Monday, February 7, 2011

Thanks Emory

Music at Emory presented “The Bach Bowl!” yesterday.  The program consisted of 8 small pieces by Bach, including six sections from the Well-Tempered Clavier II from 1741.  These were played by Timothy Albrecht on a harpsichord, whose sound was treated admirably in the Emerson Concert Hall.  There were several organ pieces played by Tamara Albrecht.  The first was an arrangement of the Overture in C Major for Organ and Harpsichord by May Reger.  This was a very odd piece.  I realize that the Bach overtures have odd (at least to me) rhythms, but the two instruments did not jell and it seemed as if the two instrumentalists were playing different pieces with different rhythms.  But the other organ works were magnificent and give me new respect for the Emerson organ.  It is simply a wonderful sounding instrument. 

One especially intriguing piece was the Two-Mirrors Fugues for Two Keyboardists from the Art of Fugue.  Here Bach takes a melody and gives it to the first harpsichord and then hands it off to the second in a typical fugue development.   After full presentation of the original theme, the music briefly stops.  The second harpsichord then presents a seemingly new theme.  It is, however, the same theme as the first, only inverted!  What a genius of composition the master was. 

The final piece was for eight hands.  There were two pianos and two harpsichords.  The piece was a transcription of the Concerto in D Minor for Three Keyboards and Orchestra, although one harpsichord played the orchestral part.  This too was a spotlight for the composer’s genius and also for the talents of the Albrechts and Keiko Yamashita and William Ransom. 

Emory’s recital series provides a great service to the Atlanta community and provides an opportunity to hear music that is slightly off the beaten path. 

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