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Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. - "Real Music"

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(Feb 25, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Taped on June 8, 1979. Although Miss Tureck has a wide repertoire, she is best known--as keyboard artist, conductor, and text editor--for her work on Bach; indeed, Mr. Buckley tells us, "Arthur Rubinstein has credited her with the largest single responsibility for the revival of Bach throughout the world." On this radiant show she has with her both a harpsichord and a piano to illustrate her points about how ornamentation was annotated up until the 18th century, how Bach was mistreated in the 19th century, and how different the same piece of music sounds in different tempi. Buckley: "Does what you say add up to an excuse not to do the repetitions in the 20th century, which would have fitted the mood of the 18th century?" Tureck: "Yes, that's an interesting point, because we think of the so-called 'repeats' as repetitions... A repeat is something quite different from what we think of as repetition. I regard the repeat as a fresh view of the same material." Summary by Firing Line staff.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Rosalyn Tureck
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Studio: Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA)
  • DVD Release Date: February 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004OEIONS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #241,186 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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I do miss William F. Buckley and his work. He was a brilliant writer and a brilliant interviewer as well. His favourite composer was Bach. He himself did perform a couple of times in public as a harpsichordist, though he was later on more content to leave the performing to others. In interviewing musicians, Buckley brought a certain knowledge many interviewers don't have. He was a man who knew a lot about music and he knew what sort of questions to ask.

Rosalyn Tureck, the subject of this interview, was known for many years as the "High Priestess of Bach" was known for performing Bach on the piano. However, she was much more than that. She was also a skilled harpsichordist as well. Like Alfred Brendel, she was a musician's musician. Though possessed of a formidable technique, she considered it her job not to impose her own ideas on the music, but through patient study and research, to be able to realize what the composer's intentions were and to carry them out.
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Bill Buckley was not your average presenter. He did not insist that the camera remain mostly on him rather than on the guest, he almost never interrupted a guest even when he manifestly disagreed with him or her, and he was always familiar with the subject being discussed. In the case of Bach, he was especially knowledgeable. Indeed, he developed a system of notation to make it easier for amateur players to sight-read Bach (or any other composer): he printed all sharps and flats in red. It became known as “the Buckley Notation System” and actually makes it much easier to read at first sight.

His enormous respect for Rosalyn Tureck, then one of the foremost Bach keyboard experts in the world, as both player and scholar, shines through the entire interview. On her part, Tureck in essence gives one of the great master classes in playing 18th century ornamentation, especially as it applies to the Bach Goldberg Variations. In all, this is beyond wonderful and should be fascinating even to a non-player; to any keyboardist, it is absolutely invaluable. Fabulous.
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informative - a great deal of information in a short amount of time. Well worth the time viewing this interview. I wish it were longer.
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My son is a music prodigy and was absolutely fascinated by Ms. Tureck's scholarship and magnificent talent.
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She was a great talent!
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