1. We asked kids: Do you know who Bach is?

    In honor of 92Y Concert’s opening night on September 18, featuring Christian Tetzlaff’s solo violin performance of Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas, we asked these kids if they knew who the famous composer was. Their answers still have us smiling. Watch the video!

  2. Kids Answer The Question: “Who Is Bach?” 

    In honor of our very special opening night concert for the 2014/15 concert season, we got a few 92Y kids together to ask if they know who Johann Sebastian Bach is. Watch their reactions. 

    Learn more about the music in this epic concert by exploring the #92YBach hashtag on our Tumblr.

  3. 5 Great Pop Culture Marathons Get ready for a classical music marathon on the 92Y stage. When Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season on September 18, he’ll be performing Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas—a series of 28 movements that take 130 minutes to complete. It’s rare for a solo violinist to tackle these Bach’s epic compositions in full, which makes Tetzlaff’s concert a must-see event. This momentous performance got us thinking about other great feats in entertainment. Here are 5 great marathons in pop culture![[MORE]] 1. David Blaine gets electrifiedHow can we possibly choose just one amazing feat performed by this endurance artist? He’s been buried alive, frozen in ice, and spun into tomorrow. So let’s focus on one of his latest stunts from 2012, which saw Blaine perched atop a 22-foot high pillar in New York with one million volts of electricity passing through his protective suit. Without food or sleep, Blaine endured the electricity for 72 hours.2. Just dance (and dance and dance)Dance marathons became hugely popular in the 1920s and 30s, sending flappers and dandies well into the night doing the Charleston and Lindy Hop. Horace McCoy’s novel about the fad, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, was turned into a critically acclaimed movie in 1969 directed by Sydney Pollack. Even today, dance marathons at universities across the country draw huge funds for charities. 3. Woodstock gets rockedSure, music festivals have gotten longer and bigger, but let’s pay homage to the grand daddy of them all. The three days of peace and music took place in Bethel, New York in August 1969, where 32 acts (including the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix) performed for 400,000 flower children. 4. The song that never endsYou don’t want to sing this one at karaoke night. In 1996, Chris Butler recorded the 69-minute “The Devil Glitch,” which Guinness World Records deemed the world’s longest pop song. Butler isn’t quite satisfied with that, however, and now accepts additional chorus submissions online over at The Major Glitch. 5. The Simpsons takeoverYou could be taking part in a pop culture milestone right now! There’s only a couple days left in FXX’s airing of all 25 seasons of The Simpsons, which is the longest marathon in TV history. Since August 21, FXX has shown all 552 episodes of the series, which also is the record holder for the longest-running scripted show in history.
See Christian Tetzlaff perform Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas on September 18!

    5 Great Pop Culture Marathons

    Get ready for a classical music marathon on the 92Y stage. When Christian Tetzlaff opens the 92Y Concerts season on September 18, he’ll be performing Bach’s Sonatas & Partitas—a series of 28 movements that take 130 minutes to complete. It’s rare for a solo violinist to tackle these Bach’s epic compositions in full, which makes Tetzlaff’s concert a must-see event. This momentous performance got us thinking about other great feats in entertainment. Here are 5 great marathons in pop culture!

    Read More

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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?