Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper)– The music of Johann Sebastian Bach keeps on inspiring. During the Bach Heritage Festival, Bozar lets various musicians interpret the work of the German Baroque composer.
There was once a Russian count who could not sleep. Albums with whale noise or podcasts to help you sleep had not yet been invented and so the nobleman asked a composer to write some music for his employed pianist. If the pianist played those pieces at night, the count ought to fall asleep or at least spend the night being entertained. That is the myth behind the creation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and in all likelihood, that is how it was. But the so-called “keyboard exercise, consisting of an aria with diverse variations” has certainly become one of the most mythical works in the canon of classical music.
Bozar is also placing the Goldberg Variations in the centre of the programme for its Bach Heritage Festival and presents the key work in different disguises. There is the “traditional approach”, in which the French baro(c)k star Jean Rondeau plays the series in its entirety on harpsichord, or the contemporary retelling, in which keyboardist Anthony Romaniuk and cellist Benjamin Glorieux improvise on the variations in a soundscape enriched with live electronics. The piece is played on the accordion in Michiel Vandevelde’s performance and the choreographer, together with dancers from the Ghent art venue Platform K, bases himself on the iconic solo that Steve Paxton danced to Bach’s music.
That Johann Sebastian still inspires today is shown by George De Decker, who composed his own 21st century aria with variations in Wit in Wit. Also included are the moving viola da gamba of Mathias Ferré and the invigorating face-to-face concert experience of Bach Kliniek. One thing is certain, there is no time for a nap.
The 2022 festival begins on 9th February and is to continue on until 13th of this month.
Though the programme of Justin Taylor and Concerto Köln- Bach sampling Vivaldi scheduled for 9th February has been cancelled, the rest of the event is expected to run as planned.