Pianists like you, Andreas, are giving it new meaning in our day. Thanks for that!
Thank you so much, dear David. Coming from you this means a lot to me! I´m just trying the best I can do as someone, whos main profession is not to play piano, but to teach young people in Music and German (literature, rhetorik, grammar, orthography; not German as a foreign language).
I believe it's a wonderful thing that artists like you are being more expressive in the works of Bach. Back in the 17th century, I must imagine that Bach surely new beauty such as we know it today. The very fact that some of his music actually sounds modern proves that point. And we should not forget (despite the prevailing images of Bach at the organ, clavier or harpsichord), that he played the piano too late in life! Yes, the new pianos then were primitive, but he must have sensed their potential. The fact that his scores were somewhat devoid of detailed instructions reinforces the notion that he was granting license and discretion to the musicians who would play them. When I was young, the purists were fully in charge of Bach's repertoire. Performances were academic, austere, dry... and boring. Fortunately the tide turned and today people are finding not only suspensions, strettos, sequences, ornaments, etc. in Bach's music, but as importantly expressive beauty too. Had he ever known that the future purists would so narrowly misconstrue his keyboard music, he probably would have gathered it all up and put the torch to it!
You are speaking directly from my heart here with every word! I agree at hundred percent, that many Bach-purists in former times did "narrowly misconstrue" his keyboard music. For me - as you say, too - beauty means not only dynamic, agogic, ornaments, suspensions etc., but it´s also (or mainly!) a matter of the touch. I think, one can hear the difference of a touch filled with something like "soul" and a dry and nothing saying one. Seems that I´m developing me in a direction, which is the opposite to Glenn Gould (one of my former idols!) concerning the way of touch
, I still like many of his original ideas of musical shaping. And that´s exact the point Bach hadn´t had a chance to develop in his time. But certainly he would have done it, if he would have had the grand-piano of today. He was a human being with feelings and thoughts like we are today and no "dogmatic execration", who wants to sound his music as dry and soulless as possible, I´m very sure. And he was a very creative man, so why shouldn´t we - as acitve pianists - not be creative in our interpretations!
Thanks for this wonderful dialogue, my friend.