AFTER BACH

Brad's After Bach comprises the pianist/composer’s recordings of four preludes and one fugue from J.S. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, each followed by an “After Bach” piece written by Mehldau and inspired by its WTC mate. The album begins with Mehldau’s own “Before Bach: Benediction” and ends with his “Prayer for Healing.” Pre-orders of After Bach are available now at iTunes and nonesuch.com and include an instant download of the album track “After Bach: Rondo.”

As Mehldau’s label mate Timo Andres says in his After Bach liner note, “As a professional organist, much of Bach’s work took the form of improvisation, and during his lifetime it was the virtuosity and complexity of these improvisations for which he was most admired … Some three centuries after the fact, Brad Mehldau takes up this tradition and applies it to a frustratingly unknowable aspect of Bach’s art.”

Andres continues, “There have always been elements of Mehldau’s style that recall Bach, especially his densely-woven voicing—but he’s not striving to imitate or play dress-up. Rather, After Bach surveys their shared ground as keyboardists, improvisers, and composers, making implicit parallels explicit.”

After Bach originated in a work Mehldau first performed in 2015—commissioned by Carnegie Hall, The Royal Conservatory of Music, The National Concert Hall, and Wigmore Hall—called Three Pieces After Bach.


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Jazzwise Names After Bach as one of the Top 20 Jazz Albums of 2018:

“As a professional organist, much of Bach’s work took the form of improvisation, and during his lifetime it was the virtuosity and complexity of these improvisations for which he was most admired,” writes Timo Andres in his liner note. “Some three centuries after the fact, Brad Mehldau takes up this tradition and applies it to a frustratingly unknowable aspect of Bach’s art.” As we all know, however, J.S. Bach invented modern jazz – where would Bird have been without him? – and the likes of Jacques Loussier have regularly jazzed up the great German keyboard improviser’s back catalogue, to stirring and popular effect. Mehldau doesn’t take the easy route, you wouldn’t expect him to – and though some passages of ‘Before Bach: Benediction’ may have you squeezing your eyes as you try to follow his musical thoughts, you wouldn’t want him to either. Here he pairs straight recitals of four preludes and one fugue from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier with compositions and improvisations inspired by them: ‘After Bachs’. Is the result jazz? The densely – and, given its title, appropriately – dreamy ‘After Bach: Dream’ probably owes more to Debussy than any later jazzy interpreter of Herr B. But who cares? After Bach probably won’t become your favourite Mehldau release, but you’ll find it hard to resist all the same.”
– John Fordham


"Three Pieces after Bach" from the Philharmonie de Paris


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After Bach

  • 1. Before Bach: Benediction

  • 2. Prelude No. 3 in C# Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 848

  • 3. After Bach: Rondo

  • 4. Prelude No. 1 in C Major from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 870

  • 5. After Bach: Pastorale

  • 6. Prelude No. 10 in E Minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 855

  • 7. After Bach: Flux

  • 8. Prelude and Fugue No. 12 in F Minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book I, BWV 857

  • 9. After Bach: Dream

  • 10. Fugue No. 16 in G Minor from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book II, BWV 885

  • 11. After Bach: Ostinato

  • 12. Prayer for Healing

Purchase:

NONESUCH STORE  |  ITUNES  |  APPLE MUSIC  |  SPOTIFY  |  AMAZON.COM


Listen on Spotify:


Credits:

Brad Mehldau, piano