Throwback Thursday: “Piano Concerto No. 1, BWV 1052, First Movement,” J.S. Bach

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One wonders why it took me this long to play Bach, since he is one of the major reasons I adore classical music.  This piece in particular makes me beside myself with happiness.  It’s slightly more constrained than the Schumann piano concerto I posted a few weeks ago – far more regulated – but it still has the same fire underneath.  I especially love Perahia’s interpretation here, which takes it at a wonderfully assertive clip.  The slow build-up beginning at 6:02 is so exciting, and you think it’ll resolve but psych!  There’s more!  Oh, Bach, you card.  You slay me.

Bach and Steve Reich both wrote music that satisfies the same craving: music that sounds like the part of my brain that is constantly jumping up and down, wanting to play.  Putting this energetic piece on allows that part of my brain to go on a play-date, leaving the calmer, quieter side behind to get some work done in peace.  Bach alone got me through about a quarter of grad school.  I should put some flowers on his grave or take one of his descendants out for a beer.  (Aside: how incredibly cool would it be to have a beer with a Bach descendant?)

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