Pianist Igor Levit, whose online concerts during lockdown brought comfort to many, here celebrates togetherness at a time when the world has never appeared more detached. Organ chorale preludes by Bach and Brahms, masterpieces originally designed for large church congregations, are arranged by Busoni and Reger, and offered up for private, secular reflection. Humanity and spirituality united. One player alone with his thoughts, but heard beyond his walls by thousands of us. Away from liturgical music, Brahms’ grief-stricken Vier ernste Gesänge (arranged by Reger) are perhaps the most bittersweet of all the composer’s works, while Reger’s “Nachtlied” and Morton Feldman’s “Palais de Mari,” moments of distilled perfection, end this masterful program on a note of quiet, exquisite introspection.
10 Chorale Preludes, BV B 27
I. No. 1, Komm, Gott Schöpfer, Heiliger Geist, BWV 667