That’s what Hastings decided to do. Immediately afterwards, he says he “felt betrayed by my own brain! It was a terribly embarrassing moment, especially in my hometown. Why couldn’t this have happened in Timbuktu!?” But Hastings knew he had to get back on. “I wanted another opportunity to play the Bach as I envision it and to perform it in Ann Arbor. I want to play it sooner rather than later to forestall any anxieties that might arise after my previous experience.”
So on Wednesday, June 10, Hastings will remount Bach’s D minor at the Kerrytown Concert House, and this time he’ll be using the sheet music. “This way I can focus solely on the music and the ensemble and not be concerned with memory.” Instead of the Symphony, he’ll be accompanied by a string quintet—a perfectly legitimate aesthetic decision in this work—with players drawn from the Detroit Symphony and Michigan Opera Theater. They’ll also perform Mozart’s G minor Piano Quartet and Chopin’s E minor Piano Concerto, which like the Bach Concerto, will be accompanied only by string quintet. The 1830 string arrangement of Chopin’s work that Hastings will use was found at the University of Chicago Library several years ago; as far as anyone can remember, it’s never been played in Ann Arbor before.
[Originally published in June, 2009.]