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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2, BWV 1004, performed by Hilary Hahn:

About this piece:
1. Allemande 00:00
2. Courante 05:13
3. Sarabande 07:22
4. Gigue 12:06
5. Chaconne 15:30 - http://youtu.be/QqA3qQMKueA

In 1999, Hahn said that she played Bach more than any other composer and that she had played solo Bach pieces every day since she was eight. "Bach is, for me, the touchstone that keeps my playing honest. Keeping the intonation pure in double stops, bringing out the various voices where the phrasing requires it, crossing the strings so that there are not inadvertent accents, presenting the structure in such a way that it's clear to the listener without being pedantic -- one can't fake things in Bach, and if one gets all of them to work, the music sings in the most wonderful way." — Hilary Hahn, Saint Paul Sunday.
More HERE.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I recently had trouble with my Flash Player and had to download an update. Tedious, but the fix worked.

    2. What browser are you using, Freethinke.
      Most browsers will default to HTML5 when possible.

      Safari plays the clip just fine without Flash.

  2. FreeThinke in disguise says:

    So glad I was able to access this wonderful music through a circuitous route. Awkward but well worth the effort.

    This is sublime music, which Bach, –– who in addition to being probably THE greatest composer who ever lived, was also a great master of the organ, the harpsichord and clavichord ––, was also a master violinist as well.

    He wrote these six partitas for HIMSELF –– presumably for "recreational purposes" in his "spare time!" In Bach's day the instrument was different. It had a shorter neck, and was played, believe it or not, with a CURVED bow. I'm not sure they were ever performed publicly in his lifetime.

    The chaconne –– a continuous set of variations on a single theme –– is probably the best known piece in all six partitas. It has been transcribed by Brahms as a study" for the left hand alone, and more famously by Ferruccio Busoni who in his own words "freely transcribed" it for solo piano –– a formidably challenging virtuoso tour de force still played often by concert pianists today.

    I much prefer Bach in his pure, unadulterated, pristine state, and this performance by Ms. Hahn is about as good as it gets, though each wellknown artist who has performed these subtle, deceptively difficult pieces takes a different approach as to tempo, phrasing and dynamics, because Bach rarely gave us anything but the notes, themselves, in his neat, handwritten original scores.

    Heated arguments threatening to lead to violence among serious musicians as to HOW these pieces OUGHT properly to be played have been breaking out ever since Bach was "rediscovered" by Felix Mendelssohn in the mid-19th century.

    It is my personal view that Bach's music, itself, is SO incredibly well put together it can withstand an amazingly wide variety of interpretations without suffering an loss of integrity.

    I like everything about this serene, graceful, soberly reflective performance except the NAME of the performer –– even if she does spell it, as it should be spelt, with only one EL.

    Surely Ms Hahn's career would prosper even kore than it already has, if she changed her first name to Helena, Harriet, Henrietta, Hebe, Hera, Hermione, or even Hortense, since her true name has taken on such odious connotations.



  3. AHHHHHH,what a pleasant and refreshing change from the squawking and whining...



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