Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Baroque Ground: J.S. Bach 335

Well after today we ain't Marching anymore, giving way to the April fools.
And what better way to mark the occasion, but with a birthday tribute to someone born a mere 335 years ago? I thought you'd share my enthusiasm.
This fucking guy, though. Sorry if all the pictures look the same, but there were no cameras then, and wouldn't be for several hundred more years.
They had melody and harmony then, though. Counterpoint, however, was still kinda rudimentary before today's birthday boy showed up.
Seeing these portraits, it's hard not to see the similarities between he and SNL original cast member (and noted cocaine casualty) John Belushi, who often played Beethoven on the show yet resembled Bach the most closely.
He (Bach, not Belushi) is probably one of the most formative musicianly types in human history, and his compositions and approach have lasted centuries and will last more centuries.
If there's people still around, anyway... which is getting less likely by the hour.
So let's celebrate one of the formative fathers of it all with, what else? A concert focused on his music and influence that is one part Classical recital, one part Jazz spectacular, and all parts awesome.
Brad Mehldau
Three Pieces After Bach
Philharmonie de Paris
Paris, France 

01 Prelude No.3 in C-sharp minor (WTC book I), BWV 848
02 Three Pieces After Bach 1: Rondo
03 Prelude No.1 in C major (WTC book II), BWV 870
04 improvisation on Bach I
05 Fugue No.16 in G minor (WTC book II), BWV 885
06 Three Pieces After Bach 2: Ostinato
07 Prelude No.6 in D minor (WTC book I), BWV 851
08 Three Pieces After Bach 3: Toccata
09 Prelude No.7 in E-flat major (WTC book I), BWV 852
10 improvisation on Bach II
11 Prelude No.20 in A minor (WTC book I), BWV 865
12 improvisation on Bach III
13 Fugue No.20 in A minor (WTC book I), BWV 865
14 Little By Little
15 Brad Mehldau comments
16 The Inch Worm
17 Misty

Total time: 1:40:16
disc break goes after Track 08

Brad Mehldau - piano

webstream TV audio, converted to 16/44 FLAC by EN, March 2020
This show is just tremendous, but circulated in audio form with some nasty dropouts, so I went back to the original webstream video and extracted/recut it to be perfect.
It almost sounds like a cross between a straight Bach rendering and Keith Jarrett's The Köln Concert, with piano superstar Brad Mehldau's Three Pieces After Bach record taking center stage.
The whole 100 minutes flows by in what seems like ten, with Mehldau weaving in and out of his own Bach-inspired compositions, some incredible improvisation on it all, and of course the original source material from JSB himself like it's all one, continuous song. You even get an epic reading of Radiohead that makes it sound like Bach wrote the piece.
I must have listened to this 15 times in the last few days, and it truly is must-hear for anyone at all interested in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and where his music meets the music of our lifetimes.
So there's March, now it's on to the Spring and what we hope is a much-needed renewal of all things alive.
But don't stand there like a statue! Go ahead and click the link and all that's Baroque will instantly be fully functional and whole again!--J.
3.31.1685 - 7.28.1750

No comments:

Post a Comment