Thursday, October 25, 2012

Blissful Bach Concerts
Performed by Andras Schiff

San Francisco classical music lovers were treated recently to outstanding performances by the brilliant pianist Andras Schiff, pictured, at Davies Symphony Hall, playing J.S. Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier", Books 1 and 2, which Big Mike and I attended.

Schiff's masterful playing brought exquisite pleasure to our ears and we noticed he had a small smile on his face, when finishing the more lively of the preludes, almost as if he was teasing the audience into thinking the conclusion was at hand only to complete the prelude and go on to the next one. We didn't mind the teasing one bit.

Hearing this composition performed live for the first time, and by such a brilliant interpreter of Bach, practically erased all the recordings of it we've heard on CD or over the radio. During the concerts, a state of bliss enveloped us.

At the first concert on October 7, the notes lifted us into the realm of stunning musical artistry every time Schiff put his fingers to the piano keys, and when it was over the audience quickly stood and gave Schiff the standing ovation he had easily earned. Big Mike shouted many boisterous "bravos" he was so impressed with what we had just heard.

For the second performance this past Sunday afternoon, most of the audience showered Schiff with applause and another standing ovation at the end of the first half of Book 2. No need to wait till it was all over to show our deep appreciation. Schiff seemed humbled at the rapturous attention.

These concert are the start of Schiff's two-year residency with the San Francisco Symphony and he returns in April 2013, to again delight us with more Bach and bliss. Click here for more info on the spring events with Schiff and all other programs at Davies Hall.

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