zaterdag 11 april 2015 – 15.00 uur

Michael Tsjalka – piano

Twee middagen Bach in ’t Mosterdzaadje

Michael Tsjalka

Met op zaterdagmiddag 11 april de Goldbergvariaties en op zondagmiddag 12 april de Kunst der Fuga van de Johan Sebastiaan Bach uitgevoerd door Michael Tsjalka, heeft ’t Mosterdzaadje wel twee zeer bijzonder concerten te bieden. Aanvang van beide concerten zijn om 15.00 uur.

In 1741, Johann Sebastian Bach published the Aria mit verschiedenen Veränderungen, now known as the “Goldberg” Variations, BWV 988 as the fourth part of his encyclopedic Clavier-Übung.  The virtuosic challenges and monumental scope of the work made it from the beginning inaccessible to a majority of performers.  Today, the Goldberg Variations are considered as one of the most ambitious and fulfilling compositions created for a keyboard instrument, a summation of all the possibilities offered by Baroque variation technique. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of the work is that the theme or aria is in itself straightforward: a simple and brief lyrical statement derived from a long tradition of Baroque binary dances. 
It is important to note that the thirty variations, which follow the theme are based not on the melody of the aria but on the thirty-two notes of its descending bass line.  Variations are presented in groups of three, the last one in the group being a canon.  In the first canon (Variation 3) the two upper voices imitate at the distance of the unison, in the second one (Variation 6) they imitate at the distance of a second, in the third (Variation 9) at the distance of the third, etc.  These canons create a sense of controlled progress and growth and give to the listener reference points throughout Bach’s expansive work.  The non-canonic variations are in themselves encyclopedic in their variety:  The composer includes inventions, slow lyrical arias, dances, fugues, fast virtuosic pieces, and even a French overture to ‘inaugurate’ the second part of the set. 
Towards the end of the composition, Bach’s rigorous ordering breaks down. Instead of presenting a canon at the distance of a tenth, Variation 30 — subtitled by the composer quodlibet — is a free contrapuntal intertwining of two popular German songs: “I have long been away from you. Come back” and “Cabbage and turnips have driven me away, had my mother cooked meat, I’d have chosen to stay.”  Thus, Bach humorously prepares the listener for the final return of the Aria/Theme, which, after such a prodigious display of musical imagination, appears as a spiritual revelation.

Pianist and early keyboard performer Michael Tsalka (Israel/Netherlands) has won numerous prizes and awards in Europe, the U.S.A., the Middle East and Latin America. A versatile musician, he performs with equal virtuosity a wide span of repertoire from the early Baroque to our days on the modern piano, harpsichord, fortepiano, clavichord, square piano and chamber organ. Tsalka was born in Tel-Aviv, Israel. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from Tel-Aviv University, he continued his studies in Germany and Italy. In 2001, he received a piano solo diploma from the Scuola Superiore Internazionale del Trio di Trieste, where he studied with Dario di Rosa. From 2002-2008, he studied at Temple University under the guidance of Joyce Lindorff, Harvey Wedeen, and Lambert Orkis. Tsalka holds three degrees from that institution: a Master’s degree in chamber music/accompanying, a Master’s degree in harpsichord performance and a Doctorate in piano performance. Other teachers included Sandra Mangsen, Klaus Schilde, Malcolm Bilson, and Charles Rosen.
Dr. Tsalka maintains a busy concert schedule. Recent engagements include performances at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Forbidden City Hall in Beijing, Bellas Artes Theater in Mexico City, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, St. Denis Festival in Paris, Der Gasteig in Munich, Beethoven House in Bonn, the Jerusalem Music Center, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and interviews and live performances for radio stations in Hong Kong, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Munich, St. Petersburg, Beijing, Stockholm, Helsinki, Auckland, Amsterdam and Jerusalem. From 2006 to 2015, he has been an artist-in-resident every July at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, Minnesota (
Dr. Tsalka has released twelve CDs for labels such as Naxos, Grand Piano, Ljud & Bild (Stockholm), and Paladino (Vienna). Current and future recording projects include CDs dedicated to keyboard works by J. S. Bach, Daniel Gottlob Türk, Johann Baptist Wanhal, Carl Dittersdorf, Ferdinand Ries, Franz Schubert, Felix Mendelssohn, Viktor Ullmann, Leonardo Coral, Paul Ben Haim, and Yehezkel Braun. Together with Dr. Angelica Minero Escobar, he is preparing a critical edition of Türk’s 30 keyboard sonatas for Artaria Editions in New Zealand ( Sonatas 1-12 were published in 2013. Tsalka often collaborates with composers: In 2015-2016, he will perform fourteen world premieres dedicated to him by composers of eleven different nationalities.
Dr. Tsalka has presented seventy master classes and lecture-recitals in academic institutions and conferences around the world. Six of his scholarly articles have been published by music journals, including De Clavicordio (Italy), Piano Bulletin EPTA (Netherlands), The Early Keyboard Journal and Early Music America (U.S.A.). He taught at the Esther Boyer College of Music, the National Center for the Arts (Mexico), and at Lilla Akademien (Stockholm). Currently, he is a visiting professor at Celaya Conservatory in Guanajuato, Mexico, and at Auckland University’s department of Music, NZ.
In 2011, Tsalka was the artistic director of a concert cycle dedicated to J. S. Bach, with presentations at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing, Qingdao Grand Theatre and Wuhan’s Qintai Concert Hall. Together with Anna Maria McElwain, he is the artistic director of the Nordic Historical Keyboard Festival in Kuopio, Finland. Tsalka is also the artistic director of the Geelvinck Fortepiano Festival in The Netherlands ( Last December, he was the artist director of a mini-festival for the Dutch Embassy in Stockholm.

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