Saturday, March 12, 2011

Concert: Elaine Thornburgh (03/07/2011)


The Heart of Bach's Counterpoint


The Art of the FugueFuga I, Canon I, and Canon IV  BWV 1080
Sinfonia in E major BWV 792
Toccata in E minor BWV 914
Sinfonia in C major BWV 787
Ricercar from The Musical Offering BWV 1079
Sinfonia in E-flat Major BWV 791
Prelude, Fugue, and Allegro in E-flat Major BWV 998
Two-part invention in D Major BWV 774
Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor BWV 903

Stanford Memorial Church Chapel



今天的曲目都是巴哈的音樂,而且還都是對位的音樂。老師在音樂會時說她年輕時愛死了對位音樂。一上大學,第一首想要彈的曲子居然是巴哈的「賦格的藝術」,只能說她的品味還和大多人不同呀。整體而言,Elaine的音樂性非常好,各聲部的處理非常清晰,斷句手法很多,但因為手法細膩,所以不會突兀,反而感覺到的是一種生命力。和早期那些Ralph Kirckpatrick輩沉重的彈法相比,老師的表現讓人感覺到,原來聽那麼理性的音樂,也是可以如此激動有情緒的。

除了那些二聲部三聲部的創意曲,他的那首觸技曲,還有Musical Offering的開頭Ricercar之外,剩下的音樂有聽過,但不熟悉。在老師指下,我如沐春風般,深刻地感覺到Elaine對巴洛克鍵盤音樂的詮釋理念。彈音樂,本應如此呀~~

在最後附上Elaine去試灣區大鍵琴工匠Kevin Fryer的新琴時,他們友人所錄製的一段影片,是巴哈有名的郭德堡變奏曲的主題。

This night, I attended a concert that my harpsichord instructor Elaine Thornburgh gave, which is one of those required faculty concerts that each instructor needs to fulfill (for lack of better term) here at our school.  Elaine is an amazing harpsichordist, a great teacher, and above all, a wonderful human being.  Originally a somewhat impulsive decision to start taking harpsichord lessons, I have stuck with the instrument after close to 6 years.  I really have her to thank.

Anyways, the concert featured an all-Bach counterpoint program.  It's probably not the usual concert that most people would attend on a regular basis.  However, I didn't realize that Elaine practically ate counterpoint for breakfast in her earlier days, going as far as wanting to learn "The Art of the Fugue" as her first piece in college.   Elaine's grasp of the different voices in a fugue was as usual, immaculate.  She articulates the lines so well but so subtle that the liveliness in her playing diffuses through naturally.  Elaine has been through a hand injury in these recent years, and her playing has occasionally suffered.  I can but imagine how amazing she must have been in her heyday.  Undoubtedly, her musicality is one of her greatest strengths, and something I think is most valuable during our lessons together.   

I'm familiar with some, but not all of these pieces.  Either way, hearing Elaine play them has shed a lot of new light on the music.  Since recording was not allowed, I'm attaching a youtube video of her playing the Aria from the famous Goldberg Variations.  This happened when she was trying out a newly finished harpsichord.

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