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. #MusicMonday: Is this the sound of genius? Behold the Andalusian Cadence. Never heard of it? Perhaps, but you sure have heard it! It’s a simple sequence of four notes—in the key of A major, it would be A, G, F, E—and it’s been used from the Renaissance to Rihanna, with Beethoven, Mozart, the Beatles, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Green Day in between. Listen to 50 different examples of Andalusian Cadence from our friends at WNYC Radio. Is that genius? We think so. #thatsgenius

    #MusicMonday: Is this the sound of genius?

    Behold the Andalusian Cadence. Never heard of it? Perhaps, but you sure have heard it! It’s a simple sequence of four notes—in the key of A major, it would be A, G, F, E—and it’s been used from the Renaissance to Rihanna, with Beethoven, Mozart, the Beatles, Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan and Green Day in between.

    Listen to 50 different examples of Andalusian Cadence from our friends at WNYC Radio.

    Is that genius? We think so. #thatsgenius

  5. The Brentano String Quartet and Vijay Iyer give the world premiere of Time, Place, Action for Da Camera of Houston, Feb 15, 2014. Photo from @theeastenders.

    A new piece takes flight at 92Y

    Grammy-nominated composer-pianist Vijay Iyer comes to 92Y this Saturday to give the New York premiere of his new work, Time, Place, Action, for Piano and Strings, with the Brentano String Quartet. The music is inspired in part by the improvisation dance form, “flocking,” where a group takes its collective cue from a leader, like birds in migration.

    Yet throughout the piece, Iyer notes that performers may add their own dynamic, rhythm and energy through interpretation, making each performance thoroughly unique. Check out this exclusive preview of the score of Time, Space, Action, and be sure to join us Saturday to see and hear what “flocking” is all about!

  6. 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

  7. Performing at the White House is a career highlight for any artist. For guitarist Sharon Isbin, it came November 9, 2009, with President and Mrs. Obama in the audience.
Ms. Isbin performed two works that she’ll also play at her 92Y recital this Saturday night: Albéniz’ iconic Asturias and Barios Mangore’s Waltz in D major, Op. 8, No. 4.
BTW: the piano in the background is the White House 1938 Steinway with gilt American eagle supports, designed with help from Franklin Roosevelt.

    Performing at the White House is a career highlight for any artist. For guitarist Sharon Isbin, it came November 9, 2009, with President and Mrs. Obama in the audience.

    Ms. Isbin performed two works that she’ll also play at her 92Y recital this Saturday night: Albéniz’ iconic Asturias and Barios Mangore’s Waltz in D major, Op. 8, No. 4.

    BTW: the piano in the background is the White House 1938 Steinway with gilt American eagle supports, designed with help from Franklin Roosevelt.

  8. How does an artist create a recital program? On Tue, Dec 3, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang will give the second concert in the new 92Y at SubCulture series. She’s written an introduction to her program explaining her selections and her feelings towards the music.
My program takes you on a musical journey from the 1600s through 2013, and across Europe, South America and Asia. Along the way I will showcase three pieces that are considered 20th century masterworks for the instrument and give the world premiere of a piece from my homeland China.
The first half features the music of Benjamin Britten and Schubert. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the British composer Benjamin Britten. He wrote just one piece for solo guitar, Nocturnal after John Dowland, for the British guitarist Julian Bream. It is based on the theme of sleep, and dreams. It is one of the most important pieces written for the instrument. I love this piece and want to play it for you in this centenary year.
[[MORE]]
Britten’s Courtly Dances are from his opera Gloriana, set almost 500 years ago in the Royal Court of Queen Elizabeth I. In this anniversary year, I have transcribed the full set of dances for solo guitar. At first, I thought a couple of the dances were impossible to play, but I finally figured them out. So I hope you will agree with me that they work on the instrument and are a worthy addition to the guitar repertoire.
I always include a Romantic piece in my program, and this time I chose one of my all-time favourite Romantic composers, Franz Schubert whose music speaks to me directly. I have selected six of his songs, and I owe a debt of gratitude to the 19th century guitarist/composer Johann Kasper Mertz for these beautiful arrangements.
I will start the second half with the USA premiere of a piece (commissioned for me by Wigmore Hall in London) from the USA-based Chinese composer Chen Yi. I am very excited about this piece as it is the first I have received from a Chinese composer. It is based a Chinese folk-style called Shuo Chang which typically uses drums, singing and speaking to present a musical drama. This piece presents all these elements as a monodrama on a single guitar. I hope you will enjoy the sounds, colours and textures of this piece.
For the final two pieces of the second half, I chose two of the masterworks from the 20th century guitar repertoire. William Walton was a British composer who wrote these Five Bagatelles for Julian Bream. Although “Bagatelle” means a short, light piece, these are technically challenging to play. The pieces carry some of the warmth of the Italy, where Walton spent many years of his life.
The final piece is by Alberto Ginastera and written for Brazilian guitarist Carlos Barbosa Lima. His Sonata in four movements showcases and deconstructs the sounds, ambiance and rhythms of his native Argentina, ending in a frenzied and exciting finale to close the concert.

    How does an artist create a recital program? On Tue, Dec 3, Chinese guitarist Xuefei Yang will give the second concert in the new 92Y at SubCulture series. She’s written an introduction to her program explaining her selections and her feelings towards the music.

    My program takes you on a musical journey from the 1600s through 2013, and across Europe, South America and Asia. Along the way I will showcase three pieces that are considered 20th century masterworks for the instrument and give the world premiere of a piece from my homeland China.

    The first half features the music of Benjamin Britten and Schubert. The year 2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the British composer Benjamin Britten. He wrote just one piece for solo guitar, Nocturnal after John Dowland, for the British guitarist Julian Bream. It is based on the theme of sleep, and dreams. It is one of the most important pieces written for the instrument. I love this piece and want to play it for you in this centenary year.

    Read More

  9. “200 years after their genesis, Beethoven’s quartets still hold tons of exciting questions for us.”
So says Rainer Schmidt, second violinist of the Hagen Quartet, in a Q&A with 92Y about the Quartet’s first complete Beethoven string quartet cycle in North America, currently underway. In its review of the Quartet’s first concert on Nov 7, The New York Times raved, “in the rich history of Beethoven cycles, this shapes up as a standout.”
The cycle continues Thu 14, Sat 16, & Sun 17.

    “200 years after their genesis, Beethoven’s quartets still hold tons of exciting questions for us.”

    So says Rainer Schmidt, second violinist of the Hagen Quartet, in a Q&A with 92Y about the Quartet’s first complete Beethoven string quartet cycle in North America, currently underway. In its review of the Quartet’s first concert on Nov 7, The New York Times raved, “in the rich history of Beethoven cycles, this shapes up as a standout.”

    The cycle continues Thu 14, Sat 16, & Sun 17.

  10. We visited pianist Jonathan Biss in his home for talk about Beethoven Sonatas, how he came to play the piano, and the pleasure of performing with his mother.

    Listen to Biss and his mother Miriam Fried, “a glorious combination,” perform at 92Y on Nov 2.