Jeremy Denk | The Well-Tempered Clavier

Two performances: October 17 and October 18

J.S. Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1, BWV 846-869

J.S. Bach’s revered collection of 24 preludes and fugues, a dazzling compositional feat which traverses all the major and minor keys, was entitled The Well-Tempered Clavier in celebration of the modern western tuning system, which divides the octave into equal intervals, called “tempered” pitch. Performed by one of today’s foremost pianists, MacArthur fellow Jeremy Denk has been extolled by The New York Times for his “profound affinity with Bach.” Denk has written that in The Well-Tempered Clavier, “the raw materials of musical meaning…are revealed like stage machinery that suddenly comes out from behind the scenes.”  A rare opportunity to hear this remarkable keyboard cycle, both intimate and monumental.

“He played this touchstone Bach score with crisp articulation, verve and a keen feeling for the character of each variation.” — The New York Times

“People think of Bach as this incredibly serious and learned composer. One of the things that always strikes me about him is the energy and the sense of play. Once he has an idea, he sees all the possibilities of it, and he can’t resist exploring them all – even sometimes into very strange realms. For me, along with the learned philosopher Bach there is the child Bach, playing with musical notes.” – Jeremy Denk

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Related Free Event
Michael Harrison, composer and pianist
Revelation: Music for Just Intonation

Co-presented by The Menil Collection and DACAMERA
Free event in the Walter De Maria exhibition gallery
Saturday, November 5, 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

If Bach’s keyboard is “well-tempered,” what is its opposite? Discover the incredible resonance of “just intonation” – a piano tuned not according to the western scales, but following the true overtones of physics. Michael Harrison, a disciple of the avant-garde composer La Monte Young, performs his dizzying composition for re-tuned piano in the Menil gallery, in dialogue with the installation of maverick artist Walter de Maria.