Rafi Zabor’s Updoc, Friday 9/19 & Tuesday 9/23

Okay, I flunked Collage but aced Music Appreciation. And Glenn Gould sang funny, as catching the start of this week’s Updoc—Friday at 8PM and noon next Tuesday, Carnegie Hall time—will confirm as he croons, with piano accompaniment, while working out his interpretation of Bach’s Partita No. 2; but then he finds his way, the voice desists, and awe might be an apt response to what happens then. This tracklet is followed by Gould’s classic studio recording of the piece, and this is succeeded by an exceptionally lo-fi recording of the John Coltrane Quartet—pre-Elvin Jones, with Pete LaRoca on drums—working out its interpretation in a Philly nightclub of My Favorite Things a few months before the famous recording. Five years later the classic Quartet was playing Afro-Blue in Paris, and by the miracle of modern bootlegging we can listen in; and I didn’t mean to make things difficult for the Charles Lloyd Quartet by playing a concert clip of theirs right after: Lloyd is in more bustling, brawling form than usual, and Keith Jarrett, after a dauntingly virtuoso start of his solo . . . well, I say it in the intro on the show. Meanwhile the great pianist Leon Fleisher, having recovered the use of this right hand after decades of a debilitating nerve disorder, doesn’t have to play left-hand-only anymore, but his recent such recording of a piano transcription Bach’s solo violin Chaconne inspires a different but no less powerful awe than the dazzling Mr. Gould; after which Updoc’s perusal of the Mozart piano concertos takes up Annie Fischer’s performance of No. 20 in D-minor. You want to know what dark and stormy sounded like before Beethoven and the Romantics? The great melodist Mozart finds no better way to begin this concerto than with a series of deep orchestral grunts. After the resolution, we are lost in the stars with Kurt Weill and Heather Masse and Dick Hyman and nuff said.TraneMozartBach

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