Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Music for the New Year

I started out the New Year by playing Bach on the piano. There is something about Bach that is clean and optimistic and bracing and new and quietly, over the years, I have established this tradition for myself. That is that I sit down at the piano on New Year's Day and I play this one Bach prelude and fugue. It is in E flat. I am trying to find it on YouTube but I keep finding the wrong E flat prelude and fugue.

Oh, wait! I found this gentleman playing it. Here he is.

I just like this prelude and fugue. I love the fugue theme. Years ago I read and reviewed a book by this author Eric Altschuler. Isn't it funny, I still remember his name. It must have been 10 or 15 years ago. Anyway, he had all kinds of fun with the Bach Well-Tempered Clavier and one thing I remember, he said that the theme of this E flat fugue is one of the greatest fugue melodies in the whole work. I think he had a Top 10 and he put it in that list. He would explain the pieces and analyze them as if they were baseball games. I remember that.

I wonder where Eric Altschuler is now. I wonder if he is still studying his Bach. He called me after the review I wrote and we talked. For quite a while, as I remember! That was unusual.

His book is still for sale on Amazon. I just looked. Here it is. It is called "Bachanalia" and that is the book pictured at left.

The E flat is my favorite prelude and fugue.

Perfect, to start out the new year.

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