Dissonant Days for Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard

Pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s made the complex Bach’s “Art of the Fugue” the top download on iTunes the day of its release. The success of classical music on iTunes is a surprise to us all.

Aimard is in New York … but as the WSJ reports, Aimard is seemingly everywhere, calling him the busiest musician of our times.

Reading and listening to Aimard on YouTube, I see, feel, hear that he is tuned into the zeitgeist of our times.

Brahms - Piano Quartet No. 1-IV - Pierre-Laurent Aimard

His performances are rich in urgency and cacophony, frenzy and sometimes, dissonance. Aimard focuses on counterpoint — the interplay of many musical themes occuring simultaneously.

The 51-year-old Mr. Aimard, began his career as a member of Pierre Boulez’s Ensemble InterContemporain. Listening to Aimard perform Boulez’s Oiseaux Exotiques, I keep waiting for a sweeping refrain of Rhapsody in Blue to break through the dissonance, restoring superficial comfort and familiarity in this challenging musical terrain.

Gershwin never appears.

Flash thought: listening to Aimard, I hear Republicans, Democrats and Obama … trying to fix the U.S. economy.

We have no YouTube video of Aimard’s playing “Art of the Fugue”. But here’s a preview of a documentary produced on the masterpiece with no end.

Bach died. But in America, the band played on. A