A Weekend in ParisI recorded this solo piano track om 1/16/2020. It is a song that I started writing over thirty years ago and never finished. Here is the current version.
In Dulci Jubilo ’Tis the season!! Here’s a transcription I have arranged, based on Robert Pearsall’s famous setting, followed by a “miscellaneous” version by J.S. Bach. Of course it will sound better with a real brass quartet!
Jesu Meine Freude JS Bach BWV 610. I recorded pedal part to practice with. Here’s what it sounds like all together.
Komm, Heiliger Geist, JS Bach BWV 651. (Come Holy Ghost) - I am practicing the first of the so-called Leipzig chorales. I re-made this recording so that I could practice the manual parts with the pedal (since I don't have a MIDI pedal keyboard). Pedal harpsichords were used in Bach's time, mainly as practice instruments, as an alternative to the organ. Busy churches often needed extra practice instruments, and I imagine the church organ in winter was really a cold space! This is a fantasia over one verse of the chorale tune, heard in the pedal part.
Bach is reported to have remarked when asked about playing the organ, “There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.” Easy for him to say!
John O'Brien (Jack, or Obie) was Liz's uncle, and he was a well known jazz pianist starting in the early days of the genre (early 1920s). Jack continued to play for several decades. He befriended the Harlam stride pianist Willie "the Lion" Smith, from whom he learned much about jazz piano style. I am indebted for Jack's love, and for all that he passed on to me, some of which I have now passed on to my students in various ways.
A few recordings Jack made in Germany in the late 1920s: