Roxanne Dykstra

Un-tempering the Well-Tempered Clavier

Performer | Viola/Violin | Transcription

Without transcription, string players cannot perform some of the most important works to music today. Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, is a powerful example of an important work that string players usually cannot access. The work is an important foundation of compositional logic and expression, and also marked an important development in our tuning systems, as it was inspired by the innovative tempered tuning system that was being developed for keyboard instruments of Bach’s day that enabled the instrument to play in all key signatures without retuning. Bach both explored and demonstrated the possibilities with this new system by writing one prelude and a matching fugue for each of the 12 major and minor keys, later repeating the task to total two full sets of preludes and fugues in both keys. This collection has become a foundational body of repertoire for pianists and an incredible journey through some of the most methodical explorations of each key possible on a tempered instrument: a marvelous exploration of musical discovery and fugal-writing. This performance will be part of a tour of premier performances of performances of the 24 preludes from the first book of the Well-Tempered Clavier for violin and viola duo. The transcription offers a new voice for this timeless masterpiece, highlighting different elements of Bach's masterwork. Experience this incredible journey through the cycle of all major and minor keys packed into 50 minutes. Audience members are invited afterward for a discussion about the transcription and the concert experience afterward.

Roxanne Dykstra – Viola
Pedro Meireles –  Violin

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