One of my favorite things about Bach? His music sounds amazing on just about any instrument or voice or combination of sounds you can imagine. That transcendence is a large part of its longevity.
On today's Learning to Listen, you'll hear some literal and figurative inspirations, arrangements and transcriptions of Bach's music.
Like William Walton's suite from the ballet The Wise Virgins. Sadler's Wells Theatre in London commissioned Walton to arrange several pieces from Bach's various cantatas for that ballet.
Walton subdues his distinctive voice in favor of Bach's in these arrangements.
One of my favorite arrangements/transformations comes from Dmitry Sitkovetsky, who arranged Bach's Goldberg Variations for orchestra, as well as an arrangement for string trio. It's sublime.
You'll hear unique inspirations as well.
Pianist Gabriela Montero is a phenomenal improviser. She's released entire albums of her improv, including a Bach album. She improvises on themes and motives from many of his most recognizable pieces.
In 2002, American composer Philip Lasser wrote a set of variations on Bach's chorale "Take from us, Lord, Thou faithful God," from Bach's Cantata 101. These 12 inventive variations were written for pianist Simone Dinnerstein.
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