Learning to Listen: Bach Inspirations

Learning to Listen: Bach Inspirations
J.S. Bach
J.S. Bach
Courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation

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.

Love the music?

Donate by phone

Show your support by making a gift to YourClassical.

Each day, we’re here for you with thoughtful streams that set the tone for your day – not to mention the stories and programs that inspire you to new discovery and help you explore the music you love.

YourClassical is available for free, because we are listener-supported public media. Take a moment to make your gift today.

More Ways to Give

Your Donation