The Well-Tempered Clavier with Chopin’s performing annotations
Chopin constantly turned to Bach as a supreme point of reference. The Well-Tempered Clavier is said to be the only score he took with him to Majorca in the winter of 1838-39, at the time he was completing his 24 Preludes op.28.
The influence of Bach on Chopin’s compositional style is indeed a powerful one. It can be detected at various levels throughout his works, from the youthful Sonata op. 4 to the late Sonata op. 65 for cello. The essentially linear conception that predominates in his development of musical ideas—the logical, elegant voice leading—appears to stem from an intimate connection with the work of J.S. Bach.
Until now the important role played by the Well-Tempered Clavier in Chopin’s teaching has been known on the basis of literary sources. The document published here for the first time confirms it with living proof of a different kind, a live record, so to speak, of his teaching.
Leafing through the pages of this copy of the Well-Tempered Clavier I, one cannot fail to be struck by the neatness with which the signs and words indicating tempo, metronome marks, phrasing, articulation, dynamics, left-hand octaves, and so on, have been notated.
OHHHhhhhfuck. oh fuck. oh FUCK.oh fuck. he could feel as many variations of that go through his head as there were parts to the well-tempered clavier–how many were there again? 38? 39?–not relevant. BACH WAS HERE. BACH WAS HERE FOR…whatever. something really upsetting. something that had really upset him, because he looked kinda mad. something that would probably mean kyogo’s blood on the walls–or worse, getting yelled at kanae-style about why he never came hooooooome. (at least that one time he was in the hospital, she actually acted concerned about him and not his debts.)
he’d had the feeling he would piss him off, just like he pissed off his current daughter. only now did he regret giving bach those Washboard Abs™–he had the kind of bod that kyogo would gladly bang, which meant the kind of bod that could shove him against a wall and make him beg.
for a moment he gave bach the look of a man to whom fate had caught up fast. you know, that look. that look when his eyes get wide and his mouth falls open just wide enough for the oh fucks to be silently exhaled with the breath. it really didn’t suit him, a man who never gave a shit. he sensed this. and so his face froze back into its assholishly nonchalant façade, but surely a GOD would see that flash of shock, the confession of sin by the body, not the mind.
❝oh no, you found me,❞ he drawled. ❝i’m practically shitting myself over here. what am i going to doooooo?❞