Happiness as Anarchy #121: Musical Lineage

My musical lineage has some rather distinguished names in it and makes me feel I’m carrying a certain responsibility to keep playing. If I trace back the teachers, it arrives with J.S. Bach. He taught his son, C.P.E. Bach, who taught Haydn. Haydn taught Beethoven, who in turn taught Czerny. He taught Parratt who taught Nickson, who in turn taught Keck, who taught me.

Musical Lineage (1)

 

Happiness as Anarchy #110: Jacques Loussier

Bach and jazz, I hear you say, what do they have in common? Well, J.S. Bach was the master improviser and innovator when it came to music. Had been around in the 20th century he surely would have been a jazz star, doing all the amazing harmonic and melodic things that make him a genius, but with a swinging beat. French pianist Jacques Loussier took Bach into the modern world in the 1950s – playing jazzed up Bach. It is nothing short of exquisite, not to mention incredibly skilful.

 

 

 

Happiness as Anarchy #87: Cultural Change

It tickles my fancy when I play a Sarabande that at one stage it was illegal. Bach’s Sarabande – the one I play is part of the fifth French suite – is a beautiful, restrained piece of baroque keyboard music. It doesn’t get much more refined that this in the classical musical world. However … in the 16th century things were different. Having it’s origins in folk music and dance in Latin America, the Zarabanda was considered “so lascivious in its words, so ugly in its movements, that it is enough to inflame even very honest people.” (Juan de Mariana). Public performance was punishable by two hundred lashes!

I’ll be playing the whole suite and telling tales of Versailles tomorrow night in Castlemaine if you’re in the mood for a little once-inflammatory entertainment.

Amie Brûlée Versailles 2 small