Bach, Carter, Schumann

Went to this last night.

J.S. Bach, Eliot Carter, Robert Schumann.

Not one of my more favorite Tuesday night recitals, but I don’t go to necessarily have my tastes flattered.

Brandenburg Concerto No. 4: one of the all-time chestnuts. Grew up hearing it. Never actually witnessed it performed live. Given my semi-recent (re)engagement with Bach, I was intrigued to see how this would go down.

Within about seven notes, I was losing a little interest in that project.

The 16th notes.

Jesus lord the 16th notes.

They never end.

I was however slightly stoked to realize the first movement is in 3/8…or is that 3/4? Yay for not being 4/4.

I was really here for the Carter.

Not as knotty as I expected. Much more easily comprehensible than I expected. With a bigger harpsichord than the Bach ensemble!

I am re-re-re-reconfirmed in my distaste of harpsichord, especially in a hall. Just…no. As much as I want to really dig this piece of music, the timbre of that instrument just doesn’t sit well with me. It has no real attack. It has AN attack, a sudden rise in amplitude, that settles instantly in to this dull sustain, and sits there for a moment, and then dies. If you play more than one note at a time, it’s mush.

I understand this is part of the point of the piece–to employ this timbre–and I admire the decision on a conceptual level; I really do. But…I can’t.

Schumann: boilerplate classical music.

I was in a hurry for it to end so I could go to sleep.

Is that undignified?

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