Sir András Schiff – J. S. Bach: Goldberg Variations CD from 2003 and my Goldberg Journey 9/13/11

September 13, 2011

I am about to launch my first Goldberg journey (it refers CD note Sir Schiff wrote for this CD!). I have been studying and practicing this monumental work since January, and spent most of my time this summer. I am excited and nervous, and I am very looking forward to and feared. The truth is I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to live with Goldberg. I go to piano every day with joy and (suffer!). During the course of study, I read many books about Bach and listened many CDs of Goldberg. Some helped and some did not help. I was busy packing and unpacking my luggage for the voyage. It means I was trying out different fingerings at cross hands in this piece. Goldberg can be super acrobatic to play on piano because it was written for 2 manual harpsichord. Imagine hands crossing and tangling on piano… It is a different fire than playing Liszt. My voyage is coming up soon.

I already confessed before that Sir Schiff is my piano hero. I met him very briefly in LA during his dress rehearsal with LA Phil, and I have attended most of his concerts in LA. This CD presents not only amazing piano playing in many aspects , but also Sir Schiff’s fresh and improvisatory music making. This CD helped me to understand Goldberg to the next level, and helped me not trapped in the difficulty of complexity. Also I enjoy reading his witty CD notes. I hope to have an opportunity to chat over Goldberg with Sir Schiff some day.

My first concert with Goldberg will be on Saturday September 24 at 7:30pm in Bird Studio at Occidental College where I teach, and then at Los Angeles Bach Festival on Saturday October 22 in the evening at First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. At Bach Festival I will perform under candle lights. I think the venue will be filled with candles. Then Goldberg journey will continue to Florida and Japan. I will live with Goldberg for a while, and I am very lucky to be in this position.

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