KASS Music Gem of the Day: Karl Richter Plays Toccata and Fugue by Bach

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2009-04-05 07:38

Prompted by the posts on the Music of the Gods and Catholicism threads, I'm going to add a post each day under this title, which might be sub-titled Romanticism for Dummies, linking to an example of music of the gods off YouTube.

The idea is to give devotees of headbanging caterwauling filth the wherewithal to extricate themselves from the gutter, and to provide daily emotional fuel for those already out of it. This inaugural piece is not actually Romantic; it's Baroque. But the Romanticists stood on Bach's shoulders. He was the Aristotle of music. Watch and you'll see what I mean:

As I said on the MoG thread: I'd pit it against any drugged-out screaming sewer-souled chainsaw-and-jackhammer-wielding metal zombie any day. Be sure not to miss the footwork about 5' 45" in.


( categories: )

Woahh

Jules Troy's picture

I am at work and during a break I showed this to my co-worker, a young hard working guy who mostly listens to rock and "techno". His remark was "holy fucking shit that is out of this world amazing!"  I agree.  Thank you for sharing this, Richter is exultant!

This is our inheritance ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... from Western Civilisation. A reminder of why ours is the greatest culture, which we must never surrender to Islamofilth, pomofilth, Obafilth or any of it. This is the grandeur of man!

Jon Stewart talks to Oliver

Hayden Wood's picture

Jon Stewart talks to Oliver Sachs on music (esp. Brahms), and his new book

http://scienceblogs.com/neuron...

http://www.amazon.com/Musicoph...

Ross

jeffrey smith's picture

Others you should buy if you can:
Art of Fugue: Pierre Laurent Aimard (modern piano), Musica Antiqua Koln under Goebel (not sure if this is in print now) (baroque instrumental ensemble), Sebastian Guillot (harpsichord), Canadian Brass (brass ensemble, obviously)
Solo Violin Works: Rachel Podger's is a must have, on the HIP (Historically Informed Performance, for those not in the loop) side. At the moment I have Perlman on my CD playing the Second Partita, and I also have the Heifetz recording.
Goldberg Variations: Both of Gould's recordings, Vladimir Feltsman, Murray Perahia (all those on modern piano), Richard Egarr (harpsichord), Matt Haimovitz and others (on Oxingale, released about a year ago) for Sitkovesky's arrangement for string trio
For all the other keyboard works, I'd name various combinations of Gould, Perahia, and Hewitt as the go-to guys.
Brandenburg Concertos: if you can find Musica Antiqua Koln under Goebel, grab it; but, just like with the Art of Fugue, I think it's now out of print)
Naxos has released a series of discs with Serebier leading the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Stokowski's transcriptions. There are four to date, with two of them devoted mainly but not exclusively to the Bach transcriptions.
As for the cantatas and other vocal works, I'm not as great a fan of those, but Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's recording of two solo cantatas is a must have (No 82, Ich hab genug, and No 199, Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut) (released on Nonesuch); and I will always love the Magnificat because that's the first work I ever sang in as part of a formal choral group. My favorite recording there is Emmanuele Haim with L'Astree, where it is coupled with Handel's Dixit Dominus

Now moving on to Beethoven.... Eye

Baching up the right tree

Ross Elliot's picture

Wow.

Being new to the classical repertoire I only have a small Bach collection, but I adore them all.

Suites for solo cello: I have Casals, Fournier, Rostropovich, Ma and Tortelier. By far my favorite is the Tortelier.

I also have The Emerson Quartet, Art of Fugue, and Arthur Grumiaux's mindblowing Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin.

Mesmerising stuff, all of it.

YES!!

Scott Wilson's picture

I love it. I saw Richter's video before, he is passionately enthralled in it all. It is the synthesis of mathematics, it is almost literary in how it flows, and simply beautiful. I once described the Toccata and Fugue, played well, as the music I'd expect to hear if there really was a judgment day for an individual after death - not that I believe in that of course - but it flows from the strong declaration of presence at the beginning with the Toccata, and the Fugue almost providing the melody to the story of one's life. I once heard a busker play it on an accordion in an underpass in Amsterdam, which I heard reverberating in the air from 200-300 metres away, he played it with such passion in the timing and volume and expression - a young Russian man. He was selling CDs so I bought one.

By the way, there is a Youtube video of some boy in the Netherlands I believe, who at 14 taught himself to play it. He is no Richter obviously, but remarkably accomplished in playing quite an intricate piece of organ work.

Jason

Lindsay Perigo's picture

This is an incredible video. This is beyond something that a typical piano virtuoso can accomplish. It is like the conductor of a symphony orchestra actually having to play the whole orchestra. An ingenious instrument, an amazing composer, and a brilliant player.

Yup. The total height. And folk can now see what "pulling out all the stops" means. Smiling

Mr. Perigo.

sharon's picture

"Why don't you just stop your nonsense and listen to the music?"

I did listen to it, and I rather enjoyed it. I don’t think you’ll be too pleased, though, if I were to tell you that I was reminded of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Oops, scratch that question.

Ellen Stuttle's picture

Sorry. Your whole post wasn't showing on my screen when I asked if you were classifying Bach as Romanticism.

Ellen

ADD: "The Aristotle of music" is a good description.

Ellen

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Please read my introductory comments. Which part of this eluded you?:

The idea is to give devotees of headbanging caterwauling filth the wherewithal to extricate themselves from the gutter, and to provide daily emotional fuel for those already out of it. This inaugural piece is not actually Romantic; it's Baroque. But the Romanticists stood on Bach's shoulders. He was the Aristotle of music.

How'd Papa Bach get in here?

Ellen Stuttle's picture

If you're classifying J. S. Bach as "Romanticism," then your categorization is really impossible to grasp. Bach is high Baroque.

Ellen

Sharon ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Why don't you just stop your nonsense and listen to the music?

Music of the Lord

sharon's picture

"The idea is to give devotees of headbanging caterwauling filth the wherewithal to extricate themselves from the gutter..."

The last person who tried to get his fingers on my soul for the saving was a fundamentalist Christian.

This is an incredible video.

Jason Quintana's picture

This is an incredible video. This is beyond something that a typical piano virtuoso can accomplish. It is like the conductor of a symphony orchestra actually having to play the whole orchestra. An ingenious instrument, an amazing composer, and a brilliant player.

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