"Dancing With J.S. Bach I" (2012) - For String Orchestra with String Soloists
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For String Orchestra and String Soloists
(Solo Violin, Solo Violoncello, Solo Double Bass)
Commissioned by Michael Sporn in memory of his wife, Kitte Sporn, for premiere by A Far Cry
Dancing with J.S. Bach arose out of a love of Bach’s music and desire to engage more intimately with it. Dr. Michael Sporn approached me with a vision for this project, wanting to commission new orchestral suites assembled from favorite movements from J.S. Bach keyboard works. I have orchestrated Bach’s keyboard music for string orchestra with instrumental soloists, assembling together movements Bach composed years apart, with the hope of illuminating connections between them.
I view the art of orchestration as both an interpretive and creative act. If you were to look at the scores of Bach’s original music and my orchestrations next to one another, you would notice that Bach’s has few dynamics while mine are filled with instructions for the players. In solo performances, I feel that Bach’s music comes to life through the choices a performer makes in how they “speak” his music – much as a great actor brings new meaning to a Shakespearean text. I worked to imbue my orchestrations with a similar vibrancy that a pianist might bring to a solo performance, while also searching deep within these keyboard works to find, and imagine, hidden dialogues that could exist between the orchestral instruments. I have tried to honor Bach’s music and bring it to life in my own way, giving it space to breathe in this orchestral setting.
I. Capriccio (from Partita No. 2 in C Minor, BWV 826)
II. Gavottes I and II (from English Suite No. 3 in G Minor, BWV 808)
III. Andante (from Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, BWV 964)
IV. Gavottes I and II (from French Overture in B Minor, BWV 831)
V. Gavottes I and II (from English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811)
VI. Courante II (with two Doubles) (from English Suite No. 1 in A, BWV 806)