Archive for the ‘music’ Category

the bach project ~ andras schiff

In a recent interview with Fred Child on Performance Today, legendary pianist Andras Schiff spoke eloquently about his life-long journey with Bach and his most recent recording of the Well-Tempered Clavier…after hearing a small excerpt in my car, I quickly searched for the complete interview on my computer…with each listen, I discover something new and inspiring…so much so, I just had to share the link with you, along with some of my favorite moments…may you be enlightened by Schiff’s brilliant insights and by the sheer beauty and genius of Bach

To learn more about Andras Schiff and The Bach Project, click here…to hear the complete interview on Performance Today, click here

Introduction by Fred Child ~ ” In 1986 and 87, when he was in his early 30’s, pianist Andras Schiff made recordings of the collection of pieces by Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier…it’s actually two collections of Preludes and Fugues in every possible key, Major and minor…Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier has been tremendously influential both in the science and in the art of music, exploring the sound and the feeling of every key as never before, showing that a single instrument could even do such a thing and doing it with unmatched inventiveness and touching beauty as well…now 25 years after his first recordings of these works, Andras Schiff has again recorded the complete Well-Tempered Clavier by Bach as part of a massive undertaking he’s calling his Bach Project in 2012 and 2013.”

Fred Child ~ “Why come back to the Well-Tempered Clavier 25 years after those first recordings?”

Andras Schiff ~ “I never left the Well-Tempered Clavier…and every day of my life, I start with playing Bach, usually a couple of preludes and fugues from this collection, for about an hour…many of my friends and I myself notice that I’m playing these pieces, somehow not drastically different from 25 years ago, but it’s not the same thing, you see a wider horizon there…so it’s a work in progress and with the passing of 25 years I noticed that I arrived at the next station…and hopefully there will be many more because as long as I live, and I’m lucky to be in good health, I want to continue to explore the mysteries of this music.”

“I developed the theory about colors basically to explain the unexplainable to myself…(it’s) to say that music is not just a sequence of notes and symbols, it’s not that abstract…and colors do help here because how do you define C Major? c minor? d minor? D Major? I thought that this would be very nice to describe this with colors…that when I start on the white keys with C Major, then we are white…not just because of the white keys, but there are no accidentals, and to me this is pure innocence.” ~ AS

“For me, I am still in the middle of my journey…there is no way to get to the end of this, it’s too great and it’s too complex…there are an incredible number of layers here that you have to discover, you can go deeper and deeper and it’s very profound.” ~ AS

“Somehow from Bach’s music I can only see his humility and modesty…very, very important…that he has absolutely no ego, this concept of I, is non-existent in Bach…the way I see it, he’s writing it for us…I would loved just to have heard him play on the organ, and improvise on the organ…if I had one wish in life, that I could ask for, that would be to hear Bach play on the organ.” ~ AS

“Bach gives me immense pleasure…the joy of freedom, the joy of movement…it gives me emotional, intellectual, and physical pleasure, and satisfaction…so what more can you ask for…” ~ AS

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syrinx by claude debussy, performed by danielle boudrot, flute

The story of Syrinx ~

“There was a certain nymph, Mercury said, whose name was Syrinx, — much beloved by the satyrs and spirits of the wood. She would have none of them, but was a faithful worshiper of Diana and followed the chase. Pan, meeting her one day, wooed her with many compliments, likening her to Diana of the silver bow. Without stopping to hear him she ran away. But on the bank of the river he overtook her. She called for help on her friends, the water-nymphs. They heard and consented. Pan threw his arms around what he supposed to be the form of the nymph and found he embraced only a tuft of reeds. As he breathed a sigh, the air sounded through the reeds and produced a plaintive meoldy. Whereupon the god, charmed with the novelty and with the sweetness of the music, said, ‘Thus, then, at least you shall be mine.’ Taking some of the reeds of unequal lengths and placing them together, side by side, he made an instrument and called it Syrinx in honor of the nymph.”

Claude Debussy composed “Syrinx” (La Flute De Pan) based on Pan’s sadness over losing his love. Written in 1913, “Syrinx” was the first unaccompanied flute solo of the 20th century and was dedicated to French flutist Louis Fleury. This brief atmospheric sketch is rich with programmatic references. See if you can hear the reeds blowing in the wind, leaves falling, or Pan’s heartbroken sighs of sorrow.

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music on which hopes are built

I feel I must share with you one more movement from J.S. Bach’s Partitia in a minor, the 2nd movement titled Correntein Der vollkommene Capellmeister (Hamburg, 1739), Johann Mattheson wrote that, “the motion of a courante (or corrente) is chiefly characterized by the passion or mood of sweet expectation. For there is something heartfelt, something longing and also gratifying, in this melody: clearly music on which hopes are built.”

click on the following link to listen ~  js bach corrente

Partita in a minor for solo flute by J.S. Bach, Corrente ~ Danielle Boudrot, flute

The Concert by Master of the Female Half-Lenghts, 1530

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a thoughtful ear

Today, I offer you a new experience…one that includes my love of music…please click on the link below to hear my recording of the Sarabande from J.S. Bach’s Partita in a minor for solo flute…it is unedited and was recorded in my home yesterday afternoon…I do hope you enjoy my first multimedia post…

js bach sarabande

Partita in a minor for solo flute by J.S. Bach, Sarabande ~ Danielle Boudrot, flute

Boy Playing a Recorder by Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1621

“I think that if I were required to spend the rest of my life on a desert island, and to listen to or play the music of any one composer during all that time, that composer would almost certainly be Bach. I really can’t think of any other music which is so all-encompassing, which moves me so deeply and so consistently, and which, to use a rather imprecise word, is valuable beyond all of its skill and brilliance for something more meaningful than that — its humanity.” ~ Glenn Gould

Flute Player by Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1621

“And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolant god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity — on each page we discover things which we thought were born only yesterday, from delightful arabesques to an overflowing of religious feeling greater than anything we have since discovered.” ~ Claude Debussy

The Concert by Hendrick ter Brugghen, 1626

“Study Bach: there you will find everything.” ~ Johannes Brahms

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