1. Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers When you attend an artistic performance, the audience rarely knows the nitty gritty details of all that went into presenting it. For 92Y Concerts’ opening night on September 18, we are breaking down Christian Tetzlaff’s solo performance by the numbers. The German violinist will be performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in full—a marathon achievement. Here’s how the evening stacks up! 2412 bars of music (without repeats).2400 seconds of intermission.1800 eyes on stage.900 glasses of champagne served at intermission.380 calories burned (approx.) by Tetzlaff.212 years since the Sonatas and Partitas were published.130 minutes on stage to perform.64 variations in the famous Chaconne.28 movements.17 years for Bach to compose.12 years old—the age when Tetzlaff first started learning the pieces.6 works.1 violinist.
You’ve seen the numbers, now hear the music on September 18!

    Tetzlaff Plays Bach: By the Numbers

    When you attend an artistic performance, the audience rarely knows the nitty gritty details of all that went into presenting it. For 92Y Concerts’ opening night on September 18, we are breaking down Christian Tetzlaff’s solo performance by the numbers. The German violinist will be performing Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in full—a marathon achievement. Here’s how the evening stacks up!

    2412 bars of music (without repeats).
    2400 seconds of intermission.
    1800 eyes on stage.
    900 glasses of champagne served at intermission.
    380 calories burned (approx.) by Tetzlaff.
    212 years since the Sonatas and Partitas were published.
    130 minutes on stage to perform.
    64 variations in the famous Chaconne.
    28 movements.
    17 years for Bach to compose.
    12 years old—the age when Tetzlaff first started learning the pieces.
    6 works.
    1 violinist.

    You’ve seen the numbers, now hear the music on September 18!

  2. On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.
While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.

So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.

Read the full enlightening Q&A here.
Previously: 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

    On September 19, Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season with a performance of the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas—one of the monuments of Western music.

    While the six individual sonatas and partitas are regularly performed, Christian Tetzlaff is one of only a few artists who present the complete cycle as in a single epic program. In the following Q&A with 92Y, he discusses his thoughts and experience with Bach and the cycle.

    So the entire cycle turns on the Chaconne? Yes, it is such a devastating piece of music. It is thirteen minutes long and connected to the other movements in the partita, and yet it towers above everything else. And then after such music—where could one possibly go? Even Bach doesn’t know. In his manuscript, the Chaconne stops and then the next sonata—which is supposed to be in C major—starts directly on the next line in the same register, same rhythm, same tempo, and even by the fifth measure, in the same key—D minor.

    Read the full enlightening Q&A here.

    Previously: 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

  3. 7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You For one musician to perform all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert is an incredible feat. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will perform them at 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18 in a performance that the New York Times calls “a kind of classical music nirvana.” To prep for this big event, here are seven facts about the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas that will amaze you. 1. Nobody knows why J.S. Bach wrote these six works for solo violin. The pieces were not dedicated to anyone and there is no record of them being performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were probably not ever intended for public performance. [[MORE]]2. The six works take about 130 minutes to perform. It’s a non-stop, mental, physical and artistic marathon. For this reason, few violinists ever perform all six works in one concert—Christian Tetzlaff is one of few. 3. Violins are rarely played without accompaniment. However, in the fugues portion of the work, Bach makes the one violin sound like four instruments playing four different tunes at the same time! 4. These six works probably ruffled some priests’ feathers. They include three sonata da chiesa (or, “church sonatas” in a “serious” style) alternating with three partitas (basically a collection of dances in a lighter style). It was a slightly controversial melding of tones for the time period. 5. It was one of Brahms’ favorites. The Chaconne—the last movement in the Partita No. 2—is considered by many musicians to be one of their desert-island pieces. Brahms said about it: “On one stave, for a small instrument, the man wrote an entire world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings.” 6. It recently went viral. Remember that busking violinist who played for the morning commuters in Washington D.C.’s metro – the one who turned out to be superstar violinist Joshua Bell? Guess what he played. Yep, Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin. Here’s the story.7. Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, and Bob Dylan all sampled it. The bass line in the Chaconne appears in their music, as well as in Mary Poppins and many blues songs. Journalist Alex Ross provides some listening examples here.
Join us on opening night for this incredible concert experience (and impress everyone in your row with these seven facts!).

