Bach's Keyboard Works on the Modern Piano

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Thursday, November 06, 2014

A young Rosalyn Tureck A young Rosalyn Tureck

During Bachstock ("30 Days of Peace and Music"), David Dubal is hosting a month-long exploration of Johann Sebastian Bach’s keyboard works. This week's program features Bach interpreters including the "High Priestess of Bach" Rosalyn Tureck, who devoted her career to learning his keyboard works.

Also on the program are several other modern-instrument artists: Alexis Weissenberg in the Overture to the Partita No. 4 in D Major and two great interpreters – Joao Carlos Martins and Arthur Loesser – compared back to back.

Program playlist (all by J.S. Bach):

Partita No. 4 in D, BWV 828: Ouverture
Alexis Weissenberg, piano
Philips

Fantasia in C Minor, BWV 919
Rosalyn Tureck, piano
VAI Audio

Goldberg Variations BWV 988: Variation XVI. Ouverture a 1 Clav.
Maria Yudina, piano
Philips

The Well-tempered Clavier, Book I: Prelude & Fugue in C sharp minor, BWV 849
Edwin Fischer, piano
Philips

French Suite No. 5 in G, BWV 816: Allemande & Gavotte
Andrei Gavrilov, piano
Philips

Preludio, Gavotte and Gigue from Violin Partita No. 3 in E, BWV 1006 (arr. Sergei Rachmaninoff)
Sergei Rachmaninoff, piano
Philips

Prelude & Fugue No. 2 in C minor, BWV 871 (comparative performance)
Joao Carlos Martins, piano
Connoisseur Society

Prelude & Fugue No. 2 in C minor, BWV 871 (comparative performance)
Arthur Loesser, piano
Doremi

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Myra Hess, piano
Philips

Comments [4]

D Tremper from NJ

Sorry to have missed this episode, but got to a commemoration of her work just last year, hearing also the 2 winners of a competition in her name. I had heard a spot announcement repeatedly on QXR, but when I went to get the venue, couldn't find it on the Web. I was so grateful to a kind staff member babysitting the opera broadcast who actually answered the phone on a Sat and found the spot with the info. Had never heard of Ms Turek before and it was a wonderful event.

Nov. 22 2014 02:44 PM

Re. organman77, this is part of the reason I'm less than thrilled with Bachstock. Lots of Bach -- but not as Bach intended. If it were a different composer, where transcriptions could be the only way to experience some of the music, it might be understandable.

But with Bach's prolific output, we should be hearing top-notch performances of works as written. DD~~

Nov. 09 2014 05:55 PM

I believe that if Bach had written his keyboard works for piano he would have written them differently. They work better on the instrument they were written for IMHO. Notice particularly how poorly the transcriptions to piano work on the organ works. The organ is a wind instrument, the harpsichord is a plucked instrument and the piano is a percussion instrument. I feel to credit these works played on instruments other than what he intended them for makes it impossible to perform as "original."

Nov. 09 2014 09:46 AM
Jim from Ithaca, NY

I couldn't find any schedule information for this program on this page, so I clicked the "more" link under the description in the sidebar, and all I got was "This show is no longer airing."

Luckily it is playing tonight (at 8:00, in case any one else is interested), so I didn't have to click through a whole week of your schedule.

Nov. 06 2014 06:34 PM

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