The Music of J. S. Bach in LA 10/19/12

October 19, 2012

We are so blessed to have “BACH Week” in LA until next Wednesday October 24. Sir. András Schiff will perform WTC Book II. Mr. Mark Swed, a music critic for LA Times, wrote a very good review on Sir. Schiff’s concert last Wednesday on WTC Book I, and I totally agree with his wonderful observation. Yes, it was an epic….. I saw several of my piano colleagues in the audience that night, and we were in a very special moment to experience Sir. Schiff’s amazing music making. As a pianist myself, I have played many of WTC Book I and II, but I never performed more than 1 at one concert. Sir. Schiff treated all 24 Prelude and Fugue as a long suite, or like Goldberg Variations. Before this concert I was not sure how I would feel after listening all 24. But his approach to the big picture idea made a great sense to me when all 24 are played. I can imagine if he plays a single Prelude and Fugue he would approach differently, especially tempo choices. Most importantly, Sir. Schiff looked so relaxed and was having a wonderful time playing one of the greatest music on the earth. (Mr. Swed wrote WTC as a bible, yes, it is to me too) Fresh and improvisatory, as if he is playing them for the first time. After the concert, I had a chance to meet Sir. Schiff in the backstage and he was in the great mood that he just played wonderful music. Also he was very very kind to offer me to go over J. S. Bach’s French Overture with me next week. French Overture is from my concert program for LA Bach Festival this weekend. This piece is not an easy piece to approach (the longest suite J. S. Bach composed), but it is a great work to live with. I am finally starting to feel a close connection to this piece, and actually am loving it. It is so fun to bring out the different characters from each movement. I hope you join me this Saturday 20 at LA Bach Festival. My program includes Aria Variata, Partita No. 1, Italian Concerto, and French Overture by J. S. Bach. Yesterday I heard Mr. Stewart Foster’s organ concert at LA Bach Festival as a part of Midday Concert. He is truly an artist. Under his fingers, overly played D minor Toccata and Fugue was so interesting and fun to listen.

Bach in LA continues!

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