened, but I just wonder what it might have been.