Pierre-Laurent Aimard, acclaimed interpreter of modern and contemporary music, will take on one of the most important works of Baroque piano literature at this concert: Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier”. Bach’s compositions – as Aimard said in an interview – do not reduce us to the original, but rather invite us to the infinite.
The Well-Tempered Clavier, Part 1
Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation in co-operation with Berliner Festspiele/Musikfest Berlin
The philharmonic audience knows Pierre-Laurent Aimard first and foremost as an interpreter of modern and contemporary music. Whether playing piano concerti by Arnold Schoenberg, Béla Bartók and Maurice Ravel or chamber music by Charles Ives, György Ligeti and Pierre Boulez, the French pianist always succeeds in making even the most unwieldy pieces accessible to his listeners through clear and sensitive playing. On this evening a completely different side of Aimard, once the student of Olivier Messiaen’s wife Yvonne Loriod, will be manifest. He is tackling one of the most important works in the piano literature: the first part of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier. The work is a cosmos in itself: 24 preludes and fugues in all keys, always the same pair of movements, from which the ingenious composer extracts, despite a rigorous canon of forms, ever new variants and surprising moments. No distinguished pianist can remain indifferent to the fascination of the Well-Tempered Clavier, and that includes Pierre-Laurent Aimard. In the 2013/14 season he made use of a fellowship at Berlin’s Wissenschaftskolleg to concentrate intensively on Bach’s masterpiece while preparing for a planned CD recording. His realisation: “Everyone feels small when confronted with Bach’s music.” And yet – Aimard said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – Bach does not reduce us to the original, but rather invites us to the infinite.