In this episode, we learn about the counter-fugues from the Art of Fugue, about how Bach's inclusion of the French style affects the piece on the whole, and about the relative advantages of the harpsichord and the piano.
Right click here (ctrl+click on Mac) to download.
Here is a link to Ralitza's bio, and here is some of her playing available on youtube.
I should add that, though I forgot to mention it in our conversation, Ralitza has been a true inspiration for me and I never would have taken on the Art of Fugue without her. Thank you, Ralitza!
Listen above to the Music Post, episode 1: Bach's Art of Fugue, Contrapunctus 1
Alternatively, you can download the mp3 version of the episode by right-clicking here (ctrl+click on Mac) and "saving link as."
Note: this website isn't the best, so sometimes the player takes a while to load.
Podcast will be available for subscription in iTunes soon!
Click here to see video of the organ version played in the podcast.
Okay, now why would I do such a thing?
In the past five years, I've played a lot of performances, and received a lot of feedback from audiences. A fair amount of this feedback comes in the form of praise for the feat of performing, things like "That looked so difficult" or "I can't believe you memorized that whole piece." Of course, I appreciate this type of praise, but as a musician, it's definitely not what I'm going for, because music, after all, isn't a sport. It's art.
What I'm really shooting for in a performance is to have the audience fall in love with whatever I'm playing, to seek it out. I know I've really, truly connected with an audience when people say something more like "That piece was so great! Where can I listen to it again?"
Even more effective than simply playing, I've found that walking people through a piece, pointing out features and motives, beautiful moments, is the surest way to get them to connect with it and seek it out later. Even more so than my playing, people appreciate these mini-explanations of the music I'm playing (or at least, that's what they claim!), telling me they've never been able to listen more closely or more attentively.
So I figure why restrict that to the recital hall? It scales perfectly well to a podcast, where you can listen while you drive, cook, or get ready for bed.
Hope you enjoy!
The Music Post
The Music Post is a blog / podcast for reflecting on all things musical, informed by years of writing, playing, and teaching music.