Well, it was a good first day of recording, and I focused on the first piece which is Bach-Busoni’s “Ich ruf zu dir Herr”. My husband Mark always assists in the acoustical end of things and got the room ready with the microphones and acoustical panels. This is how it looked:
I record on a Steinway D from the concert department, a beautiful piano that used to be on the stage of the Philadelphia Academy of Music. The microphones are a pair of Schoeps MK 2-H capsules which are held on stands made by K&M.
The piano is surrounded by a few acoustical panels by G&K:
And of course, here is my music which I write all over and make tons of notes-
My trusty (very quiet) dog Sonia (I guess, she’s the engineer) sits and listens and always gives positive reinforcement (she only barks when she hears a wrong note…)
I did some touching up on the tuning with my Reyburn Cybertuner program which I still run on a Powermac labtop from 1997..(it’s held together by scotch tape but, miraculously it still works like a champ)…So with all my ducks lined up in a row, I embarked on the first piece, which luckily I was able to finalize in a few takes. I am always happy to not have to splice and try to go for full takes whenever possible, since I think it helps with the overall flow of the idea.
There is one essential element, the reason that this music exists and the focus of this recording which is God. Bach signed the initials ‘SDG’ at the end of all the pieces he wrote–’Soli Deo Gloria’- “To God the Glory”. In doing research about “Ich Ruf” which is a chorale prelude I found that the melody was taken from Bach’s Cantata No.177. This cantata has as its basis a particular verse from Scripture which is taken from the book of Romans 8:18-23:
As I read these words, I understood why Bach is sometimes known as 5th Evangelist–The scope of his works on their own are considered proof of the existence of God. In this beautiful piece of music, one really hears the labyrinth of the thorns and thistles and pained cries of humankind in the twisting of the inner voice. The piece starts in the key of F minor and yet ends in the triumphant key of F Major, perhaps a musical metaphor of the ‘foretaste of future glory’. It is a glorious work and I hope I have done justice to it. Tomorrow I embark on the Rachmaninoff transcription of Bach’s Prelude from his Violin Sonata in E major. Fun stuff!!