Music of the Day - Rosalyn Tureck

On Sunday, Dec. 15th 2013, the Tureck Bach Research Institute commemorated the piano / keyboard artist Rosalyn Tureck with performances and presentations to mark the 100 years since her birth and 10 years since her death.Rosalyn Tureck is particularly associated with Bach and her love of the composer’s music is exhuberantly felt when hearing her performances, many of which were recorded on video. In a short scene that was screened at the event, Tureck plays Bach’s famous C Major Prelude on harpsichord, then on clavinet and finally on the piano. It was interesting to hear the different interpreatations that she chose for each of the instruments (Tureck was also known to play Bach on the Moog synthesizer). When she played the Prelude on the piano I was able to rediscover the composition anew. The prospect of hearing the C major Prelude, being that it is such a popular piece and often played by young student, usually doesn't thrill me. But I was so captivated by Tureck’s performance that she made me anticipate and wonder what was going to happend next as if I had never heard the piece before. A few days after, my piano teacher who had also attended the event, showed me a video of Tureck playing the Adagio in G major. I won’t loose too many words on it since this is the piece of music that I am sharing with you today, but my reaction to it was that her performance transcended the “Bach-ness”. By this I mean that the music and expression in her playing was so prominent that it freed me from a kind of listening that would evaluate what is being heard in connection to what is already known about the music, the style or period of Bach. Instead, her playing led me straight to the heart, timelessness and immortality of the composition.