The Art of Bach


On Tuesday evening we went to a wonderful Bach recital by the current Humanitas Professor of Music, the pianist Angela Hewitt, who took “The Art of Bach” as the theme for her professorship. She performed The Art of Fugue (BWV 1080), which Bach composed during the last years of his life and did not live to complete. It took well over an hour of sustained concentration, and she stopped exactly where Bach did, in a way that was intensely moving, and had some members of the audience in tears.

Also interesting to see that she had the score on an iPad and had two Bluetooth pedals for noiseless page-turning.

The other intriguing aspect of the performance was the instrument she played — a Fazioli Concert Grand, a truly fabulous piano, with a price tag to match. As the musician sitting next to us observed, it costs as much as the apartment you’d have to buy to accommodate it.