I am thrilled to have participated in two programs during WFMT's 11-concert festival presenting the complete keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach this past month. The first concert, on October 4th at St. Chrysostom's Church, featured four different keyboardists performing works for harpsichord, organ, and fortepiano. It was a joy to hear the varied perspectives each performer brought to the music of Bach on their respective instruments. I particularly enjoyed meeting the wonderful Ann Arbor-based fortepianist, Carol lei Breckinridge, and getting to see and hear her Cristofori-Ferrini fortepiano built by David Sutherland. It was my first encounter with such an early specimen of fortepiano, and hearing it played so beautifully was a revelation indeed.
The second concert, which took place just this past weekend, on October 24th, featured the talented students and keyboard faculty of the DePaul University School of Music. The nearly 2.5 hour program highlighted works from Bach's entire compositional output, from the relatively unknown Suite in G Minor and a selection of early fugues to one of his last keyboard works, the monumental Ricercar a 3 from The Musical Offering, which was given a transcendental performance by pianist George Vatchnadze to close the marathon program. This concert also marked the debut of our new 18th century Northern European harpsichord by Richard Kingston - a truly special instrument for me, and one that did not fail to make a lasting impression on the assembled audience as well.