    7 Facts about Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas That Will Amaze You

    For one musician to perform all six of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas in a single concert is an incredible feat. Violinist Christian Tetzlaff will perform them at 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18 in a performance that the New York Times calls “a kind of classical music nirvana.” To prep for this big event, here are seven facts about the complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas that will amaze you.

    1. Nobody knows why J.S. Bach wrote these six works for solo violin. The pieces were not dedicated to anyone and there is no record of them being performed in Bach’s lifetime. They were probably not ever intended for public performance.

    Read More

  4. Today is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 300th birthday, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Considering all the generations of Bachs who were great musicians, if they ever do find a gene for genius, maybe they should call it the “Bach” gene? Here are a couple examples of CPE Bach’s music. Now #thatsgenius:
Magnificat: Magnificat anima meaSymphony No.1 in D major, H.663 Wq.183Keyboard Concerto in D major, Wq. 43/2Sonata in B minor for piano, H.245
WQXR Classical will also be playing his music all weekend.

    Today is Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach’s 300th birthday, the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach. Considering all the generations of Bachs who were great musicians, if they ever do find a gene for genius, maybe they should call it the “Bach” gene?

    Here are a couple examples of CPE Bach’s music. Now #thatsgenius:

    Magnificat: Magnificat anima mea
    Symphony No.1 in D major, H.663 Wq.183
    Keyboard Concerto in D major, Wq. 43/2
    Sonata in B minor for piano, H.245

    WQXR Classical will also be playing his music all weekend.

  5. Rosalyn Tureck performing Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A minor BWV 895, from 1962.

    Tomorrow, Dec 14, is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Bach pianist and authority Rosalyn Tureck. Dec 14 is also the recital of Sharon Isbin at 92Y, dedicated to Tureck, Ms. Isbin’s friend, mentor and scholarly collaborator. She wrote this tribute.

    Read More

  6. On Saturday, March 23, Belgian guitarist Raphaella Smits makes her 92Y solo recital debut in a program of Bach, Sor and Mertz.
As an introduction, here is a brief Q&A edited together from three English-language interviews posted on her website: NYlon Review, Soundboard and Classical Guitar.
How did you start playing the guitar?
I started by singing and playing the recorder. I even didn’t even know the existence of the guitar until at the age of 13, when out of the blue, I got a cheap guitar as a present. As I loved making music I started to play it. Two months later, I received a Segovia LP and that made me fall in love with guitar music.
What was your musical education?
I was lucky to have some good teachers, but it is not always the best teachers who have the most influence. Sometimes by seeing how not to do something, you can learn. Also, if you go to an incredibly good concert, that can also be like a teacher. My main teacher was my music, my instrument, myself, no matter where I went. The experience of life, friends, books, recordings, going into the library to find by chance something you are not looking for! Your teacher is everywhere.
[[MORE]]
You are one of the most famous 8-string guitarists? Why do you prefer it over the 6-string -string guitar?
I wonder if you ever asked a 6-string player why he is not playing 8 strings!
Anyway, basically it is not that I prefer 8 to 6 strings, but that a lot of the music I’m playing benefits from the basses. The additional 7th and 8th strings give a more full sound. I could simply say that I have a soft spot for basses, but there is more to it. My aspiration is to make music to the best of my ability. I aim for an authentic execution.
So I play a lot of different instruments—both contemporary and historical—because each type of instrument creates a different world. I choose a guitar not because it has a certain number of strings, but because I think it might be the right instrument for the repertoire I’m going to play.
And the 7th string is sometimes very useful for a better, more convenient left-hand fingering.
How and why did you become interested in historical instruments?
It’s a completely different world with an old instrument. it is just more interesting. Not only because of the sound concept, but also because you get closer to what the composer was thinking and to the understanding of the music.
I think it’s the same as driving a car. You can drive in the woods with any car, but some do it better there than others. That same car could perhaps not ride as well on the highway.
How is performing music that you’ve known for a long time different from performing newer music?
Performing music that I’ve known for a long time is a twofold experience. It’s fine to rediscover the things I once saw on a previous journey, but it’s even finer to go deeper and explore new layers in the composition. Now that I’m playing the complete Partita, I see the Chaconne that I played before in a new light. Fascinating!
Note: Raphaella Smits is playing Bach’s Partita in D minor, BWV 1004, including the Chaconne, during her 92Y recital on Mar 23.
What helps you to perform, whether alone or with others?
Perhaps it sounds obvious, but a lot of musicians do not listen—not to themselves nor to their partner. Good musicians live in two worlds simultaneously: they must be able to think ahead how a phrase is going to sound just before they play it, but then they have to listen very carefully if the phrase sounds for the audience like they intended it to be.
Somehow, playing music is a triple activity: you play physically, you listen and judge the result of the playing and you prepare, and if necessary adjust your next lines.

