My “pianist pedigree” goes from my teacher through Wiktor Łabuński through Felix Blumenfeld, who studied with Anton Rubinstein. I always considered myself part of the “Bach-Mozart-Chopin school” as opposed to the “Handel-Beethoven-Liszt school.” (Needless to say, there’s great overlap between these schools.) Before giving a concert, Frédéric Chopin would always shut himself up in a room and play through Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. The year Chopin died, he spent considerable time with the painter, Eugène Delacroix (d. 1863), who recounts hearing Chopin launch into a monologue on the transcendence of J.S. Bach, insisting that “the fugue is like pure logic in music,” and that “to know fugue deeply is to be acquainted with the element of all reason and all consistency in music.”
13 October 2020 • Chopin talks Bach
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