The work consists of 6 pairs of movements and a finale presented like a gallery of miniature pictures.
Each with its own style, colors, shapes and curves. Yet as whole the pieces form a homogeneous composition and create a feeling of continuity. Before each movement Bach’s original fugue is presented, orchestrated for a variety of small chamber groups. The orchestration was made for a chamber orchestra
plus a Jazz Trio, functioning as a soli group that takes care of the improvisational parts.
The first movement
Bach: Fugue in D minor (from the second book) orchestrated for flute, clarinet and bassoon.
Gottfried: The movement makes use of various sound effects and intentional deformation of the theme.
The overall feeling is of minimalism and contrasts. The jazz trio improvises on a 16 bar form.
The second movement
Bach: Fugue in G minor (from the second book) orchestrated for a string trio
Gottfried: The theme is dressed up with new harmonies and a sweeping orchestration.
The B part is tranquil, and the trio’s improvisational part is meshed interactively with the orchestra.
The third movement
Bach: Fugue in f Major, (from the first book) orchestrated for flute, clarinet and bassoon.
Gottfried: the movement is turned into a soft standard like jazz ballad, presented by the Jazz trio.
The fourth movement
Bach: Fugue in C minor, orchestrated for a sting trio.
Gottfried: Prelude in C minor. This movement is based on the original prelude, and presents a struggle between conflicting elements: movement opposed to static, forte against piano, and the jazz trio opposite
the orchestra. The musicmoves towards a bursting coda. An improvised piano cadence creates the reconciliation with a C major chord.
The fifth movement
Bach: Fugue in D minor (from the second book) orchestrated for oboe, viola and bassoon.
Gottfried: This movement consists of two parts, both energetic and flowing. The musical language of the
first part is somewhat abstract, filled with dense textures and diffusing motion, changing intensity and
curves, and a feeling of chaos. Throughout this part, the sound of a church organ created by the wind instruments keeps popping out. A drum solo signals the transition to the secondpart. The jazz trio, with
a new melodic direction and a jazzy, high intensity, Coltrane- like feel, introduces a new modal version
of the theme.
The six’s movement
Bach: Fugue in e minor (from the first book) orchestrated for a piccolo and bassoon.
Gottfried: Prelude in E minor. This is a melancholic version of the prelude, I have used the original left
hand ostinato by Bach as a basis while the part of the right hand is omitted and instead the piano
improvises freely on top, this is also presented only by the Jazz trio members.
The Seventh finale movement
Gottfried: (in B from the second book) is of a pastoral and tranquil character. The theme is played in three different keys, each time with a different orchestration, followed by a wide open section for jazz improvisation in the key of B major, creating a meditative and relaxed atmosphere. After a drum solo (played by hands, to produce a gentle percussive quality sound) a reprise followed by short coda brings the work to its lively finale.
The work was commissioned by the “Voice of music at the upper Galilee festival”. Since its first performance by the Festival orchestra, it was performed by the: Israel Kibbutz Orchestra, the Neues Kammer Orchester Potsdam (Germany), the Beer Sheva Simffonieta, and the Salta Symphony orchestra (Argentina).
2fl-2ob-2cl-2fg-2cor-2tp-Strings-Vibraphone + Jazz trio : (Piano, Contrabass and Drums)
Duration: 40 min.
Première: 2001 Kfar Blum Festival Orchestra Yaron Gottfried, conductor
Piano: Yaron Gottfried, Bass: Yorai Oron, Drums: Eitan Itzkovitch.
Salta Symphony orchestra (Argentina-August 2007) Neues KammerOrchester Potsdam (January 2006), Symphonietta Beer-Sheva (June 2004), Israel Kibbutz Orchestra (March 2003). All conducted from the piano by Yaron Gottfried