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Bach Unwrapped: Bach, Reich and Stravinsky

 01 February 2013 at 8.30pm 

Bach Unwrapped: Bach, Reich and Stravinsky

Kings Place
90 York Way, London, N1 9AG
United Kingdom
020 7520 1440

Timothy Gill cello
Michael Cox flute

JS Bach’s work is so powerful – and has been so influential - perhaps because of his ability to write music that provokes a profound emotional response at the same time as being highly intellectually satisfying.

While Steve Reich’s series of solo instrument counterpoints are no direct homage to Bach, they are a contemporary expression of some of those compositional techniques that Bach so brilliantly mastered and used to powerful effect, as shown in his solo instrumental sonatas which are performed alongside. Reich’s soloist performs pulsed and fragmented musical phrases that are echoed, interlocked and sustained by a pre-recorded tape line. The listener is left picking out new melodic patterns that emerge from the resulting mutil-layered, hugely satisfying canonic textures.

Openly inspired by Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Igor Stravinsky’s own reinvention of the baroque concerto was written for performance in the magnificent music room of Dumbarton Oaks, a house outside Washington DC. The music’s figurations, sonorities and counterpoints all echo Bach, but without any plagiarism. Stravinsky’s arrangement of four preludes and fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier (the last thing the composer worked on) is another kind of homage – a re-orchestration of Bach’s music using the colour palette of modern instruments

J.S. Bach : Sonata for Viola da Gamba + Keyboard No 1 in G major, BWV 1027
Steve Reich : Cello Counterpoint
J.S. Bach : Flute Sonata in E minor, BWV 1034
Steve Reich : Vermont Counterpoint
J.S. Bach : (arr. Igor Stravinsky) Four Preludes and Fugues from The Well-Tempered Clavier
Igor Stravinsky : Concerto in E flat major, 'Dumbarton Oaks'

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