Prelude in C minor, WTC Bk. 1, "Bach à la Jazz" (J.S. Bach, arr. Matt Herskowitz)
Matt presents a new 21st century take on the great works of classical composers, utilizing improvisation in his interpretations. It has often been noted that Matt has a “classical background”, but this is somewhat misleading; unlike some jazz pianists with classical training to whom this moniker has been ascribed, Matt has been first and foremost a classical pianist most of his lifeHe has studied at two of the world's most prestigious classical music conservatories, and he has never abandoned the classical repertoire while he was honing his jazz chops and developing his own personal voice as a composer and improviser. This is what makes him unique among both classical and jazz pianists, many of whom have made forays into each other's worlds; he is completely ambidextrous, equally masterful and comfortable in both.
Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, BWV 846–893, is a collection of Preludes and Fugues in all major and minor keys, composed for solo keyboard by Johann Sebastian Bach. In the German of Bach's time, Clavier (keyboard), was a generic name indicating a variety of keyboard instruments, most typically a harpsichord or clavichord – but not excluding an organ either.
When Bach gave the title Das Wohltemperirte Clavier to his first book of preludes and fugues in all 24 major and minor keys, dated 1722, it noted that it was composed "for the profit and use of musical youth desirous of learning, and especially for the pastime of those already skilled in this study". Some 20 years later Bach compiled a second book of the same kind.