Photo by Miguel Felipe
Despite having another full house for Bach Master Works: The Great Eighteen Chorales, it was another opportunity for me to learn one of life’s hard lessons: All human beings are flawed and imperfect!
As I wrote to my FaceBook friend, Wyatt Smith who asked me how the second concert went, some things went better than expected. And then there were some surprises. I never did that before! I told myself as I hit the wrong piston in one of the crucial points. And I released a couple of notes early.
Happily, a few pieces redeemed me. I was really pleased with Jesus Christus, unser Heiland, the last piece on the program. I also felt that Vor deinen Thron was especially poignant, even though I have played that piece hundreds of times for funerals. This was Bach’s last piece, dictated to his son-in-law on his deathbed. As I wrote in an earlier post, Bach was under the care of a prominent eye surgeon for severe cataracts due to untreated diabetes. As I was playing the piece, I imagined the darkened room, Bach laying in bed, and the music transcriptionist nearby.
When I was interviewed a few weeks ago about these concerts, I was asked whether it was Bach’s blindness at the end of his life which was my personal inspiration for doing these concerts. No, not really, but I have to tell you that it made me very happy to see my retina specialist, Dr. John Drouilhet, who is treating me for macular degeneration, at the concert!
Here’s a note that I received from Diane Martinson, the former Iolani School chaplain: Kathy, This is a BIG cyber-hug for your magnificent accomplishment and performance of Bach’s Eighteen Chorales and your gift to all of us in the community–and certainly the local chapter of the AGO and the future of organ in the islands. Although it’s time to relish in a much deserved rest, I somehow suspect, knowing your energy and passion, that it won’t be too long before you’re searching for another project! 🙂