Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Shostakovich: All of them studied Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Effectively-Tempered Clavier.” 300 years in the past, Bach printed what might be essentially the most influential piano work within the historical past of music.
Bach composed 24 preludes and the associated 24 fugues in all main and minor keys for this “follow e-book,” which was “for the profit and use of the musical youth desirous to study,” as Bach wrote within the explanatory word. To today, aspiring pianists worldwide excellent their method by taking part in the work.
“It was a part of the musical armory, what you needed to know. Robert Schumann known as it ‘the work of all works,'” mentioned Michael Maul, creative director of the Leipzig Bach Festival.
On June 16, Hungarian pianist Andras Schiff carried out all 48 items from the primary a part of the “Effectively-Tempered Clavier” in Leipzig.
“I really like them dearly,” mentioned Schiff of the preludes and fugues, including that the prelude and fugue in B minor are “simply colossal.”
Bach Medal for Andras Schiff
Performing in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, Schiff obtained a standing ovation for his newest Bach interpretation. He was subsequently awarded the Bach Medal of the Metropolis of Leipzig for his cultivation of Bach’s works.
“Sadly, I’ve no expertise for composing, but when you understand what makes an important composer like Bach, you additionally know what to not do, which is to compose one thing mediocre,” Schiff mentioned in his acceptance speech.
The second smartest thing, due to this fact, is to develop into a very good Bach interpreter, he mentioned. “I’ll proceed to play Bach each day on the clavichord in my lounge,” the 68-year-old added.
The artwork of ‘stunning’ instrument tuning
Bach’s son Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach one wrote that his father’s harpsichord was tuned “so purely and accurately that every one keys sounded stunning and pleasing.”
Within the seventeenth and 18th centuries, the intervals between totally different notes inside a key was not but as uniform as it’s at present, with all notes a semitone aside.
However 300 years in the past, harpsichords had been tuned to sound “pure,” because the youthful Bach so admired. Taking part in a distinct key with the identical tuning might pontificate, that means you needed to tune the instrument in another way for every key you needed to play.
As we speak nevertheless, all 48 items will be performed on one standardized tuning, notes Michael Maul.
In Eisenach, the place Bach was born in 1685, an exhibition on the Bach Haus (operating July 1 by way of November 6) permits guests to recreate the tunings frequent at the moment on a synthesizer.
One in every of them is the “Effectively-Tempered Tuning,” which the theorist and organist Andreas Werckmeister designed within the seventeenth century.
“Within the Effectively-Tempered Clavier, no secret is tuned purely, and that is the trick; it is a compromise by way of which all keys are playable,” explains Jörg Hansen, director of the Bachhaus in Eisenach.
This trick gave composers to freedom to create with out restrictions, Hansen added.
‘Effectively-Tempered Clavier’ composed in jail?
Twenty years after Half 1, Johann Sebastian Bach composed one other 48 preludes and fugues in all 24 main and minor keys. The extra intensive work was carried out by Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt on the Leipzig Bach Competition.
In response to legend, Bach started composing the “Effectively-Tempered Clavier” throughout 4 weeks in a jail cell in Weimar in 1717 — his crime was wanting to depart the service of Duke Wilhelm Ernst.
In 1790, the music encyclopedia Ernst Ludiwg Gerber wrote that Bach composed the Effectively-Tempered Clavier “in a spot the place discontent, lengthy hours and an absence of any sort of musical devices made this pastime tough for him.”
This might have been the jail cell, however the actual location shouldn’t be talked about.
“One other idea results in Karlsbad,” mentioned Jörg Hansen, referring to the interval when Bach was Kapellmeister (grasp of the chapel choir or orchestra) for Prince Leopold — ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Köthen in what was then the Holy Roman Empire. The speculation goes that on a go to with the courtroom orchestra to the spa city within the current-day Czech Republic in 1720, Bach was “bored” and spent his spare time composing.
Bach’s musical guiding gentle
Whereas Bach’s ardour works and cantatas initially misplaced significance after his demise, his organ and piano works set requirements which can be nonetheless maintained.
The pianist and composer Hans von Bülow known as the “Effectively-Tempered Clavier” “the Previous Testomony for piano gamers.”
Russian nineteenth and twentieth century composers Dmitri Shostakovich, who wrote 24 preludes and fugues, and Alexander Scriabin, who additionally composed 24 preludes utilizing each key and designed colours to go along with them, had been had been closely impressed by Bach.
“It has influenced the thought of the connection of the keys,” says Jörg Hansen of the formative affect of the “Effectively-Tempered Clavier.”
“It’s the guiding work of our thought of classical music.”
This text was initially written in German.
| THE BEST NEWS AND INTERESTING LINKS ON THE WEB |
Discover The Art Of Publishing