232. Recreating Bach
Works by Bach for chamber orchestra performed by Rebel on November 10, 2013 and solo piano performed by Ji, piano on April 12, 2015.
It’s incredible to think just how much influence and resonance the music of Johann Sebastian Bach still has today, three hundred years after it was written. This podcast shows just two of the many examples of ways in which musicians continue to discover new possibilities in this centuries-old music, recreating Bach for different times and instruments.
The concerto on this podcast was originally composed for oboe d’amore, and only later adapted and published for harpsichord as the Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055. Centuries later, however, only the harpsichord version remained. So in the 1970s, scholar and editor Wilfried Fischer decided to tackle the task of recreating the original oboe concerto, based on an early manuscript that provided hints about which lines were originally meant for oboe.
Perhaps the most radical advance in musical technology since the Baroque era has been in the keyboard family, and Bach’s music is now regularly played on piano—an instrument that did not exist during his lifetime. Following the oboe concerto, we’ll hear Bach’s Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major for organ, adapted for the modern piano by Ferruccio Busoni. We’ll hear the piece performed by the young Chinese-born pianist Ji.