Welcome to our newest recording!

Warning: this music is classical…

So, why Bach on bass clarinet?

Bach’s music for both solo cello (BWV 1007-1012) and solo violin (BWV 1001–1006) are wonderful studies for classical and jazz musicians on any instrument. The single instrumental voice simultaneously provides melody, harmony, bass line and rhythmic drive. 

However, since the music is composed for a string instrument, there are essentially no rests and at times up to four notes are played at the same time. For a wind instrument player, this makes performing these historically significant pieces almost impossible. As a result, I have previously worked on them only for practice and not for the concert stage.

In spite of this, I have often been tempted by No. 4 of the Cello Suites. The written range and key are perfect for the bass clarinet and much of the musical phrasing suggests at least the possibility of places to breathe. It would require much work on breath control and pushing the limits of established performance practice. Multiple simultaneous notes would still be a problem but even on cello some arpeggiation is necessary so I could approach double stops as ‘rolled’ ornaments. 

Of course, if I was to make a recording, it would be easy eliminate all the breathing spaces and splice in multiple notes, but for me that would be far too obviously artificial and why not present Bach’s work with more pause and air. Besides, I would very much prefer the recording to sound like a live performance.

So, in April this year, with the arrival of COVID-19, my busy performance schedule completely collapsed, and I was looking for a challenging solo project that would keep my musical juices flowing. This recording is the result and I do hope you enjoy listening to it.

Credits

Composition by Johann Sebastian Bach
Recording and design by Gordon Clements
Mastering by Wynn Gogol
©2020 Rèr Moosic, SOCAN 
All rights reserved, made in Canada

Bach on Bass Clarinet → Bandcamp