Chaconne #29 – Bennington College August 4, 2016 – 10pm


Well this performance was one of the best yet overall. The right attitude and expression in the opening movement (Allemande), unity of flow through the entire work, and assimilation of the fingerings I use to clarify the various voices in fast technical passages (Corrente and Gigue), so that they “disappear” (meaning you can’t hear them you only hear the music) – all these were just “there”. Still some internal confusion in musical organization of the 2nd part of the Gigue, that led to small errors, some three-voice measures in the Chaconne that were screwed up. I can tackle those this week and see where we are in next week’s performance.

It has been a year since the last one. Not for any particular reason, however. I just have been focussing on the two other Partitas – in b and E – and establishing the independent characters of the three Fugues.


2 thoughts on “Chaconne #29 – Bennington College August 4, 2016 – 10pm”

  1. A deeply personal experience. Together with two others in a performance hall, the emptiness of the space just heightened the emotions of this incredibly profound work. Shem did a womnderful job navigating the emotional range of the work,and as expected, provided some new interpretations of various passages.

    A very special way to hear this masterpiece

  2. I’ve heard the Chaconne many times, performed by fine musicians in some spectacular locations and been moved by each experience. So I figured I had a reasonable idea of what to expect when I was invited to hear Shem play the work on the 4th.
    I was wrong!
    Shem’s command of the work is evident and indisputable. But his idea (as he explained) that the entire Partita (including the chaconne) is the expression of a single idea/thought/thread, brought a coherence and expressive power to the performance which I hadn’t yet heard.
    I was also struck by the effect of the entire format of the performance. The seemingly small act of taking a seat with us-the lucky few listeners-after playing the work to share his experience of what had transpired, and to listen to ours, changed the event from a conventional,even memorable performance to a rare, powerful moment genuinely shared by all of us, together.
    Thank you Shem!

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