From Anna Magdalena's notebook : saxophone quartet
by Elena Kats-Chernin (2007, this version: 2015)
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When the fabulous players of the Australian String Quartet asked
me to write a piece for the quartet, I had the privilege to
listen to their playing in a concert soon after this request. I
was more than impressed by their concert in November 2006 and it
was then, on the evening of the concert that I realised that for
this piece I was interested in an unromantic, dry, crisp and
light sound. Somehow the thought of going to Anna Magdalena
Bach's Notebook seemed appealing to me. I had previously worked
with two-part inventions of J. S. Bach and the never-ending pool
of inspiration was in this Notebook no less apparent. Few things
played a role here: Anna Magdalena, singer, wife, mother was a
superwoman in the Bach household, taking care of J. S. Bach and
many children, looking after students, guest musicians passing
through and at the same time keeping up the high role that the
music played in their lives. Bach gave her Clavierbuechlein in
1725 which he started with two partitas, the rest was gathered
over years. So, in fact it is not always J. S. Bach himself who
wrote all the pieces. Sometimes they were written by his sons or
by students or friends.
I decided to choose the ones that I liked the most. And also the ones which would work in contrast with each other. The way I worked with the material was to give the original piece a chance to sound recognizable, at the same time giving it an impetus to change direction.
Year: 2007, this version: 2015
Instrumentation: Soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone.
Duration: 16 min.
Arranged for saxophone quartet by Michael Duke.
Resonate article: Nexas Quartet: Australian sounds for saxophones (and bicycle bells) by Samuel Cottell
Resonate article: Bach on Speed by Kirsty Guster
Performances of this work
31 Jul 2017: at AFCM 2017: Concert Conversations with Piers Lane 2 (Townsville Civic Theatre). Featuring Nexas Saxophone Quartet.
15 May 2016: at ACACIA QUARTET present Blue Silence - string miniatures by Elena Kats-Chernin (Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room). Featuring Acacia Quartet.
9 May 07: Conservatorium Theatre, Brisbane. Featuring Australian String Quartet.
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