Do we really need period instruments to play Bach?

Join us for this special discussion/performance by Kangwon Kim and Tami Morse
Wednesday, March 16th from 6-7:30PM at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 1833 Regent St, Madison, WI
and on demand starting March 20th

“What did Bach hear when his pieces were performed at his churches in the 17th and 18th centuries?  What would Bach say if he hears his music performed by modern orchestras in the 21st century?  Of course, we will never know.  However, we can study history to find out what Bach heard in his time and strive to recreate the style and sound.

In my presentation, I will show my baroque violin and historical bows and play some examples on them.  I will compare their sound to the more familiar sound of my modern violin and bow.  I will play Bach on both instruments and talk about the differences and similarities and what we could focus on when we play baroque music.  My colleague, Tami Morse will talk about the harpsichord and play examples of what Bach heard in his time on the keyboard instruments.

Many people devote their lives to studying Bach’s music and philosophy completely and find it impossible to achieve the goal.  As composer Max Reger wrote, Bach’s music is considered the “beginning and end of all music.”  There are always new dimensions and depths to discover in Bach’s music.  I invite you to start this journey of getting to know Bach’s music by thinking about the sound of period instruments and historically informed style playing.  It is not the instrument that matters, it is how we hear the music and how we respond to Bach’s magnificent musical writing.”


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