(TUESDAY, September 17, 2019)
Famous for 296 years…
Pianist after pianist has played this this piece by Bach. It is from one of his Cantatas.
I have never taught it because it is difficult even to play the notes, and making it all flow is terribly hard. So no student of mine has ever had the skills to tackle it.
Dinu Lipatti suffered a tragic early death. He was born in 1917, coincidentally just about at the end of WWI. He died from cancer at age 33 and so his career ended tragically at a very young age. But his name and his sound remain legendary. Unfortunately he did not live long enough to be recorded in stereo, so the sound is rather primitive
This transcription was written by Myra Hess, another legendary pianist. She was born much earlier, in 1890, but she lived a much longer life and so was able to record when sound was much as it is today.
And now the same thing, done by Hess herself.
I have no preference here. Both these recordings are beyond my understanding in terms of touch, sensitivity and absolute mastery. If you do not play the piano you could easily think that two pianists are playing. That’s part of the magic. More magical to me is is that it sounds so easy and so natural that you could easily think that anyone could play this.
Finally the choral version, what Bach actually wrote: