Works by Bach and Bartók performed by the Borromeo String Quartet and Yoo Jin Jang, violin and Renana Gutman, piano on August 14, 2016 and March 8, 2015.
Bach, Johann Sebastian: Preludes and Fugues from Well-Tempered Klavier Book 1 trans. Nicholas Kitchen: C Major, C Minor, E-flat Minor
Bartók, Béla: Violin Sonata No. 1, Sz. 75
Today’s podcast features two works that present tests of sorts—for the listener, the performer, the composer. Sharpen your ears and let’s get to it.
The Well-Tempered Clavier was likely written to test a few different things: the keyboard player’s technical skills; the advantages of equal temperament tuning, which enabled playing in every key; and also the listener’s ability to pick out the many, interweaving musical lines. Today, we’ll hear three movements from the WTC in a version for string quartet, created by violinist Nicholas Kitchen.
Bartok’s Violin Sonata No. 1, written in 1921, also pushed boundaries. Today, Bartok is perhaps best known for his explorations of Hungarian traditional music and his folk-tinged, dance-infused symphonies. But he also had a period, between the world wars, of audacious musical experimentation, and this work dates from those years. We’ll hear the piece second on the podcast, played by violinist Yoo Jin Jang and pianist Renana Gutman.