Win us with honest trifles

The Friday OT: Daniil Trifonov plays Brahms’ piano arrangement of JS Bach’s Chaconne (BWV 1004)

You have to be in the mood for Chaconne, what with it supposedly being written by Bach after his return home from a long trip, only to find his wife had died and had been buried in his absence. Then you have to be in the mood to take the step to one side for the Johannes Brahms’ piano arrangement of Bach’s famous solo violin piece, but Brahms knew what he was doing. Here’s how he put it:

“On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind. If one doesn’t have the greatest violinist around, then it is well the most beautiful pleasure to simply listen to its sound in one’s mind.”

We also quote Bernard Chazelle from the same link above:

You can tell from his music that his emotion is raw. It is so controlled, but it is so profound. This is a man who truly grieves. I mean, you’ll hear the chaconne. It’s a dance. But it’s a grieving dance. I know, it seems like a paradox. But it’s extremely moving and — of somebody who clearly has enormous feeling. And, yet, it’s very controlled.

Daniil Trifonov does the honours and does them so very well. Dedicated once again to Douglas Joseph Holbrook and all his family, the YouTube is here.


    I will go to his concert this sunday (the art of the fugue)


    This is how I felt after reading those emails about whether the conference was virtual or in-person.


    Try-phone-off may be a brilliant pianist who won the “Tchaikovsky”, but I find his physical gyrations and simian antics at the keyboard alomst impossible to watch. Like he is trying to kiss the black keys every 5 seconds.
    He could take an example from someone like Barenboim, who manages to sit up straight, keep a normal facial pose still get the same amount of expression out of the instrument.


      I am fully with you on this (his audio-only version is a clue), but Intense Tortured Artist is part of his thing. For me it’s a detail. Not the only dramatic pianist out there, though, they aren’t all Barenboim or Peralta.


        He played Bach on sunday with no movements at all. But you shouldn’t look at him anyway because it takes from the music in my opinion (only at the technical parts it’s interesting).

        I was in the Enescu competition in 2005, and I remember the judge Dan Grigore, one of the best pianists of all time in my opinion, he almost nevver look at the pianist.


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