"Dancing With J.S. Bach" (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
Dr. Michael Sporn approached me in the spring of 2012 with the vision for this project, wanting to commission an orchestration of a number of Bach’s keyboard works. Calling it “Dancing with J.S. Bach,” he wished to create a new dance suite assembled from favorite Bach movements. He provided me with the selections he had in mind, and together we worked to choose the specific movements and set the order of the suite. I have immensely enjoyed this collaboration, arising out of a shared love for the music of J.S. Bach, and the chance to intimately engage with Bach’s music.
I cannot claim credit for the inspiration or vision for this suite – Sporn’s foresight and deep appreciation of Bach’s music has given birth to this joyous new work, one that presents Bach’s music in a new context, allowing the music’s power to shine in a new light, illuminating connections between movements composed years apart. I have done my best to reflect Bach’s voice and style in these orchestrations, occasionally filling in counterpoint and adding other textural elements to realize my interpretation of these works for strings. The ornamentation used is inspired by Angela Hewitt’s performances from her CD recordings of Bach’s music, recordings that are also meaningful to Sporn.
This work is commissioned by Michael Sporn in memory of his wife, Kitte Sporn, to be premiered by the Boston-based string orchestra A Far Cry.
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. Gavottes I and II (from French Overture in B Minor, BWV 831)
IV. Gavottes I and II (from English Suite No. 6 in D Minor, BWV 811)
V. Courante II (with two Doubles) (from English Suite No. 1 in A, BWV 806)
VI. Andante (from Keyboard Sonata in D Minor, BWV 964)