Wednesday, December 16, 2015

William Bolcom - Free Fantasia On On O Zion Haste and How Firm A Foundation

This is the last of the Gospel Preludes by William Bolcom, so far.  Who knows if there may be more to come?

This is probably the most performed of the pieces, though all of them are quite wonderful.  It's also one of which there are many obviously good performances on YouTube but which are often not successful as recordings, the huge difference in volume between the more subtle passages and the loudest ones mean that most of them lose some of the beautiful subtlety of the quite passages.  Most of those are in the O Zion Haste passages before the variations on How Firm a Foundation, ending in some of the most affirmative music you'll ever hear.   This is the kind of thing you hear as a pianist and wish you'd taken that route instead.  

I hope that there are a lot more recordings of all of them available in the future.  These are some of the most important religious music written in the past two centuries.

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