Romantic Bach – from intimate to epic on the modern piano
A selection of Bach originals and transcriptions from organ, violin and cantata
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was the undisputed master of Counterpoint – the art of setting independent musical lines against each other, and interweaving them to create harmony. The complexity with which Bach could compose in this manner is to this day unmatched, and the resulting beauty and depth of emotion of Bach’s music is immense. ‘From the intimate to the epic’ was all in a day’s work for Bach, who dedicated his life’s work to his god.
Bach’s keyboard music was originally composed for the organ, harpsichord and clavichord, however today most of Bach’s keyboard works are freely played on the modern piano. In addition, a number of pianists have transcribed works by Bach for the piano, exploiting the instrument’s increased range, sustain, dynamic contrast, and its uncanny ability to mimic other instruments, including the voice.
Jayson Gillham is a Bloomsbury-based Australian-British pianist with a message for his listeners: Let us not be afraid to explore the romantic nature of Bach’s music! Gillham performs original keyboard works by Bach and transcriptions of popular works including ‘Sheep May Safely Graze’, ‘Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring’ and the Bach-Busoni Chaconne.
Toccata in C minor BWV911
Prelude & Fugue in C-sharp minor BWV873 (Bk 2 WTC)