Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
89 registered (A Guy, AZ_Astro, anamnesis, 22 invisible), 1308 Guests and 9 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#483926 - 07/02/01 09:33 AM Perahia... Bach...
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
This article might be of interest to some of us here:


From Sunday New York Times:

July 1, 2001


Taking Liberties With Bach


MURRAY PERAHIA'S new recording of three Bach keyboard concertos
pays a little attention to history but not too much, and this may be its main
attraction. All of these pieces display a secondhand authenticity to begin with. The
popular D minor began as a violin concerto, but we have lost the original. The
gentler E major has clouded origins. The A major, say the program notes for this
Sony Classical release, first had an oboe d'amore as its solo instrument.

When Bach was rearranging the concertos for his musical-social club in Leipzig, he
had few apparent thoughts for their pristine original state, yet we hear no protests
from the early-music lobby over Bach's violations of himself. Perhaps the pure of
heart are saving their indignation for another new CD: an EMI reissue of Dinu
Lipatti's performance of Bach's D minor Concerto with Eduard van Beinum and the
Concertgebouw Orchestra, which appends the dreaded "-Busoni" to the great
composer's name.

Both of these recordings play fast and loose with period correctness, Mr. Perahia's
perhaps being the more discreet. Both he and his smartly prepared Academy of St.
Martin-in- the-Fields whale away with modern piano and strings and, as far as I can
tell, at a thoroughly up-to-date level of pitch. He does use the theorbo, a kind of
bass lute, for continuo parts, surmising that it, rather than a second harpsichord,
would have been easier to carry into Zimmermann's Coffee House, where these
Konzert-Kaffeeklatsches took place.

What we have here are performances that are out of time: not a bad place to put
them. They neutralize history, telling stories whose truths and untruths are irrelevant.
Patina and restoration alike give them a new identity. It makes us wonder whether
all music is contemporary. For those who insist on historical context, Mr. Perahia's
Bach looks judiciously both backward and forward: to the left of Colonial
Williamsburg but quite a ways from the Swingle Singers or Robert Moog's

The Lipatti performance, recorded live and somewhat obscurely in 1947, is even
more Darwinian in adapting to its surroundings. The audience in Amsterdam had yet
to be affected by the archaeological army soon to make war on big orchestras, A =
440 pitch and strings made of metal, not gut. If Mr. Perahia's D minor is brisk and
driven, the Lipatti is much slower. Weight and gravitational pull have the same effect
on music, I think, as they do on any physical object accelerating from a state of rest.

The idea of heaviness as a function of time also turns the word "gravity" to its
metaphorical meaning. Mr. Perahia's zip and vigor are wonders of articulation and
honest energy; the music flies. But there is a case for the measured, dignified
progress of the Lipatti tempos as well. Lipatti's playing has a bittersweet irony
common to almost all the recordings he made of 18th-century repertory. His was
perhaps the truest, most Apollonian heart ever to sit at the piano, and here we find it
working splendidly from editions that today's scholars could only call corrupt.

Busoni's main contribution to the string parts is sheer numbers. In the piano solos he
interjects treble filigree and booming bass octaves to shore up big climaxes.
Repeated figures turn up with thirds or sixths attached. It is all beautifully done and
not at all grotesque. Busoni turns Bach into a model late-19th-century rhetorician.
Lipatti, we are told, was well aware of Bach's original but thought the update wholly

Also on this CD are live recordings of the Liszt E flat Concerto and the Bartok No.
3. Ernest Ansermet conducts the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Paul Sacher
the Southwest German Radio Orchestra. The sound is murky and uneven, but
hearing this pianist in 1947 and 1948 is instructive under any conditions. He died of
leukemia in 1950, at 33.

His few studio recordings reveal perhaps the first instrumentalist of the new
long-playing era fully to understand the nature of the process. Whereas Artur
Schnabel had in the 1930's refused the opportunity to redo suspect takes, seeing
recordings as mere anecdotes, Lipatti seems to have sensed the permanence of
these enterprises, their irreversibility and their status as monuments.

Mr. Perahia has spent (in my mind, wasted) a part of his career proving to the world
that he can play the big Lisztian pieces of the repertory. And so he can, even if the
triumphs over music like the "Mephisto Waltzes" have sounded somewhat grim and
joyless. Apparently recovered from the hand injury that laid him low for a number of
years, he is showing us in these Bach recordings virtuosity in a more significant sense
of the word.

Indeed, the ability to execute intricate passagework at rapid speeds in these
performances without betraying a hint of pressure or anxiety is absolutely
extraordinary. The scale- arpeggio-octave school of pianism is one demonstration of
a pianist's physical skill. Less demonstrative but perhaps more testing are Bach's
crossing patterns and the necessity to sort them out by means of varied weights and
pressures. This is what finger control is about, although it, like all musical virtuosity,
begins in the ears, not the hands.

As to Busoni, Lipatti and modern pianos and violins, I suggest a walk through the
Forum in Rome, where medieval architects happily attached churches to ancient
pagan buildings with an eye to making the past serve the present. The results are
stirring. I don't think Bach would have minded being desecrated, just so long as he
was desecrated well.

Ad 800 (Pearl River)
Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#483927 - 07/06/01 10:49 AM Re: Perahia... Bach...
ryan in Idaho Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 12
Loc: Idaho
Thanks for posting that, Andrew. It was very interesting to read. I am on the verge of buying both disks that are reviewed here...


#483928 - 07/06/01 10:59 AM Re: Perahia... Bach...
AndrewG Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 2506
Loc: Denver, Colorado
ryan in Idaho?

Aren't you there just for vacation? Your change of site ID made me think you're there for good! Are you?

Puzzled & curious,


#483929 - 07/06/01 11:10 AM Re: Perahia... Bach...
ryan in Idaho Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 12
Loc: Idaho
Nope, I'm just here on vacation. I'll be in Idaho for another week. I left my password at home, so I finally had to register as a new user so I could login and post.


Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
circle of 5ths coaster
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Hal Leonard Teacher VIP
Hal Leonard Teacher VIP Your Source for Piano Music
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Notice Hiromi's jazz ballad meter(s) ?
by rintincop
04/01/15 10:52 PM
Need serious help deciding DGX650 or P115?
by jaketanner
04/01/15 10:25 PM
Piano pedal extender help
by metcarl
04/01/15 10:04 PM
Piano Pedal Extender Help
by metcarl
04/01/15 07:03 PM
Yamaha + Roland working together?
by PianoManChuck
04/01/15 06:57 PM
What's Hot!!
Trade Regrets: Gary Trafton - Piano Rep
Historic Piano Documents
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
Forum Stats
78,741 Registered Members
43 Forums
162,925 Topics
2,391,360 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission