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Axel Schmitt (Fair Use)
MUSIC: Celebrate the 300th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier with Axel Schmitt - piano.

Axel Schmitt plays The Complete Well-Tempered Clavier: Book I

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Date(s) - 11/05/2022
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Community School of Music and Arts


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CSMA Distinguished Piano Faculty Member, Dr. Axel Schmitt celebrates the 300th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier in this special event.

The Well-Tempered Clavier, a compendium of 24 Preludes and Fugues in all Major and minor keys completed in 1722, has been called the “Old Testament” for pianists (the Beethoven Sonatas are the “New Testament” according to the famous Liszt-student Hans von Bülow). Robert Schumann remarked that the Well-Tempered Clavier should be “thy daily bread.”

The title of the work refers to the well-tempered tuning system introduced in the Baroque period, which first made it possible to play in all major and minor keys. Before Bach, composers and performers rarely dared to venture beyond keys with more than three or four accidentals. The term clavier encompasses all keyboard instruments of Bach’s time, such as the clavichord, harpsichord, organ and even early fortepianos (the modern piano did not exist yet). For each major and minor key, Bach composed a pair of pieces in a wide range of styles: the Prelude, usually free-flowing and improvisational, is followed by a fugue in a stricter contrapuntal manner, ranging from two to five voices.

Bach’s music is deeply spiritual, and the Well-Tempered Clavier contains an almost infinite range of colors, textures and emotions all within the confines of a single instrument and performer. With a playing time around 1:45 hours, this concert may not be suitable for very young children.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a free community concert and seating is first-come, first-served. No advance tickets are available. Face masks are strongly recommended inside Tateuchi Hall. Seating is limited.

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Community School for Music and Arts is a center for arts education, serving Mountain View, Los Altos, Palo Alto and over 20 other Bay Area communities. A tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization, tax ID/EIN: 23-7023900.

IMAGE courtesy of Axel Schmitt (Fair Use)

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