• Tanya Tomkins
  • March 20, 2013

Bach at Live at Mission Blue

With Marc and Jodi

With Marc and Jodi

Thanks to Kevin Fryer’s series in Brisbane, Live at Mission Blue, the Bay Area has a gorgeous, small recital hall that is perfect for solo instruments.

The other night, as part of the complete Bach Cello Suites concerts there, I shared the stage with two great friends and musicians, Marc Teicholz and Jodi Levitz. I not only shared the stage, but shared the repertoire, inviting these guys, a guitarist and a violist to explore “our” own Bach Cello Suites. It turned out to be a really remarkable evening and as I listened to them after starting the concert with the first Suite, I felt like I was being offered a new lens through which to view music I know and love very much. It wasn’t just the different instruments that made a it such an interesting take on the Cello Suites, but it was the different personalities that infused the music with new life and energy. Just as in a performance of a Shakespeare play, where the audience member can always be reassured of a compelling and thought provoking experience in the company of one of the world’s great authors, so it is listening to these musical masterpieces. What becomes interesting in the play is how the actor deals with his/her own role in it and how he/she chooses to forge a relationship with the material. It is that relationship between actor and role that becomes an event all its own, influencing hugely the composition itself.

So it was in Brisbane watching Marc and Jodi in their relationship to Bach. Like great actors in a role, they each fully inhabited the pieces in a very personal way. I was so happy to be a part of this and hope we will have another chance soon to share these three very different, but wholly convincing interpretations of this familiar music.

Mostly, I think we all shared the feeling that playing solo Bach is one of the great joys of life, always changing, always challenging, never boring, and very illuminating. Who could ask for a better occupation?

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