My fascination with Johann Sebastian Bach's music began in my childhood. My very first memories of early experiences with the piano are connected with Bach’s music - first the Minuets from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach, which inspired me with its elegant dancelike character and gorgeous melodies, then the Inventions, and finally The Well-Tempered Clavier and the French Suites which overwhelmed me with their unique aura. It’s this particular feeling which I still have up to this day - as if the music would bring me closer to the answers about human existence and our world. I think Bach created a universe in his music which is the ideal reflection of the world we live in. It doesn't mean that there are only good things in this universe - a universe which therefore looks the more "realistic" to me, given that there are also feelings such as grief or pain. But these sentiments can be reconciled with the help of hope and the unshakeable belief in God - and for me also through faith in mankind. Bach's music is incredibly honest and pure but at the same time very human. It strives for the highest moral ideals but always shows sympathy and understanding for human feelings and human nature, with all its strengths and weaknesses. I am also particularly fond of the moments of humour - one of those being the Echo in the Overture in the French style. It is said that Bach must have had an great sense of humour.
The three Bach works I have brought together on this CD - English Suite No.2 in A minor, BWV 807, Toccata in D major, BWV 912 and the Overture in the French style, BWV 831 - belong to different periods of Bach’s creativity, and I also encountered them in different periods of my life. The Toccata was the first major work of Bach that I played as an adolescent. The versatility of this work encompasses so many different characters - the virtuoso introduction, the expressive aria and recitatives, the profound fugue and the cheerful, energetic gigue - and is one of my favourite pieces of this genre. When I listened to the English Suite No.2 for the first time, I was so excited that I wanted to be able to play it straight away. Later, I often returned to this work in my recitals, making new musical discoveries every time I played it. The suite is like a huge goodie bag - if you open it, you'll always find something new, something that you haven't experienced before! The Overture in the French style is a work I added to my repertoire relatively late but it immediately became one of my favourites. The well-balanced, majestic overture opens the work and I find the indications of "Forte" and "Piano" rather remarkable, as these can rarely be found in Bach's works. It is followed by dances of very different character - the mysterious Courante, two graceful Gavottes and the dance-like Passepied, the lamenting Sarabande, the energetic Bourrée I and the mystical Bourrée II, the dynamic Gigue and the contrasting humorous echo. For me, they represent a wide spectrum of human feelings. I can’t say anything other than that I love each single note of this work.
Bach's music has accompanied my musical life straight from the start, and at some point I felt a strong need to capture my feelings for his music on CD. I made my selection in a way which would reflect my thoughts about the music as clearly as possible. Whether or not I should play Bach on a modern instrument was never a question for me. I believe that the message of the music, even though it was written almost 300 years ago, is just as relevant and existential today. This message is, for me, about aspiration for humanity. And I want to transmit andalso expand and illuminate this statement in even greater depth with the experience of a modern instrument and with all accessible means, but also with the knowledge of the stylistic characteristics and with respect to the score, the only veritable source of Bach's will and legacy.