Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bach and Haydn:Variations

It is a trip to turn on the radio and listen at random to whatever there is, try to identify the performer.  Last night I had quite a revelation: Organist Simon Preston was playing Bach's variations on O Gott, du frommer Gott,  a piece I used to love.  Listening last night I could see why: It could almost have been composed by Haydn, so lively is it and so impulsive.  The spatiality of the organ suggests antiphonal variation in the organ registration between sections, but Preston goes far beyond that to include differences between vocal and virtuosic variations.

In a couple of weeks I will be performing Haydn's Capriccio in G, a piece I have never heard performed.  It is ecstatic--in that way much like the Bach.  Ecstasy is apparently hard to notate.