    On Saturday, March 23, Belgian guitarist Raphaella Smits makes her 92Y solo recital debut in a program of Bach, Sor and Mertz.

    As an introduction, here is a brief Q&A edited together from three English-language interviews posted on her website: NYlon Review, Soundboard and Classical Guitar.

    How did you start playing the guitar?

    I started by singing and playing the recorder. I even didn’t even know the existence of the guitar until at the age of 13, when out of the blue, I got a cheap guitar as a present. As I loved making music I started to play it. Two months later, I received a Segovia LP and that made me fall in love with guitar music.

    What was your musical education?

    I was lucky to have some good teachers, but it is not always the best teachers who have the most influence. Sometimes by seeing how not to do something, you can learn. Also, if you go to an incredibly good concert, that can also be like a teacher. My main teacher was my music, my instrument, myself, no matter where I went. The experience of life, friends, books, recordings, going into the library to find by chance something you are not looking for! Your teacher is everywhere.

    Read More

  7. We hear this Thursday is a big day for “romance.” We’re celebrating early with a spectacular concert of Baroque music by recorder artist Michala Petri tomorrow on Feb 13.  Some people say Baroque music isn’t particularly romantic. What do they know. Do you know how many kids Bach had?

    We hear this Thursday is a big day for “romance.” We’re celebrating early with a spectacular concert of Baroque music by recorder artist Michala Petri tomorrow on Feb 13.
     
    Some people say Baroque music isn’t particularly romantic. What do they know. Do you know how many kids Bach had?

  8. Glenn Gould Bach Loving Cats 

    This video comes from Day 30 of The Well-Tweeted Clavier.

    And there’s much more where that came from

  9. nyphil:

The Colorful Clavier
What color is B-flat major? According to pianist András Schiff, it’s brown.
Schiff’s literally colorful interpretation of music is behind the 92nd Street Y online project “The Well-Tweeted Clavier,” a 48-day exploration, through video and trivia, of each prelude and fugue of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.
Can’t get enough colorful Bach? Schiff will join the Philharmonic April 4–6 to perform two Bach keyboard concertos and conduct music by Bach-devotees Mendelssohn and Schumann as part of The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival.

Want to learn more about The Well-Tweeted Clavier? Read what Open Culture had to say, and head over to 92Y.org/WTClavier and discover what is under those keys. 

    nyphil:

    The Colorful Clavier

    What color is B-flat major? According to pianist András Schiff, it’s brown.

    Schiff’s literally colorful interpretation of music is behind the 92nd Street Y online project “The Well-Tweeted Clavier,” a 48-day exploration, through video and trivia, of each prelude and fugue of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier.

    Can’t get enough colorful Bach? Schiff will join the Philharmonic April 46 to perform two Bach keyboard concertos and conduct music by Bach-devotees Mendelssohn and Schumann as part of The Bach Variations: A Philharmonic Festival.

    Want to learn more about The Well-Tweeted Clavier? Read what Open Culture had to say, and head over to 92Y.org/WTClavier and discover what is under those keys.